Apr 18, 2011

Member Spotlight: Flannery Crane

Joy, the owner of the vintage clothing shop FlanneryCrane, is something of a renaissance woman. She’s a professional floral designer, an avid reader, an accessory designer, and a proud new member of the Vintage Fashion Guild. We caught up with her recently to find out more.

Q. How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Besides vintage and antiques, another one of my great loves is reading; so on a whim I created a “user name” for online selling after my two favorite authors: Flannery O’Connor and Stephen Crane. That was in 2003, and 3 years later, my hobby turned into a business. I decided to use  a photograph of my mother for my business logo, which was taken when she was 17 years old. She’s as sassy as ever.

Q. What’s the very first vintage item that you remember owning? Do you still have it?

Here's a story that's like fingernails across a blackboard. When I was in my teens, a relative of a friend had died, and our friend  had the work of cleaning out her belongings. She passed on bags of vintage items to us. The deceased woman had kept and collected everything, including clothing from the 30s, 40s, and up, many with the tags still attached. At the time, I thought nothing of them; they were fascinating artifacts, but certainly not things I would actually wear. It was the 80s, and I wanted box jackets and oversized belts, and wasn't brave enough to stand out in the crowd in spite of all my interest in fashion.
1960s silk dress
I remember a purse that had never been carried with a butterscotch bakelite handle and acetate floral  fabric. Who knows where these are today? Too bad I can’t walk back in time—what an inventory I would have to share. Yet I always remind myself there will always be more “things” around the corner. Sometimes, you just have to let things go; no sense in getting wound up about it.

1920s flapper celluloid and chain belt
Q. Describe the aesthetic behind your shop.
The image of my shop is a work in progress. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my photography; I have a manniquin makeover in my near future; and I plan to feature more antique clothing and accessories.

Generally, I like a bright, clean look using pastel or neutral backgrounds. I have always loved belts and am always looking for unique ones to feature in the store. I also design and create belts, using antique buckles and recycled leather.
1930s-1940s rayon tap pants
Ornate buckles are fascinating to me—tiny works of art I  use to accent many things besides the waistline (hair accessories, hats, purses, etc.). If an item is my own creation, it will be mentioned up front in my listings. I look for classic clothing, and enjoy finding dresses with unique patterns or color schemes. I will be adding more formals in the near future.

I like to think of my shop as a pleasant boutique, a place to browse for unique beauties at various price points. I guess it’s the southerner in me that wishes everyone to feel at home—ask questions, make offers, or just say hello. 

4 comments:

Nachokitty said...

What a great interview! I can relate to encountering tons of vintage items in the 1980's and running from them. I was so into looking like a mix of Madonna & Prince.

cindy said...

I can't wait to take a look at your shop-- especially your belts and unique belt buckles. Welcome to Esty!

Flannery Crane Vintage Fashion said...

I think I had the Madonna aspiration too..;)

Thanks, NK and Cindy! I really enjoyed doing this!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely enjoyed the interview with Flannery and continue to be intrigued by her unique ability to merge classical vintage pieces with the new, thus creating a whole new look. I can personally attest to her abilities as a floral designer. She worked with me for several years in my shop and was among the top designers I have ever encountered and had the pleasure of working with. She recently designed my daughter's wedding flowers and her creations displayed her unique talent for interpreting the floral desires of others and merging them with her own eye for detail and classical beauty. I predict a long and productive life for Flannery's store. She is able to look for beautiful things that have been set aside waiting to be redicovered by a vintage expert such as herself. I too look forward to future interviews and articles by Flannery. Each time is certain to reveal a newfound piece that many will clamor to own and wear.

With tremendous professional respect,
GW