October 30, 2003 11:34 AM
A couple of weeks ago, I went on what may have been a financially ill-advised miniature shopping spree.
For the most part, though, I was supporting fabulous independent merchants. Given all my talk about how sisterhood isn't part of my political philosophy, you may be surprised at how satisfying I find it to buy stuff from smart, sassy women who run their own businesses.
Oh, but I do. Find it satisfying, that is. And I have to tell you about some of the cute stuff I've bought from these fabulous ladies recently.
This adorable and functional apron from Exquisite Lass (I also have this precious puff-sleeved little dress I got from her a year or so ago). Eleanor makes gothic lolita-style clothes, very girly; her work feels very high-quality handmade, which I love. She sends little off-the-wall cartoons and such in your package when you order things, and is really nice about altering measurements here and there. I think she's shifting to doing less custom-fit work in the near future, and she's started charging more for larger sizes on some items (I think it may be driven by the difficulty of resizing the pattern), but it's worth it for the quality of work she does.
I'm revitalizing the apron as a cute and practical clothing item. Yes, I actually wear them while cooking, particularly when cooking for a party or in some other case when I want to protect my purty dress. Aprons are super.
The longer cherry skirt on this page from Mode Merr. Angela's stuff is more me-like in general, sort of cleverly retro - girlish with edge. This skirt is really simple, but also a ton of fun. The cherries are sparkly! I wish I could justify the purchase of a flame skirt. There just aren't many places to get clothes you might describe as "witty", you know?
On thing I really love about buying stuff from independent stores is that these one- and even two- or three-person shops seem to be all about the personalities of their owners. People who complain that they never get to do business with a "person" clearly don't spend enough time shopping on the internet.
It's just nice to know that you have this very small personal relationship with some of the places you buy from - in the case of clothes, I don't really have many options to do that in real life, but I'm glad there's the web.
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