The Greer Guide to Austin: Kiki Nass

For Kiki Nass proprietor Joannah Hillebrandt, clothes aren’t just a commodity: they’re a calling. After attending FIDM in L.A., she worked her way up in the footwear industry, becoming then the youngest buyer in Nine West’s history. Though undeniably a go-getter and fashionable force in her own right, Hillebrandt credits much of her early success with having good managers to work for, and it’s an experience that she says motivates her to make Kiki Nass a positive, supportive space to work in every day.

An outside look at Kiki Nass located on South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas
A look inside one of the best places to shop in Austin, Texas

The positive energy in the shop is undeniable: from the light and airy spaces to the enviable selection of clothing, jewelry and home goods that would make any Austin woman swoon. For Hillebrandt, good business is just good karma: She talks about how studying Buddhism has influenced her commitment to being present and fostering good energy around her.

“I wear the hell out of my clothes,” Hillebrandt says, adding that she tells everyone she knows to invest in quality over quantity when it comes to their wardrobes. Hillebrandt stocks exclusively from vendors whose values align with her own.

A rack of clothes at Kiki Nass on South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas
A look at some of the jewelry inside Kiki Nass located on South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas

What to Expect at Kiki Nass: 

  • looks for every closet: premium denim, breezy tops, and on-trend dresses
  • boho, yet super versatile jewelry
  • unique, artful pieces for home and baby
  • an elevated, yet totally accessible overall vibe that epitomizes "Austin cool"
A look inside one of the best places to shop in Austin, Kiki Nass, located on South Lamar Boulevard
A look inside Kiki Nass, an Austin-based shop located on South Lamar Boulevard

Though in the Lamar Union complex for nearly three years, Kiki Nass first opened in 2005, at a location on 12th St. until it shuttered in 2009. Hillebrandt was there from the beginning, and after moving to Florida following the shop’s closure, she eventually returned to Austin to re-open Kiki Nass in its current location.

“Clothing is an all-day hug.” - Joannah Hillebrandt

the owner of Kiki Nass in her store on South Lamar Boulevard

What sets Kiki Nass apart is its staying power: Coming back after a post-recession closure, it remains committed to doing good business and providing an excellent retail experience, maintaining a human connection with the clothing it sells. The shop is very much a physical manifestation of Hillebrandt herself, putting her money where her mouth (and heart) is. Kiki Nass is all about paying homage to the connections and the luck that she’s had throughout her career, and the results are magic.

Now we want to know...
What is your favorite boutique in Austin? Leave us a comment below and tell us which Austin shop you'd love to see on The Greer Guide to Austin.

A look inside one of the best boutiques in Austin, Texas

The Greer Guide to Austin is a monthly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small businesses and Austin brands that celebrate individual style and our community. To cultivate your unique style and for more information on Greer Image Consulting services, click here to schedule a complimentary 1-on-1 call with Raquel.

The Greer Guide to Austin: Prototype Vintage

Audrie San Miguel knows good vintage. A self-described lifelong vintage lover, and with beginnings in a rented space within Room Service Vintage back in the ‘90s, San Miguel has been a part of the Austin vintage scene for nearly two decades. As the owner of Prototype Vintage since 2005, she’s cultivated an Austin retail mainstay.

A look inside the South Congress vintage spot, Prototype Vintage, in Austin Texas.

An Austinite for 25 years, San Miguel came from humble beginnings. Raised in a low-income family in Corpus Christi, thrifting and repurposing items were concepts and skills she grew up with. She prides herself on Prototype’s mantra of “all killer, no filler!” as San Miguel and her staff strive to create a vintage selection that is well-curated, well-priced, and well-rounded. She has created a space in which there is so much (Prototype Vintage now occupies 1,600 square feet of space!), yet it still has an intimate feel of an impeccably curated vintage lover’s closet. From vintage tees to shoes and accessories to dresses and jumpsuits and now with a selection of vintage children’s clothing, there is literally something for everyone in the shop. When asked for a current favorite piece, San Miguel was hard pressed to choose just one.

Audrie San Miguel is the owner of local Austin shop, Prototype Vintage. 

