#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Jordan of Elsa Fine

Jordan Dollard, Elsa Fine

Before I introduce myself, can we talk about this series?! How fun is it to get short introductions to awesome people throughout Charlotte? If you’ve been reading, I highly suggest getting to know these awesome people, because honestly, you know you want to.


But hey man! I’m Jordan Dollard, owner of Elsa Fine and co-owner of Trophies Are For Winners. If you haven’t heard of either of these businesses, let’s get to talking soon. Elsa Fine is a three pronged company with a home base in Optimist Park (near NoDa). We’re a shop focusing on women’s clothing, accessories, and jewelry, a multitude of retail services (personal shopping and wardrobe styling), and a small string of events throughout Charlotte including pop-up shops, meet-ups, parties, and workshops. Essentially, we like to have fun and these are the ways we do it.


I’m lucky to be opening a studio and shop later this month in Optimist Park, which I never thought I’d do, but I wouldn’t turn back for a minute. I studied design and merchandising in college and did multiple internships in New York and Charlotte. I’ve known since I was young that I would do something in fashion, but I just didn’t know what. I got thrown into Elsa Fine after being laid off (a story for another time) and now I work the craziest, most exhausting and completely exhilarating job I could ever ask for.


For a business that thrives on creating and maintaining relationships, I’m truly a homebody and really don’t like to go out all that much. I much prefer staying at home and cooking dinner for my little family, but when I do get out of the house it’s to some of my favorite spots like Landmark Diner, Industry Co-working (where a lot of business friends work), Julia’s Café (all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity), or The Gallery South End. Everywhere I go, I like to be treated like a regular, so I frequent the same places and make friends everywhere I can. I attend a lot of events around Charlotte and love attending fashion shows and the like.


A small, but important part of my time goes to Trophies Are For Winners. Trophies is a t-shirt brand that celebrates women’s empowerment through witty and gritty conversation-starting tees. I jumped into this project with Corri and three other women and I truly think this group opened my eyes to problems I never quite understood, all while looking good whilst learning about social issues.


My style is anything I want it to be that day and as I sit here (writing this post from the comfort of my bed), I’m looking into my closet and seeing that I anchor most of my wardrobe in neutrals. If I’m feeling a little bohemian that day, you’ll see me in flares and paisley prints, and some days it’s as simple as an oversized white button down and ripped up jeans (literally ALL of my jeans are ripped). I could care less how I look as long as I’m comfortable and confident.


If you want to check out Elsa Fine or Trophies Are For Winners or get a preview of the shop, let me know! We’re not open to the public yet, but we can get a little behind the scenes tour in and shop together!


I can tell you’re digging Elsa Fine, so let’s connect!







Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

Stay tuned for next week’s #13shadesofblack intro!



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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Catie of Catie Starr Makeup

Catie Starr, Catie Starr Makeup


Hello there! I’m Catie Starr. I’m a pro makeup artist/men’s grooming specialist and I work on production sets, teach makeup classes, do personal makeup shopping, get people ready for special events and do men’s grooming. My life is filled with making people look and feel good.


Becoming a makeup artist is something I constantly dreamed about as a child- I’d sit at my brass vanity and pretend I was making instructional videos, (weird because this was long before YouTube). It wasn’t until making the move to San Francisco from rural Pennsylvania that my dream, somewhat accidentally, become a reality. While working for cult brand, Shu Uemura (still some of my favorite make up), I was asked to work on an Academy of Art project movie project. As soon as I walked on set and began working, I was a goner. I knew I would never want to do anything else- a few years later I earned my cosmetology license and started my company.


In the many years since, I’ve worked with thousands of people and countless production sets. I’ve developed my own aesthetic (fresh skin, black liner, just the right brow), though it is constantly changing and evolving. Being a part of a production team is still where I feel most at home and happy.


I also offer group and individual makeup classes and product personal shopping. The beauty industry is often intimidating- YouTube can be misleading, trips to a big makeup store overwhelming and costly (and you’re sold products you don’t need). I enjoy sharing my knowledge face to face, because everyone has different needs and the paint by numbers approach doesn’t often work. I educate people on where to splurge and save (many drugstore buys are fantastic), together we select the proper products for their wants and needs, then I teach the tricks and techniques that can be hard to master.


You can find me on Instagram @catiestarr and @catiestarrmakeup or contact me through my website. IRL you can find me at Rain Salon on South Boulevard a few days a week doing men’s grooming or anywhere with good bourbon or live music.

– Catie


Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Misha of Good Grief Vintage

Misha Lazzara, Good Grief Vintage


Hi there! Misha Lazzara here, owner of Good Grief Vintage, a Charlotte-based online vintage clothing, local jewelry and accessory, and bohemian curiosity shop. I’ve always felt that how people dress can be a way to express who they are on the inside. On the inside I am loud, colorful and made of polyester. The last one is a bit of a stretch, but damn, polyester sure does age well.


I love selling vintage, partly because the one-of- a-kind, unique style that coincides with wearing vintage clothing is something that resonates with me. The other side of the business, reusing and recycling fashions, is important from a global perspective. I spend a lot of time at thrift stores, garage sales and consignments shops, and am always surprised about the number of clothing items I come across that have never been worn and still have the original tags. The amount of over-production and over-consumption I witness on a regular basis fuels my passion for a more sustainable business model.


Whether bohemian prints and unique finds interest you, or the idea of a more earth-friendly wardrobe, Good Grief Vintage is an attempt to marry the two seamlessly, while actively engaging in the community and supporting local designers. I work regularly with Eagle x Arrow, a local bag and purse designer, who handcrafts gorgeous leather bags with responsibly-sourced upholstery leather scraps, as well as Mila Amor, a global goods boutique that connects with fair trade organizations and small-scale artisan communities abroad to bring gorgeous worldly finds to the Charlotte area. The three of us work together under the name Nomad Common and pop-up regularly around Charlotte. We look forward to setting up at VTG CLT on June 18th in Uptown this summer! My website, also features JamesSioux, a NoDa-based artist who hand-cuts and solders antique stained glass to make inspired and impressive jewelry pieces.


You can find GGV on Instagram and Facebook under the name @GoodGriefVintage, on Twitter under @GetGoodGrief, as well as our website listed above! Follow us for more information on local pop-ups and community events!


– Misha


Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

Stay tuned for next week’s #13shadesofblack intro!



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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Kristen of Havok Designs

Kristen Shearon, Havok Designs 


Hello! I’m kristen, the owner and all around super-woman behind Havok Designs where I design and create laser cut sustainable wood + cork fabric fashion accessories and home décor.


Prior to starting Havok, my involvement with fashion consisted of dressing up on Friday and Saturday nights or going shopping with friends. The initial vision of this business was not fashion related, but jewelry and accessory designs came organically from the starting point so I took it, ran with it, and haven’t looked back.


My personal style has changed from one end of the spectrum to another over the years, but recently I’ve settled on minimal rocker. Lots of black, white, grey, and denim to set the backdrop for all of my statement jewelry pieces and accessories. So styling an outfit around the color black for this series was not only easy for me, but also really fun!


You can find Havok Designs being sold here in Charlotte at the West Elm in the Metropolitan Shopping Center, Moxie Mercantile in Plaza Midwood, Sanctuary of Davidson in Davidson, and we will be a vendor at the VTG CLT Summer Market on June 18th. I can usually be found at the #instabeerupclt events or hanging around NoDa, Midwood, and Elizabeth. Find me and all the Havok the internet has to offer on Instagram @havokdesigns, Twitter @havokdesigns, and


Havok the planet,


Havok Designs



Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Bernadette of Dressed Charlotte

Bernadette Maulion, Dressed Charlotte 

Hi! I’m Bernadette and I’m starting Dressed Charlotte, your local dress rental service!


Dressed Charlotte sprouted from having six weddings to attend in one year! I had dresses in my closet, but I had just worn them to other events, and some didn’t fit, (but I hope to fit in them again).  So I had both the problem of having too many clothes and nothing to wear! I created the concept for a project in my MBA marketing class and learned through my research that many women had the same problem.  One stat that really stuck out to me was that women on average buy 64 pieces of clothing per year and wear half of that only once! Last year, I entered Startup Weekend, a competition for new business ideas, and got second place.  I continued to work on it through my MBA classes and launched when I graduated this past April.


