Vintage store opens downtown

Tamora Rosenbaum

Kali Goetz, 24, held on to her childhood interest in fashion and clothing design and turned it into a dream come true when she opened her own boutique in downtown Brookings Oct. 6.

Vintage Willows Fashion combines current, trendy items with classic vintage finds to provide another unique shopping option in the Main Avenue Mall.

The store is small and intimate. There is a fitting room behind a ceiling-high curtain in one corner and a register occupying another with a huge, whimsical dreamcatcher Goetz made with a hula hoop hanging on the wall between the two corners. The rest of the space is filled with shelves of vintage shoes, tables laid out with new and vintage accessories and clothing rails and racks heavy with everything from new tops to vintage coats and gently worn jeans.

Another thing that makes Vintage Willows unique is that customers can bring in gently used jeans and colored pants and exchange them for cash. Goetz describes her prices as somewhere between what you might pay at a consignment store and what a boutique charges.

“A lot of vintage stores can be expensive, but I wanted the pricing at Vintage Willows to be affordable,” Goetz said.

Vintage Willows first made its debut on April 4, 2012, as a vintage clothing store. A friend with a similar Etsy shop inspired and encouraged Goetz to try opening one of her own.

“I’ve always loved to thrift, and every time I travel I go to vintage stores,” Goetz said. “I decided to go for it and just fell in love.”

She named the store after the street she grew up on, started collecting items and launched what has become the beginning of a new way of life.

“I always wanted to own a boutique,” she said. “I love having a store on Etsy, but I also wanted to expand and sell wholesale items, too. I didn’t have the space for that kind of inventory in my small apartment, so I started looking for a space. Then I found this location and thought I might as well open a little store.”

Goetz didn’t exactly plan to take the leap from online shop to downtown store when she started selling vintage clothing on Etsy, but she’s thrilled by the opportunity and even has future plans to expand to a larger location and add menswear to her inventory. Her online store lives on at, where she blogs and sells merchandise.

“I know that people are sometimes intimidated by vintage, so I want to show how it can be worn,” she said. “I feel like you just have to mix in something modern with something vintage that can be translated into what’s in style today.”

A native of Aberdeen, Goetz graduated from SDSU last May with a degree in consumer affairs. She’s now pursuing a master’s degree in merchandising online while working at Vintage Willows.

Vintage Willows is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.