My partner, Johnny, and I spent the better part of our teenage years and twenties immersed in a rich local music scene here in Winston-Salem, NC. My fondest memories are from venues long past like 533 or “Uprisings”. Many of us old timers cut our teeth at this fabled venue in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem. I remember how it was both gritty and beautiful, violent and empowering. Most of all it bonded a group of disenfranchised kids and gave us purpose. We were given a positive reason to get together, a chance to accomplish goals, and the opportunity to learn about all aspects of life. We learned about issues ranging from social to religious and these lessons helped shape the ethics many of us still share today.
Although the venue no longer exists, its legacy lives on in the hearts of those of us who were a part of that culture. The hardcore ethos thrived on a healthy DIY mindset. In the 90s and early 2000s this particular musical genre didn’t have the fanfare and endorsement of major record labels and thus the merch was hand crafted by the band or friends within the scene. Everything from fliers to t-shirts were designed and distributed on your own. This made the buying and selling a personal experience. You knew exactly where each item came from and the pride that was taken in crafting it.
Having grown up in this culture so steeped in a do it yourself philosophy, we can truly say that what we offer at Centennial Trading Company is unique and personal. Although we have a small niche market we pride ourselves on the satisfaction of each and every customer. Whether it’s the fact that our "533" shirts are single needle stitched right here in Winston-Salem by local people, or that these flat front woven button ups will stand the test of time, we think you will see the pride that goes into the manufacturing of these shirts. We put our heart and soul into all that we do here and we hope it shows.
We are very thankful that we’ve had the opportunity to be a part of this community at such a special time and place in history. It showed us that hard work always pays off, doing what’s “right” will always trump what’s “cool,” and lastly that things are what you make them. Those four walls, that leaky roof, and the guys who invested their time and energy into doing something they were passionate about helped shape myself and many others from that era, for that I am grateful.
Big Dave, Danny S, Paul G, and everyone else who helped give us all a cool, semi safe place to grow up.