Autumn has arrived, meaning fall style is officially in full swing. This season, shape a wardrobe that is just as stylish as it is sustainable. Tandem Vintage is filled to the brim with one-of-kind timeless finds, including a wide array of clothing, accessories and home goods. Earlier this month, owner Amanda Baumann officially opened her first standalone brick-and-mortar shop in the quaint Kingfield neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Here, she chats with us about her affinity for vintage, gives some easy tips for secondhand shopping and more.
What inspired you to open your own vintage store?
I’ve been wanting to open my own shop for a long time. However, there are a lot of elements that needed to come together for this to happen, like a good location, affordability and timing. I got very lucky when a friend told me this space was going to be available, and I hopped on the opportunity immediately. The stars aligned, and I got the perfect space in a wonderful and welcoming neighborhood surrounded by a whole bunch of other women-owned businesses. I am so incredibly grateful.
What does shopping secondhand mean to you?
Shopping secondhand means buying items that are not new. I try to only buy secondhand. I am typically dressed head to toe in secondhand and vintage. When I was sourcing fixtures for the shop, I was able to thrift most of it. I also found some stellar pieces from local sellers at Southside Vintage and Bauer Bros.
How is your own style infused into Tandem Vintage?
Since I am picking out each piece that comes into the shop, I obviously love it all. I don’t buy something if I wouldn’t wear it. I have an eclectic sense of style and love mixing prints, colors and patterns. My racks are like bright, beautiful rainbows.
What can customers expect to find in your new store?
At Tandem, customers will find vintage in a range of sizes and styles. Everything has been cleaned and steamed, so you can wear items right off the rack. I also have shoes, bags, housewares, cute knickknacks and kids’ clothing. I love funny coffee mugs, animal planters, baskets, blankets and anything brass.
What are some of your favorite items to thrift and rehome?
I love buying items for our home. Some of my favorite finds are lamps, quilts, curtains, books and records.
How does shopping secondhand play into a more sustainable future for us all?
Shopping secondhand means less product is going into landfills and ending up in the ocean. It means you are not part of the cycle of fast fashion. It means looking at what you already own and getting creative with outfits. Fast fashion relies on us as consumers to buy more and buy frequently to stay up on what’s currently trending. This leads to over-consumption of a lot of poorly made clothing that we don’t need.
Where you spend your money matters. I try to support as many local brands and other vintage sellers as I can. I try to be extremely thoughtful when I make a purchase, even when thrifting: Do I need this cardigan? Do I have anything similar already?
What’s your top tip for incorporating vintage pieces into your wardrobe?
For more than a decade now, I have been hearing that people can’t wear vintage because it’s so small. I am nearly six feet tall and wear a large or extra large in modern sizing, and I only wear vintage (OK, 95% vintage).
Vintage is not just for one type of body; it can be worn by all genders and sizes. Incorporating vintage can be as easy as adding a classic bag or a pair of block-heel mules. I love a vintage tee with a pair of high-waisted jeans and an oversize cardigan. Or you can throw on a long floral vintage dress with a cute sweater vest layered on top and call it a day. You can slowly add vintage to your closet.