Retro Renegades offers many unique vintage items
A new business has opened up in 11 12th Street called Retro Renegades, a true co-operation consisting of two owners: Toni Peditto and Celina Otaegui. Inside the store, you’ll see vintage items such as Disney toys, video games, antiques, instruments and many more.
When trying to put the business together, Peditto said she had one thing in mind: they wanted to stay in downtown. Peditto and Celina Otaegui are from Hammonton and enjoying the sense of the community was key to the location of Retro Renegades. But in terms of running it, Peditto wanted to make sure that everyone does their part and work together to make it a full legal co-operation.
“I don’t want it to be one specific person is an owner, one specific person is a person who just comes in and works. If we have vendors, those vendors are renting from us but we are a co-op,” Peditto said.
“We’re going to have meetings, discussions, we’re going to vote on things and that’s what we’ve been doing for just about a month [since our soft opening],” Peditto said.
Peditto at first thought that the space for the business was pretty small until they discovered the back. From there, there was extra space to hold more items as well as different rooms for vendors to rent out and run their business.
The Hispanic community is a big part of Hammonton. Celina and her husband Mark Otaegui have their Hispanic ties so for them being able to speak Spanish fluently for their Spanish-speaking customers is important.
“I don’t know that there’s another retail location that you can go into and have that community come in and be comfortable and be able to explain everything,” Peditto said.
“I know that I don’t [speak Spanish], I know I use a lot of hand gestures and it doesn’t always work out well and [Celina and Mark] are amazing,” Peditto said.
While vintage antiques, toys, video games and instruments are retail items being sold at the business, the uniqueness to Retro Renegades is the fact that they offer guitar lessons. Many of the owners and vendors of the co-op have unique niches, with Peditto doing mostly vintage antiques and designer handbags. Amber Egen’s niche is antiques and vintage pottery items that are hard to find, with the condition being described as pristine. Celina and Mark’s niche are antiques and character items, like from Disney and Nickelodeon.
“We’re going to be your fifth co-op antique store in town but maybe a little bit more hipper than the other ones,” Peditto said.
Their goal is to help bring in a younger community as they are just finding out about vintage antiques and starting to get into it and acknowledge it.
“We have a few people that will be coming in that do vintage clothing as well as the vintage T-shirts and rock and roll items,” Peditto said.
Celina Otaegui also tries to encourage the younger community the lifestyle of antiques and what value they bring to it.
“People who do this that are in the business are also people who do this as a lifestyle. They like to give it a second life, it’s not just people who are looking for a bargain, they’re also looking for sustainability and affordability too,” Otaegui said.
Retro Renegades LLC is located in 11 12th Street by the railroad tracks and just recently had their soft opening on November 17 during Third Thursday and grand opening on December 16.