Whurl Gurls: Meet Yasmine of @yasminemei!

IMG_5128How and when did you start doing floral design?
I started working with flowers when I was 18. Fresh out of high school and fumbling through college, I landed my dream job working weekends at a flower stand in Laguna Beach.  I’ve been at it even since.
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With such a colorful profession, how do you feel your job influences your personal style if at all?
The palettes I use in my arrangements and choose for my wardrobe tend to be similar. Often times, if I didn’t have a particular color palette in mind when shopping at the flower market, I’ll end up choosing flowers that match the outfit I was wearing that morning. It’s subconscious and comical.
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I know you’ve given lessons in floral design in the past, are there any quick tips you can give here to help those of us who are florally-challenged?
Practice! And don’t overthink it.
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You seem to travel a lot and I bet you draw inspiration from every location. That being said, how do you find yourself inspired by living and working in Los Angeles?
I find myself incredibly inspired by LA. The city (and county) is so diverse in population and landscape, that it’s impossible not to draw influence from it. I love how simultaneously gritty and precious LA can be. That’s a look I sometimes try to achieve in my arrangements.
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Speaking of travels, do you have any one specific place you like to go when you’re in need of an extra dose of inspiration?
Arizona, always.
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You seem to have a great support system here in Los Angeles. As someone who works alone as well, I know how important that is! Not only to stay inspired but to be able to bounce ideas off of friends. Are there any friends or businesses that you rely on here in LA to keep the Yasmine machine going? 
There are SO many people in my life that keep me and my business going. I feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by so many smart, capable women. I know for certain that my business wouldn’t be what it is now without the help and support of my dear friend Monica, who owns the shop (Individual Medley) where I do my pop-ups.

Whurl Gurls: Meet Melissa of @melissacripe

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What does a day in the life of Melissa look like?

Usually starts with a bagel, ends with a grilled cheese. (Can’t help it with those carbs)

On a creatively satisfying day – I’m crafting ideas, making moodboards, sourcing props, building sets, shooting ideas, or editing photos.

On a fun day, I’m having a boozy picnic at echo park lake with champagne and a hot dog, fawning over pups, going to a museum and seeing a movie at the theater with a gal pal.

On a normal day, I’m hustling between a day job and my creative pursuits, eating too much sweets, and rewatching the It’s Always Sunny Bloopers to keep my spirits high.

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I’m obsessed with your creative work! Where do you draw inspiration from and where do you see your design work taking you?

Thank you! I currently draw the most inspiration from the nagging thoughts that weigh on my brain — thoughts like “Being an adult really sucks” or “Why am I comparing myself to other creatives so harshly?” or “How come I have no self control when presented with donuts or Mac & Cheese?”

& then I translate those thoughts into colorful sets and photos!

I’ve  also been recently going down the rabbit hole of the Vimeo Staff picks and searching for inspiring video projects that excite my brain. Then I research the crew behind them to see their portfolios and read how they got started — i.e. THIS dark, sexy french music video magic or THIS charming portrait of my homegirl Elle Fanning

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One thing I love about getting to know you over the last couple of years is seeing how hard you push yourself. Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue something totally amazingly creative outside of their day job?

First of all, that means so much!

It’s honestly tough and comes with some sacrifice, but I really don’t mind the long hours, the sore limbs, the dwindling bank account. I need those things in my life to feel alive and useful.

My #1 piece of advice and probably the most important thing I felt I’ve learned in these last 3 years of creating work on my own, (despite what sometimes seemed like an impossible schedule): No one cares if you finish. And that’s actually a good thing. It forces you to become truly self motivated and disciplined, but gives you the freedom and flexibility to experiment and challenge yourself without the pressure.

Let me explain…

When you don’t have a boss or a teacher or a parent checking in on you along the way to see if you’ve emailed the crew, balanced the budget, bought all the costumes, added a 2nd coat of paint to the props, secured a shooting location, made sure there were snacks on hand to keep everyone’s spirits high, taught yourself photoshop to edit the photo, posted to social media // your portfolio website and officially completed the project – you realize that technically if you didn’t finish, no one would be upset or disappointed — except for you.

On the other hand, BECAUSE there’s no one to check in with and I’m hustling to fund all of these projects on my own, I’m not obligated to please anyone but myself. I don’t have to sacrifice any ideas to fit into someone else’s vision and get to create work for my portfolio that is a true and accurate representation of my brain. How exciting is that! I feel extremely grateful to be in this stage of my creative career and to be able to feel the joy and accomplishments of my own efforts.

