Secondhand entrepreneurs found success on Broad Avenue

Entrepreneur Paige Miller had spent years collecting vintage items to sell on Etsy and eBay when she and partners Karen Hegleson and Zach Payne decided to launch their own retail space known as Found Memphis.

Located on historic Broad Avenue, Found is a curated collection of vintage that Miller and her partners source from throughout the south. "We have a team of buyers who love to hunt for forgotten treasures. We buy what we love, and hope others will appreciate what we found," said Miller. "Our stock is mostly one of a kind pieces and is always changing." 

Found's best-sellers include vinyl records, vintage clothing, accessories and kitschy home goods. Alongside their secondhand stock, Found also offers products from local entrepreneurs including Mo's Bows bowties.  

Found's partners' passion for secondhand is evident in the store's impeccably curated selection. "I think what really draws me to vintage is the beautiful craftsmanship that was put into the garments," Miller said. "We come across many handmade dresses from the 50’s and 60’s -- one of a kind pieces that just tell their own story. You can find some vintage inspiration in almost everything that comes down the runway."

Miller sees some rebellion towards the fast fashion industry with her shoppers. "Our customers are tired of big box store trends and are looking for alternatives."

Found is right at home on Broad Avenue surrounded by a number of other local businesses and artisans. And Miller says its "grit" make it quintessentially Memphis.

"I love the history of the street. Everyone here has a Broad Avenue story. My grandfather worked on the street for the Gestetner company in the 1960s and 70s. I have so much respect for the artistic group on the street who first saw the potential. Pat Brown, Tom CliftonDavid Brown, David Nester, Hamlett DobbinsJerry Couillard and many more… they lived and worked on the street when no one else wanted to! It was love at first sight for me during the 'A New Face for an Old Broad' event in 2010," Miller explained.

Prior to launching Found, Miller had been running a photography studio out of Found's current location. "I saw the street growing and evolving. It seemed like the right time to give retail a shot. I saw what the MEMShops did to some of the storefronts on the street a few years back and participated in some of the seminars they offered to us as part of the Historic Broad Avenue Arts Association. It was a great time to be on the street -- free advice from some really knowledgeable people." 

Thanks to those seminars, Found has used social media as their primary means of marketing and advertising with great results. "We've managed to get this far debt free!" said Miller.

She urges potential entrepreneurs to not hesitate in taking the risk to start something new. "Don't be scared to fail. Don't be scared to be told no, because you will. Do what you love. It's not always easy, but that should always be your goal."

Miller views Found as a work in progress with hopes to expand and offer more mid-century furnishings in the future. Aside from retail, the store features local artists on a monthly basis with an artist reception held after store hours on the first Friday of every month. Partner Zach Payne uses the space to promote local musicians with live shows after hours a few times a month. The shop will celebrate their second anniversary at Broad Avenue’s Spring Art Walk on April 22.
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Read more articles by Amy Hoyt.

Amy Hoyt is High Ground News' Community Engagement Specialist, which suits her love of Memphis and its inhabitants. 
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