Style Stop with Maison DNA - Interview Recap

Jesse Stuckey and Beth Loomis are the brains behind Maison DNA, a vintage boutique located in Newport. Last month they welcomed me into their treasure-filled world and answered a few questions for our Style Stop FB live Interview. 

Watch the video here or read our recap below!

What surprises people the most when they visit the shop for the first time? 

What surprises people most upon visiting the shop for the first time is our unique atmosphere. Our historic building, eclectic decor and curated clothing collection all work seamlessly together to make for a magical shopping experience. First time visitors and regulars alike love that everything in our store has its own personality, energy and story. From the clothes, to the decor, right down to our price tags, everything we do and carry has a sense of intention, purpose, uniqueness and fun attached to it.

How do you decide that an item is worthy to grace the racks of Maison DNA? 

The process for deciding whether or not to carry a specific item on our racks starts with the surprisingly simple question of "Do we love it?" It may seem unorthodox but instead of carrying inventory that we think people will like, or based on trend, we purposefully do the opposite. Instead, our philosophy is to carry product that inspires and excites us first and foremost. Then, if almost by magic, this energy is subconsciously picked up by our customers and in turn they become inspired and excited by what we carry.

On a side note, I feel like this process is based on intuition or instinct which also inadvertently leads us to picking specific styles or fashions a few weeks or months before they become a trend on the runway.

Once we give the initial OK to an item, but before bringing it "home", we meticulously check for quality, condition, craftsmanship and overall visual impact. 99% of the time, even the tiniest flaw on a piece is a deal breaker and although we loved the piece initially, it does not make the cut and we leave it behind. Such strict guidelines not only allow us to deliver a product of value and quality to our customers but allows us to take pride in what we do.

Where do you source pieces from?

After being in the vintage fashion industry for almost 20 years, we are fortunate to have made invaluable contacts in the business. For the first time, without giving all the magic away, we can say that our inventory comes from professional buyers who have inside access to collections from certain New England "homes" that otherwise the public does not have access to.

The most flattering comment you have ever received...

That'd be from a well dressed gentlemen from Milan visiting Newport for the Summer who told us that Maison DNA would be a big hit where he lives.

To stay connected with Maison DNA, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  And on your next visit to Newport, be sure to stop by their boutique located at 64 Spring Street!

Style Stop with Loren Hope - Interview Recap

Before Designer Loren Barham and I were introduced during the Bloggers' RI jewelry tours last spring, I was a fan of her jewelry company Loren Hope and had been watching from afar. What had instantly drawn me to her work was her vibrant 2016 Spring/Summer collection, which had been beautifully styled and photographed in Hawaii.

Each of LH designs makes a statement without intimidating or being pretentious, and because of these characteristics, they are versatile and can be worn for all sorts of occasions, from casual brunch with the in-laws to cocktail hour with the girlfriends. 

Credits: Loren Hope

Credits: Loren Hope

Credits: Loren Hope

Credits: Loren Hope

Truly, I found it impossible not to fall in love with Loren Barham's designs, including how her love story with jewelry began and how it is influencing her business approach. 

From letting her creativity go wild as a child by reassembling old baubles in her grandmother's thrift shop, to her strong desire to reignite Providence's long forgotten title of "Jewelry Capital of the World", it is clear that Loren Barham is on to something precious. Parts used for Loren Hope's luxury level costume jewelry originate 100% from local partnerships. Truly - it does not get any better than this, especially for the Shop Small Shop Local, fashion-inclined fans - like me. 

When asked about her inspiration behind a collection and where it comes from, Loren Barham said to have always been drawn to nature, art, and architecture from the art deco period. 

Loren Hope has been featured in ELLE, Vogue, InStyle, Real Simple, The Zoe Report, Glitter Guide, Lucky Magazine, Southern Living, Redbook, Refinery 29...the list goes on.  To add one achievement on top of another, LH's biggest highlight in 2016 was their new partnership with giant retailer Nordstrom, which now carries their pieces both in stores and online. 

I invite you to watch our full interview to get better acquainted with this North-Carolinian-turned-Rhode-Islander designer, who is making waves in our little state and beyond!  Pieces featured in the video can be found below.

Aya Lariat in Crystal

Aya Lariat in Crystal

Style Stops with OR are FB live video series, where we interview designers and shop owners in their studios/boutiques, showcase their work and their designs, and get to talk style and their most coveted pieces. Follow our Style Stops on Facebook!