Friday, July 15, 2016

Thrifty Lady

Find this strange, if you will:  I love thrifting. These tops are just some of my recent thrifty success!

Even having created Novel Nellie, where I truly hope people will shop for (and love) ethical clothing and accessories, I want you to love thrifting too!  Why?  Because I know thrifting is awesome-- for your wallet, for your creative expression, for sustainability and yes, even for the good of the garment industry!  Every garment that you or I purchase from our local Goodwill or independent thrift store, is one less garment that is purchased from brands that manufacture with unethical standards.

But what about that adorable J. Crew blouse you picked up the last time you scored at Savers?  J.Crew, and a million other mainstream brands don't exactly adhere to ethical manufacturing, right?

Right, but by purchasing that blouse, as apposed to a new one actually from the brand in question, you are:

  • reusing something that could be needlessly turned into waste.
  • not putting more money into the pockets of unethical garment production.
  • Oh, and saving money. <3

Our purchasing choices matter!  Voting with our dollars if you will, and there are many ways to vote for a more ethical, sustainable future-- one of which is voting against unethical fashion, in any way you can.  Thrifting falls into that category friends, so you will find me doing it often!  Can I tell you how many times someone compliments a top or pair of pants I'm wearing, and I boldly + joyfully get to say that I got it for $3 at Goodwill!? 

It's bliss, let me tell you. ;)

This is, of course, only half of the ethical fashion battle, though, as ethically made brands and makers still need our support to keep doing what they are doing-- making fair trade, handmade or US made garments, and finding quality vintage goods.  By purchasing these clothes and accessories, we're spreading the reach of ethical fashion and giving competition to brands that don't take ethical manufacturing into account!  I'd be thrilled if one day brands like Target and Seychelles used Fair Trade manufacturing, but until then, I'll be thrifting and buying ethical. What about you?

Have a friend or two that needs to hear about this stuff? Go ahead and share away!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Novel Nellie has been off the ground for over a month now, so I thought it was about time to introduce myself-- the crazy lady who runs this thing!  Hi, I'm Erin. :) 

Unlike some business endeavors, I have launched Novel Nellie totally alone. Hear me out when I say that, for I have many supportive family members and friends who have leaned in, during the past month or so (not to mention the awesome brands I carry!)-- even to the extent of me slipping into use of the word "we" from time to time when referring to Novel Nellie!  I have been so blessed and encouraged by my people: my super tech savvy friend who always responds to FB message questions about website things, or my editor friend who is always willing to proofread and offer suggestions! The friend who shares my love of aesthetics who I can bounce logo, photo or color ideas off of, and my Mom who hears and helps on literally every front! Even friends who haven't directly contributed to the building of this little boutique, have checked in on me, prayed for me and come out to be there on my opening day!  I am definitely running Novel Nellie as one woman, with no employees (yet!), but am surrounded by a village of support. Bear with me if I still say "we" sometimes, as I think of those hearts and faces!  Even in these very early days, I'd like to think that this is how many small businesses begin: one crazy dame (or gent) and an idea.

I am a creative, a historian and a lover of authenticity (even when it's messy).  The outdoors and wide open spaces are my favorite place to be, and I've always been one to color outside the lines when purpose has called me to. Having spent the last five years dealing in vintage clothing, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to have launched this kind of endeavor but honestly I am!  Novel Nellie came into existence seemingly overnight, when circumstances and provision fell into my lap in a way that I believe only God can orchestrate. Some days I still wake up and suddenly remember that I'm doing this thing!  It's a crazy adventure already, and I couldn't be more thankful to share ethical style, and uniquely made goods with uniquely made people.

Please know, that when you shop at Novel Nellie, you are buying not just from me, but helping to support the livelihoods of creatives, makers and artisans here in North America and all over the world! I'm just the middle (wo)man, hoping to share these beautiful, quality goods and ethical aesthetics with you!  Together, maybe we can end the reality of unethical manufacturing practices!

Thanks so much for checking out Novel Nellie, and for caring about ethical consumerism! Your questions or comments are always welcome here or via email to

💕 Erin Conley