Today, Vera welcomes us to her home, explains what led her to Memphis, and how her collection of vintage clothes began. She has had a longtime love for classics and history, starting with her obsession with Egyptian culture as a little girl Huntsville, Alabama. In fact, she received her degree in Classics from the University of Alabama. She moved to Memphis the day she graduated in December of 2008, quickly decided after meeting her now husband and Memphian Christian Stanfield. “Love at first sight,” she confesses. (More about that story later.)
“I loved Memphis from the moment I got here. The city's musical history was a draw, but also Memphis is so alive today with all the revitalization projects and Choose 901 movement. There is so much culture here — culinary, music, art. I feel like there is so much to do here all the time that I can't possibly take advantage of all that this city has to offer.”
Vera did grow up with musical training, taking piano lessons as a child and teenager, then taking up the trumpet in middle and high school. She met Christian during her gap of not playing any instrument at all.
“He was playing in an old time string band, and I wanted to join in on the fun. So I started playing banjo uke during his band practices and at jam sessions. Christian builds banjos and banjoleles, so I eventually branched out to 5-string banjo so that I could start playing melody at jams too,” says Vera.
They formed their band the Side Street Steppers in June of 2008. This also leads into how she stepped into the world of vintage fashion.
“I really started getting into vintage when we formed the Side Street Steppers in June of 2008. We were playing vintage music, so it seemed natural to me to get dressed up in
vintage clothing for performing. That's still half the fun of performing for me!”
“If you love it, buy it, then and there. Nothing haunts us like the vintage we didn't buy. Those pieces are so unique and one-of-a-kind. You've got to accept that true vintage is never going to be perfect. Those pieces have had a life of their own before you find them, and that's part of the beauty of vintage,” she says. “Of course, I love shopping at Red Velvet! If I'm not shopping there, you can probably find me shopping around the corner at Hoot + Louise, perusing Anna's fun collection of new and vintage.”
“This little playsuit has introduced me to the fun world of rompers! I want more now - they are so great for performing. No worrying about your skirt flying up while you're singing,” she smiles.
Polka Dot Playsuit
by Trashy Diva (Coming soon to Red Velvet)
Peep Toe Clogs
by Lotta Of Stockholm
by Goorin Bros
Deco Wing Earrings
by Rosita Bonita from Red Velvet
Banjo and Banjolele
built by her husband Christian at George Banjos