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Unleash your Inner Fashion Icon at Unleashed Thrift

  Meet Janelle Flores of Unleashed Thrift, a 24-year-old, Hispanic-American vintage shop owner located in Nutley, NJ. Since its opening in August of 2022, Unleashed Thrift has become a new community staple for fashion enthusiasts and young artists alike. 


  Flores describes her vintage shop as a “curated experience for men and women” with “vintage 80s and 90s looks”, Flores explains, “even clothes that are trendy now.” 

     She scavenges her inventory by researching what’s popular online, going to events in popular cities to see what people are wearing, sourcing through local thrift stores, and even purchasing directly from people’s closets. “[Because] it’s a small store, and I would want a customer to come in here and find something really quick, something that, ‘Oh, this is something that I would want to improve my style with,’” Flores said. 


   From a young age, Flores always had an appreciation for fashion and knew soon enough that when she went on to pursue a higher education, she would study Fashion Business. As she went through her schooling, she found her space in Nutley across the street from where she grew up. 

     Flores recognizes her father as a huge part in pushing her to take the initiative and start her business. “My plan really was to always open a store, but later in life.. But this opportunity showed itself and I decided, ‘Why not take a chance?,’” Flores said.  

    So with a space secured, Flores took a leap of faith. Her plan was “to introduce a more personalized thrifting experience for this community here,” Flores stated. 


     Since then, Unleashed Thrift has been growing. More recently, Flores has been hosting events at her store, for what she describes as an opportunity to “be more involved and be more open to the community and create a good comfortable space for people to shop in.” 

     Some of these events include a “Fill a Bag for $25 Sale” and a small-scale flea market with other local vendors and artists. One notable vendor that Flores mentions is Andrew Fuentes Cortez, who goes by @rustnretro online. 

     As Flores wants to curate both masculine and feminine styles, Fuentes Cortez, her business partner, helps with the male inventory of the store. “He’s been a supporter of the store,” Flores said. “[He helps] us to gain more followers and build a bigger community.” 

     For Flores, the most satisfying part of owning her store is making people happy when they find their pieces. “Seeing their faces when finding something that they immediately love, I think that’s very rewarding.” Flores described. “Every piece needs to find its home.” 

     So what’s next for Unleashed Thrift? This coming June, Flores plans to host an event in her store featuring live music, featured artwork, and refreshments of course. You can find more information about that event and Unleashed Thrift at @unleashedthriftstore on Instagram and TikTok. 


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