Yes I’m beautiful...so what?!
A week ago I posted these photos wearing my new pieces I received from my favorite brands in Georgia. I received an alarming response and views from the community—maybe it’s the clothes...perhaps its my banging body 💁🏽♀️ (Did I mention I was a belly dancer before the lock-down?)
During these pressing times, it’s important to support our local community. Like everyone, small brands have been hit hard by the lock-down and Covid-19. Consumers are only purchasing the necessities that will get them through the weeks to come. Online shopping sales has increased rapidly. But with more consumers shopping online, what good are new clothes?
Well, regardless of the cut backs on spending, consumers still love the joys of supporting their favorite brands. The urge to get back into their favorite shops is growing with every week we’re stuck inside. While we small brands may be struggling, we still need to provide our shoppers with a reason to come back.
My Finds: Megan Fullerton shorts
To celebrate my birthday, I splurged on these shorts from Megan Fullerton and these heart-shaped earrings from Ivy Exchange Boutique. Megan Fullerton is a local Atlanta designer who as been in business for about 2 years. We met about a year ago, and she gave me some insightful advice about the fashion industry. She attended SCAD (Savannah School of Art and Design—my dream school) and worked for a few designers after graduation. Something interesting I learned about her journey and her experience at SCAD is while she studied fashion design and merchandising to be come a designer, she wasn’t taught how to obtain that dream. In fact she had to learn all her entrepreneurial skills on the fly. Launching her brand started as a challenge, but she overcame those experiences by continuing to work hard, finding the right support team, and designing clothes with a purpose!
What I love about Megan’s clothes is how from afar, they look structured. This means that have no give and could only fit a few size....
While the clothes are definitely made from quality fabrics, they have stretch! These shorts fit me perfectly and had a bit of elastic in the waistband to really hug around my curves. I especially love how her sizing is not the same as typical brands. She was met with the challenge of purchasing dress-forms and realizing they weren’t her actual size. She would have to pad them up to get the right proportions. This can be upsetting to a designer who also have curves, but an advantage as well. While I’m normally a size 10/Large in most brands, I purchased the shorts in a Medium. They fit my hips just right and the elastic hugging into my waist really cinches in my figure.
I was able to follow the size guide, but Megan and her team are on-standby if you’re having difficulties. Her entire store is 30% off with pieces selling FAST 💨
Ivy Exchange Online Boutique
The Ivy Exchange Boutique is a special one that I discovered while living in Statesboro, Georgia. I was in a restaurant, waiting for my pickup order, when I looked over their table of business cards. One caught my eye: a pink with white detailing. I looked over it and searched the brand. This must have been the developing stages because they didn’t have any merchandise yet. But I followed Ivy Exchange on Instagram and Facebook. A few months later was the launch!
Living in Statesboro, I was familiar with many of the local boutiques in town. They all had a similar style and sold some of the same things. I actually never purchased anything for any of them (except on dress I got for my mom but she never wore it). Ivy Exchange is different. The pieces are more unique, compared to the competitors, and the styles vary from Date Night look to Chilling with my Dog. The owner, Haleigh Brown, is the sweetest person I know! In fact, when I expressed interest on a pair of shorts online, she personally DM'ed me to let me know it was available for sale and I immediately purchased them!
Haleigh's story is interesting. She graduated from Georgia Southern (GO EAGLES!) with a degree in Fashion and Marketing. Before graduating, she was working for a local business (she doesn't state who) in the hopes of them bringing her on to for her internship. After a few months of feeling part of the company and the team, she was then denied her internship promise, just less than two months away from graduation. Thankfully, she was able to find a new company to work for and felt valued at.
My earring purchase was similar to my first purchase: I saw them on Facebook and was the first to comment. She commented back saying to let her know if I wanted them. I wasn't looking to spend any money, but then I realized I had rewards I could redeem (yes she has a rewards system too!) These were the only one in stock, so I'm glad I didn't hesitate for too long.
My Look: Julie Trench from Abbey Glass
The final piece to my look is this fun trench coat I purchased around the holidays at Abbey Glass. She is also a local designer in Atlanta, and has been in business for about 5 years. Located in the Shops of Buckhead, you would think her clothes are just as pricey as the Jimmy Choo store a few blocks away. However, Abbey has a modest price tag compared to her competitors. What I love most about her designs are the combination of textures and the quality. The fabrics are so interesting and they transition into any season. My favorite piece are the Gregg Pants. They will fit just about anyone! Made using Ponte Knit, the Gregg Pants are stretchy enough to fit your curves, but structured enough that you don't feel like you're wearing leggings.
This trench coat is double-breasted and has a classic shape. I prefer this print versus the other she has on sale because it's fun and exciting. While it was hot when I was taking these photos, I wouldn't mind wearing it during the spring and late summer nights. The fabric is a little itchy on my arms, but that's why I paired it with this sheer black top that I designed. I love wearing this coat to work, feeling luxe and glamorous!
Support Local Brands!
I love having these leading ladies in the fashion industry to look up too--even though they're all 2-5 years older than me! It's inspiring to see women of different backgrounds living their dreams and working hard to accomplish their goals. While Megan Fullerton and Abbey Glass may have a higher, luxury price-tag compared to Ivy Exchange, you can still find great pieces for a great price. And unlike Fast Fashion, these pieces are investments that should last a long time and can be worn during many seasons. Even if you're unable to purchase some of their more pricey pieces, purchase a gift card to use in the future. That's what I did for Ivy Exchange!
So remember to be safe, and I hope I encouraged you to check these brands out.