Space Queen brings bright vintage to Candler Park

It’s impossible not to notice the bright exterior at the corner of Oakdale Road and McLendon Avenue in Candler Park. Painted saturated tones of purple, pink, and green, the building formerly housed a gas station, thrift store, and, most recently, a Hungarian bakery pop-up in the driveway. The striking makeover is courtesy of Space Queen, a new vintage retail concept and community arts center from Michelle Norris and Forrest Aguar, the duo behind creative studio Tropico Photo. The pair have enjoyed successful careers in photography and commercial styling, bringing personality to campaigns for brands like Target, American Express, and Mailchimp.

Shoppers are greeted by a white and airy space showcasing racks and tables filled with bright, saturated and poppy colors. Everything from a vintage Tadashi hot pink evening dress to a Michael Simon knit bath sweater vest is available. Most items are more than 20 years old, although she does have some early 2000’s pieces sprinkled in.

Norris picks items that appeal to her eclectic style and the archetypes she buys for based on her friends, curating them to ensure they apply to a modern, funky dresser. That also includes a healthy amount of accessories, which have been a surprise for her. Whether charm necklaces handmade from vintage charms by Atlanta-based jeweler Prettiest Lobster, hand-painted vintage bags by Atlanta-based Good Golly, or things she’s handpicked, she loves seeing people gravitate towards accessories. “I didn’t initially think about accessories, but they’ve become one of my favorite things to source. I love looking at them and seeing the time and energy put into making each piece. It’s inspiring.”

Norris, a UGA graduate, has always been a vintage shopper for aesthetic and practical reasons. “Vintage is the absolute highest quality you can get for the price,” she says. “These price points are still a quarter of modern price points for things that are unique and well-made. The oldest pieces we have here are from the 1920s, so some items are 100 years old. And they’re still usable.”

In addition to being an office space and retail boutique, the intention was always for Space Queen to be a community arts space. “We want this to be more of a community arts space,” she explains. Artist workshops will debut soon, such as flower arranging, food photography, and watercolors. They also plan on hosting vintage collective pop-ups in the front driveway, supporting other vintage sellers.

Norris says that while she’s only been open a few months, the types of people who come in have been wide-ranging. “We have everyone from 10-year-old girls to 85-year-old women. It feels like everyone can figure out some way that these clothes and accessories apply to them. What ties them together is a love of whimsy.”

The post Space Queen brings bright vintage to Candler Park appeared first on Atlanta Magazine.


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