Hi.

I'm Karis, your resident boutique geek. I created this blog to showcase my own personal fashion while celebrating the inspiring people behind my favorite independent fashion businesses.

Welcome

Hi friends, it's me again, blogging...again. I feel like I've started and stopped working on my blogs so many times in the past that you're all probably rolling your eyes at this new venture. But, I think I've finally found the key to my blogging success. 

In the past, I was focused on personal fashion blogging. I enjoy choosing my outfits everyday and buying products that I think are stylish and unique, so naturally I wanted to showcase that. However, the problem was that it's hard to focus on building a personal fashion blog on your own. You need people to take pictures of you, and in order to make them worth taking, its usually important to go somewhere with a nice backdrop. Asking my roommate to get her iPhone and take a picture of me in front of the trash cans outside our apartment just wasn't going to cut it. Additionally, I'm still learning to love myself and the body I'm in. It's hard running a blog that centers around you when looking at photos of yourself becomes a painful process of picking apart everything that's "wrong". I do still hope to make posts that are more personal or showcase my own style, but I don't want the entire life of the blog to depend on me producing that kind of content. 

The concept of this blog is a little bit different. It's about something that I'm passionate about and it's something that I can easily manage on my own. I've played with the idea of creating a blog centered around boutiques and independent brands for a while now. Ask me what my favorite pastime is and I'll usually say something along the lines of "wandering around the Bay Area". The reason why I enjoy urban exploring so much is that I get to wander in and out of shops and restaurants that reflect the unique nature of the neighborhoods they're in, and possibly more importantly, the unique style of the entrepreneurs who own and operate them. 

Professionally, I've had quite a bit of experience working with small businesses. During my sophomore year of college, I interned for the amazing Localwise. At the time, the business was tiny and I was the first real intern. I worked with people who were passionate about small, local businesses and who wanted to help them succeed in any way they could. After my internship ended, I wrote blog posts for their website (and still do from time to time). One of my first posts was about boutiques you must visit in the East Bay. Turns out a lot of people look for boutiques in the East Bay because the article is still a major driver of traffic to their website from search engines. For the past year and a half I've worked at a boutique in Oakland called Viscera. I was actually connected with the owner by way of my old boss at Localwise, and it's been an amazing experience. I've learned about how a small business like this runs, and I've seen first hand just how much drive and passion it takes to make a business of this nature work. I've even gotten the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and New York to attend market week - an experience that I'll never forget. One fun thing about working here is that we see a lot of people come into the store saying that they found out about it through my article I wrote on Localwise. "The author is right here" my boss will often say, pointing at me. 

I've learned that there are lots of people out there who enjoy shopping locally and supporting entrepreneurs who own their own stores or design their own fashion labels - many even go as far as searching specifically for boutiques in their area on Google. If people enjoy these businesses so much, why not create a space that celebrates them? 

That's why I made this website. I wanted a place to talk about my favorite stores and small brands in a more immersive way. With each brand or boutique spotlight, I'll visit the store or studio, take photos, point out my favorite products, and interview the person (or people) behind the brand to get a better idea of their goals and sources of inspiration.

While I'm confined to the Bay Area right now, I hope to feature some Dallas boutiques when I'm home, as well as some New York businesses when I visit for spring break. If this site actually grows, I might even consider finding people to help out by visiting and writing about stores in their local area. I think this is really something that I can pour myself into fully. After all, I spend a lot of my free time hanging around boutiques anyways, so why not make something productive out of it? 

I hope you'll enjoy following my adventures in fashion. I can't wait to share my discoveries with you. 

Meet OwlNWood

Meet OwlNWood