Archive | SPONSOR INTERVIEWS

CRAFT & CULTURE // INTERVIEW


Craft & Culture is one of my favorite web boutiques. They are based in Seattle and have a perfect dark modern aesthetic, focusing on unique designer apparel, jewelry, accessories, and even some cool home goods. Right now I’d say it’s minimal with just a hint of goth, but it’s always evolving. Craft & Culture has a unique focus on designer features, including interviews and in-house lookbooks, which are a real meeting of talents. For this feature I wanted to do a little interview with Craft & Culture because I know that they have a lot of cool ideas and motivations powering their shop, which I’m sure you can appreciate this too! Just in case you’re skimming, don’t miss their BLACK FRIDAY SALE starting this Thursday at midnight. Lots of amazing deals on really cool designer pieces, more info below in the interview!


–What inspired the birth of Craft and Culture? Has the vision evolved since opening, or are there any new directions that you’re interested in exploring as the shop develops?

Craft & Culture was inspired by conversations about things we love (independent design, underground fashion, unique perspectives) and also the desire to create a platform for the individuals that we admire to succeed on a greater scale. We began with four artists in Seattle that we had personal relationships with and those individuals really informed the values and direction of the site. Now that we’ve gone global (that’s fun to say!) we’re receiving input, inspiration and ideas from a much broader range of artists. So in terms of the future, we’re interested in creating space for a global audience to learn about these incredible designers and find pieces and products that they’ll treasure.

–It’s clear that the relationship between maker, retailer and buyer is very important to the shop’s overall vibe. From the exclusive editorials to designer interviews, there’s definitely a story being told. Why are these features important to you?

Thank you! We try to bring our unique skill sets and interest in the human part of products to everything we do. These are amazing individuals creating things by hand or in small runs. They love what they do and we want to support that by showcasing their work and processes in a personal and unique way.

–How do your surroundings influence the shop’s aesthetics? Does the creative community around you play a part, and would you ever want to translate the web boutique into a physical store?

The Seattle artists and community definitely influence the aesthetic of the shop. We’re impressed by our surroundings to say the least. But the focus is really the self-expression of all of our artists so that includes the Icelandic, Parisian and Montreal-based designers as well. The diversity is what is so exciting to us. The store has no plans to become a physical boutique because the web creates such a global reach for us. However, pop-ups are always a good option.

–I love all the dark colors and modern, slightly goth looks that are featured in the shop and the lookbooks. Is this a style that you’ve always been drawn to? What are some of your key pieces for the winter months?

The style is one that is ever-evolving with the artists. We draw our inspiration from them so the aesthetic is firmly rooted in an exploration of material, texture, history, personality and transformation. It’s very human!

Key pieces for winter are the alpaca knits by Hendrik.Lou (especially the cowls), leg warmers by Eon from Paris, Dagger Earrings from Aoko Su, one of a kind necklaces by Meghann Sommer and the incredible rune dress from Ovate. Actual Pain’s new line of leggings will be on the site soon as well and they are insane!

–Anything else you’d like to share about upcoming events or projects?

We’re releasing the second edition of Ledger Magazine in early December! It’s a newsprint mag that delves into the culture of the artists on our site as well as individuals who march to the beat of their own drum, so to speak, and are making huge waves doing it. I can’t wait to share that! It will be available on our website and also for free at coffee shops, galleries and other small venues in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

We’re also having our big BLACK FRIDAY SALE beginning this Thursday at midnight and going til the following Tuesday at midnight. Amazing gifts and artisan goods marked down up to 40%! Buy for yourself or someone you love while supporting independent artists.

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SPONSOR INTERVIEW / CHIC ORIGINS

CHIC ORIGINS

Hope everyone is having a chill weekend! Here’s a cute picnic-friendly early summer outfit for you from a Clever Nettle sponsor, Chic Origins. I also asked Katherine a couple questions:

What kind of pieces are catching your eye lately for spring and summer?
I especially am liking this year the hour glass fitted mini dresses.

Other than vintage, do you have any favorite designers or labels that fit in to your style?
I personally do not wear a whole lot of vintage. I love to scour out estate sales and thrift shops to find some fun pieces, but am actually very modern with my own wardrobe.

Do you have a favorite season for stocking your shop?
My absolute favorite season for stocking my shop is actually Spring into Summer! I try my hardest to be consistent in stocking throughout the year, but it is much easier come spring time because everyone is in the mood to go buy some new pieces and the styles are so bright and inviting.

