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Store Spotlight: American Flora {Mary Brewster}

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Meet, Mary Brewster, dedicated and passionate owner of, American Flora. We love her sustainable and eco-chic apparel, that are both earth friendly and elegant. We are excited to have American Flora join Styleshack.
{SS}: Can you share  your brief career journey and what is your current job today? 

{Mary Brewster}: After getting an MS in art education, I taught art in a suburb of Boston. From there I went on to work as an Art Director in the magazine arena, ending with Tennis Magazine when I had my children. After the third one was born, I started a small cottage industry hand painting children’s furniture. Upon returning to the dance world, I resumed classes and started teaching. I started American Flora after I had been teaching adults for several years. My current role today is Founder and President of American Flora. It encompasses Every aspect of the business.

{SS}: W6hen were you inspired to start American Flora?

{Mary Brewster}: I spent many hours of the week in a leotard and other dance clothes. I decided to create my own dancewear and make it out of a green fabric. I have always been inspired by the natural world, and as a longtime gardener, I chose to name the pieces in my collection after flowers. Regarding going green- Flora, the goddess of flowers in Botticelli’s Allergory of Spring is a depiction of renewal. I wanted to represent that. Finally, I was set on manufacturing in the US.

{SS}: Explain to us the sustainability of your products?

{Mary Brewster}: My fabric is called Repreve. It is made out of recycled plastic bottles. It is Soft. Supple. Sustainable.

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{SS}: You have two major categories on your website, LIFE and SPORT, explain the difference and functionality of your pieces?

{Mary Brewster}: LIFE. describes lifestyle wear. Pieces that can be worn for a Casual look and can also be dressed up to go out at night.

 

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SPORT. These pieces were designed to fit close to the body for ultimate performance and comfort. Life. and Sport. Pieces can be worn together as well.

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{SS}: What are your current favorite LIFE Picks? 

{Mary Brewster}: The Wraps. I love wearing such beautifully designed pieces of art. They are very versatile and can “make “ and outfit.

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The morning glory dress. I love its versatility. It’s look can go from sexy to elegant with a twist of the fabric. It can also be worn as a top.

 

The Lupine Skirt. A long black skirt is a must in everyone’s wardrobe. This fits the bill. Very complementary and the slit is an added feature.

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{SS}: What do you love about your job?

{Mary Brewster}: I love the creativity. I also love the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur, the intellectual stimulation and meeting people of like minds.

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{SS}: What are the greatest successes and challenges you have faced in owning a business?

{Mary Brewster}: The greatest successes are when everything comes together. In other words the difficult process has paid off. Sometimes that happens with my sewn pieces in the collection, but the “wow” comes when a new Wrap design is printed.The images are so spectacular! The constant challenge is wearing all the hats for my business. Making decisions can seem monumental and taking chances feels scary.

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{SS}: What new collection are you most excited for?

{Mary Brewster}: I’m really excited about the new Wrap designs we’re coming out with. I was inspired by a whole other type of flora when we were in Majorca Spain recently. We visited a beautiful cactus garden with fantastic variety and sizes of cacti.

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{SS}: Who inspires you in the business world?

{Mary Brewster}: I’m inspired by other small businesses. There’s a common thread that runs through the minds of small business owners. From the conception to the inception, a story unfolds. The story gives insight to who the owners are.

{SS}: Where do you get your news fix?

{Mary Brewster}: New York Times. Huffington Post.

For fashion and style- a variety of online style mags.5

{SS}: Your secret to work/life balance?

{Mary Brewster}: Ballet, good food, enough sleep

 

Now onto your personal style…

{SS}: In regards to your personal style, do you have a signature accessory?

{Mary Brewster}product_details_accessoiesbath_necklace_2I wear 4 gold bangle bracelets every day. I also wear a necklace my three children gave me every day. It’s a white gold disk with their names on one side and a sentiment on the back.

I’ve always loved disks/ tags. The American Flora brass tag, which I use for my packaging was an outgrowth of that. I wanted a signature piece that customers could reuse, staying in keeping with my recycle message.

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{SS}: A few items in your “Styleshack” A.K.A closet that you can’t live without?

{Mary Brewster}: Summer – cut offs, Am Flo pink bottle skirt, tank tops, Am Flo wraps and sandals.

Winter –hydrangea-462x392 Am Flo infinity scarf, base layer top, leggings.

 

Wraps. Jeans and cords, boots , and sweaters.

{SS}: Who inspires your style?  Favorite Style Icon?home-aquaa

{Mary Brewster}: Some inspiration comes from the dance world. I’m very attuned to the feel and fit of a garment. I like to show women that they can be comfortable while looking beautiful. Sometimes that’s achieved by a unique design and color. ThiStella+McCartney+Claudia+Schiffer+Out+London+0Y6vKbCNUDWls concept is what inspired my to create the Wrap. It fits any size figure, makes a statement and you feel great wearing it.

 

 

My Style Icon is Stella McCartney.

{SS}: Style Archetype?

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{SS}: Your current favorite items on Styleshack?Maven_Summer_Line_Web_-_024_grande

360 sweater lina tee in navy Hersh’s Boutique

360 anais hoodie Hersh’s Boutique

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Kayden jumpsuit Guys N Gals

Lazlo T-Shirt Lazlo

{SS}: Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog?sustainable

{Mary Brewster}: Seth Godin, Sustainable Chic, Well + Good, The Skimm

 

{SS}: Favorite Lock-coletteal Boutiques?

{Mary Brewster}: k colette, The Queen’s Beads, Soho boutiques in NYC.

{SS}: Favorite fashion social media app or social media site?  

{Mary Brewster}: Instagram, Twitter and Pinterestdownload

{SS}: Currently reading?

{Mary Brewster}: The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

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{SS}: Favorite place to eat?

{Mary Brewster}: Café Miranda – Rockland Maine

 

 

{SS}: Words to live by:

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SHOP American Flora

Now on Styleshack

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http://styleshack.com/vendor/americanflora/

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