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Shop, Rock, Chat, & Create

Queenie & Pearl Turns Two

Queenie & Pearl is not your average fashion boutique.  It is more of a slip back in time to an era of rock n’ roll, peace and love.  Named partly after “Queenie”, who was a real-life Penny Lane and ‘band aid’ touring across the country with legendary music makers like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and David Bowie (think Cameron Crowe’s movie “Almost Famous”). The other half pays tribute to Janis Joplin and her second and final solo studio album “Pearl” released in 1971.  Queenie & Pearl is known best for its unique makers and mix of vintage and new clothing, accessories, jewelry and gifts.  All of the store items are personally researched and hand-picked by the owner herself, Lisa Banwell, with a focus on women makers and entrepreneurs. It has always been a value of the team and mission of the store to support other women with dreams.  Whether it’s visiting fashion hubs like L.A. or New York for inspiration or road tripping to other vintage boutiques, Lisa has her finger on the pulse of retro vibes.  Turning two years old this fall, Queenie & Pearl has a lot to celebrate.  In just a short time, they have expanded to the upper level to include more vintage racks, a robust record selection, and studio space for creative endeavors and photo shoots.  Sitting down with Lisa, it was fun to learn the background of how it all started.

AP:  What drew you to fashion and why do you love it?

LB:  You could say it was an early adoption.  I grew up with mostly boys, so I had to bribe everyone in the neighborhood to play dress-up with me.  For me, fashion should be self-expression…like an art form with no rules.  I think getting dressed should be fun.

AP:  Do you remember your first favorite outfit?

LB:  It was a pink, spring dress and I had to have it.  It was layers and layers of ruffly fluff with a satin bow.  I remember my mom was gone and my dad let me wear it to Perkins.  I was so happy, but my mom was really mad!

AP:  Can you tell readers about your favorite part of the store?

LB:  It’s great having two floors.  It allowed us to expand our vintage offerings and add the creative space.  We didn’t want the shopping experience here to be transactional.  It’s more about hospitality and being a part of the space.  We want customers to feel as if they are walking into our home. 

AP:  What elements make Queenie & Pearl stand out?

LB:  The goal was to offer different brands from different makers. There is a good mix of vintage and non-vintage items.  Our team wants to grow and expand our originals.  We take vintage clothing and make it better by upcycling or embellishing pieces, making them one-of-a-kind items that are affordable for our customers. 

AP:  Are there any fashion trends you would like to see more of in Minnesota?

LB:  I would like to see Minnesotans take more risks and have fun with their fashion.  One example would be Bell Bottoms.  You can wear them for one day, it doesn’t have to be a lifestyle.  Sometimes I will hear customers say “I am too old” for one particular thing or another.  I believe there is always room to rock something in your own way.  If you love it, it will look great!

AP:  Along those same lines, do you have any advice for people who aren’t comfortable with styling?

LB:  Come on in!  The Queenie & Pearl team is happy to help style you with different pieces and fresh looks.  You can shop, play dress-up, create, and be free.

More information at or @queenieandpearlmn