München Here I Come… with lots o leatha!

This month is flying by and our trip to Germany is right around the corner! I’ve been working like crazy to get everything ready for the big debut of Rare Dirndl in Germany at the Münchener Trachtentage March 16 and 17!

One of the items I knew I had to bring back is the Lederhosen purses! As of early this week I’m all stocked up with all three of the styles we had around the holidays as well as the newest addition, the clutch!

All of the bags are made from genuine goat skin leather, fully lined and up-cycled from old pairs of un-worn lederhosen.

Along the same lines… I’m very excited to meet with the folks from Herzhirsch! They have got an über cute product that I absolutely love, the Hirschbandl! Its perfect for family gatherings when everyone has a beer stein and then 10 minutes later you don’t know who’s glass is who’s. Each is handmade in Munich from traditional tanned deerskin and is such a fabulous way to make sure you don’t drink any of ol’ cousin Stefan’s backwash! I’m pretty sure that each member of my family is going to need one of these.

T minus 26 days until the Rare Dirndl team boards a plane for Bavaria!

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3 Great German Inspired Christmas Gift Ideas under $100!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but finding the perfect gift for those who love all things German might be difficult at times. I’ve got three great gifts ideas (under $100 from a variety of online stores) for just those people! And you might find something for yourself along the way…

#1. Jewelry- love a little Deutsches bling!

My 1st pick is from German Import House. The Edelweiss 3pc set includes a necklace, earrings and a bracelet and is $39.00. I love this set because it can be worn altogether or one piece at a time. The antique finish gives the pieces a vintage look and would look great with any outfit!

Edelweiss 3pc set

My 2nd pick is from the Schnitzel Shop. The German Flag glass pendant is a fun little gift with Sprechen Sie Deutsch on it. Only $12.00, it’s a more casual necklace that would look great with a t-shirt and jeans.

German Flag glass pendant

#2. Leather- Not just about the lederhosen anymore

My 1st pick in this category is a Rare lederhosen bracelet! The Lederhosen Bracelet with Buckle is an adjustable leather cuff style bracelet that goes easily with any outfit. Made from lederhosen, this piece is soft, comfortable and only $20.00. It’s the most popular of the lederhosen bracelets and I can see why!

The Lederhosen Bracelet with Buckle

My 2nd pick is the Square Lederhosen Purse. This purse is made from goat skin lederhosen and is a fabulous way to give a nod to your love for Germany with an accessory. At $94.00, this purse has a braided and buckle strap, button closure and functional outside pockets. Measuring approximately 15in x 12in and fully lined, this item is one of my all time favorites.

Square Lederhosen Purse

#3. Beer Stein- Classic gift for the man in your life!

My 1st pick in this category is this Stein depicting the Oktoberfest Clydesdale and Beer Wagon from Northcote Imports. I love this one because it has an antique look to it and trimming on the top includes edelweiss, pretzels and wurst! It holds 0.4 liters of beer and is $79.95.

Oktoberfest Clydesdale and Beer Wagon

My last pick is a different style glass mug from 1001 Beer Steins.com. The Glass Deutschland Beer Stein is $88.99 and features the fabulous colors of the German flag and pewter embossed appliqué depicting the German eagle. It holds 0.4 liters and is a really unique stein for anyone!

Glass Deutschland Beer 
So there you have it… 3 Great German inspired gift ideas and my top 2 picks in each category! Fröhliche Weihnachten everyone!

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A Day to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. When I was little it was simply because we celebrated my birthday on Thanksgiving and so I got presents!

My 5th Birthday! Loved Thanksgiving and PJ Sparkles!

However, now that I’m older, I love Thanksgiving because its a holiday just about family and friends and not about gifts, religion, or anyone in particular (even though my grandparents still bring me a card).

Not my best look, but its one of my favorite pictures! 

