Archive for May, 2010

Motor City Car Girl

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by factorygirl82

My dad is from Detroit. My grandfather worked for General Motors.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been going to car shows with my Dad.  The Grays Lake antique auto show, the Chicago Auto Show, Volo, The Chicago Antique Car Museum etc…. In our family it has always been one truck of some sort and one super sport fast car.  So basically what I’m trying to say is I’m a car girl.  But not just any kind of car girl, a classic General Motors car girl.  I know with the state of the American auto industry how can I still love General Motors? Because it’s in my blood. And I have hopes that some day soon the car industry will enter into a new golden era of design like the 1950s.

This is one of my dream cars. A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. It’s a classic and it’s a popular classic.  I would love some day to have a collection of classic cars, fingers crossed.

1988 I was turning six years old.  And what did I want more than anything for my birthday? Why the turquoise 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible for Barbie! I didn’t want the pink one either I wanted the turquoise one with the pink interior.

It truly was the coolest car in town. And I did end up getting it for my birthday.  After what according to my Dad seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. He was at Toys R Us, knowing him either the day of my birthday or the day before.  He was searching for the 57 Chevy but all they seemed to have was the white Mustang.  No way was my Dad going to get me a “pony car” ever.  Unless it was Mustang Cobra.  He was going  looking through all the Mustangs, when in the back on, the shelf behind about 10 Mustangs, there it was the 1957 Chevy Bel Air in Turquoise.  I still have that toy car.  My Barbies took many a joy ride in it, not to mention my pet mouse Ralph was also a constant passenger.

It was always a bit different being a car girl. When I was 14 and in eighth grade we had to write a 20th Century Report. What did I choose to do mine on? Why the American Muscle Car of course. I wanted to stick to General Motors but my social studies teacher Mrs. Mckenna insisted that I do it on the big three.  Which of course included my nemesis Ford. Chrysler, which I never had a problem with because they were always beautifully designed cars but Ford was just blah. To do this day you could not get me to buy a Ford.  Through this paper I learned about the genius of Harley Earl.  Harley Earl was the VP of design at General Motors. He was also the guy that created the fin on all those beautiful 1950s cars.

He also created the concept car.  That’s him in the picture of above with a 1938 Y-Job. Gorgeous look at those lines!  But through my report I learned even more about the beauty and the innovativness that was GM.  Which kind made me think what the hell happened!? I know the 70s wasn’t great but come on bounce back.  Bring the steal beasts with beauty back. I know, I know gas guzzlers but really with technology today couldn’t there be some sort of middle ground!

That’s a 1940 Buick.  Again another kind of classic car I’ve always wanted.  But my Dad said War cars were not a good idea. No power steering.  But still I would look so cute in one those! Especially if it had a rumble seat. What a fantastically horrible idea the rumble seat. But my love of the rumble seat will have to be an other blog.

Anywho when I was 17 I had gotten my license.  And I needed/wanted a car to drive back and forth to high school.  I had been saving money since I was nine years old.  I had $2,500 in my savings account.  I knew when I was nine that I was going to buy my own car. I planned ahead.  I also knew it was going to be a a classic car.  So my Dad gave me a couple trade magazines so I could check some late 80s and early 90s Trans Ams and Fire Birds.  I was looking through the magazine, when I flipped the page, and smack in the middle there  she was! A 1958 Chevy Biscayne.  It was located close to my house over on Touhy and Ridge. A definite plus.  I picked up the phone  and called.  A craannnnky old man picked up the phone and barked at me “Hello” I inquired about the amount of rust. “Typical rust for a Chicago car!” again he barked.  I said okay and politely said goodbye.  Then immediately called my Dad.  Who of course did not want to go see the car. It wasn’t worth it blah blah blah. My Dad has a habit of always saying no first to almost anything you ask him. But the second I told him I spoke to an old man about the car my Dad said “Old Man!? We’re there!”

So the next night, we went and met Betsy. The 1958 Chevy Biscayne that would hopefully be my first car ever.  It was cold. It was February. My Dad and I pull up in front of this beautiful mansion. It was like something out of a movie. We go around back, Dad almost wiped out on chunk of black ice,  and this tiny old man with glasses comes to the door.  Now looking back he definitely reminds me of the old man from the movie Up.  He grabbed his coat and the keys. We went out back and there she was sitting in the back drive way.  Just waiting for me.  He started her up, she purred like a kitten. She wasn’t perfect. Like how I write on so many of my tags at the store, she definitely has been loved.  But that was okay by me!  She belonged to the old mans sister who had recently passed and her sons were selling off most of her stuff.  She had named her Betsy. And that woman was the only owner.  If I was to get her I would be the second.  How cool was that a 41 year old car and I was about to be only the second owner!

