Tag Archives: Maryland Fashion Blog

Ms. Charm’s Chic Exclusive: Princess M Nail Polish

6 Feb

 

1. What inspired you to start your own business?

I was inspired me to start my own business because my love for cosmetology. My mom suggested that I find a product that I could brand myself with. Once I finished school, I opened up my own salon.

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2. What was the first item you made for your line ?

When Princess M was launched in May of 2014, I had 13 colors of polish. All names carefully chosen to bring life to the color it was picked for.

3. What inspired you to be a part of OverAccessorized? What do you love the most about vending at OverAccessorized and why?

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I chose OverAccessorized because it just felt right to be apart of such an amazing vision. It wasn’t until I actually vended for the first time in Fall of 2014 I realized how amazing the opportunities really was. I love about OA because it feels like a family. All the vendors love each other but importantly, the customers remember you and stop by even if they don’t purchase something to say hello or see how things are going with me regarding business as well as school. Oh and Ms. Katie is bomb!

4. What has been you top three items you have made so far? Why?

I would have to say my top two colors sold are Peach Perfect and Sandy Beaches. Sandy Beaches was added to my Spring 2015 collection and it was a great hit with all ages.

5.What advice would you give to another girl that wants to start a fashion/beauty business? I

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I would tell them to pay close attention to the seasons, color trends(or just trends in general) and always study your craft. If you like fashion, follow the best stylist you can find. Same thing for hair, makeup and nails. Don’t be afraid to ask for a mentor, you would be surprised how many people would help you.
Princess M Nail Polish
Made For A Princess But Fit For A Queen 
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everything happens in the time in which it is supposed too. Embrace setbacks and know you can do it. Believing in yourself is the first part of being successful. 

Ms. Charm’s Chic Exclusive: HGE Designs

6 Feb

 

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What was the first piece you made?

My name is Nikki Harris. I was born and raised in Baltimore. I discovered fashion by accident. I have always been creative and good with my hands. I taught myself to crochet with the book Crocheting For Dummies. HGE Designs was started shortley after my son was diagnosed with autism. Being a middle income family, we made too much for any assistance and not enough to afford repsite and other forms of therapy.
I started selling hats and scarves and soon realized my creativity could take me further..The first piece I ever made was a Granny square.

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2.How has your designs evolved since your first piece? How would you describe the process of coming up with a new item?

I have evolved tremendously. I make a constant effort to learn new techniques in order to master my craft. I still take crochet classes and constantly buy new books. I’ve learned the best techniques from some older ladies in Joanne Fabrics. I started with basic hats and scarves. Since I’ve moved on to dramatic accessories, dresses, sweaters, swim wear as well as portraits and Icon Camo Jackets. The Icon Camo Jackets are an amazing collaboration with The Dollhouse Boutique’s owner and designer Ms. Natalie Karyl. It is one of her amazing camo jackets adorned with a crochet portrait on the back. My inspirations come from current fashion and anything Prince related like ruffles and purple. I love anything deconstructed with rips and fringe.

3. When you aren’t coming up with a new item for your line, what do you like to do?

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I love to cook and eat new foods. I am almost always crocheting. Wether I’m home watching tv or at my full time job with the Baltimore City Fire Department. I try to make an effort to put the hooks down and engage with my family. Having a child with autism really limits personal time for couples. My son wakes up almost everyday at 3:00 a.m., so those moments my huband and I can just enjoy dinner out are great!

 

4. How would you describe the Baltimore fashion scene? What is something you like to see improved in the Baltimore fashion scene? What are your fave boutiques in Baltimore and why?

I have been blessed to work with some amazing people. Unfortunatley due to raising a child wih autism, I don’t get to be apart of the scene much. Many people know my work but not necessarily the face behind it. I definately would like to see more collaborations between artists. Baltimore ha so many talented artist that could stand toe to toe with the big names in fashion. I always feel like if you can make it here, you really can make it anywhere. My favorite boutiques include The Dollhouse Boutique, Katwalk Boutique and The Zone. I love them because they carry unique pieces. Fashion is your personal art. I remember standing in front of The Dollhouse promising myself one day I was going to buy myself something from there. Now they carry unique pieces that I made by hand.

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5.What are your plans for your brand in 2016? What is your top three fave new items for 2016 and why?

In 2016 I would like to establish my non profit organization and become self employed full time. My fashions have been a blessing to my son and I would love to use my talent to bless other children and adults living with autism. We have done fashion shows in the past and raised money for a playground and to purchase iPads for non-verbal students. I see fashion as my craft that I can use to make a difference in the lives of other families. I would tell them to pay close attention to the seasons, color trends(or just trends in general) and always study your craft. If you like fashion, follow the best stylist you can find. Same thing for hair, makeup and nails. Don’t be afraid to ask for a mentor, you would be surprised how many people would help you.
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Nikki Harris – HGE Designs

 

Where They Are NOW? series 2016 : Michelle Murphy

30 Jan

One of my favorite features to write in 2011 was about fashion designer: Michelle Murphy!

 

 

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1. What was your first impression of the blog as well as me?