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INTERVIEW / DALAGA NYC



Today I’m happy to share an interview with two awesome ladies, Mary and Michelle, who are the women behind the NYC boutique, Dalaga! They are famous for their sweet dresses and carrying awesome local designers (like The Loved One and Alexandra Grecco) and they have a great attitude when it comes to fashion, design and retail. Not to mention they are both totally stunning, as are their clientele! See if you can play “spot your favorite internet lady” in the photos below, and enjoy the interview! If you like, you can follow Dalaga on Facebook and twitter. They are also offering a couple cool deals, so be sure to take advantage of these: “We’re currently offering free shipping on all online orders of $150 (only applies to ground shipping within the US) or more and additionally we would like to offer all Clever Nettle readers a special 15% off all items (including sale!) through the end of December with the code CLEVER15!

Hi Mary and Michelle! Can you tell us a bit about the history of Dalaga and what prompted the decision to open a boutique together?

Since we were little we would play boutique in our mother’s closet – Michelle would merchandise the clothing as if she was the shop owner and Mary would be her customer. We thought of our mom as the most elegant and fashionable lady ever, so we went all out whenever we had the chance to dress up and mimic her or play in her closet.

“Dalaga” is actually a Filipino word that our father affectionately called us when we were little. Literally translated it means “young lady”, but to us “Dalaga” meant to be a quintessential woman in her prime and it was the ultimate compliment!

After months of eyeing our current storefront and with the encouragement from friends and family, we opened up shop in 2006, making our childhood dream a reality.


I love that your shop focuses on supporting local designers, has it been this way since the very start? What makes a label perfect for Dalaga?

Dalaga actually started as an independent clothing line that Mary and Michelle started in college. Michelle designed, made the patterns, and Mary helped cut and sew, so supporting local designers is at the core of our beginnings. It was our intent to be a vertically integrated company where we designed and manufactured everything in house. It’s a huge task to take on and eventually we strayed from making our own designs to carrying lines by other people like Alexandra Grecco and Friend and Nemesis Jewelry which is designed by our downstairs neighbors! From there we started to carry other brands like BB Dakota and Seychelles and since then have created lasting partnerships with them and other brands.

Greenpoint has been so good to us – our customers are so amazing, wonderful and devoted and we would not be here without them, so it’s really important to give back in any way we can. Part of that is carrying products from designers who live and work in the area and we are proud to foster our community in that way.

As for labels that are perfect for Dalaga… We are definitely drawn to designers that have a very distinct voice. We cater to all types of women so we don’t ever stick to one trend or look. You’ll find a silk Alexandra Grecco dress paired with a giant spiked leather Friend and Nemesis necklace. They key is to be yourself and follow what inspires you because that’s what’s going to get you noticed. Whether it’s the fabric, the detailing on the buttons, an unexpected cut out or flourish, every item we carry has something special and unique about it and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg.

As sisters, do you feel like you have very similar taste when it comes to style? Did you have the same ideas about clothing while growing up, or have there been any polarizing fashion moments in your sartorial histories? I bet it’s harder to bury those embarrassing stages if your sister can remember them too!

We definitely have similar tastes when it comes to style, but Mary is a little more girly and feminine while Michelle is a little more dark and edgy. Mary definitely looked up to Michelle growing up and was Mary’s fashion compass so to speak.

As women, our style and tastes are always changing, so there are definitely some fashion moments that we’d like to forget! We try not to speak of embarrassing hair-sprayed bangs or black-lined lips, but those faux pas are part of our “sartorial histories” and it’s fun to look back now and then just for a laugh and to remind ourselves that we’re always moving forward!

Dalaga has been recognized for having some really great dresses, and since we’re getting into the holiday season I thought it would be fun to hear you describe your perfect wintery party dresses. Any special fabrics or details that keep haunting your wardrobe dreams (in a good way)?

We love light, flowy fabrics for winter! It might seem counter intuitive weather wise, but it’s really the perfect thing to contrast the heavier fabrics of the season. We’re also huge fans of pairing girly with grungy, so a nude pleated chiffon dress would be perfect paired with a leather jacket, a big cozy scarf and a pair of killer heels. You can never go wrong with sequins and glitter during the holidays and we always tend to stock up on enough sparkle to last us all year!

