Aug 4, 2014
02:29 PM
Style & Shopping

Vintage Linens by Southern Yankee Style Modern Girls for Back to School

Vintage Linens by Southern Yankee Style Modern Girls for Back to School

Andrea Topalian

Jennifer Angerame is the Southern Yankee—born and raised in Dallas, TX, the mother of three married a New Englander and is now raising her three children in Wilton.

From her basement workshop, the busy mom creates her line of vintage-inspired, handmade children’s and baby’s clothes and gifts called Southern Yankee with the tagline, “Vintage linens for modern girls.”

Every item in her line, which can be purchased on her website or in nine retail locations predominately along the East Coast, is handmade. Locally, Southern Yankee can be found at Ally Bally Bee in Ridgefield, Annie Mame at Domestic Possessions in Madison, Fairfield Women’s Exchange in Southport and Frock & Frill in Wilton.

“I really am a one-woman show,” Angerame says (pictured right). “The book keeping, website, going to shows and all the sewing—it’s really all handmade by me down to the hang tags.”

She takes 100 percent cotton shirts and adorns them with vintage fabrics including handkerchiefs, doilies, table cloths, pillow cases and men’s dress shirts.

No two shirts are alike and every piece can be customized using family heirlooms.

“People will bring their family linens and I will make clothes for them, so granddaughter gets to wear grandpa’s shirt, but as a dress,” she explains.

Angerame has had an entrepreneurial and creative streak in her since she was young. She launched her first fashion line and “sold” clothing to her friends before she was 10 years old. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was always, “a model.”

The art of sewing was passed down in her family from her grandmother, Inez, who taught her daughter, Nancy, who taught her daughter, Angerame, who is now teaching her young daughter.

(Whale appliqué onesie, left.)

It was this lineage that inspired her to study fashion design at Texas Tech University. From there she moved to New York City and worked for Perry Ellis Menswear. While living in the Big Apple, Angerame launched the first iteration of her current business, Southern Yankee.

At the time she sold greeting cards. The vintage clothing aspect worked its way in and eventually took over.

“It was soon after my oldest was born that I started making the dresses. So was it motherly instinct?” she asks of the impetus for the clothing line. She isn’t sure. All she knows is that the idea took off.

A friend and fellow business owner in Dallas agreed to sell her line in her store starting with just a dozen pieces. Angerame says her friend quickly called her saying she needed another dozen.

(Pillowcase apron, right.)

“That’s when I thought, maybe we’re onto something,” she says.

Southern Yankee has been in business for 15 years. Angerame says she would  like to continue expanding the business into retail locations across the country. She waffles on the idea of opening her own shop—maybe someday she will.

For now, her line (which makes perfect back to school clothes for kids and gift ideas for baby showers) is available at southernyankee.com. You can find all retail locations on the website.

Angerame also tries to make it to as many farmers' markets and craft shows as possible. Throughout the summer she has been setting up at the Rowayton Farmer's Market each Friday her schedule allows.

To find out where Southern Yankee will be next, visit her Facebook page or Twitter.

(All photos by Andrea Topalian.)

Contact me by email at khartman@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, on Facebook and on Google +

 

Vintage Linens by Southern Yankee Style Modern Girls for Back to School

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