Style File: Meadow Design Assistant

Style file this week is dedicated to the design assistant on our meadow team. She’s a fabulous dresser with extremely feminine taste. Dresses are her specialty, and her collection is out of this world. Delicate lace, dainty peter pan collars, and retro polka dots are just the details that showed up in her numbers this week. Everything she wears feels like something you’ve never seen before – it looks like a vintage piece with a great story behind it, or a uniquely handmade piece. It’s like she finds special pieces and gives them a home. Her collection of feminine ankle socks is another great aspect to her style. She’s often wearing a pair, and manages to pull off the look so well. No doubt, she has a great wardrobe, and her styling is on point, but her best accessory is the huge smile that lights up every outfit she wears and brings it to life.

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I fell in love with delicate beauty of this lace on her vintage dress!

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She had some awesome nail art going on.

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Saturday DO

DO: go to bed an hour early and read.

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I have two problems: 1) I never seem to get enough sleep, and 2) I never have enough time to read as much as I’d like. Rather than continue letting this bother me, I’ve begun a little experiment. An hour earlier than I typically would, I force myself to get into bed. I’m usually not tired, but I get into bed anyways and pull out a book. Eventually from reading, my eyes begin to get droopy. As soon as this happens I roll over and go to sleep. Reading serves as a perfect way to let the tiredness set in, and it helps you feel more settled before bed.

I don’t get too much more sleep than I did before, only about 15-30min, but I think that’s the best I can shoot for with the way my life goes. The biggest success of this experiment has been the added reading time. I find reading to be one of life’s biggest pleasures. Fiction, non-fiction, fantasy…whatever it is – reading opens your eyes, and lets you experience things/people that you may never otherwise encounter. It’s a great thing to incorporate into your everyday routine.

I quite like the effects of my experiment so far. I’ve decided to keep up the efforts, and try to make it my new thing. You should all try it out sometime soon and see how it works for you. It’s a great way to wind down your day, and I think you will all enjoy the added one-on-one time with you, your book, and your bed.

Inspiration: The Space We Inhabit

I love this video by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films about the idea of home. John Coffer’s home is beautifully imperfect. I’d love to escape to his oasis for a bit and participate in one of his wet plate workshops.

It’s so interesting how the space we inhabit really becomes an extension of us. As we change our homes change with ourselves – reflecting pastimes, values, tastes…everything. It’s “like [your] own little kingdom that [your] the boss over,” in Coffer’s words.

The video is part of a miniseries titled “This Must Be the Place.” Check out the other video on their website here.

Saturday DO

DO: learn a new game

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Games are a great thing to have in one’s artillery. On my recent trip to Hong Kong I realized why.

Firstly, getting there and back involves an extremely…long…voyage… After a while, you’ve finished the book you brought, you get sick of the movies and you’re left to your own devices. Luckily, the man next to me (we had been chatting back and forth) asked if I wanted to play a game. It was a simple word game – fun – and a godsent gift to make the time pass. After we got sick of one game we moved on to a new one, and before we knew it the plane was landing at our destination. Without our library of games, I don’t know how I would have stayed sane.

My second recent experience which taught me the power of games happened while I was out at night with two Chinese individuals – neither of which knew more than two words of English. We ended up playing a Chinese game that involved two cups, four die, and your hands – no words necessary. After that I taught them the old American hand slapping game that everyone used to play as a kid. They thought it was hysterical, and loved it. The exchange of games was fun and allowed me to connect with two people that I would otherwise have had no way to communicate with.

So I’ve come to appreciate the simple life pleasure that games provide. They introduce people, make memories, bring friends together, and help pass time. It’s always fun to learn a new a game, so try to pick up a new one. You’ll have it in your repetoire to pullout the next time you’re bored or in need. Whoever you’re playing with might be very grateful…

Style File: NYC Showroom Wholesale Sales Manager for Specialty Stores

This week’s style-file girl is one of our employees from the NYC showroom. She’s the fun loving girl behind wholesale sales to specialty stores which means that any time you see our brand in a specialty store, she helped get it there! Here’s a bit about her life and the style she lives it with…

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Weekend Getaway: Find a Swimming Hole

There are a lot of things I love about Austin, but near the top of the list are the swimming holes. When we were down there for our July catalog release party, it was sweltering – over 100 degrees. So the Saturday after our party, with a day off to explore, we went straight to Barton Springs.

