Category Archives: Girl Crush

Girl Crush: Becky of The Pink Samurai

The Pink Samurai: Becky

I met Becky Helms in person for the first time back in August, at Texas Style Council. We ran into each other at the Friday night clothing swap, where she had already picked up one of my swapped dresses. (It fit her so much better than it did me!!) She mentioned to me that I had featured her crafts, long ago, here on Miss Malaprop. We quickly bonded that weekend over a shared love of all things geeky.

Becky is a bit of a crafty renaissance woman! She has a gorgeous Etsy shop full of crocheted goodness, and she’s a talented illustrator. She posts all sorts of crafty fun on her blog, The Pink Samurai, in addition to her thrift store adventures! Oh, and did I mention we share a mutual love of dinosaurs?? So it should come as no surprise that Becky is my latest Girl Crush!

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m blogger, maker and vintage lover living in Austin, TX with my husband and two cats. I just moved back to Texas after living on the East Coast for about 15 years, so I’m spending a lot of time rediscovering my home state.

The Pink Samurai October drawings

Becky’s 365 project: she draws her outfits every day!

You’ve spent this year doing a 365 series of self-portraits, with a different drawing each day. What made you want to do this, and what do you think of the project now that it’s coming to a close soon?

I’m usually really bad at keeping up with daily challenges, and I really want to prove to myself that I could really do something like that all year. So rain or shine, through surgeries, vacations and moving across the country, I never missed a day! It’s been really fun seeing my style evolve and they’ve really helped me shape all of my drawing. It’s a little sad know the year’s almost over, but my husband and I are going to do a different daily drawing project next year that I’m really stoked for!

The Pink Samurai: handmade crochet scarves

Becky sells her crochet infinity scarves & cowls on Etsy!

Have you always been crafty? What are your first memories of making things?

Crafting has always been a part of my life. My mom was always making something and encouraged my creativity. I remember trips to the craft store and those little plastic stained-glass toys were some of my most favorites. I’d paint the little sections very carefully and was always so proud when Mom would hang them in the window. Both of my Grandmothers also taught me to sew at an early age, so that’s always been a part of my life, too. As a child, a lot of our making was out of necessity, because we didn’t have a lot of money. But all those skills of craftiness and resourcefulness that I grew up with have been integral in my professional life and my blog definitely depends on them!

DIY Cat Stamp Tshirt, by Becky of The Pink Samurai

a recent crafty project by Becky: DIY Cat Stamp T-Shirt

What are your favorite current crafts to make? What is a crafty skill you’ve always wanted to learn, but have yet to try?

Screen printing and crochet are my most favorites! I could do those every day and never run out of ideas haha. I’ve always wanted to learn more about jewelry making. The extent of my experience is gluing and using jump rings. I’d love to learn more about different techniques and really explore it more as an art. There’s just already so much cool stuff out there, it’s intimidating!

Amelia's Retro-Vogue & Relics

I know you love thrift shopping, and you’ve been documenting your thrift store explorations on your blog since moving to Austin. Do you have any favorite thrift shops in Austin so far? What types of things do you look for when you go thrifting? Can you share some tips for newbie thrifters?

Austin has so many amazing thrift stores and vintage shops, it’s just silly. I had no idea it would be so saturated! I love going to Top Drawer Thrift and Out of the Past on Burnet Rd. They’ve got great prices and there’s so much to see in both. I’m usually on the look out for mid-century furniture (the perfect coffee table has been alluding me for years!) and fun vintage craft books and always clothes. I’d say the most important thrifting tip is to not be too disappointed if you don’t find what you’re looking for the first go around. Go often and always keep your eyes open!

Becky: The Pink Samurai

What 5 things would you take with you to a deserted island?

