Photos by Tiffany Bolk Photography
After working in corporate retail for more than a decade, Amanda Morell decided that between layoffs and a pandemic, “anything is possible at any time.” So, why not expand her side hustle?
About two years ago, Morell had created a brand “out of my dreams and fantasies,” she says, “a unique take on fashion and home décor—especially in the Midwest.” She began collecting pieces and selling through the Minneapolis Vintage Market and on Instagram. Shop Country Club, her virtual store, grew a customer base. “I realized I have something here,” Morell says. “People were gravitating toward it.”
On April 1 (no fooling!), she opened her first brick-and-mortar shop at 3999 Rice Street in Shoreview. “I noticed a small strip mall in Shoreview with two vacancies and the location was perfect,” she explains. “The kids can come off the bus and see me at work.”
While her bestsellers are dresses, jewelry, shoes, and denim, Morell also specializes in ceramics and pottery. “My taste falls into two niches,” she explains. “One is midcentury, with glazed and dripped pieces, abstract shapes, and organic forms. The other is glamorous 1980s postmodern pieces, mostly in pink—a signature color of mine.”
Morell finds her pieces at estate sales, in local thrift stores, and while on road trips to antique malls in Wisconsin. Currently in the shop are impressionist prints, glass-top tables, midcentury chairs (chrome and upholstered), tufted ottomans, and glassware sets. “About 40 percent of the space is dedicated to home,” she says.
Morell sources several times a week “so I can put out new product every day,” she says. “Because I spent the last three to four years building an Instagram presence, I still get 50 percent of business online. But the community response to my shop has been super nice.”