When Josette Elstad started her vintage closing business, JoJo’s Retro and Vintage, in May 2010, it was an online-only operation. She tallied hundreds of new sales and tens of thousands of hits on her website over the intervening period.
In December, that someday she hoped to open a traditional retail store in downtown Hopkins. But she thought it would a year or so before she moved out of her Excelsior Tech Center office space and onto Mainstreet.
Plans wound up moving faster than expected, though. When a new spot opened at 10th Avenue and Mainstreet, Elstad seized the opportunity to open a retail location. The new store will get a test run during Saturday’s event. Elstad will then host a grand opening May 18 through 20.
“I’m hoping to really build a strong local presence,” Elstad said.
JoJo’s carries high quality vintage clothing from the 1940s to the 1980s—with a special emphasis on the 1960s. Elstad uses sites like Craigslist to find the items and goes to local garage sales. She also visits Cat’s Pajamas—a twice-annual vintage clothing, jewely and textile show and sale at the State Fairgrounds.
The new store is tucked away on the second floor of 1002 Mainstreet in a former photo studio. It’ll be open the third weekend of every month. The upper-level location usually wouldn’t be ideal, but Elstad hopes it’ll work in her favor.
“A lot of people that are into vintage like the thrill of the hunt. It’s a secret hideaway kind of thing,” she said.
The store is in an area increasingly focused on retro items. is at 913 Mainstreet, and is at 1014 Mainstreet. Other antique stores dot the thoroughfare.
“It’s kind of like a vintage haven or vintage hideaway,” Elstad said.
JoJo’s may not call the former photo studio home for long. Her landlord also owns the space that’s the site of the west metro office for . If things go well at her current space, she may move into there once the campaign concludes.
“I have to test the market locally,” she said.
JoJo’s Grand Opening
- When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 18 and 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 20
- Where: 1002 Mainstreet, Suite 207
- What: Melissa Taylor, owner of Beauty Lounge in Minneapolis, will be in the strore from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. May 19 for quick individual retro makeup demos. Customers can get tips on makeup techniques for a perfect ’60s cat eye or red pinup lip. Light refreshments will also be provided.
JoJo’s will be open the third weekend of every month after that. It will also continue to offer its products online. Click here to visit the site. Elstad is also available for private shopping at no cost. To schedule an appointment, call 612-578-7916. JoJo’s also offers information about its products and events on its Facebook page.