I was happy that you were interested enough to ask me some questions! Its always nice to get an opportunity to share thoughts and engage with someone who works in the industry. I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the artist and designers in the Baltimore area. Its so important for an artistic community to have a focal point to look for emerging and as well as established talent. The Charm;s Chic blog fulfills this need and is go to blog for great events, sales and all things fashion related. I am most impressed with how much work you must do to keep up with all of this stuff, as well as write, edit and post it in a timely and beautiful manner! Thank you for your efforts!

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2. How have you evolved since your interview from 2011?

I am continuing to move away from the large craft shows, thereby lowering the amount of production I need to make for wholesale accounts. My focus is now on establishing a personal connection with individual clients who are looking for unique custom clothing. I continue to hone my technical sewing skills, my silk textile paintings, and free lance fashion illustration work.
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I have also moved/expanded to a fantastic 3000 sq Ft storefront studio space. This has given me to opportunity to offer some creative workshops for both adults and children. We have been doing a sweater “chop shop” where I help people up-cycle 2 of their old sweaters into one cute sweater dress. I also have a silk painting classes, wire wrap jewelry making, and an open house that I call Small Repair Saturday-BYOB.  Basically I open the shop to anyone who wants to come in and sew buttons, darn holes and do the hems on all those things that you want to wear but need a little tweak. I provide a beautiful space, large tables, sewing machines and some guidance. I like to drink a little whiskey too, but that BYOB stands for Bring Your Own Buttons.

3. What do you like about Ms. Charm’s Chic?

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You gave me some exposure and paid my business some attention. That is always a boost and I am so happy to be included! You got me to sit down and think on those first questions and I have since referred back to them a couple times. I was glad to have those words written for my printed cards, other interviewers and to remember who I am and what I am trying to accomplish. Engaging with the world makes me look at myself and my business and take stock. I thank you for prompting me to review my accomplishments and for sharing the results.

Michelle Murphy

Where They Are NOW? series 2016 : Mary Walsh

30 Jan

I discovered the ever so talented, Mary Walsh-Reynolds in 2010 when she opened a vintage shop by the name of Myrtle Dove Vintage with her sister, Michelle.  As the years went by Mary and I have kept in contact via social media outlets.  Being an active member of the MICA community, she has participated in developing the annual MICA Art Market. In December 2015, she made a big splash with her new jewelry line, MARU by Mary Walsh-Reynolds. 

Mary Walsh-Reynolds in 2010 modeling a dress from Mrytle Dove Vintage.

Mary Walsh-Reynolds in 2010 modeling a dress from Mrytle Dove Vintage.

Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with the jewelry designer, animal advocate and vintage enthusiast.

1. How did you fall in love with jewelry design? What was the first piece of jewelry you made?

I have loved jewelry for as long as I can ever remember. As a small child I used to raid my Mom’s jewelry box and layer necklace upon necklace around my neck. When I was 18, my Aunt surprised me with a chunky, vintage turquoise Native American ring that belonged to her since the 60’s. She recounted that as a baby sitting on her lap I was mesmerized by the ring and constantly wanted to touch and play with it. It is still one of my most treasured pieces of jewelry, and my passion for Native American and indigenous jewelry continues to this day.
My Mom, an artist herself, used to come up with fun craft projects for my siblings and I to make, so my first piece of jewelry was probably some macaroni necklace, or maybe even a shrinky dink pendant. I also remember stringing clover flowers together to make clover chain necklaces and headbands with my older sis when we were very little. Back in the 80’s my older brother Danny taught me how to make really intricate patterned friendship bracelets from embroidery thread and they were so popular amongst our friends that we sold them to make extra spending cash.
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My first piece of metal jewelry that I made was a stamped copper bangle with a prong set purple cowry shell – very tribal and weathered in look and feel. A double banded silver chunky ring followed, with a relief design of animal silhouettes inspired by the ancient Paleolithic cave paintings found in the Lascaux caves in France. My siblings and I were raised on National Geographic magazines from childhood and its images of the cave paintings and other indigenous art and jewelry no doubt permeated my sense of style and would later be translated into my handmade jewelry.

 

2. How has your designs evolved since your first piece? How would you describe the process of coming up with a new design?

My designs have become more sophisticated since college, but they still possess an antiquated, tribal feel. My work continues to evolve as I become more proficient in techniques and have access to better quality tool and materials. I am currently obsessed with unusual semi- precious stones and beads that were out of my reach when I was in college.

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Where They Are NOW? series 2016 : Juliet Ames of The Broken Plate Pendant Co.

16 Jan

Since the beginning of Ms. Charm’s Chic, I have always been interested in the world of craft. There are a lot fashionable finds that you can find within the Baltimore Craft Mafia. 

It was in Spring 2011 when I had the opportunity to interview one of their key members, Juliet Ames of The Broken Plate Pendant Co

 

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1. What was your first impression of the blog as well as me?

From the first interview and now, I just love your positive cheery vibe and one of a kind style. Always look forward to your smiling IG posts.

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2. How have you evolved since your interview from 2011?

