Finding diamonds in the rough at Ruby Blues

A navy blue, 1940s-style collared dress paired with a vintage leather satchel greets shoppers in the window display of Ruby Blues eclectic recycled clothing shop in Salida.

Ruby Blues

Owner of Ruby Blues vintage store Michael Almeida in his establishment in Salida, Colo. on April 10. Almeida greets his customers every day with a smile. Photo by Andrea Herrera •

Ruby Blues is not a typical consignment thrift store. It is authentic vintage to the core. Owner Michael Almeida has been buying, selling and trading for as long as he can remember. To accommodate this innate passion, he founded Ruby Blues seven years ago. Almeida has five pickers across the state of Colorado who scavenge the best vintage items in the state for Ruby Blues.

The friendly thrift store welcomes anyone looking to pass on their treasures to sell and trade their items. The cordial atmosphere is equally as welcoming for those buyers looking for a quality steal.

Ruby Blues consists of men’s, women’s and kid’s clothing and accessories, home goods and all types of knick-knacks from generations past. A Patagonia jacket from the 90s, a Hawaiian dress from the 60s and vintage Harley Davidson riding boots have all visited Ruby Blues at one time or another. The store also boasts stacks of vinyl records. But the daunting racks and stacks shouldn’t intimidate customers from sifting through. The prices are truly unbeatable.

Ruby Blues has seen a rise in business thanks to tourism and the wave of people making Salida their new home. More specifically, Almeida’s seen a rise in the number of 18-to-25 year olds buying vintage and second-hand. He even dubbed this age group his most prominent customers.

Support from locals and tourists helped Ruby Blues achieve record sales months all year, and Almeida is busy expanding his inventory.

Finding second hand vintage items is not a hard thing to do at any secondhand store, but Ruby Blues makes the experience easier. Almeida described his shop as being one of a kind in the sense that it keeps a constant selection of items that match the brand image.

“We’re really brand sensitive. We do everything vintage: 1980s, 1990s all the way to 1900s stuff and we do all the outdoor brands, because we are in a mountain town,” Almeida said.

With his obvious zeal for vintage items and appeal to Salida’s small-town, outdoorsy lifestyle, it’s no surprise that vintage Ruby Blues is the modern shopper’s paradise.

Author: Bianey Bermudez

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