Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stitch Craft Vintage: shop tour

Putting the shop together was a labor of love and is an ongoing process of switching things around, adding (or removing) decorations, fine-tuning the branding, and tweaking the space to fit my vision for the store I'd want to shop in.

One of the first decisions I made was selecting a color palette: black and white with pops of pink and teal.  Black and white is a great base for the shop because it leaves me open to many different options for adding new prints to the decorations.  I love pattern-mixing and the shop definitely reflects that with the mixed-print bunting, patterned paper flowers, and lettering on the counter.  The bright additions of pink and teal are eye-catching, feminine, and fun.  Once I committed to using teal I found hangers at Wal-Mart and bought as many as I could find.  I'm glad I stocked up on them when I did because it seems they were a seasonal item and I've been unsuccessful in tracking down more on-line.  Having a limited supply of hangers keeps my inventory in check, at least.  I know I need to stop re-stocking merchandise once I run out of hangers. 

I also decided early on what my brand identity would be and with that I selected all the fonts and icons I would use throughout the shop.  Having a pre-selected font and voice has helped keep the merchandising and signage consistent throughout the store.

I picked up several racks from IKEA and my dad gave me two large 4-ways he bought at a store closing sale.  The front rack features all merchandise that's just been put out on the sales floor, making it easy  for repeat customers to find the newest offerings in the shop.  Sideways racks holding dresses, blouses and skirts in order from small to large line the left wall, and at the back of the shop customers can find a rack of sweaters and jackets, and a rack holding the "vintage-inspired" clothing, i.e. clothing that dates less than 20 years old. On the right wall I've featured the handmade dresses and kimonos that are offered in the shop, as well as accessories: bags, necklaces, scarves and belts.

The shop was and is a truly DIY endeavor for me. Almost all of the decorations you see are handmade, from the bunting and paper flowers, the counter, the ring stand, the necklace display and more.  I was able to find the rest (mannequins, clothing racks, etc) at a low cost online, or locally in thrift stores and from family and friends eager to help.  When planning out the design of the shop, one of my primary goals was to transform the space into something beyond a storage-unit-turned-booth so that it would stand out to passersby, and I definitely achieved that.  I get so many remarks that it looks "like a real boutique" and, while that might almost sound like a backhanded compliment, it makes me smile every time. 
Let me know what you think of my shop, and if you're ever in the Jacksonville area on a weekend, stop by and say hello! 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

oh, hello there.

Hey! Long time, no post, I know. I hate when bloggers abandon their site without any explanation, and look what I did.  Sorry for just walking away like that.

I'm still really into wearing clothes and sewing and styling and vintage like I was before, but I've found a new outlet for those interests.  Around the time I was winding down on my posts here, I started dreaming about running a local shop to showcase vintage and handmade clothing.  Jacksonville is a huge, diverse city but we currently have very few vintage shops to speak of.  I saw that little hole in the market and determined to fill it myself, and in April 2013 I opened my shop, Stitch Craft Vintage.

I'm starting out small and working towards bigger things.  I found an independent booth in a local market with low rent and, with the help of my handy husband, outfitted it to look less like a flea market stall and more like a boutique.  It's a constant work in progress but I am so proud of the space I've created.  About half the store is devoted to women's vintage clothing and the other half is handmade; I'm really stoked on having a place to hock the things I'm making, and it's led to a surge in my vigor to create, create, create as much as possible.  So many good things are coming out of this endeavor, and no matter where this road takes me, the journey is proving more fulfilling than I ever anticipated.

I could go on and on about this new chapter of my life, and as I'm sitting here writing this I'm feeling a little familiar itch to come back to this blog space more often.  I don't know that I will return to OOTD blogging (they say personal style blogging is dead, have you heard?) but I might come back from time to time to ponder things I'd like to explore on paper (screen?): what the start-up process was/is like, the challenges of running a creative business on the side while working a traditional 9-5, fears about the oversaturation of the vintage market, how selling in a flea market presents a totally different side of retail.... So many good writing prompts there.

In the meantime, if my blog is still showing up in your reader and you give a shit what I'm doing these days, stop by my shop instagram (@stitchcraftvintage), check out my etsy shop, say hi on my facebook page, or look over my (admittedly bare) shop blog.  Let me know if you're still reading, and if you'd care to read those prompts I mentioned. And have a fabulous day.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Florals in spring-time, especially around the Easter holiday, are always very unexpected.


Monday, April 09, 2012

book report

 I've had this outfit in mind for a while and when our weekly visit to Chamblin's Bookmine rolled around on Friday and the weather finally cooled off enough to wear jeans, I seized the opportunity.  It was a great outfit for an afternoon of sitting on the floor surrounded by stacks of books in a quiet corner of the store (it was even more comfortable with the oversized cardigan I wrapped up in).

I've been on a dystopian-novel kick for  the last 12 years (it started with Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale in high school) and I'm very fortunate that post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction is on the rise right now.  Like everyone else, I was/am a big fan of the Hunger Games series and have been looking for a book/series to fill that void for over a year, and with the assistance of I came across the Maze Runner series... have you heard of it?  It's not groundbreaking literature- in fact, it may even be classified as YA fiction- but the first book was one of those can't-put-it-down 6-hour-straight reads.  It's roughly based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and that's all I'm going to say about it because I am notorious for giving away too many details and spoiling the plot when summarizing books.  You should just check it out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

mint and eggplant (fashion, not food)

High: Getting off work early and coming home to take a long, indulgent nap.  It felt like Saturday morning.  I say Wednesday afternoons from here on out should be reserved for siestas.  

Low:  Mosquito season is upon us and I know this because I fed a swarm of them while I took these pictures.  At this rate I'll have malaria before August.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

really good


I ordered these leopard print flats a month and a half ago and they finally came in yesterday.  There's a point when the anticipation of delayed gratification turns to annoyed impatience, and for me it was at the one month mark- I would have cancelled the order but they looked so cute in the picture and they were on sale and I had already mentally created a space for them in my closet.   The long wait was certainly unexpected (why did you sell me out-of-stock merchandise, Target?!) but it was so worth it.  You can go ahead and get used to this pair now because I want to wear them with everything- and since leopard is practically a neutral, I think I can get away with it.  I'm going to try, anyway. Green plaid and leopard print? Sure, why not?

  • wearing new shoes and a new dress and feeling pretty fabulous for a Tuesday   
  • the awesome breeze and perfect lighting as I took these pictures
  • strolling along the beach with Ben before sunset
     Low:  don't have one. It was a really good day.

Monday, March 19, 2012


High: Waking up with plenty of time to get ready before going to work.  Monday mornings are usually rushed, groggy and grumpy but today was different; maybe it was because I was wearing this perfect combination of colors?

Low: Realizing that the hem of my skirt is slightly higher in the back than in the front after looking at these pictures.  I'm not sure if it's because my butt is huge or the skirt is wonky; either way I can fix it.  Hope no one got a show they didn't intend to see today!