If I could, I'd be down at CandyStrike every payday buying that last skirt I saw, or that skater dress I keep telling myself I really need. But in reality it's been ages since I've been inside Elizabeth Albert's Toole Avenue store because this summer my extra cash went to summer camp for my beautiful 12-year-old. My priorities are right on, yes, thank you very much.
Still, I felt a bit of guilt this morning when I read the announcement on Albert's blog, Your Life in Design, that's she's closing her "bricks and mortar store." The good news is that she's not leaving Tucson and will do a pop-up shop for local customers; and she's still devoted to art and design and her online store that relaunched last month. It's also pretty cool that's she's planning a closing sale for Aug. 31 — just when my cash flow is turning around. (That skirt ... that dress ... cue music, reunited and it feels so good.)
Despite my lack of devoting cash to keeping me dressed in Albert's plus-size finds and designs, which I adore, I've never stopped loving her work and keeping up with her projects (her blog and Facebook page — big recommend. Wish I went to Hawaii with her). While pained, I love what Albert is doing now because it's exactly what we expect of her — living her big beautiful life in her own creative way. We could all learn a few things from Albert, including my 46-year-old ass.
Albert is beautiful and sexy, and going into her store gives you that fuck-you confidence that stops you from questioning sleeveless or tight. In her own way, she's a revolutionary, and I think we should just be grateful she's still here, still doing her work and at least once a month I can go to her pop-up shop and have her gently slap me in the face that it's OK to go for that sexy skirt and dress. Maybe without knowing it, Albert's work is really about being an example — and it's an example maybe I'm finally grown-up enough to follow.
Rock on Ms. Albert. Rock on.
A snippet from her blog on what we can expect:
So after much thought I decided to close down my brick and mortar shop that I have worked so hard at converting over the past year. The CandyStrike shop will close. The online store will continue to thrive. I know this will be a blow for my local customers. The good news is that this will allow me to make more original designs and create more inventory for my curvy gals. The other good news is that I will be opening shop every other month for my local customers to shop to their hearts content.
Here's even more good news:
1. I am starting a monthly pop-up shop where local artists and designers can set up shop for one night and showcase their works for the public called "POPtart". I am very excited about this.
2. I now going to be able to focus on one shop and therefore grow my online business and customer base, as well as offer new designs and one of a kinds.
3. The shop space will also be available for rental for young designers, or student designers, to have a "retail space" for a night or two. (When I was in school I used to dreaaaam of something like this to be available to me). As well as space for craft nights and workshops!
4. I will now be able to produce my OWN WHOLESALE LINE. That's right bitches, I said plus wholesale sucks and I plan to do something about it!
5. I am resurrecting my original clothing line Siobhan which featured straight sizes and plus sizes. This line is more artistic and for lack of a better phrase "high fashion" than CandyStrike and it's where I let all my crazy creative juices get flowing!
So what does all this mean? It means a rebranding of my shop space and it means I'm converting the whole thing into a fashion house. Next chapter in my life in design! Big big changes coming lovelies!