812 Retro: From Fixing Bikes to Set Design

pattern stories
Written by:
Ed Domain

Yvie Garcia

Yvie Garcia was born and raised in Albuquerque, and found her true calling after working at a terrible job.

“I was a pharmacy technician for a mail order pharmacy, and it was not the right fit for me. After I left there, my Grandma was suffering health issues, and I was helping her out, so I needed some flexibility.”

Several items 812 Retro currently has for sale

Several items 812 Retro currently has for sale

Yvie heard about a pile of old bicycles in a neighboring town that were going to be crushed the next day for recycling. Yvie knew there was demand for used bicycles, and since no one wanted them, she was able to take them herself. She fixed them up, sold them locally, and it was a success. “It seemed like a good idea, and it turned out it was. That gave me the bug to do what I do now.”

From those humble beginnings, Yvie now has a thriving online store via Etsy, “812 Retro,” where her tagline is, “Vintage Retro Kitsch Art Mid Century Rust Junk.” Yvie said she had always been a collector, and so the store was a natural progression of her DIY mindset. In addition to the online store, back in 2012 she had a physical location on Broadway, but due to her Grandma’s needs she closed it in 2014. 

Even as she kept selling online, Yvie realized her collection could be used another way, and now her business has expanded. She uses items in her collection for set design, and does photography for it as well. “With all the productions happening in Albuquerque, it’s been really great,” said Yvie, “and I am actively moving forward with that side of my business.” 

“Everyone in Albuquerque is kind, and doing business here is great,” she said. “People are willing to give you a chance here.”

Along with her entrepreneurial efforts, Yvie likes to give back where and when she can, in ways big and small. She built a “Little Library” at the edge of the sidewalk, where people can take a book, leave a book, and now there’s even food. “It turned into a great thing for the neighborhood,” said Yvie. “We have a lot of people in need here, and I was surprised to see people leaving food, but other people have taken it and been very appreciative.” 

Little Library

Working and building a business in Albuquerque has made Yvie happy. “Everyone in Albuquerque is kind, and doing business here is great,” she said. “People are willing to give you a chance here.”

As her sign says, “Act as though what you do makes a difference. It does.”

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