The story of our local boutique

The story of our local boutiqueMany of you have asked for an update on our local store. We thought it might be a fun idea to tell the whole story from the very beginning, since a lot of you may not have been following us five years ago when we started blogging this journey. 

We recently made the difficult decision to close our local store. We are researching options and will likely be holding an estate sale later this summer to sell our remaining inventory. I realize this may sound like very sad news. But once you read this, I think you'll understand why it's the smartest choice for us right now. Owning our two local stores created some of our happiest memories. Even though retail isn't our dream for the future, it's a super special part of our past. I hope you enjoy our story! 2008- We announced the opening of Red Velvet ArtNovember 2008: I announced that we were planning to open our first local store and website!

I had recently started dating Jeremy (awwww!), so, when I look back on this season, I remember it as being one of the first big career developments we experienced together. We leased a building where I lived upstairs, and downstairs we set up his studio in the back room and my (teeny tiny) first local shop in the front room. February 2009 on the local news for our store openingFebruary 2009 on the local news for our store openingIn February of 2009: Filming a segment for our local news with Rachel the day before we opened. Major butterflies!

In 2009, our first store location opened, along with our first website. We sold lots of handmade things and paintings, along with small runs of t-shirts and accessories. It was an exciting time! The store was open six days a week, and I worked there 4-5 days each week by myself for the first year. At nights I would stay up late making paintings and accessories to sell on our website. We were barely making ends meet. It was hard, exhausting but so fulfilling and special. 2010 Vintage 2010: We shot these photos in an abandoned elementary school building. 

In 2010 we were falling hard for vintage style and clothing. We started experimenting with some fashion photo shoots. I started reworking vintage clothing for our online shop and dreaming about selling clothing locally. 

In the summer of 2010 we had a chance to buy a large, fully stocked vintage business from a woman who was ready to retire (she was selling her vintage inventory and handing over the lease on the building). We jumped on this opportunity, even though it was a huge risk! 2010 was one of the happiest years of my whole life. After living in LA for three years, Emma decided to move home and become my business partner. We spent a month planning on the phone every day, and then I drove to LA and helped her move home. 2010 store opening with familyOctober 2010: Celebrating the opening of our second location with our family. We opened our doors after three months of rennovating our new location!

Hope at our store openingAww, Hope's owl costume on our opening night! 

2010 retail tags with family photosThese are the tags we designed using old family photos. 🙂

2010 Bubble Tea2010 Cupcake shop2010 Cupcake shopIn October 2010, Emma and I opened the new location for Red Velvet, selling vintage, with an extra fun addition, a cupcake and bubble tea shop that she created in the store! Planning the menu and testing recipes was incredibly exciting.

In the months after we opened, Emma talked to me about feeling kinda "stuck" in her new venture. Developing the recipes and fixing up the shop had been so much fun, but the daily routine of making the same cupcakes over and over again wasn't inspiring her. It was around that time I invited Emma to share some of her recipes here on ABM, and the idea of writing this blog together started to develop. 🙂2010 Red Velvet Store Opening2010 Red Velvet Store Opening2010 Red Velvet Store Opening2010 Red Velvet Store Opening2010 Red Velvet Store Opening2010 Red Velvet local storeOur first year at the new location was amazing! After it opened, we worked together 5-6 days each week for about a year. We had so much time to plan, to dream and to work on the blog. It was during that time we really started to envision what we wanted this blog to become. We posted more often (almost 3 times as much), started sharing DIYs and tutorials, and even hired our first shop girl (Kinsey!) allowing us to devote more time to the blog. Because of this, our readership started to grow… by 400% in a single year! 2011 Emma + ElsieIn 2011 we experimented more with product development releasing our first dress collection. It was an amazing experience from both a creative and business standpoint. After our first collection, we realized we wanted to continue designing fashion and products. Another passion was born! 2011 with friends at Red VelvetIn late 2011 we met our now literary agent, Lindsay. We had been talking to a publisher about a possible book deal around the same time. One day, while we were working in the shop, we got a call from our agent that we had our first book deal offer. There were tears… lots of happy tears. We had been dreaming of authoring a book together one day, but we had no idea this dream would happen so soon!

Over the next few months we rented a temporary studio for photographing our first book. We were working less and less in the local store, hiring more shop girls to fill in the gaps. Over the course of the year in 2012, we started thinking maybe retail wouldn't fit into our big picture dream for the future. At first we were in denial. I would get very emotional when we talked about selling the vintage business. We put off making a decision. But even after the first book was turned in nothing changed. We still couldn't make enough time to give the store the proper care it deserved. Finally, we admitted to ourselves it wasn't just working on books that kept us from pouring into the store. We realized our dream had evolved to creating and sharing content, and it required more of our attention to do it right.2012 on our 2 year anniversary2012 was a blur… a big, exciting, wonderful blur. We worked on two books, an app, multiple product designs and some really awesome campaigns on this blog. We started forming new dreams and a new five-year plan. Emma is the best partner in the world, and dreaming big together has been so amazing for our relationship, both business and personal. 

We talked about selling the business and even showed it to a couple prospective buyers. We were taking our time and trying to find the perfect fit. But more recently the building's owner decided their family would prefer to sell the building, rather than continue leasing it. So we are planning to hold an estate auction later this summer to sell the remainder of our inventory, which is still thousands of items (we have a fully stocked second floor too). At this point, we are no longer sad to see the store go. We've accepted that in life we simply cannot do everything, and we want to put 100% of our energy into writing this blog, our books and doing collaborations. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to open our local stores and the sweet shoppe. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we are so proud of! 2012 on our 2 year anniversary One of the things we will miss most about our local shop is how we have gotten to meet so many of you there! Over the past couple of years, hundreds of sweet blog readers have stopped into the shop to say hello. We hope to find other opportunities in the future to connect with some of you again in person. We have already booked one opportunity this summer (we'll announce more about this soon!) and we hope to find or create other opportunities in the future. :) Thanks so much for reading and being a part of our story! xo. Elsie (and Emma)

Photography credits: Janae Hardy, Alec Vanderboom and Float Away Studios

P.S. In case you're curious, we will definitely share more information with you about our local store estate sale in case you own a small vintage business and are looking to stock up on inventory, or are just a vintage enthusiast who lives nearby. Once we have a date set we'll be sure to share it with all of you.

