Vintage store Grace Aberdean hosts grand re-openingBy Anna Jones | 02/14/2017 12:43pm
At the corner of Ninth Street and 22nd Avenue is a shop full of vintage clothing, accessories, reupholstered furniture, home décor, linens and unique pieces of art, among other things. Jamie Cicatiello and Lori Watts own and operate This Ol’ Thing and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy.
On Feb. 3, Cicatiello and Watts celebrated their grand re-opening in honor of the two stores merging together into one building. The grand re-opening was celebrated on the store’s First Friday. First Fridays happen on the first Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m. in downtown Tuscaloosa, and allow stores, restaurants and galleries in Tuscaloosa a chance to display a taste of what the Tuscaloosa community has to offer.
“One of the ideas with First Friday, is so people could get up close with art and talk about it, so it doesn’t seem so pretentious,” Cicatiello said.
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Cicatiello also said First Fridays allow people the chance to learn and find out what inspires people to create art.
“I’m really intrigued by the creative process and what moves people to create,” Cicatiello said.
Every First Friday, Cicatiello introduces Grace Aberdean’s featured artist of the month, and the featured artist’s work will be sold at the store for the whole month. This month, the artist is Anthony Tavis. Tavis describes his art as “Folk art with soul.” Along with artist of the month, First Fridays include live music, entertainment, and food trucks.
Watts has owned and operated This Ol’ Thing for around 25 years. She sells clothing and accessories from pre-1960s. Watts’s store began in New Orleans, and for the last couple of years, her store has been located in Northport.
“We decided it would be best if we just joined forces” said Watts, on her decision to merge with Cicatiello.
“My favorite part about this business is making people happy; someone may buy a piece that reminds them of their grandmother or mother and just to see that smile, that glow," Watts said. "You know, they reminisce.”
Cicatiello’s mother, Ceci Moody, has her own perspective of her daughter and her business.
“I am really proud that Jamie has the courage to express who she really is, and she has the courage to encourage other people to come and express themselves,” Moody said.
Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy is open Tuesdays through Fridays 11a.m. – 5 p.m. and other times by appointment. You can find their merchandise in store or online at http://graceaberdean.com or http://www.thisolthingvintage.com. You can also follow the store on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
“First Fridays are for everyone,” Cicatiello said. “It starts the conversation that you should be having.”