While heading to Sweet Home, a vintage/French-inspired-goods shop in the White Bear Mall, I passed by Catherine Wimmer’s shop, The Ruby Slipper. Intrigued by the cornucopia of colors and quantity of items, I backed up and walked in. In this 675-square-foot space was a fabulous assortment of vintage goods, antiques, handmade items, including beautiful crocheted blankets by, as it turns out, Wimmer’s 87-year-old mother. Silver trays adorned walls, antique baby dolls sat on shelves and vintage cookie jars held a bounty of antique buttons. There were baby clothes, picture frames, books and vintage perfume bottles. It’s the kind of place you need to take your time to look through. And snoozing on a tufted couch was Jasper the shop dog, a two-year-old schnauzer. And was he ever cute. “He follows me wherever I go,” said Catherine of her wide-eyed best friend. Catherine, as it turns out, is an avid collector of things. She has another business, The Vintage Lady Boutique, where she collects items and decorates three small cottages on the property of her Little Canada home; she holds sales periodically to help move out the inventory. Her love of things (and a lack of space) is what propelled her to open The Ruby Slipper in the White Bear Mall this past April. “I’m trying to get the message out that I’m here,” she said as we chatted, Jasper waking up from his slumber. “Please tell people I’m here.” We chatted for a bit. We talked shop. We shared contact information. And on that sunny day in August, I made a new friend, I found a new shop, I saw a hopelessly adorable pup and I got to enjoy the happy accidents in life. So, I encourage you to take a stroll through the White Bear Mall and stop in to The Ruby Slipper; you never know what you may find. The Ruby Slipper White Bear Mall2186 Third St.651.226.5950facebook.com/VintageLadyBoutiqueHOURS: Wednesday thru Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A stroll through White Bear Mall nets many wonderful and unexpected things.