SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Not one for fashion trends, Elke Lockert began adding her own flair to store-bought clothes, creating her own garments and accessories.
When friends and strangers started inquiring about where she bought her outfits and where they could buy them, she simply said "I made it."
So, she started selling the clothes right off her back.
Inspired, she founded Gypsy JunQue and set up tents at events and festivals selling her handmade goods.
She didn't stop there. Next, she took her merchandise on the road in a 150-square-foot bus.
On Oct. 8, fresh off the road from her drive home from Burning Man, she celebrated a grand opening of her first store, JunQuelow by Gypsy JunQue inside a bright blue and orange bungalow in Seminole Heights.
"For our grand opening we asked people to bring a lava lamp, game board or records," Lockert said. "I wanted them to feel welcome."
Now, lava lamps and records sit on the shelves and games fill baskets inside the JunQuelow, which is decorated in bright pinks that match Lockert's highlighted hair.
A couch area, complete with a life-size Ouija board that Lockert created and turned into a table, is the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the easygoing atmosphere while taking in the variety of items the store has to offer.
Keeping true to herself, customers won't find any sizes on anything in the store.
"One size fits all and if it doesn't fit, you'll find something else," Lockert said. "Sizes are misleading. It's all about how you tie and adjust things. You can add a belt."
Lockert cuts out sizes and brand names from the recycled clothes.
"There's no judging on anything," Lockert said. "If I can make someone feel good, that's why I like doing that."
Aside from clothes, the store has "junque drawers" full of bracelets, rings and other jewelry, plus socks, fingerless gloves, tapestries, shoes, candles created by her sister, Christmas potpourri, pillows and much more.
A studio room sits off to the side where she will teach workshops including dream catcher classes, record painting and wreath making.
The JunQuelow is located at 5805 N Florida Ave.
For more information, visit facebook.com/thejunquelow.
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