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Buckingham Rabbits Vintage holds grand opening

  • Alex McGuigan and her son Liam McGuigan pose with rabbits at the opening celebration of the Buckingham Rabbits Vintage on Canal Street in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/MELINA BOURDEAU

  • Buckingham Rabbits Vintage offers a variety of clothing items, sunglasses, cards, shoes and other items at various price ranges.  STAFF PHOTO/MELINA BOURDEAU

  • Beverly Ketch performed at the Buckingham Rabbits Vintage store on its opening weekend. STAFF PHOTO/MELINA BOURDEAU

  • Buchingham Rabbits Vintage on Canal Street in Turners Falls opened last weekend. STAFF PHOTO/MELINA BOURDEAU

  • The Buckingham Rabbits Vintage store is located at 42a Canal St. in Turners Falls. It is owned by Turners Falls residents Alex McGuigan and her husband, John McGuigan.  STAFF PHOTO/MELINA BOURDEAU

Staff Writer
Published: 4/11/2019 7:20:21 PM

MONTAGUE — There are now two businesses – the Local Yoga Joint and Buckingham Rabbits Vintage  – in the old Housing Authority building on Canal Street in Turners Falls. The vintage store, which had its grand opening over the weekend, is the newest addition. 

Owner and operator of the store, Alex McGuigan and her husband John McGuigan, said she’s been dreaming of opening a vintage store for years. 

“It’s one of the things that we connected on one of our first dates,” Alex McGuigan said. “He worked at Bobby from Boston, which was a vintage store, and while we both had specific interests, we always had that obsession.”

Their vintage store offers, a variety of vintage clothes, shoes, children’s clothes, sunglasses, patches, a selfie booth and a kid’s play area.

McGuigan said in many vintage stores, the clothing can be anachronistic – from one particular era or decade.

“We wanted a place where everyone can shop – it’s accessible with a wide range of sizes and prices,” Alex McGuigan said. “Our next steps might be workshops or skill shares, but we’re really relying on the community to fall into it.”

The shop got its name from McGuigan, whose nickname is “Bunny.”

“I’m always running around, always working on a 1,000 things at once,” Alex McGuigan said. “‘Buckingham Rabbit’ is a song from my favorite band – the Silver Jews, which is a thread throughout my husband and I’s relationship.”

She said she decided to move to Turners Falls after her second son was born and she took on the responsibility of taking care of her mother.

“We used to come to western Massachusetts often – to visit the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Shelburne Falls, etc. – we looked and looked for months and finally found a house we could all share,” said McGuigan. “We moved to Turners Falls in July of 2017. Soon after we moved, we started looking for a home for the vintage store we’d always dreamed of opening.”

Their obsession with vintage stores paired with the desire to work together created the Buckingham Rabbits Vintage.

“We’ve both been collecting for so long, even having a warehouse for our collections, displays and furniture back East that we have a good start on inventory,” McGuigan said. “My husband has 20-plus years under his belt in vintage buying and has some fantastic wholesale relationships that have helped us, too.”

In April 2018, after several spaces didn’t work out, McGuigan said she reached out to Curt Sherrer, who had just purchased the old Housing Authority building and pitched him the idea of adding handmade, an experiential element and the most important thing – a kid's play space and he was on board.

For about a year, McGuigan worked on the building.

“Basically, I did everything myself from building everything from the floors to the fixtures from the most basic, repurposed or leftover materials and working during nap times and after dinner into the wee hours,” McGuigan said. “It hasn’t been a simple transition, but our lives and my mother’s life are infinitely improved.”

McGuigan said to celebrate all of her hard work, the store held a weekend-long opening party.

“The most striking thing is how supportive this community has been,” McGuigan said. “They’re the reason we’ve been able to open our doors.”

The vintage store is open Thursday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment.

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