Live Your Color with Rebecca of A Clothes Horse

We have been wanting to interview Rebecca, the creator of A Clothes Horse, since we started collaborating with her years ago as we believe she is one of the most intriguing bloggers who stay true to their colors. Her imagery always take us through the most scenic, magical, fairy-tale like places in the most “clothes horse” outfit.
In this interview, she takes us wandering around Bruges, Belgium in our “tree crew socks” which are “perfect fit for perfect fit for everything I wear in autumn and winter I couldn’t resist getting all three pairs”.  She has always been the ambassador of outfits that compliment colorful socks and tights, and is constantly challenging and evolving her looks.
Please enjoy reading what it means for Rebecca to #LiveYourColor and express herself through her passion of self-expression.
bruggesocks-2
1. Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today?
I kind of grew up all over the place because of my dad’s job. We moved every few years, so I kind of don’t have a very set idea of “home” and I’m pretty good at responding to change. I really like my upbringing though because I know what it is like to live in a small town, a big city, places where I didn’t speak the language, and ones where I stood out like a sore thumb. It also means I tend to get a bit bored in one place though! I like moving and seeing new places too much.
bruggesocks-4bruggesocks-7-sidebruggesocks-15bruggesocks-20
2. How did “A Clothes Horse” come to life? 
It started on a whim while I was at university; I was studying business and I was really bored without a creative outlet. So one day I decided instead of just reading blogs I ought to write one and basically fell in love with blogging then and there and never looked back. My format hasn’t really changed at all, although the photography has gotten better.
bruggesocks-22
3. What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? 
Haha it is so hard to get out of bed in the morning because my bed is sooooo cozy and my room is usually so cold! But I do love my job; I work for myself—usually by myself—so I’m very self-motivated to get up and go do that work that I really enjoy. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize this job because I don’t want to do anything else.

bruggesocks-246. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not styling or thinking about A Clothes Horse? (if that ever happens!)

I think my favorite thing is just to eat junk food and watch tv with my husband! I’m a sucker for curry chips and marathoning Netflix! 

7. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Right now probably mustard yellow, although it probably would have been a different color a few years ago!socks-1-copy
bruggesocks-32
8. What does “Live Your Color” mean to you? We can’t help but to notice your ever-evolving hair color. Please tell us the story behind it!
I think Living Your Color means not being afraid to be yourself. I’m a pretty shy person and was painfully so when I was younger—like turning red and stammering if I got called on in class. I’m still shy, but I’m not afraid to be myself anymore, even if that means wearing or doing something that makes me the center of attention. For me it’s not about wearing bright colors or dyeing my hair different colors to get attention (since I hate having people stare at me!) but being willing to put up with things I know will draw eyes to me because they’re something I’m passionately curious about trying. Fashion (and hair dye) for me are all means of self-expression, so I like to explore different things. I always wanted blue hair since I was very little and about a year ago I finally had a go at it. Right now I’m red again and it’s not my natural color either, but it’s the color that feels the most “me.”
bruggesocks-1bruggesocks-2bruggesocks-3
All images by Rebecca of A Clothes Horse, Follow her on Instagram
Shop Rebecca’s look at Tabbisocks!

Live Your Color with Jill Lindsey

My very first impression of Jill Lindsey is her big, sunshine-like smile — which made me feel instantly welcomed when I first stepped into her Fort Greene boutique.

What seemed to me like a clothing boutique turns out to be much more than her eye-catching window display. It’s a wine bar & coffee shop that resembles the streets of Italy, handmade treasures made by global and local artisans, and of course Jill Lindsey brands she designed herself. She also offers wellness events and classes for all ages, connecting and strengthening the sense of community.

It’s the mixture of all these dimensions that makes Jill Lindsey store stand out from the crowd of ever-growing Brooklyn shops. I know, it may sound like this is a lot for one person to handle, it’s a strong community she built around her character that is her constant source of support and motivation.

We’re so excited to be able to interview Jill, on what it means for her to live your color!

fav17-1

1. Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today?

I grew up in Kansas, a bit in the country. It did shape me, by having a beautiful connection with nature, country, open skies have been incredible to grow around.

I also believe being grounded comes from strong connection with nature. Can I ask what brought you to NY?

