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Vintage Care: Leather Boots

Posted on: Monday, March 30, 2015

Leather practically takes care of itself--it develops an amazing patina over time that helps resist water, wears in to fit better and better, stretches and bends and returns back to its shape. No wonder shoemakers since the beginning of time (or right around then) have used this hearty material in shoe making. For pioneers, globetrotters, and wanderers alike, a trusty leather shoe is their best friend. But as close to perfection as leather may seem, it falls sort of goddom in that it stills needs care to make it really last. You can double the lifetime of your shoes and boots with a little tender loving oil every now again--and when you're buying vintage, making things last is the name of the game. Today, we've put together a simple vintage care guide for your leather boots--to ensure they last until the seams quite literally, disintegrate.

There a many kinds of leather used in shoemaking, for all kinds of shoes. Some of these require a twist on what you use and how to clean them (eg. suede)--make sure to familiarize yourself with the type of leather your shoes are made of before jumping into the process. Leather care is a hobby in and of itself, and takes some practice as you learn how often to clean them, with what oil to condition them, and whether or not you want to include a polish. For this post, we are focusing on leather boots--think Frye, Ariat, cowboy, riding boots. Learning the art keeps your shoes well conditioned and prevents salt and water damage. When the leather starts looking dry, now is the time to condition. Keep a balance, though--over conditioning can break down the leather's naturally tough properties. Therefore, conditioning every 15-20 wears in normal conditions (aka West coast weather) is a good rule of thumb.

First and foremost, remove the laces and get a clean slate by brushing or wiping the dirt off your boots. You can use a regular plastic cleaning brush and a damp washcloth, then let them dry before moving on. If they are particularly dirty, try using a leather cleaner like Saphir Reno-Mat (think shampooing before a deep conditioning). Leaving boots dirty will only trap the grime in forever if you apply oil over top (no thank you).

While there are endless leather oils and cleaners out there, we are focusing on something you may already have on hand: coconut oil. If you would rather use a brand-specific conditioner (Frye and Clark make their own), or another oil such as Neatsfoot or linseed, test a small area first to see if it darkens the color and if you like the result.

With coconut oil, it has a melting point of around 75 degrees F--if it's not warm enough you can melt it with the heat of your breath and hands. Less is more here--start with a small amount of oil on your fingers, and begin gently rubbing it into one boot, then the other, giving them a light, even coat. Once finished with the second, go back to the first boot and run your finger back over the places where white reside accumulated. It all should rub back in--if not, try adding more pressure. Repeat on the second shoe. Let dry and rest for a full day, and if you discover you used too much oil, finish by running a dry cloth or paper towel over them to remove any excess. Then get those boots a walkin'!

A word of caution: stay away from external heat sources (anything but your hands and breath) to accelerate the drying process--the product will get over absorbed or you will over dry your leather. Also, cedar shoe trees are great for keeping the form of your boots and help naturally draw out moisture!

When the soles of your shoes are wearing thin (even amidst the diamonds), a great way to reinvigorate them is getting your boots resoled. Locally, Takken's Shoes does it for a reasonable price (less than $40) and about a week turnover--and they come back looking like new!

Want care tips for moccasins, Uggs, dress shoes, or other leather shoes? Ask in the comments below and we'll get back to you with specific tips and resources!

Archer + Jane

Posted on: Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Ruby Crew and store manager, Kim, has been working double time lately. Her daughter decided to try her own hand at vintage and incorporate her latest loves, her children, Archer and Jane. Kim has been back and forth between home and her family in Nevada, while scouring children's clothes that make you want to squeal from the sheer cuteness overload. All the hard work has paid off, and Archer + Jane opened last week in Henderson, Nevada!

A hip little spot for handpicked and vintage children's clothing, toys, accessories, and maternity items. We're excited to be the first (if not the only) clothing boutique in Henderson specializing in curated contemporary and classic children's and maternity items. We invite you to stop in and fall in love.

