Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lauren Naimola, Dear Golden owner and all around woman you need to know. This University of Michigan alumna runs an Etsy shop (also DearGolden) and has recently moved her physical store from Pearl St. in Ypsilanti to downtown Ann Arbor. (Lucky for me!) We spent a lovely afternoon together with Heather Nash of HMN Photography a few days ago in Lauren’s shop on Fourth Avenue. Heather took some amazing photos of me and the shop, and we got to chat about inspiration, fabrics, and history, and the fact that Lauren hates having her photo taken.
Lauren is tall and graceful with perfect short, brunette hair à la Keira Knightley circa 2008. I happen to think she’s a dead ringer for the British actress. (You’ll have to take my word for it. Remember? She seriously doesn’t enjoy posing for photos.) She oozes intelligence without being intimidating, which is actually how I would describe her store, too. When women wear the treasures she finds, mends, and puts on her sales floor, they look sophisticated but approachable. Nothing is too over the top. Each and every piece is one of a kind, and you are sure to find the perfect items to complement your spring/summer wardrobe.
When she is not scouring estate sales and antique shops or reworking a vintage wedding dress/making dreams come true, you will probably find her enjoying dinner at Sava’s, drinks at Aventura, or pastries at Sweetwaters, all local favorites.
Her store is an airy, open space, full of fantastic natural light, and is floor to ceiling inspiration. You can see for yourself by stopping by 211 S. Fourth Ave., or you can check out DearGolden on Etsy, here. Read on to see my interview with wonderful Lauren.
From where do you draw your style inspiration?
From history, which isn’t so surprising as I sell vintage clothing, but my inspiration changes all the time primarily depending on which amazing woman or specific time period I am interested in at the time, from Natalie Barney or Edna St. Vincent Millay to Joni Mitchell.
If you weren’t a shop owner, what would be your dream job?
I would love to curate a museum of clothing.
Do you have any plans to open any more stores?
The shop is a highly personal endeavor that is essentially an extension of myself. It requires a lot of attention, and to splinter that would do it a great disservice. That being said, there are some modern clothing lines that I love that are in sharp contrast to vintage (much more minimal and slightly avant garde) and I would love some day to have a shop to sell that other side of my “fashion personality” so to speak.
What are some of the modern lines you’re reffering to?
Sessun, APC, Creatures of Comfort, and Dusen Dusen
If you had to live in only one fabric for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well, cotton! Second would be silk.
What is your favorite era for fashion?
I have never been able to decide, it changes all the time; I love them all really. I love Edwardian clothing, 1920s clothing, 1930s silhouettes and 1970s bohemian dresses in natural fibers.
What’s currently in your purse?
Wallet, lavender sachet, lip balm, aspirin, and a measuring tape. I travel light!
What is one item every woman needs for Summer 2014?
A pair of Birkenstocks, actually!
Thank you, Lauren and Heather!
Me in a white lace 50’s dress available at Dear Golden
Me in a 60’s dress, gold flats, and bracelet, all from Dear Golden
Me in a 70’s dress (the blue is all suede!), bracelet, and ring, all from Dear Golden
Me in an 80’s dress and heels both from Dear Golden
All Photos by Heather Nash