Madyson Willoughby is the owner of the quirky new thrift shop Good Vibes Vintage & Resale, which opened on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma in December. A recent graduate from the University of Puget Sound, Willoughby is a new entrepreneur who has hit the ground running. “I wanted to make thrift — I hate the word boutique; it sounds so bougie — but like a nice thrift store with a trendy minimalist aesthetic, and low prices to keep it accessible,” Willoughby said. “Clothing can be so expensive and wasteful, and so much of it just gets thrown away. There’s all this cool stuff still in existence that if you dig around a little bit, you can find it, and people want it!” Read on to find out more about this businesswoman, whose store is already making a big splash in the Tacoma vintage resale scene.
To Relax: Besides my bed? The Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance. That’s become a family thing we do to kind of just decompress, and my phone loses service there, so I’m forced to participate and unplug.
Favorite place for breakfast? Shakabrah. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and it’s still the best.
Favorite place to grab coffee? Controversial opinion, but mine is Starbucks. And we’re in Washington, so it’s still local!
Favorite place to go out to dinner? El Toro.
Favorite place to be inspired? Antique Row is an awesome place to be. My friends and I used to go down there in high school just because we were dorks, and it’s still one of my favorite places in town.
What music are you currently listening to? I listen to a lot of folk-ish music. Fleet Foxes, some Mumford and Sons, just a lot of white guys with beards and that sort of thing.
Mantra you live by? I don’t believe in things I can’t do.
Last thing you Googled? The Breakfast Club characters. I was trying to make a “get the look” meme with clothes in the store, so I needed the reference.
How did you manage to start your own business right out of college? I was lucky enough to be offered a really great scholarship from UPS that allowed me to basically pay for college myself. I had two jobs all through college, and I was able to put a lot of money into savings. I didn’t take out any loans, didn’t ask for any help. This is my project, and I should be able to do it on my own. And if I can’t, maybe that just means I’m supposed to be doing something else.
How do you find clothes for the shop? So, in late high school, I started going to a lot of garage sales with my mom, just for fun. And that sort of branched out to rummage sales, flea markets, and estate sales, and that’s still pretty much how I do it.
Do you try to maintain a particular aesthetic with your selections? Basically, if something is kind of weird, I’m like, “Yeah, I need that.” I think what kind of sets me apart is that I go out of my way to search for things that may not be as expensive or rare, but that are cool and different, and people like them for the prices that they are.
What’s your biggest dream for your business? This is kind of weird, but I believe in ghosts, and I always thought it would be cool if I found an old haunted dress or something. My ultimate dream would be to have a Lifetime show where a medium and I go shopping together at estate sales.
What’s your favorite thing about your work? My mom likes to say that I don’t own a store, I own an adoption agency. As much as I like the clothes, I like to see them go home to someone who really loves them, ghosts or no ghosts.