Dig This: Bringing Retro Back to Haddon Ave.
Here's a throwback: a Collingswood storefront that's being used for retail space.
In searching for a name that would encapsulate the business model of his Haddon Avenue furniture storefront, Reed Orem knew he’d struck gold when a friend came up with Dig This.
It’s a moniker that perfectly captures his selection of vintage Danish modern and mid-century furniture as well as the way in which he acquired it; the reclamation of retro-cool.
“If you see the furniture on Mad Men, that’s the kind of stuff that’s driving renewed interest,” Orem says. “It’s a lot different from hard lines and dark furniture, which seems to be popular.”
Orem says he prefers a coffee-stained coffee table to one with a flawless finish because it’s a detail that demonstrates use.
“You’re going to use it for the same purpose,” he says. “I like the idea of character.”
Orem got into the retail business after trying out a bunch of vintage furniture in his own Park Avenue living room. When his wife, Megan, wanted to redo it in “something more modern,” he started going to auctions, and then decided to have a go at reselling it.
“We did extremely well,” Reed Orem says. “I said, 'Why don’t we take the plunge?'”
Orem describes Dig This as “something our town needs; something that’s going to be unique from the mall environment.” Far from retailing his inventory at premium prices, Orem says he’d rather offer things that are affordable and maintain customer interest by keeping a constant turnover.
“I’m not looking to gouge people; I’m not running a museum,” he says. “I’m here to sell stuff.
“I know I could run a higher number if I went into Philly, but I live here. I don’t want to see the vacancies [on Haddon Avenue].”
Handyman Joe Cristalli, the Orems’ Park Ave. neighbor, has seen the evolution of Dig This from concept to Tuesday’s grand opening.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he says. “I’ve seen the stuff that he has. It’s awesome. This [storefront] is a great spot for it too. People come by all the time and we tell them what we’re doing. I think it’s going to be good.”
Dig This is located at 717 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. The store will host a grand opening celebration Friday evening; call 856-425-6050 for details.