by Flora Moreno de Thompson
It was written in the stars for Jordan Rosene and Audre Van Broers to end up working together. The two entrepreneurs and business partners graduated from the same high school but never met until years later, when Audre was working as Jordan’s modeling agent. One year later, they found themselves working together again in an office in San Jose. The pair have always connected over their love of vintage clothing and thrifting. “We would go thrift shopping on our lunch breaks and show each other [what we bought] under our desks so no one would see,” said Rosene. “When [the office job] was over, we decided we should make something of it.”
What they made was BOLO Vintage, an online clothing store selling vintage threads with a modern twist. Opened in late 2011, BOLO Vintage sells their wares on online marketplaces eBay, Market Publique, and Etsy. The shop recently hired two more employees to help with the growing business.
Rosene and Van Broers don’t just sell vintage, they wear it almost everyday and are knowledgeable about the things they source for their shop. “Jordan and I know [current] trends and sometimes they come from different eras,” said Van Broers. “Things come back into style. I love the originality of [vintage clothing].”
They recently hosted The Workout, a monthly electro dance party at Agenda Lounge in downtown San Jose and also set up shop at SubZERO Festival and Fame. Jordan and Van Broers hope to participate in even more San Jose events in the future and make their presence known.
I met up with the fashionable duo to talk about BOLO’s past, present and future.
What does BOLO stand for and how did that come about?
JR: Be On The Lookout.
AVB: That name came from an ex-boyfriend. We kinda collaborated at the time because he had always [wanted] to do retail and mens clothing. He had said the word and it sounded awesome, but them we broke up. I thought it was really fitting so we kept it. I think it suits us.
Do you alter or fix the clothes you sell?
AVB: Yes, we go with the trends. Cut out shoulders are popular right now, and so is the fishtail hem. We give our stuff a modern look. We don’t want it to look like a costume.
JR: We want it to be wearable.
It says on your eBay page that you give back to charities. Any particular charities or causes you support?
AVB: We [donate to] St. Jude’s Hospital. In January, we donated $500 to Project Pink. We would like to donate more to the local community, because we want to be active in San Jose.
JR: Even when we sell at festivals, we take part of that and donate it.
What can we expect from BOLO in the future?
JR: Right now we’re working on a fashion video. We’re excited about that.
AVB: Look forward to more inventory and more active listings. If there are any other events coming up, we want to be involved. We don’t want to be a secret to San Jose. In the far, far future, we’d like to sell new retail as well as vintage.
Any chance you’ll open a store in San Jose?
AVB: We get asked so much. It’d be so fantastic. We have tons of ideas, but for now, we’d like to stay consistent with what we’re doing.
JR: If the opportunity arises…you never know.
For those who don’t already own vintage, how can someone incorporate vintage pieces into their daily wardrobe?
AVB: I think layering is a great way to incorporate vintage. It’s not so obvious, but it still stands out.
JR: Incorporate one piece with modern stuff. Accessories and shoes. Start with something like that.
If you could give one piece of style advice, what would it be?
JR: It’s so cliché, but be yourself. Who cares!
AVB: Be fearless. It’s good to take chances.
Follow BOLO Vintage on Facebook and on Instagram at @BOLOVintage.