A Peek Inside Spitfire Girl’s Magic!

Spitfire Girl owner and founder Kristin Schroder answers questions about just what makes SFG so great! Check it out below:
sfg interior 2 1024x677 A Peek Inside Spitfire Girls Magic! How long have you been in business and how did you get started?
Spitfire Girl was born 15 years ago. I started the company in my
garage with our trademark box cards. Fifteen years later Spitfire Girl is
a fast growing incredible beast of a company. Our goods are shipped
to stores across the world on a daily basis. We have two fabulous retail
stores in Los Angeles and a thriving online presence.

Why did you choose this location to open your business?
We chose Los Feliz because it is a eclectic, funky, family oriented
neighborhood. It has a great flow of people from all over Los Angeles
and surrounding cities. We have a clientele of famous actors too, which
make working the store always exciting! Our Melrose location is quite
different. It is our newest store only being open for ten months. I
chose Melrose for it’s iconic history. This was the place you took
everyone in the 80’s and 90’s when they came to visit LA. The street
fell off the radar during the recession and I am super excited to be a
part of bringing this famous boulevard back. It is an exciting
neighborhood, you never know who is going to walk through the door.
My favorite was Gavin, from Bush and his entire brood of kids running
through the store. It is by far my favorite store at the moment.
Because of the location and large layout, I was really able to spread
out and have fun merchandising.

How would you describe your store’s style/aesthetic?
Quirky but sheik at the same time, vintage, eclectic, handmade, and
visually entertaining. Spitfire Girl is filled with unusual and natural
curiosities that are always changing. We travel a lot in search of
oddities and antiques in addition to handmade artist goods. What
makes our stores different from other stores is a creative mind, an
artist is doing the curating. My buying style is not traditional by any
means.

 Where did you get your name from and what other names did you
consider?
There could never be any other name for my business. The name
Spitfire Girl came to me so easily. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I would
almost say it was a premonition. Anyone that knows me gets it, I am a
determined, strong willed, crazy creative lady. I love to gamble in the
sense I will walk straight into the fire every time without a thought.
It’s more exciting!
 
What types of items are your best sellers? (i.e. brands, specific
pieces, etc.)
Our Brand Spitfire Girl is by far the best seller. After SFG wares it’s oddities I
source from all over the world. A long time favorite for our customers is
handmade naked people from Guatemala, they are tiny hand sewn dolls,
with all their bits in tact, very strange little things, but people love them.

What item do you have in the store now that you would want to
have in your home?   
I love our handmade Turkish towels. They are so luxurious and functional at the same time.

What have you been inspired by lately? (colors, styles, themes,
locations, etc.)
I just got back from Paris and was able to get my hands antique
etchings from the 1800’s from the Paris flea market. I can’t wait to
use them in collages for a new SFG pillow line.

Is there something you thought would sell really well but didn’t?
Not really, I get super excited about the vintage and antique items we place in
the store thinking they are going to sell fast, but they take the longest.
I guess it takes a specific person to fall in love with each one of these pieces.

Where do you mainly source your items from?
All SFG wares are
made in the USA. Other goods are from all over the globe.

What was the first big lesson you learned from opening your store?
How to manage employees and recognize their strengths and direct them in
a way that compliments the company.

What would your one piece of advice you would give to small
businesses?
Never give up! Take it one day at a time and one foot in front of the other.
My Father always says, “ If it was easy anyone would do it”

What stores do you shop at?
Antique malls and swap meets, I’m a bit of a scavenger.

Do you have any plans to expand your inventory?
Always, every day we receive new inventory!

What trends, if any, are you tired of? 
Laser cut jewelry is definitely tired.

sfg interior 11 1017x1024 A Peek Inside Spitfire Girls Magic!

History of the Heart

historyoftheheart History of the Heart

The heart! It’s the international symbol of love, and we love to draw it on stuff and insert the emoji into cute texts, but where did it come from? How did its cute shape originate? Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day coming up, so we did some research and sought out some info on our favorite shape ♥

Funny thing is, the heart shape as we know it is believed to have originated from the African plant silphium, which is accredited to having contraceptive qualities. (Now we’re talkin!) The city of Cyrene was famous for the trade of this rare and sought out plant used for birth control, so much so that silphium became an important part of Cyrene’s economy. The government minted coins representing silphium’s seedpod, which looked a lot like the shape of the heart as we know it today.

silphium History of the Heart

Interesting! So it all comes down to sex… surprise surprise.

