As we continue to open new cafés in various neighborhoods throughout the U.S., we are absolutely humbled by the graciousness of the communities that we become a part of – welcoming us in with open arms. We’ve had a great time getting to know our neighbors, and we thought that you might enjoy it too. Just two doors down from our Fishtown café is one of our favorite stores in Philadelphia, Jinxed. If you are looking for unique gifts this holiday season for your friends and family or something cool for your home, we highly suggest making it your first stop. And if you are simply too busy (or lazy) to travel over to Frankford Avenue, Jinxed has a most excellent Instagram (@JinxedStore) to make browsing through their 4 stores in the city that much easier. We recently had a chance to sit down and have a fun chat with Jinxed owner/operator Mike SuperModel. Below is an excerpt from our conversation and photos from his Fishtown store.
La Colombe: How long has Jinxed been open, and how has it evolved over the years?
Mike SuperModel: We opened up 10 years ago. Actually, further back than that, we were a t-shirt company. There were 40 stores that we wholesaled to around the country, and from that, we evolved to a retail store at 4th and South. What we originally sold was art-based books, toys, and shirts – some of our own stuff plus anything that we thought would be interesting to our customers. We were at that location about 4 years, and in 2008, just due to economic conditions, we had to move to the Piazza in Northern Liberties, and we still maintain a location there.
LC: When did you first start collecting?
MS: I was a little kid. I didn’t grow up with a lot of new things – put it that way. I got most of my toys at the thrift store, and I liked them better anyways. I really can go back that far. I was looking for Hot Wheels that were made before I was born when I was like 7. I would trade Matchbox cars with people – just to try and get the oldest possible ones.
LC: What’s your favorite thing that you found while searching for items for the store?
MS: A ’68 Ford LTD – honestly, the stuff that I hold onto is generally small stuff. I have a cast-iron devil figure. It’s like 3-inches tall. It’s one of the favorite things that I got.
LC: Frankford Ave. & Fishtown is changing rapidly. How do you feel about that change?
MS: Well, I was born and raised here, and I remember when this street was just lined with prostitutes. My dad was an electrical contractor, and had a warehouse and office space further up from here. I grew up in the area, and I feel good about it overall. Being a Philadelphian, I generally do not like change. I don’t like people that don’t respect things that were here before them. Fishtown survived before everything got here. Philadelphia survived before this boom.
I guess that the only thing that I really look at is there are businesses and neighbors. Patronize them and respect your neighbors because I feel like there is a gap between those of us that are from here, especially the generation before me – the older folks that are retiring and seeing these changes come up. All a lot of the natives can see – the lifers here – is that all their property taxes just went up. They don’t see the positive changes of actually coming to a place like La Colombe, and enjoying the atmosphere here and enjoying the new things that this place is bringing to the neighborhood. They’re great and positive changes. There is plenty of room here for everyone. We’ve been celebrating bad behavior for like 250 years, and that’s just a part of the whole package.
LC: How do you like your coffee?
MS: Black – yes – with an ice cube.
MS: Because it’s too hot, I want instant gratification. I don’t want to wait for it to cool down. I want my coffee immediately. I do put honey in it now too though. Sorry to complicate the easiest question.