I'm thrilled to introduce the first of hopefully many Women of Style profiles! To get things off on the right foot (yes, pun intended), we're starting with the lovely Julie Brown, founder of Julie Bee's, a deeply fabulous, "eco chic" and Atlanta-based line of footwear. I discovered Julie's work about a year ago and after recently meeting her for cocktails, I knew this post had to happen.
A born and bred Southerner, Julie channeled her creativity, business savvy and passion for quality into Julie Bee's (www.myjuliebees.com) - Chic, sustainable and gorgeously made shoes. Julie was gracious enough to answer my questions and tell us a little bit about her incredible work. Enjoy her Q&A below and you'll see why Julie Bee's is a line you need to know (and shop) now!
How did you come into the business?I launched Julie Bee’s in November 2012, from a dream to provide women stylish shoes with a purpose. Earlier that year, I began seeking sustainable fashion forward shoes to wear to work and out with friends, but was at a loss. I was quickly disappointed with the options available to me, which did not match my designer vintage taste. I surrounded myself with a strong team and began designing and selling eco-friendly shoes women enjoy wearing.
Where do find inspiration for these lines?
I have discovered that many women are surprised they can be fashionable and environmentally friendly simultaneously. They assume they have to choose one or the other and do not realize they have an option to purchase both characteristics in one eco-chic shoe. This is where Julie Bee’s “steps” in – literally – with the opportunity to style modern women consciously with the future in mind.
What's your background with the South and how does it influence your work?
I grew up in southern Kentucky, in a small town where shopping malls and strip malls were the only venues to purchase items for a little girl without a driver’s license. These outlets were great if you wanted to be like everyone else but I longed for fashion out of a high-end magazine. I started buying fabric and vintage pieces and made clothes/bags that I could not find elsewhere. Southern hospitality and vibrant colors are splashed throughout our collections. Pops of color and texture demonstrate a sense of elegance and sensual appeal in moderate doses. Each collection features styles inspired by women in different cities across the United States.
How would you define your personal style, what/who has influenced your style?
I must admit this is a hard question for me to answer because my style has evolved over the past few years and definitely influenced by the city I’m living in or visiting at the time. My number one fashion value is to always tailor your clothes, tailoring makes the difference between a so-so outfit and a must have look.
In Atlanta, I gravitate towards classy shapes and tailored fittings, which I liven up with pops of color or over-the-top color and patterns. I have several vintage pieces that I mix and match with current pieces to keep the look fresh.
Starting in August you can find Julie Bee’s in Rodes, Amazon.com, OpenSky and Scrapa. Of course, you can purchase our shoes on our Website and we will continue to host trunk shows throughout the year. We will be showcasing our Fall 2013 collection at the Atlanta Shoe Market in August so please stop by our booth.
Your team is based in Atlanta, where do y’all head for a good meal...what about a cocktail after a long day?
Most days are spent working long hours but if I’m lucky enough to grab a good meal or cocktail I tend to stay close to home.
JCT Kitchen & Bar
Krog Bar (walking distance which I love, love to walk places)
Bell Street Burritos (walking distance which I love)
OK Café (Breakfast meetings)
Favorite styling tip for a pair of Julie Bee's?
With it being almost 90 degrees outside, high-waisted denim shorts are an essential for your summer wardrobe. You can dress denim shorts up or down with a crop top or a cute blazer and a pair of our New Yorker Pumps. Calling all stylish women. This hip heel is sleek yet substantial, so there's more to stand on, and a cushioned foot bed. The New Yorker was designed to be worn all day and night, for the city walker or driver.
More Julie Bee's here...