Amy Zongor grew up in a boys’ world. As the oldest child in her extended family—and the only female, too—she spent her youth surrounded by Tonka toy trucks and sporting equipment.
So when she caught wind that the stork would be delivering a baby girl to her doorstep nine years ago, she was over the moon.
“I thought to myself, ‘wait a minute I don’t have to dress my daughter in khaki and hunter green,’” Zongor said. “I get to go to the other side of the store! It was like there was a whole other world of dresses, lace and pink that was completely new to me.”
But the Franklin native’s initial excitement waned quickly when she began perusing the big-box store aisles, and found little to be thrilled about.
“I noticed that most of the stores were carrying the exact same merchandise as the store I had just come from down the road,” Zongor said. “I was on the hunt for unique and different clothes, and I couldn’t find anything.”
A year after her child was born, Zongor decided to remedy her problem: in 2005, she launched an online store that sold children’s clothing. But soon, requests to see the clothes “in person” started rolling in, and the It’s Vintage Baby storeowner opened a brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Franklin.
“After about a year at our old location, the original City Hall on the Public Square became available,” she said. “It was built it the 1890’s, and the back-left room would have been the old fire station. The room in the back would have been the ‘Calaboose Room,’ also known as the ‘drunk tank.’
“When I heard this location was open I jumped at it. You cannot get more vintage than this!”
Today, Zongor spends her days dressing little girls (and boys) at the shop on Public 234 Public Square. The clothing, which caters to little ones from the newborn age to size 18, ranges from well-known commercial brands to handmade clothing items that date back as far as 1910.
In addition to an overflowing stock of vintage and novelty merchandise, the shop’s rooms also boast swimwear, strollers, diaper bags, handmade wooden rattles from Vermont, country music songs turned into lullaby’s, and many more furniture and gift items.
Zongor says she makes a specific effort to only purchase age-appropriate clothes and accessories that can be passed down for generations, with heirloom-type quality.
“The store has become a popular place for new mothers to register for baby gifts, because they know they won’t see another piece like the one they get from me,” she said. “Chances are you will not see another child running around in the dress you just purchased.”
Since she’s opened up shop, Zongor says she’s been blown away with the world travelers that seek out Franklin as a destination.
“Having lived here my whole life, I never thought of Franklin as a destination spot,” Zongor said. “But since It’s Vintage Baby, I have met so many people from all over the world. The first customers I ever had were from London.
“I carry clothes from Spain, Australia and England. I’ve found that locals from those countries love coming here and finding a little piece of their home right here in Franklin.”
It’s Vintage Baby is located on 234 Public Square and is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more information, visit their website at www.itsvintagebaby.com