Cristin Clark

Cristin Clark goes treasure hunting several days a week for items for her Buckhorn Vintage store in downtown Mesa.

Tucked in the heart of downtown Mesa is a store whose owner looks for vintage Arizona.

“I do mid-century modern and ‘Boho,’ or Bohemian,” owner Cristin Clark said of Buckhorn Vintage at 138 W. Main St. 

She specializes in vintage furniture, clothing and decor from the 1950s through the 70s, although she added, “I do some clothing from the 80s and 90s but mostly 60s and 70s.” 

“I try to do high-quality,” Clark said. “All of my furniture my brother and my dad restore. If a piece of furniture needs work, we’ll restore it back to its original quality.”

Most of the items, including paintings and knick-knacks, Clark finds in Arizona. 

“I pretty much hunt at least four times a week,” she said, explaining her treasure hunts include everything from estate sales and thrift shops to online marketplaces.

Her standard is “Whatever catches my eye.”

“I just buy what I like,” she explained. “If it’s something I don’t like, I don’t buy it.”

Among the more popular items are anything wicker or rattan and mid-century modern dressers and buffets. 

“I feel like I’m unique because I curate it,” explained Clark. “A lot of people can’t picture an item in their home so I try to stage it and set it up so it kind of gives them an idea of what it could look like in their place.”

Customers find items at all price ranges. 

Furniture runs $200 and up, although Clark said, “I try to keep it affordable for people.”

Clark, who worked in healthcare before opening the store four years ago, said her business reflects her passion for stuff no longer in style. 

“I’ve always been a picker since I was a kid,” she said. “I remember finding odd vintage things and keeping them for myself. It’s just kind of a passion. I’ve always loved vintage things. I just fell into this.”

“It all has come into play. All of the jobs I’ve done lead me up until this point. My customer service, the thrifting, the hunting, the picking, just the eye for all things.”

Clark, a Mesa native who still lives in the city, said she hopes one day to open a second location, though she added, “It’s just finding the manpower to do it plus finding the things to fill another location sounds a little stressful.”

While the pandemic left some business owners struggling, Clark said she did not feel the pinch. 

“My customers are awesome. I feel like a lot of people came out and showed their support during that whole pandemic. Even when we had to close, I was operating under appointment only so I had private shopping. People were coming out.” 

For anyone who isn’t into her preferences in everything from décor to clothing, Clark has some advice.

“Buy vintage,” she said. “These are quality pieces that have been around. It’s sustainable. It’s saving things from going into a landfill. They’ll hold up forever. You’re getting unique, quality pieces. You can go to these big box stores and buy this piece but guess what? Five other people have that same piece. 

“Vintage is one-of-a-kind. Even with clothing, if you want a statement piece, people aren’t going to have the same outfit.”

The shop is open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sundays.

Information: Facebook/buckhorn vintage or 602-865-9702.

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