Happy Birthday, Red Velvet!



It's hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we opened the doors to our new local shop! This past week we celebrated Red Velvet's birthday. It was such a crazy year. A year I will never forget! Here are a few of my favorite memories… Our Grand Opening Party What a surreal night. We were overwhelmed with love and support from our family, the community and our online friends.


Our ribbon cutting, which we chose to do privately with our family. It was so special showing them around the shop for the first time.


Our first store tour, photography by Mary of Float Away Studios. You can see the dress shop, the decor, the sweet shoppe, our children's and men's sections and some sister portraits.


Together, Emma and I had adventures in buying vintage, watching a beautiful couple get engaged in our shop, hiring new team members and creating a new website. We made our first lookbook and started working on our first dress collection in the new year.


You can read the full story of our first dress collection, here. It was an incredible experience!


In the first year we enjoyed working in the local shop, building displays and meeting hundreds of blog readers who came to visit!


We were honored to be on the local news five times, as well as lots of other wonderful publications.


We hired Kinsey to work in our local shop after meeting her when she modeled for a vintage shoot. She's been a special part of our year and a very important part of the RV team.


This was one of my favorite photo shoots from the whole year!


On September 1st we released our second collection. You can see all the dresses here and watch the lookbook video here. Our second collection was an even bigger learning experience than the first! It was a lot of fun and really special. We tried some new things, failed at a few and ended up with a collection that was more successful than the first. We are super thankful for this.


During both dress collections we collaborated with Mallory. She interned for us twice in 2011. She did an incredible job, built a solid portfolio, co-wrote an e-course with me and become one of my dearest friends. Recently, she was asked to give a talk at her school about her internship experience because it was so successful! We are incredibly proud of her and had a wonderful time working with her on these first two collections. I hope that the future brings us more opportunities to work with this talented little lady, but any company out there would be lucky to have her. 

Two of the other interns we worked with on the Autumn collection are working for Red Velvet now on 2012 designs. So, it's safe to say that 2011 was a wonderful year for building the Red Velvet team!



In September, we travelved to Chicago to sell our handmade goods at the Renegade Craft Fair. It was a lot of fun, surprisingly relaxing and felt like a treat after a year of being crazy busy.


This year was magical. I am so thankful for my partner, Emma, our wonderful family and support system of best friends. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to every single person who supported Red Velvet this year. We are so thankful and more excited than ever to move forward into the new year! 

What we learned this year: 

-You can't do everything, it's best to narrow your focus to a few special projects. We tend to focus on one project at a time throughout the year (clothing line, e-courses etc) this keeps things interesting.

-There is nothing more important than building a loyal, passionate team. When our employees have proven to be both passionate and loyal, we reward them.

-Testing things is good, Try things out before making a big commitment! And most importantly… Take advice from people who are wiser and more experienced than you. It pays to be a good listener and a note-taker! 

Would like like to learn more? I have written a post about What it's like to own a vintage boutique? and 5 Tips for Small Business Owners as well as an intensive e-course on business called Dream Job. Thanks for being a part of this wonderful adventure. xo. elsie

  • http://www.guccibagsjapan.com/ 札幌管区気象台によると、当時、現場付近は雪で、陸上でも風速7.6メートルの強風だった。沢田さんらを救助した登別市の「いぶり中央漁協」所属の漁船「第18幸峰丸」(4.9トン)の飯島弘孝船長は「海が急に荒れ、当時約4メートルの波が立っていた。5人の姿を確認したが、4人を引き上げるのが精いっぱいだった」と話している。

  • I know that your love for your craft is the main reason why your business turned out to be successful. Also, your site and your vintage store are super cool! Anyway, may Red Velvet have more birthdays to come!

  • I’ve been an avid follower of your blog and Emma’s too and I’m so impressed, inspired and in awe of what you ladies do together. You collaborate so seamlessly and always seem to work together to create the whole… and the whole is incredible. Congratulations.


  • happy birthday, red velvet! congratulations on a wildly successful year!



  • That’s so awesome, congrats! What a great story of the past year. Sounds like an amazing store, and I love the line!

  • So exciting! Congratulations you guys. What a wonderful journey.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • congratulations! i remember reading your blog while RV was opening, and i was so close to jumping in my car and taking a quick impromptu road trip right then and there, then i googled where it was located and realized my ‘quick’ road trip would be more like 5 days long of straight driving. i still plan on making the drive someday soon though! i find so much inspiration through your blogs, so thank YOU!. xo

  • Happy belated birthday to Red Velvet – thats so amazingly exciting!! You’re such an inspiration for bringing your dream to life, and it’s awesome that you’ve got a lovely sister and family/friends to support you along the way! I so need to visit the store one day – totally on my bucket list!!

    Congrats on everything you’ve achieved! xxo

  • Hi Elsie! I’m new at reding your blog, I’m from South America.

    I love it and all your work. Your store looks amazing.

    The best wishes for many more years to come!


  • I just found your blog and I have to say… I am enchanted! I’ve really been thinking about crativity in my wardrobe and home and how I want to recharge my creative batteries. Thanks for all the inspiration and congrats on your success!

  • I have loved your year review. Definitely I have so much to learn from you, however you inspired me to wanting to make my dreams com true! Thank you! 🙂


  • What a great post! It’s so nice to see people/artists pursuing their dreams and succeeding 🙂

  • Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your journey with us – I’m so inspired by you all everyday!

  • Congratulations ladies!

    I have recently discovered you and have already sent you a ‘customised item’ submission and will be signing up for an e-course in the New Year. i am hooked! x

  • Happy happy Birthday Red Velvet! What an amazing year it has been. Thank you for being a constant source of beautiful inspiration and for creating such gorgeous fashion. You rock my world!
    Sophie xx

  • Congratulations to Elsie and to all the team of RED VELVET !!! I wish you many more years of creativity and hapiness.

  • Happy Birthday!! Your blog is my first port of call when I log on to my computer of a morning and has been a great source of inspiration. You are always so upbeat and positive and you and Emma (and the team) deserve all the wonderful success!!

  • this is one of the best stories ever and so encouraging for others who have big plans and dreams! way to go ladies, happy bday RV.

  • Congratulations! Your store looks amazing. I’m starting to wish I lived in the midwest so I could come and shop there. Thank you so much for blogging about all of your adventures & craft projects… you keep me so inspired!

  • great photos! i love you the UP themed centerpiece the most! lovely blog, i’m following 🙂


  • Happy Birthday, Red Velvet! And congrats to you, Elsie, on all the pretty things you’ve accomplished.


  • happy birthday RV!! This place is truly special, and I can’t wait to visit again. You’ve got a *great* thing going. Really great.
    Love you.

  • Happy birthday! I am so happy for you! Best wishes for a magical next year!


    Here’s to another year and 50 more!!!!

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to all creative peeps out there!!!

    ~Helena from Georgia

  • Although I’m new to A Beautiful Mess & Red Velvet, your store seems so magical~ Congratulations on all the success! 🙂 I hope I get to visit your store one day!

  • Happy Birthday.. I hope i can go to there.. 🙂 i really love your dresses collection.. 🙂 congrats for both of you.. please export to my country soon.. 🙂 http://lovesimplegreen.blogspot.com/

  • aw, happy birthday, RV!! so incredibly happy for your success, guys! i really enjoy seeing all the progress and growth throughout the year. it’s incredible the amount of things you can accomplish, elsie.

    also, i totally agree with rubbing shoulders with people that are more experienced. i believe it’s one of the most important things to growing in any/every area of your life.

  • Lovely! This whole journey has been amazing, I loved seeing your business blossom 🙂 I can’t wait to take a roadtrip and stop by your store sometime in the summer!

    Happy birthday RVA!
    <3 Linda

  • Happy Birthday Red Velvet! I can’t believe it’s ony been a year…you guys have achieved so much! Congratulations!

  • i’m so happy I discovered your blog. It’s colorful and beautiful. I’m a fan !


  • Congrats!
    I must say i stumbled upon your blog a few weeks back and have been hooked ever since. I hope to aspire to something as great as this one day. Thank you for sharing your creative mind!

  • Happy happy day! You are living the dream of so many gals, including myself. Thanks for bringing inspiration and advice!

  • Happy Birthday, Red Velvet!! It has been amazing to follow how the store and your clothing line has progressed. Here’s to a fabulous and even greater second year.

  • Every time you post about your shop I get filled with inspiration and drive. It makes me want to get closer to my dream of owning my own shop.
    I wish I could see the shop in person, but living in B.C. Canada makes that tricky.
    I wish you many more successful and fun years ahead with Red Velvet!

  • How fun to see this journey! It’s clear how much passion and hard work has been put into this shop, and how proud you must be. Just lovely–wish I could visit!

  • Happy One Year!! What a great accomplishment and something so amazing to be proud of! Gear job with all of it. Many more to you beautiful Ladies 🙂

  • Happy birthday Red Velvet! You are such a huge inspiration Elsie Larson! To me & TONS of other people out there! Never lose your spark! XO

  • is it your birthday month and your RV birthday, too?? Amazing!! Happy birthday to the wonderful team at Red Velvet. Did you know one of my favorite dresses is from your shop? Congrats to more successful years.

  • congratulations!! it’s been so cool to see how your business has blossomed. i’ve been inspired to work on my own business too!

  • Red Velvet is just TOO cute! I love it! You guys are awesome and I’m so glad to see the progress it’s making! Is there an online store for red velvet?? I live so far away….. It would be awesome if I could order some clothing!! Thank you for sharing on your beautiful blog 🙂

  • YAY Red Velvet, congratulations! It’s been such a joy to witness all of the beautiful things happening in RV world! I’m so proud of you guys. 🙂


  • Oh, wow! Has it been a year already?! Happy birthday! And here’s to many more accomplishments!

  • Happy Birthday, Red Velvet! The story of your shop (and career in general) serves as a huge source of inspiration for me. I know you have many many more wonderful and successful years to come 🙂 !

  • Happy Bday Red Velvet! I can’t believe it’s been a year. You earned this and worked so hard so celebrate gooood 🙂


  • I’m a little teary eyed reading all of this. So proud of what you guys have accomplished. You are incredibly inspiring. <3 Erin

  • I’ve been wanting to buy your Dream Job ecourse for aaages and today I finally did it (while waiting to start work haha). I’m so excited to buy a super brand new notebook and pen on my lunch break to start writing down everything 🙂

    Lots of love and thankyous 🙂

    x Jenn.

  • awww happy birthday!! i still have yet to make a visit to your shop! one of these days i will!!!

  • I hope that you will have many more anniversaries to come. One day it would be so lovely to visit your store and meet all of you beautiful ladies.

  • Happy Birthday and congratulations ladies! So cool to see such creative gals’ dreams come true. xo

  • Congratulations ladies! I definitely thought your store was amazing, a great treat to wander through…everything was so lovely and well merchandised.


  • congrats elsie & the rva clan!!!!
    watching your business grow is amazing. so happy for you all, and wishing you continued success!!!!

  • Wow congratulations in all your successful accomplishments within this one year. I wish you many more throughout the years. You guys have done a great job with the shop as well as your blogs & clothing lines!

  • congratulations!! you ladies have been SUCH an inspiration to me & thousands of others. keep up that amazing work, gals!

  • The RV team always looks like they’re having fun! Thanks for the inspiration – I’m off to check out your 5 Tips for Small Business Owners…


  • Congratulations!!! Happy Birthday!! It’s amazing to see that sometimes dreams become reality… I hope it will be the same for mine!


  • Happy birthday Red Velvet!!!! Cheers and congrats!!!

    I hope you have a very nice day!!!


  • Contratulations!! Your work is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing those links and your advises, I’m trying to start over after loosing my job. I’m a researcher and I’m usesd to work at the libraries so it’s being a little hard to change now. However I will read carefully your advices because I want to do something on my own. I still don’t know waht but I’m sure I’m going to figure out soon.

    Thanks again!


  • Cheers to you!!! Happy Birthday Red Velvet. What a lovely shop.




  • Happy Birthday to Red Velvet! I love your passion, creativity, and willingness to try new things and grow. It’s a fabulous post of highlights. And thank you for the reminder that you can’t do everything. My mom’s told me that my whole life and I still need to hear it. And thank you for so consistently sharing your lessons and inspirations with us!! xoxo

  • Happy Birthday Red Velvet!
    Congrats Elsie & Emma on your 1st year!
    Wish you the best!
    Xo Sarai

  • As magical & hardworking as the past year has been for Red Velvet reading your blog daily comes with some major advantages! Your passion & drive is contagious and inspirational! keep up the good work, your team & you are such a positive influence in my life! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so YOU!

  • Happy Birthday!! It must be a great feeling to look back and see how far you’ve come! Very inspiring : )

  • Happy Birthday, Red Velvet!!!
    Congratulations to you and your team!
    I wish you all the best!

  • Thanks for this great summary of your successful year! Lots of luck in the future! Hugs!


  • Congatulations on all of your success! It’s been a pleasure to follow along with you on your journey and I can’t wait to read more about it!

    P.s. I’m still attempting to finagle the time out of my hectic schedule to make it down there! I hope I can soon!

    <3 Sarah

  • Congratulations on reaching this landmark! You’re a role model for making your dreams come true. Hope you guys get some well-deserved time off! 🙂

  • Congratulations. What a sweet post. I really love the feel of positive collaboration. Seems like you have an awesome team.

  • Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year! Congratulations that’s so exciting. And as always, your shop looks so pretty!

  • happy one year! you guys are so inpiring to the aspiring self employed! i bought your dream job e course and can’t wait to put all i’m learning into action! here is to another amazing year for red velvet!

  • eeeee!! conrgrats. i feel like i’ve been following along with you on this amazing journey.

  • Wow, has it been a whole year?! Congratulations to you amazing sisters and to the whole team! It has been such fun to share the journey with you. You inspire me constantly 😀

  • Happy Birthday Red Velvet! What makes you guys such a success is, you are all genuinely kind and caring people. In your world all people deserve a chance, creativity is encouraged, hard work is rewarded, acceptance and respect is the norm, all are equal and none is better than the other. Everyone is family! Wish more people lived in your world.

  • Congratulations! Great photos of great memories. I would love to visit someday!

    Keep up the fantastic work for all of us readers out here 🙂

  • Congratulations and Happy Birthday!!! Here’s to many many more years to come!!!! <3

  • Congratulations! What an amazing year for you! I’m so glad my friends and I were able to stop by RV on our road trip in June. You ladies are so inspiring! Keep you the great work! Love and blessings in your second year!

  • yay red velvet! wish you all so much success in the years to come. hopefully in the next year i will be able to come visit from kansas city!

  • Aw this is such a great post! Congratulations on EVERYTHING, Elsie!


  • Truly inspiring. My best friend and I have dreams to open our own cafe/craft shop. I love all your ideas. The ceiling of Red Velvet is amazing! You’ve got a wonderful place to work with.

  • Happy Birthday! I’m so happy for you! I’m so glad that I’ve seen you grow and evolve and I’m sure that we’re going to see more amazing things from you over the years! Congratulations and good luck with everything that you’re up to! 🙂

  • What a great story! I continue to be inspired by your drive and innovation. Keep it up 🙂

  • Such a cool shop. Too bad I’m from Poland and it’s a bit too far to visit it.
    But someday, when you will be well known at whole earth, then maybe you will start a small shop in Poland haha 😀

  • WOW! Congrats Elsie & the entire Red Velvet Family! What an amazing year! Truly inspiring and amazing to see all of your successes for the year! Cheers to many many many more years of great stories and Red Velvet love!

  • it has been a true delight to watch your journey unfold. your whole team is such an inspiration. thank you for doing what you do.

  • Happy birthday to Red Velvet! You’re doing a good job, so keep it up! I love reading all of your business and blogging tips!


  • awwhh this was so sweet! Your blog and your store are both such a big inspiration to me! My friends and I look through your blog all day sometimes and we’ve done the majority of your DIYs. x. Jill.


  • A year already? wow! Happy birthday!
    Although I have never been in your shop (but I will someday, promise!), I’ve followed your blog and the things you do are so special and inspirational to me. You are a great creative team.
    Cheers for this past year and for the ones will come.

  • Happy Birthday Red Velvet!! i really want to go to EEUU and visit your shop! (buy an awesome dress and eat a cupcake and…maybe bubble tea too!).

    Your “red velvet” universe brings magic and inspiration to my life everyday!!

    Kisses from Spain,


  • Congrats! I love following along on your shop adventures… you guys are such an inspiration!!
    xo~ Michelle

  • Happy Birthday Red Velvet! Congrats guys! So glad I was able to be a tiny part of it!

  • What a great year 🙂 I will be driving through Springfield on a road trip in a couple weeks, and I hope the timing works out to visit your shop!

  • Congratulations! I would love to visit your shop, but as I live in the UK I will have to visit it through your blog for now!

    You’re a total inspiration- completely original, authentic and fun!

  • CONGRATS!!! From the bottom of my heart! I’ve been following your blog for a little over a year and I am hooked! You and your team surprise me with all of your awesomely authentic posts. I never get tired of visiting the Red Velvet team blogs. Keep up the GREAT work! 🙂

  • It has been so amazing watching you and your team on this amazing journey. congrats on a stellar year and here’s to many more!!

  • Congratulations to both you and Emma. We, your devoted following, have enjoyed sharing this journey with you. Thanks for allowing us such great sneakpeaks, advice and just plain fun 🙂

  • Happy Birthday – reading through the blog brought a smile to my face remembering each of the events you describe.I have followed your year from the UK – you are a big inspiration for me – I did the first Indie Business e course and am adapting and using the materials again and again. Thank you – I too feel part of your journey x

  • Happy Birthday!! it has been such an exciting year for you ladies! and this was such a nice post, to see a little of all of the great things you have accomplished. congratulations!

  • Wow, congratulations, you’ve managed to create and maintain something that looks really special.

  • This has brought a little tear to my eye! Since finding your blog and reading the dream job and blog love e-courses, my life has changed for the better. I know that sounds a bit gushy and exaggerated… but I really do mean it. The Red Velvet journey has been such an inspiration to me and I only hope that one day I can get to the point where I am living my own dream job!
    Congratulations Elsie and the RV team, and thanks for always brightening up my day!

    x Rachel

  • Happy birthday, Red Velvet! Cheers!

    I believe this is my first time to comment but I’ve been reading your blog for months. I’m always looking forward to what you come up with. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

  • Happy Birthday, Red Velvet! Congratulations, Elsie and RV team!

    I’m so happy for all you guys for all your success, hope you’ll enjoy many more years of experience and joy!

  • I am so happy for all of you! It’s been a treat reading your blogs this past year and being able to read along on your adventures with you. You girls are all so inspiring! So excited for what 2012 has in store for you! XO!

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