Prototype Vintage has been in its current space for more than 13 years, and has witnessed the boom that Austin has experienced in that time along. Feathers Vintage opened up adjacent to Prototype at around the same time -- the shops were in fact originally part of the same space, separated only by a beaded curtain. The evolution that the neighborhood and the shop itself has undergone in the last decade-plus is astounding, and Prototype continues to grow and change along with its surroundings.

A shoe display in Austin local vintage shop, Prototype Vintage

Prototype started out selling predominantly vintage furniture and housewares, with only a tiny clothing selection. As San Miguel learned her market and discovered what sold the best, Prototype Vintage slowly became a mecca for almost exclusively vintage clothing. Prototype got into events styling for the music and film industries (San Miguel’s husband is an Austin music industry paragon and co-creator of seemingly sadly defunct Fun Fun Fun Fest). Though she still does some events styling here and there, San Miguel is very selective about the projects she undertakes, with the majority of her focus on sourcing and merchandising for the shop itself.

A colorful rack of t-shirts at Austin local shop, Prototype Vintage

With its signature lime green, can’t-miss-it storefront just steps from the constant bustle of South Congress, the ladies of Prototype Vintage are functionally ambassadors for the city of Austin, and it’s a role they happily embrace. A constant stream of tourists, locals, and the occasional celebrity come through the shop, and San Miguel and her staff are happy to answer questions about what to eat, where to catch a live show, and point customers to other vintage shops in town to find some treasures.

There are so many colorful pieces and accessories to shop at Prototype Vintage in Austin, Texas.

Prototype Vintage has has become a vintage shop that sets the trends rather than follows them. Their devotees know they can always come in and find something they adore, and the thrill of the hunt for stellar vintage style is a labor of love for Audrie San Miguel.

NOW WE WANNA KNOW, WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS TO SHOP? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND TELL US YOUR FAVORITE AUSTIN BOUTIQUE.

The outside view of local vintage Austin shop, Prototype Vintage

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe. 

The Greer Guide to Austin: Pieceology Vintage

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”

-Anais Nin

Greer Image Consulting columnist, Liz Feezor, visits Pieceology vintage to find the best old gems in Austin, Texas. 

For April Onebane, the path to becoming one of Austin’s best-known vintage sellers was one of serendipity. She’d traveled to Italy in 2016 for a social media workshop put on by Justina Blakeney of Jungalow fame, searching for inspiration for her fashion blog and, as she tells it, for her next move in life. 

She met a woman at the workshop who was launching a vintage sourcing business and the two became fast friends, staying in touch after Onebane returned to Austin. Disenchanted with her corporate day job and remembering her mother’s words to her during that fateful trip to Europe, encouraging her to open a vintage shop of her own some day, Onebane decided to go for it, and Pieceology Vintage was soon born.

Pieceology is a vintage shop located in Austin, Texas.

Her past life in marketing may have informed her future as a small business owner, but it certainly didn’t define it. Onebane’s love of travel and adventure-seeking is palpable in her vintage selections, sourcing from her original connection in Cinque Terre, Italy, Indonesia, and practically every other place she’s has visited since her Europe trip in 2016.

With her hand in several vintage-centric projects, Onebane, along with Maria Oliveira and Ryan Lerma of Passport Vintage, runs Laissez Fair, Austin’s premier bi-annual vintage pop-up market. She travels regularly, having just returned from an extended trip in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands with her partner in life and in business, Jake Pritchard. The two created and co-run Adventure Assist, a travel journal company dedicated to helping fellow travelers efficiently plan, organize, and remember life’s biggest adventures.

April Onebane shows off one of her favorite pieces at Pieceology Vintage in Austin, TX. 

When asked about her shop’s most popular pieces, Onebane didn’t hesitate in proclaiming, “White crop tops!” Sourced from Austria, the vintage crisp, white cotton pieces are tremendously popular among her clientele: when she posts on Instagram that she has some available, they sell out almost instantly. Though she describes her own style at Pieceology’s initial launch as, “Boho chic… kind of a Coachella vibe that was popular at the time,” nowadays she calls her own style “more ‘feminine romantic’ than anything else.”

