It was exciting to peruse winter styles in the fall. I managed to gather a few great sweaters off of the sale racks and have dutifully rocked them through freezing temps. But just like every other New Englander, right about now… we begin to go stir crazy, salivating over the idea of a nice warm breeze, sandals, crops and a great sleeveless tee. But realistically, we’re not there yet. Hence, time for a few transition pieces to tide me over until the real change of season arrives…
Trying to get to spring but winter just won’t let go!
I am a huge fan of tunics style tops and shirts, particularly ones that hit mid hip…enough to cover up the muffin top and a small part of my rear end showing. This combination, with flattering skinny jeans and some booties will to keep me confident as I move about my day.
Fast fashion has created an over abundance of material on the runways, online, in the malls and our closets. As there seems to be no sure sign of a slow down, CJ has begun to focus on another area of value: The resurrection and resale of modern and vintage leather bags.
Bags have always been an easy way to accent a wardrobe. And while there will always be much cheaper versions made from pvs’s, vegan leathers and other man made materials, no one can debate the value of good leather and it’s ability to withstand the test of time.
Solid construction, another quality of a well made bag, is often a trademark of well known vendors and some unknown skilled craftsmen. For the majority of us who will spend a few bucks on a decent bag, the rich patina of a Dooney and Bourke satchel, an all leather Coach tote or an Italian made hobo bag are undeniably some of the best investments.
Good leather, with and without a brand name can be passed along from one generation to the next or traded for a change in style. We are steadily adding both modern and vintage styles to our mix and hope that you too will come to appreciate the investment of a good bag in the years to come.”
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Well, when my grandmother Jannie passed away ten years ago I went into a funk, okay, it was more than a funk I was depressed. I went to work Monday – Friday, mostly because I had bills to pay, but lost interest in almost everything and everyone around me. I was a walking zombie and thought I’d never find my way out of that dark hole. After three years of reminding myself that my grandmother would not want me to be sad, it finally hit me… I needed to get out, be around people and get back to my old self. My grandmother told me on her deathbed “ I have no regrets”, I don’t want to live a life with regrets.
Estate sales… yes, estate sales was my gateway back to the land of the living. So seven years ago I pulled myself out of bed one Saturday, got dressed and hit my first sale. It was the easiest way to get out and be around people without being “too” social. In the beginning I started collecting objects that reminded me of my grandmother. She was an excellent cook and my early collection had plenty of antique and vintage kitchen gadgets and tools. As I continued the hobby of collecting items other things began to catch my eye. Next thing you know my garage was full of interesting collectibles from kitchen tools, ashtrays, clocks, books, post cards and other souvenirs.
After two years of hitting estate sales I thought the items I found should be shared with the world and a store was born, Call Jannie. Call Jannie was named after my grandma who taught me that true beauty comes with age. Since opening the online vintage store I’ve sold hundreds of collectibles to individuals around the world.
I am having a blast knowing that the items I pick up at estate sales are finding new homes and bringing happiness to another person or family. For example, one customer was so happy with his purchase that he actually sent me a letter via snail mail. He bought two vintage paper records from the 1960s. There was an orphanage in Italy that produced records of a boy’s choir singing Christmas songs. The sale proceeds from those records went to help take care of the boys that lived at the orphanage. In his letter he mentioned that the records were over 50 years ago but sounded perfect. His mother played those records every Christmas for him and his siblings when they were young. This Christmas he was going to surprise his siblings by playing the records for them. How sweet. Little did he know that my grandmother bought similar records and I remember seeing them around my house when I was a child. Two strangers shared a warm memory of a loved one through a simple object, a paper record.
Call Jannie (CJ for short) is growing. I feel so blessed to have my friend and partner Paula help source addition items and launch a new designer fashion category on CJ. I’m no longer depressed, although I still have tough moments, like the tenth anniversary of grandma Jannie’s passing. I remind myself every time I look in the mirror that her spirit lives on in me and I’m determine to share her name with the world and I will live this life with no regrets.
Burlington Vermont is a real treasure…an unexpected gem of a walking, town-like city, perched above shimmering Lake Champlain. Priding themselves with eco-conscious living, one will find organic markets and restaurants along with natural fiber boutiques and art galleries. I had the good fortune of visiting the Battery Street Jeans Exchange where I found this gorgeous cropped vintage leather jacket (see below). The leather is butter soft and the buttons are hexagons, also in a pressed leather…smoking hot! A Walter Dyer original from the late 80’s…so grateful for this little store and even more grateful someone will be able to rock this vintage prize! A rare find!
I consider myself a bit of a textile nut, I really appreciate the feel of good quality fabrics, leather and suede, particularly when they have worn well and maintained their value. Our ready to wear market has flooded the world with tons of goods, some low priced quickly sent to stores. As a result, they are bought and then often given away…but with the wear and tear of bags and racks, they rarely hold their value. Let your fingers do the walking as you make your way through second hand contemporary and vintage clothing stores.
Here are my rules for your purchases:
1.Cottons should feel thick and sturdy with no holes or worn sections.
2. Silks are tricky but should look new with no stains.
3. Synthetics like rayon and viscose should also feel sturdy.
4. With all items, check seams and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into lining jackets, coats and skirts.
5. Leather should butter soft, “broken in” but not broken…almost better with time.
6. Suedes should be stain free and still rich with color.
Trust yourself as you look through items, if a color strikes you, take it out and inspect it. In the end, it I’ll be your keen eye and a garment’s great “feel”, that will guarantee that it remains with you for years to come!