  • My husband ^_^
  • A crochet hook…to make stuff out of the grasses and leaves.
  • A giant bag full of pencils and paper (is that cheating? haha!)
  • A copy of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A laptop with a solar charger and a copy of the original cut of Star Wars: A New Hope in the disc drive. (also probably cheating :P)

Are you crushin’ on Becky too now? Be sure to check out her blog, The Pink Samurai, or shop her handmade goods in her Etsy shop. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Dog Crush: Pepperoni Fensterstock-Parker

Pepperoni

While not exactly a Girl Crush, I do have a BIG OLE CRUSH on a special someone. His name is Pepperoni Fensterstock-Parker, and he is a dog. I made an exception to the “Girl” part of my “Crush” series for him, because of his awesomeness. Pepperoni employs two humans, my friends Alison Fensterstock and Lefty Parker. A big thanks to both Pepperoni and his assistants for agreeing to do this interview!!

I know how much you love a fine, aged bone. Can you share some bone-tasting secrets? How do you age it to perfection? Are there any special tasting techniques you use?

A quality bone is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Those who do not keep up with the latest in the dog culinary world might not know, though, that it’s not safe to give your dog a bone from a person’s meal, cooked or raw. I like the busy bones or granola-coated bones they sell at the finer pet emporiums, which smell delightful, by the way. (I love to take my human staff on a day of shopping.) Sometimes I leave a bone in my cellar, which is actually the backyard, to season and age properly. It’s good to let a bone breathe and develop its full flavor profile. Also, puppies like to binge-chew, consuming a whole bone in one sitting, but a dog in his prime like myself knows that chewing in moderation, maybe revisiting a bone over several days, is the correct way to truly savor the experience. I think it was Hemingway’s dog that said that a bone is one of the most civilized things in the world.

Pepperoni luggage

You recently showed off your new monogrammed luggage. Do you have any tips for other dogs on how to travel in style this summer? Where are your favorite places that you’ve been?

Good luggage is a must for a stylish dog on the go, as I am. My new bag (LL Bean Boat & Tote, monogrammed “dog”) is sturdy and roomy and will fit my food, treats, bowls, toys and a variety of leashes to choose from. I prefer to book a private compartment in the back of a Honda Civic (and my frequent rider points, I think, recently upgraded me to a memory-foam dog bed placed on the seat – which also allows a better vantage point for looking out the window!) although sometimes the ride is overbooked and a human is back there as well. If that’s the case, I prefer to be petted by my seat mate.

A good tip for traveling dogs is to have your human assistants place a cup of ice water in the cup holder. You can sip from it throughout the trip. Also, try to get out at rest stops in every state. I’ve peed on Texas, both Carolinas, both Virginias, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey! It’s pretty exhilarating to look back. Travel does broaden the mind. I think New York City must be my favorite spot so far. There’s a HUGE dog park, with a reservoir and a carousel and museums, and best of all, I didn’t see any cats out in the street.

Pepperoni

Cats, birds, squirrels, gutterpunks… what is most annoying type of animal in your book? If you were the Mayor of New Orleans, what would you do to rid this town of their scourge?

Gutterpunk dogs often look sad, I’ve noticed. I don’t know why, they get tons of walks, and I can only imagine the fascinating smells. Obviously, I am long active in anti-cat efforts. They wander around my neighborhood – even my yard – as if they are entitled to do so, and they’re needlessly smug. When I was a puppy, in fact, I was punched in the face by a cat for NO REASON. I was only trying to smell it. I would say the most frustrating animal is the squirrel. I mean, what on earth are they doing? Also, ducks. And the chow that lives down the block. She’s very impolite.

It’s summer-time, which means hurricane season and plenty of rain. How are you preparing? Do you have any tips for those who will be experiencing their first hurricane season this year?

Rain is very upsetting and I think completely unnecessary. I’ve tried to get my staff to work on it, but somehow it keeps happening. I think the best thing to do in case of rain is first ALERT everyone in the household to it IMMEDIATELY. Make sure everyone is awake and aware (sometimes rain happens in the middle of the night, but be diligent. Your humans can’t combat rain if they’re just snoozing away and then it could GET YOU.) Then sit on someone. Rain is scary, and everyone feels better with a dog on them. If all else fails, go under the bed.

