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Vi Noy Finds a Vintage Valentine

Maybe her latest purchase at Revolve After Dark Sweetheart Edition is more '80s than vintage, but either way it's a bargain.

Vi is definitely no stranger to fashion and certainly not to Revolve Clothing Exchange in St. Petersburg.

Before launching this column, I ventured into this vintage 4th Street shop for just the right outfit and met two of the sweetest fashionistas: Christina Flannery and Emily Rae, who helped develop just the right look for Vi.

So when they sent me the Facebook invitation to attend the Revolve after Dark Sweetheart Edition event, how could I resist?

Besides any gal— with or without a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day— knows clothes, heels and handbags make the perfect treat. Throw in the free beverages, snacks and discounts; what shopaholic wouldn’t be there?

“Just so you know, 50 percent off all vintage for the next 30 minutes,” salesperson Brittany Long told the crowd of shoppers waiting in line for the dressing rooms.

The clothing exchange concept is so much better than the old fashioned consignment shop. Not only does the store have wearable vintage at bargain prices, today’s popular apparel adorns the racks, as well as accessories spanning several decades.

Revolve immediately accepts the items you bring in— the store even has a posted list of must-have times for spring. If it’s not what they’re looking for, at least you know right away instead waiting for months like typical consignment.

 “You have a couple things you aren’t wearing and you can come down and shop,” explained owner Kevin Hecht.

Hecht opened the shop on 4th Street about a year ago, expanding on the concept he originated at the at the Ybor City location, even including these special nighttime events with a little nudge from Flannery.

“Exchange is instant gratification. It’s great for us. Keeps the flow of clothing, allowing us to price more reasonably,” she added.

And if it item doesn’t fit quite right, don’t worry.  Virginia’s Fabric to Fashion is nestled in the back left corner of the shop. Seamstress Virginia Bautista makes alterations on the spot.

“It’s just a hobby,” Bautista said with a smile. “I have several grandchildren at home, so I like to get out.”

And that’s an understatement. In addition to being a seamstress, Bautista is a business woman, translator, former social worker and all around fun person to talk to while you’re shopping.

Hecht and his employees are proud of the selections Revolve offers, especially when they see moms and daughters shopping at the store together.

“We have stuff for shoppers from 12 to 80,” Flannery told me as I made my irresistible Valentine’s Day purchase.

It’s a headband with a big red bow created by Rae— something I originally tried on for a fun picture. But after hanging around the store for a few hours, I gave in and “took some time to celebrate” this “holiday” with my own fashion nod to 1980s icon, Madonna.

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