New store opening in downtown Glenwood City offering a taste of the past

By Cara L. Dempski

GLENWOOD CITY — A new shop of vintage clothing, jewelry, glassware, uniforms, linens, and other items from days gone by will hold its grand opening this weekend.

“Sophisticated Lady,” located at 132 Oak Street in Glenwood City, will be open January 27 and 28. The store occupies the space that formerly housed All That and More/Enchanted Moments. Store owner Mary Berg said she is excited to have a full store of vintage items to offer for sale.

Berg, whose mother resides in Colfax, lives in the Town of Franconia in Minnesota, which is directly across the St. Croix River from Osceola. She professes a love of all vintage items that she discovered when she was still a young child.

“I wrote a book called ‘The Joy of Being a Control Freak: The 80/20 Way to a Happy, Healthy and Organized Life,’ and inside the front is a photograph of me as a young girl wearing a string of pearls,” Berg said. “I was very young when my love of vintage jewelry and clothing emerged.”

The store proprietor said she began collecting items like dresses, military uniforms, jewelry, underwear, furniture, linens, and glassware when she became an adult, and has sold items in her collection in antique shops for the past six or seven years.

“My husband told me one day I have too much, ‘you better start selling some of this stuff,’ he said,” Berg laughed.

She estimated it was a little over one year ago when she decided she would like to open a showroom to hold occasional sales and serve as a base for selling items on the Internet. Berg’s first try at opening a store was in Menomonie, but a disaster in the form of a flood forced her to look further afield. 

A friend from Glenwood City informed Berg of the open space on Oak Street, and she decided it would fit her needs very well. 

The collection of items Berg has amassed is impressive and boasts garments from the early 1900s through the late 1960s. One of her favorite racks is the one containing different types Edwardian-era undergarments (1910s). Another favorite is the circular rack of dozens of antique linens that include handmade lace.

Young people seem to be drawn to clothing items like those offered by Sophisticated Lady, and Berg said she enjoys holding fashion shows for local residents and visitors alike. She stated she has recruited high school students and local residents to model the clothing and hats in the past, and said its a lot of fun to show off the items she has in stock.

The store is broken into segments, or “vignettes,” to look like a typical home from the past and features not just the clothing fashions of the age, but the furnishings and layouts from many decades ago.

Berg takes pride in presenting clothing and objects that are in excellent condition.

“I launder and iron everything when I get it,” she said. “And I have a seamstress in River Falls who does beautiful repair work.”

The store’s grand opening will be held January 27 and 28, and the doors will open to the public at 10 a.m. both days.