Yankee Sweetheart

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Yankee Sweetheart

Step into Yankee Sweetheart and it’s instantly unlike any other beauty parlour or vintage shop in Geelong. A teal blue wall scattered with pictures of vintage starlets and well-groomed men lines the far wall and the rest of the space is filled corner by corner with vintage goods for decoration and for sale.
Lexi DeRock greets me and she’s everything you’d want in a beautician and shop keeper. She’s welcoming, an exhibit of her talent and a seamless conversationalist – something that’s important for Lexi with her clients.
“I only take one client at a time, and that appeals to a lot of people because they know they won’t be in a shop full of people that’s busy with a lot of noise and without one-on-one contact time,” she says.
“When I was first living in France that’s when I started going out on my own and I really loved it because I could actually chat to the customer and get to know them. You mightn’t in a normal shop because you put someone’s colour on and you’re expected to cut and clean and pass people around a bit.”
With a background in theatre hair and makeup as well as special fx makeup, Lexi’s passion for vintage style developed over time but wasn’t something she came to love straight away.
“I learned how to do vintage hair and make up in beauty school. I went to the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, and every school has specific tasks that you have to accomplish,” she says.
“I just think the text books were super outdated as they were teaching us pin curls, finger waves and marcel waves and at the time I thought, ‘This is stupid, nobody wears their hair like this’ and now I use it all the time.”
The demand for Lexi’s skills initially came when she was living in Paris and working from home, and it’s now something that she uses daily on herself and on customers in the store.
“It’s creative and it’s a challenge and that’s what I like about vintage hair – it’s a bit more of a challenge. It’s very technique based,” she says.
“There’s this drama that comes with vintage make up and style, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look great dressed up like a pin up – it looks amazing.”
Beyond doing vintage hair and makeup, colour correction, blow waves and trims, Lexi makes head scarves, coin purses and is working on a vintage bathing range to sell in store.
“Bathing suits are my big project over summer. I bought back this vintage bathing suit that I got over in Paris. It needed a bit of repair so I took it apart and then I thought maybe I could just use it as a pattern,” she says.
Yankee Sweetheart also stocks vintage clothing sourced from local vintage stores as well as items made by local creatives.
“If and when I can I like to buy local and support them, because there’s so many creative people in the area that are making incredible things,” Lexi says.
Ultimately Lexi is doing what she loves and that shows through in her interactions with everyone who steps through the door. If you’re looking to get dolled up for a special event, wedding, ball or just need a new look, Yankee Sweetheart is the answer.
Where: 17 Church Street, Geelong West
When: Tues-Weds 10am-6pm; Thu-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat 10am-4pm
Website: www.yankeesweetheart.com
Contact: 0407137699