Pepperoni with his lion

You’re stuck on a desert island. What five things would you bring?

I would definitely bring my stuffed lion, who is the joy of my golden years. And its fur matches mine, which is a plus. Also, my collar, as I have an impressive collection of tags that I like to jingle when I need something. Communication is important. A good supply of bacon-flavored treats. And of course, my two employees, Alison and Lefty. When I was younger, I could do with a staff of one, but when I was about six, Lefty and I decided to hire Alison on a full-time, live-in basis and she has just been the best. (Lefty does the menus and most of my personal training, and Alison handles health care, public relations and social media.) They share petting duties. I’m thirteen now and really I have no idea how I ever managed without both of them.

A big thanks to Pepperoni (and Alison & Lefty!) for letting me into their world to do this interview!! You can follow Pepperoni’s adventures on Facebook here.

Girl Crush: Michelle of Neon Rattail

Michelle from Neon Rattail

I recently discovered the blog Neon Rattail through a comment that the blog’s author, Michelle, left on my bestie Ashe’s site. As soon as I made my way over, I was instantly smitten with Michelle’s writing and quirky, silly style.

The first post I saw that really sealed the deal was Michelle’s fashion post on Five Style Lessons to Learn (and Avoid) from 90s TV. HILARIOUS, my friends and fellow children of the 80s/90s. The more I explored her site, the more I realized I had a big ole girl crush on Michelle. SOOOOO, without further ado, I bring you the latest installment in my Girl Crush interview series of awesome ladies.

Tell me a little about yourself.

Hello! I’m a blogger and crafter living in good ol’ Massachusetts. I blog about fashion, beauty, food and all things DIY. I love to create, so running a blog and Etsy shop has given me an outlet for all those obsessive creative urges that I just needed to put somewhere. I’m a lover of liquid eyeliner, kitschy everything, horrible teen movies, vintage scarves, board games and graphic design.

Neon Rattail

I love your quirky sense of style. What are your fashion inspirations? What trends are you really digging these days?

My style is kind of all over the place because I tend to just gravitate towards clothes that make me happy. That could mean a furry leopard clip-on collar, vintage 70’s dress, simple black peplum skirt or a bright orange t-shirt with a stencil of a tiger riding a bike (all of which I own). I’m usually looking for strong colors, fun patterns and a great fit. I’m always inspired by my sister’s style – she wears whatever she wants at all times, even if that means striped tights and a jack o’lantern t-shirt out to dinner, but she always looks great! For celebrity style, I love Gwen Stefani and Drew Barrymore, and I think Michelle Williams always looks adorable.

I’m not a devoted trend follower – I tend to I observe and filter based on what fits my aesthetic. Some trends that I do love are vintage-inspired looks, pattern mixing, fun collars, statement necklaces, retro swimwear and black and white prints. I’m also into some 90s flashback fashion. Yes to floral babydoll dresses, no to overalls.

DIY costumes by Neon Rattail

You have some of the best DIY costumes ever. Especially your food costumes! Have you always loved costuming? What made you get into it?

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and choosing a costume is like a sacred ritual to me! I’ve been making DIY costumes for years now, but that just came from me not being able to find a costume in stores that matched the idea I had in my head. One year I was determined to be a giant cupcake for a Halloween party, but there was no such thing to buy, and at the time not even Google could help me out with DIY inspiration! I set to work making my own version, and many, many hot glue sticks later it was created and even won me first prize in a costume contest! I got the DIY costume itch and have been making them every year since.

So far, I’ve been a cupcake, sandwich, peacock, octopus, Russian nesting dolls, sushi and ‘Broadway Dancing Corn on the Cob’, which was what happened when I reconciled my desire to dress like corn with my need to wear a bow tie and tiny top hat. I always have a mental list of my next few Halloween costumes and I try to switch it up so I’m not dressed as something edible every year. It’s hard though – I just love the look of food costumes!

