A vis­i­tor dis­cov­ers a vo­ca­tion

Former buyer found pas­sion, now is shop owner of east Austin’s Charm School Vin­tage.

Austin American-Statesman - - LIFE & ARTS - Byari­anna Au­ber aauber@states­man.com Lo­cal Where to buy Fleegal Farms, South Austin Soap, Austin Silly Soap,

When Shari Ger­sten­berger first came to Austin in 2007, she planned to stay for only a sum­mer. She cer­tainly didn’t in­tend to run a small vin­tage cloth­ing shop on the east side of town — but now she couldn’t imag­ine do­ing any­thing else.

As the owner of East Ce­sar Chavez Street’s Charm School Vin­tage, a bou­tique that shares space with Sa­lon d’Etoile and Coco Co­quette, a wig and cos­met­ics shop, Ger­sten­berger care­fully cu­rates all of the clothes, shoes and ac­ces­sories found in the front two rooms of a con­verted house, stocked full with se­quined tops, leather boots and Vic­to­rian-era frocks. She’s also of­ten be­hind the counter, ready to help cus­tomers find the per­fect party out­fit or sum­mer dress, and she han­dles the store’s so­cial me­dia.

De­spite so much time de­voted to her fash­ion mecca, she never tires of it or looks for an un­re­lated hobby. That’s be­cause she found a pas­sion for vin­tage clothes when she worked as a buyer for the Buf­falo Ex­change on Guadalupe All th­ese ar­ti­san soap com­pa­nies sell at their on­line shops as well as at sev­eral lo­cal re­tail­ers. For a com­plete list of re­tail­ers, visit their web­sites.

flee­gal­farms. 3dcart­stores.com You can also find Fleegal Farms at the Blue Ge­nie Art Bazaar through Dec. 24. southaustin­peo­ple.com South Austin Soap also sells at the SFC Farm­ers’Mar­ket down­town on Satur­days. austin­sillysoap.com Find Austin Silly Soap at Whole Foods Mar­ket at 525 N. La­mar Blvd.

Shari Ger­sten­berger can’t help but mix busi­ness with plea­sure at Charm School Vin­tage, her small vin­tage cloth­ing shop in East Austin, be­cause she loves her job.

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