For 10 years, collectors and vintage aficionados Alicia Menninga and her mom, Alice Menninga-Richards, have offered quality used and new clothing and furniture to their customers through their booth at Eastown Antiques
. Much to their delight, the business has grown to the point of needing a larger outlet, so they'll open their new shop, Flashlight Alley
, at 1507 Wealthy St. SE, next door to Yesterdog.
The shop features an eclectic mix of antique furniture, men's and women's vintage and retro clothing, jewelry, and work by local artists and musicians.
Menninga, a pianist and composer of ethereal instrumental pieces, will use her passion for music and those who create it to help local musicians showcase their music and sell their recordings.
"I want to make (the store) more about, not just the clothes, but have it be more of a space for local musicians to sell their CDs here," she says. Local artists will play a role in the store, which will offer goods from photographer Regina Joy
and Amber Button-Girl of Daydream Studios
, as well as handcrafted pieces from Menninga, who is also a visual artist.
Menninga says she and Alice want the shop to become a community gathering space. "We want to do it almost like a gallery, and have after-hours art shows and eventually have poetry readings."
The women are particularly excited about the opportunity to use the store's basement as a creative workspace for items that will eventually move to the showroom floor.
The name Flashlight Alley has personal connections to both Menningas: "Flash" is the nickname of Alicia's father and Alice's former husband, who died five years ago; "Alley" is Alice's childhood nickname.
The store opens Sat., April 19, with special hours from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Regular hours are in flux, but expected to be Sun. noon to five, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Flashlight Alley