north star bar

last week my friend geron played a short set at the north star bar- it’s been a while since i’ve been to a show there, actually. i think it’s because of the location- it’s a little out of the way, over in the art museum area -but it’s such a great venue to see bands in before they get big.

upon entering the corner pub you’re met with the same bar that has been there since prohibition, mahogany bar top, wooden ceiling fans, tin roof and all.  walk towards the back and go through a door on your right to get to the stage area, a wide open room with wood floors.  the stage is covered with well worn oriental carpets and in front, a staircase leads down to a lounge area with bright green walls that could probably tell some great stories… i thought i’d share a few pics from the other night!










image 1; image 2; all others by me.

geron’s first single will be available very soon on itunes!


“temari is an ancient folk art form originating in china and later introduced to japan by traveling chinese monks. first crafted as a child’s toy from remnants of old silk kimonos, temari evolved into an art form adopted by noble women in japan’s imperial society and handed down from mother to daughter.”






awesome. must learn how to do this. all of the above by julie and co.

march moodboards

our creative team sent me some outtakes from the march catalog that they didn’t end up using, so i decided to have a little fun with them and create some mood boards – each centered around a theme: castaway, in the city, and swim.


she treads barefoot through the sand, her skin tickled by the salt and sand.  she dances along, dipping her toes in the ocean and stopping to pick up sea shells that shine like pearls. she drapes herself in sheer fabrics that don’t add any weight, so she can take off in whatever direction the breeze blows her.

(items pictured: summer layers skirt, fp-1 rainforest maxi dress, starlight lovers dress, fp-1 tie dye sunburst maxi, open stitch beach tunic)

the city

evening sets in and the temperature in the air cools as she steps out for a night on the town. dressed in bold colors and patterns, crimped hair and red lips, skin glowing from the day’s sun and eyes alive with excitement,  she dances down narrow streets into the magical night.

(items pictured: fp-1 tie dye sunburst maxi, rugby stripe column, sheer yoke floral skort, seneca rising live twice short, pleated florals top, buttoned up in pleats skirt, crosswords maxi tube dress, daughters of the revolution striped tunic, lady in leopard dress)



she takes a breath and dives deep, the cool water shocking her skin after the sun’s intense heat.  she savors every second of the feeling of freedom one gets when they hit the water.  all other sounds are drowned out, it’s just her and her thoughts as she moves languidly under the surface.

(items pictured: fp-1 wavebreak smocked tube dress, crochet bikini, summer layers skirt, lace cropped kaftan)

which of these mood boards/ lifestyles do you guys identify with most?

yoga stops traffick

our director of design and image is taking part in an event this weekend called “yoga stops traffick,” with the goal of helping the odanadi organization put an end to human trafficking in india.  last year 1,500 people joined together in yoga studios, parks, beaches and mountaintops around the world to show their support.  the event takes place tomorrow, march 12th, all over the world.  here in philly you can join in at mount airy yoga between noon and 2 pm, and provide a suggested donation of $20.  for more info click here.

image source.

what’s in your bag?

i always loved that scene from the breakfast club where ally sheedy dumps out her giant bag, revealing all the clutter she carried around.  maybe because i’m the same way… my friends make fun of me because i always have so much pointless stuff in my bag and it takes me forever to find my keys in it.

it’s fascinating to see what’s inside peoples’ bags, it gives you a little peek into their personality. here our some of ours!

our office coordinator:

graphic designer:

creative design assistant:

graphic designer:


creative director:


and me:

p.s. thanks A. for the awesome idea!

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.

Hint, hint, give him an idea for Valentine’s day!

Make his heart race or make her shine with pretty lace and sexy silk. Pretty slips that can be playful and worn dressed up outside the house. Make cute with delicate accessories or add coolness with moccasins and tattered satchels. She will become an angel for the day!