My love for fashion brought me to NY.  There is such opportunity and its the heart of the fashion industry!

fav2

Blog23

As for the cafe, I was in Florence Italy and enjoying a glass of wine when I was like “I want a store with a wine bar in it and great coffee” so I actually drew out the floor plan of the shop right then and there and it came to life.

2. I love the concept of a lifestyle store that provides more experience than just shopping. Could you tell us how “Jill Lindsey” come to life?

The JILL LINDSEY Experience was created originally to get people into the store. At the time I opened there wasn’t much action on Myrtle Avenue, so I had to create a reason for people to come to my space. We began with 4 events a month, on craft, one plant, one food and one dating event. Then I just loved doing the events and partnering with amazing people that we kept growing and now our calendar is very full! As for the cafe, I was in Florence Italy and enjoying a glass of wine when I was like “I want a store with a wine bar in it and great coffee” so I actually drew out the floor plan of the shop right then and there and it came to life. The cafe just adds a great sense of community, you can shop have a coffee, enjoy wine in the garden really just relax into the space.

Blog16

Blog15

3. What motivates you to get up every morning?

Everything!! I am so excited everyday! To share experience with people, learn things, do things and really appreciate life.

I love that you wake up excited everyday! Could you tell us what is your secret to staying motivated through ups and downs? 

I think it’s looking for the things that excite you, and centering your life around positivity and happiness.

Blog14

fav9

Trust your vision and point of view to make it your own.

4. What advice would you give to someone who is currently trying to start a lifestyle shop? What was your first step of the journey?

Trust your vision and point of view to make it your own. My first step was to let my imagination run wild, and think about really what I want the experience of my space to be.

And what was your next step on making your imagination come true?

After I imagine an idea, I make a list or a plan of how to execute the vision.  I make lot’s of lists 🙂 and think about every little detail to make things special.

5. Could you tell us about the location you chose to photo shoot and why it holds a special place in your heart?

My store was the location which is where my heart lives! We have an enchanting back garden that is a very magical place!

Yes, the images shot the garden looks truly magical 🙂 Is there a particular reason you chose to open a physical shop in Fort Greene when (few years ago) there wasn’t much foot traffic? 

I live in Fort Greene, so I saw an opportunity for all the things my store offers.  A place for shopping, coffee & wine, events, and wellness.  I wanted a place for people to connect with product, people and experience.  I found the space that is now JL and it was perfect, and the garden has been such a magical place to host events and special occasions!

fav11

6. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not curating items for the shop and organizing events?

I love cooking! Taking long walks thru the farmer’s market. I have a new found love for pilates, and our instructor Lizzy at the shop is so inspiring! I really just love adventuring whether it be in nature or city.

Blog4

fav14

7. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

GOLD!

8. What does “Live Your Color” mean to you?

It means dress how you feel and be excited about your style!

fav15

Thank you Jill for sharing your color with us!

Shop Jill’s looks on our Crew Collection
Follow Jill’s journey on Instagram and be sure to stop by Jill Lindsey when you’re in Brooklyn!
Photography by Sabrina Sun of Sabrina SL, Follower her on Instagram
Interview by Sakura Kojima, Follow tabbisocks on Instagram

Live Your Color with Kelli Galloway

Starting an independently owned business is no easy task. In order for it to really flourish and launch successfully, one needs to be willing to listen their inner curiosity and step fearlessly into the unknown. Kelli, the floral designer of Hops Petunia, experienced a series of unexpected events which lead to the decision to open her own shop. It was the time spent working at a floral shop as a teenager that Kelli reflected on in fond remembrance that confirmed being the creative director of Hops Petunia in the heart of Kingston, N.Y., was the dream path life was gearing her towards.

Kelli has a background as a creative director elsewhere, which lends to her floral-magician-like-work. She is also like that one friend who makes you feel both uplifted just being near them, but also gifts you contagious laughter in her presence. Hops Petunia in turn makes you feel relaxed with the scent of spring flowers filling the air. Kelli’s character brings extra pizazz to her already lovely flowers. Even stepping foot into Kelli’s home, the space is filled with beautiful vintage pieces, evoking questions of their backstory.  By allowing for nostalgia to hint and re-direct her life’s path back to floral arranging, Kelli is sharing what it means for her to live your color.