So basically, not having anyone there to see you to the finish line is both the best and hardest thing to come to terms with and I think is prob the #1 reason a lot of people get easily discouraged or intimidated. To be a successful creative person you really need to view it as running your own small business. You alone have to set deadlines, be smart about budget, be friendly to the other people in your life that could technically become your “co-workers” or collaborators, etc., You just need to take the plunge and finish the idea, no matter what- even if it’s not perfect. And don’t be motivated solely by a paycheck or some social media attention, but because it’s your duty to give life to the unique ideas trapped inside your individual brain.

What’s the best thing you ever thrifted?

One of my all time favorite things I ever thrifted was THIS bedazzled pink dolly parton-esque shirt

Or Perhaps THIS 1960’s Christian Dior Turban hat with a big bow!

But Probably THIS geometric GEM of a dress from my fav 😉

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Name one fun fact about yourself

In my youth, I looked exactly like a mix between Punky Brewster & Scout Finch. Pretty great combo if you ask me….not so much into the aesthetic of self cut bangs, and a constantly dirty face, but i’ve definitely still retained the spunk, colorful ensembles and childlike curiosity of the two 🙂

Whurl Gurls: Meet Allison of @thenebulashop

image4 (1)Where are you from?

Alexandria, Virginia the suburbs of Washington DC.

What inspires you? Mother Nature, bright Colors, psychedelic patterns, Alexander McQueen, textures, Biba, disco and Stevie Nicks.

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What’s your favorite decade? The 60’s. The fashion, rockstars & nightlife. I feel like my soul belongs in that time.

What’s your favorite place to vintage shop? I love great deals so I frequent the local thrift/ charity shops often. And I love online shopping of course instagram/ shopwhurl!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever thrifted?

I have thrifted some stellar pieces but I think my Chanel bucket bag is number one. It currently sits pretty in my closet. I paid $8 bucks for it at Unique about 10 years ago!

Name one fun fact about yourself? I’m a mom of a beautiful 4 year old boy as well as being a Shop owner.

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Whurl Gurls: Meet Gina of @bumblervintage!

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I just love this girl so much! Gina has been a serious Whurl supporter since almost day one. In fact, she was the 293rd person to register on Whurl (!) within the first weeks of launch.  She’s even gone as far as traveling to Los Angeles from Michigan to sell at three separate pop-ups I’ve hosted! She rarely strays from her quintessential 80’s/90’s aesthetic that admittedly makes me squeal with glee when I see her new posts on Whurl. In fact, she just uploaded a ton of fanny packs, colorful blouses, bomber jackets, swimsuits and more! Be sure to check out her assortment on Whurl when you’re done reading through her interview!

Where are you from?

Michigan! I’m an all four seasons, midwestern gal.

What inspires you?

Anyone that creates something, whether it’s music, art, comedy, even business. If it didn’t exist in this world before you and now it exists because of you, that’s incredible.

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What’s your favorite decade?

80s! I’m completely drawn to the bold, colorful, campiness of the decade. Also, I was born in 1980 so the decade carries major personal nostalgia for me.

What’s your favorite place to vintage shop?

Whurl! (haha just kidding, but not really though). While I love vintage shopping online nothing beats a giant outdoor flea market in the summer. It’s part treasure hunting, part people watching, and I can usually eat something from a truck. The perfect combo.

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What’s the best thing you ever thrifted?

Any one of my many vintage denim jackets. Like children, I love them all equally.

Name one fun fact about yourself

In 1997, my best friend and I went to see Titanic at the movie theater over 5 times. Leo forever has a soft spot in my heart because of this (my heart goes on for you, Leo, there was room on that door for you!)

Whurl Gurls: Meet Lindsay of @thriftvision!

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I love this gal Lindsay! She came on the scene a few months ago and is the best kind of Whurl Gurl: one part shopper, one part seller! She buys and sells some of the best stuff on Whurl from a variety of decades. She even found my wedding dress for me after I posted on Whurl for the type I was looking for! Gosh I just loooove this community! Read on to find out a bit more about Lindsay and then check out all of her recent uploads on Whurl!
Where are you from?
Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia!
What inspires you?
The vintage community on Instagram is so lovely and a daily source of inspiration for me! I also love Japanese fashion and I’ve been collecting magazines like Zipper, Fruits and Kera for years. My style icons are Marcia Brady and Ayumi Seto.
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What’s your favorite decade?
That’s tough! I’d say the 1960s for fashion, and the 1990s for pop culture.
What’s your favorite place to vintage shop?
 
