Be sure to check out all things stylish at CincyStyleEdit.com! Thanks, girls!
Be sure to check out all things stylish at CincyStyleEdit.com! Thanks, girls!
The third edition of the Summer City Guide is here! This time, two local fashion lovers show us how it’s done in the ‘burbs:
One day, I was browsing Chictopia and saw a picture that stopped me mid-scroll. “Who is THAT?” I wondered, as I (of course) tagged it as inspiration on Tumblr. A bit of clicking around and googling led me to Kelsey Gibbs’ Tractordog Vintage online shop, soon to expand to become The Wonder Shop brick-and-mortar retail store in Wilmington, North Carolina. I love a good entrepreneurial go-getter story, so I immediately got in touch.
What inspired you to open an online shop?
Back when I still had a myspace account, Meat Market Vintage friend requested me. For the next week I was consumed in eBay bidding wars. I was in love, and had to turn this new obsession into a career. December 2008 I opened my etsy shop.
At first though, I didn’t want a storefront–too much overhead, too scary! The online shop was so flexible and behind the scenes.
A storefront seemed like the obvious next step. More hands on, interactive, and I have to get out from behind the computer! At first though, I didn’t want a storefront–too much overhead, too scary! The online shop was so flexible and behind the scenes. Working when ever I wanted, from home (but I was still working ALL the time).
Last year I decided I wanted to do it. It’s WORLDS different. Business plan, financial projections, LOANS, broker, lease, renovations, licenses, taxes, inventory management, POS, insurance, I could go on and on. But basically, lots of boring, time consuming stuff, just to get to the fun part. I’m planning to open in August. I’m also launching a new online shop, merging my Tractordog etsy shop with the new Wonder Shop. Along with the vintage, I’ll have new clothing and shoe brands available, too! Style Stalker, UNIF, Lazy Oaf (funky graphic tees out of London), Gee’WaWa and Matiko shoes to name a few! Keep up to date by liking Tractordog on Facebook.
What type of clothing do you find yourself drawn to at the moment?
’90s, I can’t help it. Cropped tops, loose fitting layers, platforms. Well, ’90s mixed with ’70s.
What’s inspiring you right now?
I get inspiration from everywhere and everybody! I couldn’t pinpoint it. As an example, I can’t stop loving the women in this video.
What are YOU wearing this summer?
Cropped shirts, palazzo pants, and lots of color!
The ladies in this edition of the Summer City Guide have an amazing way of mixing new and vintage and making you wonder “Why didn’t I think of that?” Check ‘em out:
‘Member how I said I wanted to start including stuff about other people on this site so it’s only, say, 95% self-indulgent vanity? Well, I’m sticking with it!
I asked a few of my bloggy friends (that’s what I’m calling them until YOU come up with something better, all right?) what they were into right now and they rose to the occasion:
Occupation: Sales Analyst | Stomping ground: Downtown Cincinnati
Drinking: Over 100 oz of water a day…it’s hot and I’m training for a fast half-marathon in September.
Listening: To Shrek: the Musical and Finding Nemo: the Musical. I guess I like dorky musicals.
Craving: Vietnamese food. Have you tried the Tofu Soft Roll at Cilantro?
Going: To Rock City! I’ve wanted to visit since reading Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. (Rock City is the setting of the final battle in the book.)
Wearing: Tons of bangles. They are my new, favorite accessory.
You can find out more about Kasmira at WhatIWore2Day.blogspot.com.
Reading: Currently reading Embassytown by China Mieville. Rags include GQ, Wired and Dwell. The Sunday NY Times and a million different blogs.
Drinking: Love a good IPA. And now that it’s warmed up, Dark & Stormies on the deck.
Listening: To Alt, one of several different stations on iTunes radio. A mix of genres, mostly alt on the iPod shuffle. HATE classic rock. (Ed note: WTF? Who hates classic rock?)
Craving: A beach vacation with a box of cigars and a cooler full of Landshark (not an IPA I know, but a beach calls for beach beer).
Going: To New York City in the fall, we’ve never been there. Some short road trips over the summer.
Wearing: The “Spring” was way too short, I was rocking blazers and ties for a short time. Now it looks like Madras shorts and lightweight T’s while the heat lasts.
See what else Bob is up to at 5chw4r7z.blogspot.com.
Being nosy is fun! More to come…
This blog is an exercise in vanity for sure, but it doesn’t have to be about me ALL the time, right? I miss editing and interviewing and whatnot, so I’ll be incorporating some fun, hopefully interesting stuff with OTHER PEOPLE (gasp!) into the site. First up? Jewelry designer Jennifer Merchant!
