Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat traces beginnings to Craisglist ad
— There is a new store on Market Street that’s not quite a vintage shop or antique store but something entirely different. Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat is a vintage-inspired experience that opened this past November next door to Stagecoach Antiques.
This is one funky place with as quirky a beginning as its owners. While most businesses get their start as a well thought out plan, necessity, or even as dreams made into reality, this store was inspired by an ad on Craigslist. After seeing the building advertised online, co-owners Angel Grace and Joe Scheibe were moved to open up a new kind of shop where reused, repurposed and reworked items could be sold with a healthy dose of entertainment and social interaction on the side.
Grace was a surgery tech for 17 years before she decided to become a shopkeeper with her best friend Scheibe, who still works as a recruiter, a job that he has turned into a lifestyle. Some of his future and current recruits sometimes come into the shop to talk with him. In fact Grace and Scheibe met while he was recruiting Grace’s son for the Army National Guard.
Grace is a study in contrasts, an introvert and an extrovert all at once. She wears her hair short and her heart on her sleeve. She loves to talk to people, is friendly and full of contagious energy. And she is always ready to share a story or two with you if you are so inclined. It is easy to see why so many of her customers have fallen in love with her and why so many people walk out of the store with smiles on their faces.
Scheibe’s straight-edge military vibe contrasts well with Grace’s near riot grrl exterior. While it’s clear that Grace is the Gypsy part of the duo, one shouldn’t jump to conclusions as to whom the goat is. Suffice it to say, Scheibe is restoring an old motorcycle that he has nicknamed The Chupacabra, the goat sucker, and if you look closely at the inside edges of the shop, you will find a lot of goat references and puns.
His charm is in his easy smile, his ease of conversation and the fact that he is constantly tinkering while he is in the store. He can make you a lamp from the front grill of your old car, or rework a heavy duty truck spring into a horizontal bookshelf. Watching how quickly he maneuvers the tools and gadgets at his disposal it is quite understandable if you walk away feeling as if Scheibe can make anything. He probably can.
The building itself also is part of the show. Scheibe and Grace have worked small miracles in this space. If after you walk in there you forget what this place used to look like, you wouldn’t be the first person this happens to. It looks nothing like the dark and dour place it was before Grace decided to check out that Craigslist ad.
There are copper pipes that have been been deliberately left exposed and the floor was stripped down and reworked until its original charm returned. The whole facade has been restored and reworked, and the transom windows have been exposed. There is a red light above the door that was crafted out of a repurposed car break light and attic vents.
A lot of the items you find in the shop are one-of-a-kind original pieces that have been created by either an outside designer, Scheibe or Grace, or designed by one of them and brought into existence by the handiwork of the other. They do custom work as well, which can be interesting to those watching the creations come to life as they shop.
You never know what you are going to find when you visit Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat. You could be looking for a single black feather and end up reading people’s fortunes, or you could go looking for a few gifts and end up signing up to get an old fashioned shave.
Or you could walk in to have a quick look and walk away inspired by the poetry that was being read that night, or the live music that was being played. The creative duo that run this shop are indeed ready to put on quite a show for you. Sammy Butler and Rick Markosky from the band The Shattered Stix will perform at Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat in January. There are more surprises in store come spring, but don’t wait until then to figure out what they are all about.
Time spent with them is time well spent on Market Street.
Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat is located at 451 W. Market Street in Akron. Click here to visit the store’s Facebook page.