A visitor discovers a vocation
Former buyer found passion, now is shop owner of east Austin’s Charm School Vintage.
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.