The Mad Hatter is a really cool antique mall in Reading, PA that used to be a hat factory. I’ve found some amazing gems there. I’m obsessed with their room of vintage Alice in Wonderland memorabilia.
What’s the best thing you ever thrifted?
My Donnybrook faces coat for $12! (Rihanna has the same one omg) I was internally screaming all the way to the register. (editor’s note: omg coat pictured below!)
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Name one fun fact about yourself
 
I love video games and I’m an extremely competitive Mario Kart player.
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Whurl Gurls: Meet Dawn of @DawnAquarius !

So happy to have gotten the chance to interview Dawn today for the blog! The part of my job where I get to meet new friends & inspiring women constantly never ceases to amaze me! I’ve been following Dawn for awhile on instagram, both for her vintage shop and for her brilliant illustration work. Her trippy rainbow psychedelic illustration style is a long-time favorite of mine and blends seamlessly with her vintage aesthetic. She’s only been selling on Whurl for a few months, but already her shop is a favorite by many, myself included! Make sure to check out her selection on Whurl after reading a bit more about Dawn below!
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Where are you from? I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles- Whittier, if anyone knows it- it’s a funny, groovy lil suburb! I worked at Lovell’s Records out there in my late teens, and there are actually tons of super far-out thrifts and vintage shops. Plus 24 hour donut shops, swoon!
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What inspires you? Umm, generally: life, love, art, music, movies and magic– but more specifically: 60s psychedelic art, blacklight posters, rainbows, bright colors, kaleidoscopes, prisms, fruit and vegetables, Hanna Barbera cartoons, dizzying prints on vintage dresses, Family Dog posters, Sid and Marty Krofft shows, sunlight through tall trees, flowers, adventures with my boyfriend in a bright green VW bus, trippy 60s records, hippie nudie mags, electric colored old pins with absurd sayings on them, old sci-fi paperbacks, vintage underground comics, my cats, traveling to faraway lands, mushrooms, butterflies, and true love!
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What’s your favorite decade? I guess I’ve been obsessed with the 60s for as long as I can remember– as a decade almost in its entirety, and most of the art, music and film that came out of it. I think we’re better off in a lot of ways now (equality especially, though obviously that’s still a mess), but in terms of culture, I think things were freer and just more experimental then. I just wish everything could be swirling kaleidoscopic neon colors and childlike, wide-eyed love for other humans and creatures. Everything’s too dull these days. I want blindingly bright rainbows of colors everywhere. Flower is power!
What’s your favorite place to vintage shop? I’ve kind-of lived all over the USA, so I have a few favorites– Whittier actually always had the best vintage, always at Savers thrifts. I found probably half of my 60s bell sleeved groovy minidresses in their Halloween section. I LOVE Halloween racks. Best time of the year for us vintage seekers. In Portland, Maine I used to work for a shop called Material Objects, which is all consignment…I think I only took home a paycheck half of the time because I’d just cash it in and spend it on the constantly rotating racks of electric minis and fringe suede Jimi-style vests! The owners are two super amazing ladies, too. Chick power! Lastly, out here in Salt Lake City (and I so hesitate to reveal this, but here goes), there is the most unreal museum of a vintage shop called Decades… It just blows my mind every time I step in there! Racks upon overflowing racks of totally affordable, mint garments from every decade you’d ever care about. The first time I went in totally broke and immediately went home to sell some of my backstock wardrobe so I could blow the cash on Young Edwardian maxis and neon fairy minidresses!
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What’s the best thing you ever thrifted? I once thrifted the most magnificent unicorn mug in the whole wide world… Somehow I have managed to not break it yet (knock on wood). It’s my most prized mug in a collection of 60s pop art floral and mushroom coffee cups! I’m actually drinking coffee out of it right now. (shown below)
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Name one fun fact about yourself
I have extremely small appendages. I wear a vintage size 5 in shoes and my hands are like children’s hands. Heehee!

Whurl Gurls: Meet Bobbi of @blacklodgevintage!

