I have a treat for
While visiting Park City, Utah I found a wonderfully unique shop. Olive & Tweed
Owner, Somer Gardiner, mixes indie, modern and vintage clothing and
jewelry, creating a fresh style. I got
to interview Somer and get the scoop on trends, what she's looking for
in indie artists and the reality of running a brick and mortar
describe your store a little? What's the story behind the name “Olive and Tweed”?
Tweed is an artist driven boutique in a
picturesque mountain town. We sell clothing and accessories that are
hand picked or hand made. Our focus is to support as many local and
national artists as possible by selling their wares at Olive
& Tweed. It is also
artist driven in that our buyers are all artists and together we have
developed a look for the store by paying attention to detail and
blending urban with bohemian in an Etsy meets Park City kind of way.
name Olive & Tweed is sweet and simple but there is
more to it than meets they
incorporates one of my favorite colors, Olive,
and one of my favorite fabrics and yarns, Tweed.
It also references two things that are very important in fashion and in
art - Color &
How/why did you start your business?
My first business
was as a professional artisan selling hand made scarves and hats at
several local farmers markets and in holiday boutiques for over 4 years
at the age of 20-24. Eventually my craft led me to open a hip and
inspiring yarn shop, Soul Spun Yarn, just as the trend of knitting was
making its way back into the mainstream. Soul Spun was an instant
it offered gorgeous yarns that were used in new and exciting ways and
easy to make projects to the beginning knitter. I ran Soul Spun for 5
years and in the interim decided that I wanted to open a boutique that
interest in fashion, art, and community.
You focus on featuring Indie artists… why? A few
Indie artists are where it's at. They are generally ahead
of the trend, they give personality to what they make and what you buy,
and working with them is often enlightening in some way or the other. A
few of my favorites are Ellebelle who makes jewelry from Antique coins,
silverware, and found object, and Werks
who hand dyes fabrics with herbs and flowers and creates very avant
gaurd clothing that is whimsical and
Some people may feel intimidated on how to mix “new”
clothing items with their vintage collection. Any tips?
is the old with the new is best. I love vintage clothing but I think to
make something hip, current, and relevant you should balance the old
with the new. A vintage print floral dress with a studded leather clog
and a sweet little cardi will make everyone swoon. Accessorize your
vintage to create an ironic juxtaposition and a look that's all your
What’s hot in the store right
We are really into floral this season. I.e. a sweet floral
print on a flowy short skirt, a floral print button down shirt that is
great paired with denim. We also have some bold edgy pieces such as a
grey and lime striped shirt that is loose fitting and cropped, a studded
sassy vest or leggings, 70's inspired wedge heel... and so much more.
There is ton of artist made jewelry, a baby and kid section with darling
cotton dresses, home decor with a very fun and colorful palette, and
dresses and skirts.
Trends for fall?
say Velvet is making it's way back, pant legs are getting wider, and
capes will be in, but I prefer to focus on classic cuts with a current
feel. In Park City we are about being sexy, comfy, and sporty all at
once, we are less trend focused and more focused on making layers work
no matter the season. A great coat is a must, sexy jeans, dresses
layered with a cardi and a cropped jacket, tights or leggings are still
great, and boots with
everything because they are practical for snowy weather and no one
around here has given up on the trend.
your favorite outfit right now?
favorite outfit is a double layered silk wrap skirt with a Japanese
print in dark blue, cream, and gold, it's flowy, soft to the touch, and
the waist perfectly. I wear it with a plain white tank tucked in or
out; it's a great outfit for the farmers market or a concert in the
What are you looking for from the
artists who approach you about carrying their items?
for a couple of
- Aesthetic appeal -
it has to look good and be of the moment -
- Price - we keep
things locally priced and we want to buy from artists sell their work at
a price that we can keep appealing and accessible to our customers.
- Quality - in
workmanship and in materials.
What inspires you?
Clanking forks muted by lively
conversations, illuminated aspens with translucent golden edged leaves
in the last moments of daylight as the sun heads West, fabric hung on
bolts layering upon each other begging to be freed and taken home,
artists who do what they want
without reserve, color, color, color - always color - and
generally dance, music, writing, wool, silk, wood, handmade, vintage,
What color palettes
are you into?
Right now I like
cobalt blue, coral, and yellow but I'm sure in the Fall that will turn
to Navy, Olive, Mustard, Brown, or soft
tones of Cream, Amethyst, Blush, Mocha.
Favorite designers/clothing companies?
Funk & Free People,
What do you like to create in your
I'm a singer-songwriter - guitarist and love to play and
write music in my spare time. Playing the guitar and creating songs is
just another way to keep my hands busy and my mind engaged in the
creative process. I do some graphic design, I also knit hats and
scarves, and am learning to sew. I just made my first sewn scarf today. I
blended a gorgeous paisley chiffon in peach with a cream french lace.
My designs tend to be feminine, simple, and made from luscious fabrics
considering opening their own
brick and mortar shop—anything you wish you had known?
I was lucky to know from the start was that you have to create and fill
a niche. Niche is very important. If you think that there is something
that your city needs and that the public will respond well, go for it.
Just make sure that you do your research first. It always costs more to
open a business than you think it will, it always takes longer to build
out the store than expected, and it always takes longer than you think
it will to get into in 'the black'. Plan for the worst case scenario
just in case, because you can easily loose your shirt of you don't have
the capital it takes to have
an abundant inventory, and enough in the bank to pay your bills while
you are establishing your business.
Toughest/Most Rewarding part?
Toughest part is
slow days and when things get lean and you worry about paying your
bills. This happen in the beginning especially, and it's a big strain.
The most rewarding part is wearing the different hats required of the
job. You get to be the buyer, manager, merchandiser, creative directory,
marketer, HR, designer, etc. For someone who is analytical, artistic,
social, type A,
business minded, and practical, it's a great
job. Remember that in the beginning you are it. Even if you have help,
it all comes down to you. I have seen many friends who romanticised
owning a business crack under the pressure of it all. Be careful and
know what you are getting into. Know if you are cut out for 100 hours a
week for the first 6 months to a year. It's all you will sleep, eat,
drink, and think about.
What’s next for Olive and Tweed?
growing our website and hope to expand to a second location in Seattle
when the time is right. In the meantime, we'll just keep bringing the
cutest affordable clothing, jewelery, and art to Park City!
Where can we find you and your shop?
Olive and Tweed
608 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060
Thanks so much,
Karlinsky is a wife and a Mom to two cute kids. She enjoys
elegant upcycling, finding vintage treasures, sewing, photography and
writing. Oh and tap dancing which she isn't good at but really loves.
In her previous career, Malia was a television writer and producer.
Visit Malia on her blog Yesterday On Tuesday