On the outskirts of Pawtuxet Village, there’s a shop that’s a true outlier when it comes to collectibles, vintage objects and underground culture. When you walk in, you’ll see a …
On the outskirts of Pawtuxet Village, there’s a shop that’s a true outlier when it comes to collectibles, vintage objects and underground culture. When you walk in, you’ll see a vast array of records, comics, old school video games and one of a kind items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. It’s a place that’s truly unique and if you’re an enthusiast of anything pertaining to what I just mentioned, then you should most definitely stop by. It’s called Black Lodge Collectibles and it’s located on 1986 Broad Street in Cranston. The shop has been in business for a little over a month with co-owners Derek Wood, Josh Marsie and Ian Fitzpatrick got together to start it up on August 19.
I recently had a talk with Wood and Marsie at Black Lodge Collectibles about what gave them the idea to start the establishment, how they’ve amassed their huge collection and what makes the place stand out from the competition.
Rob Duguay: How did you guys start Black Lodge Collectibles? Each of you were doing different things beforehand with Ian working for the United States Post Office, Derek being a chef and Josh working at the Rhode Island Antiques Mall in Pawtucket, running a record label at Riotous Outburst Records and a bunch of other music related things.
Josh Marsie: Yeah, I’ve worked at a few restaurants and bars as well. We talked about trying to find a spot before, but nothing was within our budget. I kind of accidentally found this place while driving by it. I was actually leaving our friend’s record store down the street at Doomed Records and there was a big for rent sign in the window. There wasn’t anything covering the window so I could see inside and whatnot, so I figured that it was a pretty sizable, awesome spot for a location and budget wise it worked out.
Derek Wood: I’ve been collecting for a number of years and Josh and I did a podcast together called “Absurd and Report”. Pretty much during that time, both of us would talk about comics, records, music and stuff and we always said that it would be nice to have our own space. Like Josh just said, the price had to be right and match up to our budget.
JM: It was a little more than right, actually. It was the right place at the right time. I’ve also been doing the record distro with my label for over 20 years and it’s just nice not to have all this stuff in my house.
RD: I totally understand. Before this place became your shop, I’m pretty sure that it was a hair salon of some sort. What was the experience like going into this space and setting up everything you have when you started moving in?
JM: There was actually nothing in here. They had stripped it down pretty well, I think there was something in between our place and the hair salon, it was another vintage place.
DW: Vintage clothes.
JM: Yeah, a vintage clothing store. The only thing we really had to do was there was a bunch of stuff zip tied around, so we had to climb around the wall, cut things down and take out some bizarre woodworking in a few places. Other than that, it was already good to go.
DW: The high ceilings are our friend because of the limited space we can shelf things up on the walls and it’s 200 square feet.
JM: With the wall space, it’s definitely more than that when you have a 15 foot high ceiling.
RD: Yeah, it definitely helps.
JM: We’re going to start having an art gallery here, so there’s plenty of space where we can have artists set up. The ceiling lends an extra 20 to 25 feet of space for that alone.
RD: Very cool. You guys have all sorts of stuff here, you have video games, you have comics, you have records and you even have replica WWE championship belts. How have you guys gone about amassing all these things? Is it all from your personal collections? Have you guys gotten some of your inventory in other ways online or through word of mouth?
JM: I would say all of those things you just mentioned.
DW: Estate sales, yard sales, just scouring the internet for any deals. We’ve hit up friends and family to see if anyone is willing to let go of comics, records or toys. I’ve spent a decent amount on just bolstering my collection to get things that I’ve thought people would be seeking out.
JM: That’s a lot of it.
DW: All of these boxes we have aren’t filler, it’s almost all killer. If you go through our comics, you’ll find key issues, you’ll find rare books and hard to find stuff. We don’t have this space just to put in junk, we want it all to be good stuff.
JM: We want to curate stuff, essentially.
DW: Yeah, we want to curate our collection. It’s from each of our personal collections, scouring the internet and blind luck.
JM: I also wholesale stuff as far as records go. A lot of my records are newer, I obviously have my used records from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s but I also wholesale from a few punk, hardcore and hip hop distributors.
RD: Speaking of curating, you’ve mentioned the art gallery you guys are looking to have. Do you plan on having it be a monthly showcase?
JM: That’s exactly what’s going to happen. We’ll have a different artist showing their work for a month, it’ll be sold here on commission and there will be a gallery event during the third week of every month for each artist as well.
DW: All the paintings will hang up here for a month.
RD: That’s great. There’s a lot of collectible and vintage shops all around Rhode Island, so what makes Black Lodge Collectibles stick out? What makes it different?
JM: I’d say that there’s a lot of things. Our focus on horror and action movies is a big one and the same can be said for vintage games, which is a little more than a lot of shops. We have a big selection of VHS tapes along with punk, hardcore and harsher music, I would say. We also have a lot more harsher and rare comics than a lot of places would normally have.
DW: It’s all out on the floor. We’re also priced competitively.
JW: That’s something people have really liked. I’ve heard a lot of customers say how they were looking for a specific thing, it was too expensive at another shop but when they came here they bought it for a reasonable price.