It may be on wheels, but Tucson’s latest vintage store will have you riveted. By Gillian Drummond
If you made it along to the Mercado Holiday Bazaar in Tucson, you’re bound to have seen Riveted, a tiny travel trailer packed with vintage goodies.
Owner Jenni Pagano is an interior designer and do-it-yourselfer with a design degree from UCLA and experience in commercial and residential design and retail. She has wanted her own store since she was 11. “I dreamed of selling macrame plant hangers,” she laughs. But she was put off by the rent levels in Tucson and the instability of a brick-and-mortar store. “It’s so dang expensive and really risky.”
With college-age kids, it was time for her to put her plan into action – and, as it happens, onto wheels. Limited to something her Honda Element could tow, she bought a 1972 Shasta trailer on Craigslist last August. It measures 60 sq ft inside. She had just two months to spruce it up for her first gig, Tucson Modernism Week’s Vintage Trailer Show. She packed it full of second-hand and handmade goods and named it Riveted. “I like industrial stuff and the name has an industrial quality to it. I also like [the idea of people] being transfixed by something,” she says.
Riveted has appeared at several shows since then, and will be at Nuevo Bazaar Downtown Flea Market on February 7th. But “finding the right one is a challenge,” says Jenni. “Tucson tends to have one kind of thing, like an antique fair or a flea market, or a farmer’s market that’s only food-related. And craft fairs don’t always want vintage stuff.” Expect to see her at more Mercado and other Tucson events this year. (Keep watching her Facebook page, listed below.)
There is still work to be done on the trailer. Jenni would like to make repairs to the wall paneling, and to create a hatchback to enable her to hold larger pieces of furniture.
Jenni’s love for vintage goes way back (to the macramé plant hanger days). “I love things that have texture and patina,” she says. During a stint living in a new home, she added vintage pieces to add personality to the space. Today she lives in a 1960s-built home in Tucson whose interior is a mix of vintage and IKEA. “I like mixing new and old,” she says.
The downside of having a vintage store on wheels? Breakages can happen. “I’m packing everything up every time I move six inches!” she says.
- Contact Jenni and Riveted via her Facebook page or Riveted’s website
- Find out more about Nuevo Bazaar here.
- Sign up for our Vintage Friday newsletter – it’s free!