Posted on Feb, 28. 2014 Category in my journal Tags
One week ago my best friend Sarah and her husband Jon brought their first son Hugo Benes Tvrdik into the world to meet everyone who has been waiting to meet him for the last nine months. Everything about this little guy is sweet and perfect and easy–he came two days before his due date and put his mom through a super tough but relatively quick labor overnight on Tuesday, he’s eating well, he’s making the cutest little faces. His cousin Alice is just fascinated with his tiny toes. She and I spent the day today getting the office ready for him to come to work in a few weeks!
For her part, Alice spent her afternoon at the office today preparing lesson plans for Hugo when he arrives. She doesn’t think he will be ready to learn to read when he comes, but she’s not taking any chances on losing an opportunity to impart her knowledge (to whoever will listen). I’m sure she will be grateful for the captive audience (for the next five years or so).
There’s already no one like Hugo in the world.
And doesn’t Sarah look beautiful? She’s a beautiful mother. She’s intuitive and loving and so gentle, and seeing her with her son makes me love her more than ever. The first time you see your own little person it changes you forever. I’m so proud of Sarah. They’re all family to me and I know I’m gonna love that little boy like my own.
Posted on Feb, 20. 2014 Category in my journal Tags
I wouldn’t characterize my style as fitting into any vintage-girl stereotypes (though you might!)….pinup, rockabilly, mod, rocker, whatever. Shades of all of them probably work their way into my wardrobe styling but that’s the fun of learning about fashion throughout history–identifying unique things about what you like to wear, and why. When we started Hello Holiday, we bought a lot of vintage inventory just to have some unique offerings and high-margin sales in our early revenue stage. We knew that with photography and the time it takes to upload and promote each new product, we knew in the long run it would be too costly to sustain, but I have vintage to thank for getting my company off the ground with a profitable first year.
Of course, it’s not only about that. Classic shapes, patterns, and styling has drawn in my aesthetic throughout my whole life. At this point it extends beyond my wardrobe–my entire home is furnished in vintage pieces. Secondhand style is awesome and we should all be open to more of it. Here’s why.
1. It makes it easier to understand the cyclical trends of fashion.
This is obviously a really useful thing as the owner of a fashion e-retailer, but on a personal level it’s fascinating to know what original designs are informing the trends we participate in without even thinking.
2. I don’t like to see things wasted.
Garage sales, thrift shops, and vintage consignment stores are full of vintage furniture and decor, but imagine how many perfectly good things are thrown away every day by people who don’t see the value in old-fashioned craftsmanship and style. Do you get the feeling that this aesthetic skips a generation? It feels good to not be contributing to landfills by offering a good home for old furniture and clothing that just needs someone new to care for it.
3. Increased likelihood of hauntings
I often wonder what the story is behind all the vintage I own. Jewelry from my great-grandmother–who gave this to her? When? Did she love it? Would she be happy to know I love it? Dresses and skirts from a consignment shop or estate sale–who owned these before? Was this hand-sewn by the previous owner or was it purchased or maybe gifted?
4. You can buy with a clean conscience.
The amount of money that companies must spend now to maintain mass-market labels (and the poor ethical practices that come with the cost of manufacturing and marketing) is staggering to consider. Wearing something secondhand can be as much of a political statement as an economic choice–a reaction against modern consumer culture.
5. It feels wonderful to own something unique.
The joy of finding something you know you aren’t going to see anywhere else wearing will never go away for lovers of vintage and secondhand pieces. It’s all about creating an identity instead of buying one from a big-box store or a magazine editorial and getting something different, regardless of where it came from.
I would never claim to have been born in the wrong decade. I love the freedom people have in our time to explore style and fashion as an expression of identity and gender, and the way clothing is so accessible to more people can present themselves the way they really feel. All I want is for everyone to dress, look, and feel exactly the way that makes them happiest. When I look in my closet, I see an eclectic and varied mix of borrowed things from friends, simple mass-produced things from big box stores, one or two big-ticket purchases that I saved for months for the privilege to possess, a huge quantity of things I purchased from my own store, and plenty of vintage clothing and accessories that make me feel like I’m wearing something unique and memorable. I think that’s probably really common because so many people love the way classic, pre-loved pieces make them feel like they look just a little bit better. A little more special.
Posted on Feb, 18. 2014 Category out and about Tags
Rebecca and I just settled into Vegas today for our buying trip for the Fall/Winter 2014 season. We can’t wait to get to work tomorrow and check out what’s new from some of our favorite brands like Dear Creatures, Seychelles Shoes, and Tulle, and meet some new designers as well. Tonight we had dinner at our favorite Vegas restaurant, The Peppermill. It’s like a 70s neon lounge that never grew up (nor does it need to)!