March 2018

About Town | Live Out Your Nineties Nostalgia At Vintage Boutique Spark Pretty

A Destination For Vintage Of The Decade Created By Two Former Betsey Johnson Stylists

Vintage shops pepper the streets of Manhattan’s East Village selling every decade of clothing. But Spark Pretty stands out as a curated vintage boutique offering something way different. 

Welcome to the world of a late 80s/early 90s teenage girl's dream. Anything (and everything) related to pop culture of the era decorates the hand-painted store. Think: rhinestone-studded Barbie jean jackets, Troll Dolls, Spice Girls tees, disco balls, neon lava lamps, twenty-year-old posters of Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, and movie posters featuring films like Clueless, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, and Reality Bites

Co-founders and owners Amanda Dolan and Meagan Colby created Spark Pretty out of their mutual love for collecting vintage clothing and shared nineties style icons (Christina Applegate’s character Kelly Bundy in Married...With Children, TV show Clarissa, and Francine Drescher ofThe Nanny) while working as stylists at Betsey Johnson's flagship store in SoHo. 

Five years ago, they started an online-only business, selling treasures from their road trips to vintage shops and flea markets across America (in Texas, California, Ohio and more). “We loved collecting and it really solidified our team and the friendship,” says Amanda. 

A closet full of quirky items quickly grew to fill five storage units. Now, their Spark Pretty neon pink storefront, which opened in September, houses a curated selection of their favorite pieces ranging in price from $2 to $2,000. They also sell custom fashion by in-house designer Thomas Knight, shoes from Dolls Kill, and jewelry by independent artists. “We’re mixing old and new,” Amanda says.  

What is the key to selecting items for the store? “Anything that elicits an immediate reaction,” Meagan says. “Something that is kitschy, colorful, sparkly, and zany.” “It has to have a little bit of an edge or ‘wow’ factor,” says Amanda. “We want to make sure our items are really well-made,” she adds, noting that the store is unisex and offers something for everybody.  

The most popular pieces are vintage t-shirts and jean jackets. ("They never go out of style and they just add an extra ounce to your outfit," Amanda says.) On styling, she adds: "One piece at a time is always a good way to start, like adding a jacket."

"And always add jewelry and accessories," insists Meagan. 

If you’re in the market for like-new vintage pieces from the ‘80s and ‘90s, or just want to satisfy your nostalgia for the decade, Spark Pretty is the place for you. And if you can’t make it in person, check out their online shop

"This is our baby," Amanda says, looking around at the eclectic racks of fashion she helped curate over the years. "Being friends and working together and feeling like, wow we really did this. We picked this stuff that changed people's days and made them happy and now they look good, that's what keeps us going." -A.R.

Visit: Spark Pretty at 333 E. 9th St. New York, NY, 10003.