Take a look around, and if you ever find yourself in Vegas, take a short detour over to the shop. Also, be sure and follow them on Instagram: ArcherandJane. We wish you much success!

Weekly Six: 3.25

Posted on: Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Before we open our doors for the week, check out our top six vintage picks. We constantly update our inventory, and we want to keep you in the loop of the new things coming in! So, without further adieu, we bring you:

1: Travel back in time and to another world with these textiles. Hailing from Chichicastenango, Guatelmala, these handwoven pieces will embolden your dinner table, bedroom and purses with vintage Mayan patterns from the sixties and seventies.

2: With Southwestern and Mexican-inspired embroidery with a modern fit, this deep indigo dress is indigenously unique. It's an ideal weekday staple for school, work and then play!

3: Continuing around the world, we present these handmade Indian sari quilts. Their texture, color combinations, and drape come together to give you truly incredible quilts. Not to mention, a bit of added culture and warmth to movie nights at home.

4: Add vintage flair to your white collar and pay a little homage to the Don Draper on your way out the door. Look good, feel good, and get that promotion you've been pining for. Or, be the dapperist man at dinner this year. 

5: Sleek modernism addition for post Spring cleaning spruces. Add subtle style to any room in the house with this lamp--we just can't get over the wood grain!

6: Have you been looking for oversized totem flatware? Look no further, we are stocked with one little pair and one big to suit your space and the size of your cereal bowl. Would you put these in your kitchen, or another room in the house?

SLOcal Biz: To Have & To Hold Bridal

Posted on: Monday, March 23, 2015

Calling all brides! There is a new store in town: To Have & To Hold Bridal Salon. Briana Gros has moved from Bladerunner to her own space on the corner of Marsh of and Garden--and delving into a yet untapped market here in San Luis Obispo: consignment bridal gowns. She also has created a space bright and beautiful for a wedding day ready space--as she airbrushes, curls and glosses you to picture perfection. We caught up with her to do a little photoshoot and interview, read about this go-getter and her beauty must-haves below:

What first brought you into this career? How long have you been working in the industry?
Well, like most hairstylists start out, at age seven I was chopping my Barbie's hair off, cutting my own bangs and hair, and my best friend and I would take turns box-coloring each others' hair. As a young girl, my Mom spoiled my sister and I by taking us to the hip salons in town to get our hair done. I always asked to sweep up all the hair for the stylists and I could sit there all day and watch them cut and color hair. Though at a young age, I did not want to be a hairstylist. I had big dreams of becoming a singer and dancer, a teacher, fashion designer, and wanting to own a clothing store that had a salon inside. As a young girl, I grew up in my grandma's sewing room watching her make patterns and clothes and helping me with my own sewing projects. As soon as junior high started and all through high school I took all the home econ classes I could--making pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, a bathing suit, and reconstructing clothes to make my own creations. I graduated San Luis High school in Spring and quickly enrolled in Cuesta College that Summer, anxious and so excited to study Fashion Design and prepare myself for the FIDM Institute in San Francisco. At that time, the Gap had freshly moved to SLO (which was a huge deal at that time) and I couldn't wait to work there (as if I knew I was gonna get the job), I loved having a job in retail and being surrounded by all those cool clothes! 
As if I wasn't busy enough, I got a second job at my favorite salon in town, Elements Salon. There, I worked as a receptionist and was mesmorized by the hairstylists and their art form. It was there the owner inspired and encouraged me, as well as a few family members, to take a look into the Aveda Institute and study Cosmetology. A few semesters deep into College and putting my dreams for FIDM on hold, I looked into local beauty colleges, and I started at San Luis Beauty College. From day one of my Freshman class, I just knew I was where I wanted to be--I felt so comfortable and confident in learning a new trade. After graduating, I went back to Elements Salon to work as an assistant and from there moved to District 96 to be an assistant, then began working at Bella Gente Salon where I started building my clientele. 
From there I moved to and stayed for a little over ten years at Bladerunner Salon. A few months into working there, I felt right at home and instantly became part of the Bladerunner family! I made a goal for myself to become an independent contractor a year in after working there and also began my career as a bridal hairstylist and makeup artist.  My love for this art form and business grew, so I made another goal for myself of starting my online bridal business. With each wedding season growing and becoming successful years for me, as well as listening to my bridal clients' needs and wants for a lounge and gowns on consignment, I made yet another goal and began writing my business plan dreaming of one day owning a bridal salon and consignment boutique! 
After years of dreaming, planning, budgeting, going back to school for business classes and workshops, I can confidently say I have started my career and my dreams are coming true. I am proud of my hard work and determination and so thankful to God that He has lead my every step to the corner of Marsh and Garden streets where I have opened my new business.

