earlier this week i received an email about this amazing cause that i wanted to share. off the mat into the world is a non-profit organization that uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. each year, they sponsor an international service project called the global seva challenge, with a different focus each time. this year’s seva challenge is focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and education in south africa and one of the many events they are attending to raise awareness for this cause is the wanderlust festival! the woman who contacted me, christina, also told me about these amazing wristbands and anklets that you can purchase to support the cause that are handwoven from recycled materials. i love them and i think one would make a beautiful addition to the collection of bracelets piling up on my wrist!
the days are heating up and summer is just around the corner…time for long days of lounging in the sun followed by wild summer nights. our current summer nights trend is all about the items you can rock all day long and then dress up with accessories to wear straight out at night. i love our selection of body con dresses that are perfect for this trend. which one do you like best??
we’re heading down to bonnaroo in a few days and i’m hoping we have some time to make a quick stop in nashville to do some exploring! if we do, there are a couple of vintage shops that i would love to check out…
first is imogene and willie, a store that’s one-of-a-kind in itself, located in a retrofitted gas station on 12th avenue south in nashville. while they specialize in premium, customized denim that they make right there on the spot, they have a selection of vintage cowboy boots, bags and accessories that i’d love to dig through. not to mention it is owned and run by a husband and wife team who’s adorable dog you’ll likely find lounging on the couch, and in the evenings they’ll often have live music and happy hour :)
the other shop i’d love to check out, called venus and mars, is partly owned by karen elson – singer and wife of jack white. driving by the simple house on belmont ave (not far from imogene and willie) you might not even notice it but step inside and a fantasy world of vintage lies before you – while imogene and willie might appeal more to our tomboyish lou customer, venus and mars would defnitely intrigue the candys out there. the store carries high end, rare vintage garments as well as less expensive, colorful and girly vintage dresses and jewelry. says elson, “vintage isn’t just an old hand-me-down but a one-of-a-kind garment with a wonderful story.”
above image of karen elson from recent feature in nylon magazine.
i really love the store’s website, too – it’s set up like an old book that you flip through.
karlee bloomfield is a talented gal- she plays keyboard and sings backup for the quincy mumford band, who make music they describe as “earnest pop with a touch of funk and a saltwater twang.” in addition to being the house band at jersey’s historic stone pony they’re on the lineup for a couple of big festivals this year, including gathering of the vibes (in connecticut) and musikfest (in bethlehem, PA). karlee happens to be a big fan of free people and in interviewing her for the blog i learned she’s also pretty rad :)
how long have you been playing keyboards?
i have been playing keyboards since i was old enough to sit on a piano bench all by myself. my parents bought a digital grand piano, about a year before i was born – my mom said she had a feeling that she should put a piano in the house. the fact that she thought that is still kind of wild to me. as a toddler, i was fascinated by all the controls on the piano, and eventually i knew just how to work it so that i would get the sounds i wanted. it was pretty much my favorite toy growing up. i started taking formal lessons at the age of 5, and have been playing and taking lessons ever since, so that makes it about twelve years now.
when i was seven years old, i met andy letke, who became my piano teacher and later my most important mentor…he is still my teacher today. i study classical Piano, and attend an after school program where i study bass guitar, drums and vocals.
my true love is playing and jamming with my band. i absolutely love the music we play. we like to call it, “FEEL GOOD MUSIC”. it is the kind of music that makes you feel happy when you listen to it. it is like a really great beach day!
who are some of your personal musical influences?
page mcconnell from phish, john paul jones from led zeppelin, herbie hancock, jeff paris from keb mo’s band, and a local artist named matt wade. oh, and grace potter from grace potter and the nocturals, that girl can rock the hammond organ like no other female musician i know! i actually played a show with her last year, which was a really cool experience. VH1 filmed the show for a documentary about the influence of woodstock on today’s up and coming musicians – definitely an experience for the memory book!
if you could see any band (past or present) live in concert, who would it be?
i’d definitely have to say led zeppelin. their musicianship was amazing, plus robert plant was a hunk back in the day.
