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Darling is a curated boutique offering women’s consignment and handmade local artisan goods, with new arrivals every week.

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The Darling Blog

Welcome to The Darling Blog, a life and style blog by the owner of Darling Boutique, Linnea White. Darling is passionate about empowering women and inspiring strength through fashion to restore dignity and true beauty. Enjoy outfit inspiration and style tips, featured #darlingfinds, local collaborations, and so much more. Live the Darling lifestyle - an altogether beautiful life.

Filtering by Tag: charlottesville artisan

Brittany Fan | Our Darlings

Linnea White

Many of our local artisans featured in the shop began with a chance meeting and led to a beautiful collaboration. Our most recent collaboration with local artisan Brittany Fan is one filled with beauty and joy. Her artistic talents are blessing our little shop's walls, adding color and life to our space. Not to mention the blessing of a fun card design collaboration with Brittany - a whole line of Darling inspired greeting cards are in the works! Shop Brittany's original paintings and cards at Darling! And meet the artist in the Q&A below.

Q&A with Brittany Fan

As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.

I am a painter, illustrator, photographer, and graphic designer. During the week, I work as a graphic designer at Journey Group, a wonderful design firm near the downtown mall. In my free time, I do portrait and event photography, ranging from family sessions to weddings. I also do film photography as an art practice, and have hung several shows in local coffee shops featuring prints of images I've produced. In addition, I paint and have a downtown exhibition this November through New City Arts, and run an Etsy shop through which I sell hand lettering prints and greeting cards. Photo courtesy of Brittany Fan

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?

I lived in 3 countries and 5 states growing up, but spent my pre-college years in Blacksburg, Virginia. I attended the University of Virginia, where I earned an interdisciplinary degree in Studio Art, Art History, and Arts Administration, along with a Masters in Elementary Education. Having graduated in May 2015, I am now working as a design assistant at Journey Group, a local design firm, and will be beginning a year-long fellowship through the Trinity Fellows Program in August 2015.

It's story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.

I met Megan one day when I came into the store, and we ended up having a great conversation that led to a discussion about my work as an painter and photographer, in addition to my recent exploration of card making as a creative outlet. Megan and Linnea had talked about wanting to have more art and carry greeting cards, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a collaboration. You can now find some of my original paintings and cards at Darling.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Fan

I'm thrilled to be partnering with these awesome women, because conscious style and cultivating a healthy, fair economy is something else that I am deeply passionate about. I personally love thrifting, reusing, and repurposing things. It gives an individual the opportunity to really define their own unique character and style, while also gives new life to material goods and supporting a local economy. The fashion industry is one of the many global economies where social injustice and poor work condition is rampant, and although it is hard to break the larger cycle on an individual scale, our efforts to steward our material goods well can begin a movement toward style that empowers those who make it possible.

Describe Brittany Fan Art & Photography in 10 words or less.

Harnessing inspiration to cultivate joy and beauty, however I can.

Where do you go to be creative?

I could probably find inspiration in any place or any thing. I do have a tremendous love for nature, and much of my work is inspired by what I see in the natural world. I love to go hiking, grow flowers and plants, explore the outdoors, and go on road trips. As I mentioned before, I also find the kitchen to be a place of creativity, which my friends often benefit from, given the edible nature of what is produced in that scenario.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Fan

What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?

Photo courtesy of Brittany FanMy faith background definitely impacts my work, in ways that are subtle in the finished product but is integral to my though process and mission as an artist. I am drawn to the natural world, to the theme of hope and renewal, and to the need to love and care for the world and those around you. These are all things that have become integral to my mindset as a result of my upbringing as a Christian, and I am reminded of them on a daily basis through the beautiful landscape around us and the incredible people in my life. I think the notion that we as individuals, imperfect and fragile as we are, have the capacity to do good and to make something of the world is incredible, and that inspires me more than anything else.

When and why did you become an artisan?

