Karen Majewski

Tekla Vintage

What is Tekla Vintage?

Tekla Vintage is a vintage shop located in Hamtramck that sells clothing and accessories, as well as small housewares and gift items made by local artisans. I’ve been doing vintage in one way or another since I was in high school, buying and selling for other stores, but I had always planned to have my own store. It’s a personal project and a civic project – what was important for me was to be a visible presence on Joseph Campau and fill an empty storefront. I live here and this is the neighborhood I want to help revitalize.

What was your experience in Build Institute?

I had never really done retail before and there was a lot to learn! Build helped give me an overview of where to start, what’s reasonable to expect and where to find expertise. All along I’ve had so much encouragement, and a whole support system that grew out of the class. Through Build I was connected with the PACE Detroit, which connected me with accounting, design, and marketing services. They’ve been hands on every step of the way.

Accessories at Tekla Vintage in Hamtramck

Accessories at Tekla Vintage in Hamtramck

“Build helped give me an overview of where to start, what’s reasonable to expect and where to find expertise.”

What are your recent developments?

 We bought the building right at the tail end of the Build class. I set up the LLC after the class and found the encouragement to take the leap and buy the building. It was the old Cody’s Hats store that closed about six years ago and everyone in Hamtramck was familiar with. It’s a beautiful old storefront with huge display windows. We did so much work on the space, but wanted to respect the historic elements of the building and façade. We officially opened our doors August 29th during the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival.

What’s in the future for Tekla Vintage?

I see the shop as evolving. Right now our focus is vintage clothing but I’m open to new directions, maybe having more of a mix of clothing and housewares. There are so many people looking for opportunities here in Hamtramck – every new business that opens is an inspiration to the next one!