(i am totally with you on that one karlee!!)
what is your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
there are so many places, but i would have to say florida, because we traveled there as a band. we’re like one big family on the road, we have so much fun together. we have played down there a couple of times now, and the weather has always been perfect! it is so nice to leave NJ when it is chilly, and in 20 hours be back in t-shirts and flip flops. and i can honestly say that every time we play in florida or anywhere on the coast, i am always wearing my free people dresses :)
if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
first and foremost my keyboard, second, an endless supply of fruit, and third would definitely be my diary! i am a girl who loves to write, draw, eat fruit and play music – keeping it simple!
how would you describe your personal style? what are some of your favorite free people items?
i am a hippie chick through and through. i love wearing little dresses, and as a matter of fact one of my favorite dresses is a floral free people dress with gold trim on it (the ends in sequins dress). it’s so cute, and looks great on stage! in fact, i just wore it to a show we played at.
winter, spring, summer or fall?
i really don’t enjoy the cold weather too much. i love playing out on a warm, breezy summer night – that is the best feeling in the entire world to me.
what is your motto?
whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
what inspires you on a daily basis?
the desire to improve my art, to bring as many people into my life as possible, and to be happy and to make others happy!
what’s coming up for the quincy mumford band?
this summer, the quincy mumford band is up to some great things. we are looking forward to playing the main stage at the gathering of the vibes festival in connecticut july 29th -aug 1st. at the festival we will be playing with some of the biggest names such as: furthur, robert randolph, damian marley and so many others. we are counting down the days to this festival! i am sure there will be lots of people in free people clothing there. in addition, we are already scheduled to play the summer stage in asbury park opening for umphrey’s mcgee and donavon frankenreiter. we are also the house band for the legendary stone pony in asbury park (home of bruce springsteen), where we host “feel good thursday”, every other thursday -we’re creating a little mini-festival vibe there.
for our latest trend, “summer nights,” our team headed over to penn treaty park which is located in fishtown, philadelphia, on the bank of the delaware river. it was a warm night in early june as the sun went down and the ben franklin bridge twinkled in the backround…
…and then the cops showed up.
fortunately, once they laid eyes on our gorgeous model renata and our team explained what they were doing, they were happy to help out – they turned on their red and blue lights which added to the mood of the setting, giving it the feel of an outdoor disco, and made for a pretty great story!
you can see the tint of their red lights pretty well in this photo:
our team also brought along some sparklers :)
i think the above and below photos are incredible.
read about the summer nights trend here, and shop it here!
last week i told you all about the trip fp jemma and i took to NYC for the day to visit some of our stores. well we had a small window of free time before our train back to philly so we hit williamsburg in brooklyn for a quick shopping session at stella dallas. this was my first time visiting the vintage store and i could have spent all day browsing the racks and rummaging through boxes in search of antique treasures. i love the smell of vintage stores…like your grandparents attic mixed with an old library of yellowed, crackling books. you always know you’re going to find something special and what that find will be is the mystery.
here are some photos from our shopping excursion…
what was my big find? i was absolutely smitten with the vintage rock tees hanging all over the store- so it broke my heart a little when i saw the sign saying they were part of the owner’s private collection and not for sale…. until I found a rack in the back with a sweet pink floyd t-shirt that i grabbed and would not let go of!
here’s another tip – follow up a day of vintage shopping with food and drinks at blackbird – a charming little corner spot on bedford ave that i would love to spend hours in, reading a book and people watching. it’s got a great atmosphere with wooden shelves lined with books and an old wooden bar full of character.
first of all thank you so much to everyone who participated in our boho mom contest! we got some amazing submissions which made it extremely difficult to select a winner, but we held a vote and the grand prize and runner up have been selected!
our grand prize winner, who gets the awesome prize of having their mom’s outfit recreated by free people, was submitted by heather:
and our runner up, who gets a $100 gift card, was submitted by india:
We’re intrigued by fashion everyday – it stimulates, inspires, and influences everything we do. We’re always looking for the freshest trends and the newest movements in street style and boho fashion, and we constantly fuel our ideas with the best from fashion culture.