Wednesday, May 15, 2019
When Phillip "DJ Young Venom" Rollins, owner of midtown-based business Offbeat, started seeing more people wear the vintage clothing he grew up with, he had an inspiration: He wanted to sell vintage clothes.
"All this stuff kind of reconvened in the past three or four years as a popularity, and people starting wearing band T-shirts, and that '90s aesthetic has really came back," he says.
Rollins recently partnered with Garrad "Silent G" Lee to open Good Problems, a vintage-clothing store that focuses on the aesthetic of the '80s and '90s. The grand opening happened during midtown's Vibe Fest on April 20.
Originally intended as an extension to the main space of Offbeat, Rollins says the two ultimately decided they wanted it to become its own thing.
"Venom had been talking about doing something like that for a while, and he wanted to do it in Offbeat, but then he kind of pulled back a little bit," Lee says. Lee, a professor at Hinds Community College and part-time DJ, says he had no intention of starting a new business, but when Rollins asked him, it was a no-brainer.
"He told me that, and I was like, 'Yes, I want do that,'" he says. "Even if he didn't ask me to help him, I would've done that."
Rollins says they have plans to expand the store, maybe into its own space, in the future and likely not keep as part of Offbeat, though they have no concrete details for doing that just yet.
"It may be in a different location store-wise, or it may stay there, or it may evolve into something else," he says.
Lee, who is around the same age as Rollins, is happy to see that what he wore when he was young is making such a big comeback, he says.
"I'll never forget, like four or five years ago, I saw people rocking old (Tommy) Hill Figure T-shirts," he says. I had hundreds of those things in high school. What's really big right now is vintage band T-shirts."
In addition to being a local DJ and professor, Lee is also a big collector of shoes, which inspired the name "Good Problems" after a co-worker mentioned his massive shoe collection he had to clean out was "a good problem to have."
"We used the G and the P out of Good Problems as kind of like, our names, Garrad and Philip," Rollins says.
He says they eventually want to evolve into a space where they're essentially styling customers.
"So, for instance, with (the band) Newscast during grand opening week, we styled them completely for the show that they performed in with nothing but vintage wear," he says. "So we want to make sure stuff fits right, that they're comfortable with it and everything. That's a really important thing 'cause people don't really like to shop anymore, and that's kind of the benefit of Good Problems. We have all this stuff that you won't have to hunt for, all in one central location."
Since the items available in the store are mostly from Rollins' and Lee's old vintage collections, Lee sees as the project as a way of giving back and in a way recycle the styles of the past.
Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave.) is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.