Category - Spotlight On

1
Kimono Playdate with Kimono Zulu
2
Pop Shop America Opens Small Boutique in Houston Heights
3
Rubymint General – Phoenix, AZ

Kimono Playdate with Kimono Zulu

 

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina Zulu knows kimonos. The niche market PR and branding guru launched her passion project- Kimono Zulu – September 2016, and it has been growing organically ever since. She officially launched at Launch HTX, and currently hosts pop-ups, trunk shows, and even offers kimono playdates; one of which happened while I was visiting Houston a couple months ago. I met up with Tina, along with the brand’s muse-  Zoe “Fashion Plate” at Launch, where the kimonos were set up on a clothing rack. Tina also brought along other fun props and accessories. We also utilized some pieces from Launch HTX, such as: gloves from Inclan Studio, bracelets from Burdlife, handbags from Magpies & Peacocks, and necklaces from Modern Artifacts. As you can see from the photos, we clearly had a blast!

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina, in a way, is like my soul sister, at least in regards to fashion. She’s always had that eclectic style and creative spirit. “Vintage is a part of my personal style — I love mixing old and new, high-end designer pieces with vintage gems and thrift scores to express myself.

Throughout the 90s, she ran an event production company called Urban Sugar Productions, where she met a thorough list of artists, models, designers, etc., most of whom she still works with today; like graffiti artist- GONZO247. “On a whim, GONZO tagged a couture evening gown for me for a graffiti themed gala. I loved it so much, and it inspired me to work with other artists to embellish our kimonos. GONZO really inspires me and I’m so proud of the work he does to brand and represent Houston’s creative spirit.”

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina has always been a fan of Japanese culture, which started with Hello Kitty (I mean…who isn’t a fan of HK…). She’s been collecting the cute cartoon kitty memorabilia since its’ launch. When she took her son to the Japan Festival last year, she came across a booth that offered vintage kimonos. She immediately connected with the vendor and invited her to do a booth at Houston Vintage Festival. When that vendor was unable to do so, Tina offered to do the booth on her behalf. “I think it was at that moment, that I realized I wanted to be a kimono hustler! So, while filling out Houston Vintage Festival vendor form, I had to enter a company name and upload a logo so that’s when I came up with “Kimono Zulu” — when you marry someone with a cool family name like ZULU, believe me, you’ll use it for everything!”

So the concept of Kimono Zulu was born…..

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

“Our brand muse- Zoe is a long-time friend and personal inspiration — not only in the fashion sense, but also by the way she lives her life. Zoe’s fun-loving attitude, creative energy, and generosity is contagious and we are grateful to have her support as we spread Kimono fever to all.”

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Since launching, the brand has collaborated with several fashion designers and multimedia artists to reimagine and embellish vintage kimonos. These artists have done anything from screen printing, hand painting, to spray painting their designs on the kimonos; while the fashion designers cut and re-design the kimonos, transforming them into new and sometimes more modern silhouettes. Collaborations to date have included: Selven O’Keef Jarmon, Katsola, Christy Karll, Rene Cruz, Elijah Coccetti, Dandee Warhol, Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul, Royal McGee, Ann Brooks, Mina Gaber, Soi-K, Judy Masliyah of My Flaming Heart….and stay tuned for more!

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to be showcased among so much local talent. I made great relationships with fellow designers and wonderful people that have since kept in touch with — and even collaborated with. They helped me “launch” Kimono Zulu and introduce it to a broader audience and for that, I’m forever grateful!”

Every kimono I have is special, a one-of-a-kind treasure. One of the oldest I’ve had was patchwork silk kimono of beautiful shibori (Japanese form of tie-dye) fabric from the 30s.”

Prices start at $150-$325 for vintage kimonos and $250-$525 for artist collaboration pieces. For more information, visit the brand’s Facebook page, and follow on InstagramFollow @kimonozulu on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find their next trunk show or pop-up! Or schedule a kimono playdate with Tina Zulu, tinazulu@zulucreative.com, 713.581.4788.

