Monday, August 12, 2013

Winnipeg Vintage Reviewed: Debbie's Vintage (at the Johnston Terminal Antique Mall in The Forks)

Debbie's Vintage (in the Johnston Terminal Antique Mall) 25 Forks Market Rd

*** out of 5

Debbie's Vintage does not have a physical storefront, it is a "booth" within the maze that is the Johnston Terminal Antique Mall at the Forks Market in downtown Winnipeg. Debbie emailed me a number of months ago and asked if I could stop by her booth and review her shop. Little did she know I'd already been shopping at her secret spot for a few years now.

Without any knowledge of this shop from an outside source, one may never know of its existence. And this, my dear readers is why I love reviewing local vintage shops. Some are well known, but I am thrilled to be able to share this secret little treasure trove with you all.

Debbie's section of the antique mall is tidy, organized and well kept. It's very easy to shop. Her stock is comprised entirely of women's wear (if there was men's wear there, I missed it) from the 40's to modern clothing with a retro flair.

Novice vintage shoppers beware though: there are no sales staff helping with your purchase (the antique mall has staff at the front counter to ring in sales, but they are not familiar with specific dealer stock, unfortunately) and no dressing rooms to try on clothes. So if you are not familiar with labels, construction, sizing and fit you may end up with an 80's dress that looks 50's and not the real deal since Debbie's Vintage carries a very wide range of eras. If this is not a concern for you, then shop with wild abandon!

This being said, Debbie's section of the mall is clearly well curated. Every piece is clean, well kept and in excellent condition. So even if you buy a modern piece, I assure you that it will be in great, wearable, like-new condition (I bought a modern black silk skirt on my last visit and it has been one of the best purchases I've made in ages! I love it!).

Prices in Debbie's shop are reasonable and well within what is expected in the Winnipeg vintage market.

And let me not forget the accessories! Debbie's Vintage has a plethora of beautiful accessories ranging from shoes, hats, purses, costume jewelry and even vintage glasses - most of which are behind glass. Be sure to ask staff at the front desk if you are interested in a closer look. They will be happy to help you.

On this note, if you have a burning question about one of the pieces in the "shop" the staff will typically try and call the seller to see if they are available to chat and answer your question. Debbie also has a Facebook page where I'm sure you could message her if need be.

I would recommend this little "shop" to vintage shoppers with a little more experience under their belts as you are shopping without a safety net. Otherwise, this is a fun, relatively unknown spot tucked in amongst some other beautiful vintage treasures in the heart of one of Winnipeg's best antique malls.



  1. What a fascinating concept...I've not encountered a vintage/antique shop setting like this in Western Canada before (which isn't to say one or more doesn't exist, just that I haven't crossed paths with it yet). I wonder not having a seller manning each section helps, hurts of has little impact on the sales that said seller would/does make if they were there in person?

    Should I ever find myself in Winnipeg (and goodness knows I hope to one day!), I will be sure to try and pay Deb's booth a visit (and on the very off chance she's there at the moment, I'll be sure to let her know I discovered her via your wonderful blog post).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. The shop is in the basement of the Johnston's Terminal (which is a big boutique mall for tourists at The Forks) and I think it's a pretty successful antique mall. The prices can be steep for some things (I'm talking generally, not in reference to Debbie's merch), but isn't that the way with some antique stores? I pretty sure they do's been there as long as I can remember. The staff are as helpful as they can be and getting in touch with sellers obviously isn't instantaneous, but is possible. Negotiating can take time as a result, as you can imagine.

      The antique mall is MASSIVE! It seems to go on forever and ever. There is anything and everything there - furniture, china, jewellery, military ephemera, sports cards and collectibles, name it...I could spend hours and hours looking at stuff there. Debbie's "booth" seems to be the only spot specializing in clothes.

      I will take you there when you come to Winnipeg. :) One of my antique stores in the city!

  2. Another great review! I love that she has clothes in the Johnston Terminal. I don't go there often but I really enjoy having her items to look at. I don't mind that there is no staff to help you I like to wander on my own, and I am always the weirdo trying on things over my own clothes. It helps that know one watches...
    p.s I saw your lovely rose prom dress on the wildrose etsy shop. Did you make the drive out to the ruby slipper to sell your other items?

    1. I don't mind the absence of staff either, but I know my size and know what I like. :)

      You found me out! haha! I sold my stuff to Patti. The pastel 60's shift and Bessi dress were both mine too.
      She took everything and I didn't have to go to Ruby to consign the rest. I'm planning a trip to check out the new location though...possibly this week...we'll see.



I always love to hear feedback from readers!

Check back or sign up for follow up comments! I do my best to answer all of your comments and questions right here!

Thanks for sharing!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...