Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year!

This year has been filled with many memories, firsts and new chapters... Patrick and I marked our 1 year anniversary since moving to San Francisco from New York City. So far, the west coast has been an absolute dream. We love the weather, our new friends and new traditions like driving up to wine country for the weekend. With that said, we do miss our Manhattan friends and favorite restaurants dearly and will be planning a trip back to the east coast soon. Thankfully for us, we're close enough to Las Vegas to get our Momofuku fix every now and then :) This year also gave me an incredible career opportunity with Sweet & Spark as lead stylist and brought me closer to my friend and business partner Jillian. We are so excited for what 2018 has in store for the company, stay tuned for many special announcements ahead!
And to top off an otherwise perfect year, Patrick proposed during our 7 year anniversary date night. While home for the Holidays, after a dinner filled with baguettes and soufflés, he took me to the very spot where we shared our first kiss and popped the question. (Ring post coming soon, I'll share more sparkly details then!) Afterwards we went out to celebrate at our favorite dive bar with friends. Our sweetest memory of the entire evening was choosing the exact same songs on the juke box, separately. The last few days we've been busy celebrating and popping champaign bottles with close friends and family and cannot wait to party with all of our friends back home in San Francisco!
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Around the Apartment

Here's a little peek inside our San Francisco apartment as well as my home office. I spend most of my time at my desk working on the computer, lots of answering emails and photoshopping! But my favorite little corner is where I keep all my jewelry displayed and organized on my dressing table. I get to admire it every day from the moment I wake up and see it from my bed, until the moment I grab a spritz of perfume right before I leave the apartment for work... 
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Vintage Glassware

I always take time to admire vintage glassware while shopping around antique malls. I would love to own a mix and match collection filled with pastel milk glass and depression glass plates, saucers and teacups one day, it all looks so dreamy together. I snapped these photos while on a recent road trip through Sacramento, I found the most amazing set of pink glass teacups! This vintage buying trip made it onto my list of Fall favorites among what I'm wearing and reading this season,
see what else I'm loving as the lead stylist at Sweet & Spark.
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vintage Shopping in New Orleans

 We spent a lovely long weekend in New Orleans a few weeks ago for a friend's wedding, always a cherished place of ours to re-visit since Patrick went to college there. Whenever we are in town, I make a point to visit one of my favorite vintage boutiques Vintage 329. Chalk full with cases of vintage Chanel jewelry, I spend at least an hour attempting to see everything. Besides their Chanel collection, they have an array of curated sunglasses, posters, vinyl records, books and antique fine jewelry... heaven! After all that window shopping, I usually work up an appetite for something sweet. Right across the street is an adorable pastry shop called Cafe Beignet, not to be confused with Cafe du Monde which is a few blocks away. Nothing like an iced latte and beignet combo to re-fuel for more vintage shopping! Be sure to peek into the other antique shops around the French Quarter, so many hidden gems.

S H O P   T H E   L O O K

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fall Feelings

 For me, Fall means never leaving the house without a vintage silk scarf, and of course vintage jewels! I love pairing gold necklaces and chains with a chic scarf tied around in a choker fashion, double points for double the layering! The brooch I am wearing is also part of our new collection for Fall, lots of critter motifs florals and rhinestones to get you through the season. Shop our one-of-a-kind selection of Vintage Jewelry while it's fresh.

S H O P   T H E   L O O K

Trifari Cluster Heart Charm Necklace // Judy Lee Jet Black Rhinestone Clip On Earrings // Daisy Rhinestone Cluster Brooch // Napier Gold Hinged Bangle // Monet Gold Hinged Bangle // Zara Top // Vintage Givenchy Scarf, similar here // Celine Sunglasses
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Buy Vintage Silk Scarves

When it comes to collecting vintage accessories, silk scarves come in a close second behind jewelry. I remember starting my vintage scarf collection in high school when I was going through a 1960's phase and could not get enough of Emilio Pucci's colorful prints. I quickly fell down the vintage scarf rabbit hole and began hunting for them at vintage stores, and of course... my Mother's closet. Perfect for tying in my hair, around my neck or even on my handbag, I could never have enough! For my high school graduation, I opted for vintage scarves as grad-gifts instead of the standard monogrammed luggage tag or bath robe. One of my favorites and still most treasured is a powder blue Hermès scarf my Aunt found at an estate sale (shown in the first image), still intact with its original orange box. Today, I have a whole shelf in my closet dedicated to my silk scarf collection, or rather art collection. Straying from jewelry for just a moment,  I thought it would be fun to share some tips for buying vintage designer scarves that I have learned over the years.

W H E R E   T O   L O O K

When we're talking about buying vintage anything, there is always the big debate between online and in stores. I covered a few of the reasons why I love both in my recent blog about buying vintage Chanel. I guess it mostly depends on where you live, and how many re-sale boutiques are in your area. Regardless, online is always a good place to start price comparing! I like to run a search on eBay and Etsy looking for general categories like "Vintage Silk Scarf" or something more specific like "Vintage 90's Chanel Scarf" first. Since it is more difficult to ensure authenticity online when it comes to designer scarves as opposed to handbags, it is best to use a trustworthy online consignment boutique like Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal. Both have a beautiful selection of Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, Dior scarves and more. As for in-person buying, try looking up high end consignment shops in your area, for me Vintage Martini in Dallas always has a
selection of Hermès scarves that I enjoy browsing.

