Tucked away on the Ecclesall road, nestled between a bridal shop and Sainsbury's; round the corner from the botanical gardens, where I am told there is a bear pit, you'll find Jojo General Store, which I know Jojo will hate to be described as a "Old Curiosity Shop", so we wont.
Jojo General Store, better known as Rag Parade Sheffield is one of those utterly unique places you hope to stumble across by chance, as if falling upon it through the back of a wardrobe.
Packed to the ceiling with unique, collectible, eclectic, old, desirable and rare there is a fizz of energy which emanates from every item of perfectly curated vintage; each piece oozing a story needing to be told, which without exception Jojo will be able to tell... and you'll be gripped to every word.
Often after you have ogled over something online, especially when viewed through the rose-tinted lenses of an instagram filter, things can seem bigger than they actually are in person, this cannot be said of Jojo.
As we commenced the pop-up, we wanted to ask Jojo a few very basic questions to gain a little insight into the brand and the man.
Who are you what do you do?
Hey, I’m Jojo Elgarice and I run a shop called Rag Parade in Sheffield, UK. We sell a selection of vintage menswear from around the world. We focus on quality pieces of Militaria, Sportswear, Workwear & also have a great selection of more contemporary pieces too (1970’s - 00’s).
What is your brand ethos?
We always try and source the best possible gear we can, I think it’s important to keep our customers excited by constantly evolving and showing them new items that they’ve hopefully not seen/owned before.
What inspired you to start the brand?
It wasn’t really ever a plan to open a shop and start selling clothes, it sort of all happened by accident. A lot of hard work was involved but it sort of grew from a small idea and an obsessive personality. It was the best and most tiring thing I’ve ever done ha ha!
How has their brand evolved since its inception?
The brand has definitely grown a lot stronger with a wider customer base, a much more broad selection of stock and most importantly a much stronger knowledge of product. I started buying and selling at quite a young age so looking back I was probably a little naive in the early days, but after many years of repeating the process, things have become much more refined.
Who has influenced them and their brand?
I’ve always been influenced by all of the people i’ve met along the way, during the buying process i’ve met a lot of interesting and unusual characters. This has been in my opinion the best way to learn, asking questions and hearing stories from the past. So I suppose the inspiration has been real people. The older generation too, weather it’s Art, Antiques or Military Dealers - you kind of have to know your place and have some mutual respect and know where you fit in amongst the pecking order! 🏄
What’s your favourite vintage item that has importance as an inspirational piece?
We recently bought a full kit that went up Mount Everest in 1933, 20 years before it was conquered. It’s a pretty special collection, it was an emotional find for sure.
Where was it found?
Somewhere in the UK for an eye watering sum... ha ha
What/who has influenced your personal style?
Skateboarding and Skate Videos from a young age, the sound tracks too mainly! Because I’ve mostly always shopped second hand/vintage/used clothing, the inspiration has always been what’s been available at the time to me. I suppose it was about taking something and adapting it and making it your own.
Plans for the future?
Buy, sell, collect, hoard, research, learn - REPEAT!
Film recommendation for everyone to watch and why?
Midnight Express - as it makes you realise you probably shouldn’t sell drugs to make a quick buck.
Book Recommendation and why?
Maus - It’s a graphic novel about the holocaust, he interviews his dad who was a holocaust survivor and he gives his opinion as a polish jew. Very interesting and poignant.
Album Recommendation and why?
Roots Manuva - Run Come Save Me (2001). His first album ‘Brand New Second Hand’ would of been more fitting but the second album from Rodney Smith is the one i’ve always loved. It works for when your feeling happy, sad or even at a party. I suppose music brings backs lots of memories from the past… in a good way too hopefully.
Jojo is in store with us until this Sunday with an amazing taste of the Sheffield store which we encourage you to come by and visit. With skew towards European vintage and oddities, as well as classic streetwear, the collection is a unique capsule of what Rag Parade specialises in, and which makes them a world renowned dealer of the most interesting of items.