New shop Queenie & Pearl makes your retro, rock 'n' roll dreams come true

Queenie & Pearl

Queenie & Pearl

While scrolling through local businesses accounts on Instagram, you may have noticed the fun, retro-tinged @queenieandpearlmn.

Full of rock tees, high-waisted bell bottoms, and rust, mustard, and sage tones, their posts totally have a ’60s and ’70s feel. The south Minneapolis store itself is a fun mix of vintage clothing, locally made goods, and secondhand pieces.

We chatted with Lisa Banwell, Queenie & Pearl’s owner, about the inspiration for her new shop, and what should be on your holiday gift list this year.

City Pages: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into fashion and retail.

Lisa Banwell: Basically at heart I am still the five-year-old girl that loves to play dress up. That first foray into the dress-up bin, with gloves up to my elbows, netted hats, and peacock-blue pumps hooked me, and I’ve been refining and remixing ever since. Add in a lifetime love affair with music and you get Queenie & Pearl.

CP: Where did the inspiration for Queenie & Pearl come from?

Queenie & Pearl

Queenie & Pearl

Banwell: The style and music of the late ’60s and ’70s has always been the most inspiring for me. My company namesakes are Queenie, a groupie and a part of the Sunset Strip scene, and Pearl, Janis Joplin’s stage name. They are my patron saints of the bohemian style of that time. Queenie & Pearl the brand is a celebration of the free-spirited rock ’n’ roll babe that lives in all of us.

CP: Where do you find clothes for Queenie & Pearl?

Banwell: I have had the good fortune to be able to travel a bit, primarily for music festivals and shows, and when I do I always check out the local makers and shops and thrift stores. Along the way I have met so many cool makers and amassed quite a collection of vintage.

CP: What's the general vibe of the store?

Banwell: The thing I hear the most from people who visit Queenie & Pearl is that it has a West Coast vibe. It was not intended, but I like it!

CP: What style tip are you digging right now?

Banwell: I’m not a big fan of rules -- shocker! But if I could, I would ban people from saying they are “too old” for a certain style or that they can’t “pull off” a certain style. I believe there is always a way to pull in a new shape, color, or pattern to expand your style. I work hard to keep my price points accessible, so a person can take a risk and add something into their wardrobe just for fun.

CP: Your Instagram is awesome. Do you do all the styling? How do these shoots come together?

Banwell: Thank you so much, I owe so much of my Instagram to my collaborator, Sophia Primozich. She is amazing and completely gets the brand and vibe! I do pull the looks
and inspiration for each shoot, but I invite the models to play and add their own personality. When people are comfortable and happy with what they have on, the pictures reflect that.

CP: Why do you think shopping secondhand is important?

Banwell: Sustainability is the primary reason. Clothes have become such a throwaway commodity, and I find great comfort and appreciation in the “built to last” clothing of the past. One of our goals is to help people mix in vintage in new ways so that shopping secondhand becomes more accessible.

CP: What are your favorite holiday gifts this year?

Banwell: I have had a blast bringing in new items for the holidays. I think my favorites are the Queen tees, Dolly Parton earrings, and the RBG Resistmas ornament.

Queenie & Pearl
5014 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays