Walking into the newly renovated interior of the Times Vintage in Greenport is like being transported back to a different decade — or several at once. The new dressing rooms look straight from the 1970s. The massive jewelry display gives major 1960s space age vibes. And the vanity takes influence from the 1920s and the 1960s.
The inspiration may come from different eras, but somehow it all works seamlessly together. That was the idea behind the collaboration between shop owner Elizabeth Sweigart and Ricky Saetta, a North Fork based artist who works primarily with wood.
It all started when Sweigart felt a little stagnant with how the shop looked early last year after having it set up the same for the past six years. Saetta, who made a wooden sign for Sweigart previously, had been bugging her to let him make some changes.
“I was ready to invest in changing the shop,” Sweigart said. “And he was interested in doing a project.” The artist says he’d followed Sweigart’s account for the shop on Instagram, and every once in while he would message her, saying “Let’s do those dressing rooms.”
So the changing rooms became the first major project. The pair pulled inspiration from the 1970s, including doors decorated with huge wooden flowers of muted greens and oranges. Inside are what Saetta calls three-dimensional wallpaper. The first room has dozens of little hand cut wooden flowers that start on the wall but drift up towards the ceiling. The second room has a similar pattern but with butterflies.
Then came the jewelry display. “It all sparked from my frustration with not having anywhere to put earrings or jewelry,” Sweigart said. “We did a ton of research and got inspired by 60s space age stuff, and then he came up with this whole thing.”
Rounded cutouts, and orange and yellow rainbow patterns combined with light up displays to create a jewelry set up like no other — there’s even an old TV mounted in the wall playing hours of 1960s fashion videos.
The goal was not merely to be inspired by the past, Saetta said, but “to design something that looked like it came from the 60s. Like something that should have existed in some jewelry store, so it looks completely authentic in that timeframe.”
To achieve that authenticity, he tried to completely immerse himself in the time period, watching old movies and listening to music from that decade. He even went as far as creating a playlist, which you can now hear in the shop as you browse.
The next challenge: With one side of the store completely redesigned, the other side of the store didn’t match. “This side was eating away at me,” Saetta said. “It just didn’t balance.”
So he built Sweigart a multi-tiered shelving unit with racks that opened up the space and helped to fit the shop’s new aesthetic. It features mustard yellow, rounded shelves filled with vintage shoes, racks of colorful decade-old clothes and a large three panel mirror in the center of an open rug.
“It totally reminds me of an old department store,” Sweigart said.
The work it took to bring Sweigart and Saetta’s collaboration to life took about a year (and it went so well that the two are now dating). “We both have an aesthetic that we really think is inspiring and cool,” Sweigart said. “We want people to enjoy it and we hope that it translates.”
The Times Vintage is open Thursday, Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.