  • I had always dreamed of the day that I would get to go to your shop! Sad to hear it will now never happen but look forward to seeing what the future holds for you!

  • Wow – I can’t believe I’ve been reading since 09/10! How time flies!! Congrats ladies on following your hearts to bigger things – I am so inspired by your passion & drive! I’m sad I never got to visit the store – but I can’t wait to see what happens next for you both 🙂

  • I have to say – I’m quite sad.
    I move to America this summer (from Germany)
    and hoped to come to your shop and maybe chat with
    you amzing girls.
    Too bad for me that I turned 18 this late.

    Lovely Greetings Maxi

  • I have to say – I’m quite sad.
    I move to America this summer (from Germany)
    and hoped to come to your shop and maybe chat with
    you amzing girls.
    Too bad for me that I turned 18 this late.

    Lovely Greetings Maxi

  • Good luck Elsie and Emma! Such an inspiring story.
    Shlomit and Anat Ofir

  • Thanks so much for sharing its a really inspirational story! My Sisters and I dream of working together so its nice to see a success story :). I was at the Nylon Sucre concert in NYC it was so much fun!!! I wish I had known you guys were there so that I could have met you. Good luck with all of your new ventures, cant wait to see what you guys do next.


  • Ohhhh! I was wondering about your store as well but now I understand what happen: CHANGE! change in our lives are always welcome, makes us learn about diferente subjects, makes our life full of challenges and makes us see how strong sometimes we have to be to deal with situations unexpected (like closing the store down)

    Keep up the great job! Who knows if in the future you feel like opening another shop? 😀

    Love in your way Elsie and Emma, wish you light in your path. xo

  • Wow. Your story is inspiring. It affirms that all of those so called “small, meaningless” ideas can really turn into a career! So long as you believe, follow, and set goals. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired 🙂

  • When I read this post, I dream about some projects with my little sister. You look so happy and in peace with yourselves…

  • Oh god. This post is so inspiring and those pictures are awesome. I would love to visit US and come visit your shop!

    Olive xox

  • What a great story! I’m pretty new to your blog, and it’s so inspiring to hear your story from start to finish. It’s amazing how dreams evolve and change over time – and you ladies have seen such success! I wish you all the best in your next venture and that your blog baby continues to grow.

    xx, Bubbly in Brooklyn

  • I’m sad to see the store go! I was so excited last year when I took a day trip out there! I would love to come back for the estate sale! Please let us know more about it when it comes. It’s sad, but exciting things are to come!


  • Following your journey with the Red Velvet Vintage store front was such a joy through these years, and has always been incredibly inspiring! So much so, that when I was in Missouri visiting my Grandma, we made the three hour drive just so I could see it in person. I left feeling creatively recharged and with a bag full of adorable goodies that I still treasure. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us, I will definitely be making the trek from California for the estate sale this summer, this gal’s got a little vintage business that needs more fabulous stock, and more time with my Grammy too!

    Lots of love and best wishes on your next creative adventure!

  • This is one of my favorite posts. Thanks for sharing. You ladies are such an inspiration.

  • What a lovely place, I wish I could see it personally, one day!

  • Hey guys,

    I love your blog, especially your business posts. It’s really inspiring to see two women accomplish so much while doing something they love. You guys have some serious tenacity and business savvy. It’s something I aspire to. 🙂

  • Now I must come visit the shop before you sell it. So glad it’s summer. Road triiiip!!! 🙂

  • Love the pictures, but most of all, the story <3 I’m sure you’ll have success in all your projects! 🙂

  • This must feel like the end of an era for y’all! I have been reading for years (2? 3?) but wow, seeing those pics from 2010, you both have such baby faces! Adorable.

    Congratulations on a big decision. Keep following your hearts. 🙂

  • So inspiring! Thanks for sharing! Love the images with narrations. I LOVE VISUALS!

  • For those of us who have never been to your store–we wish we’d had the opportunity…looks like a fun “girl’s” outing! Do you think the store helped your blog or visa versa? Best wishes!

    Mary Wilding

  • Such an inspiring story, and oh gosh the vintage dresses are to die for, I’m so sad I don’t live in the US! If not I’ll buy your whole inventory haha!

  • Such a bittersweet story. You guys are such an inspiration- best of wishes for your future!

    xo melanie

  • What a wonderful story I feel inspired to start my own (wonderful story) thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Wow, that’s one journey you two made! Happy to know that you guys are successful and inspiring others. Remember; your blog is the most wonderful blog that exists today.

  • You girls what an amazing post! This has inspired me in so many ways, I’m currently near graduating but I’ve realized over the past year it’s not exactly the career I want to go for. While I’ve been doubting so much about really taking the step and doing another study for a year, I’ve come to see we just grow and our dreams evolve with us. It’s great to see how other people accept that as well. Your store looked amazing, I’m sure you learned so much from it 🙂 Maya – Archistas

  • Are you thinking to change/develop you on line shop as well? If yes, how would you like to transform it?

  • SO MANY GOOD MEMORIES!! Seriously, both of your shops hold a special place in my heart. It is sad to let go of something special, but you guys are so stinkin smart, and I know the future is bright for you both. I’m so honoured that I was able to visit these places, and remember them as fun times. Bridesmaid bouquet making, late night pad thai, photo shoots, trying on the prettiest dresses, playing with dolls, enjoying some of the best bubble tea I’ve had, cupcake parties, Rach’s birthday party, that is one epic list!
    so much love.

  • OMG! i’m new follower of the blog & simply love it you both been through a lot of things & such an amazing experience, i hope one day i could visit one of your stores would be lovely

  • I enjoyed realizing that there were other creative people in my neck of the woods, and made a stop at your store briefly on the way from Austin to St. Louis. Now I live in Cali, but enjoyed finding about so much fun stuff (and fun bloggers) in the Midwest that I still read regularly.

  • so inspiring! i hope to go on a similar path one day, cool to hear how it all worked out for you guys

  • Hi. I’ve been a fan of yours for years now. I hadn’t really thought about how long I’ve been following your blog until I read this post and I was reading from the very first little adorable shop and actually bought a print from you all way back when. You and your sister have inspired me over the years and earlier this year, I made my dream of owning my own business a reality. I really believe your blogs have been my main inspiration for following my own dream and doing what I love.

    P.S – definitely getting the App, that looks so cute!

  • While I’m sad that I never got to go to the store, I’m excited for your new ventures. What a great chapter in your life to have had! I look forward to the future of ABM and everything it will bring. And maybe I’ll make a road trip to your estate sale!


  • That was a great post! I started reading ABM this year, but I had already fallen in love with it! It’s a little bit sad that you’re gonna close the store -I dreamed a lot of stopping by someday- but wish you girls all the best in whatever the future holds to you! Thanks for all the inspiration (:

  • Oh man, it’s so weird to realise I’ve been following for about 5 years!

  • I was wondering about Red Velvet! Well, it sounds like it was a wonderful adventure and now it’s time for a new one! Thanks for the story 🙂

  • This was a really inspiring post! I only had started following in 2012, so I didn’t know your whole story. It was nice to read and especially inspiring for me, because I like you have many passions and sometimes its very hard to find exactly how they all fit in!

  • What a wonderful experience you two have had! I am so impressed with your ability to take life-changing (calculated) risks and change directions when the time is right. Can’t wait to see what comes next for you two!

  • It was nice to re-read about your adventure. I have been following you guys for a while and I’m finally starting my own blog. Your blog has been a huge inspiration and it is so encouraging to see all of the opportunities it has brought for the two of you. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    – KM

  • Oh là là!!! What a story, what a journey! I started to read this blog in the “ELSIE’S CAMERA LIST….” post and I’m addicted to it ever since.
    To see and read the ABM Blog is a part of my routine nowadays.
    My favorite part is always the whole talking about following your heart and dreams. You girls demonstrate so much passion in every written line here that I started to follow my passions and dreams to!
    Inspiring, that’s what this amazing blog is! That’s what you girls are, both of you together with all your collaborative friends!
    This change in your life is amazing and a wish you the best of luck – luck with 5 stars ★★★★★ !!!!
    I never got to meet your local store, well, I’m 5 thousand miles away (literally) from there, but I enjoyed all the posts about it!

    By the way, I’m from Porto Alegre – RS – Brasil!


  • Awww. I’m so sadden by this news, as much as I’m happy for your coming wonderful adventures!

    I had always told myself that when I visit the US, I will make a special trip down to your store!

    All the best and keep being so awesome, you girls!

    Sending all my love and best wishes all the way from Singapore!!

  • The photographs are so lovely. They seem so lively. It’s so wonderful how much you’ve done. I wish you all the best for the future.

  • My sister and I will definitely make a road trip to visit the store for the last hoorah. Are there any places you would recommend for staying the night? A bed and breakfast maybe? I would love to hear any suggestions you might have.



  • Can’t help, but say I am a little sad I never got to visit the shop, but that’s life – you have to move on and seize new opportunities. And I am happy to follow your blog and activities. Good luck with everything and thanks for sharing the story of the shop!

    xx Kaisa

  • My sister and I will have to plan a road trip to see the shop one last time before it’s gone and hopefully get to meet you Elsie. On our last visit, you had just gotten married and we got to meet emma. She was so sweet and gracious enough to take a picture with us. Even tho im sorry to see it go, I am looking forward to visit again and finding some goodbye momentos. XOXO


  • I never knew the full story, I just started reading about 2 years ago. Thanks for the re-cap. I am looking forward to the new journeys!

  • Oh this is such a sweet story post! I wondered about the state of the store, since it appeared less and less often on the blog. I love where y’all are going with this, though. Best of luck!!


  • I’ve been reading the blog for several years now but never knew the whole story, thanks so much for sharing! So cool and inspiring! Now I know why there weren’t more store blog posts 🙂 At least you have many pics and good memories, and as a business owner myself, I know better than most that you cannot do everything or you get really stressed and burnt out and broke, ha! Good luck ladies. Can’t wait to get your photo app. Woot!

  • such an interesting post. i love that you girls are always so positive and optimistic. can’t wait to see what the future brings you 🙂

  • Thank you for this post, very inspiring to hear the back story on your lives and business… girls are the whole package, artists, as well as business women… hard to have both I think! Good luck to you…

    Courtney Gray
    grayc glass

  • thanks for sharing you guys, the sweetest blogger I’ve come to know and love 🙂 never stop being awesome please!

  • I am so excited for all of your collaborations and various projects you have going on!! Love this blog so much!

    Refresh my memory, what is the app you created and when is your book coming out?! I can’t wait!!

  • I’ve only just discovered your blog and really enjoyed reading about your journey and love all the photos. I will definitely be keeping up to date with your posts. Linda x

  • I never been addicted to blogs, until I found yours.
    And reading your story, made me understand why I came here almost every day.
    You are genuinely focused. You have mature to say no; to accept loosing something on the way,…’cause you know who you are.
    And that’s so beautiful. And that’s what we are trying all to learn 🙂
    Congratulations team! And thank YOU very much for sharing *

  • I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I must say I’m heart broken to hear that you’re closing the shop! I had big plans to visit from England and shop vintage, eat cupcakes, and meet you lovely ladies!
    I’m so happy for you that you’re moving on to bigger and better things though, and I CANNOT wait for the A Beautiful Mess photo app!
    I absolutely adore your blog, I read it every day and it’s so full of inspiration and beauty and creativity. You girls are the best!
    Big love!

  • I’m happy you’re dreaming of a new future, but I’m sad to see the store go. One day, I will go to the US and my plan was to stop by, to see the store and say hello. I hope, maybe one day I will get to say hello 🙂

  • I always hoped that after I finished school I could visit you guys in America in your adorable shop, but I know that’s not going to happen. Oh well! I wish you guys all the best x
    No.1 reader in Australia

  • This is such an inspiring story! You were so brave to jump at these opportunities and you’re both so amazing for achieving so much at such a young age. Focusing on the blog definitely seems like the right way to go. The whole world is opening up to you!

    I can’t wait for your app and for your book!

    Also, I never realised your shop was so big!

    Maria xx

  • I was dreaming of visiting you but the trip to the states is so expensive… 🙁 I guess I missed my chance but I wish you the best in your career!

  • I live in South Africa and have never been to the store but I feel kind of sad. I guess those of us who have been reading the blog for years kind of feel like part of the shop journey too (in a blog-gy / virtual type way).

    Congratulations on every dream that has been realised so far. So excited to see what is next!

    All the best 🙂

  • it was one of my wishlist dreams to fly to america and buy something from your store. i am pretty definite on it not happening before you close, sadly 🙁
    do you think you’ll sell any of your inventory online?

  • So much wonderful history – it’s great to take the time to reflect on all of the fun you had together!

  • What a beautiful journey! Dane and I will always hold red velvet in a special place in our hearts. Every visit has always been so inspiring. It really was a magical place, but we are super excited about what the next step of your journey holds. All the best ❤

  • Loved reading your story! As a pretty new ABM reader – and total fan – I enjoyed joining you on this “fast-track” version of your journey! So many wonderful twists and turns. Looking forward to being here for the next stretch of your story! Good luck. 😉

  • I’m SO happy for you guys! Look at all you have done in such a short amount of time!
    I’m so glad I connected with you back in… gosh, now I don’t know! I think 2010 or so. And since then as my own endeavors have changed and grown, it’s been so fun to see yours do the same. I’m excited to release some things I’ve been working on too and I’ll have to let you know when it all happens! I’ve appreciated your support and encouragement over the last few years so very much and I’m happy to always do the same for you guys 🙂
    xo Moorea

  • definitely am sad to hear about the shop… i’ve been following you guys for a long time, from when you first opened the red velvet shop, and it’s been amazing to see how far you’ve come. you guys are one of the first blogs i started following when i first got into the whole blog-scene 🙂 i too am in a transitional period (a never-ending one!) and i’ve realized that dreams and goals can change and mostly for the better! looking forward to seeing what you guys will do next.


  • Wishing you only the best. Thinking I will be making the trip from Louisiana to Missouri for this sale. Definitely keep us updated please 🙂 can’t wait for the books to be released. Everything you do is beyond inspiring.

  • I’m so sad! I had planned to go on a roadtrip this summer and visit your shop and meet you guys after following your blog since the beginning 🙂 I understand though, and maybe I can come out for the estate sale!

  • Ahhh I would love to travel up for your estate sale! I do hope you keep us posted! <3

  • Awww I had a feeling something like this was happening. You never fail to inspire me to push harder and really explore my passions and dreams. My best friend Meg and I have been talking about going on a roadtrip with Red Velvet as a stop, so hopefully we’ll make it out in time for the auction.

    Excited to see what’s next for you both!

  • Such a wonderful story and so inspiring to read! It’s got me thinking about my own dreams. Thanks for continuing to grow and showing us how it’s okay to let things go when they don’t fit quite right anymore. 🙂

  • What an uplifting and inspiring journey to read all about! I look up to you beautiful and creative gals very, very much.

  • I’m in Springfield and I go to Red Velvet often, PLEASE keep us informed about the sale!!! The shop is just so full of amazingness.

  • Oh geeze! So bittersweet! I’ve been reading ABM since you had the first local shop and once you opened this one I swore that if I was ever anywhere within hours I would stop by and see it (and hopefully meet you guys!). But I guess I just will have to meet ya when you do a book tour or something!
    You guys are my absolute inspiration, so excited to see where else you go:)

  • I came late to blog reading so missed the early years of your online journey. It was great to read this recap. Sorry to hear about the shop closing, but you can’t do everything. Your futures sound very exciting indeed!

  • I loved reading this post! I was actually just thinking about the store yesterday and wondered if the store was still open, guessing that you guys were hiring others most of the time. I think you made the right decision. Following along on your journey is so fun! Thanks so much for all of the sharing you do. I am 20 and am an architecture student (that has a lot of other creative outlets). Sometimes I worry about being pigeon-holed into one career and then I won’t be able to pursue my goals as well as being an architect. You guys have taught me that you can do multiple things at once, or that you can treat it as a journey and get to do it all, so THANK YOU! 🙂

  • Lots of good luck, Elsie & Emma!! Can’t wait to hear about your future plans 🙂 Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • I remember when you opened up the shop, I guess I have been reading your blog for that long! Wow. I think sharing your story illustrates that our dreams change, that it’s always better to follow the path to new dreams than stay in old dreams that don’t serve you anymore.

  • I came across your blog from one of the books you where in. I love your blog and was hoping to come visit your store. I live in Kansas City. So I hope to come visit before you close but, I hope
    To come to your estate sale. Love vintage! So I will be watching for the date.

  • I had been wondering what was happening with your store. I’m really sad it see it go because I have yet to be able to visit. But, at the same time, I am so happy for you ladies and I know you have many more great things ahead of you! Best wishes in your future adventures! 🙂

  • How amazing and inspiring to read your full story from the beginning. It’s awesome to see how your blog has progressed and continues. We started following along in late 2009 when we stumbled across it while planning our wedding. We can’t wait to see where your passions take you. And we are inspired every day by your blog to follow our dreams and never give up. Thanks for the inspiration that we need! Xo, M&K

  • I LOVE your ridiculously adorable shop. I’ve been reading ABM for about a year now and I’m so excited for you! I just wanted you to know, you guys continue to inspire me every day. 😀

  • I’m a big dreamer and sometimes certain dreams lead you to dreams you never thought you even had. The store helped get you to where you are but that doesn’t mean it is something you should hold on to forever. I’m so happy for you lovely ladies and all that is to come for you!

  • I am a obssesive A Beautiful Mess reader since 2007! Since I’ve first meet this place there isn’t one day that I don’t come by to follow and get inspire.
    A Beautiful Mess is a part of my life too. Thank you for giving me such a happy place that I identify with. I will always be cheering for you both, wish all good things.
    All the way from Brazil 🙂 xo
    – Cris

  • I know that you lovely ladies stressed that the estate sale would be local, but it’d be really awesome if you could put a few items up for your readers to buy! I’m not sure if an etsy shop or an ebay account would be possible, but I just thought I’d toss the idea out there 🙂

  • Gosh, ladies, this is so inspiring!

    I’ve only been following your ABM for two years but it’s been amazing to watch the blog shift and grow along with the two of you. Keep up the fantastic work!I can’t wait to see what you do next:)

  • I love hearing your journey. It’s so helpful and inspiring!! We lived in MO and just moved to HI, I’m bummed that I can’t come buy some of your inventory for my home! You had some great vintage items that I’d love…I enjoy ABM and I’m glad you have continued to find what makes you come alive. I have loved this quote: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, instead ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Keep following your passions! We all benefit from it :):)

    Audra (FuzzCreations)

  • It was great to know all the story… I am one of the new ones here and I really appreciate! It was a long fun way! and so nice to start sharing professional life with your sister in such an incredible way as you do. Congrats!

  • I am so sad to see the store go. It was so nice to watch it go from an idea to the real thing. I loved seeing how you decorated and the style. Have you ever thought about putting some of the stuff in storage and having pop up shops? They are very popular in San Francisco and Oakland. That way you can have the store when you have time, keep meeting people and have the same vintage thing going on. It would be awesome! I look forward to watching whatever you have next flourish.

  • Good luck on the next step of your guys’ journey! It is a shame to see such a swell vintage store go though.

  • I can’t convey how inspirational this is to me and my co-blogger. It makes me feel like we aren’t doing all we do for nothing and maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll make it!

    Good luck in getting everything squared away!

  • I love your story! Thanks for sharing. It’s seriously inspiring to see how you two journeyed along to find the perfect fit for you!

  • Such an amazing story of how your wonderful buisness has evolved. I have been reading your blog for about two years now and I am constantly inspired by your buisness and your lives. I am so excited for what the future holds and I can’t wait to get my hands on your books! Already bought it through pre-sale! -Tamara

  • I just recently came to follow the blog last year. It’s exciting to read the journey you’ve been on for several years now. You’ve been an inspiration to my own blog start as well. We came to visit the store last week and was sad to learn of the closing, but excited to find a few other shops local and hear of your new priorities! Best wishes and keep up the great inspiration you bring.

  • Sad to hear that Red Velvet is closing it’s doors, but I’m excited for you and the future of ABM!

  • Wow! It’s wonderful to hear your story from the beginning and find out how it all evolved. You girls are such inspirations to me and many many others. You know in your heart when you need to make decisions to move forward and it just means you can look forward to new great things!

    Lulu xx

  • Girls, you’re so inspiring ! Good luck with everything 🙂 Emma ( x

  • Thanks for sharing this because it is an important lesson in life. The question of what do I want to be when I grow up changes all the time. You never stay one thing your whole life. I can personally attest to that! I am excited for you as move into the next phase of your life.


  • Wow! It feels like the end of a beautiful era, I’m so sad that I never got the chance to visit the store.

    It’s only now that I realise just how long I’ve been following you girls. You ladies have been my creative inspiration since 2009, so THANK YOU! I have to admit, my baby sister and I started becoming best friends around the same time that Emma moved back home to you Elsie.

    Congratulations on your next chapter, wherever that may take you.


  • You two are so’s hard to let things go and good for you!


  • This was so inspiring to read!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • From all the way in New Zealand, I have been following your blog since 2010! I always dreamed I could visit the Red Velvet Shop one day but I shall just have to visit it in my dreams <3
    All the best to the ABM family, you are so inspirational and bring beauty into our lives everyday! xxLeah

  • Your story is amazing and I am glad you are both about to embark on the next phase in your life but I have to say I am a little sad 🙁 I was hoping to visit but hopefully I will have other opportunities to do that. You girls are SUCH an inspiration and have made my a much more inspired one! So thank you! I can’t wait to see more of what you can do!

    Plus is there any possibility that someone on the northeast could buy some dresses from your store? That would be amazing! Thank you again for being an inspiration!

  • I’m so pleased for you both, but I can’t help but feel a little sad too… It was one of my dreams to come and visit your wonderful shop and to look at all the beautiful things that you have there. I guess now that will never happen ahaha. It’s also sad because it’s sort of like the end of an era! I remember reading about all the dress collections that you designed and all the time and care that you put into the shop, and I loved watching it grow and flourish. However, I really admire you both for realising that you’ve outgrown this dream, that you’ve fulfilled what you wanted to and that it’s time to move on. It’s just so incredibly brave and so inspiring for me – I find it so hard to let things go, even when I know it would be better to do so. So thank you for inspiring me (again!).
    Best of luck with all your future ventures – and I can’t wait to buy your photography book! It’s at the top of my Christmas list! 🙂
    P.S. I reaaaallly hope that your new app will be available for Android in the near future. 😀

  • Such a cool story! So excited for what’s to come for you girls! God sure is blessing all your hard work! Love seeing dreams come true…

  • I am a new reader but I loved this story, and as always, the pictures are beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing and best of luck in your future endeavors!

  • Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! I have always wondered! It isn’t sad, because it is a lovely chapter of your life! I can’t wait to see where else the road takes you!

    Juliette Laura

  • I’m a very frequent Beautiful Mess reader from England and I wish you the best of luck with the last few moments with the store. I just want to say thank you so much, you’ve inspired me to start my own blog and study graphic design, something I love, at university rather than follow a more academic path. Seeing the wonderful things you create and the things you’ve done remind me that anything is possible if you try hard enough.
    Thanks again!

  • Wow! Big steps! It’s sad to see you go (I grew up near Springfield and now live in Chicago), but I’ll be at the estate sale for sure!


  • Great post girls! I started reading ABM the day that Elsie announced the first shop! (in november 2008!). One of my dreams is doing the Route66, and visiting RED VELVET was in my plans inside on that dream…So sad to hear that you’re closing.
    Kisses from Spain, Nerea

  • What an amazing journey! Please consider selling bulks or “lots” of the vintage clothing online. I would be totally interested in buying some of it.

  • best of luck girls! i feel fortunate to have been able to visit the store on my cross-country journeys, it’s brave to imagine new things in the future, and to let go of old (but good) dreams! xoxo, tiffany

  • reading inspiring experiences is just what i need in this moment. thanks for sharing.

  • WOW! If I lived nearby I would have been a frequent visitor/shopper. Your business journey is exciting! Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring. I look forward to reading about your future adventures!

  • Oh my! This post makes me so sad Elsie and Emma! This is a good point you two are not because it’s a good decision for your future projects. I’m reading your blog e-ve-ry-day from France and I planned to come at your shop next time I’ll be in Chicago. I didn’t have the chance to come visit you last summer when I was in Chicago. So I really hope early September will be when you’ll have a little something so I can do my possible to come and meet you for real.
    have a good day ladies. And stay positive and inspired!
    cheers from France xoxo

  • Quick question: does this also mean that the red velvet blog will be taken down and you won’t be selling clothes there anymore?

  • I really hope you guys sell some of the items online. I always wanted to come visit you guys but with a baby on the way it’s kind of hard. I love your blog and I wish only the best for you guys! Also Elsie I really hope that you will start selling your art again. I would love to buy my little girl something. 🙂

  • I just finished reading through your archives. This post really feels like the end of a chapter, quite literally. I have wanted to be self-employed for so long and I have been so inspired by your stories. I am sad to see that you are closing your shop, visiting it had always been in the back of my mind. Still, I am so excited for you on your new journeys. Having just made some revolutionary decisions and starting in a new direction myself, I can appreciate how difficult it must have been to close this chapter. I am happy that you are going to keep blogging though, your blog is one of the few that makes me smile.

    Wishing you all the best in your future adventures.


  • First off: wow! It’s wonderful to see you guys evolving and creating always something new and as a reader, I’m proud to be a little part of your journey, even though it’s just online 🙂
    I’m so happy for you and a little sad. I always imagined to come visit you in the store one day, sip a coffee together, maybe even do a clothing make-over (loved the series so much!) but it’s such a long way from little Switzerland to big ol’ America 🙂

  • so sad to hear RV is closing. I wanted to be able to visit it someday, but so glad that it is a positive step forward for you both. excited to see your book and app soon!

  • I have been an avid reader of your blog since you opened your first store and I still remember it well! It was always a dream of mine to visit, but living in Philadelphia I never imagined it being practical. Now I have been living in Kansas City for almost 2 years, but without a car I’ve never been able to make it down to Springfield. I doubt I will find a way to make it before you close the store, but good luck with everything you do!


  • So wonderful to read the whole story form the beginning. I totally understand why you are closing closing the store and it;s amazing how successful you both are. You are a great inspiration and I can’t wait to see how this blog is going to develop itself in the next couple of months/years! xx

  • Wow, so fun to read your journey. Thank you so much for sharing! Life is full of seasons and it’s wonderful to see how you are embracing each one!

    Blessings in all your endevours!


  • Wishing you all the best in your new ventures! You guys are a true inspiration 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, the blogger Mecca is closing and I never manged to visit! Where ever will we all pilgrimage to next…

  • You ladies are adorable! I love the story of your shop!
    Many blessings on your new phase!

  • This is truly an amazing and inspiring story. You were right that in the end it was a happy story and though it may be sad to see the store go now you both are now following your dreams and passions. Congratulations on all you have achieved. Reading this post really put me in a good mood with a motivated spirit.
    xo Jen

  • You ladies are so inspiring! It brings me great joy to see you guys doing so well and continuing to expand your brand. You never cease to amaze me with all of the wonderful things you do! Looks like this year will be another one for the record books in your lives and I wish you all the best!


  • Well if it`s for a better scenary then go for it!!

    <3 Val

  • As a fellow entrepreneur, you two are such an inspiration. This post has also hit home with me, I feel as though it’s so easy to get attached to an idea of who you are and what you are doing, that it can be difficult to accept that ideas and goals change. I’m in that transitional period now of having wanted to do something since I was young, and am coming to the realization that I may want something different. My initial feeling is almost failure, but am trying to work towards acceptance of it all and just keep moving forward and chasing my (new) dreams.

  • I ve been reading your blog for a while now and is amazing to follow yours careers. You are two incredible creatives persons that inspire millons of people around the globe. I am from south america and I really enjoy your stories about achieving your dreams and enjoying life. Hope you keep sharing that with us, your audience. thank you and hope everything with the sell of the local result. Life is movement, change, that is how we remember we are alive, Love, Carolina 🙂

  • I stumbled upon the blog in 2011 during a dark time in my own life.
    Reading about your inspiring adventure in your local vintage shop really lifted my spirits and gave me the motivation to change the course of my life. Through reading about your dreams coming true I was able to branch into my own creative dreams and eventually was able to leave the dark past behind and snag a job that I can really be creative in!

