South Student Minette Wenzel Opens Small Business at Antique Mall

Betsy Moore, Staff Writer

Junior Minette Wenzel has always had an appreciation for fashion, especially vintage clothing. Ever since she was a kid, she has loved finding that perfect item to complete an outfit. So when she was offered an opportunity to run a vintage clothing booth of her own at the Bloomington Antique Mall, she was thrilled. 

“My mom is the manager at the Antique Mall and she suggested it. I knew it was a big risk but I was excited to try it,” Wenzel said. “At first I was nervous that I would end up losing money or I wouldn’t have any items that people liked, but my booth has been even more successful than I hoped.” Wenzel pays monthly rent on her booth, but her income makes up for it. “I have always made a healthy profit, although that’s not always a guarantee with owning a booth,” said Wenzel. 

She has been running her booth since March of 2022. She began by getting supply from her own closet, but since then she has expanded to other sources. Wenzel goes shopping as much as possible to find items for her booth, sometimes up to 6 times a week. “I spend hours in church thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets, looking for those perfect vintage pieces that someone will love,” said Wenzel. “I’m always trying to help out those small organizations and families when they’re getting rid of things they don’t want anymore.” 

Prices of items in Wenzel’s booth vary based on demand. “Indiana [University] gear is usually priced higher and vintage sweaters are also a high demand item during winter,” she said. Vintage t-shirts in her booth typically start around $10 while hoodies are closer to $30. 

Wenzel values vintage clothing much more than brand new items for many reasons. “My main goal is to bring historic eras of fashion to new generations; it’s so cool to see styles from older generations become trendy again,” Wenzel said. 

Because of other activities, Wenzel’s time at the booth is limited. “I’m there a few times a week, but sports and school take up a lot of my time,” said Wenzel. Although she profits from the booth, Wenzel’s main priority isn’t the money. “[The booth] is really another hobby for me. It’s really cool to see how excited my customers get when they find a piece they love, and I have a lot of fun looking for those items in the first place,” Wenzel said.