New website highlights vintage-related businesses in Franklin County

  • Alex McGuigan, of Buckingham Rabbits Vintage in Turners Falls, designed the graphics for the website VintageValleyTrail.com. Contributed photo

  • Skye Wellington of Innovintage Place in Greenfield was one of the local business owners who helped launch VintageValleyTrail.com for local vintage-related businesses. Contributed photo

  • John McNamara and Erin MacLean of LOOT in Turners Falls were among the local business owners who helped launch VintageValleyTrail.com. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 8/2/2021 5:13:53 PM

GREENFIELD — Shoppers of all things rustic and vintage will have an easier time finding local shops, thanks to Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s launch of VintageValleyTrail.com, a website highlighting the vintage-related businesses in the county.

“We channeled the uncertainty of the pandemic and the enthusiasm of our vintage retailers to build something that will benefit our small businesses and treasure seekers alike,” said Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. “We are so fortunate to have really unique and funky vintage shops throughout Franklin County, and the spirit of collaboration was so great.”

The website — which was funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism — offers a central place for locals and tourists alike to find vintage shops, organized by town. So far, seven businesses in Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and Turners Falls have been added. For each business entry, VintageValleyTrail.com includes an address, website, contact information, and a short description of the business and backstory of the owners.

“The great thing about (the website) is that Franklin County is really becoming a destination for vintage shopping and sustainable retail,” said Skye Wellington, owner of Innovintage Place on Hope Street in Greenfield. “This type of marketplace has been trending over the past 10 years, but now it’s something that’s really big.”

The idea for the website stemmed from conversations with local business owners during regular meetings at the Franklin County Community Development Corp., Lisa Davol, the chamber’s marketing and events manager, said in a press release.

“At one point, Erin MacLean from LOOT in Turners Falls said it would be great to put together a vintage valley initiative, and my ears perked up,” Davol said.

A group of business owners — including MacLean and Wellington — got together to get the idea off the ground, according to the release.

“When Lisa pitched the idea of digitally connecting the growing number of vintage-related small businesses that have popped up in the area, I was psyched,” Alex McGuigan of Turners Falls’ Buckingham Rabbits Vintage said in the release. “My wheels immediately started turning. I’m so proud of this vibrant community, and I’m really excited by what we can do with this in the future.”

Wellington said the website allows visitors to search through a list of shops organized by town.

“There are a lot of other vintage shops that specialize specifically in clothing, or they might specialize in rustic farm stuff,” she said, noting her shop is primarily housewares. “With this website, it’s a really nice way for people to be able to search out and find the types of things they might be looking for.”

Inclusion in the site will be free for the year through July 2022, according to the release, after which there will be a fee to help keep the site running. Businesses wanting to be included should email lisa@franklincc.org or sign up on VintageValleyTrail.com.

“It’s really proven to be a pretty big deal,” she said, adding that several people have reached out to her about the website since its launch. “Whenever we have customers that come specifically for vintage, they’re always asking, ‘Where else is there to go?’ The nice thing is we’re going to be able to say there’s this website … that you can pull up on your phone.”

An earlier version of this article misstated the current functions of the website, as well as plans for expansion.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.


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