WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There’s an old saying “If you hold onto it long enough, it will come back in style.” A new shop in downtown Wilmington is banking on the clothing karma, hoping these classics make their way to the Wonder Shop and then to your closet. At the Wonder Shop, that’s not just the business plan, but the inspiration for the store itself.
The Wonder Shop racks are packed with staple pieces – a flashback or flash forward, depending on how you look at it. Shop owner Kelsey Gibbs says she loves giving new life to clothing that may have been worn and forgotten but is reappearing in similar styles on the runway. And the best part? She says she’s not running out of these vintage pieces any time soon.
“I wanna give old clothes a happier home instead of tucked in the back of someone’s closet,” Gibbs said. “Bring them out again. Style them current. And they look great. And nobody knows they’re old.”
Gibbs says she has been collecting vintage items for years and decided it was time to share her style with Wilmington.
She says the Wonder Shop has a special tie to the Port City, too, and she’s excited to help revitalize downtown while honoring its history.
“I found this gorgeous early ’60s tailored suit with a mink collar, and it had ‘Wonder Shop Wilmington, NC’ written in it, and I just thought that’s a great name,” Gibbs said. “I did some research, found out more about it, and ever since then I knew that would be the name of the shop, and I really wanted to honor that name in Wilmington, and I’m selling vintage, and that’s what they were selling, so it just fit.”
After finding out more about the 1940s dress shop that was located at 33 North Front Street, Gibbs says she tried to stay true to the character of the original store. When she found a spot across the street from the original store at 22 North Front Street, she says she knew she was home.
“This was the only place I wanted to be, for sure,” she said. “The historic vibe, the kinda creative artsy feel of downtown was perfect for the Wonder Shop.”
Gibbs says the Wonder Shop is really creating a link to the past. She says several people have come in who remember the original Wonder Shop and are excited to see a piece of downtown’s history reborn.
Gibbs says she thinks shopping at her store is an experience the whole family can enjoy together while reminiscing on times passed.