Style is the buzzword at That Poor Girl. Co-owners Tori Poor and Linda Blake stock their cozy King Street store at Whiteway Corner with an eclectic blend of vintage clothing, fashion jewelry and unique accessories to complement your modern wardrobe. When we meet on Friday afternoon, Tori is dressed in a black baby doll peignoir set accented with a gold belt and snow leopard ballet shoes, adding her contemporary flair to this classic look. Her sense of style dispels the myth that vintage clothing means outdated fashions or is intended only to be worn as costumes. “You can put a vintage top with a modern skirt and put chunky heels on and you’ve got something walking down the runway,” the trendy stylist advises. “There are so many things you can do with vintage. It can be new.”
Having grown up with parents active in estate sales and antiques, Tori has long appreciated and collected diverse clothing and accessories from the past. Since her teenaged years, Tori shared fond memories of spending time searching for unique fashions and hearing stories about vintage clothing she bought at funky second-hand shops, like Time Warp, formerly in Riverside’s Five Points. When that shop closed, she began her own quest to keep vintage designs and their back stories alive for other young fashionistas. “It’s not just old clothes or thrift stores. Vintage clothing has a story behind it. If you pick out a dress, I probably know the story behind it,” said Tori. Originally, she sold pieces from her treasure trove at her parents’ store, including their current shop, A Champions Consignment, before branching off to her own store with her business partner. United by their shared sense of style, Tori credits Linda’s business sense and financial support with helping her to further channel her creative talents as they launched their enterprise. They learned about the availability of the intimate King Street space through Craig’s List and jumped at the chance to start their business small, growing it over time. Longer-term, they hope to expand their retailing efforts online through eBay for vintage clothing and Etsy for hand-crafted accessories.
Currently, these two retailers are often busy styling photo shoots at Brasil + West Photography or providing unique fashions for budding Jacksonville photographers, filmmakers and models for “Test Shoot Tuesdays” at Bubble Wrap Studio. When the duo tends their shop, they favor a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy sharing stories behind each fashion item or accessory with their customers. They appreciate the diversity of the King Street scene, including a customer who seeks out fun accessories for his fashionable Jack Russell Terrier. “There are so many interesting people who walk by here. I love it,” adds Tori. The boutique also promotes local artists including original acrylic paintings by Sebastian “Troy” Pierre and hand-made jewelry, hair bows and rings by Shantel Niblock and Anthony Danes (both are on Facebook). For other young retailers, Tori notes that it is important “to stay motivated. You have to push yourself and stay focused. Stay open for as long as you can, be here as often as you can. And keep following your instincts. For me, if I see something that inspires me I am going to run with it. Don’t ignore inspiration.”
These talented stylists are supporters of local charities, including Girls Rock Camp, which provides opportunities for young girls, ages 9 to 16, to participate in workshops on music, creativity, songwriting, peer collaboration, and confidence-building. They are also looking forward to styling contestants in a 1960s/1970s-themed Charity Photoshoot Contest, organized and hosted by model Sarah Ann Smith, Manikin Model and Talent Agency, on October 13. Local photographers, Brasil + West Photography and Daryna Barykina will be taking photos of up-and-coming professional and amateur models with the winners helping to direct proceeds to local charities along with being awarded fun prizes.
If you are looking to make that one-of-a-kind fashion statement, to enhance your daily wardrobe or to receive professional styling for a special event or creative portfolio, make an appointment with the gifted team at That Poor Girl. Call them at 904-525-0490, stop by 1504 King Street at Whiteway Corner, or friend them on Facebook.
–Bridges DelPonte - www.bridgesdelponte.com