behind the scenes at mighty swell’s summer sneak peek shoot

Just a few behind-the-scenes snapshots from yesterday morning’s Mighty Swell sneak peek shoot. We shot about 15 looks in the very overgrown garden behind our shop. It was such a gorgeous morning for playing dress up! Many thanks to our models Megee and Karin, and of course, to our wonderful photographer Kate Sommers.

Have lovely days all!



how to: make crepe paper bunting

It seems like before any of our Mighty Swell sales, Rae and I are always finishing something up at the 11th hour. Take, for example, this bunting, which Rae whipped up out of leftover crepe paper that was lying around from our sneak peek photo shoot. I’m pretty sure our first customers were walking through the door while Rae was finishing up hanging it! Since we raked in a ton of compliments on it over the course of the weekend, I thought I’d have Rae share the how-to so you can make your own. It’d be a cute addition to any shower, birthday party or backyard barbecue, right?

“What do you do with a lot of extra crepe paper from a photo backdrop? Make a bunting to hang in the windows, of course. This simple decor came together in a snap, and the crepe paper looks lovely when light shines through it.”—Rae


Rolls of crepe paper in several complementary colors—we ordered ours through Papermart.
Yarn (we used white)
A stapler and staples
A pair of scissors


1. Cut a 2-foot long piece of paper off of the roll and fold it in half length-wise. Cut down the fold, so now you have two pieces. Fold both of the pieces in half and lay them on top of each other. Now cut those pieces into 3-inch strips. Since I wasn’t measuring (and was in a hurry) my pieces were quite irregular, but I think this added to the charm of the bunting! Repeat with remaining colors so you have piles of strips in every color.

2. Grab your yarn and stapler and start making magic! Cut a piece of yarn the length you want your bunting to be. Slip a strip over the yarn and staple just under the yarn (this way your buntings can be moved and spaced out. If you want them fixed, staple your folded-over strip right onto the yarn.). Repeat with alternating colors and voila—you’re done!

Many thanks to Rae for walking us through it step-by-easy-step!



P.S. Yesterday was a happy day for Karissah, winner of the Girls Got Rhythm fest ticket giveaway. There’s still time to get your tickets online; a limited number will be available at the door tonight and tomorrow.

beginner’s tips for shopping at mighty swell

Mighty Swell opens for the weekend in just a couple short hours (10 a.m. to be exact) and as always, I’m really pumped. We have some great new vendors for this sale including Honey Bunny and Spano Vintage—both gals brought in some truly drool-worthy pieces, along with some old reliable standbys like Pink Vintage, Bourbon & Lace and of course, me! Since I’m sure not all of you have visited the shop, I figured today would be a good time to share some tips for Mighty Swell first-timers.

Come early! This is a no brainer really, but if you want to shop the biggest selection, come today, and come in the morning. Besides getting first pick and everything, you’ll also be able to  enjoy complimentary coffee and donuts from A Baker’s Wife. We typically get four to five dozen and holy smokes, do they go quick.

On the flip side, if you hate feeling crowded, come later in the day (or tomorrow) when the shop is a bit more cleared out. It may be a bit picked over, but you’ll have plenty of elbow room to take your time going through the racks.

Wear underthings you won’t be embarrassed being seen in. Our dressing room is a group one, and honestly, sometimes it can get pretty packed. And while some ladies don’t mind stripping down to their skivvies in front of strangers (more power to y’all!), if you’re on the shier side, rock some boy shorts or a slip or whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Ask for help if you’re new to shopping for vintage or if you’re looking for something in particular. Rae and I know our inventory pretty well, and adore helping our shoppers find what they’re looking for. We also have tons of back-stock downstairs (and at home), so if you don’t see what you’re looking for, tell us so we can check our inventory!

Bring a friend and make a day of it! There are so many lovely restaurants in our neighborhood including Colassal Cafe (home of the most delicious Brie-apple pancakes and biscuit breakfast sandwiches), Buster’s (great burgers and beer/cider selection) and of course, our next-door neighbors, Chris & Rob’s Chicago Taste Authority, known for their Chicago-style dogs, although I personally love, love, love their thin-crust pizza. Come shop with a friend and then enjoy a meal in the ‘hood!

I hope to see y’all there! For details on sale hours, visit the Facebook event page.



summer of dresses kick-off party pics

Good morning all, and happy May Day!

I wanted to pop in quickly so I could share some pics from last night’s Summer of Dresses kick-off fiesta/preview sale. It was a such a fun evening. Thank you, Meghan, for asking us to host the kick-off. Rae and I were so honored to be a part.

{All photos are courtesy of Canary Grey.}

Photos of our guests in their dresses are already up on Summer of Dresses—do go check ’em out and then get to posting your own! If you couldn’t make it last night, don’t fret: Mighty Swell will be open again this Saturday and Sunday and we’ll be restocking the shop with fresh vintage throughout the week. (Click here for details on this weekend’s event!)



10 reasons to attend the summer of dresses kick-off party

Tomorrow, from 5 to 8 p.m., Mighty Swell will open for a preview sale and photo kick-off for the blog, Summer of Dresses. If you aren’t familiar with Summer of Dresses, it’s, in a nutshell, a happy place on the Internet where beautiful ladies of all ages, sizes and styles celebrate Minnesota’s shortest season (summer) by sharing snapshots of themselves looking cute in dresses. (If you have a sec, go here to learn more about how the group got rolling.) I can think of a million reasons why you should come by, but I’ll keep this list to 10.

