Letter From the Editor: Adventure and Africa


For as long as I can recall, adventure and Africa have been inspirations to me. Starting at a young age, I began obsessing over Egypt and South Africa–two places on my bucket list to go–so, it is natural for me to love a “safari” theme week on VIP *wink* BUT what spawned the idea was a photo shoot spread in Glamour magazine. See the scan-in below for the details about the photo shoot.


I saw this “Four Steps to Safari Chic” in Glamour and immediately had nostalgia. Ah…khaki, white, and leather hued–it does not get more basic or more wonderful *wink* My mom loved it when I (as a kid) borrowed things from her closet and dug holes in the yard pretending I was an “archeologist” *wink* Shhh. Don’t tell her, but I still borrow things from her closet–like the skirt I wore in this week’s Weekly Whistle

Another BIG inspiration for this week’s theme was The African Queen (1951). Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart (two of my FAVORITE actors ever) are such a dynamic duo in this movie + even though Katharine’s wardrobe is soiled in most of the best scenes–she still looked amazing and safari chic.

And…last but not least, my music inspiration for this week *drum roll* Toto’s “Africa” was an obvious choice *wink* It is definitely one of my favorite (and slower songs) from the 80s. “Africa” makes me wanna’ take a road trip.


Trying to get down from rocks on a muddy hill was not the easiest thing to do in booties *wink*
Trying to get down from rocks on a muddy hill was not the easiest thing to do in booties *wink*
No changing booth? no problem. We switch belts in the middle of the park
No changing booth? no problem. Just switch belts in the middle of the park *smile*
...And when the photographer catches us...we cannot help but flash a smile *wink*
…And when the photographer catches it…flash a smile *wink*


Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn


Reminiscing 2012

Welcome back, fashionistas! Lately, I have been thinking about how far the VIP has come… I started my blog 11 months ago! Wow…it seems like just yesterday I was learning how to blog!

From Vintage Inspired Passionista, I gained the opportunity to write a weekly fashion column for The Real Story newspaper called “The Adventures of the VIP”.  In October, I was featured in Town and Gown Magazine.  I also worked as a stylist for the December and January issues of  Town and Gown Magazine.  I look forward to seeing what other amazing opportunities God has to offer me as I continue my journey!

Now,  let us reminisce with some of my favorite pictures!


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Check out the outfits I styled for the December issue of Town and Gown Magazine! I want every outfit for myself!
Check out the outfits I styled for the December issue of Town and Gown Magazine! I want every outfit for myself!

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Wow...this was February! I got my make up done by these wonderful women at MAC before Birmingham Fashion Week 2012! I had only published two blogs before I was out reporting about fashion shows! Oh, how the time has flown by!
Wow…this was February! I got my make up done by these wonderful women at MAC before Birmingham Fashion Week 2012! I had only published two blogs before I was out reporting about fashion shows! Oh, how the time has flown by!

Be sure to like me on Facebook to keep up with the house renovation and much more! http://www.facebook.com/VintageInspiredPassionista

Twitter: @Abbysauce_

Instagram: @VintagePassionista

Check out my weekly column @ www.realstorypublishing.com in the Lifestyle section!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

InStyle Inspiration: October 2012

The end of October is almost here, and y’all know what that means…InStyle Inspiration!  What is InStyle Inspiration, you ask? Well, it is where I, the VIP, take the latest issue of InStyle Magazine and create outfits from the articles that caught my eye! Let’s get started, shall we?


When my October issue of InStyle arrived in the mail, I immediately started to peruse the pages! The first article to catch my fashionista eye was “Find Your Perfect Silky-Button Front”. InStyle showed a variety of flowy blouses that fit the characteristics of many of the tops in my wardrobe! I skipped off to my closet and picked out a darling burgundy and tan button front.  After reading the article “Designer Focus”, where InStyle said, “No matter what size you are, nothing defines your figure like a well-cut pencil skirt…”, I remembered that I owned the most flattering denim pencil skirt…I just had to find it…When I discovered it hidden in the back of the closet, I looked at it with a sassy smirk; I knew that it would pair marvelously with my silky top!

Blouse: The Fashion Barn (Main Street, Columbus, Mississippi)
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: BCBG (Belk, Columbus, Mississippi)
Socks: Target (Trussville, Alabama)
Bling Bracelet: Handmade by Lisa Hamilton of Beadsoul. www.beadsoul.etsy.com
Look at that FABULOUS bling bracelet handmade by a super talented jewelry artisan, Lisa Hamilton of Beadsoul! Check out all of the gorgeous things she has to offer! Order yourself something uniquely you and tell Lisa aka Ms. Beadsoul that the VIP sent you:) www.beadsoul.etsy.com
Top: JCrew
Skirt: JCrew
Coat: Giacca
Heels: J Reneé
Necklace: Deep South Pout

The “Color Crash Course: Peony” and “Big Coats” articles inspired me to create the above outfit.  It is super sweet and classy with a touch of business woman glam!

Big coats, big coats, big coats! Don’t you just love wonderful winter coats? Find your perfect coat for your figure in the October issue of InStyle!

If  this is your first time reading my blog, be sure to check out my newspaper column, “The Adventures of the VIP”, at www.realstorypublishing.com.  

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Abbysauce_ and Instagram @VintagePassionista to keep up with me while I am on the go!

Also, like me on Facebook www.facebook.com/vintageinspiredpassionista for the latest VIP news, sneak peeks, and much more!

My prayers go out to all of those in the path of Sandy. May God be with each of you. Stay safe and take care of each other!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Trussville Antiques and Interiors Reopening: Part 1

Step inside Trussville Antiques and Interiors (formally the Trussville Antique Mall) and surround yourself with the finest antiques and decor around town. This wonderful shopping heaven had the fortune of building upon something already remarkable. Trussville Antiques and Interiors can match any home interior style from Shabby Chic to Victorian to eclectic modern!

I have recently attended the grand reopening of Trussville Antiques and Interiors, and it was oh, so fabulous! There I met and interviewed vendors, entered for door prizes, and searched for vintage clothes! Trussville Antiques and Interiors has such a variety of things for sale that you can find almost anything you want or need! You can take guitar lessons at Mark’s Guitars, purchase adorable vintage clothes at the Pink Porch, find yourself adorable handmade artwork at the Lolly Molly, or get a little something for the kids at Babee B Poshe!

In Part 1 of the Trussville Antiques and Interiors Reopening blog, I will be including some pictures along with interviews with vendors. In part two, there will be lots of pictures that capture the splendid things you can find at Trussville Antiques and Interiors!

I interviewed Bradley Leonard who is the owner of The Fabric House located in Trussville Antiques and Interiors. At the Fabric House you will find afforable, super stylish fabric that is great for all your crafting and decor needs! Bradley has such a variety of indoor, outdoor, and special order fabrics for sale in her shop.

Don’t you just love these special order fabrics from The Fabric House!

I asked Bradley what made her want to open up a fabric shop in Trussville, and she said that she has always been interested in decorating, and Kirk (owner of Trussville Antiques and Interiors) thought it was a great idea and the perfect time. “I am always helping my friends decorate,” Bradley says.

Mrs. Leonard said that she gathers most of her inspiration from magazines like Southern Living and other home decor magazines. She also finds inspirations from bright colors…who doesn’t love bright colors!

Bradley gave me two great tips that are true for the home and closet!

  • “It is your home, and if you like it, don’t let anyone influence your decisions.”
  • “If you aren’t sure about it in the store, then you will hate it when you get it home.”

Next, I visited Babee B Poshe to interview Brittney Malchus. At Babee B Poshe, you can find the perfect gift for the expecting mother, an adorable onesie for a cute little baby, or a shabby chic picture frame to hold your favorite baby memories! Brittney’s shop has so many adorable things that you will just have to see it for yourself at Trussville Antiques and Interiors!

I asked Brittney what made her want to open her shop, and Brittney stated that she wanted to be able to find cute things for her niece and friends that are expecting or have small children.

Brittney said that she was mainly inspired by Pinterest and stated, “…get inspiration from magazines and Pinterest, but make it your own!”

I dropped by Bill and Madeleine Laskoski’s shop to see what all they had to offer…and let me tell you guys, they have a little bit of everything! Bill, a retired school teacher, is like a mini picker! He told me that since he retired, he needed something to do…so he decided to open up his shop.

Bill and Madeleine refinish trunks (as seen in the picture above) to their original glory! It is quite a tedious project, but the finishing product looks marvelous! If I had somewhere to put one of their fabulous trunks, I would definitely pick one up for myself!

Bill is originally from the New England area, and when he returns home to visit, he stops by garage and yard sales in search of a good bargain!

I had such a great time chatting and getting to know Bill and Madeleine Laskoski at the reopening of Trussville Antiques and Interiors!

As I walked around the store in search of vendors to interview, I dropped by Kenny Lind’s shop. He is quite the adorable, humorous old man!

I asked Mr. Kenny why he decided to open his shop, and he said jokingly, “I got tired of chasing girls, so I went to work.” He also stated, “It’s a labor of love, not work.”

Kenny Lind was a golf pro all over the country and has helped in the building and designing of three golf courses. He designed and supervised the building of the Cumberland course.

The coolest things he has for sale in his shop are Roman coins, silver, and $1,000 coins!  He also sells other types of coins, antiques, and comics!

I stumbled upon this funky arrangement of antiques as I wandered from room to room at the grand reopening.

When I ran into the owner, I just had to ask Mr. Kirk Cornelious what made him want to open up Trussville Antiques and Interiors. He said that he bought the building and thought the concept of an antique mall in Trussville would be beneficial to everyone. Mr. Cornelious and his friends run Trussville Antiques and Interiors together. Over the years, Mr. Kirk Cornelious has developed a love for antiques.

I dropped by Jo Ann Lawrence and Lauren Taylor’s (daughter) shop which sells antiques and handmade goodies that Lauren makes herself.

Jo Ann and Lauren told me that they are big into “Go Green”, antiques, and upcycling. Jo Ann loves the feeling of a satisfied customer who finds a treasure in her shop that makes him/her happy. Jo Ann Lawrence has a deep crush for old things and antique kitchenware. “I was always baking and being in the kitchen with my grandmother,” says Jo Ann.

Phyllis Mitchell is the owner of Decor by Phyllis. In her shop, you can find fabulous decor items such as industrial kitchen lights and adorable chairs in various styles.

She decided to open her shop in Trussville because it was closer to home. Phyllis stated, “I love to buy, but I can’t keep everything I buy! I also love picking out and pairing colors together.”

I asked Mrs. Mitchell what inspires her, and she said, “I take what I like and go from there!”

Mrs. Mitchell has some of her decor gems for sale at the Springville Antique Mall in Springville, Alabama.

Lace Blazer: The Attic
Shirt: JCrew
Skirt: The Fashion Barn
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Belts: Target
Necklace: Claire’s

I had such a fun time interviewing and getting to know some of the vendors. When planning your next antiquing adventure…I suggest visiting Trussville, Alabama for a marvelous antiquing experience that you cannot get anywhere else!

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the Trussville Antiques and Interiors Reopening blog: Part 2 for an interview with The Lolly Molly and exclusive pictures of what there is to find at Trussville Antiques and Interiors.

You can follow Trussville Antiques and Interiors on Facebook to keep up with what is going on at the shop! https://www.facebook.com/TrussvilleAntiqueMall?ref=ts

Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and like me on Facebook to see exclusive photos and what the VIP is up to!

Twitter: @Abbysauce_

Instagram: @VintagePassionista

Facebook: www.facebook.com/VintageInspiredPassionista

Also…I have fabulous news! My very first newspaper column has been printed in The Real Story (www.realstorypublishing.com) newspaper of Columbus, Mississippi! I am so excited…and I am waiting for my deddy to get home from Chicago so he can build me a frame for it:) So…Deddy…hurry up and get home from your business trip!;)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn



V.I.P. Interview: Rachel Leathers

I am proud to present my interview with the amazing Rachel Leathers! Why is she so amazing, you ask? Well, Rachel creates beautiful handmade jewelry with which even celebs have begun to fall in love! Rachel is an impressive artist with a true passion for making wearable pieces of art.

Oscar's Gypsy Heart- succor creek jasper heart gemstone earrings as gifted at the 2012 Academy Awards (Rachel Leathers, Hearts of Stone Jewelry)
  • Share with us a brief bio about yourself.

I have been in the costume industry for 22 years, mainly as a seamstress. I’ve dabbled with costume design, but I didn’t like it and it didn’t like me! I’ve been a wardrobe supervisor, costume shop worker-bee, and the manager of a vintage costume house where I fined tuned my restoration skills on vintage garments. (Real vintage; garments as old as 150 years old, up to the 1960’s.) I’ve altered and created garments, props and everything in-between for theatre, film, TV, ice shows and parades.

Oscar's Copper Dreams- poppy jasper and sodalite hearts as gifted at the 2012 Academy Awards.
  • What made you want to create jewelry?

 I’ve always dabbled with other handcrafts my whole life, and attempting jewelry was something new to try. I began self-teaching myself over 9 years ago, and since I absolutely adore anything gemstone, I chose gemstone beads to play with. I began with several shapes, but the hearts became my favorite and visually more appealing, so I stuck with those. It was just another hobby at the time!

Oscar Celebrates Chinese New Year- silver leaf jasper and obsidian heart gemstone tassel chandelier earrings.
  • What are some of your favorite hobbies?

