See what I did there? So, a couple of Saturdays back, maybe a few at this point since I’ve been hardcore sick and hardcore procrastinating, I spent the day with my lovely friend, Miss Emily Bolles. She recently started an Etsy endeavor (now on virb.com) to house and sell her own personal picks for best vintage pieces around Portland.
It was a no brainer to help her model some of these timeless pieces, which you can find for sale on her website at: http://sturnellecollection.virb.com/
Here’s a little preview of me showing you what you can buy there.
Pretty obsessed with this amazing crop top:
And so on and so forth. But before I show you more of her aesthetic, I wanted to talk about the woman behind the scenes – buyer, photographer, …awesome, awesome drinking buddy.
When I met Em Bolles she had a job seating the visitor elite at Portland’s trendy Clyde Common by night and was a babe-a-licious substitute teacher by day – something she still does in between gigs at another new Portland hotspot, Tasty and Alder, and between her time slangin vintage goods for Sturnelle Collection.
The name Sturnelle comes from the latin “Sturnelle Neglecta” meaning Western Meadowlark aka Portland’s state bird. But don’t you dare get all put a bird on this midwestern girl. She’s from Wisconsin (Midwest represent) and has had a love of birds since she was a little girl. So there.
The name perfectly embodies a personal flare and the state she now calls home. It’s also the place she finds the clothing to stock the virtual shelves of Sturnelle Collection.
Palace on SE 34th, Rock n’ Rose on E. Burnside, Magpie on SW 9th, and Good ol’ Goodwill, rank as some of her favorite places to find quality vintage goods that she’s able to repurpose, alongside modern day fashion picks, into relevant looks that, as she says, “won’t cost you a shit ton”.
Two months after leaving her job at Clyde Common, Emily realized she had more time to devote to creative pursuits such as fashion and photography.
“I got into vintage clothing because of the history, because of the place it takes you when you look at it. Sometimes this can be hard to incorporate into a modern day wardrobe so for me it was a question of, how do I appreciate these clothes? How do I fit this history into now?”
She also admits that the photography involved in showcasing the clothes was a large part of her decision to pursue an online shop.
“Learning to take photos of people – that’s a huge part of it. How do I turn the clothes into a story that the pictures tell?”
What’s not a huge part of it?
“The shopping!” She laughs. “The shopping is probably my least favorite part of it even though I do think I’m good at picking things out.”
I asked her to give me three words to describe Sturnelle Collection. Her hesitation proved demure as she launched into a confident list:
“Classic, Quality, and Fresh.”
Looking at her collection, these adjectives certainly do seem to lend an ongoing theme only bolstered by her residence in Portland. Not only does she have access to incredible vintage clothing stores, she also has connections that sometimes lend themselves to amazing photography locations, like The Cleaners event space at the Ace Hotel , where we had our photo shoot on an unnaturally nice, summer-like day in the midst of Portland winter.
Let there be light!
Buying her model lunch xoxo
Working with her on a professional level is easy and fun. She’s low stress about her shoots and really seems to work with what she’s got at any given moment. The day consisted of lunch from Clyde Common (which also occupies space next to the Ace Hotel), Stumptown coffee galore (um yep, also right there … this is a really hip block), and plenty of loud ass hip hop to keep us motivated.
At one point, she dragged me to try some shots outside, and yeah, I said it was unusually warm, but it wasn’t that warm and she had no qualms about asking me to double bra and tape my nipples, which yeah I did … all for this top:
Women’s vintage navy blue sleeveless flawy top $28 This top was comfortable as fuck.
Which can I just say was totally worth it because look at that wall. It was perfect! Perfectly urban too as I was surrounded by like, bum pee and old Wendy’s bags, but that’s what made the day so extra fun. The girl has a knack for finding spots and an adventurous side that leads her to them.
I don’t get the sense Emily is in any hurry to abandon all her days jobs to focus on Sturnelle, but watching her work, I don’t get the sense she needs to. She has an ease about her business sense that allows her to indulge in the creative pursuit while still holding down jobs that pay the bills … a skill many young people today strive for. And with clothes as cute as hers, she doesn’t need much more than that.
Oh … and did I mention she provides stuff for the menfolks as well?
At this point, I think we should enjoy a few more photos before I tell you where you can stalk this babe on all the social media sites.
Ew – she encouraged me to try fried oysters. I didn’t die. Or barf. In fact it was quite good.
Ok – so do you want to know where to stalk her now???
Here’s where you can buy her steez: http://sturnellecollection.virb.com/
Here’s where you can go “Like” her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SturnelleCollection?fref=ts
Instagram, of course: @sturnellecollection
And here is where you can look at her fashion porn: http://sturnellecollection.tumblr.com/
My next Portland fashion showcase is the really really beautiful babe that has done most of my tattoos, Olivia Britz. Did I mention she’s a babe? See ya next time for that and until then – go stalk Sturnelle.