I have evolved a bit by focusing my style more and being pickier about my plate patterns smile emoticon.  I am also looking for new ways to make art with my china.
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3. What are you up to now? What is the next big project or when is your next big event?

 

I am still plugging away at my jewelry, but am spending more time making art. My favorite new works are my butcher charts and china letters that you can see here. http://ibreakplates.com/recycled-china-art
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4. What do you like about Ms. Charm’s Chic?

 

Ms. Charm Chic is a great way to see what’s happening in fashion around Baltimore. For the fashion challenged like myself, I enjoy seeing all of your outfit and accessory pairings.

Where They Are NOW? series 2016 : Jade Greer

16 Jan

Back in 2011, the hottest boutique on the Baltimore fashion scene was K Staton Boutique curated by the ever so fabulous Jade Greer.  She is a pioneer of putting plus size fashion on the map in Baltimore. 

 

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1. What was your first impression of the blog as well as me?

First off, I loved the name! I am born and raised in Baltimore  so anything that’s positive and shows the different sides of our city. I am with! Then I did my homework. Checked out the blog and its content. I was excited for your different approach to fashion and how you feature so many local businesses as well as people. I thought it was great! Plus, I was super honored to able to talk with you. We were right in the middle of expanding to a new larger location. Any buzz that I could get was much appreciated!

 

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2. How have you evolved since your interview from 2011?

Wow, since my interview in 2011 a lot as happen! Some amazing stuff but also some bitter sweet moments as well. K Staton boutique continued to grow its customer base. We won a few “BEST of Baltimore” awards, featured in a few local magazines and started a spin off called Kurvy Konsignment by K Staton. I was also one of Baltimore’s Business Journals “Top 40 under 40” in 2013.  I was getting more and more request for one on one styling. Also, I held a few workshops on how to find your style and what works for your body type. The reception was really good! A little mind blowing, really! While all this was happening, behind the scenes was a different story. 


When owning any kind of business especially retail, it’s all about cash flow. You need a steady stream of cash coming in, so you can provide your customers with new inventory. The funds were not coming in fast enough or even enough to provide my girls with the best selection and product I think they deserve. I had to make a big girl decision on how to move forward in this industry where I could still do what I love to do (help women like myself find their personal style and love who they are). So, after talking with my husband for about 6 months, we decided to close the actual storefront. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. This was my baby. I put so much into it. This was my way of life for the past 6 years. I miss it, but I don’t regret my decision or make light of what I was able accomplish while in Hampden!

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3. What are you up to now? What is the next big project or when is your next big event?

I took some time to recover, breathe and figure out my next move after closing the boutique. Now, I am rebuilding the brand to be more of a lifestyle/motivational/teaching brand.  I am launching a personal blog called “Pretty Is” that will cover not just fashion but the importance of positive body image! I believe that when you look good, you feel good, which allows you to take on the world! Pretty is You, Pretty is Me, Pretty is a state of mind. Pretty is more than just the outside appearance. Having had the boutique I was able to build a loyal great group of followers (my girls) that now I can have a more one on one type of relationship without the distractions of running a physical storefront. I plan on having a blog launch party the first of the year as well as a seminar.  I still have clients that I personal shop for on occasions but the ultimate goal is to have more speaking engagements where I can reach a larger amount of women. Not just plus size but all women, even though plus fashion is my first love!

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4. What do you enjoy of Ms. Charm’s Chic?

What I enjoy most about Ms. Charm Chic Blog is how you spotlight local fashion, businesses,and events! Plus, your content is consistent! I can find out about things that I did not know was happening in the city!

 

Where They Are NOW? series 2016 : Paige Clulow of Nova Vintage

8 Jan

I was highly obsessed with vintage clothes in college. So, I made an effort to interview really cool owner of vintage shops. In early 2011, I was able to interview Paige Clulow of Nova Vintage

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1. What was your first impression of the blog as well as me?

I hadn’t heard of your blog before you asked me, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn about it. Your passion for style and dedication to covering the local fashion scene was apparent right away as well as  very inspiring.

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2. How have you evolved since your interview from 2011?

I have had two children since 2011, so have had to evolve a lot both personally and in terms of how I run my business. I have learned to do things a lot more efficiently since I have significantly less free time. I have also had to accept that a lot of my hopes for the business will have to be put on hold for a few years.
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3. What are you up to now?

I won’t be doing anything major until both of my kids are in school. I am a full-time mom, and have to squeeze in working on the business on the evenings, weekends and during nap time for now. It’s hard to put things on hold, but I’m trying to enjoy this time I have with my children while they are little. When I do have more time, I look forward to going to more estate sales and searching out older pieces for the shop – from the 20’s and earlier. I would also love to get more involved locally and potentially sell locally or be involved in an event like a fashion show. I am also considering expanding the photography side of the business and possibly taking on photo portrait work.
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4. What do you love about the Ms. Charm’s Chic blog?

 

 Your blog is a great resource for connecting with other small fashion based businesses in Baltimore. My current lifestyle is very hermetic, so I love checking out your blog to see what’s going on locally.

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Paige Clulow of Nova Vintage
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