A few weeks ago I made my way to the doors of The Flourish Market in downtown Raleigh to meet with the owner and superstar Emily Sexton, and stylist Katy, for my very first private styling session. I gladly agreed to receive some tips on prepping my wardrobe for Spring (I love my job!) and more importantly, to find out first hand why this isn’t your average boutique. With loyal fans and an enviable following on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it’s hard to believe that The Flourish Market has only been around since October of 2015. In that time, Emily literally rolled out her dream on the four wheels of a step van.
As she would tell me later, that dream was to use fashion as a way to:
provide dignified jobs to mothers around the world, and to elevate the worth of women right here in our community through creating a safe place for them to come and be encouraged.
A tall order in this world of fast-fashion, but if you’ve met Emily (Em as she is lovingly known) you already know that the rest is history. In a year, the fashion truck morphed into a full blown brick and motor store, where today, Emily partners with more than 40 brands from all around the world who share the same mission of providing dignified jobs and fair wages to women artisans and makers in vulnerable communities. If there ever was a place where shopping can be called therapy, this is it!
As a mom of three young kids, my everyday style has been distilled down to a 5-minute “mom uniform” which includes eyeliner, a pair of high-waist jeans, and a shirt. So I was excited to see how I could mix things up for the new season. From a rack curated just for me, I tried on pieces that were at once in complete harmony with my style requests (no dry cleaning, no above knee, practical, no slouchy stuff, effortless) but still interesting enough to make me feel new! And ladies, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel like a professional model. It was priceless to have a stylist like Katy to show me how to roll up the sleeves fashionably, or how to instantly adjust the length of a super long dress (knot it at the bottom- mind blown!).
It would be wrong of me to keep all of this styling and fashion knowledge to myself, so without further ado, read on below for some expert spring styling tips along with an epic Flourish giveaway-just in time for Mother’s Day!
Spring styling tips from The Flourish Market:
1. Embrace Bold Prints
I like the effortlessness and maintenance of soft fabrics, but I don’t like the typical jersey dress because it looks too casual. To get over this, Katy suggested I find an interesting pattern in the fabrics I love. Since it’s Spring ya’ll, I couldn’t keep my hands off all the floral prints in their store. For instance, this Fleur Dress which combines the geometric stripes with beautiful flowers. Or my other favorite, the Leah Floral Maxi (this is the one that Katy knotted at the bottom to fit my 5-foot stature).. Also, if you are a pocket fanatic like me, the Flourish Market has somehow found a way to add them to most of their dresses. Can I get a hallelujah!
2. Invest in a Layering Jacket
I already knew the timelessness of a denim jacket and the usefulness of cargo jackets, but I’ve never successfully found one that helped me layer my look as well as the Washed Tencel Cargo Jacket in Chambray. I pretty much kept reaching for it with every change and was amazed at how soft and light it was. Personally, I don’t think I can travel without one anymore. I also fell in love with the kimonos that would elevate even the most standard jeans and tee. A versatile layering jacket or a pretty and colorful kimono? That might just be my biggest Spring fashion conundrum.
The easiest and quickest way to add interest to any outfit (even if you have worn it a million times) is to change up the accessories. I fell in love with this gold-tone plated brass Cropped Chevron Necklace, and a similar one made in wood (!). And while I have a weak spot for everyday bags like the Abera Crossbody in Cognac, I couldn’t get over the colorful Dhurri bag, which I totally see myself carrying to the farmer’s markets that are about to pop up all over town.