Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Vintage store opens with a bang

Ky McCombe
Holly Barnett, the owner of Stellar Vintage, stands outside of her business opening day Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

Whitewater has a new business at the corner of First Street that could become a hallmark of the community. Stellar Vintage is a curated clothing store that just opened in early 2024 featuring fashions from decades gone by.

Walking in you see a small store packed wall to wall with clothing from the 50’s to the early 2000’s. Whatever room there is between the racks and shelves of clothing will likely be filled by the throngs of people who have been flocking to the store since it opened.

The folks behind this new enterprise are Holly Barnett and Alyssa Dobbs. Barnett is the owner of Stellar Vintage, as well as the source of most of the collection. Barnett began collecting four years ago and quickly built an impressive collection.

Eventually Barnett realized that reselling the clothes could be a lucrative business, and so began to sell them on Depop, an app for selling and buying vintage clothing. After a few years of buying and selling clothes online, Barnett decided to expand and open up a store in Whitewater. 

In addition to providing most of the clothes for the business Barnett also provided the name. According to Barnett, the name comes from a movie series called Zenon, which Barnett enjoyed watching with her older sister Nicki. The main character of these movies’ catchphrase is “Things are about to get stellar,” which is where the name comes from. Barnett thought the name would be fitting since the movies used 70s and 90s outfits. 

Barnett is assisted by her partner Alyssa Dobbs. The two of them met in a women’s and gender studies class at the university.

“We definitely connected over our love of thrifting for vintage clothing,” Dobbs said.

Now their shared passion has become a lucrative business. Work toward opening the store began Dec. 6 when Barnett signed the lease for the building. From there they worked every day to get the store ready for the grand opening in February. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Stellar Vintage included many of the pair’s family, friends and members of the Whitewater business community. The store was packed with happy people browsing for retro outfits. 

“I think they connect with the clothes, so I think there’s definitely a market for it,” said Barnett. “Everybody loves to see things from their childhood. I think everybody loves a bit of nostalgia.” 

Holly Barnett and her partner Alyssa Dobbs smile as they stand behind the register greeting customers in their new shop off of Main Street opening day Feb. 13, 2024. (Ky McCombe)
Vintage Tees and Sweaters can be seen throughout Stellar Vintage’s collection and the changing room  offers the opportunity to try on any potential finds, Feb. 13, 2024. (Ky McCombe)
Uniquely curated jewelry, CDs, and magazines are also dispersed throughout this new vintage shop, Feb 13, 2024. (Ky McCombe)
A canvas bag that reads “Stellar Vintage” can be seen right outside the changing room of the vintage store on First Street in Whitewater, Feb 13, 2024. (Ky McCombe)
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About the Contributors
Blake Erwin
Blake Erwin, Community News Editor
Ky McCombe, Multimedia Manger

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