top of page

A Conversation on Curating Vintage

Flea Market Shawty

Words: E.Z. Photography: Flea Market Shawty


With the rise in second hand clothing, due to the popularity in stores like Roundtwo and even more local stores like Bakersfield Vintage more and more people are recognizing that there is foundation in curating vintage. In walks Flea Market Shawty, a person that has spent the last couple years perfecting the art of curating vintage.

Can you introduce yourself, what is your name?

My name is Ashley Bobadilla but most of my friends just call me Ash.

How old are you?

I’m 24, my birthday just passed.

Are you originally from bakersfield?

Yes, born and raised.

You like living in the field?

I used to really dislike it but it’s reeeeeaaaally grown on me. I hated growing up here because it made me feel like I was in a box, but then I had to start thinking outside of that box. And I think it made me more creative and also humbled me.

I understand the same way especially when it comes to thrifting. how long would you say that you have you been thrifting?

My whole life for sure. My mom used to thrift so much but mostly for home decor. She was really good with interior design and eve through that I think I learned a lot about color theory and aesthetics lmao she was teaching me without even knowing

Do you remember at what point you actually took thrifting serious, like when did it stop being just a trip to the thrift store with moms and turn into I wanna go on my own and see what I can find?

In high school I started reworking clothes for myself which I still do sometimes and I think around that time I started seeing how much you can do with someone else’s “trash” I took clothing at thrift stores a lot more seriously. Also when I learned how to curate vintage which is kinda a newfound passion.

What does "curating vintage" mean as it relates to your own personal thrifting journey?

Most of the people you know that are into the thrifting game are LIKELY vintage curators themselves. So when you walk into a thrift store, you’ll have racks filled with vintage, modern and a LOT of fast fashion. As a vintage curator my job is to look at thrift stores (also do estate sales/flea markets/yard sales/swap meets/bins) for my personal style of vintage and Y2K (early 2000s) clothing and accessories. When I’m looking for clothing I look at tags, stitching, where the piece was made and of course the style/cut. I’ve had to learn my own style as well as become SUPER picky about what I choose to add to my shop because at the end of the day my curation is kind of a form of art in itself in my opinion. I plan on continuing styling too which is another reason for me to be picky as to what I have in my shop!

I consider myself a professional thrifter right, I’ve been thrifting over 12 years, 95% of my closet are clothes I’ve thrifted, however I could never get over buying clothes to sell, I’ve always wanted to keep them for myself.. did you ever think like that and if so how'd you overcome it?

Lmao honestly yes all the time. Almost everything I collect is rare/cool af and exactly my style🤣 I want to keep everything but I very rarely do because I always end up wearing the same 3 outfits anyways lmao I’m actually pretty comfort oriented but I love style and fashion. And a lot of things don’t fit me cause I’m on the smaller side too😭

Let's talk about your love for fashion itself, not really the clothes but the love to care about how you look when you step out, ,where did that originate?

Ever since like elementary school! When I got to start dressing myself I remember every outfit kinda feeling like an art project if that makes sense 😂 I liked getting creative with the colors I’d wear and even if it didn’t look good I’m sure I was feeling myself. That’s kinda how I learned to not really care what people think about what you look like as long as your happy and comfortable. And then when I started making music I REALLY cared and started doing photo shoots so I wanted to stunt. I still didn’t have a lot of money so obviously I’d just thrift everything and try to make it work and around that time I was making a lot of clothes for myself for shoots/shows. I was thinking I was gonna be a music and fashion icon Lmaooo but I definitely became way more attached to fashion through that

I completely understand, so let me ask why curate vintage, why not create your own clothing line? With thrifting you have to develop this eye for what is cool, something not a lot of people can do, regardless of the tag. By creating your own line you get a say in making whats cool.

My business started on @coquetaapparel here on instagram about 2 years ago and it started with me buying wholesale and selling trendy fast fashion. It was really boring to me and it didn’t satisfy in the same way. When I started selling some of my vintage pieces I was actually making more money and I was having a lot more fun. I feel like I get an adrenaline rush every time I find something cool. And as for the second part of your question I think I definitely have an eye for my style of stuff but I also really respect my peers who also look for vintage pieces because in my experience they have the most knowledge on fashion/trends/style eras. Talking to someone who knows vintage is like talking to an irl fashion archive. It goes a lot deeper than just looking for old clothes ya know! And maybe one day I’d be interested in starting a line of my own but from now on anything I produce will be sustainably made

I fuck with that. personally I am not able to sell the shit I find so I just make shit and sell that. Would you say that there has been a shift in bakersfield thrift culture, I feel like maybe 6 years ago you could walk into any thrift store and come out with bags, today not so much? It’s a lot harder to find "good clothes"

I think people just understand and are more susceptible to following trends. They know what’s in and what’s not. Social media has an obvious influence over thrift culture too!

I agree, so I assume you've been to all the thrift stores in bako, which store is your favorite/best and which one is the worst?

I really don’t have a favorite🤣 it all depends on luck + the day lol. 100% of this is luck lmao

I don't know about that lol I would say that salvation is probably the most consistent for me, good will is good for furniture and rad is a toss up but i've found some of my better pieces at rad.

I guess if you’re looking for certain things. I go in with a very open and abundant mindset and god be blessing me everywhere I go. But I also only really look for women’s clothing and if anything else happens to come up that’s cool too! I will say I prefer goodwill bins over racks. I enjoy digging for my clothes lmao I like the chaos

Yea sometimes the hunt feel better than that finds. Well there is always going to be a market for vintage, wish ya nothing but the best in future endeavors.


bottom of page