mighty swell vendor profile: tulabaru

Howdy ho!

Cute headbands & hair pieces make me weak-kneed, but I’m especially susceptible to splurging when they’re designed and made by my talented pal, April Swinson.

Her one-of-a-kind creations, retailed in her Etsy shop Tulabaru, are put together with the prettiest lace, ribbons, bows and feathers, with a healthy dose of both wearable-ness and whimsy. April thinks nothing of spending hours upon hours poring over drawers of vintage lace, boxes of trim and spools of ribbon, and then incorporates these vintage materials in her thoroughly modern, flattering designs.

I’m so excited Mighty Swell shoppers will have the chance to nab up all kinds of Tulabaru pieces to wear proudly atop their pretty little heads. Read on to learn more about what handmade loveliness will be available this weekend!

Me: How long have you been creating headbands/hairpieces? What kind of things will you be selling at Mighty Swell?

April: I’ve been creating fascinators and other products for nearly two years now. I’ll be selling handmade fascinators, headbands and barrettes that are made with vintage lace, brooches and other goodies I’ve found and collected over the years.

Me: What kind of vintage materials do you work into your designs?

April: I love working with vintage French and Russian lace—it’s always timeless and elegant.  I also work a lot with feathers, brooches and old silk bows and flowers.

Me: What are the price points for your items?

April: Price points are based on the time and effort required to make the piece as well as the cost of the materials used.  It’s important to me that Tulabaru is affordable for all and most items are priced between $25 and $50, with some goods being sold for under $20.

Me: What are some of your favorite things you’ll be selling?

April: I’ve been experimenting a lot with velvet—velvet bows on clips, headbands and barrettes especially. There’s also a handmade hat that I’ll be selling that I’m particularly fond of… it’s a beautiful sea-foam green with a removable vintage brooch attachment. The brooch can be removed to wear as, well, a brooch or an attachment for a different headband, etc.

Only a limited amount of Tulabaru items will be for sale this weekend, so hustle in Saturday to get first crack at it. (FYI, more sneak peeks of Tulabaru goodies and other items, up for grabs this weekend, are up on our Facebook page. ) April also takes custom orders, so if you have an idea for an original creation, she’s all ears!

Take care lovelies & we’ll see you back here tomorrow…



thrifted ‘fit: britt malec

Hi there!

Yes, I know, you shouldn’t pass judgment on people based solely on their appearance. But when I spotted this fresh-faced gal last weekend, I just *knew* she was cool. And she is! I love how she paired her acid-washed, high-waisted shorts, crisp white blouse and minty belt with those intensely badass, shit-kickers. That trifecta—’90s-girly-grunge-y—is sooo hard to execute, and Miss Britt does it perfectly. (Rhiannon’s also got it down pat, but I pretty much think she’s perfect, so…yeah.)

Anyway, the histories of the pieces of Britt’s thrifty outfit are fantastic, as are her tips for thrift-store shopping (including leads on where to find FREE clothes). I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Me: Where did you get all the pieces of your outfit?

Britt: A lot of the clothes I own have a story, so bear with me. My friend’s dad just bought a house in Northeast, Minneapolis and the attic had been sealed since the late 1970s. When he opened it up, he found bags and bags of old yarn and clothing that belonged to the lady who used to live there. This embroidered top was one of the attic finds.

The blue camisole I had on under it, as well as the socks, belong to my best friend. (We treat each other’s rooms as one collective closet.) The shorts are easily my most complimented upon piece of clothing. They used to be pants, but I cut them after I got them from the Savers on Lake Street last month. The boots used to belong to my friend Rachel. She got them from the drummer in her black metal band who got them from his mom. These boots have seen more punk shows than I could possibly imagine. Most of the jewelry I have used to be my mom’s.

Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Britt: I love Savers.  It’s hit or miss most of the time, but I like it because it’s cheap. I just can’t justify spending a bunch of money on clothing. Also, Diggers (aka the Goodwill outlet in St. Paul) is great.  You pay for things by the pound.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?

