Thursday, February 24, 2011

Having a passion for fashion is fun at any age. Being able to pick out clothes to represent who you are and what you're feeling at that very moment is one of the best ways of self expression that there is. Fashion for yourself and for your fellow adults is one thing, but when kids and babies are entered into the equation? Well, that's a whole other ball game of fun. Though I have no children, I am a sucker (like so many others) for teeny fashionable styles for the little ones. Just one glance at a little baby girl walking down the street in a colorful dress or a little boy in a flannel shirt and small jeans? Come on. It's only natural for hearts all over to melt. 

Where to go in Savannah for the most adorable children's styles? Look no further than Sara Jane Boutique. This wonderful boutique is located in the Historic District (look for the lovely building with polka dot awnings!) and carries magical merchandise for everyone from newborns to size 8 for girls/boys.

Head over there immediately whether you're a mama to be, an already mama or if you're looking for the perfect gift! But first, check out this interview to learn more about the boutique!

1. Hi Sara! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview! I must say that your boutique is absolutely precious. I'm currently studying fashion marketing and management and one day I hope to own my own boutique. What is one extremely important thing you'd want to tell any person out there with dreams of starting their own boutique? 
My biggest advice would definitely be to never give up. Secondly, you are never too young (or too old) to live your dreams. I'm not the stereotypical "children's shop owner"- I'm 25, I don't have children (yet!) but I have an amazing support system and love what I do!
2. Since opening in November, what has been some of the most surprising (both good and bad) aspects of running your own business?  
Although I've been in the children's wear business for years (as manager, sales associate, as well as a buyer), being the owner of a business is a completely different experience. As much as I knew it would be hard work, times that by 10! Owning a business (at least at the beginning) is a 24/7 job- but also 10 times more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. I'm so blessed at the response we have received from the Savannah community and the relationships I've already built with my customers. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

3. I imagine ordering all of the beautiful children's clothing is so much fun. What is your favorite part about owning a boutique that's directed toward children? 
I absolutely love kids! It's really fun to see soon-to-be moms shop for their little one on the way, then seeing their new arrival, and watching as their children grow up. Fashion is very personal and creating that connection with your customer is amazing. My customers aren't only clients, they become good friends.

4. As a Savannah native, how would you describe the quintessential "Savannah style", and how has it changed throughout the past couple of years? 
Savannah in itself is one of a kind and I think that directly translates to the fashion here. Certain influences (such as SCAD) have definitely taken this small historic town into a more fashion forward city. Years ago who would have thought we would house a Marc Jacobs store before a mainstream shop such as Jcrew. 

5. Your location is really wonderful! It's not exactly downtown, but it's nestled in a cozy and more suburban area of town with better parking. Do you feel that your 'far from Broughton street' location has really helped you stand apart from other retailers in the area? I know your shop has caught my eye so many times driving down 37th street, and I absolutely love your logo.
Broughton Street wasn't ever really an option for us. Although Broughton street has fabulous shopping- the lack of parking and distance wasn't convenient for our customers who are primairly moms with strollers or small children and grandparents. Our location has really turned out to be the perfect spot for us- and you can't miss our polka dot awnings!

6. Do you have any specific inspirations that help you when it's time to narrow down your merchandise orders?
I'm lucky to have a mother that is willing to be my CFO (her day job is running a bank). I can see how easy it could be to over buy at market. There's so much out there it can be overwhelming, but I am constantly searching for unique designers and lines that maybe haven't made it to Savannah yet. When you are buying boutique clothing I think you aren't looking for the mainstream cookie cutter merchandise, but something special and different. That's what I always consider when narrowing down my orders.

7. What are some of the trends that are happening lately in children's wear and what has been selling best in Savannah? 
Children's clothing has really become more of an extension of the parents style more than anything. While smocked clothing is always going to be present in the South, we've tried to have a good mixture of funky and traditional at the shop so we have something for everyone. Owls and anything nautical inspired has especially been big trends this season in children's wear. 