Daddy-O and I took her for a test drive. I was totally nervous about not only the ice but drum breaks? Ya they took a minute to get used to. As we drove back to the house, I was full on in love. I told my Dad I wanted her more than anything on the planet. And my Dad being the smart guy that he is said that the mechanic had to come check her out to make sure everything was solid.  We got back to the house and went into the kitchen. We sat down to create a contract. Because apparently there was a guy from down state interested in her as well.  I was terrified! No! She was to be mine. So my Dad again being the smart guy that he always has been. He found two pieces of scrap paper and $52 bucks in his wallet. He proceeded to write out two contracts that stated with this $52 the car could not be sold until we had our mechanic look at it.  Two days later he did.  That Saturday I cleaned out my savings account and drove over with my Dad to pick up my very first car.  My 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne with 4 doors in robins egg blue and turquoise interior named Betsy.

I still have Betsy. The dream is to ship her off this car restoration place in Wisconsin where they come pick her take her for 3 months then bring her back shiny, new, and restored.  Betsy is the dream for me. She’s the beginning of the car collection. She’s an icon of a time when cars were not just transportation but art.  And an art that anyone could have, you didn’t need to be loaded to be driving a stylin auto.  That’s what the car industry is missing these days the art in it.

I could go on and on about Betsy because she’s got some great memories and hilarious stories that ultimately come with being a 17 year old car with a 1958 Chevy.  Hopefully I’ll be able to post some actual pix of her. And even more hopefully this summer I’ll be cruising around town in her. Because on a hot summer day there is nothing like driving with the vent windows open, music blasting, and a big black lab laying next to you on bench seats.

Lots of new stuff on etsy.com look under sellers factorygirl82.

Later Gators

Fashion’s New It Girl

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by factorygirl82

My store is called Factory Vintage Clothing. My etsy seller name is Factorygirl82.  In my store I have a world war 2 poster factory girl poster that reads “I found the job where I fit best!”

(side note I recently discovered that this poster is in the movie of A League of Their Own!)

It took me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to name my store.  I wanted something fairly gender neutral and something that represented me.  I had  a long list and would come up with something that I liked and would be set on it.  But then  24 hours later it would be the worst name on the planet.

There are two parts to the name Factory.

I have always loved world war 2.  I know it sounds a little weird, loving a war. But I love the history in it. Again weird but I find it so romantic. It was a war worth fighting after all.  And all those boys signing up when they didn’t really have a clue what was going on in Germany except Hitler was a bad dude.  I especially love British history and what women were doing, it has always been fascinating. Plus the world war 2 factory girls had such cute hair and uniforms! Plus plus Marilyn Monroe back when she was still Norma Jean, she was a factory girl.

So that’s the first part of Factory.  The second is shocker Andy Warhol’s Factory.

I was watching “I Shot Andy Warhol” when it not all that uniquely it came to me. Factory! What a great name for a store! Plus Pop Art if any one was a pop culture freak the way Andy Warhol was it was me! Hello my love of  Britney? It was a name that meant something to the vintage crowd. A name with so much style behind it.  The possibilities were endless with what one could do with the name.

So Factory it became.

It was around this time too that Factory Girl came out.  I had read some about the movie.  Mainly that it was awful and boring.  So even though I had named my store Factory Vintage Clothing. I didn’t really have a desire to see a movie about one of, if not the most iconic person to come out of the Factory. Then one night I was home, bored, flipping channels.  When I came across it on some movie channel.  It was almost at the end.  The part where Edie goes to a restaurant she took Andy too and yells at him for ruining her life. I was hooked.  I put it at the top of my netflix that second.

I knew a little about Edie Sedgwick, mainly that Sienna Miller was playing her in biopic and that she was a muse of Andy Warhol.  I did not know that I would come to love her. There was something about her so tragic, so crazy, and yet had such an innocence to her.  Just looking at Edie you would want to take care of her.  She was mesmerizing to me.  Like a train crash I couldn’t look away.  After I bought Factory Girl at Borders for a ridiculous price. I should have waited and bought it on Amazon but I needed it then! I bought the book Popism by Andy Warhol about pop art in the 60s in NYC.  From Andy’s point of view which is a wee bit on the biased side, but hey it was still interesting.  Especially the good parts about Edie, not her drug addicted days, which he didn’t really do anything to help.   After that I went and got the book In My Blood By John Sedgwick.  Which was about the Sedgwick family and their disease of madness and depression.  A truly fascinating book about  a fascinating family.  The chapter Edie Super  Star was the first one I flipped to and read.  Then I read again when I actually got to that point in the book.  Edie was so vibrant, so funny, and again so crazy.  But the craziness not being her own fault.  I know a lot of people that wont see Factory Girl because it’s another biopic about another junky. But it’s not.  Edie Sedgewick is one of those people in history that had to go out young. Not just because they were a junky but because it’s better to go out with a bang then to fizzle away.  I don’t think she was a person that could fizzle. And for someone who was pretty much just famous for being famous she certainly has a legacy that has survived her death by 30 years and most definitely will for many many more.

Anywho that’s my ode to Edie and a little history of the name of the store.  There is a lot of new stuff on etsy.com check me out under seller’s factorygirl82.  Also I’m figuring out a way that if you sign up for the blog you get 15% off your next purchase. So keep a look out for that! And the flasks are here so def come check them out because they are awesome! Later Gators.