Q: How did you come up with the money to start?
A: I did it on credit cards, and my parents helped me a little bit. I started out small.
Q: So you went into debt to get the business off the ground?
A: I did go into debt.
Q: What distinguishes your shop from others in the city?
A: I like to carry stuff from the 1940s on, but I also have more modern styles and I mix and match, which a lot of places tend not to do. They either do newer, secondhand stuff or they do vintage. And I specialize mainly in '70s, '80s styles, male and female.
Q: What's the key to being successful in this business?
A: You have to cater to people's likes. You want to have a little bit of everything for everybody. I think lots of businesses fail because owners buy things they think they'll like, and that's sometimes not good because you're going to get a very select audience.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: I get people anywhere from 18 up, I get older people in their 50s and 60s, but I think my basic customer is probably a twenty- or thirty-something who's a student or working woman.
Q: Where do you get clothing?
A: People just bring it to me. I don't even shop for it anymore. People sell me their goods, but I curate it, I pick and choose what I think will sell, what looks good.
Q: Do certain items sell better than others? And if so, why?
A: I think jewelry and accessories sell better than clothing, because often people just want to come in and not try stuff on.
Q: What's the biggest challenge being in a business like this?
A: The biggest challenge is getting people to come in and buy stuff, especially in the summer. City taxes are a challenge, especially the business-privilege tax. As a small-business owner, I feel that we're not rewarded for opening businesses here, and instead we're punished by paying more taxes.
Q: You also use the online marketplace Etsy. What's up with your Etsy moniker, poppygenetierney?
A: I love Gene [Tierney, a stage and film actress of the 1940s and '50s]! I'm a fan of old movies.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman