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LINNEA WHITE

SHOP OWNER, STYLIST, & CFSO

You’ve seen her at the shop, and all over our social media. She’s been the trusty leader of this darling shop since 2015. Meet Linnea, the owner of Darling Boutique! 

Interested in booking a styling appointment with Linnea? Email her at linnea@shopatdarling.com!

When did you arrive in Charlottesville and when did you join Darling?

Born in Ithaca, NY. Formative childhood years in Manassas, VA. High school season of life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Charlottesville, VA since 2006! I graduated from UVa in 2010 and just never left! Enchanted by Cville, you could say. And now a super duper proud small business owner in Charlottesville’s Downtown!

What the heck is a CFSO?! 

CFSO was a concept born out of 2020 -- aka the year of new challenges and big pivots. So, I became the Chief of Figuring Shit Out! The CFSO. And figure shit out I did. :)

If you were a color... what would it be and why?!

A pastel rainbow -- add sparkles. Color is my love language.

What is your fav coffee shop order?

Year round -- oat milk latte. Not a big syrup / sweetener in my coffee gal... unless it's lavender syrup. Then I'm ALL IN.

What’s one of your absolute favorite #darlingfinds?

I have an entire closet filled with #darlingfinds! Some of my favorites have been a floral vintage dress that fits like a dream, a smiley tote and smiley earrings, and the coziest bishop sleeve lavender cardigan. Just to name a recent few!

I've been a consigner and avid shopper at Darling since 2013. I loved it so much I even bought it! :) Still feels surreal some days to be running my own boutique. I've been so so blessed by this opportunity.

Favorite word?

Serendipity ["I dwell in possibility." - Emily Dickinson]

What’s the story behind Darling’s brand?

I didn't name Darling. That was the name when I bought it in 2015. But now, it feels like I did -- after a lot of time building the brand and the story. Over time, I found what “Darling” means to me, I found the story. My story to tell. Through Darling. And it became #thedarlingstory.

Treasured. I used to be obsessed with collecting found objects as a little girl, from sparkly rocks on the playground to fallen feathers or wildflowers, gum wrapper tattoos and notepads/pen sets. And I always carried them in my purse. (Yes, I was a thrifty fashion diva from childhood.) These found objects were treasures -- to me. They were beloved. They were darling.

Renewed. I also loved dandelions as a kid, and was probably solely responsible for their invasion in our neighborhood every year with my gusto to make a wish and spread those little fuzzy people across the universe. They symbolized a joyous release, a letting go to receive something new. A whimsical cycle of life.

Empowered. As I grew up, my love for those found treasures, and wildflowers, remained. And what blossomed from years of self doubt, self criticism, self body shaming, shame and fear was my passion for spreading this message: You are altogether beautiful, darling; there is no blemish in you.

Just like the #darlingfinds we curate, there is only one you - uniquely darling, beautifully blooming, dearly beloved. This is the anthem I want my life and my shop to exude, to remind, to empower women and girls of all ages. And so, in a nutshell, that's where the Darling story came from. That's what Darling means to me.

What’s it like being a shop owner??

As Darling continues to grow, so does my desire to foster a community of darlings empowering and supporting one another in authentic, honest, altogether beautiful ways. I’m a shop owner, a personal stylist, and a woman passionate about empowering women through fashion. I so often — too often — struggle with imposter syndrome, and combat that ugly little voice that what I do or say doesn’t matter. So running this shop, living out this calling on my life has been one I couldn’t even begin to replicate. It’s been transformative.

Ok, but what’s it really like to be a shop owner??

It’s freaking hard LOL The most exhausting years of my life, but also the most rewarding years of my life. 32 years old and I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I took a leap of faith at just 25. And I’m so glad I said “yes” to this opportunity. 

From one woman to another, what affirmation or word of encouragement would you share?

I urge you to look in the mirror, like REALLY look in the mirror, to see yourself -- all of yourself -- and say aloud, to your reflection, "I love me. I love me first. I love all of me. I am altogether beautiful." I pray that you foster a love that overflows from within, that you cherish and tend to and that sprinkles like confetti around you each day. May you always know your worth, darling. And never let anyone or anything diminish what is wholly you and yours.

Shopping weakness?

Dresses. I will never think I have enough dresses. Dressed up with heels or booties or dressed down with loafers or sneaks, layered and worn from season to season, dresses are most definitely my weakness. And are part of my formula for getting dressed!

Name one go-to clothing item or accessory.

Currently: Cream lace up booties or platform sandals with socks.

Forever: All my vintage earrings and necklaces. I will forever love vintage jewelry!

Patterns or solids?

Both! And! All! I'm a big fan of pattern play, monochromatic color combinations, and whimsical, flirty, feminine shapes.

Personal Style Mantra?

Fashion is an expression of your heart, of your deepest, truest self. Or at least it should be! Playing dress up and experimenting with different styles is all a part of how you learn to express yourself and develop a personal style. What is personal style for you, darling?

Best style advice?

Dress for the mood you want — not the one you have. Some days, I just don’t want to get dressed. I don’t know what to wear, I feel blah... we all have those days! SO, dress for the mood you want, not the one you have.

Have a formula to get dressed. Here’s mine... [watch the “Dress for the Mood You Want” video]

Find the formula that works for YOU, darling. That gets you inspired to dress for the mood you want, not for the one you have. 

If I gave you $10 to buy yourself a treat in Cville, how would you spend it?

I'd grab a dirty chai latte from Petite Mariebette and a prezzant (pretzel croissant for those that don’t know). All the things I love wrapped up in one pretty package - coffee, chocolate, and carbs.

You won a ticket to anywhere in the world. Where are you going and why?

Sweden. It's been my dream to travel to a country where my ancestors lived, to connect with my roots and see the world. I've never been across the Atlantic! It'd also be pretty nice to be in a country where people know how to pronounce my name (Linnea is a Swedish name). Maybe I'll even find the Swedish wild flower I'm named after!  Dreams, ya'll.

Favorite quote or verse?

Quote: "I want to thank me for believing in me, I want to thank me for doing all this hard work. I wanna thank me for having no days off. I wanna thank me for never quitting. I wanna thank me for always been a giver and trying to give more than I receive. I want to thank me for trying to do more right than wrong. I want to thank me for just being me at all times." - Snoop Dogg

Verse: "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:25