Ever since we started featuring folks on Kindred, we wanted to talk about Fancy & Staple. Besides being a lovely store unlike anything else in Fort Wayne, the babe behind this brick and mortar gem has a passion for her hometown and the people in it. As you'll read, she's combined all of her loves into one space, and uses it to support and host others. We're all about that, and all about her!
The store is chuck-full of SO MANY GOODIES! We couldn't help ourselves, and went ahead and created a gift guide! Check it out. Hope it inspires you guys with some ideas for the loved ones you're buying for this holiday season.
Without further ado, we're so excited to introduce our friend, Taber Olinger, owner of Fancy & Staple.
I opened Fancy & Staple because of my love affair with this city....
THE BACK STORY
I'm from Fort Wayne and love it here. My husband and I met back in 2003 (I was 23 then), moved away for college (He went to recording school and I went for fashion design/merchandising), lived in some awesome places, and ultimately decided that Fort Wayne is where we would land. We missed it. We missed our friends, our family, the special places we frequented, and the whole feel of Fort Wayne. We used to dream up all sorts of businesses that we wanted to start. We thought of many things....bars, music venues, food trucks (before they were cool), french fry restaurant, recording school, fashion boutique, ect, ect. Our goal: to make this city a cooler place to live, while doing what we love. Out of all our ideas throughout the years, what I really wanted was a place that encompassed ALL my favorite things: music, art, food, home decor, and fashion. And hence, Fancy & Staple was born.
MORE THAN A STORE
My goal for F&S was to surround myself and this city with awesome stuff, a lot of it being handmade by crafters and makers, some of it local, and all of it with a unique and edgy twist. I wanted it to be a fun place that people enjoyed visiting and a thoughtful place where you could tell it was carefully curated. I always intended for it to be a place known for its local art shows, parties, and gatherings! That's what makes it all worthwhile. That's what makes it more than just a store. It's fun for me, the artists, the bands, and the community! A venue for all things creative.
I do all of this not to make millions of dollars (because I certainly don't), but because that's what Fort Wayne needs. It's what we've been missing all these years. It's what I always wished we had here. And the fact that I'm the one bringing it to the table is mind-boggling. And forgive me for being cheesy, but it really is a dream come true.
Besides the events, the best part about this "job" is picking out the merchandise. I select a combination of what I love, with what I think other people will love. Most importantly, it's gotta be special. Maybe it has beautiful packaging, or is beautiful by itself. It could be hilarious, adorable, or just plain cool. And bonus points if it's handmade, screen printed, or has a curse word on it :) I think about how it will look in the store, how it will photograph on Instagram, does it fit our aesthetic, will be a good seller, or just add to the store's ambience? A lot of thought goes into it to make sure it's just right for F&S.
MY PARTNER IN CRIME
Of course I couldn't do ANY of it without all the talented people that I'm surrounded by. I'm truly blessed to know so many creative minds. Especially now, with my baby Eleanor, I'm so thankful for my sidekick Ashley Martin. She's a real gem and the store wouldn't be what it is right now if it weren't for her. What a relief it has been having such a reliable employee who's creative, stylish, and clever. Hooray for Ashley! I'm really looking forward to this holiday season, with her in charge of the store, so I can have the time to do all the holiday things I love.
Small Business Saturday (SBS) on November 26th, which is basically a celebration (all over the country) of small businesses. Fort Wayne has created the Holly Trolley Tour to coincide with SBS, and it's always super fun for us and for shoppers.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry on December 4th is our event with a Photanical workshop, Bird Food brunch, and music from Rosalind & The Way. This event combines some of the loveliest, most talented women I know and will take place in my very own Fancy & Staple. I am truly honored.
Art Opening / Holiday Party on December 10th. This one's got me real excited. One of my favorite artists, Josef Zimmerman (also my art curator for the store), will show his photography. The Golden will be slanging their fancy cocktails. Big Apple Pizza will be out front. Heaven's Gateway Drugs will preform. And we'll have a miniature donkey meet and greet to top it all off. For reals :)
These three events will finish this year off with a bang. And since its my absolute favorite time of the year, we did it up real nice :) F&S is a pretty festive place to hang out...especially now that it's all decorated and stocked full of great merchandise. I honestly just love being there and hope that other people feel the same way.
If I can create an inviting atmosphere, help people find the most perfect gift, and keep it fun and light-hearted; then I have reached my goals for this holiday season. Well, that, and miniature donkey cuddles.
Thanks to Taber for sharing her story. If you're a Fort Wayne local, we encourage you to visit the store for one the events or for a weekday/weekend shop during the holidays.
Fancy & Staple
Fort Wayne, IN 46802