Blog2

Blog1

1. Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today?

I grew up in Southeast Michigan, in a suburb south of Detroit. I could probably go into a long dissertation of how my hometown shaped me, but I’ll try to keep it short. Detroit, for a long time had a bad reputation of being scary and dangerous. Even by us at times, but yet there was always an under current, a beat, literally and figuratively. I grew up seeing some of the best music, dancing in weird basements, bowling alleys, seeing shows in rooms as big as your bedroom. I lived for music, and art so wherever we could find it is where we were. So with that said, I think Detroit taught me to seek out and find great things, to not be afraid of that weird creepy door, there might be something amazing behind it. Michigan in general is a gorgeous state, lots of woods and amazing areas, I grew up being on the water most summers, being in nature, going to friends’ cottages so Upstate NY feels very much like home to me.

I attended College of Creative Studies in Detroit which definitely shaped me in a way that I was a part of the change in that city, the growth, the promise that artists and new things could happen. It’s something that I didn’t realize until recently, it’s why I love Kingston so much. It has all of that hope and promise, and a lot of hard working people trying to make great things.

Blog4-1Blog5

I also believe that you don’t necessary have to live in the most “hip/trendy” neighborhood to live a meaningful life. It’s what you find behind the creepy doors (I love this expression!). What do you find in common with the Hudson Valley communities (ex: the artists in Kingston) and the people you grew up with in Michigan?

 I’d say what I find in common is probably complete openness, there isn’t this veil of competition lurking, people aren’t making art or projects because they want to be rich and famous and show in a gallery in Chelsea, I mean I’m sure they wouldn’t complain if that happened but they have a lot of passion and meaning behind what they do. You have people tucked away in the hills of Hudson Valley who have painting for 50 years and they may not sell a single one, but they keep painting. Detroit is similar in that way too, people work hard on what they love, regardless of what others think. Its about craft and quality before fame and recognition. The people who restore old cars in Michigan are, to me, some seriously talented people, they might not think of themselves as artists but they work really hard and create art in the form of a car. People are just digging into what they love and making it happen, whether its art, food, historical preservation, music, they just keep moving forward. 

I think Detroit taught me to seek out and find great things, to not be afraid of that weird creepy door, there might be something amazing behind it.

Blog8

Blog6Blog7

2. How did “Hops Petunia” come to life?

Ohh boy, ok so here we go. I grew up working in flower shops as a teenager, I actually ended up in one by accident, because I was fired from a cafe (I’m just bad at waitressing). And hurriedly got another job, any job, which happened to be cleaning roses and sweeping floors at a florist. One that the owner handed me the keys the night I started and was like “Lock the door on your way out. Close up at 8.” I think about that now and it scares me to death, I couldn’t hand over keys to my shop to a 16 year old and say good luck! 

 Anyway, a fell in love with it immediately, talking to the customers, seeing their happy faces leave with a bouquet I made. It was great. I ended up in many shops over the course of high school and college, so about 7 years. Then I finished college and went on to be a graphic designer and then a art director. Long story short, I grew tired of design work and lost interest in it because it became more emails than art. It occurred to me I loved to make things with my hands and that flowers made me feel like I was creating something special. So I signed up for a class in Seattle with Amy Merrick and Floret Flowers, another long story, as to how I got there but needless to say I fell in love all over again and it was that weekend in August a few years ago I realized I had to go back.
 
My husband and I had been teasing about the idea that when we retire we would and open a bar that was a flower shop during the day and we were playing around with names, and and it hit me one day, Hops Petunia, was a great mash up of the two ideas, and people really seemed to remember it and like it.”

Blog16

Blog11

3. What motivates you to get up every morning?

I’d say knowing I get to go adventure with my husband, we love driving around and finding weird stuff. But I’d say on a daily basis, I just really love being in my shop, I truly do. I love playing with how it looks and making it feel fresh, creating and practicing flower arrangements is really just my favorite thing.

Take classes, study with great designers, intern for them, freelance, whatever you can. I learned so much from so many amazing ladies.

 4. What advice would you give to someone who is currently trying to start a flower boutique? What was your first step of your journey?
 
