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so sweet

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i went over and checked my mail today and was surprised to find a package waiting, from an unknown address and marked “do not bend.” i carefully opened it and out slid two pieces of cardboard taped together, inside of which were two pieces of art and a card.

“dear julia…here is a little fan art i created for free people. i am an artist and budding textile designer from queens, new york.  i have been wearing free people for years now and i am a faithful follower of the building 25 blog. i love the free people aesthetic. it’s refreshing how interactive the company is with their customer base.  free people is more like a community than just a brand. thank you for all the cool clothes and inspiration. love, melissa.”


this means so much, melissa! thank you!


as if that wasn’t enough, i was also sent this amazing bouquet of flowers from sullivan owen.



made my day :)

Melissa -Mar 07, 2011, 8:04PM
Thank you so much Julia for posting my artwork. I'm so excited to be on the blog! And thank you to everyone for the amazing feedback!
margaux -Mar 07, 2011, 12:38AM
oh my goodness! i love these textile designs - they are absolutely beautiful! were they watercolor based? so pretty! and the flowers are stunning!!!

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Post image for introducing our march featured guest bloggers!

i am very excited to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of march, erica and lauren of the amazing blog honestly…wtf! these ladies are a constant source of inspiration for DIY projects, art, fashion and more, and i’m thrilled they will be sharing some of their projects and inspiration, as well as an exclusive DIY for free people this month – and keep an eye out on our website for some items from erica’s awesome line the 2 bandits!


Lauren and I, a fashion stylist and designer respectively, started Honestly…WTF several months ago as a way for us to document a shared love of art, DIYs, travel, and most importantly, fashion. We were beyond thrilled when Free People asked us to contribute to their guest blogger series with a few things that inspire us. Honestly, we can trace our love of Free People as far back as we can remember (circa 1990s)! And so in true FP spirit, we are sharing a handful of images from a DIY Tepee Sewing Workshop we hosted on my family’s ranch in California last Fall. After 3 days of handling 400 yards of heavy canvas, sewing 160 button holes, carving 40 willow pins, attaching 36 stress patches and ripping through 20 spools of thread, we successfully made a beautiful 20 foot tepee. Stay tuned this Spring when we paint the outside of the canvas and decorate the inside!











if you haven’t already, check out erica and lauren’s blog here.

Elin -Mar 02, 2011, 10:09PM
I love Honestly WTF ever since I discovered it!! They've got great DIY's that I always want to try! I'm so glad they're guest blogging on Free People!
bleach cosplay -Mar 02, 2011, 9:13PM
i love these pics it makes me wanna go there right now

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Post image for studio visit: sullivan owen

earlier this week i had the wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of floral and event designer sullivan owen, which just opened in queens village in philadelphia. i love talking to people who are passionate about what they do…their love for their craft is infectious. i could have spent an entire day in her beautiful studio listening to her talk about the artistry behind floral arrangements and watching her work.


when designing her studio space, sullivan wanted to use a soothing palette with shades of soft gray and white so that when entering the space, your attention goes straight to the flowers. indeed- when i walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pops of color peppering the studio.

when she was younger, sullivan worked at one of the first urban outfitters stores. she recalls the president of the company visiting often to chat with employees and see how the store was doing, and it was a huge inspiration for her to see someone with a dream who was able to make such a successful career out of it.  her dream was to tie together her fine arts background with her love of flowers, which is exactly what she is doing today.


in addition to floral arrangements, sullivan owen offers complete event design – from mood boards and color palettes to textiles like bouquet wraps and table linens. to her it is about creating an entire atmosphere- an idea that reminded me very much of our free people stores.


bits of inspiration from around the studio: vintage knick knacks, beaded belts, books and handmade table linens from her own wedding.


a beautiful wall of vases and jars that can be rented for events – with the exception of the shelf of vintage glass bottles, which are her private collection inherited from her grandfather and serve as inspiration.




when i arrived, sullivan was in the back finishing up an arrangement, and i sat and watched while she talked excitedly about how the floral industry is starting to attract a younger audience of people who appreciate the fine arts.  with her own background in the arts, her approach to putting together an arrangement is very much like an artist painting a picture – paying special attention to color and texture, and layering in a way that is also almost like fashion.

IMG_3422 2

a mood board hangs over her work table and incorporates fashion, color and landscape – all things she thinks about when putting together a bouquet.


the flowers sullivan works with are all very special – for example at top left, a ranunculus that comes from japan where these delicate flowers are designed to be perfect. the one at bottom right is a dutch variety of the ranunculus, with a really unique color gradation. at top right is the anemone, a beautiful black and white flower with hints of purple that is one of her favorites to work with.


above and below are what she calls the “spare parts vase” – where the flowers go if they’re cut the wrong length, the stems break or they just don’t make it into a final design. she doesn’t like to throw them away, plus they’re quite beautiful!



she gave me a quick little lesson in putting together the above bouquet, and then i tried my own:


i think i could use some help… luckily sullivan is going to be holding classes at her studio so you can go learn all about how to put together the perfect bouquet, and then take it home with you :) i will definitely be attending! you can find more info on the classes here.

the studio is open by appointment only – i definitely recommend checking it out. go see the website for more info and to see more photos of her incredible work:

last image via sullivan owen website.

