Audra Frizzell. Photo by TJ Turner.
Whether dressed in a 1970s ivory leisure suit with a silk scarf draped around her neck or a 1960s floral frock with oversized white sunglasses, Audra Frizzell wears her love for vintage clothing on her sleeve—literally.
After a dozen years behind the jewelry counter at Via’s Vintage, a retro mainstay of Uptown Minneapolis, she has stepped out on her own with the Golden Pearl Vintage. During her tenure at Via’s, Frizzell, who has studied costume and apparel design, learned a lot about how a vintage business operates, including what kind of merchandise to sell. “Just because it’s vintage doesn’t mean it’s cute, and doesn’t mean people should wear it again,” she says.
The Golden Pearl is dedicated to elegant gowns, glittery party dresses, and all things fancy—from hats to shoes, and everything in between. Merchandise spans the ’30s to the ’90s, though the Me Decade currently dominates the selections. The store also carries a selection of menswear, and offers in-house tailoring services.
Before opening, the East Hennepin Avenue space underwent a months-long renovation in which Frizzell tore out the carpeting, refinished its original wood floors, and restored its 15-foot tin ceilings, which she painted white with gold trim.
With its 1970s styling and Art Deco decor, from its salmon-pink, seashell-shaped chairs to its curved brass light fixtures, the shop is a decadent blend of what Frizzell refers to as “Deco-disco, with a nautical, leisure vibe.” The icing on the cake is a glittering, rectangular chandelier that serves as the store’s centerpiece, said to have once hung in a south Minneapolis Holiday Inn.
For those who haven’t ventured into wearing vintage, Frizzell suggests starting with jewelry and accessories. Like the store’s chandelier: “they’re a good way to sprinkle some glamor into your look.”
The Golden Pearl Vintage, 507A E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-378-3978, goldenpearlvintage.com