Hello 2015! New adventures on the horizon

Welcome 2015 -- dogs in hats

Holy cow.  Welcome to the new year.  2015 is going to be amazing.  I can feel it.  I suppose I’m a tad late with this post, so let’s catch up.  Christmas was filled with all kinds of family, lots of travel, and a great deal of fun.  We celebrated our 1-year houseiversary and rang in the New Year with good friends and dogs!  Mine is the one with the hat.  Luckily my friend brought him an NYE date.  Aside from all the celebrating, I’ve been working my tail off because I have a big announcement!

I have opened a small space for my shop, The Brass Giraffe, in a monthly tag sale event called The Vintage Tin Can!  Shout it from the rooftops, baby!  I’m pumped!  I couldn’t be more excited or more worn out.  I’ve been working since the end of December to design my space, gather inventory, and sew, sew, sew for my studio collection!  Now you see why the blog was neglected!  The store had their grand opening on January 23rd.  I’m lucky enough to have a few hundred square feet to call my own alongside 35 other vendors.

Over the holidays, I went to a popular tag sale in Fallston, The Painted Mill.  I was blown away by the creativity.  I was kicking myself for not being a part of such a creative endeavor.  I had previously worked another market with the owner of The Painted Mill, but when she opened her new shop a year ago the timing wasn’t right for my business and my health.  So a few days later, when I discovered that a different person was opening a similar style shop just steps away, I felt like the stars were aligning.  This little area in Fallston was turning into Tag Sale Haven!  My handmade handbags and vintage style made the cut over at The Vintage Tin Can!  Suddenly weeks were flying by as the sale was fast approaching.  I was running on pure adrenaline stocking my space and fighting through some of the worst back pain I’ve had in my life.  Setting up a space while wearing a back brace is neither fun nor fashionable.

I meant to post teaser photos.  I meant to make an announcement.  I meant to sleep more than I actually did.  Basically, my life turned into retail prep full time!  Even as I write this, I can see our fully decorated Christmas tree in our living room, so being behind at home is an understatement!  It took many hours and the help of my family and fiance, but we pulled it together and it was incredible!  Honestly, I can’t thank you all enough for your help!

Take a look at the transformation of my space….

Blank slate at The Vintage Tin Can!

Blank slate at The Vintage Tin Can!

Brass Giraffe at Vintage Tin Can - Progress4

My father and fiance hard at work stapling fabric to the wall.

Ready for the molding!

Ready for the molding!

Brass Giraffe at Vintage Tin Can - Progress

The wall is complete!

The final product.   Ready for the January 2015 Grand Opening!

The final product. Stocked and ready for the January 2015 Grand Opening!

It all came together brilliantly.  Thank you for your help Mom, Dad, and Dillon!  I couldn’t have done it without you!  To the customers who shopped the sale or stopped in to see what it was all about, I appreciate your support!  Sabrina Barney, the store’s owner, has put together a fantastic group of vendors.  Her passion for this vision shows through in the hard work she and her family have put in to transforming the space.  The group of vendors in the store are some of the most caring, talented, and wonderful people that I’ve met in a long time.  It’s a pleasure to be working alongside them.  To say that January has been busy is an understatement.  It was truly an amazing experience and I’m really looking forward to the one in February!

I’m overwhelmed with excitement to be involved in a creative community.  A few posts back, I was talking about my lack of inspiration for vintage clothing and was debating where I was headed.  I can now say that The Brass Giraffe will be merging the two worlds of vintage and modern style.  My goal is to bring together curated vintage pieces, both in fashion and home decor, with handcrafted items — starting with my handbag line.  I’ll be steadily working on my own line, designed and produced in my studio, with the ultimate goal of launching a full blown, online shop for the vintage loving, modern woman.

Please excuse our mess over at The Brass Giraffe.  I haven’t been updating online as much as I’d like and our website layout is not my favorite thing at the moment.  I think a facelift is in order as I reinvent my shop!  Stay tuned.  I’ll try to chime in with some posts more frequently! Thanks for following along!

For the most recent updates on The Brass Giraffe — Find us on Facebook and Instagram.  Also find out about The Vintage Tin Can’s upcoming sales on their Facebook page!

Vintage Inspiration: “Styx” Gown, c.1936 by American Designer Elizabeth Hawes

Yikes!  It has been over a month since my last blog post.  Well, if I still have any readers left, take a look at this 1930s gown from American Designer, Elizabeth Hawes.  It’s a beauty!  I particular love how the gathered bust appears to flow into pleats under a criss-cross of fabric.  The color choice in this design makes it all the more interesting, don’t you think?  Now, while you’re distracted by a gorgeous dress, I’m going to go make a schedule to keep up with this blog!

"Styx" gown, circa 1936, by designer Elizabeth Hawes

“Styx” gown, circa 1936, by designer Elizabeth Hawes

The Loss of Oscar de la Renta; Fashion will never be the same


How can you put into words the beauty of an Oscar de la Renta design?  His dresses were incredible.  I envisioned Mr. de la Renta as the epitome of a true gentleman.  Dressed in impeccably tailored suits, he had an elevated level of class, as did his work.

Mr. de la Renta, started his fashion career at Cristobal Balenciaga, later moving to Lanvin, Elizabeth Arden, and then to the creation of his own namesake line.  He has notably said that his duties at Balenciaga involved “picking pins off of the floor.”  As an aspiring designer myself, it’s refreshing to see such a talented individual discuss his beginnings in the industry.  He worked from the bottom up, going on to achieve renowned success.

The fashion industry has lost a great soul today and we will all mourn the loss of this legendary designer.  A certain quote from an interview between de la Renta and Fern Mallis sticks out above the rest.

The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. You have to appreciate every single day that you’re alive. Life is a little bit like a garden—you have to find time to plant the seeds for beautiful flowers to grow. I’m having a fantastic time. But I must say that I would have never been able to go through what I went through without my family and wife.  — Oscar de la Renta



Oscar de la Renta; Fall 2014 Collection

Source:  Quote found here.  Image Credit:  here and here

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