Barton springs consists of four natural water springs, around one of which is a man-made pool that is one of the most popular places to hang out in Austin. The water is COLD – and the best way to deal with that is to gather your courage and dive in. When you do, the rush you experience is refreshing and rejuvenating. Some Austinites believe that not only is it good for your mental being, it’s also good for your health. I can definitely see how that may be true.

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On the near side of the barrier in the pool above is a smaller pool where you can take your pup swimming! Barton springs costs just $3 for a full day, and is open until 11pm (night swimming!)

We didn’t have time to visit this next one, but if I ever find myself back in austin (and I hope I do) this is on my list of things I MUST do.

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Yes, this is in Texas. Hamilton pool, located 30 miles outside of downtown Austin, is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed from erosion thousands of years ago. The result is secluded pool surrounded by cliffs and huge slabs of limestone, into which a waterfall runs. Getting to the pool requires a steep quarter-mile downhill hike – but it’s more than worth it.

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After seeing the amazing swimming holes that Austin has to offer, I thought, surely there are swimming holes near Philadelphia? Indeed there are, and while it might not be on the same level as the ones above, Devil’s Pool is a swimming hole right here in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek.

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Chances are, where you live you have a swimming hole nearby as well – and with the crazy heat coming this weekend, this might be a necessary thing to do!

Check out swimmingholes.org, where you can view maps of all the swimming hole locations near you! The site was started by a man from Philadelphia named Tom, who runs the site purely as a hobby with the help of his friend Dave.  Why? “Tom and Dave like to explore, find and enjoy these hidden pools in natural settings they find a natural swimming hole in a beautiful setting to be very nurturing and soothing to the body and soul.”

Agreed.

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Style File: Edition 3

Quirky, creative, lovable, giggly, cool…these are all words to describe the assistant designer for Meadow here at Free People who is also this week’s Style File Girl. And boy does this girl have style. I envy how creatively cool she looks each day, and it never appears to take her much effort.  She alters pieces in unique ways, thrifts like it’s her job (okay, it partly is), and throws in unexpected extraneous items to pull an outfit together. It’s tough to explain why exactly it all works, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves. Check out what she wore this week…

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Even though her look changes from day to day she certainly has her favorite accessories. I’m a big fan of the watch she always wears.

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And what about those tattoos?

Her favorite is the acorn (far left) inspired by her childhood self who made her grandmother watch Peter Pan twice a day, every day. The acorn is from the version with real people in which Wendy asks Peter for a kiss, but since he’s just a boy, he doesn’t know what that is and gives her an acorn. Later on in the movie she’s struck down by an arrow, but you later come to find out the arrow pierced the acorn instead. It saved her life.

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The creative spirit that she uses in her appearance is just as apparent in her job as the assistant designer on team Meadow. She pumps out awesome piece after awesome piece, often inspired by vintage clothing that she picks apart, blogs, and her coworkers. This Wednesday she was working on updating sketches she presented for setup to meet the buyers’ and head designers’ requests. She now has to show the garments in flat form along with fabric swatches, body, and any artwork to be used in the piece. At the end of it all, she puts it together into a nice presentation so buyers can decide exactly what they’ll buy and how much.

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The coolness doesn’t stop there. Her work space and home are just as one-of-a-kind as the outfits she wears and the creativity she brings to her job. I mean, who has a pregnant Barbie to accompany them at their desk every day? Safe to say, the space she inhabits is never boring.

