VIP Home: It’s the Little Things…

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to VIP Home!

Today on VIP Home, I would like to chat about trinkets…it’s the little things that make your home truly you…

 I have always loved trinkets. When I was a little kid, I would stare desperately into my grandmother’s curio cabinet wanting to play with the variety of tiny treasures. Sadly, that was frowned upon in that establishment. As Emperor Kuzco said in the Emperor’s New Groove, “No touchy–no touchy!” My goodness, I sure did love that movie when I was younger!

Now that I have my own collection of tschotskes, I fully understand why my grandmother was so protective of her curio cabinet’s precious contents.

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So, what is so special about the record player, green pig, dog, bunny, and owl figurines in the picture above? Well, why don’t I tell y’all!

  • The record player: About two years ago, I bought this Silvertone Solid State Sound Instant Play record player from the cutest little old man EVER at an antique shop in Springville, Alabama. When I saw the turquoise blue and pink, I instantly fell in love. Note to Self:  Get another needle so I can continue to overplay Frank Sinatra’s Come Dance With Me album *wink* Second Note to Self:  Record player needle number is 57-88163. 

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  • The green pig: Ah….my adorable handmade green pig. I got the cute piggy when I interviewed renowned shoe designer Donald J. Pliner at Belk the Summit last year. I was so excited when Donald signed it for me and to me :)

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  • The dog: The dog has no special meaning–I bought it at Trussville Antiques & Interiors for a steal of a deal–$5.00, but come on…look at it–isn’t it too precious! *wink*
  • The bunny: On my 18th birthday, my parents gave me the Peter’s Pottery bunny which represents my “Special Bunny”–the first stuffed animal that my parents gave me. Also, I just really, really love bunnies *wink*

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  • The owl: My owl “piggy bank” was a Christmas gift from my parents, and I absolutely LOVE the colors! It is so inspirational, and I see it playing a huge role in the theme of my future apartment…
Other items noted in photo: Kiss Me Stupid Marilyn Monroe art piece--I picked it up on of my many adventures, and I immediately fell in love with it. The pop art mixed with old Hollywood is fabulous.  The houndstooth table--my mom, an avid artist and upcycler, made this table for me not because I am an Alabama fan but simple because I love the pattern*wink*
Other items noted in photo:
Kiss Me Stupid Marilyn Monroe art piece–I picked it up on one of my many adventures. The pop art mixed with old Hollywood is fabulous.
The houndstooth table–my mom, an avid artist and upcycler, made this table for me not because I am an Alabama fan, but because I love the history of the pattern*wink*
Other items noted in the photo: My personal collection of vintage records--I have picked up the variety of vinyl I have from lots of different antiquing journeys. Oh, how I love my records! The kaleidoscope--It was a gift...and kaleidoscopes are just fun no matter how old you are!
Other items noted in the photo:
My personal collection of vintage records–I have picked up the variety of vinyl I have from lots of different antiquing journeys. Oh, how I love my records!
The kaleidoscope–It was a gift…and kaleidoscopes are fun–no matter how old you are!

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Remember all of the awesome fun the VIP had at the Birmingham Home Show 2013 interviewing celebs Mark Brunetz and Ty Pennington?  Well, the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014 is coming up, and the VIP is super pumped about attending and interviewing some of the celeb guests. Get your tickets now and don’t miss out!

For more information about the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014, please visit http://www.homeshowbirmingham.com/BHS/EventsHome.aspx.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

18 Days of Grand Haul: Cozy Up

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Hello, my fabulouses! I am excited to announce that I officially have a role in an upcoming, independent film *happy dance*–I cannot tell y’all much about the movie and all of the fabulousness yet…so, y’all stay tuned! :)

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To cozy up yesterday’s Friday Night Fun outfit, simply toss on a cobalt blue, Aeropostle zip hoodie and BAM! Without a lot of effort, this sassy sporty outfit is now a little bit cozier for afternoon tailgating. Roll Tide! No, I am not a huge football fan—I do not pull for one specific team. Living only about an hour from the heart of Alabama football (Tuscaloosa), I cannot help but feel the need to join the Roll Tide bandwagon every now and again…Oh, come on—just say it. It’s fun. *wink* Roll Tide.

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83 Chiffon Sweatshirt: Wet Seal, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Hoodie: Aeropostale, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

 Lace Skirt: Aeropostale, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Knee High Socks: Maurices, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Sneakers: Keds, Belk

Watch my November Grand Haul video below and let me know what your favorite piece is! Comment on this blog post or comment on YouTube!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Interview: Denim Experts Chip & Pepper

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Hello, my fabulouses! How many of us truly hate trying on and shopping for jeans? I know I do! However, when I slipped into my first pair of Chip & Pepper jeans in the dressing room, I immediately fell in love. I am not much of a “jean-wearer,” but the luxurious feel and fabulous fit of Chip & Pepper denim made me feel like I was not even wearing jeans. Now, THAT is good-quality denim!

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The VIP with Chip (on left) and Pepper (on right) at Belk College Night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Chip and Pepper Foster are totally awesome twin brothers that not only have a splendid passion for creating exquisite quality denim at an affordable price, but also have super spunky and fun personalities that make me wish I had an identical twin!

Abby: Y’all are so fun! Y’all make me want to have a twin!

Chip: You can!

Abby: Can I be y’all’s twin?

Chip: Yeah!

Pepper: Yeah!

Chip: He’s Salt (pointing at Salt) and he’s Pepper–so you have to pick a condiment. You can be like ketchup or mustard.

Abby: I’ll be mustard.

Chip: She’ll be mustard! Now, it is Chip, Mustard, Pepper, and Salt!

Pepper: It’s great!

Chip and Pepper picking out jeans for the VIP.
Chip and Pepper picking out jeans for the VIP.

“We want everyone to have our brand, not just boutiques…and that is why we started this exclusive launch with Belk. If these jeans were on the West Coast, it would cost about $200, but here [at Belk] you can get a pair [of jeans] for about $70….It was a really good choice for Pepper and me to make a change where everyone could have our brand and experience good quality denim at a fair price,” explained Chip Foster as he was picking out jeans for the VIP.

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“From clothing lines and music videos, to barbecue sauce and cartoons, identical twin brothers, Chip and Pepper Foster have done it all with energy that makes most heads spin.” (www.chipandpepper.com) Oh, my head was spinning as I learned more about the spectacularly  twin brothers and their hot, traffic-stopping denim brand during the VIP interview.

Abby: How would you describe the Chip & Pepper brand?

Pepper: Hot.

Chip: Yeah, yeah! I would definitely say “hot!

Pepper: Hot, sexy, delicious, soft, and the-right-price.

Abby: What makes the Chip & Pepper brand stand out?

Pepper: It is 100 percent us. All of the energy that Chip and I have put into it has been awesome!

Chip: We have been doing this for like 24 years, and we believe in giving our customers unbelievably good quality.

Abby: Chip, describe yourself in five words.

Chip: Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Abby: Pepper, describe yourself in five words.

Pepper: I have no idea…that’s a crazy question, Abby! Hm….Well, I am crazy but never lazy…I am energized like the Energizer Bunny…I am also energetic…anything can happen, if you let it.

Pause in the interview as we all put on funky glasses to take silly pictures.

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Abby: What color best describes you?

Chip: I am kind of like a light blue…but I like to wear pink too…So, I don’t know! I cannot decide!

Pepper: I’m tie-dyed!

Chip: He is mixed-up tie-dye! I like that, Pep!

Abby: *laughing*

Chip: Your laugh is the best! You have a great laugh!

Abby: Well, thanks, Chip! *laughing again*

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Abby: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Chip: I love roasted almonds covered in dark chocolate.

Pepper: I love that. I have never had a chance to eat that!

Chip: You have to get them in Northern Canada or in England. I am telling you that they are the best there!

Pepper: I like the richest pistachio ice cream.

Abby: I like pistachio ice cream, too!

Chip: Me too!

Pepper: I love it! It’s my favorite!

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Abby: What is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Chip: My Van Halen rock shirt with cut off sleeves!

Abby: I have an REO Speedwagon shirt like that! I love it!

Pepper: I have lots of good rock shirts!

Abby: We could totally have fun in each other’s closets!