My favorite so far is the sandwich costume, which included a pickle hat with toothpick accent. It definitely got a lot of looks and questions, although I couldn’t fit easily through doorways. Worth it!

Corn Cob Shop on Etsy

I love the stuff in your Etsy shop! How long have you been working with polymer clay? How did you get started making stuff?

Thanks so much! I’ve been crafting in some fashion since I was little, but I just started working with clay a few years ago. I was looking to pick up a new craft skill and I loved the finished look of clay pieces I was seeing online and on Etsy. I think clay just has this great polished look when it dries and it’s a fun way to make dimensional pendants and things without getting into resin and plastics (which I also really want to do!). Somehow, most of my shop ended up being clay items, but I do have some other things ready to add, like flower, feather and felt goodies as well as many other product ideas in my notebooks. For now, if you need a pizza necklace or a blueberry pie ring then you know where to find it!

Making stuff has always been a fun, easy way to entertain myself. When I was younger I would make collages and gifts, and as I got older I tried new creative outlets, like painting all of the furniture in my room in rainbow polka dots. I always took art classes in high school, but mostly I loved just finding crafting supplies or random junk and deciding what to make with it. That’s still pretty much my creative process. I love making jewelry and accessories, and I’m definitely no stranger to a sewing machine. I kind of consider my hot glue gun to be a third arm.

Corn Chowder

You share a lot of great recipes and cooking projects on your blog. Have you always loved to cook? What are your favorite things to cook at home?

Cooking has been a part of my life since I was a kid. My dad is a total home chef type, and after years of watching and helping him cook, it just became something I was really into, as well. When I was in junior high, I literally begged my mom to let me cook our dinners after school so I could practice and try out new recipes I was collecting. Little did I know, there was very little begging needed! She was more than happy to turn over the kitchen reins to me, so I would plan out meals and have her bring me to the grocery store to buy ingredients for the week.

Moving into my own place after college gave me a chance to curate my signature dishes and quick go-to meals. I love baking (I have oatmeal/dark chocolate/walnut cookies in the oven as I type this!) so I always make an elaborate cake for my birthday, my signature apple pie every fall and almond biscotti for the holidays.

My favorite dinners to make and eat are often simple things like inventive pizzas and burritos, but I also love making colorful stir fry with cashews and homemade peanut sauce, as well as veggie pot pie with sweet potato crust and red pepper-asparagus risotto. Plus, I recently got an ice cream maker so I’m having fun creating flavors. I really want to make sweet corn ice cream, but everyone I tell that to says it sounds gross. Disagree!

 DIY: Wooden Rainbow Bead Necklace

You’re stuck on a desert island. What five things would you bring?

All the times I’ve thought about this and now I’m kinda stumped! Okay, let’s see…

1. First, I’d have to have books – probably Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume because those are some of the books I find myself re-reading again and again. Don’t you love how I just totally cheated and snuck three things in as one item?
2. A super comfy blanket. I know desert islands are warm, but it might get chilly at some point and I love nothing more than wrapping myself up in a super soft blanket.
3. An adorable puppy, preferably a corgi. Having a wild puppy on an island seems easier than having a puppy at home. Way less stuff to chew and pee on.
4. A phone would cover my communication, internet and music needs pretty well. I get pretty weird when I go a long time without talking to another person. Let’s just go ahead and assume I have excellent service on this island.
5. A giant container full of assorted craft supplies. I can entertain myself for hours by fiddling around with beads, buttons, ribbon and glue. I anticipate a lot of coconut based crafting on this desert island.

This list actually looks a lot like an average night in my apartment, except with the addition of a corgi, so perhaps desert island living would be a step up? Let’s just assume they have a Target there.