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

 

 

** All images c/o Tina Zulu **

Pop Shop America Opens Small Boutique in Houston Heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

I was first introduced to Pop Shop America, and its’ lovely creative founder- Brittany Bly, about five years ago. I had participated in several of the Mini Pops Markets and even a couple of the Pop Shop America Festivals as a vintage seller. The series of markets/festivals usually consist of handmade goods, fair trade collectibles, and vintage and antique shopping; as well as local food trucks, live music, and oh-so-stylish DIY workshops.

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Brittany felt that since she’s been teaching craft workshops for a few years now, she needed a new space. The shop officially opened on December 2, 2016. She goes on to explain, “We’re really passionate about our online shop and needed a space to pack up online orders. It made more sense to open up our space to the public, instead of treating it like a private office. So Pop Shop America boutique was born! It turns out we love displaying goods and talking to people, so the shop has been fun. We also have great neighbors like Manready Mercantile, Retropolis, and Jubilee.”

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

I was able to visit the shop when I visited Houston last month, and am really proud of what Brittany has accomplished. The downstairs part of the building will house Tea Sip– a small business that specializes in award-winning teas. “The flavors are super modern, like Fudge Brownie Pu-erh and Root Beer Rooibos. It’s going to smell great, and have such great vibes in the shop!”

Follow the neon arrow up the stairs, where you will find yourself immersed in a loft-style trove of mostly locally-made treasures and whimsical decor. Shop wearables from makers such as: Mad Love, Zana, Apdat, Without Remorse, Boo + Boo Factory, Spitphire, Forgotten Arts Clothing; as well as gifts from other artists around the globe, and things Brittany makes in house. Be sure to also peruse the ever-popular beauty bar!

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

“We try to make the boutique as fun as the festival! We are in the process of installing 6-foot coloring pages for anyone to try out in our store. We have these huge oversized pinatas in the shop and lots of candy that we can give to kids (if they’re allowed). Everyone always gets a free gift with purchase, and we mix cocktails in our shop on the weekend,” Brittany said.

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Brittany and her team still offer numerous workshops, one of my faves being the DIY Terrarium Workshop. “Our workshops are beginner friendly and super stylish. We make it such a fun event with small bites and light sips! Workshops vary from terrariums, flower crowns, clay marbling and handmade candles. The workshops are different every month, so it’s fun to come back to multiple events! They take place every first Friday evening and every second Sunday brunch.”

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America, Houston, Houston boutique, the heights

Pop Shop America is located at:

321 A W. 19th St.

Houston, TX 77008

 

 

 

 

Rubymint General – Phoenix, AZ

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Nestled on the outskirts of Phoenix’s historic Coronado neighborhood is Rubymint General– a small boutique that is full of clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts, and the cutest pet goodies. The shop is still somewhat new to the scene, as co-owners Kat and Kui recently had the grand opening celebration on December 18th, 2016. Kui is more of a fashionista, crafty type of gal- who had also had a passion for opening her own boutique. Kat- on the other hand, is more small business savvy, and is passionate about creating opportunity, and improving and investing in their neighborhood. When Kat learned about Kui’s amazing goal, she thought it was a great opportunity for them to join forces and see what they could come up with.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Kat also co-owns Smooth Brew, which recently turned two this past May 19th. She wanted to build a fun, customer-focused coffee shop to add to their neighborhood and occupy a building that had been vacant for years. Since it’s right next door, be sure to stop by for a latte or food item before or after shopping at Rubymint General.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

The girls enlist the help of several local artisans, whose products fill the shelves. Here is just a handful of the artists: The Tiny Farmer, 11th Monk3y, April Howland, Bunny Blanky, Redheart Jewelry, Harold’s, John’s Premium Tonic, Knife & Garment, Lafayette Avenue Ceramics, Love and Solder, Bohemia Creations, Crystal Ammunition, Nelson Woodshop, Black Tie Market, Prickly Pear Shop, Regrain Studio, Rye Jewelry, Shiela and Me, SKINS Organics, Silver Lining Goods, A Tattered Heart Studio, plus goods under the Rubymint General label.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Speedy says “Hi!”

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Rubymint General is located at:

1441 E. McDowell Rd. Unit 2

Phoenix, AZ 85006

PH: (602)595- 8505

Email: info@rubymintgeneral.com

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