Pepper: Oh, yeah!

Chip: He [Pepper] has great stuff!

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Pepper: I would never toss out these boots [pointing at his shoes] because they will never go out of style.

Abby: Those are so cool! I saw them when we were first introduced–I think they are totally awesome boots!

Pepper: These are hand cobbled. I love the way they round at the top…kind of like Popeye!

Abby: They are fantastic!

Pepper: Thanks, Abby!

Chip: You are so cool, Abby!

Pepper: Give us a hug!

Chip: Yeah, yeah! Give us a hug!

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Best. Jeans. Ever. The VIP LOVES Chip & Pepper denim!
Best. Jeans. Ever.
The VIP LOVES Chip & Pepper denim!

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In addition to the Belk College Night event and the mega exciting interview, I got the twins to sign my new Chip & Pepper jeans…not on the inside pocket like everyone else…but on the outside. So, Chip and Pepper autographed the flare of the jeans as well as the booty of the jeans right below the belt loop. (See slideshow pictures above.)

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Years from now, I can see these jeans framed and hanging on a wall in my house somewhere–what a fabulous keepsake from a spectacular interview!  I love y’all, Chip and Pepper! Come back to Alabama anytime–the VIP will make sure you are treated to a fun time:) Y’all stay fabulous!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Event Coverage: Belk College Night with Denim Experts Chip & Pepper

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The VIP sporting her Chip & Pepper jeans at the Belk College Night event in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Hello, my fabulouses, welcome back to the blog! Oh, I had the most fabulous time at the College Night event at Belk in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on September 26! ROLL TIDE! There were food vendors, a candy bar, giveaways, a Belk fashion show, and much more to make the event a night to remember.

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The VIP blogger with YouTubers Eleventh Gorgeous at Belk College Night.
The VIP blogger with YouTubers Eleventh Gorgeous at Belk College Night.

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Adding even more excitement and energy to the event, the spunky and dashing denim designers Chip & Pepper were there having fun, interacting with fans, and helping customers find the perfect pair of Chip & Pepper jeans. “Chip & Pepper are experts when it comes to fit, comfort and style, and they have incorporated their knowledge into a cutting edge denim collection for Belk that is available at an affordable price.” (press release)

Chip showing off the jeans he autographed for a fan. ROLL TIDE!
Chip & Pepper got into the spirit of College Night by signing jeans with ROLL TIDE!

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Loving this pretty pink blouse and printed pants at the Belk College Night fashion show! So cute!

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Food, candy, dancing, games, fashion, and Chip & Pepper all at Belk on one special night….what more could a fashionista want! Oh…I wish I had a time machine so I could go back to that splendid party and take y’all with me!

The VIP and Chip Foster joking and having fun at Belk College Night.
The VIP and Chip Foster having a delightful, jolly good time at Belk College Night.
The VIP and Pepper Foster chatting at Belk College Night.
The VIP and Pepper Foster chatting at Belk College Night.

Fabulouses, can you guess who the VIP interviewed at Belk College Night? Chip & Pepper, of course! Whoo hoo! I cannot wait to share the spectacularly fun interview! Y’all stay tuned:) ROLL TIDE! Isn’t that just so much fun to say!

Chip & Pepper with the Eleventh Gorgeous sisters! Don't they all look super fabulous!
Chip & Pepper with the Eleventh Gorgeous sisters! Don’t they all look super fabulous!
Chip and Pepper with fans at College Night.
Chip and Pepper with fans at College Night.

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The VIP with Lancôme makeup artist Pam at Belk University Mall. Thanks so much, Pam, for making me look a little bit more fabulous with a makeup touch up! You are absolutely precious!
The VIP with Lancôme makeup artist Pam at Belk University Mall. Thanks so much, Pam, for making me look a little bit more fabulous with a makeup touch up!
The VIP with blog fans Joy Loveless (on left) and Jealena Dillard (on right). I absolutely LOVED the ways these fabulous ladies were dressed! Y'all were so cute and sweet!
The VIP with Joy Loveless and Jealena Dillard. I absolutely LOVED the way these fabulous ladies were dressed! Check out those leopard high heels–MEOW!

