Monday, May 2, 2011

The Flower Child Experience

I have always considered myself an old soul, obsessed with the past and everything non-contemporary. You can imagine my glee when vintage shops started sprouting up around Cleveland, especially since my mother saved nothing for me from growing up in the 60s. There are some really great vintage shops around town but the first (and still favorite) one I ever went to Flower Child on Clifton.

The first few times I went to Flower Child, I didn't even buy anything. It's really an experience in and of itself. There is so much to look at and play with I could spend all day in there. When you first walk in you are greeted by so many visual stimulants it's hard to take it all in. The front room is full of vintage jewelry, from tasteful to gaudy and everything in between.

Like I mentioned in my post exploring Lion and Blue, many of my friends have been the benefit of gifts from Flower Child, and a lot of it has been jewelry. One of my favorite gifts I bought at Flower Child was a pair of cameo earrings. Something I've bought myself from this front room full of bling was a large ceramic red and white flower pin. I bought it around Christmastime so I took it as a poinsettia but it's so fun and bright I've worn it all year round.

The rest of the top floor is mostly full of housewares. I can only dream of having my entire future home furnished with the shag rugs, funky lamps and brightly colored couches you can find there. One cool item I bought as a gift was a vinyl record bowl. There are also always great cups, glasses and bowls as well as vintage mini bars that are sometimes discretely hidden for 50s housewives.

Once you get your fill of the first floor, take a trip down to the basement. There you'll find rooms and rooms and more rooms full of clothes, bags, accessories and more. As I said before, you could literally spend an entire day at Flower Child and most of it would be rifling through all those racks. From retro tshirts to sequined jump suits there is something to tickle everyone's fancy. One great find I bought was this kimono-style robe. I was casually looking for a light robe to wear around the house and I instantly fell in love with this leaf-motif number. Sometimes I wear it over lounge wear or take one of my sashes or scarves to cinch it closed.

Possibly my favorite Flower Child purchase is this vintage Pan Am bag. As I mentioned in my preview post featuring this classic bag, I had wanted a Pan Am bag since I saw Catch Me If You Can. That bright royal blue and instantly recognizable logo is so classically 60s. I was pretty close to buying a Marc Jacobs Pan Am bag on eBay but I knew I'd appreciate it more if I found an authentic one. I was in one of Flower Child's basement rooms when I saw it sitting on a chair around other random items. I could not believe it and once I saw the $20 price tag I knew I had to have it. If there's any doubt that it isn't an authentic 1960s bag, I can tell you the janky zipper and adjustable strap is definitely at least 40 years old. But regardless, this bag is great and I've used it a lot, especially since the recent cross-body bag trend.

I can only describe Flower Child in so many words, you really have to experience it for yourself, and it is quite an experience. One cool thing they do is indicate on much of their merch what decade or year they are from. There is also a good chance you can find some fancy vintage designer items. And although I am always for promoting local businesses, you can very easily spend a great afternoon soaking up all the vintage awesomeness without spending a dime. But if you do have a dime or two to spend you can definitely find a lot of great items that won't break the bank. And the best part is that every time you go, it's almost like a completely different place, they are always getting in new items and donations.

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