Chatting With: Vintage Shop Owner Kelsey Gibbs

One day, I was browsing Chictopia and saw a picture that stopped me mid-scroll. “Who is THAT?” I wondered, as I (of course) tagged it as inspiration on Tumblr. A bit of clicking around and googling led me to Kelsey Gibbs’ Tractordog Vintage online shop, soon to expand to become The Wonder Shop brick-and-mortar retail store in Wilmington, North Carolina. I love a good entrepreneurial go-getter story, so I immediately got in touch.

What inspired you to open an online shop?

Back when I still had a myspace account, Meat Market Vintage friend requested me. For the next week I was consumed in eBay bidding wars. I was in love, and had to turn this new obsession into a career. December 2008 I opened my etsy shop.

At first though, I didn’t want a storefront–too much overhead, too scary! The online shop was so flexible and behind the scenes.

I know you’re working on opening a storefront–congrats, by the way!–why did you want to have a physical space? What’s been the difference (so far) between setting up shop online vs bricks-and-mortar?

A storefront seemed like the obvious next step. More hands on, interactive, and I have to get out from behind the computer! At first though, I didn’t want a storefront–too much overhead, too scary! The online shop was so flexible and behind the scenes. Working when ever I wanted, from home (but I was still working ALL the time).

Last year I decided I wanted to do it. It’s WORLDS different. Business plan, financial projections, LOANS, broker, lease, renovations, licenses, taxes, inventory management, POS, insurance, I could go on and on. But basically, lots of boring, time consuming stuff, just to get to the fun part. I’m planning to open in August. I’m also launching a new online shop, merging my Tractordog etsy shop with the new Wonder Shop. Along with the vintage, I’ll have new clothing and shoe brands available, too! Style Stalker, UNIF, Lazy Oaf (funky graphic tees out of London), Gee’WaWa and Matiko shoes to name a few! Keep up to date by liking Tractordog on Facebook.

What type of clothing do you find yourself drawn to at the moment?
’90s, I can’t help it. Cropped tops, loose fitting layers, platforms. Well, ’90s mixed with ’70s.

What’s inspiring you right now?

I get inspiration from everywhere and everybody! I couldn’t pinpoint it. As an example, I can’t stop loving the women in this video.

What are YOU wearing this summer?

Cropped shirts, palazzo pants, and lots of color!

Follow Tractordog on etsy and Facebook, and keep up with The Wonder Shop’s Facebook page.

Guide: Summer in the City

‘Member how I said I wanted to start including stuff about other people on this site so it’s only, say, 95% self-indulgent vanity? Well, I’m sticking with it!

I asked a few of my bloggy friends (that’s what I’m calling them until YOU come up with something better, all right?) what they were into right now and they rose to the occasion:

Occupation:  Sales Analyst  |  Stomping ground: Downtown Cincinnati

Reading:  Finishing Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and carrying around Run Less, Run Faster like it’s my bible.

Drinking:  Over 100 oz of water a day…it’s hot and I’m training for a fast half-marathon in September.

Listening: To Shrek: the Musical and Finding Nemo: the Musical.  I guess I like dorky musicals.

Craving: Vietnamese food.  Have you tried the Tofu Soft Roll at Cilantro?

Going:  To Rock City!  I’ve wanted to visit since reading Go-Go Girls of the  Apocalypse.  (Rock City is the setting of the final battle in the book.)

Wearing: Tons of bangles.  They are my new, favorite accessory.

You can find out more about Kasmira at


Occupation: Network Analyst  |   Stomping ground: Downtown/OTR

Reading: Currently reading Embassytown by China Mieville. Rags include GQ, Wired and Dwell. The Sunday NY Times and a million different blogs.

Drinking: Love a good IPA. And now that it’s warmed up, Dark & Stormies on the deck.

Listening: To Alt, one of several different stations on iTunes radio. A mix of genres, mostly alt on the iPod shuffle. HATE classic rock. (Ed note: WTF? Who hates classic rock?)

Craving: A beach vacation with a box of cigars and a cooler full of Landshark (not an IPA I know, but a beach calls for beach beer).

Going: To New York City in the fall, we’ve never been there. Some short road trips over the summer.

Wearing: The “Spring” was way too short, I was rocking blazers and ties for a short time. Now it looks like Madras shorts and lightweight T’s while the heat lasts.

See what else Bob is up to at

Being nosy is fun! More to come…

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