Here’s a few love-related Spitfire Girl items to help get ya in the mood:

love candle 150x150 History of the Heartlove poems 150x150 History of the HeartSSP 140 LapelPinLove2 150x150 History of the HeartScreen Shot 2015 05 06 at 11.48.26 AM 150x150 History of the HeartGetImage 9cfd66fd 93cf 40bd b465 b215414f7914 150x150 History of the Heart mini heart ring1 150x150 History of the Heartunnamed grande d11caf50 3224 4e5c 833e 277f778e5642 150x150 History of the HeartScreen shot 2015 05 26 at 6.06.25 PM 150x150 History of the Heartseduction salt web 1024x1024 150x150 History of the Heart

Alex Hillson of Bottleblond Jewels

BottleBlond banner Alex Hillson of Bottleblond Jewels

Bottleblond Jewels

is a Spitfire Girl favorite. We love that it’s handmade in LA, and influenced by juvenile jewelry and accessories crafted in the 1940s–1970s. Many of the components are even designed from genuine vintage molds and imprints. We reached out to owner and creator Alex Hillson, and asked her a few questions about her vintage-inspired jewelry and accessories line.

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How did you get started with Bottleblond?
I used to be an international business affairs executive in the film business.  After being laid off with 500 other people from my company, I decided I had enough of the corporate world.  I took some time off and started making hair clips from vintage components.  My family thought I was a little bonkers.  After a few months though, I was getting good feedback from people and I knew I had something unique to offer.  So I decided to take my severence and start my own business.  I havent looked back since.

What inspires you?
Definitely the biggest thing that inspires me is quirky, wacky and spirited little girls.  My niece is one of them for sure! I wanted to create a jewelry line that was especially for them so they can express themselves in a fun way and use their imagination too.  There are plenty of traditional choices out there for little girls.  I wanted Bottleblond to provide some original, handcrafted alternative choices that are a bit different than the usual fare.

Screen Shot 2015 09 29 at 1.57.04 PM Alex Hillson of Bottleblond Jewels

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
Resin pendants and cabochons, anything resin for sure!  Also, as we try to keep our prices reasonable, we cant work with gold or silver, so instead we work with a lot of raw brass charms.  I like the way it naturally patinas over time as opposed to cheaper gold plated materials that turn black and peel pretty quickly.  We can also hand paint them too which is fun.

What has been a favorite moment in your career?
I think when my niece Mia met her namesake necklace, Mia the Mermaid this summer in a store that carries our line in the Hamptons.  She shook the jar it came in and looked at the label and loved that her name was on it.

charms Alex Hillson of Bottleblond Jewels

What is a Spitfire Girl to you?
Oh this one is easy!  A Spitfire Girl is like a Bottleblond Girl. Spunk, bravery, curiosity and a sense of adventure.  Not afraid to eat a jalapeño pepper and peanut butter sandwich on a dare.  Always looking at things from a slightly different angle. Proud to be a girl and excited to get stuck in the top car on the ferris wheel because she knows that’s where the view is the best!

We couldn’t agree more. Follow @bottleblondjewels on Instagram and shop Bottleblond in Spitfire Girl stores in LA and online.

Screen Shot 2015 09 29 at 2.43.40 PM Alex Hillson of Bottleblond Jewels

Unicorns!

unicorn banner large Unicorns!

Here at Spitfire Girl, we love unicorns. Not only are they magical, they represent courage, grandeur, wisdom, and nobility—all of the traits of a badass Spitfire Girl.

The history of the unicorn is also super interesting to us. According to legend, only a virgin can catch a unicorn. The original engraving pictured above is from the 15th century and shows the “capture” of the unicorn. And by golly did she capture a good one! It has the same face as Spitfire Girl’s new unicorn enamel pin.

The common depiction of the dreamy, white unicorn as we typically know it developed from narwals being hunted and having their tusks sold as magical unicorn horns. It was believed their horn had the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Wow!

narwhal life magazine illustration large Unicorns!

But with most symbols and badass creatures, the unicorn also has a dark side. The mythology of a dark, menacing unicorn developed from tales associated with the dangerous and mean-spirited wooly rhino.

The unicorn also has frenemies. In Babylonian folklore from 3500 BC, the lion and the unicorn hate each other. However, the unicorn and lion seem to have reconciled, as they make an appearance together on today’s British coat of arms. The unicorn as a symbol of goodness and honor, and the lion as a symbol of courage and strength. Aww, BFFs.

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom large Unicorns!

It’s no surprise that the unicorn’s grace, combined with its wild side, makes it a favorite for us at Spitfire Girl.

Check out the magicool unicorn items we have available in the shop.

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Screen shot 2015 08 03 at 1.11.46 PM compact Unicorns!BNDG 1748  57902.1426536547.380.380 compact Unicorns!44902 unicorn garden trinket plate 90c845db e2b6 4bb2 bfc2 9a82671a56f5 compact Unicorns!Unicorn Rainbow 1831bb6e e80f 4b0c 82af 91f92bf5731f compact Unicorns!IMG 1051 compact Unicorns!

INFL 2364 compact Unicorns!

 

 


Meet Kristin and Jason of Spitfire Girl

KristinJason large Meet Kristin and Jason of Spitfire Girl

Kristin Schroder is the original Spitfire Girl, a Texas craft genius who through her keen eye, careful curating, and unstoppable drive to create, has successfully launched the Spitfire Girl brand.

For Kristin, creativity has always been paramount in her life. Even with two small children there was never a choice when it came to making art – it was a part of her daily ritual. As she puts it now, “Wake up, make art!”

Around that same time, Kristin sent out birthday invitations for one of her daughters in the form of a funky little box with a note and a lizard toy inside. The children and parents were so tickled by the little box cards that Kristin knew she had to run with the idea.

With her background in design and experience in the fine arts world, Kristin turned to the gift market with her box cards and thus Spitfire Girl was born. Spitfire Girl grew rapidly but truly hit it’s stride when Kristin met her now husband Jason, seven years ago.

Kristin’s design aesthetic and eye for trends, and Jason’s illustrative prowess, from his background as a tattoo artist, made for a winning combination. Within two weeks of meeting each other they came up with the “cheeky fortune cookie line,” which was immediately picked up by retailers across the US.

With two beautiful retail stores in Los Angeles and a burgeoning online business. Kristin and Jason continue to create fun new products, setting new trends, and growing the Spitfire Girl Brand.

In LA? Visit Spitfire Girl’s store locations:
1939 1/2 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
7401 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Kristin large Meet Kristin and Jason of Spitfire Girl

Doesn’t take much…

So ok it’s Monday. Noone really likes mondays right? I don’t normally either- until the delivery man drops off boxes of newness! Today we got in some lovely wool bags and some Jonathan Adler but there was one thing in there that rocked my world even more then merch. NEW AWESOME business cards!

newbuscards 768x1024 Doesnt take much...

See what I mean? It really is just the little things that I love the most. We have been out of cards for a few days and I knew they were on order, but lookit- they were redesigned! I think they are so so cool and totally match the direction the shop has taken. Good job on you Spitfire Girl, good job indeed.

OMG! Kids’ Summer Art Sessions for Free!!!

This summer, from May 26th-June 30th, our store on Sunset Blvd. will be offering art sessions every Saturday (except for June 16th). Free for everyone. Children ages 3+ welcomed!! We will be serving refreshments and having loads of fun! So come on by anytime from 1pm-4pm and get your art on!

KidsCalendarFront 787x1024 OMG! Kids Summer Art Sessions for Free!!!KidsCalendarBack 787x1024 OMG! Kids Summer Art Sessions for Free!!!And our first event on May 26th, of course:

sockpuppets 767x1024 OMG! Kids Summer Art Sessions for Free!!!

Two Headed Monsters Invade The Store!!!

So… Recently at our stores there have been some extra-out-of-the-ordinary dolls lately… no–not dolls–MONTERS! yes, monsters. And thats’s not all: these monsters have two heads!

Naturally, I investigated their origin…

Turns out they come from Lapland (it’s near Norway), where they roam free and frolic amongst the technicolored, giant-sized daisies. TRUTH. I swear.

Also-they are not monsters-Technically, they are ambi-cranial dinosaurs. People just call them “monsters” because their afraid of anything with two heads.

With that, I apologize to all the of the ambi-cranial creatures out there. Be free to be you, irregular dinosaurs! Be free to be you!

twoheadednowrwegianmonsters Two Headed Monsters Invade The Store!!!

~Chels

A Helpful Flow Chart

Having trouble navigating the Echo Park store?

Getting overwhelmed by all the stuff to look at?

Don’t know where to start?

Well, have I got a treat for you!

Yes you.

The following is the first in a series of flow charts designed specifically for customers who are navigationally impaired…

Be lost no more!

flowchart A  Helpful Flow Chart

Now go… Go shop!

~Chels