Some of the pieces of clothing April Onebane has collected for her shop, Pieceology Vintage, in Austin, TX

Onebane has created a name for herself in the Austin vintage scene, and she’s done it without ever having opened a brick-and-mortar shop, which is part of what she attributes the success she’s seen with her business. Without the overhead of a permanent physical storefront, and with the freedom to sell vintage online, at pop-ups, and residences at other shops around town (she’s currently in residence at Aro on East 5th), Onebane loves the flexibility her nomadic professional lifestyle affords her. 

A forever traveler and lifelong explorer, April Onebane has mastered the art of “pretending I’m an extrovert,” she joked. If style itself is a community, then vintage style is truly some of the best people around.

NOW WE WANNA KNOW, WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS TO SHOP? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND TELL US YOUR FAVORITE AUSTIN BOUTIQUE.

April Onebane with the collection of clothing she has curated for her business, Pieceology Vintage

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe. 

The Greer Guide to Austin: The Special and Powder Vintage

In an unassuming storefront nestled within the bustling bar and restaurant scene of East 6th, husband and wife team Hannah Wood and Johnny Ogle have created something, well, special.

A physical embodiment of creative collective intelligence, The Special captures the spirit of ‘Austin cool’ with a blend of vintage furniture and decor, gifts, and, now, a killer vintage wardrobe.

Powder Vintage has taken an in-house residence within The Special's retail space, the latest brick-and-mortar iteration of the vintage shop that has been selling on Etsy since 2009.

Its doors open for nearly nine months, The Special is the brainchild of an impossibly cool couple with a shared love of design. Originally from L.A., Wood and Ogle moved to Austin two years ago in search of inspiration and the ideal place to create their dream retail space: a place that’s happy, visually compelling, highly curated and thoughtful, and high-end yet approachable. 

It’s this element of ‘attainable retro-cool’ that they’ve cultivated in their East Austin flagship that makes it the perfect backdrop to Powder Vintage, a menagerie of vintage clothing that transcends time, trends, and occasion. With each piece hand-selected by Powder Vintage’s owner, Karla, the vintage clothing selection within The Special elevates the ‘shop within a shop’ concept to stunning new heights. The range and broad selection of incredibly well-preserved vintage clothing that Powder Vintage has curated is, in a single word, impressive. Karla's favorite piece in her collection for the shop is a cropped crochet jacket from early 1900s Ireland, a testament to the level of quality of the pieces Powder Vintage seeks for its shop.

With her start in vintage reselling in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico in the mid-‘90s, Karla’s experience in the business runs deep. After selling two vintage shops she started (the first in Monterrey in 2003; the second in San Antonio in 2008), she moved to Austin in 2009, selling vintage wholesale both online and to shops around town. After buying a piece from Karla at the Citywide Garage Sale over a year ago, Wood and Ogle invited her to sell her clothing at The Special, and a match made in vintage lover’s heaven was born.

Wood’s current favorite piece at The Special is a bright red iron candlestick holder; a piece whose identical twin went to Leslie Hernandez at Aro, where Passport Vintage used to reside. It’s another example of the Austin vintage community supporting one another, both financially and philosophically. When asked if there’s any commingling between Powder Vintage and The Special in terms of merchandising, Wood laughs knowingly, saying that she and Ogle “literally can’t go to the bathroom without trying something on!”

Now we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below and tell us your favorite place to shop in Austin.

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe. 

The Greer Guide to Austin: Passport Vintage

To say that Maria Oliveira and Ryan Lerma know jeans would be an understatement. With the Instagram tagline “vintage jeans for modern butts," their vibrant blue brick-and-mortar arguably holds the best vintage denim collection anywhere, in Austin and beyond...

Having worked in retail management together and with a combined 14 years of retail experience, Lerma and Oliveira teamed up and went into vintage reselling together while still living in Chicago, where they relocated to Austin from in 2016. Though they considered other spots to make a move — L.A., Nashville, and Atlanta were on their list — they ultimately concluded, after much research and scouting, that Austin was the vintage capital of the U.S., and was where they could see their business grow.

