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Custom Gear Never Gets Old with Circa Antiques and Collectibles

There’s nothing quite like finding that perfectly preserved bit of paraphernalia when going antiquing. Whether it’s unique furniture, old vinyl records, or designer jackets, the act of searching and finding this treasure helps make it that much more memorable. Having something that just fits you perfectly when you first lay eyes on it, coming across something that grabs you — that experience is a thrill for many.

Jar of antique marbles next to folded shirt with "Vintage Life" printed on it.

The “Vintage Life” design matches the aesthetic of Circa Antiques and Collectibles.

Melinda Robidoux, Managing Partner at Circa Antiques and Collectibles in Old Wethersfield, Connecticut understands this well. On why she opened an antique shop, Melinda says “My mother was an original ‘American Picker’ back in the early 70’s when my sister and I were just kids growing up in Eastern CT. Back then, my mom, Shirley, would travel the countryside ‘picking’ in search of the perfect ‘find’, sometimes by climbing through a broken window of an abandoned house!”

Offering everything from old-school concert posters, collectible matchbooks, classic fashion, and even vintage-style vinyl flooring, Circa has become a community staple. Beyond antiques, the shop involves itself with the local scene through fun events like Oracle Card readings for Halloween. To celebrate Circa’s success, Melinda created custom shirts for their first year anniversary. “We wanted to create a custom T-Shirt to commemorate our shop’s 1st anniversary as well as create a design that would appeal to customers who loved to buy vintage. We looked at it as an opportunity to promote both our antique store and a vintage lifestyle,” explains Melinda.

Being able to recreate that experience of finding something unique that also fit well meant that Melinda had a goal in mind when designing the shirts. After working with local graphic designer Spencer Mahar on the art, Melinda came to Custom Ink to bring the shirts to life. To cover all of Circa’s clientele and ensure they could find something that fit them perfectly, she ordered Gildan 100% Cotton T-shirts, Gildan Women’s 100% Cotton T-shirts, and Champion Authentic Women’s Tri-Blend Varsity T-shirts. Each shirt featured the ‘Vintage Life’ design on the front and the Circa Antiques and Collectibles logo on the back. The off-white ink color that the text printed in fit the aged look of the art, and the font choice and text treatment created a cohesive design that looked great across all the shirts.

Offering both unisex and women’s sizing meant that Melinda could ensure that the shirts were as inclusive as possible for her customer base. “[We were] mindful of sizing and t-shirt cuts. A men’s XL is way “boxier” than a women’s XL cut shirt. Recognizing that we have many female clients, we knew the importance of offering a feminine cut t-shirt.”

Women's v-neck t-shirt with retro "Vintage Life" text printed on it

The Champion Authentic Women’s Tri-Blend Varsity T-shirt looks vintage and will last for years to come!

With the Champion Authentic Women’s Tri-Blend Varsity T-shirt Melinda also had an option for customers who wanted to pay a little extra to go full retro. The shirt, made to look like a fan jersey, was soft, semi-fitted and flattering for all sizes. As Champion has remained a popular, timeless brand throughout the years, the shirt featured the Champion tag on the front and a “C” patch on the left sleeve. The distressed striped sleeve detail matched the aesthetic of the Circa art perfectly. Paired with the Circa designs, it was eye-catching and could be worn every day.

The Gildan T-shirts were no slouches either, and were a quality budget-friendly choice for customers who wanted to show their support for the shop. Coming in over 70 colors for the unisex fit (and 40 colors for the women’s), it meant that Melinda could choose a shirt that paired well with the design.

Two gray t-shirts with "Vintage Life" in retro-style text printed on them.

The Gildan 100% Cotton T-shirts and Gildan Women’s 100% Cotton T-shirts were great options for fans of the shop who wanted to support the shop.

Melinda had put thought into the shirts she selected for Circa. “We wanted to have a t-shirt for every body-type as well as offer two price points.” Making your custom apparel inclusive extends to more than just size range, and is worth considering when selecting products. Fortunately, Custom Ink has an extensive product catalogue that offers a variety of fits and brands like Champion, Nike, The North Face, Carhartt, and more.

The shirts looked timeless, and the multiple options meant that customers could buy something that they would want to wear again and again. Melinda credits the success to the art and simply by asking people what they want. “Take the time to find a great designer to work with and solicit feedback from your ‘peeps’ regarding your design and proposed gear. It really pays to know your audience and what appeals to them. “

Find Circa Antique Arts and Collectibles on their website or on their Instagram.


Kendra is the Copywriting Support at Custom Ink. She has a background in art but she loves writing, so she finds a compromise between the two by creating comics in her free time.

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