MADISON — When Maria and Dave Teodosio relocated to Connecticut from Southern California, they brought along a slice of LA cool.
Their new shop, Neighborhood Vintage, offers a trove of retro classics and current finds creating a kind of hipster vibe in downtown Madison.
The Teodosios both lend an eclectic, artistic eye to their shop that seamlessly combines the couple’s aesthetics.
“It’s a mix of California, boho, mid-century, and New England summer camp,” Maria said.
A native Californian with long, pink tresses, Maria studied costume design at UCLA and owned a successful bridal shop in the vibrant Echo Park neighborhood for almost 10 years.
The couple met in Los Angeles, but Dave, a writer and nutmeg state native, was eager to move back East.
While searching for a place to live on the Shoreline, the Teodosios stumbled upon a quaint, bungalow on Wall Street.
“I’ve always just collected things, and I was doing it online for fun. We thought the house was cute, and we could have a business here. We said, ‘Let’s open the shop, we’ll wait on the house,’ ” Maria said.
The shop’s porch banner welcomes customers into the front space filled with new and vintage home accessories and furnishings. To outfit your home bar, you’ll find colorful tumblers, glass pitchers, and a new take on the classic Napier jigger.
Maria said, “I’m a little obsessed with cocktail and barware. It’s constantly changing. We also mix in bar items such as bourbon-aged cherries, vermouth-brined olives, bitters, and we had several syrups, but we sold out.”
The shop offers retro-cool pieces to add a “Mad Men” vibe to your home with mid-century modern furniture, colorful dishware, or perhaps a nostalgic canister set.
“The furniture and bigger pieces attract young families buying their houses on the Shoreline and New Haven. People like to mix the older with the newer pieces. They’ve been the biggest clientele,” Maria said.
In the front corner, customers will find wooden bins of classic vinyl handpicked by Maria’s husband. Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and Prince albums have their place on shelves in the front room.
Adorned by felt pennants, the back room invites customers looking for classic tees, dresses, shoes and vintage Levi’s to stay awhile.
“A lot of teenagers come straight into the back clothing room. The jeans and T-shirts are most popular with teens. I don’t think there are any Levi’s left this week,” Maria said.
In addition to clothing, the shop offers a collection of jewelry such as large pendant necklaces, cameos, turquoise rings and bracelets reflected on mirrored trays.
While the shop specializes in vintage finds, the Teodosios also stock new discoveries such as scents from Los Angeles-based P.F. Candle Co. with unusual blends like teakwood and tobacco. You’ll find plant-based beauty products such as bath soaks from Wild Yonder Botanicals, lavender and cocoa dry shampoo and “Lil Sensitive Pit Cream” from Fat and the Moon herbal body care.
Hanging throughout the shop, are handmade bamboo kites which also double as whimsical wall decor. Large sailing ships and birds with working wings are just two of the styles in stock.
Maria, a natural stylist with a keen eye for display, described how she and her husband blend their unique tastes: “I feel like we have a bit of a split personality with the shop. I try to find clothing that I like, and my husband discovers the T-shirts and jeans which are youthful and casual,” she said.
Even though Neighborhood Vintage is new to the community, there is one particular item that has already become synonymous with the shop: the pencil sharpener board. Prominently displayed over a brick fireplace, the striking array of 50 manual sharpeners will transport you back to grade school. Maria shared how her husband’s serendipitous collection began: “The first one that he bought was because he needed a pencil sharpener. After that, we saw one at every estate sale that we went to, so he started collecting them. The pencil sharpener wall is Madison famous,” she said.