When I was a kid, I loved doing needlework, tried and failed at crochet, did some sewing and embroidering. These days, since I’ve made my living sewing, I hardly ever sew for myself anymore. I do enjoy it, but I’m not necessarily missing it either, right now. Since I turned my attention full-time to the jewelry, my past-times these days are more about spending quality time with my honey. He works SO much, and is so dedicated to his own business, that our time is precious and very limited. Not to say he’s my hobby! But, being a one-woman operation, the only free-time I have, I spend with him!

Oscar Loves Boho Chic- golden agate heart chandelier gemstone earrings with sodalite chips gifted at the Academy Awards 2012.
  • Who inspires you?

George, my honey is my biggest inspiration and supporter. He has always had an entrepreneurial spirit unequaled by anyone else I’ve ever known or met.  When I couldn’t find work in my field (which has been almost impossible thanks to the economy of late) I really wanted to try the jewelry again. He said, do it! That was November 2009, and I haven’t stopped yet. This has been the most creatively satisfying thing I’ve ever done! I’m loving it!

Bohemian Love- African Opal heart gemstone necklace with jasper, black agate and copper
  •  How would you describe your own style?

I’ve had the hardest time trying to pinpoint my style. I don’t really know what to call it! Other than contemporary, sometimes boho chic, sometimes Asian, modern? minimalist? I can’t pin it down to one. Every design seems to fall into its own category. Other than being handmade by me and made with gemstones, I can’t find a descriptor!

Green Goddess- African Opal heart gemstone with apatite
  • What type of metals and rocks/minerals do you use when making your jewelry?

 I use gemstones, natural stones, metal beads, crystals and czech glass, and keep the metal findings simple; brass, copper, silver and gold plate. I don’t use precious metals. I’ve been critisized for that before, but it doesn’t bother me. When I started, I couldn’t afford the precious metals, so I found a way to work around them. I’ve never regretted that, and still don’t find a need to specialize in precious metals. In my work, the stones do all the talking!

The Lucky Buddha- Black coral fossil heart gemstone necklace and earrings set with black Buddhas and blackstone
  •  What is your best selling item?

By the numbers of how many I’ve sold, I’d have to say earrings.

February's heart- Amethyst heart gemstone earrings
  •  Do you listen to music while you work, if so what genre or what artist(s)?

I listen to music and also the TV when working. I’ve been a jazz lover since I was 17, so that’s my staple. Favorites would range from Horace Silver to Art Blakey to George Shearing to Ella Fitzgerald and on and on!

Sweet-n-Simple 103- Fluorine heart gemstone earrings
  • What special events have you made jewelry for?

The most significant special events I’ve become involved in happened after I joined The Artisan Group, and I have gifted celebs and others at the Golden Globes last month, and will again at the Academy Awards the end of this month! I am beyond estatic to be able to do this, and am having a blast participating. We also gift charity auctions, a few of which I’ve been a part of, and really enjoy that as well.

Picture This- Picture jasper heart gemstone necklace set with bronzite and leopardskin jasper
  • What made you name your business “Hearts of Stone”?

When I first started to actually sell the jewelry I made to friends and co-workers, I didn’t have a name. That’s when I started liking the heart shaped stones the best, and stopped using other shapes. It just seemed a natural fit, using hearts made of stone, hey! I’ve got hearts of stone! It was very tongue in cheek to me, which is me in spades, so it stuck. It cracks me up to see people’s faces at shows when they figure it out; it is so literal, yet such a pun!

Miss Kitty- leopardskin jasper heart gemstone earrings.

Rachel Leathers also mentioned to me me during the interview, “I was once on a reality TV show as a seamstress; the one sewing job I wanted extended and never was! Shucks…”

Vanilla Cream- rutilated quartz heart and crazy lace agate gemstone earrings

I told you guys the interview with THE Rachel Leathers was going to spectacular! It was such a joy to get to know her better! I wish I could own everything that she has in her Etsy shop!

Tune in next time for a helpful DIY on converting a jean jacket into a spring staple item!

Want to own some of Rachel Leathers magnificent pieces of jewelry? Check out her Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/HrtsofStone?page=5 

Other links that you might find interesting…

The Artisan Group- http://theartisangroup.org/

You must follow Rachel on facebook to find out which actress is the new owner of one of her jewelry sets…that’s all I am going to tell you…the rest you will have to find out for yourself!- http://www.facebook.com/#!/HrtsofStone

Check out another blog in which Rachel Leathers was featured… http://sanikicreations.blogspot.com/2012/02/meet-rachel-leathers-of-hearts-of-stone.html 

I encourage you to follow me on twitter @Abbysauce_ and Instagram @vintagepassionista to keep up with my fashion tips, things that inspire me, and my randomness!


Abby Hathorn