NC State grad creates online vintage store with size inclusive, affordable clothes

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Mariah Collazo, a 2020 NC State graduate, found herself entering the job market in the midst of a pandemic.

"By the time I was graduating I already knew the economy was supposed to be in a recession. I was already scared about graduating like everyone else is and of course the pandemic added to that," Mariah said.

But her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she went full steam ahead with her online vintage clothing store: Vanilla Vintage.

"I saw that there was a big gap between sustainable clothing that's affordable and still fashionable and also that we're size inclusive which is also an issue in the vintage community," she said.

Mariah says she's worked to fill that gap, also playing homage to tradition as a Black vintage clothing store owner.

"Thrifting and vintage has always been a part of Black culture because of poverty and Jim Crow laws. And reworking items and sewing because we had to into a store and buy something new," Mariah said.

And it's clear, the traditions continue. Her website full of sold out items and happy customers.

"I want them to see themselves in my brand. And understand that they're confident and their style comes from them. Not what someone is telling them they should wear," Mariah said.

Mariah says she's hoping to expand to cater to even more sizes. She's also hoping to learn how to refurbish items.
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