"My whole aesthetic is sort of 'Deco disco,'" says The Golden Pearl Vintage owner Audra Frizzell. Credit: Photo by Eric Best

"My whole aesthetic is sort of 'Deco disco,'" says The Golden Pearl Vintage owner Audra Frizzell. Credit: Photo by Eric Best

Vintage veteran opens retro clothing boutique in Northeast

Updated: January 8, 2016 - 4:26 pm

Walking into Audra Frizzell’s new shop is like taking a little trip back in time. 

Her upcoming vintage clothing store, The Golden Pearl Vintage, is full of objects each with their own story to tell. That Lucite chandelier? It’s a 1960s-era piece from a Holiday Inn in South Minneapolis. And that jewelry case? Secondhand from the historic Neiman Marcus downtown. Frizzell has also bought just about every piece of clothing from estate sales in the area.

“Almost everything I’ve gotten has been sourced locally, within an hour of the [Twin Cities],” she told The Journal. 

The boutique will sell vintage men’s and women’s apparel, outerwear, accessories and jewelry. The store will have some small home goods and a few other things that catch Frizzell’s eye. An estate sale shark and vintage clothing collector, Frizzell started amassing the store’s inventory in May. 

“I’d go every weekend… sometimes [to] five a day. I’d put on like 90 miles, all over town,” she said. “I enjoy it so much.”

After selecting pieces, Frizzell and her staff will clean and mend them back to their original forms. Some even had their original tags and have likely never been worn after decades in someone’s closet. 

Frizzell, who previously worked at Via’s Vintage in Uptown and Saks Fifth Ave, appreciates vintage clothing for its durability and timeless style. It also helps that retro clothing has been making a comeback, she added.

“You can’t pick up a fashion magazine without seeing a photo shoot, and at least part of that look is vintage,” she said. “I think at least a portion of everyone’s wardrobe should be comprised of some key vintage pieces.”

In addition to selling old-school fashion, the store will also offer tailoring services for vintage clothing, which doesn’t have to bought there. 

The building, located at Central & Hennepin, was the former home of geek art gallery Pink Hobo, designer toy store ROBOTlove and even a campaign office for then-mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges. Frizzell said she painstakingly restored the nearly 15-foot ceilings, which have embossed white-painted doves and a gold-painted pattern. She also ripped up the carpet and restored the original hardwood floors. 

The Golden Pearl Vintage will be open at 507A E. Hennepin Ave. by the end of January, and will have an online shop at goldenpearlvintage.com. On the other side of the building is Modern Antics Novelty Shoppe, which does its own time traveling.