Tandem Vintage – Timelessness Is Always On Trend

Photo courtesy of Adrian Steinbach
Photo courtesy of Adrian Steinbach

The whole world’s a stage, but for many it’s a runway. I certainly feel that way, every day. Especially now, as temperatures drop, it lends itself to the opportunity to stomp around and flaunt those new fashion finds. If you’re shopping with a more conscious mind, there’s a wonderful new shop in Kingfield, Minneapolis, to help you dress to impress this winter season. 

It takes over 1,800 gallons of water to produce a new pair of jeans. Don’t do that. When you shop Tandem Vintage, you look—and feel—good, because vintage and sustainability go hand-in-hand. A believer in karma and kindness, thoughtful master-thifter and Tandem owner Amanda Baumann loves every aspect about running her vintage clothing shop. Besides being the only person I have ever met that loves to do laundry and is a genius at removing stains, she adores helping customers find what makes them feel good. You can feel the “love and joy come through” in the colorful and meticulously curated items when you enter the store. 

Tandem Vintage is the result of a tedious and time-consuming search for the perfect retail space, and the hustle to build a vintage collection with a coast-to-coast following. For the last 15 years, when Baumann first joined the selling scene, Tandem and its previous iterations could be found at different pop-ups in coffee shops, donut shops, hair salons, and at few resident stays in existing clothing stores. For Baumann, though, the journey to owning her own shop has never felt like work. On days off, and even on her birthday, you’ll find a caffeinated Baumann sourcing for herself and for the store.

Photo courtesy of Adrian Steinbach

Baumann believes that fashion should be fun. “People sometimes take it too seriously or think about it too much,” she says. It’s time to let go, open your mind—and closet—to the possibilities and environmental (and humanitarian) benefits of vintage and slow fashion. And Baumann believes that we should “wear whatever you want, and wear what makes you feel good.” She dreams for customers to come in “who can be playful, like colors, and are open to trying new things.”

For local LGBTQ entrepreneurs to open their own brick-and-mortars is an inspiring triumph. So far, the launch of Tandem has “been going really well.” Baumann reports that she’s experienced only a positive reception: “All of the shop owners around here have made an effort to come introduce themselves and welcome me to the neighborhood.” As a queer small business owner at an intersection that has seven woman-owned businesses, there are multiple reasons you’re going to want to check it out.

“There’s a lot of buzz around buying more sustainably and thinking about where things are made, how they’re made, and who’s making them,” says Baumann. “In line with shopping ethically, I think vintage is under that umbrella, and in turn it has grown in popularity.” She lives almost entirely a secondhand lifestyle. Everything she owns, wears and uses has been thrifted. There are enormous landfills dedicated to just clothing discarded from the U.S.—Tandem Vintage offers an opportunity to do your part to support local business and shop sustainably.  

Photo courtesy of Adrian Steinbach

Tandem can also serve as your one-stop shop this holiday season. They sell clothing for all bodies and genders, and, in addition, they have a variety of items for one’s home, from vintage coffee table books to vintage seasonal and holiday items. It’s not all vintage either, Tandem carries some “secondhand modern pieces I think are cute,” Baumann admits. Tandem plans to host local makers selling their wares and a queer-themed t-shirt line, sporting screen prints like “Trans Is Beautiful” and “So Gay I Can’t Even Think Straight”. 

The holiday season usually brings about a busy social schedule. Tandem offers many festive fashion services for helping you spread secondhand cheer and reaching your full feel-good potential. Baumann is “always happy to do styling appointments to work with people one-on-one,” as well as rent vintage pieces out for events, photoshoots and runway shows. 

Even if it’s your own personal runway show, walking down the street, at work, or home for the holidays, you’ll be doing good and looking fresh.

Tandem Vintage can be found in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis, at 316 W 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55409, at www.tandemvintage.com and @tandemvintage on Instagram and Facebook. 

Photo courtesy of Adrian Steinbach

Tandem’s Thrifting Tips:

  1. Edit Your Cart. Always go through one last time before checkout. Do I love this? Will I wear this? Do I have to have it? If it’s something for your home, know exactly where it’s gonna go in your house so you don’t end up with more clutter. 
  2. Check for Damage. Look for any major stains, missing buttons, broken zippers.
  3. Know Your Measurements. Bring a measuring tape, then you don’t need a fitting room (many are currently closed). 
  4. Look at Everything. Don’t just look at your size, or your gender, or just the clothes, you might find that amazing kaftan. 
  5. Go Often. The more you go the more luck you’ll have. The selection changes everyday. 
  6. Smell it! Vintage can sometimes have a funk. Nine out of 10 times washing will get it out. Old smoke and mothball smells are really hard to get out even with a wash. Try Tandem’s odor removing secret of vinegar and sunshine: wash with a vinegar and water solution, and dry in the sun! 

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