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If you drive down Milwaukee Avenue in South Milwaukee, you might catch a glimpse of a 1960 Pontiac Star Chief and a 1964 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood. 

Those belong to Natalie “Bonnie Holly” Gajewski and Jo Donner — two friends who recently opened a shop featuring vintage clothing and accessories, and mid-century decor at 1310 Milwaukee Ave. 

Donner already has an online shop called Miss D’Meanor Designs, where she sells sweater clips that she creates, and other vintage goodies. 

Gajewski owns Barberella, a contemporary hair salon with a vintage twist, right down the street from the new store. She has specialized in vintage hair for about 20 years.  

Together, they now own Dupree’s, named after a character in the John Waters film “Cry-Baby.”

The store carries vintage clothing, from the 1930s to modern day reproductions, accessories, such as, hats, jewelry, and shoes, and home decor, from dishes and lamps to small pieces of furniture and artwork. 

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Jo Donner owns Dupree’s in South Milwaukee with her friend, Natalie “Bonnie Holly” Gajewski. (Photo: Hannah Kirby/ Now News Group)

“When you’re in this type of subculture, when you see a great deal on something, you kind of just have to buy it because it’s not like you’re going to see it again,” Gajewski  said. “Now, we can put all of this stuff in the store.”

“We both realized we had a lot of stuff accumulating in our homes and just said, ‘Let’s do it, let’s jump right in and do it,’ ” Donner said.

Most of the shop’s clothing ranges from $20 to $40, Gajewski said. 

“It’s so hard to find affordable vintage clothing, so that’s what I wanted to do,” Donner said. 

“We wanted this to be a place where stuff didn’t sit around, gathering dust,” Gajewski said. “We want people to be able to access the things that they want from here, have that vintage lifestyle, but make it affordable.”

An in-house record store 

One room of the shop, with a listening station, is dedicated to Swing Boogie Stomp, Natalie Gajewski’s husband Joe Gajewski’s vinyl and DJ business. 

“It’s always been kind of a pipe dream to open a record store,” said Joe, AKA DJ Nailhead. 

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One room of Dupree’s in South Milwaukee is dedicated to Swing Boogie Stomp, Joe Gajewski’s vinyl and DJ business. (Photo: Hannah Kirby/ Now News Group)

Joe has about 6,000 records, both vintage and new releases, including ones from Hi-Tide Recordings, Swelltune Records, Wild Records, and Bloodshot Records. 

“A lot of it is vintage-inspired,” he said. 

In addition to DJing at car shows and vintage fashion shows, and having a podcast, Joe is a personal banking representative and in the Marines. 

“He’s the only client I ever went on a date with,” Natalie Gajewski laughed.

They met when she gave him a pompadour haircut 15 years ago. They’ve now been married for 12 years and have two teenage sons, Jonathan and Paul. 

Dupree’s had its grand opening Aug. 1. It’s open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It’s closed Monday and Tuesday. 

For more information, visit facebook.com/DupreesVintage. 

Contact Hannah Kirby at hannah.kirby@jrn.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.

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