Jorge Garcia has been a collector of vintage-style streetwear for as long as he can remember. He has collected many pieces from shoes to jackets and even has a variety of decor such as Supreme signs and a skateboard wall that helps compliment the store's vibes. When you walk in there is a mural that reads “The Spot” which is great for photo opportunities to show off your new finds.
Jorge has been able to connect his passion with a community of people in the area who share the same love for streetwear styles. Jorge opened his shop, The Spot, located in downtown Waterloo, IA at 621 Sycamore Street back in 2019. Upon walking into the store, you are immediately welcomed by the perfect, yet simple layout that allows everyone to see all his products.
The store supplies vintage shirts, jackets and shoes as well as more modern name-brand pieces such as Supreme and Nike. During my visit, I was lucky enough to sit down with Jorge and ask him a few questions regarding the genesis of The Spot.
Nemmers: What initially inspired you to open a store? Why streetwear?
Garcia: It’s always been a passion — fashion, clothes, shoes. I have always been a shoe collector, since like 13. People love it, ya know? So, it inspired me to open a store; build up the community a little bit — Cedar Falls and Waterloo.
Nemmers: When did you open the store and what was the process of doing so?
Garcia: I’m barely in my second year, we opened in September 2019. The process, well, I already had a lot of stuff, I’ve always saved up, I’ve always been a reseller. I’ve sold on eBay, Instagram, so when it came to getting a storefront it was kind of a no-brainer because I have all this stuff [shoes and clothes] I just made it happen.
Nemmers: I notice a lot of more unique pieces in the store, is there a certain place you go through or buy from?
Garcia: Everywhere, honestly. We buy stuff from Supreme mainly online. As for our vintage stuff, we do buy, sell, trade, so people can come in and sell vintage t-shirts or shoes they’ve worn maybe once or twice and we pick a lot of things up through that.
Nemmers: How do you keep up with the trends surrounding streetwear?
Garcia: Social media, that is everything right now. Promotion, seeing what is new, but honestly a big inspiration of mine is Los Angeles, California. Like, I go out there and get so much inspiration and I try to bring some that back this way. It’s a vibe. I usually go out there pretty often but it is hard to travel with COVID right now. Usually it is like a once a month type of deal. It is like my second home ... I’m originally from there [California].
Nemmers: What do you think sets your business apart from others? Is it the style/vibe of the store, etc?
Garcia: I want my store to feel like home. I want to make people feel comfortable when they come in here. Anybody is welcome. I’m different in a lot of aspects, I feel like my store is unique. Vintage brings out a big part of us because a lot of people don’t know much about it and then there are the people that do. Honestly, I’m a vintage person, I wear stuff from the 80s and 90s all day.
Nemmers: What advice would you give to anyone who would want to open a store like this?
Garcia: Don’t be scared to invest. Don’t be scared to fail. That was a big part for me.
Nemmers: What is your favorite style surrounding streetwear?
Garcia: The vintage style, 100%. Something about a distressed t-shirt that who knows what it was back in the day. It’s just cool thrifting and finding stuff, like that’s my favorite. Don’t get me wrong I love the other stuff [name brands] but the vintage stuff really has my heart … I feel like it is worth it.
If you happen to find yourself in downtown Waterloo, IA make sure to pay a visit to The Spot at 621 Sycamore Street. You won’t be disappointed as there is something for anyone who is into or exploring the streetwear style. Jorge will provide you with any information regarding buy, sell, trade and has expertise on the kinds of products The Spot distributes.
Check out The Spot’s social media below!
Words / Sierra Nemmers
Photography / Isabel Smith
Styling / Kalleigh Kress
Graphic Design / Allison Bentzen