My Charlotte: Amy Herman
An artist by nature, Amy shares how she grew to notoriety and market fandom (though she’d never claim this distinction) and how shoppers can support Charlotte’s ever-evolving small business scene.
by Liz Logan
Amy Herman, the brains behind Charlotte’s OG vintage market and its offshoots, has created a space for vendors and artisans over the past decade, all the while amassing a faithful following. VTGCLT’s spring and winter markets fill unsuspecting venues with rows of vintage clothing and home goods, hand-crafted pottery, delicate jewelry and a variety of local businesses from around the region. Mistletoe Market, held for three consecutive weekends at Camp North End, fills the popular destination with seasonal ephemera while the weeks-long VTGCLT Pop gives general store meets artistry vibes in the Metropolitan’s former West Elm, breathing life into an otherwise vacant space.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Amy Herman. I am an artist and owner of VTGCLT (Vintage Charlotte). I’ve worked really hard since moving to Charlotte to intentionally cultivate creative communities. VTGCLT was created because I saw a gap in Charlotte for creative small businesses to sell their wares in person - it was welcomed with open arms!
What inspired you to start VTGCLT?
It can be difficult to discover all of the cool and creative brands that exist right here in our city. I see VTGCLT as an incubator of sorts; it is a jumping-off point for small businesses to launch their products and for audiences to find their favorite local brands.
How have you seen the market (and Charlotte) evolve over the last 10 years?
Our first market (Summer 2012) was a total experiment – there were only 17 vendors and I was extremely anxious about losing the $400 in rent that I had paid to the venue. At the end of the day, over 800 customers showed up to the first market and we’ve only continued to see growth since. This parallels the extreme growth of our city - there is new and exciting stuff popping up daily!
What can people do to support small businesses like yours?
VTGCLT is making it easier than ever to support local small businesses (including mine)! We are offering four markets plus a pop-up shop that is open in November and December. We want to make sure that it is convenient to shop small and avoid doing holiday shopping at big box stores and/or online. Making a pledge to do your holiday shopping with small businesses makes a huge impact!
What makes Charlotte feel like home to you?
The people! This community is so important to me and so special. There are so many people here who truly believe that we are better together and who are open to change.
How would you describe Charlotte in one sentence?
A community- and neighborhood-based Southern city.
If someone is visiting Charlotte for the first time, what should they do and see?
My favorite thing to do in Charlotte is walk from my house into Plaza Midwood and just see what is happening in the neighborhood! There is always something to see and do.
What are some of your must-see attractions in Charlotte that you would recommend to friends and family?
Plaza Midwood, Camp North End, NoDa, Goodyear Arts, Milkbread, Stagioni, Calle Sol, Petras, Snug Harbor, Hop Shop, The Thirsty Beaver.