Diane Jean describes her personal style as “if a kindergarten teacher and Patti Smith had a baby.” And while her look certainly stands out, she’s a hard woman to track down. When she’s not picking and prepping old duds for her clothing store, Billie Jean Vintage on Burlington’s Battery Street, she might be pressing vinyl at the Burlington Record Plant. Or riding around town on her motorcycle. Or performing at local nightclubs with her indie-rock band, Clever Girls. It’s safe to say she’s a powerhouse — and one of the nicest people you’ll meet in Burlington. Billie Jean Vintage’s slogan is “Be the talk of the town,” so we flipped that motto on its head and asked Jean to talk about the town. Here she opens up about her favorite haunts and habits in BTV and beyond.
Favorite place to shop vintage in Burlington (besides Billie Jean Vintage):
Where you can find me on a Friday night: On a Friday night, I go to Manhattan Pizza & Pub because of the $5 Heady Toppers. I don’t drink them, but my friends do, so I go to support them. And my other favorite spot is probably the Monkey House in Winooski. There’s usually live music, which I love, but it’s just a bar. There’s not a ton of people acting super obnoxious.
Favorite record shop: Speaking Volumes.
Vermont destination worth driving for:
Giving away all my good secrets! I would say the Vault Collective. It kills a bunch of birds with one stone, because there are so many dealers and people’s collections you can look through. There’s so much good stuff.
The swimming holes in Waitsfield. There are some in Warren Falls that everyone kind of knows about that get really crowded. But there are a few swimming holes that are so beautiful in Waitsfield in the summer, and no one knows about them. They’re townie secrets. And I can’t tell anyone where they are — I’ll get murdered.
Best footwear for Vermont adventures:
The best part of summer:
I’m going to say Doc Martens. I have the slip-on ones. I think they look great with everything I wear and how I style myself. I can wear them out on the town. I’ll wear them to Oakledge Park. I’ll wear them riding on my motorcycle.
Where I get my caffeine fix:
Speeder & Earl’s Coffee all the way — specifically because of manager/barista Haley Renwick.
I love riding my motorcycle to go get a creemee at Vermont Cookie Love in North Ferrisburgh. It’s the most satisfying thing in the world.
Burlington’s best-kept secret:
Four Corners of the Earth. The Thai chicken sandwich is the most amazing sandwich I’ve ever had, and there’s amazing art inside. Overall, it’s a very stimulating experience. COMPILED BY SADIE WILLIAMS
SECRET AGENT 802-84
AGE: 26 OCCUPATION: Owner, Billie Jean Vintage; manager, vocals and guitar, Clever Girls TOWN: South Burlington
MATTHEW THO RSEN
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