Standing outside St. Cloud’s new vintage store, you can’t be prepared for what you’re about to see.
Owner and curator Quint Warren provided a little clue in the form of a sign on the door: “Please don’t touch the toys on display … and get ready to relive the 90s.”
Inside, the store is full of vintage clothing and decorated with memorabilia from the ’90s. While they generate considerable interest, Warren said, his vintage toys are not for sale. The atmosphere is amplified by return tunes which pulsate pleasantly in the background.
Warren opened Back to Vintage in February 2020. He had been selling and trading vintage clothing for several years, and interest in his offerings grew over time, Warren said.
Unique nostalgic fashion
Warren said he liked the rarity of this area of fashion.
“I like being able to put on a shirt knowing that I won’t see anyone else wearing it,” he said.
His “bread and butter” is the huge collection of t-shirts he has for sale at Back to Vintage. Over 600 band shirts run the gamut from vintage to current stuff, and artists featured range from country and rap to hip-hop and Britney. (For the uninitiated, that would be Britney Spears.)
Warren said he tries to cater for a variety of tastes in his store.
“People come here and they love it,” Warren said. “It’s such a variety. And I hear that so much – I’ve got a crazy variety.”
Most of his clients find him on social media or through word of mouth, Warren said. They come because “everything in the store is unique”.
Emma Binsfeld, 17, like several of Warren’s clients, discovered Back to Vintage via TikTok.
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Her taste for vintage fashion has grown over the past year, she says, and she hunts thrift stores in town or the Twin Cities for her vintage finds.
Binsfeld said she liked Back to Vintage providing other options for buyers in St. Cloud.
“I think it’s cool to have a place like this so accessible rather than having to shop online or have to travel elsewhere,” she said.
What about vintage prices?
The popularity of vintage fashion resurfaced in 2020, but Warren said opening a vintage store in an area where there are no others like his means he’s also educated a lot.
“This is what I accepted,” he said.
The most common question from customers, he said, is how vintage sellers come up with a price.
He explains that shirts from the 1990s are now 30-year-old shirts, he said. Their value increases with condition, quality, rarity and, of course, popularity.
An example: some vintage shirts are small. This means that it is not uncommon for more and more people to look for larger sizes, especially as most people are looking for a looser fit for their vintage shirts. That means an XL shirt can cost $ 100 to $ 150 more than the same shirt in a smaller size, Warren said.
While everything on his main clothes racks sells for $ 100 or less, he has a display wall behind the cash register that features larger items.
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Back to Vintage is open from noon to 7 pm Tuesday through Saturday at 3807 W. St. Germain St. Customers can buy, sell and trade vintage items in store. Warren posts new material on social media.
“I connect people with vintage fashion in an area where there is no vintage fashion,” Warren said.
Sarah Kocher is the business reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Contact her at 320-255-8799 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @SarahAKocher.
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