Your place is so sweet and fresh feeling! Tell us a little about your TH&TH and what services you offer.
To Have and To Hold is a bridal salon and boutique. We offer salon services to include Hair Design, Hair coloring, Keratin smoothing treatments, brow wax and tint, Bridal hair and makeup, and specializing in Airbrush makeup. We indulge our clients in luxurious products by proudly carrying Davines, with an experience in sustainable beauty and handcrafted Italian haircare. Soon to come, we are going to introduce Embryolisse--a French pharmaceutical skin care brand. Also soon-to-be introduced is our favorite MAC makeup must-haves, a perfume line, and local jewelers. We also sell gifts cards! They make great gifts for brides to give their bridesmaids for day-of services. Another popular item are our travel-size haircare products--great as gifts and to take with you on a plane for your Honeymoon.
Our Boutique offers gently-worn bridal gowns, veils, and accessories--which are all on consignment. Our niche is for women who have already married and would like to place their gown on consignment, and then for brides-to-be looking to find that perfect dress for half the price. Our bridal lounge is the perfect setting for small bridal parties who would like to come in to get pampered with services, eats and drinks--all while having complete privacy. 

You must work with so many amazing vendors and local businesses, what's your A-list?
I have the great pleasure of working with very creative and talented local wedding vendors--a few of my favs:
Zest it Up, Lisa Mallory Photgraphy, Colleen Rosenthal Photography, Asia Croson Photography, Le Creme Jewelry, Patrick Ibarra Photography (his exquisite photos are currently displayed on my website), Danae Grace Events, and hoping to collaborate with so many more along the way!

What is your go-to hair and makeup product? Why?
I am a product junkie! My personal and professional hair and makeup kits are overflowing with every product imaginable--from drug-store brands to top-of-the-line professional brands. My fav drug-store product has always been and always will be Aquaphor! I use this for everything: to moisturize lips and hands, to keep brows in there place, and to tame stray hairs. My fav luxury must-have hair products right now are of course by Davines: Hair Refresher, a dry cleansing mist acting as a two-in-one product to refresh and clean all hair types as well as create full-bodied volume with a soft feminine scent! Another fav must-have hair product of mine right now is the Oi/Absolute Beautifying Potion, a lightweight oil for all hair types that adds shine and softness with an amazing scent!
My fav, splurge, must-have, can-not-live-without skincare products right now are by Embryolisse: Radiant Eye, an under eye treatment to brighten eyes while reconstructing/moisturizing to smooth contours of the eye and radiant booster to reduce puffiness with a cooling effect (for me, most under eye treatments don't work because my skin is so sensitive, my clients love it as well!) Another can-not-live-without product is by Embryolisse--the Eau de Beaute Rosamelis, an alcohol-free, natural toner to leave all skin types clean, soft, glowing, and revived with relaxing scents of rose water and orange blossom!