Sooo…. maybe now you can see why I think Michelle is super adorable! Are you crushin’ on Michelle too now? You can check out more Neon Rattail goodness at her blog. Also be sure to take a peek at her Etsy shop, or you can follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

Girl Crush: Piper of one sydney road

one sydney road: Paris Pop-up Shop

I’ve had a long-time girl crush on Piper of one sydney road. When I first discovered her blog, I felt like I had found a kindred spirit. She’s a fellow online shop-keeper and blogger, planning for the day when she can expand to a brick & mortar boutique, just like me! So when I learned about her newest endeavor, a series of online “pop-up shops”, I was intrigued and wanted to find out more! I chatted with Piper to find out what her latest project is all about!

Tell us a little about your new pop-up shop. What exactly is it, and what sorts of activities do you have planned to go along with it?
I would love to – especially since I’m incredibly excited about this new adventure my business, one sydney road, is on!! When I first started, I was an online retail boutique. But over that first year, I realized I loved working with & answering questions from artists & thinking of creative ways to promote them. I did a holiday event called “60 days of wanderlust” where we “traveled” around the world, meeting all the artists I was carrying at the time. I had so much fun with it that a lightbulb went off (you’ve got to love those “a-ha!” moments!).

I decided to embrace my love of design, artists & travel and combine it into bi-monthly online pop-up shops that are based around a city theme!! I’m having so much fun with this first pop-up shop! We’re “traveling” to Paris – so each product has a bit of a French vibe to it. I’m pairing each item in the pop-up shop with a photo from Paris – so we all get to feel like we’re seeing Paris (I’ve never been – definitely living vicariously through the shop!). My good friend Lillian provided the amazing Paris photos.

one sydney road: Paris Pop-up Shop

We’ve got daily french lessons and twice a week a “meet the pop-up shopkeep” where I interview the artists involved in the shop. Plus, people have been submitting their own Paris stories for me to share – it’s amazing to me how many people have been to Paris!

It’s been a dream getting to work with so many amazing artists!! Coming soon will be classes & workshops for creative & aspiring business owners – really excited for that!!

Why Paris for the theme of your first pop-up shop? Can you give us any hints about future pop-up shops?
Great question – I kept thinking springtime in Paris would make for a great theme. Plus, I had these awesome “madame & monsieur” wine glasses that I found at a flea market that I thought would be perfect for the shop! So the Paris shop was born! The next pop-up shop starts 7/2 and I’ll give you a hint…think of cotton candy :)

one sydney road: Paris Pop-up Shop

What are your favorite pieces currently in your shop?
Oh that’s always a tough one to answer – that’s why I picked all these pieces – I love ‘em all! But I do have to say that I’m absolutely in love with Small Gunns and their designs. I love their use of typography & cool graphics. Modern Pixie designed a necklace exclusively for this shop – it’s gorgeous & has a vintage-y, flea market vibe!  Okay, I could go on & on listing all the artists!

Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do when you’re not working on your shop?
Usually spending time with my husband and our 2 dogs!  Or hanging out with friends.  We do a lot of road trips since so many of our friends now live in different cities.  Just gives us an excuse to travel!

One Sydney Road: Paris Pop-up Shop

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring shop owners, what would it be?
Take action! It’s amazing how once you take a small step and actually do something, you’ll take the next step and so on. As soon as you stop, the momentum dies. I know, I’ve been there!! It’s so crazy how just taking a step, any step, helps you break through. I have lots of people that ask how I worked full time and started my business. And I’ll be honest and say that it took a lot of work and long hours!! But if you can keep telling yourself that you’re working towards your dream, something bigger for yourself, it helps get you through those tired nights! And trust me, it’ll be worth it!

Be sure to check out all of the Paris pop-up shop while it lasts, now through June 30th! Head on over to one sydney road to learn more!

A Chance Encounter with Giant Dwarf!

cute things for your head, handmade by Sue Eggen of Giant Dwarf

So yesterday I was hard at work at Trashy Diva and I got into a conversation with one of our lovely customers. Somewhere along the line, she handed me a business card, which had her business name & a product picture on the front. And instantly I realized, “I know this person!!!!!” I freaked out for a second, and introduced myself as Miss Malaprop (is that weird?!?) and she knew me too!