Britt: Persistence. It’s also not a big deal to go into a store and not find anything. There is a lot of surplus in this society. Have a clothing swap with your friends, check the free box at Hard Times Café or Seward Café, look inside dumpsters of apartment complexes. We’ve all heard that old adage: One persons trash is another person’s treasure.

Me: What are some of your dream thrift-store finds, like, what would you freak out if you found?

Britt: I don’t usually have something specific in mind when I go, but it would be really nice to find some brown motorcycle boots. I’ve also had a mini fantasy about going to Savers only to find that some punk decided to sell out and give away all their old Crass T-shirts.

Me: Do you have a prized piece of vintage?

Britt: I have a jumper that I found in this abandoned house in West Bend, Wisconsin. It was a giant mu mu from the ’70s but I loved the pattern and the colors so I took it home, washed it twice and sewed it into a one-sy.

Me: Who’s inspiring your personal style right now?

Britt: I’m inspired by all the grandmas of the world, my Mom’s fashion in the 1990s, Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” and “Tank Girl.” [Yep. Grandmas’ styles rule.]

Me: Do you have a favorite summertime classic rock jam? If so, what is it?

Britt: I have been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath lately. And Bruce Springsteen‘s “Spirits in the Night!” [Yesssss!]

Me: What’s left on your summer to-do list?

Britt: So much swimming! And, a camping trip would be nice. I have also  really wanted to have a barbecue while listening to Thin Lizzy. [Um, can I come? I make crazy good baked beans.]

I hope you all have had great Tuesdays! I’m off to meet up with Rae from Bourbon & Lace to talk about a super exciting plan we’re hatching for September. I wish I could tell you about it now, but I’m going to wait until some of the details have been worked out. So. Dang. Excited.



high plains stamp of approval: super friends zine (giveaway closed)

Hi there, and happy Saturday.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Harold, creator of a super awesome zine, with a super awesome name, “Super Friends.”

I’ll admit, I went on quite a bit of a wild goose chase trying to track this fella down in order to interview him for the blog. I’ve been loving his zine ever since I found it at Zinefest last month, and, as a matter-of-fact, so have all of my house guests. I swear, no one can help themselves from picking it up off the coffee table once they take a seat on my couch! It’s irresistible!

Representing just a portion of his collection of photos and notes found while working at a Twin Cities-area thrift store, the 54-page publication is packed with LOL-worthy photos, poignant love notes, unfinished stories and all sorts of other random, found awesomeness. Every time I page through it, I’m comforted (and oddly validated), knowing that someone else has a similar (if not greater) appreciation for discarded photos and random ephemera.

Anyway, after a couple of dead-ends, and a handful of emails, I finally got a chance to talk with Harold about how he got started collecting found photos, his motivation for putting the pub together and to see if he has plans for “Super Friends II.” I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Me: So, we can’t get specific about where you work. But, it is a thrift store, right? What do you do there?

Harold: I work at a thrift store in the Twin Cities area.  I have a wide variety of responsibilities, but I mostly deal with the heavy lifting and truck unloading the no one else wants to deal with.

Me: How did you get started collecting strangers’ photos and notes?

Harold: The collection started when a coworker would find weird photos and write notes on the back to me as if the person in the photo was writing to me.  I started calling them my super friends because it was like I already knew these people and they were friends of mine.

Me:  How do you find these items? In albums? Tucked into pages of books? Pockets?

Harold: When people donate stuff, it’s usually in a cardboard box or a plastic bag.  Usually photos will be in albums, envelopes, or just loose in a box.  I’ll find some when I’m emptying the garbage as well.

Me: What makes something a “keeper?”

Harold: When I started collecting, I would save pretty much any photos that I found.  Now I have high standards of what’s worth keeping.  You gotta go through the checklist.  Is there a nipple showing?  Are they wearing an adult diaper?  The funnier the better.

