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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • Washington woman opens Co-Op Shop Around the Corner in East Peoria

  • EAST PEORIA — Those who visited the Colgan home probably would have felt like they were stepping back in time.

    Tabitha (Colgan) Feldman, 23, of Washington said she grew up in an environment where nostalgia was the norm.
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  • EAST PEORIA — Those who visited the Colgan home probably would have felt like they were stepping back in time.
    Tabitha (Colgan) Feldman, 23, of Washington said she grew up in an environment where nostalgia was the norm.
    Coming from a family of seven siblings — five girls and two boys — the Colgans spent time as a family watching shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Dick Van Dyke” and “I Love Lucy.”
    “We watched a lot of old movies and we watched so many that I legitimately thought they were current. Ricky Nelson was my biggest crush and I was destined to marry him when I grew up because I thought he was still an option,” Feldman said.
    The siblings had a flair for dressing in vintage clothing, and Feldman began collecting this style of attire.
    “We all shopped for each other and were just kind of looking for deals. It kind of started like that, and then it started with selling online,” she said.
    Now Feldman is taking her collection and offering it to the public. She is opening The Co-op Shop Around the Corner, which will feature vintage clothing and items. The business is located at 127 Washington St., ironically directly underneath Feldman’s first apartment.
    Previously, Feldman, who is married to Co-Op Records of East Peoria owner Cameron Feldman, sold her vintage clothes at that business.
    “I totally outgrew that and then I started buying vintage to sell,” she said. “It kind of just kept getting bigger and bigger. It’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to do this.”
    Although she and her husband live in Washington, Feldman said they like working in East Peoria.
    “It’s kind of like a mom and pop collaboration,” she said. 
    Cameron Feldman has been running the East Peoria Co-Op for 22 years.
    “He still loves it,” Feldman said.
    Feldman could be a walking advertisement for her new shop which opens Friday. She dresses in ’60s and ’70s clothes. Her sisters dress in fashions from the ’20s, ’40s and ’50s.
    “Everyone’s kind of chose it and personalized it, but it’s cool because we can all kind of steal each others items and fancy them up to our liking,” Feldman said with a laugh.
    Page 2 of 3 - To find the unique items for her shop, Feldman frequents yard sales and thrift stores. Friends also give her clothes.
    “It’s pretty cool because when you have a specific taste, people tend to find things when they think of you and give them,” Feldman said.
    One of the things Feldman really enjoys about hunting for vintage items, which she considers 20 years old or older, is hearing the story behind the piece. One of the dresses in her shop she found on the Springfield Road Community Sale in East Peoria. 
    “A woman handmade that for square dancing every weekend with her husband,” Feldman said.
    Defining vintage further, Feldman said she offers a variety of styles from the ’60s and ’70s with some ’50s.
    “It’s crazy. It goes from bohemian to hippie to mod to the elegant, Victorian style. It’s pretty fun,” Feldman said.
    The reason Feldman thinks that vintage is making a comeback now is twofold.
    “I think people more now than ever are striving for individuality and to express themselves with something no one else has,” Feldman said. 
    The second reason is more environmental.
    “People are all about shopping small and saving money. You know, reduce, reuse, recycle,” she said.
    When patrons come into The Co-Op Shop Around the Corner, Feldman said she wants people to have a positive experience.
    “Kind of our mission here is to have people come in and help them find pieces that speak to them and how they can pair it. We have all kinds of sizes. There’s all kind of body positivity going on,” she said.
    By body positivity Feldman said she means that a lot of people love vintage clothes but don’t think they look good on their body type.
    “Well, it’s like, ‘Why don’t you try it on and see how you like it?’ People typically end up liking it. It’s kind of like embrace what you have,” Feldman said. “For different body types, something I really enjoy is helping people find items that fit their body type and what they’re comfortable with. What do you want to enhance? What do you want to minimize? What kind of vibes are you trying to put out?”
    Page 3 of 3 - The Co-Op Shop Around the Corner also offers a small men’s selection of clothing and some children’s items.
    In addition to the vintage items, Feldman will also be offering kimonos she makes out of old table cloths and linens.
    “It’s still vintage charm with a print flair,” she said.
    Prices range from $2 to $45 and there will always be a $5 bargain rack, Feldman said.
    Currently, Feldman is busy preparing her shop. Her siblings and husband have been helping her.
    “It’s all happening so fast. I’m very nervous. It’s something so very new,” she said.
    Once she gets settled in, Feldman said she would like to have old movie nights, poetry readings and acoustic music at the shop.
    “I think we’re all looking for a creative outlet in East Peoria,” she said.
    The Co-Op Shop Around the Corner will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. Feldman said people can park in the city lot near Dick William’s law office. For more information, call 340-8789.

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