I’d say take classes, study with great designers, intern for them, freelance, whatever you can. I learned so much from so many amazing ladies. As far as the shop itself, it sort of fell upon me, a dear friend told me about the space and I thought yeah yeah, I can’t do that its too risky, too much money. But it turned out I could do it, and it was super scary but like the good kind of scary, the kind you can’t wait to be in.
Blog15
Blog12
Blog13
5. Could you tell us about the location you chose to photo shoot and why it holds a special place in your heart?
Well our house in Rosendale is very special to us. We bought it before we were even married and we ended up in Rosendale because we saw my favorite band at the Rosendale Cafe about 9 years ago. I remember driving through and thinking this is the greatest, weirdest town, I just loved it.
 

I always feel so comfortable and “at home” whenever I come visit your shop (and your Rosendale home shared the similar vibe). How do you create the experience that is unique to your shop?

Aww that’s so nice!! And I’m thrilled to hear that because to be honest it was my main goal. I worked in a shop when I was a teenager that was an old barn, and the manager at the time, Mrs Ray, can’t believe I remember that, created just wonderfully cozy nooks and moments within the store. You could spend days going through all the corners and rooms. My space isn’t big enough for that but I made it a priority to create a space people felt really welcome in. I think its about layering and having pieces that are used and worn, like you would have at home. I love a stark clean white, well curated space but I feel like flowers and particularly my flowers feel cozy and warm and I wanted to space to do the same. 

As for our home, we tend to buy things we love, or have meaning to us. I could probably tell you a story around almost everything we own so I think maybe that probably bleeds over into the store. I was always in awe of peoples homes that felt like you belonged the second you walked in, so I think that’s been in the back of my mind.

 

Blog18

6. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not arranging flowers at your Kingston shop?

As I mentioned before we love to adventure, and find weird places, antique shops, and just drive into the mountains. We also travel a lot and try to see our friends when we can. But in all honesty, I love nothing more than just being a home with my husband and cat, enjoying the calm.

7. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
 
Green, it’s a color that has always made me happy. And not because I’m Irish and my name is Kelli. Haha.

Blog20

Blog21

8. What does “Live Your Color” mean to you?

Oooo thats a good question, it means so much. I am a color person, it effects me in so many ways, I can be uplifted and calmed, I’ve always said that my eyes see color before shapes, like my brain just gets jazzed by all the colors in nature. I’ve been using nature as a color palette for years, I always take photos of things that tell a good story through color. So for me, “Live Your Color” means get energized by what you see, wear color that makes you feel better, or gives you warm fuzzies. Color can be dramatic and soothing and wonderful. I also think “Live Your Color” can be much deeper, like be inspired to be as strong as color can make you feel, let it lead you, let it help you become the person who feel best being. Let it make you jump up and down because you can’t believe it exists.
Shop Kelli’s looks on our Crew Collection
Follow Kelli’s journey on Instagram and be sure to stop by Hops Petunia when you’re in Upstate NY!
Photography by Sabrina Sun of Sabrina SL, Follower her on Instagram
Interview by Sakura Kojima, Follow tabbisocks on Instagram

Live Your Color with Nina Ziefvert

Meet Nina Ziefvert, the creative mind behind NINA Z clogs and the mother of beautiful 1-year-old, Sonja.

Never thought I would find myself saying, “I’m addicted to clogs,” but it has become a reality when I put on a pair of NINA Z clogs with a mixture of comfort, style, and simplicity. These classic beauties are versatile enough to be styled with I-feel-like-doing-nothing-outfits to I’m-always-working-outfits, but can be worn all day without feeling any pain like my other semi-stylish shoes.

Before the clog-craze, the terms “grandma shoes” and “man-repeller” were often used to describe the traditional Swedish clogs that have a bulky, roundish front design and wooden heels. Nina reintroduced this idea to working professionals and creatives of New York in 2008 by combining her personal touch of modern art with Swedish craftsmanship. Since then, she has built a strong connection with her customers through weekend flea market trips to Brooklyn as  well as well-curated visuals for her online community.

The entire process of the interview spoke for itself: natural light coming through the high ceiling windows, her daughter and husband welcoming us with smiles, being surrounded by constantly changing woodland colors, the inspirations were overflowing from what she calls “Nina Z Studio.”

