Tuesday, October 26, 2010

California dreamin'

So as fall takes its full swing into our lives, I'm feeling eager to get going on the half-off sale at Merryweather Vintage! I'm sure you're all wondering, well get going! Whats the hold up?! Well, all of the clothes and accessories we've collected over the months are all at Nathaniel's (my former partners) apartment, which is on the far north side of Chicago. I've had friends in town back to back the last few weeks so I've barely had any time to myself, let alone time to drive over to get the loads and loads of goodies! Before Kelly and I truly revamp Merryweather on Etsy, I want to physically have the items in our possession so when we sell something (or many things tee hee) we can actually ship them out. That would be a good thing! I also cannot wait to start shopping and hunting for rare finds again. Its been awhile. There's really nothing like taking a day to the burbs to thrift, New Order playin' as you drive, and eatin a big mac in between. I won't lie. Fast food is a must. But only when thrift shopping. Its kind of a habit I developed over the summer. I'd find a rare 40's dress and need a frosty. Levis from the 70s? Chalupa from the bell? Yes, how thoughtful of you! I'm hoping to get Kelly on this habit as well. When I mentioned it to her, her response was, "well, I'll sit with you and watch you eat that stuff." I give you yet another example of how Kelly and I are total opposites. She actually eats 3 meals a day, runs 4 miles a day and keeps vegetables in her refrigerator. I, on the other hand, don't eat until 6pm most days, and when I do my meal usually involves some kind of candy or condiment that can last forever even when left out of the fridge (like mayonaise). Oh and exercise? Whats that? I hate to admit that some of my lifestyle choices resemble those of a 12 year old boy. Kel will come around though. Watch and wait.

Phew. Anyway, I've had a lot going on in terms of transitions in my life over the past month. I can finally take a deep breath and really get to work! After Halloween (I think I'm going to be a zombie btw....I was going to be a clown but its too predictable. If you knew me, you would agree) Kelly and I will officially have all of our stuff in our possession, and more new new new stuff! Its going to be great being able to make Merryweather a part of our everyday lives. I know its going to be a lot of work, but Kelly has already taken the initiative with so many important aspects (facebook!! etc.) I am feeling very positive and hopeful that it will come together and be real. Real is the key word for me. Real and of course, fun.... and of course, meaningful.

While we wait on getting our stuff.....heres some pics of fall so far :)

Nothing says fall like banana yellow heels from the 80s!

Soon to be on Etsy! :)

"All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey."

Stay tuned.

xx, Crystal

Friday, October 22, 2010

Opposites Attract

To begin, I want to thank Crystal for the warm introduction! I am so happy to officially be a part of this. Crystal and I are extremely elated to be embarking on this adventure together, and we’re confident that while we may not see eye-to-eye on some things (shoulder pads, is there such a thing as too many polka-dots, the arguably drab nature of the color brown), we are in perfect harmony when is comes down to core values—and business strategy. And to be perfectly honest, I’d have it no other way. Our diverse tastes, I think, will broaden the appeal of the new Merryweather Vintage. We are not vintage snobs, we are enthusiasts first and foremost. Our love for the styles and design elements of the past runs deep!

This passion is what we want to bring to all of you. I think I can speak for both of us here when I say the feeling of connecting someone with that one perfect vintage item is indescribable. I have been that person (the seeker) too many times to count, and the odds, generally don’t run in your favor. With Merryweather, Crystal and I want to turn those odds around for all you seekers, affordably, of course! You'll also be noticing more information about the items we are selling, as I (ever the research junkie) will be burrowing into the depths of fashion history, emerging with the facts about most of the legit vintage labels we have in stock.

So, who is this new partner? You're probably wondering.... well I think Crystal accurately pinned down the nature of our relationship in her last post. Let me, briefly share a little bit about myself. I am a native Chicagoan who escaped a few years ago to live abroad for one year in London, then moved to New York City before returning to Chicago last spring. Returning to this city was probably one of the best decisions I've made in the last decade.

I have a deep connection to my relatively large extended family on both sides. This, I am positive is where both my love for history and object-related stories, and desire to always be pushing forward and progressing comes from.

My paternal grandmother probably holds the world record for most obscure things packed away for over 50 years! It's quite endearing -- just don't bring it up to my aunt who has been charged with the task of helping her clean out closets in preparation for a move next year. This closet cleaning and the items my grandmother has unburied recently reaffirmed my passion for vintage. Among the old Stinson's Laundry shirtboards and emory boards (self-promotion at it's finest people!!) Nanny withdrew from her treasure-chest a few clothing items that had me in a tizzy when I saw them. Among them: classic rhinestone broaches, necklaces & earrings accompanied by several newspaper articles from the mid-80s declaring a "Rhinestone Renaissance". Nanny is very thorough. Probably my favorite item, though, is a teal wool sweater that fits like a glove. In her high school years, Nanny had two winter wool sweaters, and this was one of them... a garment over 60 years old. I'm determined to make it last, though it's been difficult not to wear it once a week. And last but definitely not least, the A.S. Webster beaver fur cropped coat. Oh, how amazing is that?

My maternal grandmother, always thinking forward and refreshing, does not possess the urge to let objects linger. Oh sure, there are incredible old photos, letters and memorabilia, but Grandma Pat never held on to a dress for more than a couple seasons. I believe it's helped her maintain an amazingly lively attitude and lifestyle.

Combine these two matriarchs, and that's where you'll start to understand where I'm coming from: seeking vintage for the fashion and respecting the connection to a past, but taking care to combine those pieces with the contemporary to create something wholly unique and now... or if I'm lucky, creating something a little ahead of now.