8. Obviously Sara Jane Boutique is the place to go to in Savannah for truly adorable children's clothing. However, when it's time for us grown ups to go searching for stylish items in Savannah, what places do you recommend? 
Well, I happen to be a closet shopaholic so this is quite easy for me. Bleubelle of course has always been a favorite of mine, but recently I've had some great finds at J Paige, Fab'rik, Terra Cotta, and Palm Avenue. (I have a weakness for fun prints)

9. What are some of your absolute favorite things about living in Savannah? 
How could you not love this weather! Mixed with the coast, beautiful downtown, shopping, and friendly Southern hospitality Savannah is truly an amazing place to grow up. My favorite by far is how Savannah is the biggest small town. Everyone knows everyone or is related to someone you know. Although this isn't always the best case scenario in some circumstances- I find it comforting.
10. It was brought to my attention on Sara Jane Boutique's facebook page that there is going to be a charity tea party in March. That sounds like every little girl's dream! Please tell me more! 
My vision for the shop has always included giving back to the community. One of my first jobs was at my parents bed and breakfast (they were formally owners of the Hamilton- Turner Inn) as an afternoon tea server. Nothing says southern like sweet tea, big hats, and a party. That mixed with our "Sweeteas" book series theme and book signing from author Rochelle Fraizer, it will definitely be a little girl's dream. We are even fortunate enough to be able to donate all the proceeds of this event to a great organization- the March of Dimes. We, as well as the Sweeteas characters, believe charity is an important lesson to teach all ages.

for more..
Sara Jane Children's Boutique
202 East 37th Street
Savannah, GA
'like' them on Facebook here!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

time to talk bbq.

Yes, this is a style blog. Yes, this is a Savannah blog. So what else could represent Savannah or Southern style better than BBQ? Being a New Jersey native, the idea of southern cuisine is a bit foreign to me. While living in Savannah for the past year, I've tried to submerse myself in good ol' fashioned southern food every once in a while. Though I'm not a big fan of ribs and pork, I'm a fan of bbq sauce slathered chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, green beans, sweet tea, etc. Obviously this post is very diet friendly, so keep reading if you're trying to lose some pounds. Just kidding, don't keep reading or else you'll probably explode. 

So what's the deal? What is your favorite bbq place around Savannah? I know people get very defensive and attached to certain establishments. And since I'm not very daring in the food department, I don't have much to go by, but i'm giving it a shot. These are my two favorites so far. What are yours?

514 MLK Blvd.
Savannah, GA

Now, this is the first BBQ place I have tried in Savannah (aside from Polk's Market, but my friend and I just grabbed it really quick and I didn't really eat much of it.). The first time I came here was with a group of girls and we literally didn't leave until the waiter was pretty much forcing us out because they were closing. With such a great beer selection, I say they should expand their hours til 11pm! Anyway, I tried the grilled chicken plate with some sort of spicy jalapeno honey sauce and a side of mac and cheese. It was a taste-bud pleaser, and the Palm beer that I ordered really helped wash it all down. It was delicious and fun. After leaving, I became its biggest fan and wanted to go back. I've been back two different times since then, each time bringing people that were visiting me. Both times I had the pulled smoked chicken sandwich, split the parmesan onion rings with the people I dined with and a cold glass of Purple Haze beer. Tasty, decently priced and a great laid back atmosphere with nice staff. 

21 West Oglethorpe Lane
Savannah, GA

This place was something that I had only heard about and never actually laid eyes on. When people would talk about Angel's, it was like they were describing a religious experience. Located in the alleyway of a church, it might as well be a religious experience (at least the kind that i'm interested in having). Walking in there, it was like this secret gem that I felt relieved to finally discover after hearing so many tales. It was tiny and cozy, making me feel instantly comfortable even when I got stage fright when it was my turn to order. That's something I get pretty much everywhere even though I tend to order the same variety of things all the time. So many options, though! Anyway,  I stuck to my ol' faithful, a pulled chicken sandwich, (man, i should get more daring, shouldn't I?) I was blown away with how succulent it was. Melt in your mouth might not be the proper description because I felt it melted on the plate before I was even able to grab a hold of it. It was a messy pile of southern goodness. I get it now, Angels' followers.

any other suggestions? I'm all ears.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For those of you who don't know, Chris Benz is not only one of the freshest young designers in the industry right now but he's also a SCAD fashion mentor that makes frequent trips down to Savannah to help guide the young minds of the fashion program. 

His designs are the perfect mixture of classic and quirky with the most wonderful splash of color and personality. Benz is undoubtedly one of my favorite designers, and seeing him walking down Jones street this past summer left me star struck. I immediately checked his twitter only to find out it truly was him! Benz is such a regular in Savannah lately that his collection was deeply inspired by our lovely little city. 