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I’m so excited to introduce you to Bobbi of @blacklodgevintage today! Bobbi and I actually go way back to 2010 (!) when I started working at ModCloth. Bobbi already worked for ModCloth at the time but was based in Pittsburgh and soon after moved to LA. We instantly hit it off with our common love of vintage and even went on a road trip together on a thrift adventure. Flash forward a few years and I’m in awe every time I see her post something new on Whurl. She’s got an amazing eye for the best vintage out there and is constantly on the hunt for the best pieces to bring to you, so keep an eye on her shop!
Where are you from?
I’m from all over, and have lived all over but currently reside in Pittsburgh, PA.
What inspires you?
For the most part, other women. Women who are doing their own thing and being creative and bold ! A huge part, and for me the hardest part, of running a business is putting yourself  “out there”.  Seeing these women, whether they are other vintage sellers, small business owners or just gals being true to themselves and their aesthetic  is truly inspiring.
What’s your favorite decade?
That’s a tough one but i think my heart will always be in the 70s. I’m pretty color and print obsessed and i love the humor in a lot of 70s clothing.
What’s your favorite place to vintage shop?
For me, the thrill of the hunt is half of the fun so my favorite place is at flea markets. It’s fun to wake up early and not know what is in store for you ! You could come home empty handed or with 30 items. Plus you get to see so many unique finds while browsing and can score some major deals.
What’s the best thing you ever thrifted?
 
Maybe the first thing i ever sold ! I found a pair of snakeskin Doc Martens. It was one of those situations where I saw them in a tiny thrift store in the middle of nowhere. They were totally cool but not really my style. I  knew I couldn’t just leave them there ! They were only a dollar so i bought and held onto them for probably a year, having never worn them. But without those shoes, who knows if i would have started selling Vintage for a living  many, many years later!
 
Name one fun fact about yourself
 
I drove across the country twice in 2016
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Interview with Susan Koger!

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all photos by Emily Alben @coffeeandcherrypie

I’m beyond thrilled to launch Susan’s closet sale on Whurl today! First of all, the clothes are absolutely incredible and range from her personal collection pieces to pieces she bought for inspiration when developing ModCloth’s in-house lines. Secondly, she’s graciously donating all proceeds to Planned Parenthood! That in itself gives me so many tingly warm feelings. Lastly, she’s a close friend of mine and someone who has taught me so much about anything from how to make the most of a carryon suitcase to why there’s room for everyone at the (fashion) table. When I worked with Susan at ModCloth, I came from the fashion world where things felt so stiff and competitive and I quickly learned from Susan how fun and rewarding they can be. My time working closely with Susan was definitely what catapulted me into following my dreams and launching Whurl, so I couldn’t help but be thrilled to get to photograph all her collection (some of which brought back memories for me!) and interview her below. Don’t forget to shop her collection on Whurl after you read through!
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Vintage has clearly been a massive part of your identity for long time. What do you love most about vintage? Can you remember when you first fell in love with it?
 I’ve always loved fashion. From as early as I can remember, I’ve had an opinion on what I wanted to wear.  One of my earliest and favorite fashion memories is playing dress-up in my grandmother’s  basement in suburban Philadelphia. She had a trunk full of her old maxi dresses from the 70s, a leopard print coat from the 60s, and other really fun stuff (most of which is now in my personal collection and will never be sold!) My cousins and I used to put on “fashion shows” for her and I just remember feeling like the fanciest person in the world when I wore her clothes.  I started going to thrift stores with my mom at a young age as well. I was never really interested in wearing the same stuff or looking like everyone else, and low thrift store prices gave me the opportunity to do that. Basically, I was kind of always a weird kid, and fashion, vintage fashion in particular, gave me an outlet to express myself and, eventually, embrace that weirdness as something special and wonderful.
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As someone who has traveled all around the globe, which city has the best vintage shopping?
Los Angeles is tough to beat.  Vintage buyers travel from all over the world to shop in LA. I really love shopping vintage in different cultures, because you get to see stuff that you just don’t find in the US. Amsterdam is amazing for 60s and 70s European, Berlin has cool 70s and 80s. Tokyo is wonderful but I’ve found that a lot of the vintage there is actually from the US! I’ve heard Eastern Europe is amazing but haven’t really had the opportunity to explore that side of the world yet. Soon!
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A little birdie told me you’re currently on a year long trip around the world with your husband, Eric. What sparked this exciting adventure? What are you most excited about?
 We’ve always dreamed of traveling around the world, and a lot of things have come together in our life recently to allow us to take the time to do it now.  I feel really fortunate to have the resources and opportunity to travel like this. I am most excited to see the best that the natural world has to offer. I am an avid hiker and scuba diver, and I want to see it all! Especially with the changing climate, I feel a real sense of urgency to get out in nature and learn more about how I can help preserve as much natural beauty in the world as possible for future generations.
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I really appreciate how vocal you’ve been about rejecting our president and the patriarchy in general. What kind of advice can you give to female entrepreneurs in our current political climate?
No matter the political climate: do something you love. Entrepreneurship is a total rollercoaster, and if you aren’t extremely passionate about your venture, it will be impossible to weather the rough times. Build a support network of other female entrepreneurs. It’s so important to have people in your life who understand what you’re going through who you can be completely vulnerable with (side note: thank you for being this for me! I take so much strength from our relationship) Take care of yourself. It’s easy to put everything and everyone else first.
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*all photos by Emily Alben