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To see more pictures from this event, stay tuned to the VIP Facebook page for the album “Belk College Night 2013”. Please feel free to tag yourself and friends! Click here to visit the VIP Facebook page.

Stay tuned for an upcoming VIP Interview blog with Chip & Pepper! Y’all are not going to want to miss it! www.chipandpepper.com

To learn more about Belk and shop the magnificent fashions, please visit www.belk.com.

Keep up with Belk via social media:

Facebook click here.

Instagram click here.

Twitter click here.

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Interview: Jeremy Stephens

Jeremy Stephens and I at the BFW 2013 Rising Design Star Reception
Jeremy Stephens and I at the BFW 2013 Rising Design Star Reception.

Hello, wonderfully fashionable readers! I have a fabulous interview to share with y’all today…the interview with the amazingly talented Jeremy Stephens-owner and master stylist at the Association of Independent Artists in Hoover, Alabama. So, without further ado, I introduce to you, the spectacular interview with Jeremy Stephens!

Jeana Fleming. Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and I at the BFW 2013 Kick Off Party (Gus Mayer-Birmingham, AL location).
Jeana Fleming. Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and I at the BFW 2013 Kick Off Party (Gus Mayer-Birmingham, AL location).
  • Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Jeremy Stephens, founder of The Association of Independent Artists, Inc.  (AIA), Owner of AIA: The Salon in Hoover, AL, and Artistic Director and Lead Stylist for Birmingham Fashion Week.

I’m also a field educator and platform artist for Keratin Complex.

I have been working in the fashion and beauty industry for over 13 years. I am a hairstylist and makeup artist specializing in wedding/special events, photo, film, runway and couture hair and makeup.

I am currently a Tuscaloosa resident (Roll Tide).  I share a home and my life with my partner Brian Avery, owner of The Brian Avery Salon in Tuscaloosa, AL.  I’m also a working pet parent to a precious little fur-baby (Chihuahua) named Rupert.

  • What inspired the creation of the Association of Independent Artists?

The Association of Independent Artists was an idea that developed from a need for talented freelance artists in the hair and beauty industry to supply the growing demand for local talent.  My wedding and freelance clientele had begun to grow beyond my scheduling capabilities.  Therefore, I began to network with other stylists and makeup artists working in the Birmingham market in order to meet the growing need for their artistic abilities and respective areas of expertise.  In my search for a resource for local artists, I realized that there wasn’t really an established database of freelance artists in the local hair and beauty industry.  So…..I decided to start my own!  Recently, we’ve also begun to add photographers to our database of artists.

Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and Jeana Fleming at the BFW 2013 Kick Off Party.
Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and Jeana Fleming at the BFW 2013 Kick Off Party.
  • Tell us a little about your AIA Board of Directors.

AIA Associate Artistic Directors are my core group of hairstylists and makeup artists with whom I have previously worked with on freelance projects.  Not only are my AIA Associate Artistic Directors extremely talented artists, but they are also all established professionals with their own clientele.  As we build the AIA Brand, this group of individuals will form the founding Board of Directors.  One of our primary goals is to gain the resources and facilities to provide opportunities for advanced education for other professionals working in our respective industries.

  • When and how did you become involved with Birmingham Fashion Week?

I’ve been a part of Birmingham Fashion Week since the inception.  When my life-long friend, Heidi Baker (Heidi Elnora), approached me with the idea, I couldn’t resist.  After seeing continued success with her seasonal collection releases, she began to be approached by other local business owners and charitable organizations who were interested in working with Heidi on producing a larger event.  She and co-founder, Jeana Lee Fleming, basically said that they thought we should give it a whirl and offered me the opportunity to jump on board.  After all…..what is a fashion event without hair and makeup?!

We started with one-night preview event in April of 2011.  The entire event was planned, funded, and organized in seven weeks.  The primary benefactor of BFW 2011 was Camp Smile-A-Mile.  Unfortunately, the April 27th tornadoes struck the state three days before BFW’s maiden voyage.  Thanks to the encouragement and support of our community, we not only hosted a sell-out event, but (in addition to Camp Smile-A-Mile)  we also raised THOUSANDS of dollars worth of donations for the victims of the tornado outbreak.