Any sage advice on wedding day beauty prep?
Dear lovely Bride-to-be,
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated in the days before your wedding. This will keep you feeling and looking your best for the day of. Wash your hair the night before your wedding day. This will leave a slight natural sheen and your hair style will hold all day and night. For a flawless complextion in your professional wedding portraits, definitely have an Airbrush makeup application--it's worth the few extra bucks! Airbrush makeup is made for HD photography, silicon-based so it leaves an even veil of perfection on top of your skin, waterproof so everything stays in place whether you sweat, cry, or get splashed with champagne, as well as amazing coverage from freckles to scars to birth marks to spider veins to tattoos!
Thank you for taking the time to read. I look forward to meeting you and working together. It is an honor to be shared in the memories on your special day.

(Grand opening date to be unveiled in April, like To Have and To Hold on FB and follow them on Instagram, @tohaveandtoholdbridalsalon, for all the details)

Weekly Six: 3.18

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Before we open our doors for the week, check out our top six vintage picks. We constantly update our inventory, and we want to keep you in the loop of the new things coming in! So, without further adieu, we bring you:

1: Out of the woods and into your cupboard, these woodland creatures come alive with every sip. Let the guests choose their favorite while you enjoy a truly farm-to-table experience.

2: Wearing well from day to night, be cuffed in floral with this brass cutout bracelet. A perfect blend of chunk and delicate--and a sturdy jewelry choice for the weekend warrior.

3: This vintage Edwardian blouse is sheer loveliness! It's feminine lace details bring a structured yet bohemian look to a good pair of booties and cutoffs.

4: On again, off again, it's hard to decide which looks best with this pendant lamp. Off, the the milky ____ blends with the ornate details for a subtle statement piece. On, this lamp exudes a warm glow and sparkle like no other. If you find yourself obsessed with its switch, you've been warned.

5: Come and knock on our door, they'll be waiting for you....duh duh dun duh duh dun....three's company, too! Light to the eye and heavy to the lift, these chairs wear well and are a garden party staple. And as a set of three, you'll have an room for a friend (or two), they're never a crowd.

6: A silver embossed table clock, and in working order! Keep on time to all your finals, appointments and meets with friends--punctual never looked so good.

What We're Listening To: Festival Line-ups

Posted on: Monday, March 16, 2015

After drooling over some of this year's festivals and looking through their line-ups, it makes us feel a mix of excitement and curiosity. It also makes us create a few new playlists--playing through some of our favorite headliners and introducing ourselves to new artists. Right now, we're listening through Coachella's. Here is their official curated playlist on Spotify:

New on the scene from last year, this lady's voice is as comforting as a tea kettle whistling--not to mention they pair perfectly together. Grab a book and click play...

A singer songwriter who is a veteran performer. If you've waited this long to hear him, don't hold out any longer. He pairs well with Sylvan on those rainy, melancholy days.

Where rock, blues and soul meet, the Alabama Shakes will be waiting for you there. They, too, just came out with a new release, Gimme All Your Love--have a listen and see for yourself.

I'm a little bit in love with you, Lykke Li. This is an old song from her debut album, where she performs not the street with Bon Iver in 2009. And after six years, it's still rotating through my go-to playlists. This Swedish lovely is all quality and all style, check out her latest album, I Never Learn.

This Australian brother and sister duo have wooed us for years, and we are entranced by their most recent song, The Hanging Tree, just released a few days ago!

His hit song, Take Me to Church, has been top the repeat plays over the radio, and maybe a little bit in our store, too. Did you see his performance with Annie Lennox at the Grammys?!

Can't make it to a festival this year? Not to worry, these guys will be in San Luis Obispo THIS MONTH. Grab tickets and join us at Slo Brew on March 25th!

One of our most favorite performers, this spunky red bombshell is wild, free and poised. She is larger than life, and we just can't get enough of this girl!

Another larger than life performer and artist, St Vincent's latest album is unique, catchy and truly creative. And her music videos live up her sound, too--so full of inspirations.

...and so many others: FATHER JOHN MISTY, THE WAR ON DRUGS, ALLAH-LAHS, BELLE AND many greats!

Come by the shop and pre-festival listen with us! Who are your favorites artists on the 2015 line-ups?

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