Imbracaminte petru femei -Mar 04, 2011, 6:26AM
Nice tattoos !
-Mar 02, 2011, 9:20AM
I love her flower arrangements!!! beautiful!!! big fan!!!

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Post image for inspiration from our fans

our fans never cease to inspire me! here’s a batch of awesome photos from our facebook page


one of our fans made these amazing quilt-like signs for her specialty boutique that carries free people!



some beautiful and inspiring images created by our fan rhoda.



reader bridget made sweet valentines inspired by this post.



and alissa attempted the umbrella chandeliers – with amazing results!!



becky gave her dresser a makeover by painting and decoupaging it!


and i could not resist posting this awesome photo from jani of her alphabet soup :)

dragon fruit -Feb 22, 2011, 6:27AM
omg no way that pasta spelling free people is amazing! i love this post. free people fans are very loyal :)
Allie -Feb 22, 2011, 12:57AM
This is the best :)

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Post image for california girls

with our latest catalog being shot in california, i wanted to get some insider scoop on what its like to live there – i’ve been to  LA several times but could never see myself settling there…san francisco was much more my speed.  so who better to ask about life in so cal than two fashionable bloggers that were born and raised there – natalie and dylana suarez!

where in LA do you live?

in the valley area of los angeles.

what is your favorite thing about living on the west coast?

natalie: i love the beautiful weather and constant sunshine. i’m not much of a gloomy weather type of person!

dylana: my favorite thing definitely has to be the beautiful weather we always have year round, all the amazing beaches we can go to on a sunny day, and the amazing thrift / vintage shops.

what are some essential pieces every girl in LA must own?

natalie: a great pair of skinny jeans and comfortable boots! also, a big bag is great for toting around everything you need on hand.


dylana: every LA girl must own a good pair of denim shorts, maxi or ankle length skirts, a good pair of leather ankle boots, silk blouses, and a lightweight blazer.


where are your favorite places to shop/eat/go out?

natalie: we were born and raised in santa monica so that is definitely my favorite part of the city. i love main street and montana avenue for the cute, little restaurants. i love 3rd street for the shopping. from there, i usually walk to the boardwalk and beach.


santa monica

dylana: i love to shop on the santa monica promenade or the americana in glendale. my favorite place to eat is also santa monica because you can get just about anything there and there are a lot of cute little restaurants to eat at. i also really love main street in santa monica.


3rd street promenade, santa monica

is there a certain spot/place you like to go to get away from it all?

natalie: i love hiking up will rogers park on the westside. you get beautiful views of all of los angeles and it is super relaxing.


inspiration point, will rogers park

dylana: if i want to get away from the city, i can just stay right at home in the valley, where things are of a much slower pace. i also like to go up to ventura and to relax on the beach or do some thrift shopping on main street over there.


what’s your ideal way to spend a day off in LA?

natalie: my ideal day off would be biking along the beach from santa monica down to venice. in venice, i usually grab abbot pizza and gelato at nice cream!


dylana: i like to meet up with friends at a new restaurant that i haven’t tried yet to just hang out and laugh. i also love to spend a few hours at the bookstore reading magazines or i head to the movies. another thing i love to do on my days off is take a nice long bike ride or hike around my neighborhood. it totally clears the mind!

Venice Beach 046


and here are their picks from our february catalog – i could see them wearing any of these pieces and looking lovely in them!

natalie’s picks:


clockwise from top left: wrapped in peats maxi skirt;  everything nice lace dress; morning glory chiffon skirt; hearts flutter top; super 70s wideleg jean; first bloom maxi dress.

dylana’s picks:


from left: borderline fringe sweater, go together well maxi dress, morning glory chiffon skirt.

all photos of natalie and dylana are via their blogs, natalie off duty and color me nana. thank you so much ladies!

Nikki Sulon -Mar 14, 2014, 12:53PM
Love these outfits. Free People is a staple for a CA girls. Find more CA girl style inspiration on my blog :)
Tiffany -Aug 28, 2011, 1:10PM
Love to visit those placee.

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Post image for fp houston girls!

a few of our houston fp girls did a photo shoot with studio 88 in houston and they look amazing…they’re each wearing looks representing one of the free people girls.

here’s courtney as tomboy lou:


lina as the bohemian meadow:





and claire is sweet like candy:




you girls look awesome… are you sure you’re not models?! :)

army brat! -Jul 19, 2013, 11:48PM
I love. The. Last photo. Because. It's. Springable. And. Very cute. To. And to wear out. For a family. Reunion <3
army brat! -Jul 19, 2013, 11:43PM
I'm. In love with. Her. Outfit. And. All of them!: )

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Post image for winter chill










such a beautiful batch of wintry shots from our facebook fans!