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And of course, I wouldn’t leave you all without a fun questionnaire. Time to let the woman speak for herself

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Doe Run Farm

Last week I was lucky enough to go on a phenomenal field trip with other Free People and Urban Inc. interns. We were invited to visit the 400 acre Doe Run Farm in Chester County, PA. It’s almost unfair to even call the place a farm; it was more like a country oasis for animals and humans alike. We visited the cows, goats, and sheep which they house and milk for cheese. All of the cheese is made on premise. We got to see where it is made, and then for lunch we were able to try a bit for ourselves (it was amazing, of course). They also sell the cheese around local Philadelphia farmer’s markets – our farmer’s market here at the home offices sells it every other Wednesday. The farm had a beautiful pond, lots of gardens, and we got to see a bit of the luxuriously rustic house itself.

I already posted some style photos from the trip here, but checkout the rest of my photo diary from the trip. =P

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Style File: Edition 2

Meet this week’s style inspiration – the design assistant for New Romantics here at Free People. I was immediately attracted by her laid back and beautiful – yet approachable – look. I checked in on her daily to get to know her better and bring you her week in style file.

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In her romantic, somewhat demure, way of dressing she reflects her personality perfectly. She seems quiet and shy at first, but is then sweet beyond words as soon as you approach her. This is a girl who doesn’t wear outfits that shout “look at me,” but rather, “come closer.” Pay attention and you’ll notice a dainty necklace or a gorgeous etched bracelet.

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As assistant designer for the Free People New Romantics, she will be given a fabric chosen by her boss, the head designer for New Romantics, and then has to come up with styles using what she is given. The process usually starts with a sketch. Her sketches themselves are amazingly inspirational to look at. She will then drape the piece – usually doing about one a day. After she’s done draping, she will pass everything along to tech who takes it from there. This week she was already working on things for next summer.

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And now for a peek into her personal life =)

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Style File – Tuesday

It’s day two of getting to know our employee of the week, and check out how adorable she was looking today! I love the combo of the ditzy polka-dot shirt underneath a girly denim romper.  She looks innocent and flirty all at the same time. Definitely a Candy/Meadow combo just like she said…

Aside from checking out what she was wearing, I wanted to know what she was working on today. Essentially, she’s the one that makes sure you can all find what you’re looking for on our site, and today she’s working furiously to get all of the product from our July catalog (which also drops today!) up on the website.

She goes through, page by page, merchandising the clothing and accessories into their relevant categories for the web. We’re moving into fall already, so she notices missing categories as she goes along, and makes a note to have them added in later. This needs to be done in correspondence with every catalog, look book, blog post – anything that links to clothing someone might want to buy.

I have to say, it sounds tedious, but I’m incredibly grateful to this pretty lady for all her hard work – it means I have an even easier time of filling my closet with Free People clothes… Whoops =P

Weekend Getaway: The Adirondacks

Summer is the perfect time to plan those weekend getaways, and our country is full of great escapes to explore. Last week I headed up north to camp in the Adirondack Mountains – a perfect getaway destination. The mountains, rivers, and lakes are immediately relaxing. We set up camp in Wilmington, NY right near Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. It was the perfect spot to explore the village of Lake Placid and to get in good hiking and fishing. The town is full of cute shops, Olympics memorabilia, nice people, and even a pile of snow they keep year round. We shopped local specialties to picnic and grill (look out for this weekend’s recipe!) You can even bring your dog into most places, so bring the trusty friend along if you go. I had Abigail, and she had a blast getting down and dirty in the mountains. One day we hiked Whiteface, the tallest mountain in the region. She made it the whole way =). I highly recommend the challenge if you’re up to it. The view and sense of accomplishment are surreal and invigorating.

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My beer, the Ubu Ale, was named after a local legendary dog =)

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Abigail, always thinking she’s the star of the show…

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Almost to the top!

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“climbing mountains is hard work, give me food!”

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It’s not often you get to enjoy nighttime in the middle of the woods – talk about a getaway…

Brimfield Photo Diary

Some of our buyers have just come back from Brimfield’s one of the world’s largest flea markets. It’s in Massachusetts and happens 3 times a year May 8-13, July 10-15, and September 4-9.

Here are some pictures they took and wanted to share with you!

It’s unbelievable the amount of great things you can find there with so much history and stories behind them.

Have any of you guys been?

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