Unsaved Preview Document 9
1.Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today?
I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden mainly (the capital), but I spent a lot of time in the countryside during my upbringing, which I def think gave me an idea of do-it-yourself and entrepreneurship. Growing up, my father worked as an environmental lawyer for Swedish government but he also built a lot of stuff and fished and hunted. And my mom worked as a student counselor while getting her master’s in Archeology (just for fun), so I think I was just taught at an early age that one can wear many hats, which is the case of us (my husband and I) running our own business. I left Sweden when I was 18 and have since then lived in London, Paris and then New York, where I attended FIT. I have since then have varied jobs within the fashion and art industries and NINA Z just became a pretty organic mish-mash of them all.Unsaved Preview Document 5

2. How did “NINA Z clogs” come to life?
As previously mentioned, I had a varied background in fashion and arts before launching NINA Z, which basically grew out of my own need to wear clogs, which at that time were hard to find in NYC. So I started doing research and came across some traditional clog makers in Sweden that were willing to work with me in creating my own line. My husband joined the company in 2011 and since then we launched the studio program with in-house production and custom orders headed by my husband. He trained with a cobbler in Queens at night to learn how to make shoes (mainly clogs) before we started our own in-house production.

I’m curious to know how you manage to keep your price low while creating everything in-house?
Starting out, I never focused on wholesale, but rather direct sales in order to keep prices down. I guess, one just have to take a decision of just “HOW” much one wants to profit and adjust accordingly. I love what I do and I love offering my customers an affordable product and I still have a good life according to my standards, so it all works out.

3. You’ve mentioned you’re not a morning person…what motivates you to get up every morning besides coffee?

Life. Creating. Nature (We live in the woods of Woodstock). I love colors, forms and natural patterns and are constantly trying to create wearable beauty.

Nina and Window.jpg

4. What advice would you give to someone who is currently trying to start a sustainable fashion brand? What was your first step?
I don’t think that I was intentionally trying to start a “sustainable” fashion brand, however the way we make them (Clogs) just happens to be so. But for anyone trying to start a small fashion label, I think patience, a partner, and passion for the product is a good start. And we grew slow; no big investments and in the beginning I had a full time job as an art curator, which helped me pay my rent, etc (It also meant basically working 24/7). So that’s the advice I can give based upon my own experiences.

That explains the feeling of well-curated visuals presented through your clog brand. Is there any artist in particular you’re constantly inspired by?
I find great inspiration in the works of Leonor Fini. I also love Sigrid Hjerten. We live in a Bauhaus, which is a style, that always has been close to my heart and from which I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration through the years.Just to name a few. And I get most of my inspiration from random aesthetics like the tile combo on a rest stop or someone’s window sill display or the cracks in my step-moms house in Botswana next to a lovely ripe peach peach.  Or my brown leather pants towards the lime green velvet chair at the local bookstore (yesterday:). Colors, form, textures are every where if we just open our eyes a little.

I always present my collection of clogs along side a rack of two of well picked natural material vintage basics, so the process of sourcing these pieces and getting them ready for the rack, is also a very creative process for the eyes and hands for me.

Unsaved Preview Document 7.png
5. We truly enjoyed shooting in your cozy home in the woods. Could you tell us about today’s location and why it holds a special place in your heart?

We wanted to move upstate and out of Brooklyn for a while (or at least part-time) and a year ago it was just the right time and we found the perfect house for us (and our then 9 months old daughter Sonja), so that’s how it happened. We had spent a lot of time visiting friends in the area for many years, so we knew we wanted live around here, where we already kind of had a community. We still go down for the Brooklyn Flea on most weekend, and we still kept our apartment in Crown Heights, but I could really just do with the woods. I love it up here.

Nina and PlantsUnsaved Preview Document 22.png

6. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not designing or thinking about NINA Z clogs?
I like living :). I love nature and my garden and I spend a lot of time there with my daughter. As I said earlier, I love colors and forms, so naturally I spend a lot of time looking for inspiration wherever I am. Living in the woods allows me to have a slower pace and spend a lot of time by myself or with my family, which I really enjoy doing.
Unsaved Preview Document 18
7. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, that’s such hard question. Maybe beige, if I had to pick only one color.
Unsaved Preview Document 14
Unsaved Preview Document 13
8. What does “Live Your Color” mean to you? 
To live according to your own satisfaction and creations. To find a place and way of living here on this big Earth that works for me. And then nothing is forever, so I think  it is important to be open to change and stay present in whatever you are doing for this exact moment, which of course is sometimes very hard, but always brings goodness once done.
Unsaved Preview Document 19.png

Thank you Nina!