Olivia -Feb 03, 2011, 12:01AM
AHHHH haha thats my picture!! the one of the bag in the snow!!!! i cant believe it!!
Bev -Feb 01, 2011, 9:55AM
Fantastic shots! Great clothes put together..."BOOTS FOREVER"!!!! All year round!!

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Post image for friday cuteness

one of our fp girls out on the west coast sent me these adorable photos that i had to share…

our so-cal DVM had a day at her daughter’s school called “occupation celebration” where she talked to the kids about her awesome job at FP  – she dressed up the girls like mannequins and chatted all about being a district visual manager – how cute?!

and this is claude, a new pup belonging to our visual manager on the west coast! above is claude as an itty bitty pup, and here is is on his first fp store visit, in santa monica:



this is just too much…i need a puppy!!!

margaux -Feb 09, 2011, 1:10AM
oh my god, i just died
kim @ fptorrance -Jan 29, 2011, 5:50PM
this post melts my heart! i love the mini fp models- so cute!!! claude just makes me swoon!

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Post image for pretty perfect


one of our designers celebrated a birthday yesterday and how lovely is this spread some of our fp grils put together for her? fresh fruit, yogurt with honey, oats, cute cookies, cake and flowers…perfect! (raspberries…mmmmmm…my fave).

Eva -Jan 27, 2011, 8:37PM
Yummy! And what an awesome birthday! It looks as though working for FP is an absolute blast!
Tiffany -Jan 27, 2011, 2:14PM
everything looks so yummy XOXO,

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Post image for at home with our graphic designer

lizzy janssen is an amazing artist, has great style, and is just an awesome person- so its no surprise that her home (in fishtown, philadelphia) is a reflection of all those things. lizzy describes it as somewhere in the early american, meets 1950’s housewife, meets mid-century modern neighborhood :) another fun fact – it was designed by our creative director, who lives here!

i’m completely in love with her place…the exposed brick, the spiral staircase, the amazing bathroom and her adorable cat arlo in the above picture (named after arlo guthrie).


most of the stuff lizzy has decorated her place with – the furniture, paintings and figurines – was found at thrift stores, garage sales, and sometimes even on the curb! her favorite thrift stores in philly are germantown thrift and three potato four, in manayunk.


here’s a quick little interview with lizzy, and check out more photos of her sweet place in the slideshow below!


you can check out another tour of lizzy’s home here!

Chase Howard -Jun 20, 2013, 10:27AM
Thanks so much for sharing this! I have been looking up spiral staircase prices and was wondering where you got yours from? I am building a new house and I think that something similar in style would look really good!
Lindsey Nichols -Feb 24, 2011, 3:35AM
Being a graphic designer myself, and Loving ALL things old and vintage.. this post is not only inspiring but just a breathe of fresh air to see :). Sometimes I think that all people forget about the good things in life, like s local thrift store or estate sale... its where all the real treasures are found :)! Great post free people, i love you blog and only could dream to work for you some day. Your Graphic Designer has a sick place ps!!!! xoxo, Lindsey Nichols

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shiela’s story

Post image for shiela’s story

today’s fan story is from sheila from portland OR, a student and artist who sent in some of her recent work.  she wrote that she loves fiber art and is always inspired by the materials that free people uses, and has incorporated some tears from  fp catalogs into her work.








i love how personal her work is, some of it containing little sentences or phrases that are like a peek into her diary.  awesome stuff, thanks for sharing shiela! you can check out more of her work here.

and don’t forget to keep the stories coming to!

Leather & Lace -Feb 05, 2011, 2:38PM
her art work is truly magical.. what an inspiration! thank you for sharing! loving your blog <3 xoxo
Steamboat Navetta -Jan 25, 2011, 10:00PM
I go to school with Sheila, have watched her create some of these works, and have critiqued them. The top right image is literally the most beautiful drawing ever created by a single person, you can't see from the picture, but it is large-scale and on transparent mylar. I am sad, because what you don't get with the images is the explanations of the driving concepts, and her thought process while working on the pieces. Sheila is too good, buy her art, all of it, now!go!

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Post image for gauthier’s paris


looking through our january catalog, i’m sure more than a few of you were wondering… who’s the handsome guy? his name is gauthier and he is a french model – our team found him on the street! we asked him to give us the insider scoop on his favorite places to eat and hang out in paris.

read more for the full post!

Read More

Ashlee Plouffe -Jan 22, 2011, 9:02PM
where is that cargo jacket from???? i love it!
-Jan 22, 2011, 9:01PM
where is that cargo jacket from???? i love it!

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