Tag Archive for: Charlotte

#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Adri of Tabor

Adri Zgirdea, Tabor

I started off my career in finance at Lehman Brothers. I quickly found out that money management was not for me. I took some time off. I travelled. I then got into fashion. I’ve been working in the men’s fashion world in some capacity for about seven years. Before moving to Charlotte (a year ago) to help open Tabor I was styling men in Chicago.

Tabor is a men’s store in Myers Park, highly curated selection. Opened in Charlotte to bring interesting designers to the south. Designer highlight is: Dries Van Noten and Thom Browne.
I personally love styling  athletes. I work with 10 guys in the NBA, 3 in the NFL and 6 in the MLB.  I’ve now styled guys in the NBA for about 4 years. I love working in that realm as it provides a creative outlet for me. Athletes love to be different, they love to step out of their comfort zones and challenge fashion.
You can find me online:



and on Instagram:




— Adri



Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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#13ShadesofBlack: Meet Davita of Dupp&Swat

Davita Galloway, DUPP&SWAT and SincerelySwat


Swat or Vita is what they call me but my name, in full, is Davita Anne Galloway and I’ve been known to do a little bit of this and a whole lot of that in Charlotte. Pleasure to meet you! If you’re wondering, yes, I am a unicorn and I live out the fantasies in my head! For me, that has lead to the creation of a variety of platforms for various artists and such including DUPP&SWAT, a creative studio in NoDa, where we house local retail, a one-chair salon, art walls and utilize the venue for various events including but not limited to workshops, photo shoots, video shoots, exercise classes, networking events, etc. A gem located in the heart of NoDa, this creative space has served/serves as a social hub for the arts community but has also been the launching pad for SPREAD, our quarterly publication, CROWNKEEPERS, our arts-based nonprofit and NITA&VITA, a YouTube talkshow, as well as a host of other agendas. I truly believe in expression and this space, in which we nurture, nurtures us, in return. Frankly, it’s family here–literally and figuratively–as I have the pleasure of creating with my awesome and highly-capable brother, Dion.


So, about my personal relationship with fashion? Glad you asked! It’s been a lifelong, hot and steamy affair! I’ve always stood out because of my attire–whether you view that as good or bad–such is and has been my life. Because of the many stares and finger-pointing episodes that occurred when I was younger, I am more than capable to handle whatever happens today–whether that is a highlight or someone claiming I’m participating in a fashion faux pas (which by the way, I do not believe in). Again, it’s all about expression! I’m a firm believer in wearing what you want! Period. Point blank. The end. Moving on… needless to say, I love fashion and my affinity for it has allowed wonderful opportunities. That, my friends, include styling a variety of celebrities, costuming a number of plays and being the Lead Stylist for a plethora of fashion shows–including Africa Fashion Week New York. It’s interesting because my personal style is just as varied as the opportunities I’ve been blessed with. In other words, do not try to box me in or label my look as it’s really all over the place, contingent upon how I feel.


That’s the short of it but you can find more about me and my universe here:
Personal IG: @sincerelyswat
Business IG: @duppandswat, @thespreadmag, @crownkeepers, @nitaandvita
Web: Sincerely Swat, DUPP&SWAT, SPREAD, Crown Keepers
Address: DUPP&SWAT | 2424 N Davidson St, Ste 112B | Charlotte, NC 28205 | 980.224.2128


With that said, I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in this series, the BLACK SERIES. You see, I’m quite a colorful girl donning prints, patterns and I hardly, ever match so this was a chance to step outside of my typical wardrobe and still be authentic. This black, my black is comfortable. My black is confident. My black is powerful and, of course, filled with all kinds of ‘bad-assery!

– Davita


Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.

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#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.

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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 goodgriefvintage.bigcartel.com, 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.

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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 Facebook.com/havokdesigns.


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 dressedclt.com 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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All the Instagram changes…

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Instagram is changing. Everyone is freaking out. Here’s the thing. If you’re not marketing on Instagram, you may not have noticed a difference in your feed, likes, comments, etc. If you’re marketing, you’ve probably already noticed some major changes with elevating stress levels to match.


Instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ve collected some links re: the changes. Here are some tips…


Don’t turn on post notifications: “If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy , you won’t miss it.” – The Guardian


Post good content: “In the long run, a better way to ensure that your posts still get seen is to work with Instagram’s algorithm rather than against it, and convince it that people want to see and engage with your posts.” – Mirror


Engage with the brands you like most: “But you may see more of an account if you interact often with it. If you like every one of your friend’s photos of her cat, you would more likely see her photos, even if they were posted many hours before you logged in.” – New York Times


Forget time: “Adopting an algorithmic feed will likely alter the ethos of the social network, turning it from a simple chronological list of experiences your friends are having to an implicitly ranked array of content.” – The Atlantic


Use hashtags: Find the right ones and engage external and relevant communities. “It is time consuming but think of it as an investment for you or your brand that could potentially help you establish an engaged Instagram community of like minded users” – Instafamed


Other Instagram news:


60 second videos and multi-clip capabilities are rolling out.

For users: make them awesome.

For marketers: use them wisely and put out great content. There’s no more room for lack of strategy.

Instagram Ads 

For users: they may be annoying, but there ARE some great promo deals that pop up. I don’t love seeing them (every other 3rd post) but I have found out about some cool companies.

For marketers: The ad market is far from saturated. Use power editor in FB to buy an IG ad and test it out. Create something that’s engaging, special, and trackable. Make sure it’s authentic and fits right into the user’s feed.

Add Accounts

For users: You can manage up to 5 accounts! I’m sure you’ve noticed your friends pets getting accounts and everyone’s brother is now a photography expert with their easy access to multi-account management.

For marketers: SIGH. You made it this far without any help managing multiple instagram accounts. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. I know, I know, it ONLY let’s you manage 5 accounts, but at least it’s a step forward, right? The best part (for us) is that you can receive notifications on all of the 5 accounts you’re signed into, so you can keep tabs on the success rate of a recent post easier.


Algorithms, ads and more, oh my. Eventually, Instagram will be pay to play just like its big brother Facebook… so what app is next? Tell us in the comments if you’ve found a great (and free) one that might be a contender; we’d love to check it out!


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