Meet blogger, Lindzi Shanks, creator of The Trendy Sparrow and our latest inspiration.
1. What inspired The Trendy Sparrow?
The Trendy Sparrow really has two iterations, what it was when I casually started it as a hobby in undergrad and when it became a full-fledged business right out of grad school. Many people don’t know that The Trendy Sparrow was originally wedding invitations, guest books, and cute wooden boxes. I didn’t have much of a rhyme or reason, but it was a place I could possibly make money off of something that gave me joy. Turns out my wedding invitations and wooden boxes were incredibly popular. Soon, that’s all that was in the shop, and I was able to quit all of my other jobs and just focus on crafting. It was amazing!
The version of The Trendy Sparrow you see now developed at the end of grad school. I was studying for my MA in psychology and intended to be a professor. There was only one problem…I hated it, but I loved my online shop. My passion was always fashion and designing. So, when I decided that I wasn’t going to be a professor anymore, I revamped TTS to be the fashion and home décor shop you see today!
2. What makes TTS different from other online blogs and shops?
One of the things I pride myself on the most about TTS is that we don’t follow what’s popular -- we try to create it. We get a lot of requests for shirts that are everywhere these days (ie. “wifey”, “but first coffee” etc.), but that’s not who we are. I come up with original designs that aren’t out in the world yet. I’m still very connected to the shop personally. Even as it has grown, people enjoy seeing the behind the scenes, so that’s why it’s important to keep my blog attached to it.
3. What has been the most rewarding part of curating TTS?
Every time I get to see someone wearing one of my items, either in person or on social media, it just makes my heart smile. It’s the realization that something that started in my brain is now physically on someone, somewhere as they walk down the streets. It’s still my favorite part of the job and continues to blow my mind.
4. What role do you think fashion/style plays in one's confidence?
Oh, fashion plays a huge role in confidence. I’d like to quote Blair Waldorf, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It's movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we'd like to be.” And it’s so true. Think about how bummed you were last time you stood in front of the closet and said “I have nothing to wear” and how that affected your day. Think about how the perfect LBD, or those jeans that fit all of your curves just right, or your favorite t-shirt make you feel when you wear them. That feeling can change your whole sense of self.
5. What inspires the art and slogans on your products?
I’m often inspired by my friends, the shows I’m currently loving, and those boss babes out there who are just slaying. I keep a notes section in my iPhone filled with new ideas. I will be working on a new collection and read through those and get inspired all over again.
6. How did you find the confidence to start a blog?
I was attending blogger events for my shop and was receiving compliments on my outfits. I was so surprised to hear how much people were asking about me rather than just my store. After several of them suggested I start a blog, I thought, why not? I figured it would be a great way to give my customers a look at the face behind the brand. In the end, my blog has become a business all it’s own.
7. How have fashion and art impacted your life?
Based on the career I’m on, I’d argue quite a bit. I’m one of those people that is genuinely moved by fashion. Looking through fashion magazines gives me inspiration for new collections. Fashion for me has always been about more that making money. It’s about giving someone confidence in what they wear, about giving them in the chance to be someone new or different, and about having fun. Fashion should always be fun.
8. What fulfills you outside of TTS?
My fiancé and my dog, Lilly, are my absolute life. They are my comfort, my rocks, and my happy place. My fiancé is always so incredibly supportive of the business and my biggest champion. He’s also perfect at reminding me when it’s time to relax or do something else. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
9. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Running a business is more work, more exhausting, and more stressful than a traditional 9 AM-5 PM job. But if you’re doing what you love you don’t even notice it, or better yet, you welcome it. I absolutely love what I do and consider myself so lucky that I get to wake up every morning in charge of my own day. If you’re stuck doing something you hate, go do something you love instead. Never settle for something that makes you unhappy. If you find a path that you love or gives you pure joy…go for it!