I first came across Jennifer Merchant‘s bold jewelry designs while browsing One-Offs Yippee! and noticed almost everything I liked was from her collection. Corian jewelry? Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? I decided to be nosy and ask the Savannah College of Art & Design graduate and Minneapolis resident a bit more about herself.
My transition to full time was sort of an accident. I had been waiting tables to pay the bills, and I ended up losing my job… Best thing to ever happen to me! It was the kick in the pants I needed to really put my all into my business. I am an all or nothing kind of girl, so I decided instead of trying to find another menial job to ‘pay the bills’ I’d jump head first into selling my jewelry!
The hardest part has been trying to run my business with pretty much no money to put into it. Luckily, I’m creative and have found a way to make beautiful jewelry out of really inexpensive materials. I print my own tags, take my own photographs, use only social media to market… someday soon I hope to be able to farm out some/all of these tasks so that I can focus more on creating! All in due time…
Knowing that I am really going after my dreams, I am finally going for it instead of being afraid to try. Even if it ends in failure, I know that I am giving it my all, and I have no regrets! Also, I remind myself daily that working for myself is so much more rewarding than anything else I have done, even though I’m a tough boss!
The confidence I gain with each little success, and the lessons I learn from each failure of running my own business. Doing what I love, and feeling like I am finally contributing to the world has made me a much happier person. What I love most is inspiring others to go for their dreams too.
I’ve often been told I look like I’m “from another era.” I would say my personal style takes a vintage 40’s feel and mixes it with sleek modern elements. I love juxtaposition and duality in design, and it seems to carry through my personal style and overall personality.
I absolutely adore art deco! Architecture, furniture, oh and the jewelry! A lot of people say that some of my designs are very ‘80s, but really I was inspired by the simple forms of art deco design. My pieces give off the ‘80s vibe because of the bright colors, and also much of ‘80s design was inspired by art deco, so I take it as a compliment.
I love music, dance, and performance. As a kid I was always singing, and I was on a competitive dance team all through high school. If I wasn’t going for my dream of being a successful jewelry designer, I’d be trying to make it as a performer. A couple years ago I was the lead singer for a cover band called Soul Surreal, and earlier this year I did a small production called Tails of a Bitter Waitress, so clearly I still find time to ham it up once in a while!
I love anything that is creative, I just have this undying need to create and express myself, regardless of the medium. That’s one of the best parts of working for myself, I get to do everything!
Building my brand, and getting into more brick and mortar shops and galleries!
I am also continually trying to push the boundaries of what is considered ‘fine jewelry’ and I hope to start incorporating more metal work in with my acrylic and corian designs. Currently I work almost exclusively in alternative materials, but I was trained as a metalsmith, and I look forward to returning to my roots a bit, when I can afford it! The price of gold and silver sure has gone up!
Currently I work out of my home, in the next few years I hope to expand into a proper studio space! My biggest goal is to get my work into Vogue Magazine–many of my pieces are made from past issues layered between sheets of acrylic. I also hope to be showing in more gallery type settings, as I feel much of my jewelry is more wearable art than just an accessory. And, in the next year or so you should be seeing my jewelry in stores nationwide, and *fingers crossed* in other countries as well!
These old school Liz Claiborne trousers are so Miss Denecke (my second grade teacher), whose life goals must have included looking like an extra from the set of “Knots Landing” and teaching us to properly write cursive. I’m wearing teacher pants and a blazer. It’s (almost) like I’m a grown up!
Speaking of growing up*, have you ever thought about what it would be like to spend your childhood as an unpaid laborer or sex slave? Neither had I until I had the opportunity to sit down with Emily Hill of Stop Traffick Fashion, an online shop dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking through the sale of merchandise created by survivors, who are often sold/kidnapped as children.
My heart sank into my toes when she pointed out that much of the world’s supply of cacao–you know, used to make chocolate–was harvested by slave children. I almost cried when I went to ChainStoreReaction.com and saw that Haagen-Dazs…mmm, dulce de leche ice cream…wait, what was I saying again? Oh yeah, so the tears flowed when I noticed that Haagen-Dazs hadn’t yet responded to the Producer Pledge, and I promptly added my name to the letters to several companies on the site.
No one’s saying you have to be perfect, and it’s pretty much impossible to know the entire supply chain of every single item you use, but I figure the least I can do is try. Even if that means scaling back on the desserts and Forever21 binges.
Check out the full article on my Examiner page and try to think of ways you can make a difference. If nothing else, you can get some holiday shopping done!
*Need to work on my segways, huh?
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