C O N D I T I O N

Depending on how much you want to spend, quality and condition can play a big factor in pricing vintage scarves. Know the difference between what 100% silk and synthetic rayon feels like. Silk will feel buttery and luxe, while a synthetic blend can feel slippery and more like plastic. If the design is eye-catching, I never let the silk factor stop me from buying a scarf. What does it matter once it is all tied up around my neck in a chic bow? However, if you are in the mood to splurge on a designer scarf, make sure you know what to look and feel for. Most high end scarves will have a small tag sewn on the corner with the designer's name and 100% silk labeled. In the off-chance that there is no tag, be prepared to make that call on your own. Also, be sure to check each scarf for grease stains or dirty spots, price should reflect any wear and tear.

D E S I G N E R   S C A R V E S

Be prepared to spend anywhere from $150 to $350 when it comes to a luxury silk scarf. Remember, these are pieces of art! Designers back then and today release scarf collections each season in limited runs, making them quite rare, especially after a few decades have passed by. One of the biggest names in luxury silk scarves, Hermès, is known for their horse and carriage motifs... While Emilio Pucci is recognized for their trademarked geometric prints. If you're looking for a scarf that won't break the bank, my favorite vintage label for a cheap thrill is Vera. Known for their colorful floral and geometric prints, Vera became a popular scarf brand in the 1960's. Look to eBay and Etsy for vintage Vera scarves usually priced between $10 to $30.

Happy shopping vintage lovers!
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Talking about what I am loving right now over on the Sweet & Spark blog including these vintage flea market tea cups and plates! Snapped these photos at local weekend markets around San Francisco. My favorite spot to hunt for jewels and other collectables is the Alameda  Point Antiques Faire, open on the first Sunday each month. Insider tip: Be sure to get there early to snag gorgeous mid-century furnishings and decor. 
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Vintage Levi's

Levi's are simply the best when it comes to classic vintage denim. I love how they started to re-issue all their popular vintage styles like the 501 original cut off shorts, I had to find all mine on eBay years ago. Right now I am adoring their high rise wedgie fit jeans, very 90's "mom jeans" but I can't help it, they are my go-to pair! I have them in both the light and medium wash since I cannot wear them enough. The best part is that they go perfectly 
with a cute sweater tucked in and vintage jewelry!

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Life in San Francisco

 With my 1 year anniversary since moving to San Francisco around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share what I've been up to on the west coast, also known as the BEST coast! But first, we have to go back a few more years to where it all began... Patrick and I started thinking about making a move from New York City around 2015 and what our life might look like in the Bay City. I was introduced to Jillian from Sweet & Spark through mutual friends, and we immediately hit it off. We both grew up with antique collectors for parents and funny enough, had both ended up with a kindred love for collecting vintage jewelry. With so much to bond over we stayed in touch through social media and blog collaborations until I eventually made the move west in 2016.
I was so happy to have a San Francisco buddy who I had so much in common with! One night, Jillian was over for dinner at my apartment when she happened to mention that her assistant had recently left S&S. At the time, I was attending jewelry school part time and thought it might be a fun learning experience to help out on my days off. It instantly felt like the right fit! A few months passed and I began spending more days working at S&S and taking on more responsibilities at the company. Half way through Summer, we were brainstorming ideas for growing Sweet & Spark and before I knew it we had booked orders for contemporary apparel as well as tickets to the Las Vegas trade shows.

I am proud to call myself the in-house lead stylist at S&S, and even more thrilled to share our new apparel collection with you! Filled with florals, lace and bows... This collection is everything that we love to style our vintage jewelry with. Looking forward to sharing my Sweet & Spark adventures here, including new apparel launching this week (sign up for the newsletter to get first dibs)! You can read more about my new position as well as my 5 Fall Style Tips on the S&S blog. 

S H O P   T H E   L O O K

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to Clean Vintage Jewelry

We thought it would be helpful to share our favorite tips for cleaning those flea market jewelry finds that need some love. Keeping our vintage jewelry looking fresh is the first step we take before listing any new styles on our shop. We've seen it all... from missing stones, beat up jump rings and dirty surfaces. Continue reading for a roundup of 
cleaning do's and don'ts when it comes to vintage jewels.

O N E

To clean all metal styles use warm water, dish soap and a toothbrush. Windex can also be used in place of soap! Lightly scrub the surface to remove any dirt that may have built up over the years. Make sure to let completely air dry to avoid any rusting. For pearl and rhinestone styles, simply use a dry toothbrush to sweep away any dust or dirt. It is important not to wet these more delicate styles as water might get trapped and change the appearance of stones.


T W O

After jewelry has been washed and cleaned, it is a good idea to shine it up with a polishing cloth. Most vintage jewelry is gold plated or sterling silver, but even brass can be polished. For that extra fresh feeling, we love to use the sunshine polishing cloth! Wrap the polishing cloth around a piece of jewelry or chain to softly buff the surface 
which will bring out that bright finish.


T H R E E

The next step is to ensure durability by checking each jump ring and clasp. Pay special attention to jump rings that are not fully closed, we tighten up loose jump rings using a pair of chain nose pliers. For anything that needs to be replaced, our go-to recourse is Rio Grande for a wide assortment of jump rings and closures.


F O U R

We inspect each piece of jewelry for loose or missing stones. For replacements, we keep a small batch of pearls and rhinestones in various sizes and colors. If there's not a bead or craft store near you, Etsy can be a great resource for jewelry bits. Try searching for "loose rhinestones" or "loose pearls" to start off. Carefully use a single drop of super glue to secure stones back into place, make sure to put down a paper towel for spills. Then let dry!

S H O P   T H E   L O O K
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fresh Picks for Fall

Our curated selection of vintage jewels has officially been restocked for Fall!

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