Heart of Haute Blog
Our Favorite BFF fashion blogging team had the keen idea to review pieces from our recent collaborative design collection with Pinup Couture, which we happen to call Best Frocks Forever!
Check out their Blog for more images and their full review!
Hey Honeys! Mandie Bee, here. This is the first of soon-to-be many posts about our featured retailers!
I like to call it, the Shop Spotlight.
Online shopping may not be for everyone, so why not stop in to a local spot and try something on? Brick and Mortar shops are a unique way to socialize and build relationships with people in your community. If you're interested a unique selection of clothes and WAY better personalized service than you would ever find in a big box store, shop small and shop local! You'd be amazed at what you'll find and who you may meet....
Heart of Haute supplies shops all around the world with our American made garments and in an effort to keep our scene alive and friendly-made fashion in mind, we provide you with some fun features on our retailers!
Owners, Julie Ann and Andrew, are two of the coolest cats and we have been so lucky to work with them!
To share with our community and alert those that may be passing through Tonawanda, NY, be sure to visit Cats Like Us and let them know we sent ya!
*Where are you located?*
67 Main Street, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (Tonawanda is a suburb of Buffalo, about 20 minutes North.)
*Hours of Operation:*
Wed, Fri, & Sat 11-6 and Thurs 11-8 (We are open 12-5 Sundays in December)
*When did you open Cats Like Us?*
October 1, 2009
*What inspired you to open a retro-themed clothing shop?*
Andrew and I are born and raised in Western New York. I have a business background and he has a web/design background, and we share a great love for everything mid-century modern. We love the, fashion, design, and music from the 1940's through the 60's. But since we are actually children of the 80's, we experienced the 50's as a wave of revivals in movies, TV, and music. From Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Grease in the '70s, to The Stray Cats in the 80's, to Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and swing dance in the '90s--we have always had a great love of retro. After we finally made it to Viva Las Vegas in 2009 (and having a blast) on the ride home we started talking about opening our own store. Between Julie Ann's business education and retail experience, and my design and web experience, we covered almost all the bases we needed to get started.
The boutique was born of the desire to “do a store right”. Really it's a simple formula: attractive store, great merchandise and even better service – it's a winning combination. The clothing is a hand-picked collection of retro and vintage-inspired brands. We like classic styles with a bit of an edge. Retro for the everyday girl, and Heart of Haute is exactly that!
*What do you love most about operating your store?*
The people I meet whether through the store-front or as vendors. Many of our customers have turned into best friends. Everyone works well together and supports each other.
*What do you love most about Tonawanda?*
We are an up and coming neighborhood that you can take a day trip to. Our location has a nice "Main Street USA" feel with lots of shops and restaurant. Andrew actually wrote a blog about it a few years ago (http://catslikeus.com/blogs/
*Does your shop do anything special to participate in the local community?*
Yes, every month we have in in-store event that features a local artisan with a retro theme. It could be an artist selling universal monster prints, repro chalkware, or kitchen towels, a pinup hair and makeup demo, or dress seminar -- and that's only the beginning.
We are also strong supporters of the SPCA Serving Western New York. Every spring we collect food and items from their Wish List and, in exchange, we give our customers store discounts.
This year we are the Shop Small ambassadors for Tonawanda, to help promote the area on Small Business Saturday, November 28. It's fun to rally nearby places and show outsiders what a great hidden gem Tonawanda is!
Last but not least, we are organizing the 2nd annual Christmas in the City Swing Dance, a free dance with lesson included. Last year's dance was such a success, we were delighted to be asked to have another one this year.
So you can imagine there's always something going on!
*At what events might we find Cats Like Us vending?*
In the past we have vended at local burlesque shows, rockabilly concerts, and festivals. Since we run a tight ship, staffing can be hard. We limit ourselves to places nearby and only take select items.
*Is there anything your brick and mortar shop offers that the online shop does not?*
Our online inventory is the same as the brick and mortar.
We we offer friendly, personalized service – which is very retro! We pride ourselves in making sure you look great in our clothes--so we tell you when an items looks good, AND when it doesn't. After all, every customer is our brand ambassador, so we want you to look your best!
We bring varied and wonderful artisans and feature related businesses in our store monthly.
*Anything else you'd like to share?*
We have an updated website that everyone should check out, and always have something special for our newsletter subscribers.You can sign up here: http://catslikeus.com/
catslikeusretro Twitter: http://twitter.com/cats_like_ us Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ catslikeus/boards/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/ catslikeus
Calling all Haute Honeys!!! We've been waiting weeks and weeks for the first parts of our production to come back on the AMAZING and adorable El Gato Gomez collection of dresses.
NOW is your chance to jump on the opportunity to make one of our adorable dresses your own. The Coral El Gato dresses are in stock and ready to ship today* (based on popular, some sizes may be sold out). So don't hesitate. Has The Serena dress been on your mind?? Or maybe the cute and comfy Sarah Dress?
Don't forget that the Cropped Cardigan in Coral El Gato is perfectly tonal to the coral color of our material to make a complete set!
As a fan and collector of El Gato Gomez's iconic mid-century inspired art work, I couldn't help but reach out and ask her to collaborate with me for Heart of Haute. What first was imagined as a line of t-shirts, soon became an entire collection of full circle skirted dresses with a Black Cat & Asterisk motif, paired perfectly with tonal cropped cardigans.
This is the first time we've collaborated with an artist and we're excited to release this first fun collection featuring all new dress designs. All dresses and skirts are full circle to accommodate the engineered print to suit the swoop of the skirt. Our new cropped cardigan is now available to order in 3 color ways, and will be coming soon in 2 more as the seasons change.
The NEW Dresses are officially availble for PRE-ORDER. Shipments will begin on the dresses on September 15th. Cardigans are in stock and ready to ship today (if you just can't wait). We have a limited number available on each color. Be the first to rock this new collection and get your orders in early!
The Haute Circle Skirt in Red The Cropped Cardi in White with El Gato Screen Print
El Gato Gomez has gallery representation at the WonderGround Gallery at the Disneyland theme park in California, Creature Features in Burbank, California, The Harold Gollen Gallery in Miami, Florida, and the One-Shot Gallery in New York City. Her art work has also been featured at the amazing modernist cultural events, Tiki Oasis and Modernism Week in Palm Springs.
Disney enthusiasts will be glad to find her Disneyana inspired art pieces like these...
I've personally been collecting El Gato's black cat paintings. Part of the reason I fell in love with this artist is because she took elements of everything I loved and put them together. I mean....who doesn't dig a hip little kitty chillin' in an atomic-age living room?
and here's just a handful of some of El Gato's other works....
These few paintings are such a small sampling of her entire body of work. She's always coming out with new paintings and sells original pieces directly to her fans on eBay. You will rarely ever see prints of her paintings. If you're totally digging El Gato Gomez, head on her over to website to follow her social accounts and eBay sales.
With Love & No Regrets,