1. Get a first crack at Mighty Swell’s spring collection before we open to the public. Having first dibs on everything, including our cray cray assortment of dresses, is kind of an awesome deal.

2. Get your photo snapped by the ever-lovely Wing Ta, owner of Canary Grey, in front of our springy crepe-paper backdrop. She will make you look good, guaranteed!

3. Mix and mingle with a bunch of vintage-loving ladies.

4. Make some in real life connections with chicks you might only know through Twitter.

5. Beers are $1.50 all night at our next-door neighbors, Chris & Rob’s. Nothing complements shopping and lady time like cheap beers and a big open patio!

6. It’s supposed to be 70° and sunny—perfect dress-wearing weather.

7. It’s totally free to attend! Just do the Summer of Dresses gals a favor and RSVP here.

8. New to the group? Get tips from seasoned contributors about how to make your posts great right out of the gate. (There’s a ton of great tips for beginners here, too.)

9. The Pioneer Press and Minnesota Monthly both want to use photos from the kick-off, so if it’s 15 seconds of fame you seek, you should definitely show up.

10. Gals who show up to shop tomorrow will get a 10-percent off coupon redeemable at next weekend’s sale (and our upcoming men’s event on May 18th and 19th). Sweet!

I hope you can make it! I’m hopping off to the shop now to stain our new cash wrap and finish up some last-minute merchandising. Fingers crossed I make it home in time to squeeze in an at-home mani (and perhaps a little GCB watchin’!).



P.S. The cute-as-a-button Summer of Dresses logo was designed by Aaron Purmort.


scenes from sunday’s pop-up

Morning lovelies!

I really wanted to share these pics from The Hive’s anniversary party last night, but wound up falling asleep on the couch watching “The Celebrity Apprentice” at around 8:30 p.m. After working eight straight days, I was plum tuckered out! Anyway, back to Sunday…what. a. blast. The Hive’s space made for such a nice setting—even though there was a ton going on (DJ! juice bar! hair-styling stations! food! makeup demos!) it didn’t feel overly crowded at all. If you couldn’t make it…here are a few pics from throughout the day.

Doesn’t Rae’s Veronica Lake-like hair look so lovely? I wish I had taken before and after pics of the racks because honest to goodness, we barely had anything to bring back to the shop at the end of the day. Many, many thanks to Becca and Jen from The Hive for inviting us to be part of their celebration and of course, much love to each of our wonderfully loyal shoppers. We can’t wait to see you all again next month!



gettin’ pretty with soraya hatfield

Today over my lunch break , I cruised down the street to BANGbang Salon to meet Soraya, owner of Pin-up Stylings by Soraya Hatfield. After months of exchanging emails, it was such a delight to finally meet her in person! While she whipped my hair into shape, we chatted about everything from thrifting (of course) to the differences between Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she recently relocated from. During our time together, I learned that she’s been doing hair since elementary school, and her natural ability is apparent as soon as you sit in her chair. She busted out these badass (or should I say huge ass?) victory rolls in mere minutes! Don’t they look sweet?

I’m really excited, not to mention honored, to have Soraya be part of tomorrow’s sale.  She’ll be at the shop from 5 to 8 p.m., offering retro hairstyling on a first-come, first-serve basis. Styles are a flat $30 which is a total steal considering the average salon style costs upwards of $60. Plus, you’ll be able to shop our collection of pretty lingerie, nibble on cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop and sip champagne while you’re there. It’ll be a great way to start to a girl’s night out or a fun way to get prepped for a hot date. We’ll be open until 9 p.m.!

I hope to see y’all there!



fringe-filled vintage-y editorial

Morning friends!

Last fall (the day before this, to be exact), the ever-lovely Hollie Mae Schultz stopped by Mighty Swell to pull a few things for a test shoot she was styling. It’s fun to see how stylists work the pieces they pull into editorials, and as expected when Hollie’s involved, the resulting spread is simply gorgeous. Here are a few shots featuring High Plains Thrifter merchandise…you can check the story in its entirety here.

Photography, Barbara O’Brien
Fashion Styling & Creative Direction, Hollie Mae Schultz
Hair & Makeup, Kate Erickson
Styling Assistant, Jessica Idso
Model, Kelly, Ignite Models
Photo Assistants, Larry Hunt & Heather Byington
Animal Wrangler, The Animal Connection
Wardrobe provided by Mighty Swell and Rewind Vintage

Many thanks to Hollie Mae for dropping by and finding some sweet pieces to play with!



recently thrifted

I’ve been laundering sacks upon sacks of spring nighties, slips and caftcans in preparation for this Friday’s lingerie sale at Mighty Swell.

The pink dressing gown in the middle of the first photo is by far my favorite find of the past week. I have the exact same gown in teal and wear it all the time, as evidenced below.

It’s the most comfortable thing ever.

I’ve also been stocking up on girly artwork and boudoir-type necessities for Friday’s event, including these sweet little floral prints. I’m a sucker for circular frames.

Some other choice finds of the week, not pictured: a white leather fold-over clutch, a men’s short-sleeved button-down that’s covered in tiny red anchors, a sweet set of rocks glasses and a couple nice summer dresses.

Have you been out thrifting lately? Did you find anything brag-worthy?