Small business Monday – Focus on Manitou Supply

business, small business
business, small business
David Brown and Luciana Giovinazzo, owners of Manitou Supply. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Are vintage t-shirts and pins your jam? Do you like playing ATARI (original version!) while chilling to local music? Then Manitou Supply Co. is for you! Conveniently located on 5th AVE S in Crestwood, Manitou has been supplying the ‘Ham with 70’s-90’s goodness for almost a year now! Luciana Giovinazzo tells us all about it in this week’s edition of Small Business Monday!

Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What is the name and address of your business?  How long have you been open?

Our shop is called Manitou Supply.  It is located at 4909 5th Ave South, Birmingham AL 35222, in the Crestwood neighborhood.  David and I (Luciana) co-own the Shop, we do not have any employees.  We opened our storefront in May of 2017, but started the business on Etsy back in 2009.

Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What was your inspiration for your business?

It seems every major city we visit has a vintage shop, sometimes more than one. Etsy opened the door for us; the concept of curating and handpicking every item we sell was very appealing. We wanted to open a storefront that celebrates the minimalism of boutique shops but that offers one of a kind items that won’t break the bank.

Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What products/services do you offer?  Which is the most unusual?

We sell curated vintage clothing, focusing on 70’s, 80’s and 90’s era. We also sell vintage and new accessories, noisemakers, designer toys, and we host exhibits and events.   I’m not sure about unusual, but I would say a lot of our items are very unique. We love vintage hand embroidered pieces. ie: jackets with mushrooms/floral designs or cacti. We sold a bomber jacket last week that had the name “Brandi” embroidered on the chest. You never know!

Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Which product/service are you most proud of/happiest about and why?

We really enjoy selling Areaware products. Areaware is a small company in New York that produces small design related functioning objects, toys, and games. Every aspect of the objects and packaging they sell is intentional and intelligent.

Birmingham AL
Cody Duan and Terrance Wimberly entertain the crowd at a performance of Buttons recording label artists. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What do you want people to know about your business?

We sell online and in store. So if you see something on our Etsy shop you can come try anything on or ask us to hold it for you to come pick up. We have too many items to have them all out on our floor but all of our items listed on Etsy.

Manitou carries a collection of local vintage t-shirts. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What is the hardest thing and most rewarding thing about being a small business owner?

Putting yourself out there can be difficult. We mainly market through social media (instagram) and word-of-mouth. So getting someone in Hoover to find out about us can be hard.  We just had a baby boy and we take him to work with us everyday. Seeing all of his milestones is amazing and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I worked a normal job. We love being our own boss.

Birmingham AL
Guest enjoy an afternoon of music by Buttons recording label artists. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

What do you enjoy about the district where you’re located?  What are your hopes for the future of Birmingham and how might that happen?

It is an area that is in constant development in terms of small and local business, which we fully support. We also happen to live in the neighborhood!  We hope that Birmingham gets more and more walkable and bike friendly. We would love for there to be an area where all of our favorite independent shops could be together. We would also love to see more urban/street art on our side of town and less Alexander Shunnarah billboards.

Birmingham AL
Authentic original ATARI! Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

For more information – https://www.facebook.com/manitousupply/

Here’s two nearby businesses we’ve covered – https://bhamnow.com/2017/09/18/small-business-monday-focus-woodlawn-cycle-cafe/

https://bhamnow.com/2017/03/06/small-business-monday-spotlight-on-sheppards-pet-supply/

 

MANITOU Buttons Performance, January 27, 2018 from Kristina O’Quinn on Vimeo.  Video courtesy of Terrance Wimberly.