Me: There are quite a few websites dedicated to showcasing hilarious photos similar to what you’ve found. Have you ever thought of starting a blog or website with your finds? Do you have any photo sites you like to visit?

Harold: I like Awkward Family Photos and Found Magazine (Dirty Found in particular) but I’ve never really had any plans to make a website.  Maybe when I have more free time in the future.

Me: How big is your collection of found stuff? Do you organize it in any particular way?

Harold: Right now I have two photo albums of my favorite pictures, a folder stuffed with notes and drawings, a couple diaries, and a plastic bag of photos that I don’t consider album worthy.

Me: Do you have plans to make a “Super Friends II?” Please say yes.

Harold: I don’t have any plans to make a second “Super Friends.”  I wanted to make one big zine with all my favorite photos rather than two or three smaller issues.

Me: What other zines/projects do you work on?

Harold: My friend Adam and I have been making a variety of zines over the past eleven years, starting with a skateboarding magazine in high school.  Nowadays the zines I make are mostly humor-related.  Outside of zines I do a lot of painting and T-shirt printing.

Me: Where can people get “Super Friends?”

Harold: The zine isn’t for sale at any stores.  I will have a table of zines and other goods at the Walker Art Center for the mnartists.org Field Day on August 19th.  Other than that, people can email me if they are interested in getting a copy (subtitlespub@yahoo.com).

And now, another giveaway!

Oh-so-generously, Harold’s offered up two copies of “Super Friends” to High Plains readers. Awesome, right? All you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered to win. I’ll be picking the two lucky winners Thursday night, and will announce the winners on Friday!

Good luck, friends! Hope y’all have had super weekends so far.



‘thrifty ‘fits & an awesome giveaway: whittney & lauren kebschull of spilled milk factory

Hey you!

Today’s going to be great. Why? Because I get to introduce Whittney and Lauren Kebschull, and their creative brain child, Spilled Milk Factory, to y’all.

For their collection of beaded jewelry and fabric accessories, this sassy pair of sisters looks back to by-gone eras and indigenous cultures, and the ending results are spot-on modern (not to mention all kinds of awesome). Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down for some fries & conversation about our shared love of thrifting and vintage, how they work together as sister-friends and what’s on tap for Spilled Milk this summer. I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Did I mention they put together a kick-ass giveaway for y’all?

Well, they did. (Details ’bout that are at the end of the post!) Without further ado…

Meet Whittney and Lauren!

About their styles…

Me: What has inspired you fashion-wise?

Lauren: If I could dress like anyone it would be Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair. But in real life, I’m drawn to comfortable clothes and uncommon brands. Rarely do I buy anything new. When I thrift , I’m drawn to vintage pieces, but I do have a secret love for J. Crew. Their stuff is so timeless and easy to accessorize.

Whittney: When it comes to my style, I try to incorporate a bunch of eras and cultures. The one movie that always sticks out in my mind is Out of Africa. Meryl Streep has so much class, yet a masculine edge that is very attractive. Even Robert Redford…I would love to take a stroll in his shoes and trousers for a day.

Me: You both know the value of thoughtful accessorizing. What are your tips?

Lauren: Don’t try too hard. Try not to match everything you’re wearing. Little flashes of colors are eye-catching and add interest to even simple outfits. Finding accessories at craft fairs or thrift stores is great because they’re most often affordable and you’re unlikely to see anyone wearing the same thing.

Whittney: I’d agree with the don’t try too hard thing. You have to be comfortable with what you’re wearing, or it won’t come off as fashion, but more like your closet has projectile vomited on you.

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Thrifting tips…

Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Lauren: I love Digger’s for old sweaters and I always find something handy at a Unique Thrift ( my favorite one’s on Rice St.) Grand Addictions in St.Paul is my favorite place to find vintage buttons. As a Duluth native, I like to hit up thrifts there when I go back to visit.

