What: A new store in Capitol Hill offering hand picked new and vintage clothing, jewelry, housewares, and cosmetics.
Where: 220 East 13th Ave Denver
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
When: Monday – Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Queen City General Store is a shop you can only conjure up in your dreams. The mixture of lush greens and antique furniture sound like they might compete in a confined space, but owner Olivia Meininger has created a shop that feels both fresh and otherworldly. Located at 220 E 13th Avenue, it’s just a quick walk from the Denver Art Museum, which seems fitting seeing that this is not just a shop, but also a work space for artist. In the back room, Meininger has created a studio in which to recreate pieces that you’ll find up for sale. Many times this could be as simple as sprucing up a vintage piece or as creative as adding new elements to create a whole new look.
Upon entering Queen City, you’ll find an opening entrance with racks of clothes split by gender, with two couches that sit in the middle, filled with furs and heavily patterned pillows. Deer heads sit on the walls alongside birds on shelves and a curious fox. Shelves full of various live plants including cacti and aloe vera give the interior a sense of nature. You’ll also find various crystals and dried pants up for purchase. But what we’re most impressed with was the back studio space, where Meininger recreates her pieces and brings the magic to Queen City General store.
We were interested in how Meininger made such a space come alive, so we sat down with the Denver native to learn more about her past, personal style, and the hopeful future of Queen City General Store.
303 Magazine: First of all, can you tell our readers about your history and background in fashion? What essentially made you want to open a boutique?
Meininger: I went to school for fashion design at Syracuse University and The London College of Fashion and worked in the industry for a few years in New York. When I landed back in Denver, I had a few shows and installations. I always knew I wanted to have my own space where I could always be working on various creative things, kind of a place where it could be possible to see all of these ideas I have come to fruition while also being able to support other artists and provide my community with things I find to be inspiring.
303: We know you have connections to New York and California, so why did you ultimately choose
to settle in Denver?
Meininger: I’m from Denver. I left New York to escape another winter and headed to California. I came back on my way back to Brooklyn and was only supposed to be here for six months, and that was eight years ago. I love it here. I love my community and the sincerity of the work here. And I find the mountains and the plains and the history of the west to be so inspiring.
“Queen City General Store’s name comes from the idea that Denver is referred to as, The Queen City of the Plains. I’ve always found that to be so romantic and emotive and since the store is really for Denver, it just seemed right.” – Olivia Meininger
303: Each piece in your shop is so different and unique, how do you go about finding them?
Meininger: I have been hunting for things and collecting since I was little. The things I find for the store come from all over the world, I am just always looking, and for all sorts of things. It’s thrilling for me and even more exciting when it ends up in the hands of someone who really loves it and feels inspired by it.
303: The shop has a great mix of decor, what inspired you in terms of aesthetic?
Meininger: The aesthetic of the store… it’s just my aesthetic. I’m sure there are several things that have been formative for me, the West, Rock and Roll, I don’t really overthink it, I just know what I like and what feels inspiring.
303: What is your favorite piece that you are currently carrying? How would you style it?
Meininger: I just got in these amazing Bolero hats from Worth and Worth out of New York. They’re like Puritan, Spanish, Bob Dylan. I’m so in love. Today I wore it with a long lace duster and suede boots.
“The jewelry is a mix of new and vintage pieces. I carry a few local makers, Atlas Metals, Myopic Void, Marrow… and a few brands from around the country. I’m most in love with finding vintage Native American old pawn pieces.” – Olivia Meininger
303: Where/who do you look to for inspiration when it comes to your wardrobe?
Meininger: The inspiration for my own wardrobe I suppose also probably comes from the West and rock and roll but I really just know what I’m attracted to and don’t overthink it. Not gonna lie tho, I usually just wear black and have been known to rock the same ratty tee shirt for days. My life is kind of get up and go so I just throw on what feels right and roll with it. I do love to dress for occasions though and I totally swoon over embellishments, embroidery and details, textures and a good fit. And boots!
303: What do you hope for the future? Where do you see Queen City General Store in 10 years?
Meininger: I think one of the greatest parts about it is that there’s no ceiling to what can happen in there. I designed it to have a built-in studio which can basically be a design house and an incubator for other designers and artists. We can have classes and events and build and install whatever installation we want whenever we have an idea. All of the possible collaborations and accidental rad things that could happen, it really could be boundless if we just work hard and keep it sincere.