Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Sonny Naranjo was living in Colorado working toward a master’s in transpersonal psychology when she got a sign.
A spirit guide reached out to her via social media with a simple message: Move to New Mexico.
She made the move, and now, less than two years later, she’s running her own vintage shop in Nob Hill called The Dive with business partner Mel Livingston, who sells vintage clothing on the website Snob Hill Market. The Nob Hill store at 3812 Central SE had its grand opening Saturday.
“It was a dream to come here – wasn’t in the plan to open a store, but then I met Mel,” Naranjo said.
Like Livingston, Naranjo has been selling vintage clothing online on her website Bygone Supply Co.
The Dive will feature a handful of clothing vendors and the work of several artists and jewelry makers. Naranjo said she’s excited to join the vibrant arts community in the city.
“We like weird, we like funky,” Naranjo said. “I love art and I’m super inspired by the people in New Mexico.”
All of the vendors are female or queer, Naranjo said, and she met many of them while doing pop-up events selling clothing.
“They were all people like me … a little weird and a little eclectic, and I wanted to give them a space,” Naranjo said. “So many things go with vintage and there’s more than enough room. Let’s build a really cool vendor lineup.”
As a child, Naranjo and her mom moved frequently. When they moved, they would hit thrift stores to restock their house.
“It was definitely a thrifty lifestyle,” Naranjo said.
Her mom still helps her find vintage clothing in Illinois. Naranjo also drives to Colorado regularly to search for thrifted finds.
Her personal love of vintage clothing turned into Bygone Supply Co.
“I was just kind of hoarding all of these treasures from the thrift store,” Naranjo said. “My partner at the time was like, ‘Why don’t you start selling it?'”
Naranjo originally started selling thrifted jeans online. She had struggled to find affordable vintage jeans that fit curvier women. But “people-person” Naranjo wanted to be able to help people find their perfect size in person.
“I really wanted to help people find their sizing so it can be sustainable for them to buy a pair of jeans that would fit the first time,” Naranjo said. “I miss being able to have that connection online. It’s so much (harder) to connect with somebody, find their sizes, help them shop – I miss the personal touch on everything.”
Naranjo and Livingston are hoping to add more vendors to the space soon.
“There’s something about the people in New Mexico that they’re so willing to share with each other,” Naranjo said. “They’re sharing resources and everyone’s just rooting for each other here. And I’m so excited to get to do the same for other people by letting them vend here and boosting them up that way.”
The Dive is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.