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Citrine Brings a Vintage Twist to Downtown Jonesboro
by Cody Moore, photography by Kayla Broadway

With the recent addition of Citrine to Downtown Jonesboro’s community, owner Emilee Gill hopes her new lifestyle shop will bring a vintage twist to the flourishing scene.

Before moving to Jonesboro in 2001, Gill spent most of her childhood in Joplin, Mo., where she was exposed to a small-town atmosphere. She recalls fond memories of riding in the family vehicle with her parents and big sister during the crisp, fall morning hours while they shopped at local antique stores and garage sales.

“The garage sales are unlike any other city I’ve lived in,” said Gill. “During peak season, you can spend an entire day hopping from sale to sale, and that still wouldn’t be enough time. I was also lucky enough to be exposed to a vintage lifestyle at a young age. I was raised in old Victorian and Craftsman-style homes adorned with ornate fireplaces, original wood floors that would creak when you walked over them and giant single-paned windows that let the sunshine spill in. I was raised by parents who enjoyed thrifting and ‘junking.’”

Before opening what is now Citrine, a vintage retail and lifestyle shop, Gill was focused on her passion for photography. She opened her photography studio, Emilee Gill Photography, in Downtown Jonesboro before using the same space for her latest venture. Gill ultimately decided to close the photography studio after noticing the time that it took away from herself and her family.

“Closing half of my business and my studio was no easy decision,” said Gill. “I was spending every moment of my life shooting or editing and missing out on the best times with my kids. I reached a point where juggling a full-time studio, four children and a husband was too much for me. I wasn’t able to give my job or my family 100 percent of myself, and something had to give.”

For as long as she can remember, Gill has collected items such as trinket boxes, jewelry and dress forms, among other classic items. She recalls receiving family heirlooms passed down from her mother and her great, great-grandmother.

“I can’t think of a time in my life when I didn’t have some sort of vintage treasure,” said Gill. “My mom always collected vintage clothing and even had an eBay vintage clothing store that she ran for a few years. I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

The opening of Citrine in September has given Gill the opportunity to introduce her lifelong love of vintage apparel, décor and gifts to the Jonesboro community.

“I wanted to open a business that would not only be fun and something I’m passionate about and already enjoy doing, but also a business that is an entirely new concept to our area,” said Gill. “For years and years, I’ve wished that Jonesboro had better antiquing like back in Joplin. I’ve always been attracted to cities that are vibrant, colorful, full of life and feel like they have a heartbeat. Converting the studio into Citrine was a no-brainer. I am very passionate about Downtown Jonesboro and its revival. I couldn’t imagine Citrine in any other location other than on Main Street; it wouldn’t have that vibe that I love and crave so much.”

Citrine is located at 308 S. Main St. and is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2-10 p.m. on Saturday. Follow @citrine_place on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the store’s latest vintage finds and news.

How would you describe Citrine to potential customers? Citrine is a thoughtfully curated lifestyle shop that specializes in vintage, heritage and classic capsule clothing and goods. We don’t like to call ourselves a boutique, but rather a lifestyle shop. It is a way of life. We believe in owning your own sense of style, being authentically and unapologetically yourself, working hard while living intentionally, supporting and cheering on our fellow local businesses and leaving the Earth a little greener through recycling and conscious choices.

What items do you offer at your shop other than women’s clothing? Citrine is continuously expanding and growing. We offer women’s clothing and have begun sprinkling out our men’s section. We are currently redoing the back of the building to home our men’s clothing, as well as a record store. We anticipate the back being ready in time for Christmas. In addition, we also sell vintage and handmade furniture, art and prints.

What are your best-selling items? Our best-selling items are our ‘70s pieces, hands down. They fly off the racks like hot cakes. I can’t say I am surprised. There is something so magical about that era. We also sell a ton of vintage sweaters and cardigans. … Jonesboro loves their oversized knit sweaters for fall and winter.

What brands have come through Citrine? I would say that more than half of our inventory comes to us brand-less. We also stock a lot of heritage pieces like Levi’s, Calvin Klein, L.L.Bean, vintage Gap and some vintage American Eagle.

Where do you collect the vintage finds that you sell in Citrine? I find our inventory here, there and everywhere. I have a few buyers strategically placed all over the country that I travel to meet and carefully select our pieces. Hunting down the inventory is the hard part, but it is so much fun.

What services do you offer to Citrine’s guests? We offer styling. If you love the vintage look but aren’t too sure on how to style it, (me) and my staff love to help. We keep our store tag-less (some exceptions), size-less and brand-less because we want you to come in and try things on without the subconscious prejudice of labels and sizes in your mind. We encourage everyone to come in and play dress up.

What does a regular workday look like for you at Citrine? I don’t ever feel like I am at work when I am at work. On any given day, you can find us piecing together outfits for mannequins and displays, listening to great music and almost always chatting and mingling with customers who are literally from all walks of life. I absolutely love that our customers are comfortable enough to come in, bring their dogs, their babies and open up their hearts and souls to us and bring us into their worlds if even for a few minutes while looking through our racks.

You mentioned how Citrine wants to be greener. Can you describe how you plan to do so? Every single one of us leaves behind a carbon footprint. You turn your lights off when you leave a room, you ride your bike and recycle plastic, but most don’t consider how their fashion choices are impacting our Earth. Modern society buys five times more clothing than in 1980, and a huge chunk of our old clothes are filling up landfills. In fact, we only recycle 15 percent of our worn clothing. This is why Citrine is so passionate about recycling clothing. For every used article of clothing you purchase, we are reducing production waste, water waste, plastic waste and keeping things out of our landfills. When you shop Citrine, you can be proud knowing that you are supporting a local business with clothing that is 100 percent recycled or organically made.

How has the public responded to the opening of Citrine? The public has welcomed us with their arms wide open. We have really been blown away by all of the love and support that we have received every day since opening in late September. Everyone who comes in has really soaked in the atmosphere and appreciated and received our vision the way we hoped they would. We are really encouraged and excited to establish ourselves in the community and have a little something for anyone who comes by.