OAKHURST – The local “Eiffel Tower” at the southern entrance of town will soon be gone.
After six years in business, Vintage Chic Boutique is closing the retail location and transforming into an internet business with a slight name change – the new shop online will be known as Vintage Chic Bohemia. Owner Trudy Truesdell Shields will remain at the helm of the fashion operation in its new incarnation, to the relief and delight of many.
Originally from southern California, Trudy moved to the mountain area in 2006, already the owner of a successful online business selling “romantic and edgy” vintage-trend clothing and collectibles.
Exactly one year later, in November of 2007, she decided to share her business with the local community by opening a 50 sq. ft. kiosk-size shop in the “Good Ol’ Things” building on Highway 41. That location soon became too crowded for Trudy’s ultimate creative vision, which included garden collectibles and more.
In 2010 she moved her craft and design center to its current location at 39945 Highway 41, as a sole operator. The shop offered more space and opportunity, including furniture upholstery, personalized costuming, a personal shopper service, and custom hat creation with a focus on the eras from Victorian to Retro Mid-Century Modern.
Trudy is a studied public speaker who has presented many educational vintage fashion shows in the community, and she hopes to expand on this program from a historical and cultural point of view in the future.
“Fashion trends have always presented a window into the cultural and political climate of our nation,” she says, planning to explore that connection and communicate her findings. “I want to do more fashion shows focusing on education. Why was this vintage garment made that way? Often, for instance, the reason is that it was war time in the 1940s and everyone wore black, navy, brown, and grey because the entire country was in mourning over the war.”
No one is mourning the passing of Vintage Chic, because it’s not completely going away. The business is once again, like its mistress, transforming. The local shop will close at the end of January, and the Vintage Chic Bohemia website is expected to go live by Feb.1. In the meantime, Trudy invites everyone to come in and shop, with discounts getting deeper by the week.
“Fixtures are available and some are already sold,” she says. “Anyone interested in great deals, especially on clothing, now is the time! Come say goodbye, and say hello. Our fliers will have new website information and we want people to please feel comfortable coming in. Right now it’s 20% off and it will get better. I expect the week of the 13-20 to be a huge sale week.”
“The new trend focus will be vintage, reproduction and new product styles and accessories for the Mountain-Boho in you,” says the evolving proprietor. “Hats, jewelry, boots and eclectic romantic finds will be magically designed and arranged to create your own unique look.”
Trudy is upbeat and excited about the new venture, and anxious to find more time to work on the project and refocus her creativity, with the website currently under development. She may have holiday kiosks and looks forward to giving fashion and history talks to groups, museums, and eventually, vacation cruise lines.
“I am dancing with excitement and can’t wait to get moving! Once you let go, something new happens.” Meanwhile, she’s grateful for the clientele that has shopped with her these past six years.
“Thank you for your past patronage and the excitement and encouragement you have shared,” Trudy says. “I will truly miss serving you in this capacity.”
Visit the Vintage Chic website or phone the store at (559) 642-2212.