Another Man’s Treasure Vintage Store opened on June 16, 2006 in a small modest building on Brunswick Street in Jersey City. Owners Meika and Warren Franz, both only twenty-five years of age at the time, worked long hours to attract customers and make the store a success; working full-time jobs Monday thru Friday while operating the vintage store from Friday night until Sunday night.
After just one year in business, the couple (pictured above) were financially stable enough to quit their day jobs in exchange for self-employment. Full of enthusiasm and passion, they operated the store while also selling their vintage wears at flea markets, trade shows, vintage shows, and at many local Jersey City events.
Two years later, Another Man’s Treasure made a leap and moved into a larger, brighter store located at 353 Grove Street where it currently resides. In addition to quality vintage clothing for both men and women, the store houses a large selection of jewelry, handbags, shoes, hats, coats, sunglasses, accessories, and vinyl records. The couple spend many hours carefully hand-picking their inventory adding new items to the shop daily.
The original location on Brunswick Street, open currently by appointment only, was turned into a vintage showroom housing high-end designer and couture labels such as Channel and Yves St. Laurent as well as delicate gowns that date as far back as the Victorian era.
After nine successful years, Another Man’s Treasure is taking another leap into a much larger space located in Charles & Co., the new SILVERMAN building in downtown Jersey City. This new location will provide them the much needed space to combine both of their locations into one store. It will also provide more dressing rooms for shoppers, an area for in-house alterations, and a photo studio to start an online store. Paul Silverman, founder and principal of SILVERMAN, explained the importance of the move and expansion stating, “Small businesses are what makes neighborhoods like this so exciting and interesting and compelling to want to shop here. Warren and Meika are a fascinating couple themselves living here in Jersey City. To have a store like Another Man’s Treasure that is famous, has amazing inventory, is creative with spirit and enthusiasm for the neighborhood is great and will really make the new building a destination.”
Both Meika and Warren come from a long family of entrepreneurs so starting a business seemed natural to them. More than just a business, Another Man’s Treasure has contributed to the vibrant Jersey City community by taking part in many of the city’s markets and street fairs. Artist Megan Gulick, founder of Not Yo Mama’s Craft Fairs who lives in the heights, complements the Franz family with always giving back to the community noting, “They have been long time supporters of our craft fairs starting with our first major event back in 2010 at Parlay Studios.”
Although there is fear with making a large move such as theirs, the couple both agree that having a successful business means taking risks. Meika explained, “A business can fail for many reasons and one of them is definitely if you are afraid to take the risk. You have to keep pushing it. We have never sat still.” Warren added, “We are in a town that is constantly evolving and growing. We have to keep up with it. You cannot get complacent.”
For a small business, a move like this can be financially daunting. There are the costs associated with outfitting the new location and moving fees not to mention income lost during the weeks the shop will be closed in order to transition to the new location. To help off-set some of the moving costs, Meika and Warren are currently running a Kickstarter campaign. More than just a website for accepting monetary donations, Kickstarter rewards financial backers for their pledges. Another Man’s Treasure’s rewards range from a limited edition vintage T-shirt for a $20 pledge to a private vintage party for 25 guests complete with after hours shopping, use of the photo studio, and refreshments for a $1,000 pledge. Kickstarter projects do not receive any of the pledged money unless the entire financial goal is met by a specific deadline. In Another Man’s Treasure’s case, they must meet their goal of $10,000 by Thursday, July 30.
Massiel Hernandez, a life long resident of Jersey City and active customer of Another Man’s Treasure since it opened in 2006 explained, “Every time I set foot into the store, I never know what I will find. Another Man’s Treasure is in itself a treasure. As a plus size woman, I’m always amazed at the wide selection of styles. Besides having amazing clothes, the owners are such lovely folks. I always feel at home in the store.”
Customers range in age from five to seventy-five years old; many of them traveling to the downtown area just to shop at Another Man’s Treasure. Inspired by their young daughter Biba, the new location will allow for more room to expand their selection of children’s clothing. Warren explained, “Our customers do not represent only one demographic of Jersey City. We sell to teenagers, middle-aged working professionals, and customers who are searching for that unique statement piece or shopping for an original 1950s fedora.”
One of the rewards for a contribution to Another Man’s Treasure Kickstarter Campaign includes this 1960s ‘De Jay Happy Tunes’ portable record player and a set of four singles
For a pledge of $100 owner Meika Franz will teach you how to hand sew and restore vintage clothing with a class that includes how to sew a button, hem a dress, fix a zipper, and much more. Meika, who has over twenty years of sewing experience, taught her first sewing class at the age of fourteen. She delights in using her skills to repair damaged clothing instead of discarding them. She turned a 1950s silk polka dot dress into a skirt after discovering unrepairable silk rot in the sleeves. Meika explained, “We restore things. We give new life to them. There is energy in the clothes and we are helping to find them the right owners. In a way the clothing are like our children. As long as you have the love and passion for what you are doing and know it is the right thing then everything comes together. At the end of the day we love what we do.”
At the time of publication, the Kickstarter project had raised $7,469 in pledges. With just five days left of the campaign, the goal is to reach at least $10,000. For more information on Another Man’s Treasure and their Kickstarter campaign, visit amtvintage.com.
Lead photo by Stephanie Romano. All other photos courtesy Another Man’s Treasure.