The internet makes the world so much smaller, in such a good way sometimes. Yesterday’s chance encounter was with Sue Eggen, the creator of Giant Dwarf! She’s kind of a rockstar in the indie craft world, as she’s been on the scene since 2003 and has participated in a ton of the big craft shows including the Renegade Craft Fair & Martha Stewart’s Divine Craft Sale. She’s also been mentioned in national publications & design blogs, like The New York Times & Design Sponge!

So I was totally geeked that she recognized me too! She’s so super sweet, and I hope she has a fabulous time here in New Orleans for Jazz Fest this weekend!!! I told her about some of my favorite local shops, and also the pop-up night art market on Frenchman Street (next to the Blue Nile) this weekend, which is where I’ll be tonight through Saturday night from 7pm til 1am!

Girl Crush: Leslie Yang of feistyelle

feistyelle - Neon Yellow Feather Earrings

I must admit, I’ve had a long-time girl crush Leslie Yang of feistyelle. I’ve always loved her commitment to sustainability in her business, not to mention her use of fun colors and modern design. Leslie was one of the first designers to start creating earrings and other jewelry from brightly colored laser-cut wool felt. Everything feistyelle creates is designed and assembled in San Francisco, California. I recently chatted her up to find out more about her work and how she got her start.

Tell me a little about yourself and your company feistyelle.
I’m Leslie Yang and I’m the owner and designer for feistyelle. That’s “feisty” plus “elle.” I founded feistyelle in 2005 out of a love for making cozy chic things by hand. Feisty L was going to be my DJ name but I found out pretty quickly that I had a deeper love for designing things than scratching out beats, not to mention skill! When it came time to naming my company, I changed “L” to “elle” for all ladies because I design for feisty ladies that love color.

feistyelle - Chevron Necklace

I know that feistyelle strives to be eco chic, and you keep your production local to San Francisco. Can you tell me more about this and why it’s important to you?
As a consumer, we see the end product and don’t think much about who makes things and how they’re made. However, when I switched sides and began to sell things I made, I couldn’t ignore all the waste that I could accumulate in a short amount of time. I feel deep in my bones that that’s not the right way to do business. I and other companies can easily make ecologically smart decisions when it comes to how we make things.

Plus, as a designer I like to give myself design constraints like: only use eco-friendly materials. I’ve set myself up to be innovative versus choosing to make things the way everyone else does. Sometimes this constraint is super frustrating but it’s been totally worthwhile in the end. For example, after much sourcing and prototyping, I’m ready to introduce a line of jewelry made from vegan suede. No one’s ever used this material the way we have. I’ll go more into that later.

Why I strive to keep production local is important to me for two reasons. One is that I do right by the community I live in. I like that the money I put into local companies stays local. Two, and this is equally important, is that I can see that the people I work with have decent working conditions. I know I can drive over to vendors and see their places of business, meet the people that work for them.

feistyelle - Lotus Earrings - Small Jade

You started your company in 2005. How has it changed over the years? Where do you see feistyelle two years from now?
It’s really evolved. For the first few years, I treated my company like a hobby business, I was making and selling needle-felted flower brooches and hair clips. It was fun at first but over time, I became tired of working so hard and charging too little. It wasn’t a business I could grow. I knew I needed fresh perspective so I put the company on hiatus and told myself to be open to new things. During this time, I starting playing with laser cutting wool. I’d always loved wool felt and for fun, I started designing a laser cut dahlia brooch. I made a smaller version for a hair clip too. When a coworker saw the smaller dahlia, she asked for them as earrings. Once I made them, there was a stampede to my office of ladies asking for their own pair. I literally started selling earrings out of a box out of my purse! Over time, I started doing tradeshows and getting into stores. Today we’re in 30-plus stores across the country.