Shop her Clogs x Socks looks on our Crew Collection, and be sure to check out NINA Z Clogs.

Photos by Sabrina Sun of Sabrina SL, Follower her on Instagram

Interview by Sakura Kojima, Follow tabbisocks on Instagram

Live Your Color with Noelle Downing

Meet Noelle, the beauty and creative mind behind Noelle’s Favorite Things.

Surrounded by a beautiful collection of vintage hats and urban garden inspiration, Noelle looks comfortable at home in her Brooklyn nook.

I believe we found each other around the same time when Noelle picked up a pair of tabbisocks at Antoientte Brooklyn and a few days after, we decide to reach out through Instagram. When we make this type of special “coincidence,” whether it’s with customers or bloggers, we’d like to call it fate and make a real connection!

The moment we saw her blog, we were instantly attracted  to her signature vintage look with a quirky twist kitty prints, peter pan collars, red bows. It was no surprise when her pet bunny, Monty, decided to hop into the photo shoot next to Noelle’s favorite bunny tights.
In a city where people are constantly chasing trends and the next best thing on the runway, it takes a strong personality to stay true to one’s style. Read more to learn about Noelle and why she surrounds herself with people and all the things she truly loves.

Noelle_Heart_OTK1

1. Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today?

I am from Hammond, Louisiana. It’s a super, super small town and it certainly made me dream big. I think not being from a big city or anything like that, I always dreamed of living in NYC and being submerged in something so different than the small town I was from.

Noelle_Mirror_7

2. How did “Noelle’s Favorite Things” come to life? 
I’ve wanted to blog since high school and just for so long never knew what to do to make those dreams come to life. I have had one or two failed blogs before because I just wasn’t sure what image I wanted or brand for myself. Finally after living in NYC for almost three years, I met my friend Rachel of Jag Lever and really got to know a lot about blogging, photography, and had really developed my personal style! I think also finally coming into my own and being surrounded by friends with great style telling me I should have a blog was also a big push for me.

3. What motivates you to get up every morning? (besides coffee!)

Posting on Instagram! Haha, but honestly going to my computer to edit a blog post or post a picture on social media! I love my job and feel so blessed to get to do what I do and that really gets me going every day. But, just to be clear, I am by no means a morning personTongue out

Noelle_3.jpg

Noelle_Plants_6.jpg4. What advice would you give to someone who is currently trying to start a fashion blog and make a career out of it?

Try to figure out a brand for yourself. Know your style, know the style of photography you want your images to have. Also take some photography or editing classes if you haven’t or really focus on photography as a craft. You don’t need really expensive equipment if you really know what you’re doing!

5. 
Could you tell us about today’s photo shoot location and why it holds a special place in your heart?
It’s all in my apartment! My boyfriend and I moved into this apartment just a few months ago and I’ve been having so much fun decorating it with both vintage and new pieces! So our apartment is very special to me because it’s our home and I put a lot of love into it. Also because our pet bunny Monty loves it here and it makes me so joyed to see him so happy and hopping around everywhere!

Noelle_Rabbit_Tights1.jpg

6. If you were not a fashion/lifestyle blogger, what would you be doing? 
Possibly a designer.. that’s always something I’ve been very interested in! Or a photographer.

7. 
If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Red!!! I’m obsessed with the color red.
Noelle_Heart_Tights4
8. What does “Live Your Color” mean to you? 
Live your Color to me means so many different things. It means living your heritage and really embracing the color of your skin,but also to me it means wearing the colors that you feel inside your heart and soul. Waking up everyday and having the confidence to wear a bright purple dress or bright red socks!

Noelle_Heart_Tights5.jpg

Thank you Noelle!

Shop her Valentine’s Day look on our Heart Collection, and be sure to check out Noelle’s Favorite Things.

Photos by Sabrina Sun of Sabrina SL, Follower her on Instagram

Interview by Sakura Kojima, Follow tabbisocks on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

Live Your Color with Lexi of Antoinette Brooklyn

Meet Lexi Oliveri, the face and heart of Antoinette Brooklyn. 

