Golden Opportunity

Etsy store goes brick and mortar

If Lauren Naimola, the creator of the vintage clothing shop Dear Golden, could describe her Ann Arbor clothing boutique in one word, it would be: “pretty.” The shop, which boasts a rainbow of hand-selected vintage garments from as early as the 1920s, opened in April after five months of painting, decorating, and transporting vintage pieces from her former shop.

Naimola has been wearing — and collecting — vintage clothes since she was a teenager. “Vintage clothes are not just clothes,” she says. “They are viewed with some sort of nostalgia.”

In 2008 she started Dear Golden as an online Etsy store and blog. She has thousands of followers via social media, where she regularly posts new additions to her massive assortment of vintage pieces. Her collection of garments — which include bathing suits and wedding gowns — is made up of much more than what hangs along the crisp white walls of the store. Over the years, she has accumulated between 10,000-20,000 garments, which means she always has a new item to display.

Dear Golden’s décor is romantic, with rose-colored furniture, antique mirrors, and elegant paper umbrellas that hang from the ceiling.

The shop offers a personalized experience. “I like the model of women’s stores from the turn of the century to the ’50s, where women would come into a store and they would get attention,” Naimola says. “I will talk to them about what they like, and I will help [them] pick something out.”

Naimola encourages visitors to give their measurements and matches them with the perfect piece. “I want [customers] to look good in the world,” she says. “Let’s get a dress that looks good on you.”

Dear Golden, 211 S. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-369-3010