Whittney: I have to say there aren’t too many thrifts  in the Minneapolis area that I find outstanding. They all get ransacked pretty fast. I stick to a shopping mostly at garage, yard and estate sales. If you can get out to the ‘burbs, I have found some pretty amazing stuff at Valu Thrift in White Bear.

Me: What are some of your essentials for a day of thrifting?

Lauren: I try to bring a list so I remember what I’m looking for. There are so many basic little things I should get from Target, but will go to Savers first to see if they have them there. Tablecloths, tea candles, serving dishes—simple stuff like that. Having a list helps.

Whittney: Water, music and good shoes. I’m getting old and can’t be prancing around in heels. Give me some SAS-style granny shoes and I am a thrifting machine.

Me: What are some of your dream thrift-store finds, like, what would you freak out if you found?

Lauren: Vintage Buttons and fabric to re-purpose for Spilled Milk —our hoods, bags and scarves are all made with thrifted fabric and accented with old buttons. Honestly, I could look at old buttons for hours. I think they’re gorgeous and all so unique.

Whittney: I have already experienced absolute thrift-utopia! It wasn’t a thrift store but a yard sale across the street from my house. Dresses beyond dresses, all in my size! It was hard to control myself, but I would up buying five immaculate vintage dresses for $4 each. The people who were putting on the sale hundreds of antiques sitting in their basement from previous generations in the family. Everything was unbelievably cheap and super rare …they were my fairy godmothers for a day.

About Spilled Milk Factory…

Me: Tell me about Spilled Milk Factory. How did you get started, what do you make, what inspires you creatively?

Lauren: At the most basic level, we started Spilled Milk Factory so we could make things. We both like beading, sewing, fashion, thrifting and vintage, and all of those likes to give us a reason to make things. In our beadwork, we’re inspired the colors and patterns of Native American and African designs. For the sewn accessories we’re looking to create designs that are interesting and functional, like cozy hoods, wallets and fabric necklaces.

Whittney: Lauren initially started Spilled Milk and as usual, I hopped on the bandwagon. Our work is very complementary to one another. She is the realistic one and I like to go a little overboard.

Me: Where can people buy your stuff?

Lauren: You can find out work at I Like You in Northeast Minneapolis and Gallery 360 in Edina. We will be at the Red Hot Art Festival this Saturday (July 31) and Sunday (August 1) and at the Caffetto Craft Fair, also on Sunday, August 1st. You can find the most up-to-date information on our Facebook page. We’re hoping to get a website up-and-running before the end of the year, too. Fingers crossed!

Click here to see more pics of Spilled Milk Factory’s lovely creations, including wristlets, totes, cozy hoods, fabric necklaces and of course, gorgeous beaded jewelry.

And now, my favorite part, the giveaway!

So, how would you like to WIN a pair of earrings or beaded necklace made especially for you? It’d be awesome right? Well, all you have to do is stop by Spilled Milk Factory’s booth at either the Red Hot Art Festival or Caffetto Craft Fair, both happening THIS WEEKEND, and mention “High Plains Thrifter.” The girls will jot down your name and address, and will pick a winner at random next week. Easy right?!?!

I hope you enjoyed the interview and are fully motivated to swing by the art fairs to meet these two sweeties in person.

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured on the blog, email me at hpthrifter@gmail.com.

I would love to hear from you!



thrifty ‘fit: brett von schlosser

Howdy, and happy Friday!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my pal Brett, comic book artist, print-maker, librarian and super-star thrifter.

Me: First off, where’d you get all the pieces of your outfit?

Brett: Well, I guess I’ll start by saying a few years ago I worked as a donations sorter for Value Village Thrift Store. It was a really great job for getting first crack at weird items. I got the belt and the buckle that way along with countless other items. My pants and jacket are also both from Value and my shirt was my dad’s. The Popeye watch was found at a flea market and given to me by an ex of mine.