I see the world through a lens of creative opportunity, and have cultivated a personal vision to bring attention to beauty and goodness. As an artist, I found myself not drawn to one particular medium, but rather to every avenue of expression as a different tool for sharing this vision with others. This is not only true of the visual arts--I also love the culinary arts, and see that as another way of producing goodness and sharing it with those around me. So I don't think I ever pursued a particular trajectory toward where I am now--I simply ended up here because I saw opportunities to use art in a positive way, and stepped into those opportunities when they arose. I do the work that I do because I love it and it inspires me, and I hope to inspire others with it.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am working on several paintings for the show in November, which will be at the Radio IQ/WTVF Gallery. There will be a gallery opening on First Friday in November, so feel free come by to see the work and eat good food that evening! There will be more details on https://newcityarts.org in the upcoming months.

Where can someone find your products, outside of Darling Boutique?

www.etsy.com/shop/ThoughtsAndInklings and brittanyfan.net

Birds of Paradise | Our Darlings

Linnea White

When we celebrated our Grand Reopening back in April, we started to bring in local artisans. Our first collaboration was a Cville friend connection and love at first sight. Birds of Paradise is a local jewelry brand by Brielle DuFlon and Steph de Wolfe featuring unique, beaded pieces. Their love of the tropics and travel is evident in their design aesthetic, filled with color and texture. All of their necklaces are handmade with beads foraged from Latin America and Africa.

Flash Sale!

This week only, Tuesday through Friday, all Birds of Paradise jewelry at Darling is 40% off! Come shop these one-of-a-kind pieces, handmade pieces!

Meet Brielle DuFlon & Steph de Wolfe

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?

We both found our ways to Charlottesville by way of UVA. Brielle grew up in Guatemala City, and Steph in Dakar.Photo by Linnea White

As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.

Birds of Paradise is a jewelry collection inspired by many things, but especially the textiles, textures, and colors of various locales we've inhabited and visited. We are inspired by nature- textures, shapes, and landscapes in particular. Strong feminine identity, ancestry and accessibility are other themes we found we had in common when we sat down to go over our shared concept.

It's story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.

Steph: See what had happened was.... :). It's really all thanks to Kat Diplas, which is a line I think a lot of people in this town have used over the years. Timing really worked to our advantage here, too, we launched BOP only a few weeks before DB announced their new ownership and re-opening. After Kat made the initial connection, though, I was encouraged by DB’s community-driven philosophy and support of women and smaller vendors who are making quality products, but may not have a big platform to promote their work. I value DB’s respect for fair prices for the artist/producer/vendor, which is especially important for some of the international products they feature in the store-- those sales are contributing to people’s livelihoods. It's important that artists and artisans are able make a living through their work, and it’s wonderful that DB’s philosophy reflects that value.

Describe Birds of Paradise in 10 words or less.

Timeless jewelry that embraces color, heritage, and femininity.

Photo by Megan Tiernan

Where do you go to be creative?

Steph: Anywhere where there's lots of sunlight and music I can get lost in!

Brielle: I like making things out of my well lit-studio, often while listening to music or podcasts as well!

What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?

Steph: People, nature and community. Kinship is important to me, and jewelry, textiles, and “adornment” in general are age-old markers of kin in many African traditions, and non-African for that matter. I've always been interested in aesthetic display as markers of communal identity. Being outdoors energizes me, and nature offers endless inspiration in color and texture. I'm all about the heat, I’m drawn to loud colors.

Brielle: I also love colors and the anthropology of textiles, patterns, symbols and colors as “markers of communal identity” as Steph put it. Those are inspirations for me in my fine art as well, outside of BOPJewelry. I enjoy making pieces for our store that many people can relate to, that don’t target a particular kind of person but are instead ageless and elegant, regardless of whether they are colorful or muted. I find flowers and nature and our environment to be truly inspirational as well - which I think is evident in a lot of the earth-tones I use in my jewelry designs.

When and why did you become an artisan? / How did you get into this business?

Because we love to make jewelry! This all came together so organically, we are bead nerds, and we got together a few times to gab and make jewelry. Over the years, we've both collected so many unique beads from Africa, Guate, vintage/thrift shops, and beyond. When we realized we so enjoyed combining certain elements to create vibrant and colorful pieces, it made sense to collaborate.

Steph: Brielle was the real powerhouse behind making the shift from hobby to business. She's well-versed as a working artist in turning inspiration into results, and I remain blown away by how efficiently she made BOP a reality!

What are you working on right now?

