fp travels in stockholm

remember when i posted about some of our fp girls in paris the other day? well they also went to stockholm and met up with swedish blogger minna of the blog vintage (a love story). minna posted about it on her blog and i wanted to share some of her beautiful photos along with a translation of her post about their day in stockholm!

On Friday we had a very nice day, the sun was shining, we had toasted sandwiches for breakfast and then we got dressed and went to Skeppsholmen to pick up three girls from Philadelphia – they are designers for the brilliant brand Free People, and made a one-day stop in Stockholm during an inspirational trip to Europe.

Some of the stores we visited were Beyond Retro, Tjallamalla, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair and Lisa Larson.

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Then we went to one of the coolest stores in Stockholm, Unionville. The Free People girls were clearly impressed by the shop and studio.

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Douglas showed us bits of turquoise and gold, which they dug up in the Nevada desert.

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At Unionville the sound is a mix of vinyl, thumps of a hammer, the drone of a chewing machine and creaking floors, and smells of denim.

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for lunch we ate at Nytorget Urban Deli.

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Kristal was wearing a terribly beautiful vintage necklace from a shop in NY.

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On to Judith for more shopping! Beautiful as always with pink roses and GW Persson.

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At Beyond Retro at Zinc, we found an amazing 40’s dress – it had everything, model, color, fabric, details!

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In the evening we had drinks and food at Heather’s.

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Then we said goodbye …now I really know where Free People’s fabulous clothes come from. They have designers that feel genuine and very different from each other in many ways, and perhaps that is precisely what makes the result so very very good.

thank you so much minna for your kind words and this sweet post! view the post on her blog here.

final guest post from honestly…wtf

Thank you to our friends at Free People for including us in their Guest Blogger Series. Honestly, it’s been a blast! We thought we’d finalize our series with another set of photos that truly inspire us. xx, Erica & Lauren

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thank you so much ladies! it’s been an honor having you on our blog :)

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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.”

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this means so much, melissa! thank you!

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

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made my day :)

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!

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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!

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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: sullivanowen.com.

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last image via sullivan owen website.

inspiration from our fans

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

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

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some beautiful and inspiring images created by our fan rhoda.

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reader bridget made sweet valentines inspired by this post.

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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!

10,000 trees: help a short documentary grow tall

last week i received an email with the title i used for this post. intrigued, i opened the email and found the story of sarah berkovich, who was writing about a project very close to her heart:

“two years ago in an environmental science class, i was given a creative assignment that started me on the journey to producing a film. i told the story of my grandfather, victor kaufmann, who in his eighties, has been planting seedlings by hand all over his otherwise barren land in lyle, washington. despite the physical hurdles of age, his goal is to reach 10,000 trees.

the reaction i received from my documentary film class upon sharing his story surprised me: “you have to make this a film!”

i realized that my classmates are right. not only is this story inspiring to me and my family, but it can inspire everyone with the message that it’s never too late to accomplish your dreams.”

sarah and her friend sarah ginsburg, who is helping her produce the film, have created a page on kickstarter where you can watch a video about the project and make a donation to support the documentary:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/10ktrees/10000-trees-help-a-short-documentary-grow-tall

stories like this are so inspiring to me- a real girl with a dream and a passion who is doing whatever she can to accomplish her goal. thanks so much for sharing, sarah!

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top two images from here & here.