A Gal Named Cinda Lou, uptown Westerville's destination vintage shop, has a new sister store on Ohio State's campus.
"We wanted to find a place closer to Downtown, and there are not too many vintagey shops in this area," said co-owner Juli Bennati of the decision to open a second location, a smaller spot called Cinda Lou.
It helped, too, that she has been coming to this block of High Street "since I was two," Bennati said. Her dad regularly took her and her sister shopping at Johnny Go's House of Music during her childhood. In fact there's a framed photo by Cinda Lou's cash register of a toddler-age Juli and Jaime Bennati with their dad at the record store, right next door to Cinda Lou.
That's only one way this store is all about family. Cinda Lou is named after Juli's great-grandma, and the shop dog, a sassy Boston terrier called Henry, is named after her grandpa.
Juli and her mom, Debbie, opened the Westerville location in 2006. Shoppers familiar with A Gal Named Cinda Lou will find a similar assortment of retro furniture, books, decor, accessories and clothing at the new spot, across High Street from the Wexner Center.
"We have a mix of stuff from the '50s, '60s and '70s," Juli said. "All the crazy fun, colorful, quirky stuff from that time. … We like finding stuff you haven't seen before. Authentic, one-of-a-kind pieces."
Dresses are aplenty, and many are priced under $30. As for that "quirky stuff," there is a fishbowl full of Garbage Pail Kids playing cards, five for $1, and a selection of old sci-fi and Kurt Vonnegut paperbacks, which average $4. There's a framed centerfold of a mostly nude Burt Reynolds lounging on a bearskin rug. Sorry, it's not for sale.
Cinda Lou carries many original pieces as well. Juli and her boyfriend Zack Holloway (readers might recognize that name; he's the guitarist in local math rock band Survivalist) design T-shirts together and sell them for around $15. The $5 mini hair bows Juli crafts from vintage fabrics have been popular at the Campus store, as have candles ($8-$15) she's poured into retro drinking and shot glasses.
"I like it here," Juli said. "I'm a little bit nervous about summer when the students aren't on campus, but it's exciting when people recognize the name from our Westerville store. It's so cool to see that recognition."