Friday, September 11, 2009

on the job: sally schwartz

Sometimes you meet someone and you hit it off instantly. That's how it was when I met Sally.

The incredibly witty Sally Schwartz

About four years back I was on a plane headed to a trade show. I took an aisle seat next to a guy and a girl who were sharing a good joke. These two, I was to find out, were the owners of a newly opened store in Portland by the name of Pin Me Apparel. We introduced ourselves and started talking. We laughed the entire way to the landing strip. I waved goodbye to Sally and Kiki that evening with a skip in my step.

We've become good friends over the years, and when I made the leap from retail buyer to jewelry designer, I knew my relationship with Sally and Kiki (and his wife, Liz) was the perfect kind to draw upon.

Read on for my interview with Sally Schwartz, partner and buyer at Pin Me Apparel:

KK: How did Pin Me Apparel get its start?

When my business partner Liz and I decided to open a shop I had just finished traveling after college. I wasn’t interested in designing for a sportswear company so we decided to open Pin Me. It took about a year of planning but everything fell right into place with the space on Mississippi coming available and then Kiki joining in on the partnership. It has been challenging for us in the last 8 months but things feel stronger than ever, even after baring the recession. Pin Me is still in business and we’re growing.

denim leggings and cloak hoodie by prairie underground

KK: What looks are your customers embracing for fall?

SS: I think comfort is really popular right now. My customers are wearing leggings and tunics regardless of age and personal style - Prairie Underground's denim leggings keep selling out. Also, people are finally digging the color purple after three seasons of trying it. Watch out yellow …you’re next!

KK: Who are your favorite clothing designers? And, if you could have any piece of jewelry, what would it be?

SS: Prairie Underground is my favorite line that we carry at Pin Me. My personal favorite line to wear is anything at IDOM by Modi. And, I'm lusting for a ring by Seattle designer Jamie Joseph. I also really like Hazel Cox's design aesthetic.

KK: What are some fashion “don’ts” in Sally's world?

SS: I don't love one sleeve garments. Unfortunately, most of our lines had lots of one-shoulder styles for spring. I'm not into embellishment either especially when its screen printed lace or something like that.

g r a y l i n g is available at
3705 N. Mississippi Ave
Portland, Oregon 97227

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