February 8, 2008

Secondhand Jazz Resale Shop

Nate Calvin has been interested in fashion since he was a preschooler. Despite the brutal teasing of those in grade school who made fun of his passion for fashion, Nate continued to seek out unique and funky clothing at weekend yard sales and dress like a high end fashion designer. With the help of his supporting mother Kris, Nate has finally been able to open his own successful shop here in South Pasadena. Oh, and did I mention that Nate is only eleven years old? Because he is.

I was doing my usual rounds of town yesterday when I noticed the secondhand store. I'd never gone in before because the clothing in the window was always utterly dowdy but today I noticed a change. There were multiple items in the window that caught my attention. Nothing could be described as matronly - in fact, everything I saw was hip and fresh. In I went.

Being the Chatty Kathy that I am, I asked the shopkeeper where she bought the clothes for the shop. "Actually, my son buys them. It's his shop. I'm just working here until he gets out of school. He should be there soon."

I had to meet him. Luckily, there were multiple items I wanted to try on so I popped in the dressing room to kill some time. In a few minutes I heard a tiny voice, "Hi, Mom."

I came out of the dressing room to see the man (boy) behind the magic. Nate was barely five feet tall, but he had the style and confidence of a West Hollywood fashionista. I introduced myself and gushed about how fabulous I thought he was. Both Nate and his mother Kris were happy to give me details on the shop.

Nate had seen the clothing store for sale a few months ago and begged his mother to buy it for him so he could try his hand at shopkeeping. Kris Calvin is very involved in the community and holds multiple jobs but she couldn't deny her son's eye for fashion. The mutual adoration these two feel for each other is impossible not to notice. She told him they'd try it out on a trial basis and see how it went. She bought the store but gave all management, decoration and merchandise responsibilities to her son. The end result is a secondhand store with a couture atmosphere but amazingly affordable clothes. Nate spends the weekends yardsale hopping, looking for fun fashion to sell in his store and his mother spends her evenings washing the clothes to get them ready for sale.

Only weeks later, Jeffrey Sebelia, winner of the hit reality t.v. show Project Runway noticed his store while out shopping and came in to look around. Three months after taking over the shop, a tidy profit proved that Nate was gold.

When he isn't playing his saxaphone, Nate would love to become a designer and is saving up for a sewing machine and sewing lessons. I have no doubt we'll all be hearing a lot more about him in the future.

Make sure to stop by and check out his threads at:

Secondhand Jazz
1506 Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA


Kids these days.


Boy Mom said...

You ROCK err JAZZ,(just doesn't have the same ring)Hollywood. I don't live in CA, though I fantasize about it as I'm shoveling snow and freezing my tukus off. If I did live in CA I would love to prowl the grungy, star studded streets haunting second hand stores, chatting with the locals. My favorite place to hang out is downtown LA in the garment district, lots of families, shop keepers that have been there for years and recognize you even though they only see you every two or five years. Love it!

Janell said...

That's awesome the parents are able to support the kid in his interests!

jordan said...

wow, such useful knowledge and entertainment your blog provides! I'm going to hit it up the Jazz shop today.

April said...

Wow, wish I had known my "calling" at the early of an age! .... wait a minute! I did. That is why I'm a mom. It just isn't nearly as glamourous or eye catching... and I REALLY wouldn't have been ready to do it at 11 yrs old! LOL

Chris & Allie said...

Wow! Don't we all with that our kids would know what they want to do so early in life! I would be more than happy to support them if they were that passionate about it. Ooo! OOo! Is there such thing as a professional Lego builder?

Michemily said...

That is so cool. I want pictures of this place and the clothes!

Moddy said...

That is so cool, I hope my kids have that kind of drive at the age. And that if they do I can be as supportive.

Jessica G. said...

Dang overachievers...making me look like a pathetic slacker..

"What did you do today, Nate?"

"Well, I found some fab gouchos at a yard sale, budgeted to improve the front window mannequins, browsed the designer stores for more ideas and then handstitched this gorgeous scarf. What did you do today, Jessica G.?"

"Umm...I showered...?"

Nate, Jazzclothes@mac.com said...

Thanks so much for writing about JAZZ. Its kind of overwhelming. Also, I'm kind of torn now between being a saxophone player and a designer, but maybe I can play music and have my own fashion line. For now the store is a challenge and I'm really happy that people seem to like it and the clothes I choose. Thanks again so much for writing this, it must have been a lot of work, and thanks everyone who commented. It made me feel so happy to read these. (Especially Jessica yours was funny.)

Hollywood said...

I'm so glad you approve of the post, Nate! If only Jessica's post was an exaggeration...

You rock!

loveactually said...

This place was a pit. A total dump. I was in there 3 different times, never found a thing worth buying and NEVER saw this famous 11 year old kid. Drove by yesterday and saw it was closed for good. No wonder.

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