Rehab Vintage: A stroll down Acorn Alley …

Andrew Paulsen

Rehab Vintage co-owners, Devon Snedden and Jessica Wheeler, had a fashion dilemma.

The two didn’t necessarily like buying into shopping mall store-trends and didn’t have a local outlet to find the styles of clothing they wanted. As a result, Snedden and Wheeler found themselves driving to Cleveland and scouring Web sites just to get clothing that met their taste. Even then, they said they ran into the hassle and expense of returning online-bought clothing that didn’t fit correctly.

A year ago, Snedden and Wheeler set out to tackle their problem and create a store that would appeal not only to themselves, but to the residents and students of Kent as well.

They traveled across the country – from New York to California, Georgia to South Carolina and back to Ohio – to collect clothing to feature in their new store. About two months into their endeavor, they received an opportunity to take part in the Phoenix Project, and now, Rehab Vintage is open for business.

Rehab Vintage offers a variety of men’s and women’s vintage clothing aimed at college students. It also features “upcycled” clothing – that is, older clothing that’s been recycled and reworked into new, unique pieces to cater to modern fashion. As a part of the upcycling initiative of the store, Snedden and Wheeler have partnered with Kent State fashion students and invited them to redesign their clothing and create original pieces and product lines.

Each month, a new student designer’s clothing will be featured in the store for purchase, with 75 percent of the sales going back to the designers. The first featured designer, Natalie Pankewicz, recently graduated from Kent and said she is excited about the partnership because untapped, local talent will be able to showcase their work. Also, featured local artists will have their artwork on display and available for purchase. Ysabel Price, also a Kent State graduate, has paintings exhibited in the store that influenced Pankewicz’s product line.

Rehab Vintage is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the store is open from noon to 6 p.m.

– Andrew Paulsen