The buttons and patches I wear are often made by friends of mine and given to me. This patch in particular I got in New York a few years ago, at the MOCCA convention. It’s a patch by Gary Panter. He says it was his proposed design for the Twin Towers monument, intended to strike fear into the hearts of America’s enemies.

Me: Who inspires your style?
Brett: I like Western wear and work wear, especially work clothes from the ’60s or ’70s. Dickies shirts—I like the utilitarian look of stuff like that.  And simple inexpensive Levis, Lee or Wrangler jeans—those kinds always seem to fit me best.
Though not thrift stores, Schatzlein and Kaplan Brothers, both on Lake Street, are great stores. And those Mexican shops on East Lake? You can find some interesting belt buckles there. I have a few. I used to have one with a rodeo clown on it, but it broke last fall and I am still grieving the loss.
Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Brett: Value Village in Richfield. It’s a great place. Richfield is my hometown, and it’s ranch-style houses all have attic crawl spaces and basements full of strange stuff from the’ 50s, ’60s and ’70s. So Value Village is always a place where I’m able to find unique and unusual items. And it’s run by the nonprofit ARC, a great organization to support with your money.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting? Any advice you learned from being behind-the-scenes?

Brett: Thrifting for clothes is kind of difficult for me. I am a big dude, I think here in the Midwest large men wear our clothes till we are done with them and rarley donate anything. So when I go hunting, I try and just look at the sizes and see if there is anything I could wear. I don’t bother getting sidetracked looking at stuff that looks cool. It’ll only be depressing when I see that great vintage maroon suit is sized only for a Dio- or Frankie Vali-sized man.

Also, I try to get in and out quickly if I can’t find anything. Otherwise I get that thing where I’m wandering around looking at random stuff video game cartridges for systems I don’t have, or a dirty plastic kids table mummified in Garbage Pail Kids stickers. And suddenly I’m like “hmmm…well, maybe I actually want this stupid thing and what if it’s not be here next time” and then I accidentally buy something I don’t need at all.

I am a dude whose home is filled with loads of wacky weird stuff, suffice to say many people’s trash is my treasure. It may be beautiful garbage, but I just don’t have room for more. I have to remind myself to be a discriminating collector, not a hoarding amass-er.

Me: You’re kind of a comic-making genius. Will you be at Zinefest tomorrow? What projects are you working on now? Where can people check out your work?

Brett: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Zinefest, but I will be at the Minneapolis Indie Expo on August 21st at the Soap Factory. Comic books are the great passion in my life. Currently Kelly Krantz, Tim Sievert and I have been making a fantasy adventure nerdstravaganza series called “The Intrepideers.” If I don’t screw up anything, our fourth issue will be debuting at the expo in August.

Unfortunately, I am bad at websites and keeping them alive, but I’m  good with  plants, so maybe that makes up for the difference? Tim is so much better than me in the Web department, and information about “The Intrepideers” can be found on his site and also, here.

Copies of our comics are available at Big Brain Comics and here.

Me: Of course I have to ask you something about music…Do you have a favorite, summer-is-here-let’s-party classic rock anthem?

Brett: Yes, Wig Wam Bam by Sweet. That song has magical properties.

[Dear God, he’s right. This video is amazing!]

Me: Lastly, what are some of your dream thrift-store finds. Like, what would you freak out if you found?

Brett: It’s hard to say. The great thing about thrifting is never knowing what you will find. However if you see any  clown belt buckles, cheap plastic Halloween masks (this type) or any madballs, let me know….

Will do, man! I hope you all enjoyed our little Q & A!

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured on High Plains Thrifter, shoot me an email at hpthrifter@gmail.com!



thrifted ‘fit: april swinson

Hey y’all!

