I wanted to start a series of blog posts where I blog about someone other than myself. There's a handful of just-started-up blogs that I really like, SO, I have decided once a month to dedicate a blog post to interviewing one of these up-and-coming bloggers, who you may not have not heard too much about yet, but should definitely go and check out! What also tends to frustrate me in blog interviews is that the endless same old questions are asked, for which it is difficult to not just give the same old kind of responses to. So the idea of "three quick questions" is that it makes it slightly different from a normal blogger interview, and hopefully it'll give you just a quick, but interesting, snapshot of the blogger in question.
And I don't think I could have chosen a better person for my first interview!
SO Without further ado...
Q. Your style as a teenager - Do you regret it? Or do you look back fondly? Have you always seen yourself as having a good sense of style, or did you go through some awkward phases?
Oh lordy, I have definitely not always been stylish! There were some dark, dark days: fleeces, grandma sweaters (not in an "ironic" way, mind you), and ill-fitting jeans that were 100% ready for a flood. As Velma Dinkley, whom I rather resembled, would say: "Jinkies!" My fashion sense until age 14 or so was pretty rough. I went through some interesting phases once I exited the "outfits-that-shall-not-be-
Above: Leila as a youngin'!
Q. So, you're an amazingly thrifty lady - what's you're number one tip for thrifting?
Why thank you! :) Number one tip, hmm? That's a good question. I'd say, learn when the store does its sales and ask about when they put merchandise out (I think those are two, oops). First, about sales: this is important because I am not just thrifty, I am straight up cheap. Sales on top of already reasonable prices makes me one happy camper. Plus, if you have your eye on some higher end stuff (some thrift stores keep their vintage/nicer items in another area and price them higher), sales are a good way to score them without feeling too guilty. As for the merchandise part, it's critical to go when the batch is "fresh." I hate going into a thoroughly picked-over thrift store...who am I kidding, I'll thrift anywhere, but I promise it's not as fun when it's already been picked clean. Most thrift stores restock in the middle of the week after the weekend rush. If you can, pop by your local thrift spot on a Tuesday or Wednesday. The store will be less busy, and you'll likely have more to choose from.
Q. That is seriously good advice! So who taught you about the wonderful world of thrift stores, or did you discover them for yourself?
So, I'm the oldest of four children. My parents didn't have a ton of money to dole out to each of us, and for whatever reason, they really didn't want to spend it on clothes for me (my siblings now are rocking an assortment of Northface jackets on the daily, so my parents changed a bit after their run with me). I was given a small allowance of 20 dollars each month to spend how I wanted/needed. For a long time, I wore my mother's hand-me-downs; picture me as a 7th grader in work slacks, I promise you it isn't a terribly pretty sight. I knew that with 20 bucks I could barely afford a flimsy tank-top at Forever 21. I was sad, and thought I would be doomed to awkward outfits for the rest of my adolescent life. Lucky for me, my best friend, Lexi, came from a family of seriously thrifty folks. Her mom noticed my dilemma and insisted I come with them thrifting.
Fast forward to my junior year of high school, and I was thrifting regularly with Lexi and our other best friend, Elissa. We frequented Goodwill and Salvation Army, and though our fashion preferences varied greatly, we all walked away with a few gems. Once, we went to Chicago (we lived in Michigan) and Elissa found the most GORGEOUS green velvet coat; I hated her for about 10 minutes. Right after high school, Elissa and I got jobs at a second hand store, where I later became a manager. I definitely learned to thrift alongside those two lovely ladies, and when I think of some of my favorite high school memories, my mind wanders to the racks of colorful garments and the faces of my friends, grinning and eager to show me some weird thing they had just found. I love thrifting and look back on my discovery of it the way someone might remember the first time they swung a leg over a horse or when they plunged into the water on their first scuba trip. Thrifting was the hobby that made us light up. Every time we're reunited, you can guess what we do first.
Leila is also a high school teacher who recently endeavoured in a project which I think is amazingly admirable - at her school, they have a week called "Week Without Walls" where the teachers get to choose to teach anything they like for a whole week. Leila chose thrifting and DIYing! She took her students to a thrift store (each with a small budget) and then helped them alter their clothes into pretty things, and then they documented the whole process on a collective class blog. I just think that that is so fantastic, and that she pretty much should go down in history as the coolest high school teacher ever. Also more reason to go and check out her amazing blog!
I hope you enjoyed this interview, I sure did!