Shop’s owner has pas­sion

Lo­cal

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360 DAILY - CONTRIBUTED pho­TOS by LORY PINEIRO D DO AS THE LO­CALS DO! Con­tact Ari­anna Au­ber at 445-3630.

Street five years ago.

“I’m in­trigued by the his­tory that we can trace through clothes, through what peo­ple wore dur­ing a cer­tain time. What we wear says a lot about us eco­nom­i­cally, cul­tur­ally, po­lit­i­cally, who we are as a peo­ple,” Ger­sten­berger said.

Af­ter a cou­ple years at Buf­falo Ex­change, she Each week we’ll bring you rec­om­men­da­tions from no­table Aus­tinites on what you’ve just got to check out — from in­sider tips on where to catch the best live mu­sic to where to find the best Tex-Mex. ac­cepted a job buy­ing fur­ni­ture and cloth­ing for an­other vin­tage shop, Hog Wild, on North Loop Boule­vard. The gig turned out to be prep­ping her for the chance to run her own lo­cal bou­tique, and that chance ar­rived in 2010.

Charm School Vin­tage is but one of more than a dozen vin­tage stores in Austin, Ger­sten­berger said, and it’s a close-knit com­mu­nity that helps each other out.

“Our in­ven­to­ries each have their own taste, so we aren’t com­pet­ing,” she said of the ar­ray of vin­tage shops in town, which in­clude some of her fa­vorites, such as Laced with Ro­mance on South First Street, Room Ser­vice Vin­tage on North Loop Boule­vard and Feath­ers Bou­tique on South Congress Av­enue. “Feath­ers refers cus­tomers to me, I’ll send them to Feath­ers. Our main goal is to help the cus­tomer.”

Find­ing just the right out­fit for each of her cus- tomers is a spe­cial knack Ger­sten­berger has, and although the mad hol­i­day shop­ping rush doesn’t really af­fect vin­tage shops — in part be­cause their clothes are non­re­turn­able — she’s see­ing it as the time of year for her to sell coats, jew­elry and other ac­ces­sories.

If she’s not at the shop, she’s of­ten some­where else in East Austin, din­ing out at the Yel­low Jacket So­cial Club or Jus­tine’s, for ex­am­ple, or catch­ing an art show at gal­leries such as Tiny Park or Domy.

“I live in Hyde Park, but all of the most in­ter­est­ing things are hap­pen­ing on the east side,” Ger­sten­berger said. “It’s the most vi­brant neigh­bor­hood, and Ce­sar Chavez (where Charm School Vin­tage is lo­cated) em­bod­ies that per­fectly.”

Lory Pineiro makes fine hand­crafted jew­elry.

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