    I really think the push I needed came from reading your blog! I’m glad you’ve continued growing as your dreams evolve. I’ll always be a reader!

  • I really enjoyed this story, so thanks for sharing it. I’m a newer reader, so I had no idea that you girls did all this!

  • Your lives are so inspiring! I hope I can experience half of the adventures you two have bad in just the last few years. I’m awfully sad that I never had the chance to visit Red Velvet, though. Ohio is just so far away! I wish I could get my hands on that estate sale!

  • I just recently started reading your blog and this really touched me. Congrats on all the goodness !! I only wish I lived in th area to check out all the clothes, as well as buy!!! Congrats, again and good luck!!!

  • So glad I didn’t make the 2 hour drive to come over to the store. We almost have several times. Best of luck to you.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story! So excited for your future endeavors. You’ve inspired so many! Can’t wait to learn more! xoxo

  • Where is your store located? I live in Arizona but would LOVE to make a road trip to your estate sale with my husband! we’re newlyweds so who knows what we could find for our home 🙂

  • Your store was so much fun! I bought my husband several ties there. Wishing you two the best of luck and looking forward to reading exciting new things here!

  • Great story, can’t wait to continue following your creative ideas and successes here on the blog. Wish I lived closer to go to the estate sale.

  • I’ve loved seeing your journey Elsie! Watching you create your first and second store was do inspiring (I still read your archives for inspiration from those times) I hope you continue to share business tips and advice as this is one of the topics I most enjoy reading from you. Best of luck as you close up shop. I’m excited to see what’s next for you and promise to always be a faithful reader.

    Love to you and Emma!

    Xo, Brittan

  • What a beautiful story <3 I can’t wait to see where the future takes both of you, and to watch your story grow and become even more beautiful.

  • Oh Elsie and Emma, this story is wonderful. And so inspiring! It shows that dreaming big pays off in a big way if you believe in something and are willing to work hard. I’m so excited for you guys and so grateful to be able to follow your story along.

  • Seeing all the pictures in this post was so fun and nostalgic for me, too! I’ve been following along with your story for years and it’s been so inspiring to see how far you’ve come. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for you! Congrats on your new direction! 🙂

  • So sad to see the store go 🙁 It was on my bucket list to visit it when I turned 18. As I live in Europe, I couldn’t before. I wish you the best of luck in your future!

  • A bittersweet walk down memory lane! You guys are truly inspiring-I can’t wait to see what you take on next.

    (ps. fingers crossed I can make it to the estate sale)

  • awww.. i’ve never been to the store, i was hoping one day i’ll be able to go, but i read the blog every day like 3 times waiting for the new posts, i really like it, and love you girls.
    i wish you the best and i’m so happy for you and everything you’ve done, it’s awesome and inspiring.
    everything happens for a reason, and when a doors close another one opens..
    Good Luck with your new projects.

  • beautiful post. i adore the story told in photos
    kw ladies in navy

  • I just found this blog almost a month ago and fell in love with it right away! i’ve already told so many people about it and also how it really has inspired me. I really wish I could of made a visit to your store it truly looks amazing! I’m following you guys on pinterest and love what you guys pin. I also want to say I’ve already got to try two of your recipes and I’m dieing to try more. Xoxo

  • Really proud of you guys, and so happy to be a small part of this! Love you!

  • That would be so hard to let go of something you had worked so hard on. But good for you girls for realizing it!

    p.s. Emma, I love your red/auburn hair color in the old pictures! 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. We dream of a junk shop and wine bar in one, and hope to someday get there!

    I have a question about when you first started ABM. How did you initially start to get the word out to drive traffic? We were having great luck commenting around on relevant posts trying to share information, but it seems like a lot of sites hate that and see it as self-promotion. How do you gain potential readers if it doesn’t involve comments elsewhere?

  • I’m so sad to hear this! I always wanted to come visit your store. I’m from Olympia, Washington so it would be too difficult to get away at this point. I will definitely be picking up a copy of your books once they are out!

  • Such a great post! So inspiring to me to go out there and follow my dream. It also taught me that in time dreams come true and sometime more dreams come from an original dream. I love your blog so inspiring to me to not give up and keep going for my dream. Congras on all of your success! I cannot wait to read your books!!

    Shopaholic Undercover

  • Elsie, thank you for taking the time to let me know! Can’t wait to pop up this weekend! I am in Carthage!

  • This is a difficult lesson to learn; to know when to move on and recognize when a dream has been fulfilled. I’m proud of you! Which is slightly awkward I suppose since I had nothing to do with it… haha

    You probably don’t remember, but I sent you an email a while back while working to create a domestic violence transition home to let you know that you two had been a great distraction from all of the heartbreak being seen on a daily basis. The project is now complete and the home is open so I’ve moved on as well. Another dream realized :)(Even though I wish it wasn’t necessary to create that home in the first place.)

    Thanks for continuing to spread joy! I look forward to continuing to support.


  • I am glad you shared the story! I am a bit bummed that I will never get to visit the shop, but I am excited to see what you girls do in the future.

  • Beautiful story, ladies. I love that you’ve had the courage to follow your instincts and ride the roller-coaster of creativity to each new height. Very inspiring. Now, could you just arrange for that estate sale to happen in Australia? 😉

  • so sorry that the shop is closed, really hadnt realised that but I guess you hadn’t mentioned it for about a year 🙂 Looking at the older photos Emma’s hair is beautiful when fully blonde although I like her ombré too.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your amazing journey. It’s definitely an inspiration to read about how your business evolved, and while it’s a shame a never got to visit your store, I’m sure you ladies are destined to do even more great things for the future. Good luck! 🙂

    Chase Miller
    The Smell of Summer – A Boutique Surf Lifestyle Blog

  • Your story is very inspiring and sweet! I wish I had encountered in my life a good creative and business partner but I haven’t been so lucky! You guys did it and it is very cool! God luck in the many happy years to come! I will be here reading it all! 🙂
    PS.: I wish I live closer to come around for the sale but…

  • Wow. Such a great post. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration.

  • I had been planning to take a trip to your store this summer. I’m sad that I won’t be able to see the store now. Is the store closed now? Or is there a specific date that it will be closing? I love reading your blog and how real you are with your readers. Thank you for sharing! Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you two will be doing in the future!

  • Is there anyway you could sell some vintage clothing online? (Especially dresses) I’m in NYC and would love to come to your estate sale but it’s quite the commute! 🙂 Thanks for your continuous inspiration!

  • this is wonderful! thanks for sharing. my dream is to open my own shop and you guys totally helped with my confidence 🙂

  • Wow. I have found this post so inspiring! I am at a point in my life where I really want to put my passion into action and make big changes in my life and seeing that you did it TWICE is amazing to me. It truly is about following your bliss and the success flows from that. Congrats on your life change!

  • I’m not going to lie, I am so sad to see your shop go. I remember visiting your first locationa few years ago for your nerd party and had so much fun (and met a few new friends!). This is such an incredible and inspiring story, and I’m really glad that you decided to share the whole thing. I’m so excited to see what you guys have in store for the future…yay for big goals and new plans! 🙂

    xo. Mandy

  • When I started reading your blog, you were in the beginning stages of the local shop and Emma had just decided to join in on all the fun 😉 It has been soo amazing to watch you these past few years. You guys are beyond inspirational and I cannot wait to see what new ventures you will take on next! Lots of love from New Jersey! xoxo

  • this is a nice and a little sad history!!! thanks for sharing!!


  • im so glad you did this post!
    its really great to hear about the story of red velevet and the development of your business. Also, that its okay to change your mind, develop other dreams…nothing HAS to stay.

    so, thankyou 🙂
    i found it really encouraging and exciting

    esther x

  • I loved reading your story! I don’t think I started reading your blog until last year so it was amazing to get caught up on all that you’ve done with A Beautiful Mess + Red Velvet. I’m excited to see what you two do next! Especially more about your book + app! 🙂

  • What a great post! Good luck, ladies; can’t wait to see what the future holds for y’all! 🙂

  • I was always wondering about your story and how you arrived to where you two are now. It is very interesting and exciting! I’m happy you two are moving along with your plans! I know it will be a success no matter what!

  • Wow- this is such an inspiring journey- thanks for sharing this story with us all…to be honest though, I can’t say I’m not a bit sad…I have been reading ABM for about a year and am so inspired by you both and find we have such similar styles! My fiance and I are getting married this July and are planning a road trip for our honeymoon- the first stop I planned out was to come to Springfield (We live in Connecticut) to shop at Red Velvet! (Visiting your shop was actually on my 30 things before 31 birthday list!) So…I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed…I didn’t realize you guys had closed your doors until this post…maybe you can have your estate sale on July 20th (that’s when we were planning on being in Springfield!) Just kidding! wish you ladies all the luck in the world and excited to see what you’re up to next! xo

  • so fun to walk down memory lane with you like this! ive been reading your blog this whole time, so seeing those old photos was so sweet! im so honored Violet Bella was a part of your local shop for a while! it was a little dream come true for me too. im so excited for the future of ABM and for you and emma. watching you grow over the past few years has been tremendously inspiring. heres to the future!

  • I love you guys so much. You are the best. I’m so disappointed I will never get to visit your store, but I know you will have more time to do amazing things for the blog and the world that is A Beautiful Mess. Excited for you as always. What a wonderful experience, though, like you said. Here’s to more!

  • I’ve been wondering about your store! Everything you’ve done is amazing and everything you’re doing is inspiring! I love that you’ve been able to follow your dreams and reach your goal. You inspire me to keep trying:)

  • Allison, The store is actually still open every Friday and Saturday. 🙂 We don’t sell any products online right now, except e-courses.

    Thanks so much for your kind words… Elsie

  • One door closes, another one opens…and your story will continue. Good luck, Ladies!

  • best of luck with the new and exciting adventures in your creative life 🙂

  • Sad to hear you’re closing! Is there a set date or has the store already closed?

  • I love the style of the short and the range of sunglasses! Looks so funky

    Check out my OPI nail polish giveaway!

  • I’m sad to see the store go, but am so excited for you guys and all your new ventures. I stopped into the store this past December. I wish I could have visited when you both were still working there to say hello. I’m in Kansas City, so will definitely be interested in attending the estate sale. Congratulations ladies! I’ve been following your story for years and look forward to seeing what wonderful things you’ll be up to for years to come. You girls have been SO INSPIRING to my sister and me over the years. I want to say thank you! Thank you for filling my world with color and inspiring me to take risks and make my own mark on the world. Red Velvet will live forever!

  • I came to your store a few months ago and fell in love with a print there. I am one who must walk away and then return to a purchase no matter how big or small. Now you are closed and I miss the print terribly and regret not having bought one. A sweet red head with hair up and camera in hand. Do you sell these somewhere else? Etsy perhaps?

  • What an amazing store! I’m so happy that it’s working out for you. Have a great day!

  • I remember every part of this story, and only realized now for how long I have been reading your blog! I am excited for you guys and can’t wait to see all the new adventures you will create. Because if the past has been so good, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you guys. Good luck and more importantly, have fun!

  • thanks so much for sharing the history of the shop and your future plans… i was so curious about what you had decided. one of the things i most love about this blog is following your evolution as creatives and businesswomen, it’s so inspiring to me that you are so open to change and grow– it makes me want that for myself as well! although i am so sad that i never got to visit the shop and will not before it closes! sniff sniff.

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