My Fab, Funky, Fashionista Friend Nan is stopping by today! Yay!


1045088_10200349981337522_27382779_nI’m so excited to have my Fab, Funky, Fashionista Friend Nan stop by today.1000816_10200271401453074_535258932_n 

Here are just some of the fashions she finds at Abby’s Boutique in St. Cloud.

Glad you could pop by, girlfriend.

Thank you, Brenda, for wanting to interview me. You are a great person and I enjoy doing your hair.

Thank you. I appreciate you for being my stylist. I find you’re a very creative person. Could you tell something about yourself?

I grew up in upstate New York. My father passed away 17 yrs ago and my mother is still living in my home town. I have three sisters, two older, and one younger. I went to beauty school  while still in high school and graduated from high school and beauty school in 1985.

My childhood was the best and we were always a family unit. My father would come home on a Friday, and before dinner, we’d be on the road to a camp site with anywhere from 4-6 other families. We definitely were a close family and weekends were fun. It’s kind of sad for the kids growing up today where family units just aren’t there for each other anymore. We grew up without a lot of money, so we all worked very hard for all the things we got and appreciated every bit of it. This is still true today and I work hard and appreciate what I work for. Giving is better than receiving is the way I grew up. I have three nieces, one nephew, and a great niece who all live in New York. I really miss being with my family. To me, family means the world. I cherish my family very, very much, in the same way I cherish my friends.

It must have been hard moving away from them.

I moved to the Great State of Florida 21 years ago. At first, it was so hard for me to leave my family and friends. I was the last to leave my family nest, and I was the first to move 1200 plus miles away. I moved in with an old boyfriend and his parents (who were friends of my family for years). I broke up with him and lived with a co-worker from Walmart (a job I took when I first moved here just until I got my hairdressing license transferred from NY) But by age 25, I had my own apartment—which was a scary thing for me.

That had to be difficult, but through your own creativity and passion you formed a new family.

No, not an easy time for me.  I found a job in a hair salon. I worked there for 5 years, but then I quit and went to work at Shear Connection. I have been working here for about 17 years, and just since 2009, I’m now the proud owner!!! I have 7 girls working for me and I just am so Blessed to have such talented and wonderful girls that work for and with me. We truly are all like sisters. I tell them that I love working with them and I don’t miss my own sisters up North because they act just like them. LOL! I consider all my customers like my extended family. I have lots of grandmothers, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and tons of extended nieces and nephews.


What hair procedure do you like to do that most expresses your creativity?472491_3938296019673_887168423_o

It’s hard to try to figure out what I like to do the best in hairdressing that expresses my creativity. I like just about all of it. I really like doing perms. When I wrap a perm, I usually don’t like talking because I concentrate so much on what I’m doing. I guess that I kind of zone out while doing the  perm. I also enjoy cutting long hair off to create a new look. When the customer says do whatever you want, wow, after that, it is game on. Usually I have no clue what I am doing once I get started, then the madness of the creative brain takes over and I just go with it. My fingers do most of the work.

I know you have another passion that expresses your creativity in another way. Could you share that?

I absolutely love to craft things. I like finding new crafty things to make. Once I get going on a project then I go all the way. Hobby Lobby, by far, is my favorite store to shop in for getting my crafts. I also enjoy making my crafts for others. For the past two years I have made Christmas ornaments for my co-workers, customers, friends, and family. I think making and giving homemade decorations is much more meaningful than buying something. Making things with my hands means a lot to me, and I hope it does for the people that I make it for. My other true passion is antiques. I love to look at antiques and try to imagine who used it and what time in history did they use it? I love the history and love to hear stories from the past—I mean a very long time ago. I love the time periods from the 1900’s, up until about the 60’s. I own an antique wedding dress made by a niece for her aunt to wear on her wedding day, September, 1911. I don’t know why I had to have this dress, but I wanted it, and now have it and I love it.

I can buy a dress for twenty bucks and think I’ve done great, yet you go into a (resale shop) and get a sack full of clothes for the same price? Hmmm! What’s your technique?

I really don’t have a technique for clothes shopping. I recently discovered a new clothes shop here in St. Cloud called Abby’s Boutique. I was told about it in my salon and decided to check it out one day. I walked in and said to the manager of the store, “As you can see I am stuck in the 80’s. My coworkers always tell me that I am stuck in the 80’s and need to come out. Although they won’t really let me because they gave me a hair cut that I had in 1984—so that being said—I‘m fashionably challenged. The manager said, “ Oh gosh, I love to dress people.” I responded enthusiastically, “YEAH BABY, DRESS ME!” So ever since, I’ve now become the store’s BARBIE DOLL and they dress me. Just like in “Pretty Woman,” I walk into the store and they start getting clothes and telling me “Oh Nancee, try this on! Oh Nancee, you will look great in this, try it on!” That’s my simple secret. Just plead fashionably challenged, and bam—they’ll dress you.

