by Meg Skaret
Consignment shops have flourished in the Twin Cities, and Minneapolis is home to some fantastic thrifting. Shopping at consignment stores is good for the environment, supports small businesses, and can be a fun and easy way to curate a wardrobe that is uniquely yours. With countless thrift stores to discover scattered around the cities, I have put together a list of my favorites to visit so you don’t have to look too far.
Queenie & Pearl
First up is Queenie & Pearl – a thrift store and boutique in one that would be Fleetwood Mac-approved. The shop is located at 5014 Xerxes Ave S. The main floor of this woman-owned business houses new clothes that are on-trend yet pay tribute to the ’70s vibe prevalent throughout the shop’s clothing and decor. The upstairs is dedicated to everything vintage. Queenie & Pearl has jackets, sweatshirts, bags, jewelry, and more. In addition to their own collection, Queenie & Pearl also displays and sells local artists’ paintings, prints, and jewelry.
Overall, this small business has a strong, colorful brand that is ever-joyful and bright. If you are looking for band tees or leather jackets on your next shopping trip, make Queenie and Pearl your first stop.
Hunt & Gather
Moving right down the street, Hunt & Gather is an antique store at 4944 Xerxes Ave S. This 2-level store is crammed full of antiques and interesting knick-knacks to catch your eye. You will never be bored while perusing the aisles and are bound to always find something new with each visit.
Locally owned, Hunt & Gather has 15 dealers who contribute to the store’s beautifully curated collection. Though clothes are not the focus of Hunt & Gather, you just might luck out and find your next wardrobe staple during your visit. At the very least, you’ll be sure to find a kitschy antique to bring home. This consignment store is a must-see!
Buffalo Exchange is another favorite of mine. Their Minneapolis location is nestled in Uptown at 2727 Lyndale Ave S. Buffalo Exchange’s motto “buy, sell, trade” tells it all. Their business model allows customers to sell their closet cleanouts in exchange for store credit or cash. Shopping at Buffalo Exchange ensures that your closet can be upgraded and sustainable due to their stock being 100% secondhand.
Founded in 1974, the brand opened their Minnesota location in 2007. “I came upon the idea that there must be other people who are equally addicted to this kind of shopping, but who didn’t want to sort through as much stuff,” said founder Kerstin Block. In my opinion, Buffalo Exchange has the perfect balance of inventory and quality.
The Cat And The Cobra
Finally, The Cat and The Cobra is a hidden gem that is well worth your visit. The small store is located in artists’ lofts, so you have to get buzzed in to enter. They operate limited hours – Friday through Sunday – and the store is just two aisles wide, adding to the feel of a more unique experience.
The Cat and The Cobra’s owners focus on genuine vintage pieces, those one-of-a-kind items that are rare finds. Yet they also have affordable, still unique pieces. Next time you’re in Minneapolis, visit The Cat and The Cobra at 2400 N 2nd St Suite 105.