We knew from that first event that BFW was going to be something special to the community.  We provide opportunities for local business owners to showcase their individuality, we offer local aspiring designers the opportunity to earn funding and support to peruse their career goals, and we bring world-renowned designers to share in the hospitality and beauty of the great state of Alabama.

Jeremy and Heidi having fun posing at the BFW Kick Off Party at Gus Mayer.
Jeremy and Heidi having fun posing at the BFW Kick Off Party at Gus Mayer.
  • What is the best advice for aspiring stylists/artisans?

The best advice I can give to aspiring stylists/artists is to take advantage of every opportunity you can to work with people who inspire you.

I work more now than I ever have in my life, and I’ve never been so motivated.  The more opportunities I have to work among my peers; the more I want to excel in my craft.

I believe that you will always be successful if you are working in a career that you love.  When work feels like play-time, you don’t mind putting in the extra hours.

There are no short-cuts; however, if you are willing to stick with it and work hard, you can achieve any goal that you set for yourself.

  • What should we expect from AIA at Birmingham Fashion Week this year?

AIA is the official sponsor for hair and makeup for BFW 2013.  Our partners are MAC Cosmetics, Keratin Complex, Matrix, and The Aveda Institute of Birmingham.

In addition to my AIA Artistic Directors, we will also be working with hairstylists and makeup artists from around the Southeast!  BFW 2012 Top Stylist, Detra Smith, has also organized a design team from local cosmetology schools and junior colleges through a mentorship program by Matrix called “Spread The Love”.   These students will be the hair and makeup team for the Emerging Designer competition.  While you’re at the event, be sure to check out the AIA Spring 2013 Collection: “The Sky is The Limit” in the BFW Lounge.  For contact information and information about AIA Artists, check out our website at www.thesalonartists.com!

Jeremy Stephens and I just being fabulous at the kick off party at Gus Mayer.
Jeremy Stephens and I just being fabulous at the kick off party at Gus Mayer.
  • When you are not making people beautiful, what do you enjoy doing?

When I’m not making people beautiful, I enjoy time around the house with Brian and Rupert and LONG dinners out with friends.  With such a CRAZY work schedule, I have come to really appreciate the rare opportunities I have to spend quality time with my family and friends.  I have such an amazing and loving support system in my life, and there never seems to be quite enough time to show them just how much I appreciate them.  Also, when I do have free time, I like to rest and recharge my positive energy reserve!

  • In your opinion, what is the best karaoke song?

In my opinion, the best karaoke song is, WITHOUT QUESTION, “Bohemian Rhapsody”  by Queen.

  • VIP QUESTION: What is one item you would never toss out and why?

The one item I would never toss out is my smart phone.  I know it sounds so superficial and silly, but I am a slave to portable communication and am addicted to internet search engines. (I’m sort of an information nerd.  I like to know the “why’s” and “how’s” of pretty much everything.) I’m sure I should have said The Bible, but I can download it on my Kindle app from my smart phone, so that’s still in there too!!

Krista Collins, Jeana Fleming, Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and I at the 2013 kick off party.
Krista Collins, Jeana Fleming, Heidi Elnora, Jeremy Stephens, and I at the 2013 kick off party.

To learn more about Birmingham Fashion Week, take a gander at their website: www.bhamfashionweek.com. If you are interested in purchasing tickets for Birmingham Fashion Week, click here.

Like BFW on Facebook to keep up with the latest media coverage and runway updates! www.facebook.com/bhamfashionweek

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bhamfashionweek HASHTAG: BFW2013

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If you cannot get enough of the VIP, check out my articles in The Real Story! The Adventures of the VIP in the Lifestyle section! www.realstorypublishing.com

The VIP is also on The Real Story YouTube page! Check out the first Adventures of the VIP video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uhx3yMCDh4

Check out the latest issue of Town and Gown Magazine! You can read online @ www.issuu.com/townandgownmagazine!

Like the VIP on Facebook to keep up with the latest VIP news and sneak peeks! www.facebook.com/vintageinspiredpassionista

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/vintageinspiredpassionista

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/abbysauce_

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/vintagepassionista

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn