From hobby to business

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tangee Jones has been making clothes and finding treasures for her friends for the past 20 years. Now she hopes to do the same for a broader audience.

Inventory: Tangee Jones sorts through some of the crocheted items she’s made to sell in her new online store, Tangee’s Closet. Jones has been crocheting since she was 12 and started the store to bring her passion to more people.

Last month, she decided to open an online boutique selling her handmade crocheted items and vintage clothing and accessories she’s uncovered.

Jones, who lives off White Marsh Road, said she made the decision to open shop after helping friends with their personal styles since she was in high school.

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“I’ve been doing it for so long, and my friends encouraged me to start a website,” she said. “I can reach more people and give my passion a presence on the web.”

Jones said she has had a lifelong love of fashion — even earning her degree in fashion at Virginia State University.

“I’ve always liked fashion, and I’m drawn to items that are handmade and unique,” she said. “I like vintage clothing, too, because that’s when ladies took pride in dressing.”

Through the years, Jones has hunted down vintage items for friends and herself, and she plans to take requests from website clients for vintage items.

Jones said finding vintage pieces is hard work, but it’s one of the most enjoyable things she does.

“I love it,” she said. “It helps you network and see what things are out there. I just love clothes and meeting people.”

A lot of the vintage items Jones sells are from friends and clients who want to consign.

Jones said she has been shocked by how many beautiful pieces people in Suffolk and Smithfield own.

“This area is a gold mine, because they are older and have kept their stuff for multiple generations,” she said.

In her online store, Tangee’s Closet, Jones, who has been crocheting since 12 years old, features some of her own creations, such as skirts, hats, scarves and jewelry, and a variety of vintage clothing and accessories.

She put the crocheted items on the website mainly to show her clients what she can do and to inspire them to ask for their own custom items.

All of the crochet pieces are handmade, she said, and they can be adjusted to fit a client’s style. But custom doesn’t come quickly. Crocheted pieces can take anywhere from four hours for bracelets to 40 hours for dresses.

Throughout the process, Jones said, she keeps her clients updated to ensure they are satisfied.

“I give myself enough time, so I can get it done, and it’s what they want,” she said. “I want to do it right, so when people say my name, they aren’t like, ‘Don’t get stuff from her.’”

Jones said she isn’t sure where her newest venture will lead her, but she would love someday to have her creations featured in a fashion magazine.

“I love it, and I hope everyone likes it,” she said. “I don’t need to take over the whole world, just have a little niche of it.”

Visit Jones’ website at