Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How I First Fell In Love With Vintage Beads and Buttons - Part II

Many years back there was this great little store on Hale St. in Wheaton, IL called Vintage & Vogue. Strangely enough the owner of this cool shop was only open on the weekend. Her window display was always so imaginative & cool that it kept people intrigued and interested so much so that when she was open, she'd sell out half the window.

One day I wandered into that shop & got to talking with her. At this point in my life I was bored, looking for something to call my own...feeling like I had lost my identity. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom, but felt that there was something missing that made me feel fun & edgy. So I told her how much I loved her store & that I would be thrilled to come and work for her. So we set it up for Friday nights and/or some Saturday nights. She would have the shop open during the day & then I'd open at night, sometimes staying until midnight. At that time there was a lot of night life on Hale St. (who would think that for Wheaton) and the later we were open, the better.

One day she noticed that I was dabbling with vintage beads and I had always admired her collection of beads & buttons. She encouraged me to start designing vintage button bracelets and rings to sell in her store. Well, it took off! Her customers loved it & I loved the attention that my new hobby was getting. Not to mention that being in her store made me feel like an "adult" again and it also gave me the opportunity to explore vintage fashion and start dressing the part. In those days, I would look forward to Friday nights & get all dudded up in some way cool hat and funky clothing. It was awesome!

As time progressed and it was apparent that I was having success with selling my fledgling jewelry, the shop owner decided that she too would share her designs in the shop. Of course I cannot begrudge her an opportunity within her own store, but looking back at that time now, I do remember not feeling all warm & fuzzy about it. So eventually I decided it was time to move on. I will say that I am grateful to her in giving me my first opportunity to see if anyone would even be interested in what I was creating. She did give me the courage to explore.

Stay tuned for more on this story!

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