Visit our Valentines day shop here

at home with a visual display artist

today i have a special tour for you of the home of one of our visual display artists who lives out in california! she actually used to work here in the home office, but relocated to the west coast to work on displays for our stores in the western region. she’s very talented and the epitome of a free people girl, as you’ll see in the photos of her home and personal style.

i’m already jealous.

you can see that she has been hard at work – on our spring store displays!



i love the record player, and the requisite chewbacca mask – we have a bunch of them floating around home office :)


she told me that her grandmothers have been huge influences on her life. the photo at top left is her grandma ella, about whom she says, “she died when i was young, but i resemble her most and admire her work ethic and grace. she raised my dad and he raised me to explore and travel. he took me on trips across the country when i was young and as an adult. that father, daughter time has been so rewarding to me as an adult. we have been on a lot of adventures as a family!”

the most important thing in her home is the “wall of objects” at bottom right. she’s pointing to a photo of her grandmother joan, about whom she says “she taught me how to sew, crochet, knit, and cross stich. i spent a lot of time crafting with her. she and my mother taught me how to be creative in everything i do throughout the day. the two of these ladies have been very inspiring!” she also collected giraffe figurines, and the ones at bottom left were the first ones in her collection.

check out the slideshow for lots more photos of her lovely home!


display work


personal style


her dog (right) meets claude (left).


thanks so much for letting us peek inside your home! and thank you to claude’s mama for taking the pics :)

Movie Review:Somewhere

We thought we would try something new on our blog today. I went to see ‘Somewhere’ the other month and wanted to share a short review with you. ‘Somewhere’ is Sofia Coppola’s fourth run movie starring Stephen Dorff who plays Johnny Marco – a movie star living in limbo at the very fashionable Chateau Marmont and Elle Fanning who plays Cleo – the mature daughter of an adolescent movie star. I couldn’t keep my eyes off Elle. Her presence was captivating; her fresh look reminded me of typical Marc Jacobs advert.

I had mixed feelings about this film; I can say I didn’t enjoy it as much as her previous ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Virgin Suicides’. However the high end hotel, the guy in limbo, the cusp on recovery and the tenderness between two unlikely characters are all familiar feelings that were provoked in Lost in Translation. The difference is that this film is about Hollywood – the place and the ideal, there’s a hint of the sinister side of celebrity land that was a bit hard hitting. A typical lost movie star wanting a way out… bored of the ideal and the materialistic lifestyle that Hollywood offers.

I get comforted by the quietness and the moody feelings that dominant Sofia’s work. She has a great talent with letting you experience a picture through silence.

If you haven’t already seen it yet, you should. Rising star Elle Fanning sure is a one to watch!

As the subtitle suggests the film evokes the thought “sometimes you just need a good reason to grow up”


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!

a day in the life: michele ouellet

you may recognize this girl from some free people catalogs! she modeled in our december ’09 and january ’10 books, and i interviewed her back then for the blog. michele often works in paris – and hung out with our team while they were shooting there – so i asked her for a little rundown of her ideal day off in paris!

paris! such a fun, beautiful city. i love working there and no matter how many times i visit there is always something fabulous to discover! the city is set up in such a way that nearly every corner you turn, a gorgeous monument or bridge or statue or building is right in front of you. there is so much to take in! whenever i have some time to kill between castings i explore st. germain and le marais or pop into one of the many museums. my perfect day off would look something like this…

read more for the full post!

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office tattoo style

i know that tattoos aren’t for everyone, but i’ve always thought they are beautiful.  it’s a form of art and a way to express yourself that is completely unique from anyone else and very personal and meaningful. i love seeing other peoples’ tattoos and hearing the meaning behind them – its like being let in on a secret.  i sometimes think of my tattoos almost like scars- and i don’t mean that in a negative way.  they represent things that i have gone through, things that have left their mark on me – emotional scars, perhaps.

there are several people here in the office that have amazing tattoos and i thought i’d share a few.

chau’s beautiful tattoo is her own handwriting – she’s an amazing artist.

our graphic designer’s tattoos were done by a friend.


our videographer and one of her close friends got this matching tattoo.


my favorite of my tattoos… it came to me  in a dream, and the meaning is inspired by a song, but that’s all i will say :)


jemma’s tattoo is inspired by times spent bird watching with her dad.


this is so rad – it’s actually a map of all the places she and her best friend used to hang out.


and just one of our photographer’s many amazing tattoos.

how do you guys feel about tattoos? do you have one, or if you got one, what would you get?