image courtesy of Google Maps Streetview
**** out of 5
Ruby Slipper is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It's tucked away on Sargent Avenue far from any trendy district or other vintage shop. The outside of the building is unassuming and its interior is unadorned, undecorated and utilitarian.
By no means in saying this am I implying that Ruby Slipper is an inferior store. The shop does not need any fancy bells and whistles. The carefully selected stock that owner Tracy provides her customers is enough to make any trip worth while.
Ruby Slipper is operated a little like a regular retail store; stock is rotated seasonally and if it's not moving quickly is marked down and put on sale. If you want a holiday dress, for example, November and December are the months to visit. Summer Dress? April/May is when summer stock starts to come in. Operating the store this way is a great way to keep customers happy and coming back frequently for more! I don't believe I've seen the same stuff there on any two visits.
In spite of this seemingly positive feature, I did debate on whether I should have given this shop a 3/5 for this very reason. If, like me, you prefer older vintage (40's/50's/60's) there are definitely times to visit to make the most of your trip. Stock in these eras can be depleted and picked over "in between seasons". A visit to the store at these times can have you leaving empty handed. However, Ruby does sell some modern, trendy and designer clothing. These items seem to fill the gap at these "in between season" times. If you're looking for something in particular it's imperative to know when Tracy stocks the store. And thankfully in the electronic information age we live in, phone call to find this information out isn't even necessary. Ruby Slipper is very active on their Facebook page and update store activity, sales and new stock frequently.
After some consideration, I decided on a 4/5 review due to the fact that I have, in actuality, only left the store empty handed a few times. And this, of course, is to be expected when shopping for vintage. The trick with Ruby, as I've said, is to know when to visit.
If you do visit Ruby Slipper and Tracy is working be prepared for a chat! She's a fast talkin' gal who knows her stock and her customers inside and out. She has a keen eye for sizes (on my first visit she told me the size 6 dress in my hand would be too small...she was right. I fit a size 8 in her store) and will help point you towards the good stuff among the vast amount of stock, saving you time digging while you shop.
Ruby Slipper also offers consignment and will make house calls for large collections. They offer a 50/50 consignment rate, which, I believe to be one of the best rates in the city. Do be warned though, Ruby will only take items that are clean, undamaged, appropriate for the upcoming season and a good fit for their customers.
Overall, Ruby Slipper is a great vintage shop and worth the trip to its obscure location. The stock is typically well curated and varied enough to suit any vintage aficionado's taste.