At Dressed Charlotte, want to serve all women of all sizes and styles.  We have about 400 dresses in inventory right now with a goal to have thousands.  A staple for any woman’s closet is the LBD (little black dress).  I personally love having a few black dress options that can be dressed up or dressed down; you can’t go wrong! I love this black dress that I’m wearing for the #13shadesofblack – it is actually on loan to us from a grandmother who has killer style! It’s comfortable and classic and fits my lifestyle – on the go during the day with a pair of flats, and then I can dress up tonight for a formal event!  Anything that serves multiple uses and functions is right up my alley, and black is the best color for that!


A lot of people think my passion is fashion, but what really energizes me is helping women save money.  Before doing this, I was in corporate human resources for seven years.  I made a great salary, but I was obsessed with trying to save as much as possible to do all the things I wanted – own a home, travel and be there for my friends and family.  I don’t ever want money to be a reason I can’t do something. I’m amazed at how many women say the same thing.  They wonder where all their money went, when they have a closet full of clothes, half of which still have price tags!  So, I set out my mission to help women be wiser about depreciating assets like clothes, so that they can use those funds on things they really care about.


How to rent:
Right now the website is still being built, so that it will be one seamless process. In the meantime, women can go to and sign up for an account.  They tell us more about them (size, problem areas, styles they like, etc) and then they can browse the dresses we have in stock.  They then can contact us by calling or emailing us to set up an appointment to try on the dresses they like.  You only pay if you find something – no risk!  We’re priced to be super affordable.  All our dresses are either $19, $29 or $39 (depending on designer and style) and includes us taking care of dry cleaning.  The customer picks up from us and returns to us, or for an additional charge, we can deliver and pick up from them.


How to lend:
We consider ourselves a community more than a business.  We want women who are interested in sharing their dresses, as well as renting dresses.  We work as a great secret storage space for dresses you love, but you’re just not using right now.To lend, you simply raid your closet for dresses you would like to rent out, set up an appointment with us to check out what you have, and if they are clean, in style and in good condition, we take them into our inventory.  Every time they get rented you get 10% back in cash or 20% back in store credit with unlimited potential!


I love meeting women all over Charlotte and hearing their personal stories.  Please reach out any time, even just to say hello!


xoxo, Bernadette


See Bernadette talking #13ShadesofBlack on Fox News Charlotte!


Bernadette Maulion-Dressed Charlotte2      Bernadette Maulion-Dressed Charlotte3

Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Hollie of Beautiful Idiot Clothing

Hollie Burgess, Beautiful Idiot Clothing 

I’m Hollie B. and I own Beautiful Idiot Clothing! I make accessories like ties, kimonos and screen-printed pouches. My love for fashion started young, I vividly remember being in elementary school and making my mum promise she’d save me her zig-zag knitted flare pants for when I was older (she didn’t…) and being taught how to sew by both of my Nanas. I studied fashion design in New York before moving down to Charlotte and starting my company.


If I had to give a name to my personal style it would be ‘badass boho;’ my go to items include leather leggings, floral dresses, a lace kimono and boots (year round).


I’m excited to be a part of the 13 Shades series, Charlotte is a creative and diverse place and while black might be our favourite colour, our stories and styles will all be unique!


You can find me on Instagram @beautifulidiotclothing and you should definitely come find me and say hey at the Vintage Charlotte Summer Market on June 18th at 514 N. College Street.


xo – Hollie


See Hollie talking #13ShadesofBlack on Fox News Charlotte!

Hollie Burgess - Beautiful Idiot ClothingHollie Burgess - Beautiful Idiot Clothing2                          Hollie Burgess - Beautiful Idiot Clothing3

Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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Hello, Wednesday!


Our second series, 13 Shades of Black, a 13-week series with style (and the color black) in mind is LIVE! We hand-selected local fashion designers and artists who are doing awesome things and asked them, “how would you style yourself in black?”


Each person put their unique twist on our question and we’ll introduce you to them one by one over the next 13 Wednesdays.


Read full press release: 13 Shades of Black PR


Week 1: Hollie Burgess of Beautiful Idiot Clothing

Week 2: Bernadette Maulion of Dressed Charlotte


Follow our social media and blog channels to see who gets introduced each week!

Love, Black Wednesday.


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