Shop’s owner has passion
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.