Craft & Consumption

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All that Glitters: Berks County Living article

I was stoked to write an article for Berks County Living's January 2013 issue about my colleagues at Sorrelli. The article, "All that glitters: A look inside the Sorrelli Girls' Closets" takes a look into our gleaming jewelry boxes and packed-to-the-brim racks of clothes. Tania of Ama Photography came out to our homes to work her magic behind the camera, and we couldn't be more pleased! Hope you enjoy!

All That Glitters: Inside the Sorrelli Girls' Closets
The staff at Berks County Living asked to get a sneak peek inside the seemingly glamorous lives (and CLOSETS!) of some of the girls behind Sorrelli Jewelry. So, here I present the style tombs of two of my beloved colleagues, and give you a glimpse inside my own personal fashion haven. Each Sorrelli girl’s closet speaks to different life priorities and different personal style, but all are united by a love of jewelry and an insane collection of Sorrelli sparkle!

Elaine: The Glamour Girl

Elaine Fioravanti’s personality and style radiate with glitter. She is perhaps the most glamorous Blandon-ite in town, zipping out of her development in a chic white BMW, always accessorized to the nines.

It’s no wonder she embodies such a glamorous style philosophy; Elaine graduated from FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) with a degree in Fashion Design. She left New York City after graduation and spent years working in the fashion industry. After becoming a retail expert in local West Reading shops and at stores like Kate Spade, BCBG, and French Connection, she is now the queen of glittery baubles as the Store Manager of Sorrelli Jewelry in Kutztown. It is a job requirement for Elaine to sparkle on a daily basis. Quite the perfect fit!

Elaine’s amazing jewelry collection is stored in beautiful red velvet drawers. Her out-of-this-world shoe collection is displayed on shelves, co-mingled with fashion books and her favorite bold jewelry. Quickly you realize that Elaine has a thing for sequins; the entire back wall of her closet is covered in sequin dresses that sparkle and radiate. Luxurious faux fur jackets in crazy sorbet hues add more drama to this fabulous closet space.

Tributes to Elaine’s fashion icons share shelf space with her clothes and accessories. She’s a Barbie girl–and evidence of her love for Barbie abounds. Barbie was Elaine’s first foray into the world of fashion as a young girl, and she continues to inspire this fashionista to dress to the nines every day! Mrs. Fioravanti adores Audrey Hepburn for her classic, timeless style (watch Elaine’s favorite movie, Two for the Road, to see what we mean). We found books and Audrey references sprinkled throughout the closet space. Elaine’s most personal fashion idol, her Gram Jane Healy, is immortalized in a black and white photo from the 1940s. Elaine speaks with reverence and sheer adoration about Gram Healy, “She is the original shoe collector. At 90, she still knows a good deal when she sees one and she still rocks gold accents, sequins, and fabulous sparkle on a daily basis,” Elaine explains. Elaine assures us that many of her own prized shoes were scored at sample sales at serious discounts. This girl learned how to spot a bargain from the best! Elaine concedes that Gram is the original Sparkle Queen, a real-world example of living glamorously, no matter the budget, age, or location.

Elaine’s closet is full of glittering jewels, fabulous handbags, amazing shoes and sequins galore. Her style philosophy is all about glamour, glamour, glamour. She leaves us with these parting words: “Just because you see sequins or extravagant jewelry doesn’t mean they should be saved for night time looks only. Pairing fun accessories or sparkle with jeans can make the look translate to every day. Go forth and rock anything; just be confident!”

Rebecca: The Fitness Fashionista
Maidencreek Township resident Rebecca Niebel is the fitness expert at Sorrelli headquarters. As the Sorrelli Marketing Manager, she lives and breathes ad campaigns, photo shoot planning, catalog designs and marketing strategy. But after hours, she’s a die-hard fitness guru with a serious six pack and biceps to prove it! Rebecca balances her love for sparkle and all things feminine with her tomboyish love for boxing, bench pressing and the occasional Warrior Dash.

Rebecca’s closet speaks volumes about her two loves. Her sneaker collection is neatly lined up next to her work-appropriate heels. Her gym necessities (boxing gloves, jump rope, gym bags) are displayed proudly next to her everyday fashion accessories (jewelry, belts, handbags).

Rebecca keeps her jewelry collection on her armoire, and bracelets are aligned on an upholstered bracelet bar for her to see and peruse everyday. Her dresses are organized by color palette, to make finding the perfect piece quick. Rebecca poses for us in true boxing fashion with a twist, hands up and guarded in one of her shimmery numbers,  complete with a sparking Sorrelli bib necklace, of course.