You’re very petite, and there are some of us who (gulp!) have fuller figures. Yikes! Is there hope for us in this kind of shop?

Yes, this shop has all kinds of sizes so people of all shapes and sizes will find something in this store. My motto is that IT’S IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHOPS—so that’s what I do.  (Abby’s Boutique Upscale Resale Gallery, St. Cloud)

In the fall, you go on a special road-trip to Kentucky in search of the perfect funky items. Where do you search and what do you look for?

I find all my “treasures” on my trip that I go on every year with my sister-in-law. We go to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, the second weekend of every October. They call it Court Days, and what they do in downtown Mt. Sterling is close the streets and a bunch of vendors, antique dealers, art dealers, and local artisans come and set up booths, allowing people to buy from these vendors. Then, a couple of counties over in Preston, they have their Court Days also. In Preston, they have fields of nothing but antiques. This is where I go crazy. The first thing I buy usually sets the tone for the rest of the shopping frenzy. The last two years it’s been hats, old clothes and some jewelry. This year who knows? My kitchen is decorated with antique kitchen articles. I have 16 washboards hanging on my walls—two of the washboards are made of glass and one of them belonged to my Grandma Stephens. I treasure that one the most.

How do you know when you’ve gotten a good deal?

 How do I know I got good deal . . . hum . . . if it feels good when I hand out the money and I have no regrets when I bring it home, then I know I did good.

You also express yourself through hats and chunky jewelry. Where do you find your cool stuff?207094_1650883551800_4615957_nThis is Nancee in Barbie doll mode!

For me, the one thing that I find important is to express myself and not be like everyone else. I do and think and wear whatever makes me happy. I have never followed anyone else’s fashion style. In the summer before my junior year of high school, my family and I visited my mother’s best friend from her high school in New York City. Well, I’m a girl who loved the 80’s, so I came home with some pretty interesting outfits from there. Going to a small high school (which has K-12 all in the same buildings) I was kinda the laughing stock of the school. I didn’t wear the traditional polo shirts, I didn’t wear a cheerleading outfit, and I certainly didn’t wear shirts with pocket protectors on them. No, I was the first to wear the neon colors, homemade earrings, and all the wild crazy colors the great 80’s fashion world had to offer and I still love that stuff. It’s then that I learned that expressing who I was through my clothes was more important that trying to fit in with everyone else. I guess that’s when I became something of a rebel.

I think that’s what passionate, creative people do.  

What’s the take-away for those who love to express theirselves through fashion and other creative ways?

I am definitely not a follower, nor do I consider myself a leader. I just am who I am. Crazy, caring, thinking of others before my own needs is important to me. I just want to try to make everyone that is in my life happy. Sometimes that isn’t always good for me, but I keep doing it even if I get my feelings hurt from time to time when people don’t get me. But I think it’s important for people to always be true to themselves.

So you are saying that it’s important to ‘pay it forward?’

I just think if I am good to the people around me now, hopefully when I get older, I will have someone like me to make me laugh and feel good. People will take care of me, even if they do something as little as open the door so I can walk through the door with my cane or walker, or if they make me a gift using their own hands, taking the time to figure out what I like and making it just for me. Gifts from the heart mean more to me than something bought in a store. I love antiques and one day when I get old I want to be the Best, Funniest, Antique Lady walking around. LOL!

Thanks for taking the time to share some of your bargain hunting and creative shopping techniques, and your wonderful suggestions on how to just be ourselves and express who we really are through actions as well as fashion. You are definitely a passionate, creative person and thank you for taking the time to stop by. Sometimes, just fitting in isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and really  living is taking chances and not being afraid to let people know who we really are.

Do you have any links you’d like to share today?  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shear-Connection/110995168963680                        


5 Responses to “My Fab, Funky, Fashionista Friend Nan is stopping by today! Yay!”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing a little bit of your life, Nan. You are my eighties girl! Some day you are so going to be the heroine in one of my books!

  2. Tiff says:

    Love the pics of the clothes! =)

  3. stevestinnett says:

    I wish my wife shopped like that!

  4. brendastinnett says:

    Wait a minute! I’M your wife! LOL!

  5. Jack Higgins says:


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