Young adults find new treasures in old items

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- In what's considered the golden age of technology, there's a burning desire to do things the old fashioned way.

The store manager at Mike Crivello's Camera and Imagine Center in Brookfield, Jeffery Dobbs, helps teens and young adults explore a new world: film photography.

"They actually act a little bit like it's a miracle that things turn out in a traditional manner like that," Dobbs said.

The cameras he's used his entire life are now being picked up by some people who weren't even alive when they went out of style.

"I think it's a retro look that they're after, which goes along with the type of cameras that they're using," Dobbs said.

For people born right around the turn of the century, the hobby requires a new kind of patience you won't learn from smart phones or digital cameras. That, of course, is waiting to see what a photo looks like until after it's been developed.

"We'll get a phone call, 'Hey, is it done yet? Is it done yet?' We get their excitement," Dobbs said.

Dobbs successfully predicted film would rebound. So, maybe he's right when he says it’s here to stay.

"I make an order about every 30 days, and I sell through it. I double my order and I pretty much sell through that in the next 30 days," Dobbs said.

The click and clack of a sewing machine has become an almost vintage like sound.

"Everybody used to have a sewing machine in their homes," Milwaukee Sewing Machine Company Owner Donald Minch Jr. said.

Up until two years ago, a lot of those machines sat in the back of a closet.

"Some of them are in their parents machines that they've always kept and moved them from house to house," Minch said.

People found a new purpose for these timeless treasures when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

"A lot of them were just getting them repaired to be able to do masks," Minch said.

When he says a lot he means it. Minch spends upwards of 60 hours each week working on repairs in his West Allis shop.

"We went from two, three day service time to two weeks, then six weeks, then the eight week wait, and it got up to where now it's some of our customers is four months," Minch said.

The masks may have introduced new sewers to the hobby, but projects like quilts and embroidery got them to stick with it.

"We sold out of all sewing machines twice," Minch said.

Sewing machines are the only retro thing people rolled out of storage in 2020.

The general manager of Ben's Cycle in Milwaukee, Alex Zacher, credits COVID-19 for doubling the amount of bikers on the road in the past two years.

"We're a full service shop, and boy howdy, did we see some bikes come out of the woodwork," Zacher said.

As you get older, it's easy to forget the joy riding a bike can bring. The pandemic reminded people of what they're missing out on.

"They turn to bikes to get outside, because that was the only thing you could really do," Zacher said.

The resurgence makes some bikes harder to find, and much more expensive.

"Shipping costs have skyrocketed. Supply is incredibly low and demand is incredibly high," Zacher said. "All of that has been a perfect storm to increase the cost of bikes."

He told CBS 58, that's no reason to put the brakes on finding the best ride for you.

"There is no right bike. There's just the right bike for you," Zacher said.

So, next time you're looking for a new hobby, you might be surprised to find something that's been around for awhile.

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