Tag Archives: shopping

Behind the scenes with Lanicrochets

Colorful checkered bags, bright colored tops, soft plushies, and embroidered hats line the shelves. At Lanicrochets, dreams and wishes become a reality in the form of eye-catching and handmade crocheted goods. The brains behind the whole operation, Kaylani Addison, a business honors freshman, manages this full-time business on top of being a student.

“My business is focused around crochet apparel and accessories, and I (also) do like custom orders,” Addison said. “(It’s) just a different way to look at fashion.”

Addison started crocheting at 10-years-old but didn’t seriously consider turning her passion into a business until moving to campus.

“I just think Austin is the perfect place to do something like a startup. The market here is perfect for something that is quirky and different,” Addison said. “I decided to capitalize; maybe I should turn this into a full-fledged business.”

Addison had no set goals or concrete plans for the business’s future when she first started. Instead, she was just going with the flow, one step at a time. 

“It was kind of difficult to start because I don’t know, what is a business? What am I? What am I going to do? And how do I start,” Addison said. “I didn’t really have anything, just a couple of hats I wanted to sell at the market.”

Instead of having predetermined items to produce at certain times, Addison relied on finding inspiration from her surroundings or personal interest to invent new product ideas.

“Everything I make is kind of just on a whim. If I see something I like on Pinterest, I’ll try to replicate it or do my own version of it,” Addison said. 

Though Addison first with only her skills and a couple of hats, she now has a whole booth filled with a variety of products, her own logo, and a growing Instagram page where she does commission work. When asked about thoughts of expanding the business outside of college, she explains that it’s certainly a possibility she has in mind. She is open to the idea of evolving in the future.

“You never know how it’s gonna go. I thought it was just gonna be a small thing when I first started to do it,” Addison said. “I would love to do it full time, but I am just exploring my options at this point. There is no right or wrong way to do it, just have fun.”

Featured Image By Reo Lee

Is It A Rip-Off?: 2nd Street Edition

Second St. District is known in Austin for its vibrant boutiques, countless dining options and stunningly lit-up trees. It’s full of unique things to do and see — but half of them are complete rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: Second Street.

1. Milk + Honey Spa

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: Let me get this started by saying, I’m all for treating yourself to a relaxing day and spas can be a great way to do that. However, paying $40 for a basic manicure or $80 for a simple haircut seems like the opposite of relaxing to me.

2. Toy Joy

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: Toy Joy is your childhood dream come to life. From one-of-a-kind toys to adorable trinkets to classic board games, everything you need for a fun day is here. It’s a blast for kids and adults alike. 

3. Violet Crown Cinema 

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: This is your chance to see awesome movies and support your local community at the same time. The Violet Crown partners with local businesses and nonprofits. So you can feel good about stopping by to watch a wide array of movies, from newly emerging cinema to beloved classics. 

4. Austin Rocks

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: This place is the textbook definition of a tourist trap. It’s full of overpriced souvenirs like $30 graphic t-shirts and $65 beach chairs. Trust me, your money is better spent elsewhere on Second Street.

5. Yummi Joy

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It!

Why: This place, while arguably overpriced, is full of so many unique treats. From dill pickle soda to homemade chocolate pecan caramel fudge to grand truffles, Yummi Joy really does have something for everyone. Your wallet may be empty when you walk out of here but your stomach and heart will be full. 

Now go forward and stride down Second Street with truffles in one hand and Violet Crown tickets in the other. You’re ready for this! You won’t be scammed today. 

Is it a Rip-Off?: SoCo Edition

South Congress district, usually referred to as SoCo, is one of Austin’s most popular attractions for tourists and locals alike. It’s full of unique shops and funky restaurants — and half of them are complete rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: SoCo.

  1. Jo’s Coffee 
Photo courtesy of: The Austin Chronicle 

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: You may say there are better places for coffee in Austin and you’re probably right, but Jo’s isn’t just selling specialized coffee, they’re also selling an experience. You can get a one-of-a-kind cup of jo (pun intended), the feeling of supporting a local business and an Instagram-worthy picture in front of the iconic “I love you so much” mural.  Seems worth it to me!

