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Selling 'vintage treasures'

Raenette Manderfeld-Pung has opened Crown Laurel Boutique in Afton, which carries a variety of both new and old merchandise. Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith.

Selling vintage merchandise in a historic village like Afton seemed like a perfect marriage, which is why Raenette Manderfeld-Pung decided to open up Crown Laurel Boutique.

"Afton will always be a historic village," Manderfeld-Pung said, "and people are attracted to things with character and history."

Crown Laurel Boutique, located in the same building as Baglio's, at 3290 St. Croix Trail S., opened at the end of March.

The boutique houses an eclectic mix of new and old merchandise ranging from vintage housewares and decor to contemporary clothing, bags and soaps.

"It's just an eclectic mix of adornments for you and your home," Manderfeld-Pung said. "The beauty of having vintage is that you get to mix and match it."

'More the better'

The business is Manderfeld-Pung's first experience owning a boutique, however it's not her first experience with sales and merchandise.

Manderfeld-Pung previously worked for Otazu, a high-end jewelry company.

"It kind of set me up for this whole project," she said.

Even though Manderfeld-Pung does have experience in sales, it was Baglio's owner Lisa Baglio who really convinced her to open Crown Laurel Boutique.

Baglio was looking for a new tenant to house the space previously filled by J.J's Boutique.

"So, I told her 'Let me give it a try,'" Manderfeld-Pung said.

Manderfeld-Pung said her vision for the boutique was always to be an extension of Baglio's, which is a women's clothing store, and provide more variety to customers.

"We're trying to expand the selection for the customers," she said. "We're just mixing it up and I think people really embrace that — the more the better."

The name Crown Laurel Boutique has a special meaning to Manderfeld-Pung.

"I lost my dad this past December and his name was Lawrence," she said, "and the French interpretation of Lawrence is 'Crown of Laurel.'"

Going vintage

The idea of selling vintage housewares and antique furniture developed out of friends and family of Manderfeld-Pung having "vintage treasures," she said, and not having a use for them.

"It's the idea of letting the next generation enjoy it," she said. "We love the interesting, rich character and the historic value of this type of vintage ware.

"You can't buy them in a store, so when they're gone, they're gone."

Manderfeld-Pung said the customers will primarily dictate what types of merchandise her shop will carry however.

"We're trying to keep our finger on the pulse of the customers," she said.

Crown Laurel Boutique, which is accessible through Baglio's, will carry the same hours as the clothing store: Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"I love to sell and I love to merchandise," Manderfeld-Pung said. "I love putting beautiful things in customers' hands that appreciate them and enjoy them — I want to bring joy to their life."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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