I’m so pleased to introduce you, dear readers, to my Blingo-loving buddy, April Swinson. This gal’s a ball of sunshine—beautiful, bright and filled to the brim with all kinds of talents. From writing catchy ad copy to crafting ridiculously adorable headbands for her ever-popular Etsy shop, this little lady does everything with an easy wit and generous spirit. Did I mention she whips up out-of-this-world cupcakes on the regular? Because, yeah, she does that, too.

April’s no stranger to many of the Twin Cities best thrift store spots, and her always stylish wardrobe includes many a second-hand treasure, including the summery ‘fit pictured below.

Shirt, Downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army, $1
Vintage skirt, Tatters Clothing, $12
Seychelles shoes, Minneapolis Downtown Salvation Army, $1.99 [Seychelles for $2!!! SO jealous!]
Vintage purse, Blacklist Vintage, $18
Locket necklace, an adorable antique store in Stillwater, $8

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?
April: The Downtown Salvation Army gets me every single time.  It’s a great stop for clothes, cute, cheap shoes and even old furniture. In terms of vintage stores I’m quite fond of Blacklist Vintage—it’s a great place to play dress up and they have, hands down, the best hat and fascinator collection in town.  Oh, and I shan’t fail to mention that the little ladies that run the place are always so very pleasant and charming.  I miss their cozy old location, but their new one will do just fine too, I suppose.

Me: Your house and closet are full of awesome thrifted goodies. What are you top tips for successful thrifting?
April: A. Take your time, don’t be afraid to dig and disregard the current context. Much of the time, if I simply see something on the shelf or in a bin, I’m not all that excited about it. I have to think about how something would look either being worn (paired with something I already have in my closet) or on my shelf in my home if I’m looking at housewares, etc. It’s easy for things to look dusty, dingy and drab in a thrift store, but part of the fun of thrifting is realizing the potential in old, forgotten or disregarded items.

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of vintage clothing?
April: I have a set of kerchiefs that my grandmother gave me that I simply adore.  They are so feminine and proper, but I rarely drop one into my purse because they are so precious to me.  Since being the proud owner of said handkerchiefs, I can say confidently that no gal should be without at least one.

Me: What’s on your thrifting wish list?
April: I’m not one to swoon over labels and brands, but I’ve seen not one, but two vintage Coach wallets recently that were purchased by my friends from a thrift store and I’ve convinced myself that I need one too.  An old, pretty brown one with a clasp at the top would be perfect.  If you see one anywhere, let me know. [You got it, girl!]

Me: It’s summer! What are you excited to do?
April: See ponies! I’ve only been to Canterbury once, but I’m hooked and I’m really looking forward to going back and betting on the horses with clever names. Admittedly, I know close to nothing about horse racing and have nothing else to go off of. [I was there, and yes, picking the best names was indeed her strategy. I admittedly fared no better, though, betting only on horses from my home state.] I’m also excited to grow a few things of my own. Unfortunately, I don’t own a home and my gardening prowess and space is limited, but I purchased a beautiful lettuce and tomato plant a few weeks ago that I’m pretty jazzed about.

Me: Your Tulabaru shop is clean sold out, girl! What are some of the new things you’re working on? And please say you’ll be restocking soon!
April: Oh, poor Tulabaru.  It has been somewhat tossed to the side over the past few months for more important, yet less fun, tasks that life has demanded. But! That’s all about to change. There will be new items up for sale on Etsy in no time at all. [Yessss!] A few weeks ago, I picked up some beautiful vintage brooches and lace that I’m really excited to use for hair pins and headbands.  I’ve also been making a lot of big, billowy bows that I’d like to incorporate more. Another goal is to make more items for all of the kiddos out there.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think every little girl should have a bow, ribbon or headband to wear proudly atop her head.

Isn’t she a sweetie? I put together a little slide show so you can take a peek at more pics from our little photo session. Some of the photos stars include Joe (garage owner), Kiki (adorable husky), cops (arresting someone for a DUI) and an awesome 1946 Dodge Ram that I’m utterly gaga over.

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If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured, please shoot me an email!


