A 19-year-old shop owner is taking fashion back to the future

Sebastian Rodriguez hoped to share his love of vintage fashion and old Hollywood glam when he opened his store in 2021.

Turn Back the Clock Shop is a cozy hole-in-the-wall vintage store with pre-loved pieces from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s offering clothing, accessories, vinyl records, childhood books, toys and unique home furnishings.

Rodriguez was entranced by fashion and entertainment since he was a child.

“I’ve always had a passion for vintage clothing,” said Rodriguez, a 20-year old Miami native who became inspired as he grew up reading vintage Vanity Fair magazines. “The clothing in those magazines always called my attention to pursue a career in design.”

In 2019, a 16-year-old Rodriguez hosted a two-episode podcast series. “The Sebastian Rodriguez Show” streamed on Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio and other streaming platforms.

Rodriguez intended to pursue a career in journalism because he liked communicating with people and hearing their stories as he interned at radio and news stations.

Even as he pursues his fashion career, listening to client’s stories allows him to create new connections and experiences.

“My calling is fashion,” said Rodriguez. “Every client that walks in is a unique soul that adds a little more charisma to my business.”

Adding charisma to the community, Rodriguez participated in events to raise funds and advocate for self-expression since opening the shop.

The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital contacted Rodriguez in September to assist in a Studio 54-themed vintage runway show for their annual Fashion Gives Back fundraising cocktail event. Turn Back the Clock Shop sponsored and provided clothing styled by Rodriguez.

“I didn’t think at all that this little shop was going to help other people,” said Rodriguez. “It’s helped people discover their style and be whoever they want to be.”

Rodriguez is passionate about helping others find their fashion identities as he stresses the importance of physical expression. Rodriguez offers three personal styling services to help clients find what works best for their bodies, styles and budgets.

The first, “New Beginnings,” is a free one-hour consultation where Rodriguez helps clients find brands aligning with their style, guides to body type, hair and makeup, color analysis and more.

In “Styling for an Occasion” Rodriguez helps clients create a stylish look for an event. This service costs $20 per hour and can last up to two hours.

With “The New You” Rodriguez helps clients analyze their closets to sift through what they should keep to achieve a desired style. This service costs $30 per hour and can last up to four hours.

Sebastian Rodriguez’s original design on display at Turn Back the Clock Shop. (Jacqueline Flores Figueras/SFMN)

Rodriguez is starting his own clothing line taking a modern twist on vintage stylings. With a few designs already made and in display at the store, Rodriguez hopes to take his designs to New York City.

Rodriguez struggled to express himself when he was younger, but he found comfort in expressing himself through his clothing. This inspired him to pursue a career in fashion where he creates an environment for others to be their authentic selves. Rodriguez calls Turn Back the Clock Shop a safe haven where people with the same interests can come together.

“If I couldn’t express myself with who I am, I should do it with my clothes,” said Rodriguez. “That was definitely a little push to be myself and help others be themselves as well.”

Jacqueline Flores Figueras is a junior at Florida International University majoring in digital media and pre-law. Currently, Jacqueline is a college marketing representative for Sony Music U.