Friday, December 4, 2009 Y 9:15 PM

Hello there, my name is Kay-Lynn (sometimes lazily typed or written as Kaylynn), and this is my blog.

I run a great little vintage shop at Etsy, called Harbor District Vintage. Here's the general idea:

Go ahead and give it a look, I guess either you'll love it or hate it. I would describe my style, and therefore the pieces I choose for my shop's inventory, as feminine, dramatic, playful, sensual, gaudy, dreamy, girlish, and bold. Those adjectives honestly sum it all up in Kaylynnland. So firstly, about my business:

I have loved "vintage," or more appropriately, "second-hand" clothing for around eight or nine years, I would guess. Well, that was when I first got interested in scouring thrift stores for great finds. It wasn't from the same angle that people today seem to view vintage clothing... I was an aspiring "artsy" type (I still am! Haha) who listened to a lot of the Clash and the Strokes and had an awesome best friend who was a surfer and a painter and had a style all her own. She inspired me to dig a little deeper, dress a little bolder, brighter, wear boys' and mens' clothing, wear ties and fun socks... Yeah, Steph, I'm talking about you, I love you woman. Here she is, by the way... us through the years. We've been best friends for 20 years now, and that's pretty awesome. And she's having a baby soon! Her first! WHOO HOO:

Please excuse the gratuitous best friend collage. Yeah, I'm totally drinking a Heine on my wedding day there. I was so nervous, haha. Weddings are rough. And how about our George & Obama impressions? I think they're spot-on. Well, moving on.

I wasn't trying to be "stylish" back in my teenage years when I got into second-hand clothing. Quite the opposite, I think. I was just going for different. I bought big oversized lime green dress shirts with bold black stripes; I bought kids' Spongebob shirts. (I will always love the Squarepants, regardless of how old I get. It is a love that will never die.) I wore knee-high gym socks (the kinds with the stripes at the top? so cute) and Converse.

Well, anyway, as the years progressed, I grew up... but my love for thrifting, second-hand clothing, eclectic and unique style... that came with me. I grew up in Florida, which I think influenced my style a lot and always will. I was born in Daytona Beach, and when I was 18, 19, everyone was pierced and tattooed, wore skinny jeans, big belt buckles. I absorbed that, the John John Jesse-inspired arm piece I have is one of quite a few tattoos that attest to my being influenced by that period. Then the Japanese street fashion craze came, and I ate it up. I have had my hair every color you could imagine. I have sworn off makeup for months, I have covered myself in it. I have weathered all the tedious comments about how unrecognizable I suddenly was; constantly changing and taking fashion risks. (Aren't those comments fun? Such a blast to reply to...)

I guess it finally hit me, in 2008. I had a series of fairly successful day jobs in sales / marketing / administration / so on, you know, the kinds of jobs where you sit behind a desk and pretend to work really hard all day... Where you are super-creative at the marketing but really SUCK at the paperwork... Anyway, it just wasn't me. I'm just not cut out for the 9-5 life. I started to brainstorm, and the idea of reselling the awesome second-hand finds I come across came to me while on my one year anniversary trip. I ran the idea by my husband, we researched Etsy, we went for it. That was a year ago. An inspired idea that just came upon us, really. I am not, by any means, the most successful Etsy seller there is - but I'm having fun doing this, and it's more fulfilling than any other job I've had.

Harbor District is unique, to me, because it is so much a ONE-WOMAN-OPERATION. Every piece you see was hand-picked by me... altered by me... styled by me... modeled by me... written about by me... measured by me... photographed by me (gotta love the self-timer)... folded by me... shipped by me... Getting the idea? There are some really gorgeous and successful Etsy shops out there, many of which I love - but we aren't in the same league. I am not what they are. I don't have a studio, an expensive camera, a photographer, I can't hire models. I run the shop out of my home. I love every piece from start to finish. There is a part of me in every item I send on its way.

What else makes HDV different? I would say BALANCE. Some shops are all trend, and some shops are all class. I try to be somewhere in the middle. I keep up on trends somewhat... but I also know the value of simplicity and classic style. I think true style lies somewhere between the trends and the safety of what works classically. That middle ground is a good place to be.

And what about ME? I am an enneagram enthusiast. I am a blissfully happy wife. I am a movie ADDICT. I am a writer. I have a dark sense of humor that overshadows my life in a drastic way and permeates my very being. I don't stand for pretention, blandness, or egoism. I am a huge nerd at heart. Or is it dork? Maybe I'm both. I'm a deep romantic. I love Baz Luhrman, Radiohead, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The Beatles were my first loves (specifically John Lennon). I always fall for lead singers. I fancy myself somewhat of a Bohemian (definitely of the dandy persuasion, though I wish I was more like a beat). I am the opposite of materialistic, and I wallow in a sort of self-imposed poverty for the value of the "artistic suffering" involved. I love red wine and Indian food, and I live for Adult Swim.

I think I'm the kind of girl who actually makes an awesome friend; the kind of girl who is all right to hang out with. And that's refreshing, I think, not to brag on myself - because I don't have a TON of pals or anything - but I am not pretentious. I am real. I love fashion, but I love my sweatpants. I love necklaces, but can't be bothered with earrings. I don't care how bad my shoes hurt my feet, I'm going to wear them anyway. I will turn the radio up way too loud. And I will laugh so loud that everyone will turn around.

I guess it's impossible to do much self-summarizing here, but I gave it a shot. I'm sure as the blog progresses everything will take shape.

Part Two coming soon - Why a Blog? :)


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