Exterior of Columbus’ The Little Light Collective and ceramic dogs on display (photos courtesy of The Little Light Collective)
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Get Happy at The Little Light Collective

This funky vintage shop in Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood assembles items from more than 45 vendors in a bright and uplifting space.

If you’re a vintage fanatic, the interior of Columbus’ The Little Light Collective is a visual treat. Owner April Rhodes opened her two-story shop in the city’s Clintonville neighborhood in 2020, after finding the location within walking distance of her home. She had plans to run a solo shop, but quickly came to the realization she wanted the space to be a collective and invited several women vendors she knew to populate it. All of them said yes.

“The booth-renting vendors have a permanent space that they curate floor to ceiling within the store,” Rhodes explains. “They also work in the store every month, so they’re in contact with our customers, and it really makes more of a microcommunity within our shop.”

Over 45 vendors now play a part in running The Little Light Collective. Different corners of the store are restocked weekly, brimming over with vintage clothing, home decor, furniture and glassware.

“It’s a lot of what you could expect in any more traditional antique mall with a heavy punch of youth and funkiness,” Rhodes says. “We try to keep it really fresh.”

Colorful vintage glasses lined up on bar cart at Columbus‘ The Little Light Collective (photo courtesy of The Little Light Collective)

Although it is impossible to pick favorites, Rhodes has a slate of beloved vendors who have been with her from the start. Dre McLeod primarily sells reworked denim jackets, dusters, pillows and pouches using vintage and secondhand fabrics, most of which are rescued from the landfill and transformed into wearable art pieces. Mod Abode sources midcentury glassware and Viking glass, as well as restored turntables and speakers.

“In creating a store, I wanted it to feel like the most joyful space,” Rhodes says. “There are things we need to shop for, and then there are things we want to, or it’s less of a need. I wanted there to be a feeling when you enter Little Light that’s uplifting.”

Rhodes is passionate about prioritizing her customers’ connection to the space. Visitors who love the store are welcome to book it for private appointments, surprise birthday parties and more. Rhodes recently spotted a couple taking engagement photos outside the shop, explaining that it was their happy place.

“We have a lot of chandeliers, sparkly lights — just try to make it as bright and light as possible,” Rhodes says. “We have people come through on really hard days, and they walk through the door, and we’re like, ‘Hey, are you looking for anything in particular?’ And they say, ‘No, I just had a really rough work week, and I just needed somewhere to be happy.’” 

3041 Indianola Ave., Columbus 43202, 614/815-0527, thelittlelightcollective.com