rad ladies : shauna haider

July 24, 2014




I am pretty stoked to introduce today’s Rad Lady, Shauna Haider (aka Nubby Twiglet). A fellow Portland native, Shauna caught my attention well over a decade ago on Live Journal (rememeber LJ?!). Struck by her unique style and design aesthetic, I’ve followed her journey as a blogger & graphic designer who somewhat recently also added jet-setting blogging teacher to her resume. If Shauna’s drive and accomplishments don’t inspire then you might not actually be breathing.


VGS: First off, you wear so many hats! Designer, blogger, teacher … Let’s tackle design first. When did you know it was your calling and what path did you take to get to where you are today?

SH: I always knew that I wanted to be an artist in some way and spent all of my free time in school doodling on my papers. I took every art class in high school twice and toured an art college as I was graduating but it was way too expensive and my mom wasn’t convinced it was the best fit.

Unsure about actually making a living as an artist I ended up going a safer route by majoring in business admin with a minor in marketing. As soon as that was done I had a nagging feeling that working in traditional office environments would leave me miserable and unfulfilled.

By that point, I’d figured out that I wanted to be a graphic designer but was living on my own and didn’t have a ton of money. People around me thought I was a little crazy to go back to the same exact community college I’d started at years before for a lesser degree (my accelerated design program was two years in length) but I worked my ass off and by my second semester I’d landed a $5,000.00 freelance gig designing album artwork for Virgin Records. That was the equivalent of my entire first year of tuition. By the end of my first year I’d landed an internship at one of the coolest design studios in Portland. I hustled non-stop and by the time I graduated I had my first full-time design job offer.

After five or so years of working for other studios and agencies while freelancing on the side I quit it all and launched my own studio, Branch, and now spend my days working with family & friends and designing for clients I adore and respect.


VGS: Which types of design projects do you enjoy most and why?

SH: I gravitate towards lifestyle and beauty brands most often these days — I’ve designed a few lines of cosmetics and fragrances and it’s a passion of mine. I also love a good editorial job, especially when it gets to go to print. But honestly? I worked on a dedicated branding team at my last job and it really helped me fine tune my knowledge. Branding is at the core of everything Branch does and it’s our most popular service.


VGS: Tell me about your role as a teacher: How did you become involved with Blogcademy?

SH: I’ve been obsessed with blogigng since 2001 when I started my first Live Journal. Having an internet connection and sharing my life helped me attract like-minded folks and I couldn’t get enough of it. One of the ladies I met on Live Journal was Gala Darling and when she moved to New York we became fast friends. As we began traveling the world together blogging and business constantly came up in our conversations but launching a workshop felt like a lot of work. One of my design clients, Kat Williams happened to be in town during one of my trips with Gala and after meeting her we were inseparable. While I had the knack for the creative side of things and Gala mastered the PR and outreach angle, Kat was an email and spreadsheet ninja.

We spent five days together and by the end of it we knew we had to launch The Blogcademy. Six months later our website went live and our first class in New York City sold out in less than a week. I’m passionate about design, marketing and getting consistent online and speak at length about those areas at The Blogcademy. It’s a dream come true.


VGS: Blogcademy has taken you all over the world! What’s been your favorite experience? What important lesson(s) have you learned from your travels?

SH: My favorite experience was being interviewed by ABC news in Melbourne and having it premiere across Australia. I’m just a designer from Portland — when I started The Blogcademy, I never imagined I’d be on the evening news on another continent!

Traveling can seem so glamorous from the outside, especially on Instagram, but there’s plenty of awkward moments: missed flights, schlepping through customs, forgetting the proper cables and chargers and getting lost. It’s all about just rolling with whatever happens — it’s life and you have to learn to take the good with the bad.


VGS: What are your thoughts regarding Portland’s creative community?

SH: Portland’s creative community is awesome. I love how it keeps growing and thriving. My husband Joey is a pop art painter and also curates shows so I get to meet great folks and check out their work. After traveling the world, I can honestly say that Portland is the most creative, forward-thinking city I’ve ever been in and I’m always glad to come back home.


 VGS: What is your biggest inspiration currently?

SH: I don’t have time to read many books these days but after a million recommendations I picked up #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal and absolutely loved it. I feel like it’s the guidebook for women in their 20s and 30s that are ready to break down what’s expected of them, do their own thing and forge their own path.


VGS: What is your biggest challenge in staying motivated and how do you overcome it?

SH: I don’t ever have a problem staying motivated because I love what I do. I would say, if you’re having issues staying motivated, what’s holding you back? Is it perfectionism? Procrastination? A feeling of what you’re doing isn’t going to be good enough? It’s important to find out what’s at the root of it.


VGS: What is your favorite burger spot in Portland?

SH: I think one of the best veggie burgers in town is at McMenamin’s and luckily there are locations all over the place!








shauna_haider_branch_2- Photos provided by Shauna -


- Find Shauna on Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy | Branch and follow her via Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest -

miscellany : mammoth & co. art prints

July 23, 2014

After seven years of working on house renovations that did nothing for the interior aesthetics of my home, it seems we’re finally going to address our cluttered, cave-like office this year. I am beyond excited about this as I tend to put off work until the last possible second because the last place I want to be is in that sad, dark space. At least, that’s what I’m currently blaming for all bouts of procrastination!

With dreams of ripping up the nasty carpet, adding a new window and lots of shelving taking up my thoughts, I can’t help but also let my mind wander to decor. I probably won’t have wall space left for new art once we add the new shelving I have in mind but that doesn’t mean I don’t have other walls in need of some dressing up. Thankfully Mammoth & Co.- my go-to online art print shop- has recently added new artists to their roster. Here are my current faves -

succulents_edit- ‘Succulents’ by Sarah Burwash -


red_mineral- ‘Red Mineral’ by Karina Eibatova -


midset- ‘Mindset’ by Denton Crawford -


space troy moth- ‘Space’ by Troy Moth -


Mt._Tabor_3_edit- ‘Mt. Tabor III’ by Tyson Anthony Roberts -


Celebration_edit- ‘Celebration’ by Tyson Anthony Roberts -


Flora_05- ‘Flora 05′ by Egill Bjarki -


Flora_06- ‘Flora 06′ by Egill Bjarki -


Flora_04- ‘Flora 04′ by Egill Bjarki -


July 22, 2014

You guys! Chloe is back!!

(If you know not of what I write, please refer here.)




miscellany : oh hai

July 21, 2014




It’s been a long time coming but I finally got some new pics to give myself a presentable face around here! Taken by official VGS photographer, Jessica Breedlove Latham, we kept things simple by surrounding me with – what else? – the contents of my closet. I am never comfortable in front of the camera, and put this shoot off for over a month, but all in all I think these turned out damn good. All thanks to Jessica!





sister style : savanna

July 17, 2014

Today I’m pleased to introduce Savanna Hupe: coffee slinger, retail babe, studio assistant for uber cool accessory line Seaecho and an all-around sweetheart.

Prior to meeting Savanna I was enamored with her work as a model for Seaecho’s room at last year’s Content event; playing the line’s patron saint she totally nailed it by looking equal parts beautiful, cool and ethereal as she posed with pups, pizza, clutches and champers.

I met up with her recently to see how she puts herself together for every day life -










IMG_2984- Savanna is wearing : slip by Free People | vintage tee by Harley Davidson | jacket by Wilfred Free | shoes from Solestruck -






IMG_3023- Savanna is wearing : jumpsuit by Camp Collection |  jacket by Wilfred Free -








IMG_2986- Savanna is wearing : vintage coord set by Pendleton | shoes from Solestruck -


IMG_3027- Proper Shopper Tote by Seaecho -








IMG_3050- Savanna is wearing : a vintage dress | shoes by Vagabond -


IMG_3039- Savanna’s adorable gentleman pug, Fiver, looking less than impressed -

indie designers : reif basik pre-sale

July 16, 2014

With one of the tightest style games in town, it’s no secret that Lindsey Reif is one of my favorite local indie designers. Since getting a little sneak peek last Spring I’ve been anxiously awaiting the newest addition to her eponymous Reif line, Reif Basik - and it’s finally here!

Now available for pre-sale, Reif Basik is a line of domestically produced transitional lounge-to-day wear that hits all the perfect notes in hot neutrals, easy high-style silhouettes and comfy fabrics like French cotton terry and rayon. Finally, all the items my friends and I are always wishing we had are available outside of the fast fashion racket!

Be sure to sign up for email updates - new subscribers will receive an exclusive discount code for 10% off pre-sale orders now through 8/1/14 -


RB skirt- oblique tank top -

- isosceles skirt -

RB undies- apex bralette -

- apex brief -

RB sweatshirt- peplos sweatshirt -

- contra lounge pant -


apex- apex body suit -


17_lowres- meridian crop tee -


14_lowres- flux babydoll dress -

RB romper- triad romper -


Photos : Autumn Northcraft

Model : Simone Fessant

Shoes : Miista courtesy of Solestruck


July 15, 2014

Today’s video selection is a gem from post-punk girl band, The Mo-dettes. Recorded in 1979, everything about this video makes me super happy -



indie designers : prime cut

July 14, 2014

I admit it, I’m a little behind on my discovery of Prime Cut bags. Spying them at a recent pop-up event, designer Lizzie Falkenstein told me they’ve been around for about six months now. Which is way too long for me to have not known about this rad line of cow hide bags, clutches, wallets and key fobs!

Having studied the product line up close I can say that both the designs and execution are perfect. I especially love the salt & pepper hide. I got a key fob in that design and am seriously coveting the new cross body style bag in the same pattern. Don’t just take my word for it though, have a gander for yourself -


PC Cross Body

- Cross body bag -


PC2- Spotted fold-over clutch -


PC4- Taupe clutch -


PC3- Salt & Pepper clutch -


PC5- Caramel wallet -


PC6- Light brindle coin -


PC7- Black & white coin -


You can find Prime Cut bags in Portland at Backtalk, Lizard Lounge, Yo! Vintage, Communion & Victory.

Check here for retailers in other states or shop online here.

clothes reporter : summer basics

July 9, 2014

Today I want to talk about basics. More specifically, their role as the foundation of a solid wardrobe. This is not new news, magazines have been drilling the benefit of basics into my head since I was a pre-teen, but my response has always been a loud yawn. Who wants a boring white button-up shirt when you can get a sheer pale lavender one with a high/low hem and whimsical cartoon lion print, right? Ha! Yes, I actually bought the latter and guess what? I wore it, like, three times before deciding it was far too awkward to wear often and it has since gone the way of the Goodwill donation.

Perhaps it’s my advanced age, or maybe it was Pinterest showing me the gazillion different ways a white button-up shirt can look like THE piece of the season, but as I came off my shopping ban a few months ago and was trying to envision what my new and improved shopping habits would look like it occurred to me that, yeah, maybe basics really are key. So how does a girl who has never given a damn about them start? Lucky for you I’m all about sharing my process.

First up, I’m obviously all about building up my summer basics right now. Here are some items I’ve either bought already or are on my future purchases wish list-


The little black dress: I recently bought this one from American Apparel and I love love love it. Easy, breezy and beltable, it can be worn super casual or dressed up. Did I mention that it has pockets??

AA dress- Dress by American Apparel -


Another easy looking option that can be a foundation for all sorts of summer looks is this number (also available in gray & white)- which is only $42!

MM dress- Dress via Mary Meyer Clothing -


Black not your thing? That’s ok- before my shopping ban I banned myself from wearing black! In fact, I’ve only started easing it back into my wardrobe this year. If you’re like me, try my first pick with a wild and colorful pattern!

AA dress2- Tomato print tent dress by Nathalie Du Pasquier for American Apparel -


Shorts: I actually just started wearing shorts last year due to the fact that I’ve always hated my legs. Somehow I got over that though and am eyeing a few pairs that- you got it- can be dressed up or down and will go with most anything. This pair is on super sale currently and I am probably going to order them this week.

MM shorts- Tap shorts by Mary Meyer Clothing -


I usually run screaming from anything with pleats but these look super cute, sassy and easy to dress up.

S shorts- Tailored fold front shorts by Shakuhachi -


Perhaps linen and drawstrings are your thing?

NS short- Shorts via Need Supply Co. -


Is all this solid black boring you? I’m way in love with this pair that utilize a great marble print to jazz up the neutral palette.

SNS shorts- Shakuhachi animal marble shorts via Need Supply Co. -


Shirts: These are definitely what I’m most in need of! I’m looking for comfy wear-with-anything tops that will making summer dressing easy-peasy. First on my list is a good denim / chambray number.

E shirt- Short sleeve denim shirt by Everlane -


AA Chambray- Chambray short sleeve shirt by American Apparel -


Ok, yup- it’s a white button-up! Somehow removing the sleeves makes me feel better about this choice.

E shirt2- Sleeveless poplin shirt by Everlane -


I know, I know- you’re sick to death of all those neutrals! Nathalie Du Pasquier comes to the rescue again with this lovely top that would work with so many things.

AA shirt- Shirt by Nathalie Du Pasquier for American Apparel -


Tees: I tend to underestimate t-shirts but they became a staple for me last year. In fact, I own and love this white tee here- it goes with anything and everything.

E tee- U-neck tee by Everlane -


When it’s really hot out my favorite thing to wear is a light, slouchy tee like this one.

E tee2- Pocket tee by Everlane -


It’s no secret that I love a good stripe and this tee would add some Parisian chic to just about any outfit.

EAM tee- Scoop neck tee by Edith A Miller via Shopbop -


If stripes are still too tame for you there is always gray animal print, cos why not?

APC tee- Jersey leopard print tee by A.P.C. via Need Supply Co. -


There you have it- my guide to summer time basics. I obviously couldn’t help throwing at least a tiny bit of color, print and pattern into the mix and I’m going to go ahead and say that’s fine. Obviously the idea of basics is that they’re pretty, well, basic. Their purpose is to mix and match with just about anything while allowing you to add personality via accessories. Even so, I’m convinced that basics don’t have to be boring! (For summer sandal ideas, check last week’s post here.)

miscellany : fka twigs

July 8, 2014

This week’s video is from British artist, FKA Twigs. Typically I don’t care for vocal heavy / R&B tinged tunes, which this reminds me of, but the production here keeps things interesting and overall, I really dig it. (Watch out for Twigs’ MF bombs if you’re at work though) -


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