Well, I’m off to spend a couple hours in the company of this very special little gal.

Aaaaand, if that wasn’t enough fun for a day, it’s Wednesday which means tonight I’ll be eating nachos, drinking Pacificos and catching up with a handful of my favorite ladies (minus one, who is hanging out with her Grandpa-in-law-to-be…we’ll miss you Jamie!)!!

I <3 nacho night!!!

I hope you all have lovely Wednesdays!



wardrobe remix: tara sloane

Whoa, did this this weekend go by waaay too fast for anyone else?

To ease our collective “Monday-is-here-and-it-sucks” pain, here’s a a fun lil Q&A with Tara Sloane, intern extraordinaire.  Typically at work, I’m too preoccupied with trying to cross things off my never-ending to-do list to notice a whole lot, much less what the interns are wearing. Tara’s adorable style, however, caught my eye. Perfectly broken-in cowboy boots, vintage high-waisted skirts, flirty floral prints—there’s no way I was going to let her internship end without featuring her pretty self.

Me: Where’d you get all the pieces of your outfit?
Tara: The blouse and necklace are from my grandma’s closet. She’s saved every piece of clothing she’s owned since probably the ’60s. The skirt is from My Sister’s Closet on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Tights are Topshop and the boots were my grandpa’s old work boots. The glasses are from Savers.

Me: Where would you wear this outfit?

Tara: Class (who says all college gals have to wear Victoria’s Secret Pink sweats?), interning, bookstore or art gallery browsing, wherever I feel the need to look “all grown up.”

Me: You mentioned you get a lot of clothes from your grandma. That’s awesome. Tell me a little about her and her style. What are some of your favorite finds from her closet? If you’re not the same size, what are your tricks for making her clothes work for you?

Tara: From what I gather, my grandma was quite the fashionista. My grandpa used to do a lot of shopping for her, and he has excellent taste. My grandma was always all dolled up. The things I find are mostly classic feminine—satin blouses, floral skirts, housedresses, cardigans.

It’s hit or miss with what fits me. I can’t wear any of her shoes or boots (I have big feet, sigh.), and a lot of things are too big or the styles are too long. I alter a lot of floor-length skirts so that they’re shorter and I belt some of the dresses and blouses so I actually have a waistline. But I love over-sized sweaters, so I”m in the clear there. My favorite thing is a yellow, blue, red and white-striped mod dress. It’s short, kind of jumper-like and zips up the front. Of course I wear it with very Twiggy eyeliner. And get a lot of bizarre looks on the bus.

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of vintage clothing? If so, what is it?

Tara: My grandpa’s boots! I think I’ve given them almost as much wear as he did. I’m also obsessed with my grey tweed Moffat blazer. I like to think these pieces go with just about everything.

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?

Tara: Blacklist Vintage, hands down. I could spend all day in there. Their collections of reinvented vintage are always so fun and quirky, they have the greatest hats and the selection of retro knick knacks (Lite Brite, anyone?) is to die for. They also have a Ms. Pac Man game upstairs you can play for free.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?

Tara: I guess it’s no different from shopping anywhere else, but don’t buy something unless you absolutely love it. And don’t buy vintage designer just because it’s designer. My grandma has this white and navy Oscar de la Renta cardigan I’ve been trying to make work for years but it won’t. I think it’ll always be frumpy.

Me: Do you have a go-to outfit, something you can throw on anytime and always feel great?

Tara: My friend made me a skirt from this jewel-toned purple fabric we found (surprise, surprise) at my grandma’s. Maybe it’s because she made it for me, or maybe it’s because nobody else in the world has one like it, but I feel so fabulous in that skirt. Plus I can dress it up or down, which is always a plus.

Me: What’s your favorite classic rock song?

Tara: I have been known to belt Queen’s “Somebody to Love” at obnoxious volumes when I need a pick-me-up.

Me: What are you excited about this spring? Any shows? Trips?

