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I can never drive down King Street without making mental notes of my favorite store windows! What can I say? I am a visual person and in my opinion the window is the calling card to the total fashion experience. For this blog feature I spent a morning with Haley Spees, visual merchandiser at Hampden Clothing! Check out my photo diary and the Q&A with this local style star!
AL: How long have you been working here at Hampden?
HS: I have been here for almost two years.
A: It seems like longer!
H: I know! It does feel like a long time. In a good way.I love it. I feel like I've found my own little "niche" so I think that's maybe why it feels like... I've been here longer.
A:Do you feel pressure as far as your style is concerned...now that you work here, is there a sense of pressure to look chic everyday whether you're working or not working? How has this affected your personal style?
H: I feel like I've found my personal style maybe? I feel a lot less pressure I think, because I'm not trying to figure it out. Kind of like, I feel like I've grown and in a way. In the beginning it challenged me but now that I'm helping other people, it makes you look at yourself in a certain way and you just figure out what looks good on you. You just figure out what you like, and I just...I like to mix and match, so I don't really care. I just like putting it all together. And as long as I have a group of my favorite things and I can just throw them on, then I'm happy.
A: So let's just walk through your process…
H: I kind of plan the events and everything. I'm trying to keep up with clients- this is our birthday book, which you can tell I need to do a little bit of work on. But just like trying to keep up with people's birthdays, I do send invitations for our upcoming trunk show and that's just like a little invention [mood board] I made to keep us inspired for how the event will actually feel. And this is for clients, we just got these Tucker dresses in and I just wanted to show them all the different ways they can wear it.
A: So where do you begin?
H: I try to work with Erin, who does our homepages and our email and stuff like that, we try to work together, and we're trying to make sure that whatever is in the store is reflected on the website, and whatever is on the website is reflected in the store, so we're just trying to bring everything together. This week is special because we're getting ready for our Rebecca Taylor trunk show, and I try to take the invitation that I do, and I try to like either super impose it, or paint it, or something on the wall. So, that's a huge task that I was not ready to begin. I use this wall [back wall], sometimes I paint it to match the background color of the invitation and then I'll imitate the font.
A: What's the time frame usually that you have to re-create the window?
H: I just do it every Wednesday. And I just do it whenever I'm not helping people.
A: Kind of here-and-there and then you work it out that day?
H: Right, exactly. It's not exactly the smoothest process. It's a lot of back and forth. But actually I do love doing it. It's a lot of fun. So, I'll be painting later...
[Walking to the back room where the supplies are...]
H: Sorry... lots of ‘things’ in this area…
A: It's okay. It's the creative process.
H: I have an arts and craft center back here, basically.
A: (Ha!) You have to!
H: I don't know. I just have... all these stencils, clothesline- never know if you're going to need that. Then we have all of this paint, which I love.
A: I think it's awesome. I had no idea painting was involved.
H: Oh gosh, all the time. It's always arts and crafts hour at Hampden.
A: So what else do you do? Once you get your stencils and your paint together.
H: I get the supplies together and then I just...make it.
A: Tell me about the Rebecca Taylor Trunk Show?
H: It’s on August 26th. It's a Mad Hatter Tea Party...Champagne Party. So I have to find wigs, hats and crazy stuff. I'm going to make a little installation in the middle of the store. It's going to be like all of these old vintage chairs and I'm going to paint them, and I'm going to have them all stacked on top of each other up to the ceiling. It's just so random. We're going to be wearing hats, and we'll have hats here for people who don't (wear one). It's just an excuse to wear one. Why wouldn't you want to wear a crazy hat? I love it.
A: It's such a great idea. What time does the event start?
H: All day long. Champagne all day! Cupcakes all day!
Don't miss the Mad Hatter Champagne Party and Rebecca Taylor Trunk Show, Friday, August 26th at Hampden Clothing! Want to see more? Click on the gallery for extra images from my photo diary!