AROUND TOWN: Hooked

Nothing beats the merging of vintage and modern in fashion and conversation-worthy nicknacks. Owned and operated by married couple, Lauren and Mike, Hooked has made a name for itself as a hub for creativity and originality all through clothes, accessories, and pop culture.

Name: Lauren Skinner

Role: Co-owner of Hooked

CollegeFashionista: What made you want to open a shop?

Lauren Skinner: My husband is the one who opened this store; his name is Mike Skinner. He opened this in 2010 and both of his parents were antique dealers and into vintage and all that jazz so he’s been doing this for a really long time. I’ve worked in retail my whole life but when we met it just kind of was like, perfect timing. Really, really bizarre because he had the store and I had a lot of background and we clicked together really well. So, he started it. He was doing contracting work before and wasn’t really happy so he was just like I’m going to be my own boss. Turns out, you’re not your own boss; the customer is your boss.

CF: Do you choose the items in the store yourself? What helps you find the perfect piece?

LS: Yes. So, as far as the vintage stuff is concerned, Mike and I have people come in and bring stuff and we also go search that stuff out. It’s very much based on our own personal style. It’s like things that catch our attention, things that are unique and different. And as far as the new stuff, it’s kind of trending. A lot of the new stuff correlates with our vintage stuff. We have vintage polaroids and new film, vintage records and new vinyls. That stuff is easy and doesn’t take too much time but as far as the real, real buying like figuring out what product lines to carry, that’s all Mike. And he just does a lot of research like watching trends and growth with different companies.

CF: How do you guys feel you maintain the customer base that you have?

LS: One, we try really hard to offer great customer service. I talk to every person who comes in and create real conversations with them. We try to keep the product fresh and move the store around so that things look different every time because we have a smaller clientele, being in a downtown environment, and they don’t want to see the same things every day. Merchandising is huge, and so are the right brands and being nice to people.

CF: What is your personal style?

LS: It’s so evolved. Right now its all based on comfort, to be honest. For a long time, I was focused on trends but now I focus on what works with my body and that is the most important thing. Having an A-line cut for any body is so flattering and just really knowing your body is what I’m into.

Learn More: Visit Hooked at 1009 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401 or at becomehooked.com.