Tara: Graduation! Now the fun part of trying to make it as a journalist (ha.) I’m more excited for summer, though, for outdoor shows, music festivals and freckles. I love Minneapolis in the summer because we have to cram in as many outdoor events as possible before it gets cold again. It’s so exciting. A friend and I are also road-tripping to Chicago for Lollapalooza.

Me: Last but not least, are your glasses real?

Tara: No…busted! They’re from Savers, and I wore them to a costume party purely for frivolity’s sake. Then I wore them one night while I was studying, and somehow they just stuck. Now I guess I feel too ordinary or something without them.

Both photos were taken by the very talented Tate Carlson.
Thanks, Tate!

Don’t miss Tara’s article on Uptown’s Cult Status Gallery in the June issue of METRO magazine. It’s a great write-up about the new unique, much buzzed-about art venue.

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured, email me!


I hope your week is off to a lovely start! Be back later this week with a useful, money-saving how-to.



wardrobe remix: Annie D’Souza

Happy Friday y’all!

I’m proud to present you with my first outfit profile. My goal with these is to introduce you to thrifty Twincy residents with unique styles that are complemented with thrift-store finds. Truth be told, I’m kind of a lazy dresser by nature, but I’ve learned a lot by seeing how other people, more motivated than me, put their ensembles together. Hopefully these posts will provide you with some creative inspiration, too.

Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

The stylish lady pictured is Annie D’Souza, who, when she’s not trotting off to India or flash mobbing at the Vancouver Olympics, runs a blog about fashion, music and food. And writes. And does yoga. And while we may not have the same opinions on music (see below), we definitely share the view that thrifting= awesome.

Outfit Details

’80s silk blouse: Savers on Lake Street
Skirt: clothing swap
Frye wedge heels: clothing swap
Belt: ValuThrift in East St. Paul
Red purse by Francesco Biasia: My Sister’s Closet on Grand Ave.
Necklace: Rewind Vintage
Serpent earrings and ring: estate sale
Bracelet: garage sale

Me: Where would you wear this outfit?
Annie: A downtown happy hour where I pretend that I don’t work from home in my pajamas all day.

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?
Annie: I love Rewind Vintage, especially for jewelry, purses and belts. I always leave with something that I convince myself I need. I also like digging through the big places like Savers, Value Village and ValuThrift because you never know when a pair of designer jeans or a smart vintage dress is going to pop up for $9.99!

Me: What trends are you hating right now? Which ones are you loving?
Annie: I hate fake glasses. Why?! Just, why? And, although I’m scared to admit this, I kind of like shoulder pads.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?
Annie: Don’t rush it. You never know what you will find (or won’t find), so have patience and a free afternoon. It’s also nice to go with a friend whose style differs from yours so that you won’t be drawn to exactly the same things.

Me:  What’s your favorite classic rock album?
Annie: I’m not a fan of classic rock (High Plains Thrifter heresy, I know). I have been rocking a lot of classic ’60s bossa nova and French folk lately. For me, Astrud Gilberto and Françoise Hardy are musical and style icons.

Me: What are your favorite springtime activities?
Annie: The St. Paul Farmer’s Market, fish tacos at Sea Salt, garage sales…the concert calendars start to pick up in the spring too!

photos: louisa marion photography

Well, there you have it! Many thanks to Annie for playing along and Louisa for snapping the pics.

If you live in the Twin Cities and would like to be  “remixed,” email me!

I would love, love, love to hear from you!


I hope the fleeting hours of the work week go quickly and easily for y’all. Anyone have fun Easter-weekend plans? I’m going to try to: not go overboard on these, play with the should-I-buy-this camera, thrift Saturday morning (working on my big bro’s b-day present), have Ashley over for coffee, not have petty arguments with my mom and maybe, if I can kick this stupid cold, head down to First Avenue to see this band tomorrow (Hint: They’re not Spoon!).