A Home for Treasures Discarded by One and Found by Another
Sally Jo Ocasio has always loved to seek out vintage, and to choose reused. As the owner of The Vintage Vault, a secondhand store with a lovingly curated collection, she came by her fondness for thrifting first by necessity and now by preference.
She explains how it was growing up in Florida in a multiracial household. “Both my parents came from humble backgrounds and avoided buying anything new, shunning unnecessary or wasteful spending. So I spent much of my childhood hoping my classmates wouldn’t see me at the local thrift,” said Sally Jo. “Luckily, I did outgrow this misplaced angst and fully embraced the culture of thrifting.”
She’s spent ten years now working with consigned vintage, antiques and secondhand retail. She’s had The Vault for five years, since she and her partner moved to Ridgway. They were drawn by the open space, incredible landscapes and access, and quaint business district with its great food and artists.
“The highlight of having a small business in a relatively small town are the personal relationships that grow into true friendships and meaningful connections. This couldn’t have been more evident last year. I had just moved locations and two days after reopening, the entire building and everything in it was lost by fire. I won’t go in to the emotions that surrounded the fire itself,” said Sally Jo. “I can only say how grateful I was and still am for the immense support from this small mountain town and all the friends I’ve made because they walked through my door. The dream lives another day because of this amazing community.”
She describes that as for customers, people of all walks of life gravitate to The Vault, and not just to buy things; items have history and bring up buried memories. For some, browsing in her store is a tactile experience. “Besides being on trend now, opting for secondhand items is also a small part to a much mightier global impact,” said Sally Jo. “And I love that I can promote a more sustainable option for the planet and the wallet while offering unique pieces that have been cherished.”
Her relationship with Alpine Bank Ridgway and Ouray branches started when she first went into business. She’s always appreciated the personal touch, but especially after the fire. “Alpine Bank helped me so much with my insurance claim process,” said Sally Jo. “They also reached out personally with kindness to offer support. It’s the little things like this that have such an impact.”
The Vintage Vault is a Small & Mighty contribution to the community of Ridgway. To learn more about our Small & Mighty business highlights click here.