Sister Spokesman hosted its “Third Annual Fashion Show,” on Sat., September 6, at the Minnesota Music Cafe. Below is a profile of three of the boutiques that will be at the event.
Sandra Young owns formally Affordable Elegance Consignment Boutique. Young is a former employee of Star Tribune and contributing writer for the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder. In 2006, she left her day job at the Tribune to start her consignment business.
“I started at home with a computer and camera and made my own website. I started with flyers going through neighborhoods, putting flyers in people’s boxes. I would go with my children and hand out these flyers and wait for the phone to ring, and it did ring.
“I used to go pick up the clothes back then because I did not have a store. I used that as my marketing tool: “We will pick up.” After a while, I could not fit the clothes in my house anymore and I ended up getting a space and that grew. It grew into the space that I am in now.”
Young specializes in clothing for women, designer labels, although she does not always get them. But she claims to carry a lot of designer labels. The clothing ranges from casual to formal, ages 18 and up.
Affordable Elegance Boutique is located in Apple Valley. Young has one other employed staff to help her run the boutique efficiently. She adds, “I get a lot of compliments about the look, smell and feel of my boutique and the quality of my clothing. The boutique is not crowded, pack with items on the racks that you cannot see. It is not a big place; it is small, but it is very personable.
She proudly adds, “I am not a typical thrift store.” She hopes attendees will leave the event knowing they can walk away from her store with fashionable affordable labels.
Autumn Frazier started “Collecting vintage items about 30 years ago, that is where I got my passion for fashion. It started with my cousin and grandmother and getting her clothing and jewelry, shoes and playing around in her stuff all the time. My clothing was not always on trend. People would always ask me where I got my stuff from [so I went into business].
Autumn is a mother of three, has two grandchildren, and a 16-year breast cancer survivor. “I have done a lot of speaking engagement and commercials to do anything to promote awareness and not be silent about breast cancer.”
Autumn’s Vintage is located in two stores at ReStyle Minneapolis and at Flamingo’s. Flamingo’s has different vintage items, not just clothing. This location does “vintage furniture, household items, vintage anything,” adds Frazier. Estate sales, garage sales and individual donations are the main way Frazier collects her vintage pieces. Her tagline is “Bringing classy and sassy back.”
“I like people to get dressed up and…come to events not just any type of way. My grandparents would go to events and be dressed up from head to toe. Now I don’t see that as much anymore.” This is what she want participants to get from her showing at the September 27 fashion show at the Women’s Club in Minneapolis. Autumn is very excited with all of the opportunities that are coming along with her vintage collections.
Top 2 Bottom
Top 2 Bottom is a men’s clothing store is located in Brooklyn Park, which opened June 7, 2014. Tia Blades, the shop owner, offers a variety of styles, colors and sizes.
Blades told the MSR “I carry high-fashion suits, business suits, slim-fit suits, shoes, shirts and ties with cuff links. I also have hats. A basic three-piece suit starts a $149.99 and suits go up to a size 70.”
The store was opened because Blades feels there is a lack of unique styles here [in the Twin Cities]. She thinks sometimes you can get a suit or outfit that a lot of other people already have. So she wanted to offer something different.
She frequently travels to Detroit and Chicago to bring back the fashions that Top 2 Bottom carries. You can order from in-store catalogs as well. Blades wants customers to know “We also have tuxedos for wedding parties.”
She states, “It is cheaper to come buy my tuxedos than to go buy them for your wedding party.” She offers a variety of unique suits for men in the Twin Cities.
Brandi D. Phillips welcomes questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.