The first time I heard of your shop was during Fashion’s Night Out when some blog friends (yo Emily and Ashley!) posted about their visit. What are your thoughts on the internet’s role in retail?

The internet definitely influences retail these days. What’s so great about fashion and the internet merging is the democratization. It’s not just for magazines and runways anymore. Girls all over the world are taking what they see during fashion week and putting an affordable and approachable spin on it, which is core to our beliefs as a store. We don’t think you should have to pay premium to look and feel amazing and we feel so honored and lucky to be able to provide those kind of unique items for our customers!

Any special holiday plans for Dalaga, in-store or online?

This holiday season is definitely a busy one for us! We just hosted a launch party for The Loved One this past Friday, which is really exciting because Dalaga is the only retail location on the East Coast to carry the lingerie. We’ve been huge fans of Hannah’s personal style and blog for a long time, so it’s a thrill to partner with her and Elvia to bring TLO to New York.

We are also extremely excited to be participating in two awesome holiday markets this month! Because of our 5 star rating on Yelp we were selected to participate in the Best of NYC Yelp Holiday Market in SoHo on December 17th and 18th 12 PM – 6 PM as well as the Brooklyn Night Bazaar from December 15th – 17th 5 PM – Midnight. Both markets will be featuring great food and music for all to enjoy!

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Interview with Novella Bleu Vintage


Novella Bleu Vintage is a brand new etsy shop created by Jacqueline, a lovely lady in Michigan. Also a photographer and a new mom, she has paired up with her own mother to seek out fancy vintage goods wherever old treasures may be found! Jacqui also keeps a blog, if you take a look over there you might just find a coupon code for her shop!

-What was your first experience with vintage, and how has it evolved into the creation of your new shop?
My first experience with vintage was when I was in 6th grade. I convinced my dad to take me to a thrift store in Ann Arbor for an authentic hippy outfit for Halloween. I loved the movie Austin Powers with Mike Myers and I guess that’s where I got the crazy idea to either be a hippie or a “Fem-bot” while everyone else was a princess or a power ranger. I had noticed the shop one day when my mom and I were getting falafels at a restaurant called Jerusalem Garden. It was one of those basement thrift shops were you had to step into what felt like a bomb shelter. Once we were inside there were just rows after rows of thrift clothes straight from the 70s. I remember I had the same feeling I felt when I entered an old book shop…each one of these dresses already has a story and a previous owner. I was holding a piece of history! I have my parents to thank for constant trips to Ann Arbor; an amazing college town in Michigan that is like a microcosm of the world…just about every culture is represented there. Since I grew up in suburbia, it was always a wonderful escape for me.

Do you have a favorite era, or any personal collections?
My favorite time period for fashion was the late 1950s to early 1960s: the move from The New Look to a fitted bombshell dress with a sexy kick pleat. Since I have always been a curvy girl; my mom always said that my body was from a different era and to embrace it. I like clothes that hug curves but still cover up. They are glamorous and feminine and of course flattering. My favorite hair style is a swoop bang and a bouffant (click to see wedding hairdo), something that has been mastered by the soul singer Adele. At the recent BRIT awards, she wore a lace illusion dress and an updo that I would die for! The 70s boho look is my other favorite era to collect although I don’t think it looks as good on me…I still love the relaxed natural style of it. It always makes me feel happy.

-What kind of women from the past do you like to imagine as the previous owners of your wares?
I like to think of the women who wore my dresses as ambitious, glamorous, and proud to be mothers. As a new mom myself, you tend to lose your personal identity and style. Even though there are days were I want to stay in my yoga pants all day; I remind myself that it’s ok to dress up, to still be glamorous and feel “put together”.


-Any weird thrifting stories?
Not so much weird as heartwarming. I take my 9 month old son Henrik everywhere with me and he is a charmer. He either is tucked in my moby wrap like a baby kangaroo or perched in my shopping cart if I’m carrying load of items. Since Michigan’s economy has been hit so hard, thrift stores are very popular. So many people stop and come over to talk to him. I hear things like “this is the best time of your life” or “you are so blessed to have him with you and not have to drop him off at daycare” or “what an angel, he has a sweet soul”. One time a woman who didn’t even speak English came up to us and started singing to him in what I can only assume was Mandarin. He loved it! He loves people and being on the move just like his mom. (click to see Jacqui & Henrik!)

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