Whurl Gurls: Meet Cory of @LuxieVintage

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I’m so excited to share a little interview with one of my favorite sellers on Whurl right now, Luxie Vintage! Aesthetically, Cory and I are extremely similar (like I thought that was me in her photo she sent me above, ha!) loving bright bold florals and 60’s collar details. But one thing I really adore about Cory’s shop is how she sells things from all decades for all types of people. She’s not just catering to her own tastes; you can tell she genuinely wants to find the perfect treasure for everyone out there! Check out some of her items on the Whurl app under “luxievintage” after you read through her interview below!

Where are you from? Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.

What inspires you? All of the powerful women in my life! They are lawyers, teachers, dancers, musicians, non-profit workers, fellow vintage sellers, welders, scientists, writers, fashionistas, store owners, photographers and on and on. I feel lucky as hell to be surrounded by such greatness. Sometimes I get to collaborate with them or just tag along while they’re working. Watching those babes in their element inspires me and motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing.


What’s your favorite decade? 1940s. The 60s are a close second place.

What’s your favorite place to vintage shop? Online! I rarely have time to do any personal shopping IRL 😦

What’s the best thing you ever thrifted? A super rare 1970s Los Angeles tattoo parlor shirt. It’s a bittersweet story but one of the most memorable, therefore I consider it one of the best things I ever thrifted. It was in 2012 when I had a brick & mortar vintage shop in Tempe, Arizona. I found the shirt at a thrift store for five dollars. I thought it was a 70s bowling league shirt, tagged it as so and sold it at my shop for $35. The person who bought the shirt off of me immediately told me they were almost positive that it was actually an extremely collectible shirt. That person was correct and ended up selling it on eBay for $1,200.00. At the time, it hurt to watch the auction creep up, but looking back, it taught me and important lesson: if you made a profit, be happy for the sale regardless of what the next person sells it for. That’s just the way of this sort of business. After selling vintage for twelve years, it’s something that I still have to remind myself. Ultimately, I made the profit I wanted off of the shirt. I should be happy for that, not resentful because the next person sold it for more. Ok, that sale still burns a little 🙂

Name one fun fact about yourself: I’m absolutely terrified of E.T. Not so fun of a fact for me, but it seems to be a super fun fact for everyone who knows me.

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Whurl Photo Tips

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Photo tip day! I’ve been wanting to make this post for awhile and finally partnered up with my talented illustrator pal Louise Androlia  to help cute it up.

Some of these tips may seem like common sense to some and a complete surprise to others, and that’s okay! It’s important to me to remember that Whurl sellers range from first timers to decades-old vintage stores. I gathered these tips from a combination of my own experience and analysis of the sales report, meaning the majority of items that sold have these things in common. In my opinion, photo and price are the top reasons items sell. It isn’t necessarily the item since an item that appeals to me might not even appeal to you. But how do I know if something appeals to me if I can barely tell what it is from its photo? Make sense? Here are my tips:

1.Be sure to show the entire item in one photo (don’t cut off the bottom of a dress)

2. Always use natural light or profesh lighting! Dim lighting is a huge no-no

3. Solid backgrounds work best to not distract from the item!

4. Make sure your photos are always in focus.

5. Show as many angles as you can of the item (the more photos you
add, the better!)

xo

Sam