 "Savannah is such a strange place," Benz said at his presentation today. "Caught between Southern decorum and the influx of art school kids—it's quite a collision." You could hardly script it better. With his taste for slightly dusty, granny-takes-a-trip finery and a puckish sense of fun (he's currently sporting a pointy quiff dyed several shades of Manic Panic neon), Benz just about embodies that mash-up himself.

The city's stately old mansions sent the designer scrambling for interiors and upholstery fabrics; the results, reeking of Southern gentility, included pieces in velvet and Lurex-threaded tweed. The famous Savannah ghost stories lent themselves to spooky prints of pluming smoke. But while the backdrop has changed, the Benz aesthetic has traveled perfectly intact. "

The entire collection remains true to Benz's image and his Savannah inspiration is very apparent but not in an 'in your face' way. The pieces are classic and elegant with just enough stuffiness balanced out with a slightly disheveled and offbeat look, just like the city of Savannah. 

What I like best about him is that although his designs are cohesive, they're not predictable. When I view his collections, it's always a large array of different items that are not only beautiful and dreamlike but absolutely wearable and practical for  a woman to wear or aspire to wear. 

 for more of the collection, please click here. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One of the ultimate 'date holidays' is upon us within the next couple of days. While taking the 'casual route' and heading over to Wild Wings might be less pressure in the 'romantic' and 'cutesy' department, let's step it up a notch. Sure taking your valentine somewhere cheap and easy might and easy, but impress your love and go somewhere in Savannah that shows you care! Even if you're single, round up a bunch of friends and make it a date night for yourselves. A place that comes to mind that fits all of the Valentines Day 'requirements' has to be Leoci's Trattoria on Abercorn street.

The first time I went to Leoci's, I was with three of my girl friends and we wanted to have a nice meal with a couple of drinks. The entire establishment is different than others in Savannah. Though the inside is quite tiny, it's still a pretty intimate and chic environment. You feel like you're somewhere other than Savannah, but with just enough reminders of where you are. We sat outside and the overall feel of the place was relaxing, candlelit and cozy. Perfect strung lights surrounding the outside tables making you feel as if you're at a chic outdoor restaurant in New York City. The food is delicious and so are the drinks. Be sure to order a glass of the sangria and try your best to pick a pasta dish on the menu. To hell with any no carbs diet you may be on, because Leoci's makes their own pasta from scratch and it is to die for. 

With a low maintenance selection of dishes, Leoci's really does their best to add a bit of quirk into each and every item, even if it is just something as simple as spaghetti and tomato sauce. This isn't your average Italian eatery. It has a wonderful feel of its own from the second you look around at the decor to the last bite of your meal. 

So grab your valentine, or a group of friends and make a reservation. You won't be sorry, and you'll be back for more. 

head over heels for 'Pre Luv B'

Any girl or guy that is into vintage shopping understands that the thrill of the 'hunt' is a thrill like no other. What's better than going through racks and racks of previously loved gems only to find not one but two (or three!) precious items that are not only wonderful but the price tag won't make you cringe! That, my friends, is the ideal fashion hunt. There are many magical vintage/thrift/antiques stores sprinkled around our Savannah, but one in particular is absolutely worth your attention. So, keep driving or walking past Forsyth and make your way to Pre Luv B @ 37th & Abercorn Antiques.

Located in a gigantic old yellow mansion on 37th street and Abercorn, this antiques haven is now home to Pre Luv B which is a small but amazing consignment store. Unlike other consignments stores in town, if you decide to sell your previously loved items, they split the profit with you 50/50. That's a pretty good deal. Though it is a pretty new little shop, it is already filled with chic items in all sizes, styles and colors. You're bound to find something to fall in love with.

I was lucky enough to pop in and see the hard work that was going into the Valentines Day campaign. It was a beautiful day and the set exuded a romantic and bohemian feel. Everything involved in the shoot can be found at Pre Luv B and 37th & Abercorn Antiques. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the photos from the lookbook shoot & for the Valentines Day campaign. Dressing yourself up in pretty vintage clothing, being in love and being surrounded by gorgeous antiques is anyone's daydream and the interns and staff who worked on the shoot truly made this come to life.

So please, next time you're in the area, go walk around the shop, let yourself fall in love with various items and feel completely enamored with the delicate yet cozy decor. Also, don't forget to follow them on twitter for updates on what's going on in the shop!

Pre Luv B 
(located on the second floor at 37th & Abercorn Antiques)
201 East 37th Street
Savannah, GA

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun- 11am-4pm