Phoenix Photography | Be Unique

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What makes you, you?

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We are all unique. There is no other like me. There is no other like you. Even twins are completely different people.

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How unbelievably boring would that be if we all bleached our hair and walked around in Prada and Jimmy Choo’s?  I certainly don’t. I can’t afford it! I also can’t possibly do hat to my super fine thin hair. I would go bald!

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I am what you would call eclectic. But I too am scared to dress how I want to dress. Most of us are always wondering in the back of our minds what others are thinking of us. Some of us more than others. A very small percent of us have gotten to the point in their life where they love themselves and truly don’t care what others think. We all want to be that person. We all want to have that self love and that confidence. It is hard to get there for some of us though. Some of us never reach that point. That’s so sad.

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I am still on a journey. I will be on a journey to find myself until the day I leave this earth. I am constantly changing. As are most of you. Sure parts of us never change. But the world around us is changing and we adapt with those changes. We will wear one fashion and swear that, that is us. It is the style that defines us. Until a new fashion comes out that we love even more. Or if you are like me, you will wear a pretty floral dress and sandals one day and jeans and cowboy boots the next. Fashion is just too much fun to stick to one style all the time. But that’s me.

 

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Have fun discovering you! It can be such an amazing journey.

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Make sure to take time out for YOU in your busy life. That doesn’t mean you have to spend time absolutely alone. You can bring your friend, boyfriend, husband, sister along with you. Just make sure to find time to have fun and to go on small journeys of discovery. Try a new restaurant, go see a play, check out a movie that you wouldn’t normally go see. Go to a dance club. Go hike a mountain. Take a Yoga class if you’ve never tried one. Check out a new church. Think outside the box. To find out who you really are and what you really like, you Have to try new things!

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Life is an adventure! Go out there and have fun!

 

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Phoenix Photography | Rocket A Go-Go

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Here is a little known fact about me:

I am a member of a non profit Pin Up group here in the state of Arizona. The Combat Dolls! We are a 501c3 organization who raises funds for different Veteran and military family organizations throughout the state! It is such a fun organization. We host monthly Classic car shows in Glendale Arizona. We also host other car shows throughout the valley and make appearances at other local events! To find out about the events we will be at in the next couple months click on the link above! Come out and meet us!

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Dori D’Lite and Shoeless Noe

 

 

Being a pin-up means you can’t usually shop at regular stores for your outfits. We do a lot of our shopping online. But we are in luck! Tempe has an amazing store filled with unique, fun items that will continue to fill our closets! Rocket A Go-Go

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Just look at all those cute dresses!

Located at 23 W. Southern Avenue in Tempe Arizona, Rocket A Go-Go offers a HUGE selection of rockabilly, pinup, psychobilly, and punk rock clothing and accessories. Both pre-loved and brand new!

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Rocket was started 9 years ago at a yard sale by Stormy and her Mother-in-law Roseana. The two met when Stormy was still in High school.

Born and raised in South Phoenix. Stormy went to New School of the Arts and Acedemic and then graduated from McClintock High School.

Roseana is from New Mexico, but moved here when she was 5! So she’s an Arizona girl.

Stormy wanted to go to college to become A psycho-therapist.

“Totally different career path than what I ended up in. I was a teacher for almost 4 years. I taught preschool. My first year of the store being open I was still a teacher.

I was doing that year off thing before you go to college, and ended up with a great teaching job. Stayed with it, and this (the store) ended up taking off. I thought this would just be a hobby. I just never ended up going (to college). It was a very happy accident.  This was just supposed to be a hobby that ended up being so much more!”

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Being a lover of alternative and unique fashions, Stormy has been up-cycling and creating her own unique outfits since she was young. She loved the punk rock style and would alter band t-shirts and create her own skirts.

” I never really liked what all my friends were wearing. I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter and be a third person wearing that outfit from a major clothing store. So a lot of my clothes as a teenager were me going to yard sales and Goodwill. Finding clothes that I could modify differently so that I could wear them a little bit more uniquely.”

 

It wasn’t until about 7 years ago that she finally started wearing dresses and switched over to the pinup/rockabilly fashion.

“My family laughs that I have a dress on all the time now. I love it now! I was so not girly as a kid! I was just really into trying to make my clothing Art work.”

“That’s how I got to know Rosanna. Her son and I went to school together. The first time him and I ever talked was about The Ramones. We were listening to the same cd. He brought me home and I started talking to his mom on the couch one day and her and I just had so much in common. Her and I kind of became friends and before I knew it, I would be over there and he wouldn’t even be there! He would come home and laugh about it. It’s amazing that she’s my Mother- in- law. So many people always talk about how they hate their mother in law or their not friendly with them. I Love her. It extended my family! I have great parents myself, but it was great to have another! You can never have too much family.”

Rosanna is a jeweler by trade, she has been for several years, most of her life. Her family has had their jewelry business for 47 years now!

“She taught me how to create jewelry. I would modify and up-cycle clothing.”

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9 years ago the two started out vending at trade shows. “Our first time setting up was actually at a yard sale. It was at my business partner’s (my business partner is my mother in law) garage. Her and I did a yard sale in her garage.  It was our first time selling together and we just started adding more and more items and it just started spiraling and eventually turned into a brick and mortar.”

5 years ago they opened Rocket Resale in Tempe with a lot of support from their friends and family. “We found a location and when we started it was just 3 racks. It was stuff we had collected form yard sales ourselves. Our friends and family donated items to us.”

“We came here and started the buy, sell, trade. Before we knew it we started our own dress line, our own purse line, and we are launching our own jewelry line later this year! It is finally transforming more into what we want it to be which is eclectic, psychobilly, rockabilly, retro.”

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“We changed our store name at the beginning of this year. We were Rocket resale for several years. We are still Rocket Resale, we’ve just changed our name to Rocket A Go-Go. Nothing’s really changed. We changed the name because we are starting an online store. It is not going to have resale on it. It’s too hard. The resale sells too quickly and there’s only one of each item. We want to sell our nicest, newest, freshest stuff on our online store. A lot of it will be jewelry and accessories to start off. We are going to get into alternative housewares! We are eventually starting a sterling silver and gold line. We are working on alternative wedding rings, and things like that! Stuff that’s going to last a lifetime.

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We have a lot of sterling silver in the store already. We’re going to take those skulls and spiders and funky stuff and bring that online as well. We are always going to have a splash of resale in the store. We do have more brand new, but we will always have resale in here too. ”

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They will be launching their online store SOON! They will be starting with jewelry and accessories and will eventually add their clothing as well.

“This is something I’ve always loved and something I’m able to put back into the store. We don’t have too much of my clothes in here, outside of our store’s line. Just Because of time. It’s been great. We have been so busy we don’t have time to put our own art work in anymore. It’s the best problem in the whole world!”

 

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“In a way we have our store’s line, which is Rosanna’s and mine. That’s the one inspired by 50’s fashion. Retro, pin-up, polka dots, cherries. Later this year we’re launching a new line under our clothing line. It’s going to have the skulls,guns, roses, and dice, and all of that fun edgier stuff. So we’re going to go into more embroidery and screen printing. We have a hard time finding fabric we love, outside the cherries, polka dots, and solids. We are starting to design our own fabrics and design our own embellishments for those fabrics.”

They are really excited about it.

“On the flip side of that, with the other clothes we create, I kind of let the garment speak for itself if it’s something I’m up-cycling. I am mostly inspired by 50’s but a little edgy. I love psychobilly. I love that classic retro look, but you put a skull on it. You add some spikes.  You add glitter. You add studs.”

 

Stormy does a lot of hand stitch work and they also work with 5 local seamstresses that make their clothing.

They are one of the official retailers for Hell Bunny. “We love having them in the store.”

Pet products are also something that is in the works for next year! Dog collars, bandannas, etc. She was inspired by a customer who has bandannas made for her dog, in the same pattern as all her pinup dresses.

 

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“We don’t have kids yet. We have fur babies! We have 2 rescue dogs! A Carolina that looks like a little dingo, she’s our Karma. And then we have our Ridgeback mix, Harlequin. And we have 2 God daughters as well. They get to come into the store all the time. You see the 13 year old coming in here pretty often. It’s hard to tell her, no you can’t come work in the clothing store! I have to pry her out of here!”

Besides being passionate about pet rescue, Stormy and Roseana do a lot of charity work with the store.

“We love doing charity work. Before the store, I worked for the National Alliance On Mental Illness. I was a committee member since I was 16. At 18 I became their youngest board member. I loved it. I was a youth representative for the Southwest Valley for about 2 years. I did all these big events and ran Youthfest every year down at Tempe Marketplace.That was super fun!”

“When people bring in buy sell trade, things that don’t sell, we give them to charity. When people bring in items that we don’t take in to buy, but they leave it here, it goes to charity. To homeless shelters, teen moms, youth shelters, veterans thrift stores, and a lot of animal based charities. We recently had a basket to collect bedding to donate to local animal shelters.”

“We have some fun stuff coming up later this year with the OneLove Pitbull Foundation. We will be donating clothing for their pin-up calendar this year and we have helped out with their Rockabully Ball and will continue doing that. They are discussing doing some dog inspired dresses and having the profit from those dresses go to their shelter.”

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You can find us on Instagram and Facebook. We are doing more and more events this year. We are going to be involved in a lot of different pin-up events, contests, and Classic Car Shows.

“We also have a great day at the events as well.” They dress up in their own designs and sell their clothing and accessories at their booth.

Stormy says half the time they are there dancing and eating all the amazing food!

This year One of their big events was the Rockabilly Bash. Where contests are held and a huge Classic Car Show is hosted. Located at  Five and Diner in Phoenix.

They are also invited to the monthly Sock Hop at the Five and Diner every month.

“People don’t realize There is a Huge rockabilly community in the Valley. It’s huge!”

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Stormy wanted to share a little bit of advice for all of you gorgeous ladies out there!

“One thing I’m always telling people, especially if you’re trying to go for a certain look, and they bring in their pictures from Pinterest, or Instagram and they say, I wanna look like this girl.

Take that as inspiration. You don’t have to look like her. You’re beautiful on your own! You need to figure out how that style works for you. Incorporate it into how you feel comfortable. I feel so sad. I always get girls in here who are trying to look like a photo that is either Photoshoped or glamorized and is made for a calendar or an advertisement.

You’re not going to look like an advertisememnt 24/7!

 

We are not zombies like that!

 

Bring that look into your own. Make it so that you feel comfortable.

We also get a lot of girls who come in here and say they’re too big to do Rockabilly.

No your not! You’re never too big!

Our store line goes up to 4x in mens and women’s, in pre loved and new.

Dress funky and different. Don’t just dress the every day ordinary.

Be yourself! Be unique!

Our store slogan here is  Unique fashion for Unique Humans! Our customers are a little too different to be the cookie cutter.”

 

Even if you aren’t into the Rockabilly/ pin up fashion, you will always find something fun and unique at Rocket a Go-Go. So go check them out!

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Phoenix Photography | KatyBug Faye Boutique in Chandler

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I may be a photographer, but I’m not always thinking about photography. I am human!

It is no secret. I love to Shop! I’m not a huge mall goer though. My favorite stores are small, intimate shops, privately owned by local families. I am always in search of new shops to check out.

I can’t even remember how I found this adorable shop. I came across the name one day and had to check out the site. Once I read their mission statement I knew I just had to meet the owner and bring her on board with my own mission!

Meet Gladys of KatyBug Faye Boutique

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The original owner, Lisa Looney,  didn’t start out in the fashion business. She was an accountant, and then left the corporate world to be a stay at home mom. She started a small home business decorating accessories and selling them to friends. Her daughter, Katy, gave her the idea to open up her own shop. So several years ago, KatyBug Faye was born.

Last year Lisa had many things going on in her life and decided it was time to hand the business over to someone else.

Lisa was very selective about who she was going to pass the store on to. If she couldn’t find the right people she was going to stick with the business herself. She felt that Gladys and her husband were the perfect combination. Gladys runs the front end of the store, while her husband runs the entire back end of the business.

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            Gladys started the process of “taking over” the boutique last year in September and officially re-opened on December 9, 2015. She began her journey shopping for the store with Lisa, learning the ins and outs of fashion. They would go to LA and New York together and attend fashion shows. Gladys added an entire line of work-out clothes to the shop when she re-opened. She still talks with Lisa frequently about the business and truly values her as a friend and mentor.

Gladys has been an Elementary School teacher for 22 years. She dreams of the day when she can call KatyBug her Full time job, and retire from teaching.  For now, she continues to teach during the school year, while their 4 amazing associates run the store. One of whom has been with the store for many years. Gladys happily tells me that they can rely on her and that she is often running to her to help with advice on many different aspects of the store. She has such a great eye, that they let her design the displays in the store.

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Sitting on cute black and white cushioned chairs in amongst so many adorable outfits, Gladys brought me back to another time and another world.  “My mom shopped. My mom loved to shop. My mom lived for shopping! My mom was raised during a very different era, in Cuba, where her family was very well off. My mom as a little girl, young lady, would go shopping and just sign that she had been there. My grandfather would go in there at the end and he would pay off the tab. So my mom was raised that way. My dad never stopped it either. He was always like, whatever you want, go ahead. He was always so good to her.”    Between her mother, her grandmother (who was a seamstress), and her aunt, the love of shopping and fashion was passed on to Gladys.

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When growing up, she was raised among women who always knew the latest fashion and the latest trend. She was taught that a girl should always look like a lady. “Back then it was like, you can’t wear jeans! Girls should not be wearing jeans, girls should be wearing a dress! But how do you do that for the working mom? Or a single mom? It’s got to be affordable. You still want to look beautiful. You still want to be pretty. You can be heavy, you can be skinny, you can be poor, but you can still look good. That was something my mom always said. She said you don’t always have to be rich to look classy.”

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Gladys is originally from New Jersey. She moved to Arizona 16 years ago for a job opportunity. She met her husband, a Chandler native, a few years later. His family has lived in Chandler for generations. His uncle being the very first Hispanic councilman for Chandler!

They have 16 year old twins, a boy and a girl! Her daughter loves to go with her to the fashion district and help her to pick out the clothing and other items for the boutique. She loves to model the clothes as they come in to the shop. She is learning how to run the register and how to help and interact with customers. Her son often helps out in the store with cleaning and other odds and ends.

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Knowing virtually nothing about running a clothing store, I asked Gladys to explain more about Market day and the fashion district.

Once every 2-3 months they hop in the car and drive to L.A. The Fashion market is a district of clothing stores. Some are cute little boutiques and some look like “dives”. Some are open to just anybody, while most are only open to business owners who have a wholesale tax id. The stores have one of each item on their racks and you just pick and chose the items that you want. Once you’ve chosen, the owners will go to the back to get the items for you to take home. Gladys brings home only 2 of each size. They get new items in each and every day. They keep moving items around to keep everything fresh and new.

“That’s what’s unique about boutiques. When it’s gone it’s gone. It’s not going to come back. That’s what makes it unique. No more than 5 other people in your area are going to have that same piece!”

One of their more popular brands is Miss Me. A popular brand out of L.A. They are well known for their cute designer jeans with lots of “bling”.They also have many very cute dresses!

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The biggest plans they have for the future of the shop is expanding the online store. They currently sell everything both in store and online. All inventory is out on the floor. Once it’s ordered from the online store or the app, it is pulled and shipped personally by Gladys or her husband!

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KatyBug hosts several different fundraisers per year. They offer a unique way of doing this. They host what are called Trunk Shows, where you can rent the store for 2 hours from 6pm-8pm and shop to your heart’s content with family, friends, and neighbors.  25% of the night’s profits are donated to the fundraiser! Trunk Shows are also offered as fun gatherings as well. The host of the “party” will then receive 25% of the profit towards anything in the store! (Announcement: Beyond the Mask will be hosting a Trunk Show this Fall!)

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I asked Gladys if she has any tips she would like to share with all of you:

“Everybody has their own unique style. I think they everyone needs to find what works for them.I find that some women don’t want to take the challenge or step out of their comfort zone. I think that’s what they need to do though. I think there are certain things that we need to take a chance on. You never know.It’s that whole idea about, don’t go buy it by the way it looks on the hanger. That’s my whole thing. Try it on! It may not be you, but that’s OK! I think that’s something more women need to do.

Embrace what you have!!! There are some women who don’t like their knees, or their breasts, or whatever. I think it takes some confidence to listen to someone who says, oh my God what do you mean? That looks awesome on you! I’m not saying it to get you to buy it. I’m saying it, because, Oh my God! Use it, You got it! Some people are like, “Oh, but I don’t like to show off this, and I like to cover up here”. I hear that from many of my customers. But when they try something on they’re like, “Wow, I do like it!” Sometimes when you try things on it will look very different than when it was on the hanger. Just be more daring. Step outside of the box and try something different and new! That’s what we tell our kids!”

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“Our philosophy is that you don’t have to spend a lot to look like a lot. To look like “You’ve got it!” To look like you’re well put together. You can have your own personal style, your own sense of style. A little bit of accessories can make the most simple outfit complete. Definitely have an open mind to trying something new. Try a different color that you don’t think will look good on you. You may be surprised!  Keep an open mind! Within moderation and within limits, we can all pull something from the latest styles and trends, no matter how old we are.”

 

KatyBug Faye Boutique has a Great app that you can download for both Droid and Apple devices. They run a different special every day! You can only get the special through the app. Occasionally they will share the special on their Facebook page as well.

If you are in Chandler, stop in and say Hi. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!!

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