Hi! Nice to meet you. We can’t thank you enough for clicking on our site. You may be wondering how we came up with our name or where we’re actually located. Maybe you want to confirm that we really are twins, and we’re here to answer that (look left) and then some.
Arlee Park came to life over a loose timeframe of a handful of years. It had always been a dream of ours to open up some sort of shop, but when it came into the realm of possibility we had already ventured into a business we considered our main passion. In 2010, after documenting months of travel together, we made the decision to start Ash & James Photography and have been photographing weddings ever since. Finding time on our hands in the wedding off-season (Hi, winter) and growing a major love for thrifting, we soon began selling some favorite vintage finds on the digital frontier of Etsy. Stepping in front of the nuptial lens for a change, Ashley (Hello!) married Brooks in 2014 and Jamie (Hieee!) wed Alex in 2015. Throughout the wedding planning process, we were visiting thrift stores regularly to hunt for pieces of décor to use for our dinner settings, and it was this that snowballed into the curated collection that started it all at Arlee Park. Fast-forward to the beginning of 2017, where, with guts and glory, we took the brick-and-mortar leap after stumbling upon a retail space we just could not pass up. Gallons of paint and one realized dream later, here we stand.
So what is Arlee Park? Tall tale small, it’s a carefully curated shop that sells nostalgic and modern goods and threads. Nearly everything you see, in-store and online, is sourced secondhand by one or the both of us, and almost all of what is secondhand is vintage. We love vintage for a whole host of reasons, but one of the main ones is that buying vintage drives us to be conscious of our ecological footprint in a material sense. Vintage equals recycled, vintage equals sustainable, and we think that’s pretty great. For Arlee Park, modern comes into play with the hand-selected treasury of pieces made by hardworking makers and doers that we house in shop. Our aim is to show just how vintage and new - nostalgic and modern - can coexist in harmony, anywhere in life. At Arlee Park, you can outfit everything from your bod to your bookshelf to your bar cart with our constantly-changing collection of goods. If you’ve got the space, we’ve got the thing (or something like that).
But now for the good part. Arlee Park is named after our grandmother, Arlene, along with the small threads that tie our maternal lineage together. In the late 50’s, our grandma gave birth to our mother while living in Minneapolis. In 2014, when we both bought our homes on Park Avenue in South Minneapolis, our grandma informed us that she “lived on Lake and Park, you know.” With a small twist on her name and the addition of the street we’ve all called home, we arrived at Arlee Park. We hope you’ll be here soon.
THE ARLEE PARK TEAM
Megan brought her adoration for vintage and appreciation of woman-owned small businesses to the AP team spring of 2019. With a background in communications and marketing, she helps goods and threads make it to your screen and (wo)mans the brick-and-mortar. She’d love to help find your dream pair of vintage jeans and hear about your latest adventures and passion projects, so stop in and stay awhile. When not in the shop, she’s likely practicing her canoe steering on Lake Nokomis, teaching yoga, rock-climbing, or woodblock printing.