It didn’t take long for Passport to develop a devoted following of vintage denim devotees: since Passport’s launch two years ago, it has transformed from an all-online sales platform to a stint in East Austin residency (its first physical iteration was in the second floor of Aro’s space on East 5th) to its current cool-hued digs on South 1st.

Specializing in vintage denim and t-shirts, Passport creates an experience in their shop, encouraging visitors to take in the ambiance that each separate room within the shop creates. With every piece in the store hand-selected by Oliveira and Lerma themselves, stepping in to Passport evokes the feeling of walking inside the home of an impossibly cool, undeniably fun friend with an eye for only the best in vintage. When it comes to sourcing, Lerma and Oliveira share an attitude of “anywhere and everywhere” to find those classic throwbacks that are forever in demand.

Beyond their bread and butter of vintage denim and tees, Oliveira and Lerma are very selective with any other pieces they bring in to complement the look they’ve cultivated for the shop. A mix of new and vintage accessories — which has included sunglasses, cameras, and shoes at different points in Passport’s lifetime — rounds out the outfits that make the shop’s Instagram feed a favorite among vintage fans worldwide.

Lerma and Oliveira tap into power that an inspiring physical space can have— and into the community that it can create. Longtime Instagram followers of the shop who come to Austin will make a point to visit the shop, and it’s this connection to their customers and their clothing that makes Passport an absolute must-visit.

NOW WE WANNA KNOW, WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS TO SHOP? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND TELL US YOUR FAVORITE AUSTIN BOUTIQUE.

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe. 

The Greer Guide to Austin : Coco Coquette

It’s a reliable rule of thumb in the fashion world that great style always comes with a compelling story. Austin is no stranger to either of these things, and the city attracts people with style (and stories) in spades. In just the last few years, those people have helped the vintage scene in Austin explode, flipping the script on what it means to look “current” or “modern” in today’s sartorial landscape dominated by fast fashion, with its oft-cookie-cutter looks and trends that burn brighter (and fizzle faster) than the latest flash-in-the-pan viral video sensation.

Their stories have shaped their successes; their visions are what breathes new life into small local business. 

In Austin, Texas, it’s not enough to just have style. You gotta have soul.

Coco Coquette  

2109 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

Much like her outpost on East Cesar Chavez, Allyson Garro herself brings an element of fanciful glamour that is somehow, paradoxically, completely accessible. An L.A. transplant with five years of wardrobe experience under her belt, Garro wanted a departure from the high-stress life that "The Industry" comes with. After a lot of soul-searching (and a retail stint in New Orleans where she gained her chops in retail), she opened up shop in her current East Austin location nearly eight years ago.

Garro knew she wanted to create a space where people could come and be presented with everything they could ever want to costume themselves. Having been a part of the burlesque scene in both L.A. and New Orleans throughout the late nineties and early aughts, her shop is a clear manifestation of a combination of her experiences. 

“There’s something about putting a wig on that’s very disarming. It gives you permission to be someone else. I think it’s better than alcohol!”
— -Allyson Garro, Owner of Coco Coquette

With an infectious enthusiasm for playing dress-up, Garro lights up when talking about hosting events and “wig parties” at the shop: While wigs are the mainstay of her business, Coco Coquette offers a full costuming experience with a wide range of skincare and wellness products, an impeccably curated selection of vintage party-appropriate clothing, and all the accoutrements one could need to transform themselves into a vision of vintage romanticism.  

For Allyson Garro, style will always been deeply personal, and is influenced by her mood. She recalls a memory growing up, having missed the bus on a stressful morning of fourth grade and her mom having to drive her in to school. Her mom recognized that something was wrong due to her daughter’s silence throughout the entire ride, Garro finally mumbled something about hating what she was wearing. Her mother, understanding the feeling of just not feeling right in what she’d chosen to wear, turned the car around so her daughter could change into something that suited her that day. Style didn’t just influence her mood, it changed the way she thought about work and what her role could be in helping other people feel good about themselves. 

Glamour, as it turns out, is a language in and of itself. And after spending just a few minutes inside Coco Coquette, you’ll be speaking ‘glamour’ fluently.

Now we wanna know, Where are your favorite spots to shop? Leave a comment below AND TELL US your favorite AUSTIN BOUTIQUE. 

The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative. 

Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe.