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3 Things You Gain When You Dress with Less

I know a minimal wardrobe is a big commitment and there are a lot of feelings involved, some not so pleasant. Like fear of not having enough when you let go, guilt of facing all of the money you spent on things you never wear, and frustration that you seem to always be ‘cleaning out your closet’. But on the other side there are so many benefits that make it all worth it.  Let me share three of them with you. 1. Joy of loving every piece that you own - Once you limit what you allow to be in your wardrobe, every piece really needs to work hard to be there.  For example, everything I now own is comfortable,...
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5 Places to Get Your Ethical Tees

The spring before I moved back home after college, I went to Target and bought a handful of $7 t-shirts that I have rotated through for the past few summers.  I love to design thoughtful and original clothing but up until recently (and I am totally still guilty of this at times) I pull out the same few t-shirts and jeans as my go to uniform.  And let me tell you, those Target shirts are on their last legs.  Pilling, holey, and stretched, my norm-core tees need an upgrade.  Now that I have transitioned to a capsule wardrobe, each new piece I am adding needs to really deserve it’s spot.  So I did a little research to find ethical labels...
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The Story Behind the Name

I get asked a lot about where the name Nine56 came from.  And the underwhelming answer is that my family helped me come up with the name and I picked it because it sounded better than our other options.  Not the inspiring story you were hoping for…keep reading. As I dug deeper into the message of my label and how I wanted to serve women, I knew that I wanted the name to mean more.  So here is the story of how put meaning into a seemingly meaningless name. Just after my husband and I started renting our first home together, I was sitting on a pillow, working from our coffee table because I hadn’t set up my studio yet. ...
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5 Ways to Stay Persistent

I have never been the fastest, smartest, or most creative gal around.  I actually always assumed the perfectly average position in all of these categories.  But a trait that I did have going for me was that once I started something, I stuck with it.   Even when I was young, I was persistent.  I would beg my mom to do something that I wanted and she would say: I love your persistence but I said ‘no!’   There are home videos of me learning how to skate in a class with other kids.  And I was so bad! I fell after only a few moments of being up.  But where some of the other kids would sit and wait...
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Behind the Price Tag

I really love the opportunity to meet people who buy Nine56 in person.  It is so fun for me to see strangers loving my clothing and giving me real time feedback.  In the spring, I have the chance to be a part of markets where I can share my label and mission alongside other small businesses. Each garment that I have hanging on a my rack is my pride and joy.  Every style has had so much time and energy into it deciding the design and fabric, and getting the fit just right.  Each piece is hand cut by me and hand sewn by Abby in her home with adorable baby Hellen snuggled into her chest.  When people see the...
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Dressing with Less

I am not a gal who has ever given an extensive amount of thought to the clothing that I put on my body.  Which seems counter-intuitive given the fact that I have a degree in fashion design and have my own clothing label.   I do truly love fabrics, sketching, designing the perfect details, getting the fit of a garment just right.  And I love what good clothing can do to support the work and lifestyle of women. But here’s the thing: when I dress myself, I always dress for comfort. And since I have an in-home studio, that means I spend a lot of time in my knit pants, slipper socks and fuzzy hooded sweatshirt.  Dressing for comfort is...
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All Things Spring

Having lived in the midwest my whole life, I am very familiar with the change of seasons.  I also am familiar with the appetite for renewal that rises up in me when the weather changes.  For so long, my routine was the same.  I packed up my old clothing and other belongings that were no longer serving me and I would begin the search for newer, fresher pieces to replace the old.  I had high expectations for my new clothing.  The right pieces would make me cooler, happier, able to show up for adventure.  But the weight and staleness associated with my purged clothing would always re-emerge the next season from the shirts and dresses that had once held so...
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Hello, 2018!

 2017 saw a lot of change for me and for Nine56 Studio.   The year started off with a marriage proposal from my best friend and a commitment to a plant-based diet to help starve out my dad’s cancer.   The months that followed were very goal focused for me.  I had an endless series of tasks that I was trying to complete. My new husband and I spent weekends renovating our wedding venue at his parents farm. My weeks were spent focusing on my health and my dad’s heath.  In the time in between, I worked on executing projects for Nine56 and brainstorming new ideas.   It was a time of beautiful chaos. I felt overwhelmed but I...
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Holiday Clutches and a Closed Loop System

A closed-loop manufacturing system can be described as a system that does not exchange matter with the outside world.  This is obviously a very ambitious and largely impossible task.  However, the sustainable benefits are equally as large.  A big focus of the closed loop system is re-use and no waste.  Examples of this in apparel production could look like recovering wasted energy, reusing the same resources (like water) to make a product, and recycling materials wasted in production.   The most attainable piece of the closed loop system for a start-up label like nine56 seemed to be recycling fabric waste into new products.  Waste from apparel production falls between 10-30% of intake materials.  This means that between cutting and sewing...
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Fall in Chicago

  Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to bring some of my favorite pieces from the fall collection with me to Chicago for a girls trip with my oldest friends.  Here are the highlights of six different women’s Nine56 street style. The Lindsay sweater was a hit with everyone.  Its roomy silhouettes makes it the perfect piece for layering.  Katie paired it with a fitted white turtleneck.  It was amazing to see the pop of white on the sleeve and neck under the textured dark sweater.  She twisted her hair into a ponytail with a pair of statement earrings.  Katie threw together this look about 10 minutes before dinner and looked absolutely stunning.  The best part of this low...
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