HEY. Explore vintage is back & our guest is pure heat. Meet Aarica Nichole. She curates a comfy-cozy, nostalgia driven, laid back, more-than-cute & incredibly wearable vintage collection. I had the privilege of meeting Aarica at Flea Style in Dallas. Its rare that we vintage peddlers meet face to face and it was an absolute treat to run into her. She wore a patchwork skirt, white cotton crop and her signature gold hoop line up. I was in awe. Meeting Aarica with all of her style and warmth confirmed how much I love vintage and the community surrounding it. I wanted to pick her brain about her love for vintage, how she defines her style, and how she curates a cohesive brand. Scroll to read the full interview. Shop Aarica's collection on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AaricaNichole
Introduce yourself! Where are you from/school/interests/family/first username etc. (you can tell a lot from ones first email address)
I was born and raised in Texas! I have a small family just my mom, dad, and I. I grew up near Fort Worth and attended college in Denton at the University of North Texas. I studied Merchandising and Digital Retailing, and during that time I really started experimenting with my style and vintage clothing.
In my free time, I love snuggling with my pug Bruce, watching documentaries with my partner, traveling, sewing, tending to my growing plant family, baking, rummaging at any place that has second-hand goods, and doing anything creative with my hands!
This is TMI, but I created my first email address in 6th grade and it was iluv_aston_k.....as in Ashton Kutcher LOL. End of story.
First memory regarding fashion? Then more specifically- any early memories regarding vintage?
Besides being obsessed with dressing my barbies I remember my dad getting a Teen Vogue magazine subscription for me for Christmas one year and it was game over. I was hooked and I remember I started drawing clothing designs I would think of and store ideas and then eventually in 8th grade I convinced my mom to sign me up for sewing lessons. Which I much more preferred doing after school than sports.
As for vintage, my earliest memories were going to garage sales around neighborhoods early on Saturday mornings. We also had a Super Goodwill down the street, but I didn't like spending hours there like I do now.
Any vintage items that you will never never let go of?
I have a growing collection of vintage Pug tees that will go to my grave with me. And last year I found an insane rainbow pastel shearling coat with lil flower buttons that will be with me until further notice.
Describe your relationship with creativity? Where do you glean new ideas from/when do you feel most creative?
I would say I have a natural and organic relationship with creativity. From a young age that is the one side of myself that I felt the most connected to and certain about. It's almost a sense of comfort. I always feel the most like myself when I am doing something creative. I'm naturally a shy person, so using creativity to express myself has been an outlet.
I usually feel the most creative when I am traveling. My brain is triggered by scenery and my environment. When traveling I always feel more carefree which in turn allows my brain and creativity to soar. I love seeing what other people are wearing around the world and admiring what beauty mother nature has to offer. Thus it has been quite the struggle lately with quarantine.
What interests you in small business?
There are so many elements to small business that I think are incredible, but definitely the limitless opportunities it provides for individual people and families. From the relationships you create, sense of community, transparency, individuality, and simply the fact that you get to pursue your dreams is amazing to be apart of and see others doing the same. As a black woman I never really had an entrepreneur figure to look up to that looked like me, especially in the fashion world. So, I think it's important to set an example that it can be done.
Describe your point of view for Aarica Nichole? What influences your photography style, what you buy?
My viewpoint for Aarica Nichole Vintage is to first inspire you to chase after your dreams and whatever brings you happiness and secondly to encourage you to reimage your shopping experience by shopping small, local, and sustainably. Just because clothing is old and used does not mean that you can't turn it into something fresh and modern, and of course better for the planet. I try to be thoughtful to the planet from the cleaning products I use, reworking garments, packaging/shipping etc. It's impossible to be perfect at this but you can always do better. Most newly made clothing pieces are inspired from the past, so why not wear what has already been originally created and save clothing that would otherwise be sent to landfills.
I've always had an interest in styling and photography but have never taken it super seriously. I'm a very visual person so its something I've always enjoyed. At one point after graduating college I really wanted to move to LA and be a stylist but never really pursued it. In turn, I just channel it into my shop by styling and shooting pieces I find. I like to style pieces from my shop in an easy and inspiring way for my customers so they can imagine themselves wearing it too. Or how they might see something style at one of their favorite fast fashion stores to show them you can find something similar that's more sustainable and often more affordable. I like to capture moments of happiness, contentment, and what I think will bring others joy. I also like simplicity and approachability so I like to keep things realistic and effortless.
I typically ask for folks to describe their style- but I feel like that is limiting at times. Why do you think describing personal style is difficult?
I think style can be very situational depending on how you feel, where you're going, and your environment. Most of those things are always changing. Style and individuality go hand in hand and everyone has very different ways of expressing themselves, which is really cool. I also think putting labels and boxes around things is outdated and it's amazing to see lines are blurred and people breaking out of boxes.
What makes you hopeful in life right now??
I am most hopeful because the fact that I can continue to grow my business AND meet the goals that I thought wouldn't happen because of a global pandemic is wild! I wake up every day so happy and grateful that I am still able to live out my dreams. I never thought that something I enjoyed as a hobby during my free time when I was a teenager would be a successful business. I never thought the sewing lessons I took in a woman's makeshift studio garage would now contribute to one of the biggest and most successful parts of my business. It's taught me that having positive and supportive people around you is so so important and that you should never give up on the things that make you happy!