  1. Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar
Image courtesy of: Flickr and Thomas Hawk

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: The burgers are good but are they worth $10? I don’t think so. Combine this with having to pay an extra $5 for some fries and brutal wait times, and you have all the makings of a total rip-off. 

  1. TOMS
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Verdict: Rip-Off

Why: Honestly, this feels like a given. $50-$150 for mediocre shoes according to Vox reporting. Not to mention, having a huge company on SoCo feels wrong. The space is supposed to be for off-beat local— or at least semi-local businesses— not national giants. 

  1. Home Slice Pizza
Photo courtesy of: The Business Journals

Verdict: Worth It

Why: I have two words for you: Garlic Knots. When paired with a slice or two of Home Slice’s mouth-watering pizza, complimentary post-dinner candy and the electric decor, you can’t deny this is the place to be on a Friday night. 

  1. Amy’s Ice Creams 
Photo Courtesy of: Flickr and Jim Nix 

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It

Why: I’ll be real. This place is pricey! One pint of ice cream costs almost $15. In that way, it’s a huge rip-off, but it’s also so worth it. All of the ice creams have a delicious sweet cream base and the menu is constantly full of one-of-a-kind flavors like Zilker Mint Chip. After snacking at Amy’s, your wallet may hurt but your taste buds will be singing. 

Now go forward and strut down SoCo with a Jo’s latte in one hand and your Home Slice leftovers in the other. You’re ready for this! You won’t be scammed today.

Featured image by Morgan Scruggs

Spring 2021 Fashion: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Spring

Spring is upon us and now is the perfect time to get caught up on spring fashion trends! Check out our list of the six hottest fashion trends of Spring 2021 and take your pick of what stylish pieces you’ll be strutting around campus in.

1. Statement Sunglasses
First on the list is statement glasses! Spring is all about enjoying the sun and Austin’s warm weather before the summer heat makes it unbearable. Grab a pair of cool shades, maybe even color coordinate them with your outfit, and head out for a picnic with friends or to one of your in-person classes.

2. Silk Scarves
These stunning scarfs can be found all over TikTok, especially in the super popular “Please Don’t Go” headscarf trend. There are so many ways to style them and unique prints you’re bound to find something that works for you. For a summery look, tie a scarf around your ponytail or fold it into a triangle and wear it like a bandana. To add a little extra something to your outfit, tie a scarf around your neck or tie one to the straps of your favorite purse. Looking for somewhere local to pick one up? Visit Flamingo’s Vintage located just north of campus.

3. Print Button Downs
Looking to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring? Bring back some of your favorite button downs! Rather than wear them buttoned up, pull them over your favorite cami and your all set! Not only are you protected from the sun, you also have something to keep you warm at sunset.

4. Lingerie
Lingerie is no longer just for the bedroom! Some of your favorite pieces might be your new favorite going out outfit. Consider wearing a lacey slip dress or tucking a dainty cami into a pair of jeans. If you’re looking to go a step further, consider also incorporating an underbust corset.

5. Long, Flowy Skirts
This spring is all about statement pieces. Printed long skirts offer modesty and are just flowy enough to keep you cool as temperatures rev up. For an edgier look, pair them with a classic pair of docs. For a softer vibe, throw on your favorite pair of sandals!

6. Anything Vintage
Wearing vintage is all the rage. Not to mention, you’ll never have to worry about showing up in the same outfit as someone else ever again. Wondering what to get? Vintage dresses are a great option if you’re looking for a retro take on a sundress. You can also never go wrong with a bright 80s windbreaker paired with your favorite t-shirt and denim shorts.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and start rocking your favorite spring trends. And perhaps, bring a friend and a mask and check out local thrift and vintage stores for a new piece or two to spice up your wardrobe.