It all started from a pair of cat tights. I got a call from her almost 2 years ago saying “My neighborhood store who carries your socks is closing down, and I really need those ‘neko’ tights!” I instantly felt the vibrant energy from her tone, which to this day, I believe is the reason why her shop attracts so many customers from around the globe. From our conversation, I could tell she is not only passionate about her shop, but cares about the entire small business community in Brooklyn (she did not want to purchase from us if it meant competition.)

The rest is history. Since then, she has invited us to host events at her shop, connected us to sock lovers across the East Coast and welcomed us to New York with all the help she could offer. We also share a passion for saving animals!

Lexi and her shop are constantly evolving. What started out as her mother’s timeless vintage collection now offers over 15 local Brooklyn designers, some even designed exclusively for Antoinette Brooklyn. I’m excited to join her on this life journey. She is a constant reminder that true happiness comes from helping others, whether it’s finding the perfect outfit for the customer or a safe home for rescued animals.
lexi1

Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are today? 

I grew up on an old farm seven miles from the beach in Central NJ. I was raised by two native New Yorkers (Mom was from the Bronx & Dad was from Brooklyn.) Although my Mom was a “stay at home mom” by the time I was walking I remember she was always fashionable & knew how to put an outfit together.  My Dad owned his own car business & always worked incredibly hard & instilled that work ethic in me since I was old enough to understand that if you work really hard anything is possible. 

You have not only created a well-curated boutique that attracts people from all over the world, but a place where creatives come together. How did Antoinette Vintage all begin?

It’s kind of a long story but I’ll try to make it short. It all started because of my Mom. Antoinette, the namesake of the shop kept reminding me through grade school, high school & even college that she was saving all of her clothes in hopes I would open a store one day. I had been working for Gap Inc. for over 5 years in product development & hit a creative roadblock one day so I surfed the internet & found a retail space for rent (which at the time was reasonable in the neighborhood) so I went to meet the landlord & the following day after convincing myself it felt right I put a deposit down & as they say, the rest is history.  

lexi2

What motivates you to get up every morning? (besides coffee!)

That’s an easy question because I’m not one of those individuals that can sit still too long. Even when I’m tired or sick I’m still writing down ideas I have for the business or scheduling the next shop event.

What advice would you give to someone who is currently trying to open a boutique?

I tell everyone the same answer when asked this question, be paranoid. I think the feeling of paranoia is how I opened Antoinette. You can’t let yourself feel comfortable EVER. Always, always, always take a chance.

lexi5

What do you mean by “paranoid”? Could you elaborate?

Sure no problem & glad you asked…what I meant by being paranoid is taking a leap of faith, believing in yourself but also believing that even if you fail you can never be upset with yourself because you took the chance & tried. Also, I have those days when I worry about the business but it always works out. You just can’t be too comfortable because life isn’t easy (it’s always good but never easy) & so is running your own business but that’s the cool part, it’s yours.

Could you tell us about today’s photoshoot location and why it holds a special place in your heart?

The location was inside & outside of the shop which is where my heart is everyday. I tell everyone Grand St. is where the magic happens in Williamsburg.

lexi3 revised

If you weren’t an owner of a boutique in Williamsburg, what would you be doing?

Well, I’m an adjunct professor at FIT so probably would go full time or go back to working for the Gap Inc. since I was told when I resigned that I always have a job there. But also I’m involved in rescuing animals so my heart would probably want me to open an animal sanctuary upstate somewhere.

If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh my, Black of course! 

lexi4

What does “Live Your Color” mean to you? 

The first thing that comes to mind is the color of my skin, heart & soul. My skin is a mix of my caucasian Mom & my biological asian Dad. My heart is kind of like a rainbow, but sometimes when I’m feeling sad it turns grey but never black. And my soul, is the color of kindness (not sure exactly what color that is but if I had to pick maybe aquamarine blue.) 

Thank you Lexi!

You can shop her look on her online shop or at her Brick & Mortar location 119 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY

Photos by Sabrina Sun of Sabrina SL, Follower her on Instagram

Interview by Sakura Kojima, Follow tabbisocks on Instagram