Steph: My mom always wore these amazing big, chunky beaded necklaces that I thought were badass but too sophisticated for me when I was younger. I’m playing with elements from some of my favorite pieces of hers: chunky, big, bold beads of clay, metal, and stone. I like having bold beads act as a centerpiece and combining vibrant color and earth tones to complement those focal beads.

Brielle: I’ve started working with a lot of vintage chain to accent semi-precious stones that I think are truly beautiful and deserve to be spot-lit; I’ve been working on making minimalist but emotive and interesting pieces, combining antique Guatemalan beads, vintage and semi-precious elements.

Where can someone find your products?

Check us out on Etsy. We are also selling at the following Fleaville Dates, at IX Art Park from 10am - 2pm: July 11th, August 8th, September 12th. Plus, we love to make custom orders. Email us at bopjewelry@gmail.com!

 

Restoration Generation | Our Darlings

Linnea White

This husband and wife duo are seriously darling. This God-designed collaboration with their furniture restoration company - Restoration Generation USA - blessed us immensely during our week of renovations. Their big smiles and even bigger hearts are reflected beautifully in their restored pieces. Come shop their restored pieces for sale at Darling!

Read more about these local artisans in the adorable Q&A below.

Jimmy & Mary Howell

Photo by Megan Tiernan

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?

Jimmy and Mary are college-sweethearts whom's paths crossed the Spring of 2nd year at the University of Virginia. Jimmy is a good-ole southern boy originally from Florence, SC and Mary grew up in Latin America with her family. They now happily call Cville their home and are excited to begin their careers as nurses together at UVA Hospital in August. Charlottesville is where J&M fell in love, got engaged, married, and where they hope to raise lots of babies one day.

As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.

J&M have a love and appreciation for unique items and solid pieces of furniture that need love. They practice the art of restoration and enjoy giving pieces new life so they can be cherished for many years to come. They are especially fond of vintage trunks, Coca-Cola crates, Ball mason jars, unique coffee tables, Singer sewing tables, and farm tables. All of the furniture in their home was restored by them and has a one-of-a-kind flair that's sure to start conversations.

It's story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.

Darling Boutique has been one of Mary's favorite stores in Cville for a long time. One sunny afternoon in March, Mary dragged Jimmy into the store to look at some clothes and they met Megan. It was an instant friendship! Before J&M left the store, Megan invited them to her church (Cornerstone Community Church) and now they are part of the same church family, along with Linnea. After finding out about our restoration business and seeing some of their pieces, Megan & Linnea invited J&M to be a part of their one-of-a-kind store and the rest is history!

Describe Restoration Generation in 10 words or less.

One-of-a-kind pieces for one-of-a-kind people

Where do you go to be creative?

J&M do most of their work on the patio of their teeny-tiny townhome in Cville. They enjoy the smallness of their space, as they get to be side-by-side doing what they love. They usually jam out to artists like Ed Sheeran, Matt Kearney, or Third Day and find themselves expressing their vocal talents (or lack thereof) while they work.

What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?

J&M are inspired by the resilience, laughter, and spirits of children. They have both done work stateside and abroad working with children, and both hope to use their nursing degrees to serve this special population. You will also notice that they have a lot of restored children's furniture (desks, rocking chairs, etc.) that boast bright & fun colors. One of J&M's long term goals is to open up an orphanage where they can provide children with a safe and loving place to thrive, sprinkled with lots of fun restored furniture to brighten their days.

When and why did you become an artisan? / How did you get into this business?

J&M believe that all things deserve a second (and third or fourth) chance... like Christ has done for us. They began restoring furniture shortly after they fell in love and have restored lots of family pieces, as well as for friends. Several people started asking about where they purchased their unique furniture, and asked if they could do some pieces for them, so they started it as a business. It is a therapeutic process for them and they enjoy the time they get to spend together doing it, when they have time off from their work in the hospital.

What are you working on right now?

Jimmy is building a farm table from the bottom up (stay tuned!). Mary is restoring a vintage steamer trunk as well as a early-1900's Singer sewing table. They are also going to auctions, estate sales, etc. looking for their next restoration projects and make sure to post all their unique finds on their Facebook page.

Where can someone find your products?

On Facebook or at Darling!

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The series Our Darlings will spotlight our local and global collaborations, featuring artisans and brands that we are bringing into the shop!