Photos by Ren Breach

How To Online Thrift Like A Pro

We all have that one friend who can skillfully find almost anyone online, whether you’re searching for an old ex’s new girlfriend or a mysterious acquaintance. I have a similar talent, but rather than to people, my internet searching skills apply to finding clothing and accessories.

It all started in 10th grade when I saw a Paris Sport Club jacket on Depop when the app first began to gain popularity. I was stingy back then, and for some reason I can’t recall, decided not to spend $20, a small price to pay, on an amazing vintage jacket. 

That small decision haunted me for the next few years. Every few months I’d think of that jacket and regret having made the choice that I did. Fast forward, almost 5 years later, I am now a proud owner of a Paris Sport Club jacket, identical to the one from all those years ago.

Left: The Paris Sport Club jacket that got me into online thrifting. Image Courtesy of @Crossmyheartvintage on Depop
Right: My Paris Sport Club jacket I purchased on eBay. Image Courtesy of Lauren Breach

You see, every few months, when I’d randomly remember that jacket, I’d spend hours searching for it online. As the years went by, I refined my online searching skills and eventually learned how to find almost anything on a reselling site. While most of my friends agree I was a little too invested in finding this jacket, my ability to find prom dresses and limited edition sneakers that came out of this journey has led me to gain appreciation from my more skeptical friends. 

With Covid-19 preventing many of us from going out in the ways we used to, now is the perfect time to share some of my top tips for finding pieces online. Whether it be a toy from your childhood or a pair of jeans you’ve outgrown and miss dearly, these tips will help you find what you’re looking for.

1. Try various combinations of phrases in your searches

Oftentimes, products are listed on reselling sites without their brand names or key descriptors. For this reason, I recommend starting with a more refined search such as “black lesportsac gabrielle bag” and switching to more broad phrasing, such as “lesportsac purse” if you aren’t able to find what you’re looking for. Oftentimes, people don’t take the time to properly list items with the item name from the store they originally came from. On occasion, sometimes it’s even worth forgoing brand name altogether when looking for a piece. For example, I once found a bag posted on an influencer’s page three years ago by sorting through thousands of listings using the search “black leather purse”. It took hours but I’d argue it was 100% worth the effort since I now use that bag every single day.

Left: Ellie Thumann pictured with the black purse I was searching for online. Image Courtesy of @Elliethumann on Instagram
Right: My black purse, identical to Ellie’s bag, that I found on Poshmark for $5. Image Courtesy of Lauren Breach

2. Search various online reselling sites

Most people typically start with Depop and if their search turns up empty stop there. Depop is one of the most popular reselling apps among teenagers which is largely why it can be hard to find trendy items. It’s also not uncommon for Depop users to markup items for ridiculous prices. Just a few weeks ago I saw a Kim Possible lunchbox I had when I was seven sell for $50. I recommend searching Poshmark, Mercari, eBay and even Etsy in addition to Depop, prices are typically cheaper on these sites and they often have larger selections. 

3. Check back every few months

Sometimes, you won’t find what you’re looking for on your first go, but don’t get discouraged. It’s worth it to keep checking. Sometimes, it can take months, but the satisfaction of having found something you regretted not getting can be amazing. Every time I wear that Paris Sport Club jacket, I feel like I stepped out of one of my favorite 80s movies and the hours searching feel worth it. 

4. If all else fails, get something similar or modify a purchase

On occasion, your searches will lead you to find something even better than what you initially went searching for, so don’t forget to be open to other possibilities. Also, if you’re unable to find exactly what you’re looking for, consider getting it in a different color if available. Using dyes like RIT dye or customizing items with embroidery or patches can help you get the desired look, even if you can’t find the exact item.

At the end of the day, I always recommend shopping locally at thrift stores over going online. However, sometimes, when you can’t find what you want locally, online reselling retailers offer a great alternative. Online reselling stores also offer a second chance for thrifted and vintage items and an opportunity to support small online businesses.