Two years from now, I see feistyelle being in two to three times as many stores in North America and being a nationally recognized independent fashion brand doing cutting edge work with eco-friendly materials.

feistyelle - Gold Bamboo Lotus Earrings

What’s your favorite design from your current collection?
I’m in love with our new line of gorgeously soft earrings and necklaces made from super soft and resilient vegan suede (made from recycled polyester)! I especially love the gold-bamboo lotus earrings, which use vegan suede and bamboo ply. Wood and metallic gold are hot!

What do you like to do when you’re not working on feistyelle?
I like fussing with my growing succulent collection. I love shopping for brightly colored clothes. I enjoy having meals with friends. My biggest vice is I watch an unhealthy amount of Hulu, bad Leslie!

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring designers or business owners, what would it be?
May I give two pieces of advice? I would say don’t fall in love with the idea of your product so much that you can’t see that it’s not selling and/or the interest isn’t there. If that product doesn’t work, don’t beat yourself up, but do set it aside and try making something else.

My second piece of advice is to always talk about your business. You’re promoting your company, your products, and you. The time for shyness is over!

For more feistyelle goodness, shop online at the feistyelle website or follow feistyelle’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest!

Girl Crush: Renee’ from 11 Eureka

Fanfare Dress

To go along with the revamped blog (post crash a few weeks ago), I’d like to introduce a new regular series, called Girl Crush. It’s all about spotlighting other women that I think are truly rad – amazing artists, designers, bloggers, and changemakers that I look up to and admire.

To kick off this series, I interviewed the adorable Renee’ from 11 Eureka. I recently discovered her shop and blog, and I love what she’s doing – I guess you could say I feel a certain kinship with her, as a solo entrepreneur and shop owner myself! Plus she’s super sweet to boot!

What is 11 Eureka? What kind of stuff can we find when we visit your shop?
11 Eureka is an online boutique geared towards woman’s fashion. We like to think of our shop as “pinch of indie style with a kiss of vintage charm”. You can find unique colorful clothing, fun accessories, and we are currently adding a bridal section….yeah!

What inspired you to open 11 Eureka? Did you always want to own a store?
I was given the opportunity to manage a small boutique in my hometown and loved every moment of it. It was such a great learning opportunity, I met a lot of great people, and soon realized that this is something that I want to do all on my own.

Renee from 11 Eureka

How did you decide on the name 11 Eureka?
Oh, this was one of the hardest things I have had to do thus far. That may sound silly, but I must of wrote down a hundred options then would scratch them out and start all over. Finding something that suited my style, that was universal, fun, and sentimental all seemed impossible. Then it hit me…..let’s start from the beginning, the location where everything first began! Poof, a name appeared! Eureka also means “an exclamation of triumph on discovering or solving something”, so it just seemed perfect.

Pine Hooter Clutch

What are your favorite pieces currently in your shop?
I am in love with the leather clutches. I own one that I use almost daily! The best part is that they are from re-claimed leather clothing pieces and have been up-cycled into these amazing accessories.

Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do when you’re not working on your shop?
Well, I am an Interior Designer by trade who can work from home or when focus is necessary, my local Starbucks. I specialize in creating new spaces for existing buildings but I do love it all. I live with my best friend and boyfriend of 12 years and we have 2 beautiful girls (a terrier named Gretta, and a mixed breed named Marley). Some of my favorite things to do are antique shop, take a good road trip, and hang out with friends at our local fun spot sitting outside listening to good music.

Arimar Dress

What’s the hardest part of owning your own business? The best part?
Owning a business is really great but if I had to nit pick on one area that I just am not great at, it would be accounting! It’s an evil trade and I can’t believe people can be good at this…..HaHa. Thank goodness for accountants and besties who will sit down with you and go through your stacks of paper.

The best part is you are the main decision maker. I love picking and choosing. :) Not to sound corny, but I really have enjoyed meeting new people as well. It always shocks me on how friendly others can be. :)

Check out more of Renee’s adorable style at Shop 11 Eureka, or on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter. And don’t forget to tell her I sent you!!!