"I’m a behind-the-scenes person and my fashion sense comes from being a painter," Nomad Vintage owner Katie McDonnell told us when we caught up with her. "Painting is about balancing color, light, proportions, and textures. My paintings were abstract and based on North African fabrics. So it all kind of converged: what I was doing creatively and what I was responding to while shopping for vintage clothes."
About owning a store, Katie says, "I don’t like the tied down part, but I feel like people appreciate what I’m doing. My typical customer hangs out for two or three hours and tries stuff on; it’s a whole social thing, and I can’t have that at a flea market. Here, I can create an environment."
Katie, who earned an MFA in painting, says that it allows you "to explore your inner psyche and larger worlds. But when you're in your dark side, that's not fun -- that's what people spend their lives running from. But painting forces you to go into those nooks and crannies. A lot of people don't like it. I don't like it."
"For five years I've been studying Buddhist mediation, taking classes in a teacher training program. Due to these experiences, I feel as if I can access things more easily."
208 East 6th Street
Photographed and interviewed by Elisa