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.