Enough about me, let's get this show on the road! Stay tuned, friends!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Opening the doors.

There are so many big changes coming to Merryweather Vintage! Now I know all of you (all 3 of you to be exact) are brimming with excitement about these changes. Well, me too! Duh.

I am taking a moment to talk about the biggest change of all. My long time partner in crime on the vintage road, Nathanial, has come to the realization that he has way to much on his personal plate to truly devote his time, money and attention to this venture. Yes its sad. I will miss him. I was upset about it for a long time to be honest (hence why the website on Etsy hasn't been touched in over a month.) Nate literally was driving himself crazy with work, school, and some personal stuff that whenever we saw each other we were talking work...and thats no fun when you're friends first and foremost and hardly have time for one another already. Things have worked out for the best, and I truly mean that! We are still close buds and now we can just be close buds and not talk about biz when we see one other! In terms of Merryweather, I am so happy now because things can move forward with more speed and attention! And this brings me to my most important announcement.......

Welcome my new partner, KELLY STINSON!!!!!

Kelly has been my friend for roughly 6 years now. She was my first real friend when I moved to Chicago after college back in 2006! Wow I feel old sometimes. We both worked at the same Starbucks and to be honest, she was not too fond of me at first impression. I remember she was on vacation from the store my first week. She called one day while I was working to get her schedule and I answered. I remember being so happy to be talking to her since she was the only person I hadn't met yet. I just remember her telling my other co-workers what a nightmare I sounded like. In her words, I was "way too happy." Its funny if you know me and Kelly but we do not mesh objectively. I am bubbly, outgoing, cynical, hyper-sensitive, eccentric and well, really weird. Kelly, on the other hand has an extreme sense of calm about her. She is very mellow, very productive, really smart, and always looking up. We balance each other out in the best of ways.

Personal stories asides, I was so happy to hear her express interest in going 50/50 with me on my Merryweather venture! She has always been a help from the start (modeling clothes, helping with photos etc) but now she can really put her own personal spin on things. Its always great to have two distinct minds on one great project! And while I have always been one to take on way too much at once and handle it fine, I am prone to anxiety attacks SO it is nice to have someone by my side to help me along the whole crazy online business track (which will hopefully be a real live store one day eeeeee). Its also a comfort having someone by my side who also gets stupid excited about vintage clothes and furniture. It makes me feel like less of a nerd. Who else can really want to sit down and research the age of a Foxy tag? Well besides me? Kelly does! Thats hard to come by, believe meeee.

I am also happy to have her along because her sense of style is a lot different compared to mine which should be great in terms of versatility in the items we sell. She has a very earthy, Anthropologie, bird painting, Doris Day kinda thing going for her. Don't get me wrong. I love and respect it but I definitely admire it from afar. As we all know, I love my eighties power suits. I love polka dots. And I LOVE things that from a first glance are labeled "creepy." These items usually involve images of animals , fringe, and sequins.

Now that Kelly is here and on board we are going to be changing Merryweather like crazy and incorporating it into our everyday lives so it actually turns into something worthwhile! Its one thing to collect vintage as a hobby, but I just realized in looking at my collection that I have SO MUCH STUFF I haven't even photographed yet. Literally, some of the stuff Nate and I have collected is amazing. And its just sitting there! I am ready. Kelly is ready. We are going to give Merryweather our best effort and really have fun with it! This is what I want to do with my life so I feel very lucky right now. Even if it doesn't become some huge business, at least we're doing what we love! Its vintage people! Its crazy. Its colorful. I am so excited! Random but it reminds me of something my boss at BAV said today. He said he really felt like sipping champagne on a faux fur rug in front of a fire listening to Patsy Cline. SHIT that sounds so good right now, and the fact that I have a new awesome vintage partner in crime makes me want to do it EVEN MORE. :)

Kelly, welcome to the world of Vintage wonderful. I am so happy you're here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I went to an Antique Mall up North last week. Granted I got there right when they opened (around 10am) but the place was completely deserted. It was interesting how everything was set up. I'm not quite sure how it works but the place seemed like one big consignment shop with many individual sellers. The owners weren't very friendly and they honestly acted as though the stuff they had was so rare, hence the ridiculous prices! I found an old leather clutch purse that I own selling for 250 dollars! I got mine for 2 dollars at a garage sale. It made me wonder.

Speaking of high prices when it comes to vintage, the whole concept of over-charging has definitely been on my mind lately. It makes me sad to think that because Vintage clothing has made somewhat of a comeback over the recent years that sellers can take advantage of the naive buyer. You know when you meet a good seller because they do their research to ensure they are you giving you the most accurate price for an item. They can explain why something is 100 dollars versus 10 dollars because they've done the work to price accordingly. It takes time and dedication. And to some people, well, a lot of people its really all about the money. Its sad. Thankfully, the people I work closely with in the vintage world are nothing like that, which I am most grateful for. They actually care and are dorky about old stuff, like me! :)

Apart from that sidenote and my disappointment with the attitude of the owner, this Antique Mall did have some cool heirlooms. I captured my favorites.

I really want this dish.


my favorite.


All in all I would say it was worth the trip over there. They had some rare items, especially in terms of old furniture but overall most of what they carried clothes-wise I have seen before. Also, too pricey and not the friendliest. They need cheering up in the form of sunshine, lollipops, and Nancy Sinatra. That would make them happier I think!

xxx, Crystal