Former Tessudo proprietor Ursula Galanos is back in Uptown, now the mother of a toddler and operating a gift shop with everything from wine pearls and vintage Prada handbags to French comfort food cookbooks.
Galanos (named after a Bond girl) ran the edgy fashion shop Tessudo near Barbette until 2005.
“I took a little break, had my family, and decided to do a store again,” she said.
At Shine On, she tries to offer a range of prices anyone can afford, with dresses running from $35-$100.
“I have very whimsical, eclectic taste,” she said.
She’s sold a surprising number of wall-mounted horse head statues, for example, and she carries shot glasses that look like camera lenses and tea towels decorated with Minnesota hot dishes. Her husband is Swedish, and they discovered a line of Swedish Kala soaps designed for sensitive skin in varieties like seaweed and sea salt. Galanos loves Minnesota — her mother was once Princess Kay, carved in butter at the State Fair — and she stocks lots of local products as well.
The Shine On space was once a pool hall in the early 80s, but it’s been empty for decades, according to building owner Linda McHale.
Galanos said she thinks online shopping has created a more difficult retail environment than the one she remembers, but she’s decided to “throw caution to the wind.”
“If I overthink things, I never do it,” she said.
She is optimistic about joining other new boutiques like Kisa and Pharmacie.
“I think there’s a little new surge in this area,” she said.