A Little “Some Thing” Special

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Hello Fashionistas ~

Thank you for taking the time to pause for a moment & read my first blog post. It truly does mean the world to me. Some of you know me, but many do not, so first let me introduce myself . . . My parents named me Stephanie but everyone called me Stevie growing up. I answer to either but have found I prefer Stevie over the past few years. As my husband says . . . “Stephanie is too formal for you & Stevie fits you just right!” I am the middle of 3 sisters & was a total mix of tomboy & girlie girl growing up. Sports, motorcycles, animals, & the outdoors were a big part of growing up, yet I still loved anything & everything related to fashion. Shoes & turquoise jewelry are my addictions. I used to be the “Queen of Poor Choices” as I called myself for years after two failed marriages in my 20’s, but have somehow managed to pull it together & have an incredible life! The growth, strength, & character that come from failing can really lead to great things. I will warn you that I am an open book, like to keep it real, & can sometimes have a touch of a potty-mouth. But I will try my best to keep it “PG-rated” for all of you.  

This week I wanted to write about how fashion can bring people together & give people confidence through sharing a couple of stories. When I was in high school, my parents moved from Nebraska to Kansas in the middle of my sophomore year. It truly devastated me. I loved where we lived. Everything about it. Moving during high school was hard on me. Trying to make new friends, fit in, etc. Can any of you relate? I immediately got a part-time job & started making some money. I remember cashing my paychecks & going to the mall to shop at Ziggy’s & Cricket Alley by myself. Do any of you remember those stores? Now you all know how old I am! I had a running layaway. (WHAT? Layaway? Now I’m really dating myself!) I would pay one outfit off & put another on layaway. It brought me joy to work hard to pay for things that made me feel good when I wore them. So for anyone that thinks otherwise, “retail therapy” is REAL!

Throughout life, I’ve learned that wearing something special can be a conversation starter and lead to so many great things. Think back to a time you went to a party or attended a work function for a new job & you knew no one in the room. It can be so intimidating, can’t it?!? It’s the worst feeling! When I found myself in situations like that, I would scope out the room & look for someone wearing something really interesting or beautiful. Then I would approach them & pay them a compliment on the piece. Sometimes they looked at me like I was a weirdo, but most of the time it opened up a great conversation that lead to new friends or colleagues at work. Fashion truly is a connecting force that can build confidence!

The second part of my post this week comes from a conversation with a client of mine when I was asking for feedback on some daintier lines of product, since my taste is more bold, chunky, & “out there”. She told me a story about her family that literally made me cry. It truly reinforces the point I want to make & she was kind enough to allow me to share it . . . this comes from my sweet client & friend Penny McGinnis:

“My mom and her Aunt Birdie have always worn something unexpected.  It started when my mom’s aunt was very young.  Her dad died when she was a baby, then 7 years later, her mom died.  Aunt Birdie and my grandpa were shipped off to live with their very young, newly wed Aunt Elsie in another state.  Aunt Birdie was miserable.  She was very shy and hated the attention of being known as the “orphan”.  Aunt Elsie had an outrageous brooch of a cluster of snakes with jeweled eyes.  She put it on Birdie’s dress and said, “Now those little shits can talk about your pin instead of you!”  It became their joined mission to always have “some THING ” a little unusual for someone to talk about.  When my grandma married my grandpa, she heard that story.  My mom was also very shy and sickly.  So my grandma did the same thing.  She always made sure my mom had some THING for people to talk about – she’d embroider a special collar, do an intricate hem, wear an unusual piece of jewelry.  As my mom got older, she kept it up.  She worked with special needs kids the first half of her career and the mentally ill the second half of her career.  She found that an unusual “some thing” was always a good ice breaker for her clients.  She was famous for wearing a designer suit and a crazy t-shirt or a funny pair of socks.  I try to do the same thing.  Every time I get dressed, I try to add a little something that maybe someone might feel compelled to talk about.  As Aunt Elsie says, “Let the little shits talk about IT instead of you!”  I think that’s why I like the extra unusual touches about the jewelry you’ve picked out for your company. It gives somebody something to talk about.”

So what is your “some THING” in your wardrobe or your life in general? I’d love to hear all about it, so share fill out the contact form and let us know! And if you have time, give us a call to get a virtual tour of what we have to offer here at Jewel of the West. Maybe there is “some THING” in our offering that speaks to you & your personal style. 

Have an AMAZING week!

xoxo Stevie