Her perfect blonde bob (thanks to Janelle at Shear Style) is framed by gigantic Ringside gloves, which she puts to work each week at Washington’s Martial Arts Training Center. Rebecca truly merges her love for fitness with her love for fashion (she wears Sorrelli stud earrings in almost all athletic pursuits!).

Having graduated from Albright College with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business Administration, Rebecca has always had a love for the business side of the fashion industry. She stays up to date on marketing and business practices with books like Delivering Happiness (by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh) and Good to Great (by Jim Collins).

Inside the gym, you’ll find Rebecca in colorful racerback tops, capri leggings, and electric pink sneakers. She claims she’s most confident in her fun fitness gear. Rebecca explains her style philosophy: “accessorizing and looking your best is important to performance, whether it’s at the gym or in the office. I always want to look put together so I feel my most confident.” Outside of the gym, one of Rebecca’s signature accessories is a perfectly shaped cloche hat in just about any color. Her daily wardrobe always includes Sorrelli sparkling jewelry, a fabulous hat to accent her beautiful blonde bob, and, of course, a gym bag and sneakers for her daily workout.

Lily: The Eccentric

As the Sales and Marketing Director at Sorrelli (and daughter of Sorrelli founders Lisa and Kermit Oswald), I have amassed a serious amount of jewelry over the years. Growing up in the fashion industry, I have also collected a vast assortment of shoes, vintage dresses and exotic handbags. This collecting habit (and needing a place to display and store it all!) pushed me, with the help of my boyfriend, Mark, to convert a guest room in our home to a walk-in closet last year.

The small, plush space has so many amazing details that make me happy day after day (and make it a breeze to get dressed in the morning). A full length mirror opens to reveal shelf after shelf of high heels, flats and sandals. A jewelry alcove houses strings of glittering necklaces, bowls of crystal rings, and rows of dangling earrings. In true DIY fashion, I created the various bowls by hot-gluing ceramic pedestals to small glass containers of different sizes. I also hand-painted the alcove walls to create a yellow ikat pattern, giving the space the illusion of expensive wallpaper. Below the jewelry display, a pant rack pulls out to reveal scarves of every color and material, from pink silk to black cashmere.

A photo from the 1970s of my mother, Lisa, hangs in my jewelry space (fitting, as she is the Jewelry Queen). The vintage photo portrays Mumsley (as I like to call her) at prom time, in a simple gold cuff and a white Grecian dress that my Nana, Teresa, sewed for her. It serves as a daily reminder of what a do-it-yourself approach can create: fresh, beautiful, timeless style (no matter the budget).

My career in the fashion industry keeps me busy; I travel across the U.S. and internationally on a monthly basis. Many of my favorite fashion finds are from my travels, like my beloved batik-printed sari from Bali and my black silk embroidered robe from China. While not traveling, I scour Berks County for vintage finds. My mannequin (great for sewing, as it’s almost exactly my size) is from a friend who deals antiques.

My personal style is relaxed and sometimes disheveled (let’s be realistic, I’m always running somewhere), but always chic. Many days I’m too rushed to put makeup on, and simply leave the house with a stroke of red lipstick to top off my outfit. I am a fan of bold colors, layers of jewelry, and sometimes crazy pairings. I would rather step outside the box and fail than show up to an event looking exactly like someone else. My parents have instilled in me an appreciation for the unique, the odd and the spectacular. So yes, sometimes I go to dinner on Penn Avenue in my red silk Geren Ford maxi dress. And sometimes I wear a leather shell with floral pants to work. I’ve never quite been “ordinary,” and that’s okay. I strive to continue creating things, crafting a world around me that is aesthetically pleasing, inspiring, and full of joy. I started in my closet, where I’m inspired every day to look my best, no matter how much time I have to rush out the door. Whether it’s that swipe of red lipstick or a pair of fabulous rhinestone earrings, lack of time is no excuse for not feeling fabulous. Even on my most rushed, crazy days, there’s always an element of chic eccentricity that makes me feel myself.

In Conclusion: The Sparkle Revolution

I hope you’ve been inspired by the sneak peek into our personal closets. I think I can speak for the three of us Sorrelli girls when I say that we adore the confidence boost that women get when they wear a little bit of sparkle. Seeing this in action makes us truly love and appreciate our careers as “Sorrelli Girls.” Elaine, Rebecca, and I all have distinct style philosophies; fashion means something different to each of us. Whether it’s glamour, fitness, or creativity that drives you, strive to never leave the house looking short of your best. Organize your closet to reflect your own style priorities, and you’ll be inspired each morning to put more thought and energy into your personal relationship with fashion.

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