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!



heads up: the hive salon’s one-year anniversary party

Did you hear that Mighty Swell’s popping up at The Hive Salon’s one-year anniversary party tomorrow? In case you’re unfamiliar, The Hive‘s a gem of a salon, owned and operated by two vintage-loving sisters, Jen and Becca. Know for their commitment to organic products and forward-thinking green business practices, these ladies are setting the bar when it comes to eco-friendly salons in the Twin Cities. And the party they’re throwing tomorrow’s going to be so fun! In addition to a curated collection of spring-y vintage from Mighty Swell, our friends at Find Furnish will also be on hand, selling mid-century modern bar carts and drink ware. The lovely ladies of Hive will also be hooking guests up with complimentary retro hair and makeup touch-ups. (I totally plan on getting there an hour early so they can doll me up.) And last, but certainly not least, the party also kicks off Hive’s three-week long food drive benefiting the Emergency Foodshelf Network. They’re aiming to collect 300 pounds of food in 21 short days, and to get off on the right foot, anniversary party guests will be rewarded with a raffle ticket for every non-perishable food item they bring. Raffle prizes include French Meadow Bakery & Cafe and Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room gift certificates, fancy hair products from Simply Organic Beauty, salon gift cards and more. I told you these gals are an inspiration! You can learn all the details about the party (and RSVP!) right here. I  hope to see you there!



flashback to mighty swell’s summer sale

My friend Julia shared some pics with me today that she and her hubs took at Mighty Swell’s summer sale. Going through them this afternoon, on a  dreary February (!) day, was a total pick-me-up. I love all the small details they captured! In the crazy hustle and bustle of our sales, I barely have a moment to breathe, eat or pee, much less appreciate all the pretty moments happening right in front of me. I’m grateful to have these images now, so I can remember just how special those two days were. Anyway, I hope enjoy this little glimpse back to that sunny July weekend…

Many, many thanks to Julia for sharing these with me…<3 ya girl!



P.S. You can learn more about Julia’s photography biz here.

heads up: mighty swell’s first-ever men’s sale!

At Mighty Swell, pleasing our amazing customers is our no. 1 priority. So when the requests for more clothes for guys kept rolling in, the idea for a menswear-only sale was born. I couldn’t be more excited about the group of vendors we’ve assembled for this sale—they’re seriously some of the best pickers in town and helping them load in over the past couple of days has been a delight. I’m also happy that our friend Danny Sigelman made us a soundtrack for the weekend. He’s selling off some of his vintage vinyl this weekend, too— about 300 or so records, all priced between 50 cents to $10, with the majority of them falling into the $2-3 range. And, lest I forget the really important stuff, we’ll also have beer sticks. Talk about icing on the cake. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll grab your fella(s) and stop by for a spell. We’ll be open 5-9 p.m. tonight, 12-5 p.m. tomorrow.



mighty swell pop-up pics


Holy buckets, can it really be Wednesday night already? Gee whiz, how time flies. Tonight, I thought I’d share some pics from our second Mighty Swell pop-up, courtesy of Kate NG Sommers, who not only was kind enough to come early and shoot the shop on Saturday, she also came toting a shovel. Which we needed in the most intense way possible.

So, in case you couldn’t make it, due to the epic snowfall, there are some little peeks. And if you did, THANK YOU SO MUCH for braving the weather and roads. Rae and I are already hatching plans for spring, and have some sweet ideas up our sleeves. Keep up with us on Facebook & Twitter to be the first in the know about our next event.

Well, I’m off to make a (hopefully) quick trip to IKEA. I’m hosting a mini baby shower for my dear friend Jamie on Saturday and am needing some somethings for a surprise project. The theme is “nachos.” Take a guess on who came up with that! ; )



guest post: teacup vintage on dressing for december

Hey lovelies!

Today, the wonderful gals of Teacup Vintage are takin’ over the blog. I’m so excited that they tackled a conundrum we Minnesota girls face annually: Dressing cute when it’s -20 outside. As expected, they came up with some super adorable looks for all kinds of holiday situations. If I had it my way, I’d be cozying up to a roaring fire in look #3 every night now through March.
I hope you all enjoy it, too!


Dressing for December, Outfits & Inspiration

In the winter wonderland of December, we want outfits that say cozy with style. Personally, we tend to mix vintage and modern clothing, with lots of feminine details that add a touch of softness (think ruffles, pearly buttons, fur, velvet, and silk) thrown in for good measure. Since the Mighty Swell sale is just around the corner, we pulled pieces from our winter collection to put together looks for holiday style inspiration. Find these Teacup Vintage pieces and more at Tarnish & Gold this weekend.

Look #1: Under the Mistletoe

Classic colors, red and black, can be played up with a multitude of textures. This look is ladylike and classy with a hint of sex appeal (you choose how high to button it up): a red ruffled polka-dotted blouse paired with a black velvet high-waisted skirt, black tights, and lace-up heels. Add another dimension with a multicolored floral clutch.

Look #2: Date at the Ice Rink

Winter dates can be fun and stylish with the right outerwear. Vintage coats are unique and always in style: this one is an ivory wool blend with pearly brown buttons and a belted waist. Top off the look with soft gloves, a cream muff with brown velvet lining, cable knit tights, and ice skates of course!

Look #3: Sipping Cocoa by the Fire

This outfit says “cuddle me” and is so cozy and cute. We are loving novelty sweaters this season, especially those featuring animals. This look features an oversized sweater with two puppies in love, jeans tucked into cream stockings, with tall brown woven leather boots. Complete the look with a large vintage ivory handbag. Extra marshmallows please!

Look #4: As the Ball Drops

On New Year’s Eve, anything goes. We wanted to sparkle it up so we paired a lovely black 50’s party dress with gold tights, a black sequined head wrap, a small metallic handbag, and heels. We love mixing and matching metal tones with a black base piece. So fun, easy, and adds an extra splash of fanciness to a look.

Check the Teacup Vintage blog for more style inspiration, we will be updating it regularly!

-Heather & Alea

Psst: You can check our more outfit ideas from Teacup Vintage here.

mighty swell vendor preview: attys vintage

I’m so, so, so pumped to have my pal Atty, of Attys Vintage, participating in the next Mighty Swell sale. She has the most fabulous and fun mid-centry finds—I’m pretty sure I’ve hearted nearly half of her shop’s stock!

Anyway, I put together a cute little gift guide featuring some of what will up for grabs at the sale, and let me tell, had a hard time keeping it short! Atty also promises to have a couple sets of vintage dishes on hand, in addition to plenty of glass and bar ware, home decor and other nostalgic goodies of all kinds.



Isn’t all super precious??! Come by next Saturday *early* to get first dibs! (Or, if you can’t make it, check out Atty’s super-stocked Etsy shop. It’s 400+ items strong and she’s got plenty in her sale section, too!!!)