University alumni create vintage clothing resale shop

Moth Oddities re-envisions the vintage buying process, and no digging is required.

Clothing hangs on the racks during a recent pop-up event by Moth Oddities.

Emily Bernu, Courtesy of Moth Oddities

Clothing hangs on the racks during a recent pop-up event by Moth Oddities.

Maddy Folstein

Looking to find your next statement piece? Local online vintage shop mothoddities.com — started by University of Minnesota graduates Yana Pietras and Ian O’Neill — can help you out.

Moth Oddities combines Pietras and O’Neill’s thrifting skills with the eye of Italian buyer Gina Pagnella to offer stylish, vintage fare. The duo launched Moth Oddities after graduating from the University’s graphic design program.

“We began dating shortly after graduation. As a couple, we started to spend our weekends thrifting,” Pietras said. “This began out of necessity … then it turned into a passion. We loved how you could find stylish pieces for your wardrobe on a budget.”

Pietras and O’Neill found that they were both particularly skilled at combing through countless racks of clothing to find hidden gems.

“… Then our friends began to ask for help for date night and photo shoots. They would ask us to grab them things,” Pietras said.

Moth Oddities was born.

Though the couple’s day-to-day workload involves digging at local shops, the two recently returned home from a four-month road trip around the perimeter of the United States rummaging through thrift shops along the way.

“We did six different markets and 15 or 16 different photo shoots,” O’Neill said. “It was amazing. [We] collaborated with bloggers, designers and other thrift shop owners.”

Moth Oddities also creates look-books to showcase their best pieces.

Miranda Meier, a senior studying product design at the University, works as a student ambassador for Moth Oddities. She said the shop finds success by curating class “thrift shop finds.”

“They have a lot of mom-style jeans. They do a really good job finding ones that fit and flatter,” Meier said.

Standout pieces are also discovered by Pagnella, whom Pietras met while studying abroad in Italy.

“She scours Italian markets for high-quality vintage pieces,” O’Neill said. “She complements shoots with high-end pieces that we only have because she’s going to these markets in Italy.”

For those looking online, the Moth Oddities team recommends focusing on vintage pieces that will work well with your wardrobe.

“You have to think of three outfits that you would wear with it. It’s all about personal style and making sure you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing,” Pietras said.

Another good tip?

“You want to make sure that whatever you are shopping for has a good return policy,” Meier noted. Moth Oddities has that covered too.

The company’s future looks bright. Following their road trip, Pietras and O’Neill began thinking about expanding their pop-up shop abilities.

“We really want to invest in a mobile shop — something like a retro trailer that we can outfit to be a really cool curated shop,” Pietras said.

The Twin Cities, however, will remain Moth Oddities’ home.

“We really do believe Minneapolis will be a great hub for our business, and we love being a part of the growing creative community,” Pietras said.