After a longer than anticipated break, stories highlighting area businesses return. A big thank you to UW Stout student Faith Huey for collaborating with me on this story. Remember, by supporting a small business, you are also supporting our local community!
BarbaLynn's Vintage opened this past September and is located behind the Raw Deal at 603 South Broadway.
Maysa Maraia, a Menomonie native and MHS Class of 2021 graduate, has used her love of all things vintage to tap into the growing second-hand clothing market. Maysa's family plays a big part in her business. Grandma Lynn Pfiffner was her inspiration. Her dad Micah who owns MLM Studios (also located in Downtown Menomonie - check out their joint interview on the Menom Podcast), helped with logo design and signage. Mom Taura and sister Mara share her passion for vintage clothing and are both vendors at the store.
About the Business:
BarbaLynn's is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am-6pm.
More... by Faith Huey, Harvey Hall New Bureau
For most of her life, Maysa Maraia has had a deep-rooted love for vintage that led to her opening BarbaLynn's Vintage in Menomonie this past summer. She said the store has had a rather successful start.
The 20-year-old store owner talked about her experiences so far. She said having such an ideal demographic of college students and a lack of clothing stores in Menomonie has helped the business have a strong start.
"Within the first month, all of my expectations were blown out of the water," Maraia said. "I feel like anyone who comes in here is able to find something, and it's been great because people find all kinds of great, unique pieces."
With reselling becoming so popular over the past few years and a lack of resellers in and around the area, Maraia knew it was the perfect time to set up shop. As a native of Menomonie, she also felt confident opening a small business in town. With lots of research into vintage pricing, along with her own experience of knowing what people in the area look for in clothing, she said she saw Menomonie as the ideal starting point for her.
"I was able to grow a business through the knowledge that I had accumulated throughout the years and also have support from my family," Maraia said. "My roots started here, and I was surrounded by people that wanted to support me rather than going somewhere else where I'd have to build from scratch."
There was also more significance to opening her store in Menomonie. With such a large impact from the college student demographic and little to no stores that appeal to the younger generations, Maraia felt that it was important to have representation of youth in the retail community.
On top of feeling confident with the location she chose, Maraia felt led to selling vintage clothing because of her love for antiques and fashion.
She credits her strong ties to vintage to her grandmother. Maraia noted how her grandmother was the original thrifter in their family and how the name BarbaLynn was inspired by her. Trips with her grandmother to thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets taught Maraia all about antiques and how to gauge their value.
With her strong passion for thrifting, fashion, and sustainability, Maraia said she has been able to create a business she loves with the support of her friends and family. She plans to open up other locations one day as her business grows.