“Buy. Sell. Trade.”- Bootleg
* 126 W 2nd St, Chico, CA 95928 *
TEL (530) 895-1426
* Facebook- Bootleg Instagram- @bootlegchico *
*15% off Students*
Bootleg is one of many treasured boutiques located in the heart of small town Chico, CA. Walking inside the boutique itself is an experience. First, the entrance display window exhibits the latest vintage garments. The wall is tiled with small metallic squares that light up the mannequins before them. A set of dress forms are clothed with a selection of dresses. And that is only the entrance.
Walking in is like walking into time capsule. Long dresses, fur coats, vintage boots, and overalls line along the brick wall. Above the racks in red bold letters, BOOTLEG is written out. Across from it, a cashier stands filled with unique jewelry, platters of belt buckles, and coin purses. The stand even holds an original working cashier from the 50’s! No matter which direction you turn, a unique garment is displayed.
Far more than the items before me, I was far more intrigued by the store’s set up. Every rack, platter, stand and mannequin hold the items with such daintiness. From boots to earrings, each item is arranged for a purpose. You could tell this boutique was thoroughly attended.
On the far end of the store, a woman wearing cat-eye frames was organizing a pile of jeans and trousers. Amazed by the passion the boutique radiated, I introduced myself to what turned out to be the founder and owner of Bootleg.
Sue welcomed me with warm enthusiasm and was kind enough to tell me her story (after I foolishly asked her some very inconsistent questions). While she sorted out the pile of clothing, she began by telling me how she decided to open a vintage boutique. Before she moved to back to Chico, Sue was living in LA as a costume designer for Hollywood productions. She said LA wasn’t working for her anymore, “[…]it was becoming too crowded […]”
“[…] LA WASN’T WORKING FOR ME ANYMORE [..]”
“I was always attracted to weird and unique clothing. Especially vintage clothing,” Sue remembers, “I loved collecting fun items, that it got to a point where people would know me for it! My friends would need something… for a costume or something, and they would say ‘Oh, got to Sue! She has crazy things!’ ”
“I WAS ALWAYS ATTRACTED TO WEIRD AND UNIQUE CLOTHING”
When asked what are some of the reasons that inspired her to open Bootleg she said besides vintage being her favorite ” […] vintage is far superior [quality], they last longer.” Purchasing vintage and thrifting is a way to combat mass production of lesser quality clothing. According AlterNet, the clothing industry is the second largest pollutant in the world. Bootleg is set to combat this pollutant by preserving and giving a second home to beautiful vintage garments.
“VINTAGE IS FAR SUPERIOR [QUALITY], THEY LAST LONGER”
The environment is something I discuss passionately with those willing to listen. Finding how to further protect and preserve it from pollutants, such as mass production of clothing (another form of trash), has become a priority of mine. Going to Bootleg was a wake-up call for me. It reminded me that no matter how small I might feel when compared to the world (which is almost every time as I am 5’1…), I can still make a difference. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We can make a difference through the passions of ours. Sue, for instance, utilized her love for vintage clothing and unique garments and turned it into a thriving business. Not only is she preserving vintage garments but she is combating clothing pollution in her own way. Bootleg provides the opportunity for unwanted garments to find a home, and avoid being send to landfill.
My experience in one of the most soulful places I’ve ever shopped at, has been unforgettable. I loved coming into a store where each item is hold dearly. I loved the unique mannequin displays and the funky garments that adorn them. I loved the vintage displays all around. But most of all I loved the warmth I felt when I nervously, and very intimidated, entered the store for the first time. Bootleg’s employees welcomed me with a reassuring smile and reminded me that with passion one can achieve anything and everything all at once. – Sofia Contreras
I understand sometimes going up to the unknown, can be scary. Specially when you are taking some of your unwanted clothes to get inspected by a stranger (to you. Maybe.) But know that Bootleg, Sue (the owner), and it’s employees are far from intimidating. They made my first, of many, trading experience a memorable one as I was lucky to purchase a beautiful Coach bag for a wonderful price! So thank you Bootleg!
As I wrote before in Bootleg- Chico, coming to the store and presenting some of my garments was as smooth as oil itself. I urge anyone to go on trade, sale, or donate some of your garments to aid the planet’s clothing economy and prevent further pollution!