Out With the New, In With the Old

Seven Suns Vintage celebrates one year of vintage wares and wears

Elana Dresen

When it comes to the local vintage clothing market, Seven Suns Vintage knows a thing or two. In the year since its opening, this downtown Eau Claire shop has made a name for itself – both in person at 305 S. Barstow St. as well as through its social media feeds. You might be wondering: What’s so popular about old-timey clothes? How come those prairie dresses are so popular? Owners Savannah Smith and Jonah Lemke have the answers. It’s what they do.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Seven Suns, Smith launched a small scavenger hunt around town. “I hid three boxes filled with gift certificates and trinkets around Eau Claire and posted close-up pictures on our Instagram,” Smith said. “I was amazed at how quickly they were found!” The store also featured a giveaway on their Instagram for out-of-town customers.

“(Repurposed textiles is) reworking blankets, quilts, and towels into wearable art,” Savannah Smith of Seven Suns Vintage says. “People have been getting really creative and I think we will see much, much more of it.”

Smith is enthusiastic about the business of vintage clothing – always scoping out thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, on the lookout for new pieces. “I definitely see ebbs and flows in what sells but the beauty of vintage is that it is absolutely timeless,” Smith said. “What I’ve noticed is that when someone finds an era or a style they really connect with, they are unswayed by current trends. ... I love that! It keeps things interesting and it allows people to genuinely express themselves through clothing.”

As for local style, dresses are highly popular. Smith notes they consistently sell more dresses than any other item in the shop, with a close second being the store’s leather collection. For a glimpse into the future of vintage clothing trends Smith notes repurposed textiles are growing in popularity.

“(Repurposed textiles is) reworking blankets, quilts, and towels into wearable art,” Smith said. “People have been getting really creative and I think we will see much, much more of it.”

With a blend of local culture, Western/outlaw, and ’70s vibes, the store’s unique collection has certainly made a name for itself. This vintage vibe is so popular it lures in out-of-towners. “I’ve noticed that even our modest online presence has drawn out-of-town vintage hunters to Eau Claire, and that’s such a beautiful thing,” Smith said. “Our city is beautiful, and our downtown is blooming. Our daytrippers are always surprised at what a gem Eau Claire is.”

Moving forward, Smith and Lemke will be focusing more on their online presence and opening a website for the store. Smith wishes to focus more on customer outreach so that her vintage collection isn’t kept under a bushel basket.


Check out Seven Suns Vintage at their Instagram page, @7sunsvintage.

Vintage Wares is sponsored by:

Hope Gospel Mission Bargain Center
2511 Moholt Drive
(off Clairemont Ave, West Side)
Eau Claire

Vintage Wares is sponsored by:

Hope Gospel Mission Bargain Center
2511 Moholt Drive
(off Clairemont Ave, West Side)
Eau Claire