I have a lot to be thankful for, especially this year. I’ve moved from my parents dining room to my own studio and my business has grown and flourished. I am truly thankful that my family and friends have been so supportive of my crazy business venture. But I’m even more grateful for all of my loyal customers, followers and supporters.

Then
AND
Now

As a thank you gift, I am offering a Free Hobo Hat with any purchase of $80.00 or more on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! I’m not trying to trick you into buying my clothes, I am just genuinely grateful for my customers and so I’m offering one of my favorite new pieces as a gift.

Happy Thanksgiving from Rare Dirndl!

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A Dash of Morning Perspective

Lets back track to last night… I got an online order from Germany for a dirndl that I just sold last weekend, so I was a bit frustrated because now I didn’t have the dirndl in stock. Christian then looks over at me and says “can’t you make another one?” “well, ya… but”. Then he says to me “Isn’t getting online orders a good thing? You should be super excited!” He was right!!! DUH!! I’ve got this dirndl going to Germany, so I guess I’m going back to the sewing machine next week!
Red Piranha Dirndl

Now on to this morning, as I drive from my apartment to work (at my parents house) I’m listening to the Eric and Kathy 36hr Radiothon and I heard a story about a little boy with a malignant brain tumor who passed away in 1995. He would have been 19 this year. This story hit me because… I am 25, a designer and business owner, and I am having a Grand (ish) Opening this weekend of my own studio space, and in 1996, it could have been over.

In December of 1996 my parents called 911 during the night because I was having a seizure. After 2 MRIs and finding nothing, my pediatrician pushed for one more MRI… and there it was, a brain tumor. Only about the size of a marble, but when your 10yr old has a brain tumor, for my parents it didn’t matter how big it was… only that it was there. After surgery in January of 1997, Dr. Ruge took out the tumor and it turned out to be benign. Besides some anti seizure meds and regular MRIs… that tumor had met its match. 
Playing Dr a few weeks after surgery

Listening to the stories on the radio this morning just got me thinking about how lucky I was and still am. I have worked so hard for what I have, but at the same time… those around me have supported me from the time I was (somewhat hairless) and making rocks into dolls with my hot glue gun, to today making modern edgy dirndls for people all over the world. People thought I was crazy then… well I haven’t changed!

My latest crazy idea… from start to finish
This isn’t about making you support the radiothon, this isn’t to try and make you feel bad for me that I had a tumor, this is just me writing because I thought it was important for me to put it out into the universe that I am happy to be alive and so excited to invite everyone to see the studio this weekend. 
Happy German Day Weekend!!!

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Finished with the Facade!

Yesterday was very exciting because when I came home… the facade was finished! My little Bavarian style front is complete! Can’t wait to put out a flower box next year… and maybe re-paint the shutters so they stand out a bit more. 
5051 N. Lincoln Ave!

 The inside is ready for some paint and finishing! Before the German Day Festivities, the floor will be finished, walls and ceiling painted and some custom cabinetry will be installed by the front window. I’ve decided (along with my studio/boutique contracting advisor… aka dad) that those three things will take the entire month of August to complete considering he has a full time job and I still have orders to fill. I’m very excited about the space and have come to terms with the fact that it is realistically going to take until 2013 to complete.

Facing Lincoln Ave

Looking in from the front door. 
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Studio Boutique Update

Not much to report… this week was pretty quiet. Lights are going to be put in next week and then I believe its our turn to get to work; starting with the ceiling.

The facade has also not changed at all this week, but it sure did change last week! I’m very excited to see the beginning of the Bavarian style store front. 

5051 N. Lincoln Ave
Everyday, people ask me, “So when is the studio going to be ready?” “When is the grand opening?” and the truth is… I have no idea. The contractor said that the interior was going to be complete last week and the facade this week, but its not. So I can’t gage when its going to be ready, plus I don’t know how fast I’ll be working either… I’ve never laid tile in my life, so it may take me a little while.
I’m hoping for an August opening, but we shall see… we shall see. 

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