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Best of Olympia 2013 Retail: Best vintage store - Psychic Sister

Sarah Adams is a psychic with a passion for fashion

PSYCHIC SISTER: Shop for clothing and your future. Photo credit: Winter Teems

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Just as a distinct accessory or trim makes an outfit, the daring pairing of vintage apparel and psychic readings sets Olympia's Psychic Sister apart from the norm.

The shop, voted Olympia's Best Vintage Clothing Store, features a lively mix of intact and lovingly updated vintage items, owner Sarah Adams' own creations, alteration service and those readings, some done by Adams and others by a rotating group of astrologers, tarot readers, palm readers and intuitives.

Although Adams is a psychic with a passion for fashion, the combined business, which opened in March, came about almost by accident, she said.

"When I decided to open a shop, I didn't even think about it," she says. "Then I came up with the name Psychic Sister, and then I thought, ‘Oh, I'll have a place to do readings."

"I really wanted a place to do readings. A lot of the other psychics we've been working with were also calling for a space like that."

The readings are done in the window of the shop, behind a curtain that separates the space from the rest of the shop.

These days, readings can be had Thursday through Saturdays and shopping seven days a week. (Adams buys and trades vintage clothing - pre-'80s only, please - on Tuesdays.)

"I focus on really practical vintage - really classic, timeless pieces," she said. "I don't do too much costume vintage. And I sell designer stuff."

She's a designer herself and updates items as needed.

"I fluff things up and make them nicer and cuter," she said. Examples include Dream Coats, shortened coats with cute trims and hoods; a brilliantly patterned miniskirt and hood set cut from a '70s maxiskirt; and vintage dresses gussied up with big pink bows.

She does alterations, too, and is looking for an additional space with more room for sewing.

Psychic Sister also hosts trunk shows for other independent designers, and the shop sometimes carries newer items if they fit Adams' aesthetic of fashion with legs.

"I sell Pendleton and Levi and Wranglers, companies that have quality manufacturing," she says. "I really value the ethic of companies making products that are well designed and meant to last.

"In this day and age, just using quality fabrics and making a lasting design is pretty much as close to sustainable as it gets in our disposable fashion economy."

It's not just Adams' discerning taste that win the love of the store's fans.

"This is one of the coolest stores," said Gina Ford, who stops in nearly every day to see what's new. "I come here to get new hats and suits and shoes and bells and whistles and buttons and bows and the whole nine yards. I'm floored by some of the prices.

"And Sarah - she's awesome."


LINK: Best of Olympia 2013

LINK: Best of Olympia 2012

LINK: Best of Olympia 2011

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