Inside Caulfield’s Vintage Clothing and Furniture, 414 Cherry St., Macon, there’s an air of coolness, but it’s a different kind of cool. Racks are filled with retro shirts and blouses, cardigan sweaters and dresses. Artwork from local artists hang in a gallery space near the storefront window. A Kimball piano sits near the lamps, couches and chairs.
Fifteen dollars will bring you the like-new T-shirt from the 1987 Kentucky Derby neatly folded on a table display at the front of the store, .
“We don’t want to gouge people,” owner Dylan Brown said. “We just want to give people cool stuff at a good price.”
Brown wants to provide more than that, though. He wants to give Macon’s younger crowd -- hipsters, if you will -- a place to hang out.
As a student at Gordon College, Brown, 23, and a friend from Macon often made the 40-mile or so trek here from Barnesville looking for fun.
“It was either to Macon or Atlanta to hang out,” he recalled. “I like Macon because it’s small, but it knows its size. It’s not like Atlanta, trying to be Los Angeles when it’s not. Here, it’s Macon. Everybody knows what it is, and everybody’s OK with that. The people are OK and cool. It’s not like that in Atlanta.”
Brown, who is from Atlanta, liked the Macon scene but felt something was missing.
“We didn’t have a vintage store. We had one here, but it didn’t strike me as a place where we wanted to hang out,” he said. “We’ve really been embraced by local businesses and regulars. I want it to be a place you can hang out. ... We want to build fellowship downtown.”
Brown and manager Dustin Cardin run the store, which is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. After opening the store in October, they decided to stay open late Thursdays and Fridays to catch the nightclub crowd.
“We had to draw off the bar scene because we were new,” said Brown. “Where are we going to go? Go home and be bored until it’s time to go out?”
Kristen O’Neal, who works a few doors down as marketing director at The Hummingbird Stage & Taproom, called Caulfield’s “a really cool place.”
“It’s really a good addition to the overall atmosphere here,” she said. “It’s one more piece to the community we’re trying to build here. And, there are things you can find in there you can’t find anywhere else.”
The store is located in the former Macon Arts building, which sat vacant for more than two years before Brown came along.
The idea, he said, is to give young adults another place to go, and one way to do that is the art gallery, which currently features pieces by comic artist Craig Hamilton from his work on a “Peter Pan” graphic novel.
Brown, who is an artist, has a couple of his own works on display.
“We’re trying to put local young people on there that are part of the genre we’re after, the whole vintage, hipster thing,” he said. “We want to build fellowship downtown. That’s where a lot of ideas are bred..”
Brown and Cardin are also planning to host live music performances, but only acoustic sets. They tried a full-on concert before, with less than favorable results.
“It was crazy. It took us a week to clean the floor,” Brown said.
Brown said the store plans to donate to an Atlanta-area women’s outreach “once we start making a profit.”
Items for sale include jewelry, retro lamps and “a ton” of prom dresses donated by Theatre Macon.
The pig, however, is not for sale. Story has it that the pig was borrowed, sort of, from an area barbecue restaurant and has become a familiar face around Macon’s night scene.
“It’s got some fame downtown.” Brown said.
It’s most recent stays were at the Dirty Iguana and Red Eye Tavern nightclubs.
“It was 6 feet tall,” said Cardin. “It used to have feet on it, but they broke them off.”