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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sassy Sally's Interview

If you're a regular Fashion Trend Guide reader, then Sassy Sally's may ring a bell for you. It's one of my favorite boutiques in Ventura, where you can find adorable T-shirts, one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories, and re-fashioned vintage pieces that nobody else will be wearing! As an avid shopper, I think it's especially important to support indie boutiques like Sassy Sally's. My natural curiousity and interest in Ventura's retail scene has led me to interview Lindsay Miller, owner of Sassy Sally's.

Tell me a little about yourself and how/why you opened your boutique, Sassy Sally's.

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I went to school and got a degree in Science. I was always creative and crafty since childhood. I used to watch my grandmother sew and be fascinated by it, always wanting to do it too. Because I was always free-spirited and independent, I wanted to be different. I began reconstructing my clothes in junior high to suit me. My first sewing machine came from my grandma, after college (which I still use), and this led me further into clothing construction - mostly teaching myself as I went. I have always had a love for all things vintage because they have been through lifetimes, have souls, and freeze history in time.

The desire to design led me to Sassy Sally's. I wanted to create for myself and do my own thing. I think and believe in creative, independent fashion/style/lifestyle, etc. It's not only fun and interesting to me, but it occupies a more conscious outlook on life. So opening a boutique seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity and also a way to support the creativity of others. I was also plain tired of boring jobs, the homogeneity of everything, and the mass produced crap!

As for how I opened the boutique, well I had a perfect moment of opportunity in which I was living with my boyfriend who was willing and able to support my living expenses, so I could make the leap and put everything into a business. I worked part-time to sustain myself, which was an important decision. Little by little, I did lots of research, found a space, and built it...small. It started very small, so it would be manageable as I learned the business. Now I've expanded to a nicer space.

How would you describe your personal style and who/what inspires you?

My personal style varies. It's always a combination of old and new. I mix and match styles from the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's (lovin it!), with contemporary items. Retro fused with modern, fused with whimsy. It's often colorful. I also love wearing fine, sleek looks, like those of tailored garments such as jackets, blazers, boots, slacks and fitted dresses.

I'm inspired by the classy divas of the past, the fashion-forward edge of today and the likes of Betsy Johnson and the San Francisco-based design duo of Minnie Wilde.

Who is your typical customer?

My customers come in all ages and various styles. From hipsters to fashionable high-schoolers, to stay-at-home moms. Many are artists themselves (in one form or another), or aspiring to be, or just appreciate it in others. The guys are usually 20 to 30-something, artsy or hipster types. Those who frequent my shop are drawn to the bright colors and the uniqueness of the products.

How would you describe the fashion and retail scene in Ventura?

The fashion and retail scene in Ventura has become much more rich and diverse. There many great little boutiques now that offer different kinds of styles, for different kinds of tastes and budgets.

Do you have any advice for boutique owners?

My advice would be to make exceptions, keep it personal and neighborly with customers, and remember to honor your own time and needs (so you don't lose your mind or burn out.)

Where do you like to shop?

I like to shop either at neat second-hand and vintage shops or the local downtown Ventura shops.

What are some of your current bestsellers?

Some of my bestsellers are the screenprinted tees and glass piece necklaces with sweet images.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with Fashion Trend Guide readers?

Stay tuned for sassysallys.com, which will feature my one-of-a-kind line. In this endeavor, I hope to encourage people in expression, artful fashion, community, respect for the planet (through repurposed goods), quality, and awareness.

Sassy Sally's clothing
Sassy Sally's clothing

Sassy Sally's is located at 451 E. Main St. in downtown Ventura, California.

Tel: (805) 653-5556

Visit www.myspace.com/sassysallys for more info.