961days since
Chicago U.P.

[ Pierogi Picnic ]

++About Pierogi Picnic++

Pierogi Picnic, by Lydia Krupinski, is scrumptious fashion fun without the ecological heartburn! Each item is handmade using recycled textiles – combining an urban aesthetic with a sustainable spin to bring you clothing and accessories you can be proud to live in. Inspired by vintage styles, green design, and urban living, Pierogi Picnic strives to create comfortable and stylish clothing for men and women of all sizes.

++Outfits under the Pierogi Picnic Influence++

Day 17: Featuring belt, locket necklace, cardigan, and ruffly slip from Pierogi Picnic. Check out the Buy It Yourself page for more information!


[SLB]How long have you had been selling under the Pierogi Picnic name (and how did you land on that name)?

{LK}Pierogi Picnic just celebrated its third birthday this past August! The brand spawned from my love of quirky yet comfortable clothing. Everything in my collection is made of soft, breathable, upcycled fabrics. That includes cotton t-shirts, light weight synthetics, and the rare knit sweater that's transformed into something that's chic yet casual. I wanted all the items in my line to be functional and fun - and the picnic portion of my name reminds me to keep things that way.The pierogi part is in ode to my heritage - I wanted to give a shout out to my roots and what better way then with the edible emblem of Poland?!

[SLB]Do you make the pieces you sell or are they mostly found vintage items? What's your process like?

{LK}About 20% of my shop is vintage finds - everything else is handmade by me in my little 'sweatshop of love' - aka my dining room/studio! The first part of my process is dreaming up the items. I spend lots of time sketching and jotting notes before ever hunting down fabric and busting out the shears. Once I have a handful of designs that I want to give a whirl I'll set out to hunt down fabric at Village or Salvation Army. I'll buy just enough fabric for experimentation, go home, and create sample garments. Depending on how they turn out I either set them aside for duplication at a future date or put them in a 'to be photographed' pile which essentially means that I won't be making that design again. What you find in my Etsy shop is a combination of what I call "Pierogi Picnic classics" which are items I can make in bulk, one-of-a-kind items, and vintage. 

[SLB]What are the challenges of running an Etsy store? Would you ever open a "brick and mortar" boutique?

{LK}I absolutely LOVE running an Etsy shop! Prior to starting Pierogi Picnic I sold handmade items and vintage on Ebay and it was such a pain. The beautiful thing about Etsy is that my demographic is centered. I don't have to hunt down the ideal customer - they're already on the site. Over these past few years things have really evolved for the best on the site and it has become more user friendly then ever! The only only only downfall of having any kind of virtual shop is that you don't get to interact with people face to face. That's why I relish doing shows like Renegade where I can meet all my supporters in person. 

If I were to ever open a physical space it wouldn't be a boutique per-say. I envision it as a studio/living space/store/community center. I wouldn't want to just sell wares - I would want to share techniques, ideas, and tutorials with others. What's the fun of just taking people's money? What if you could teach others to hem their own clothes or transform a tattered tee into something fabulous? What if we could empower people to not only support local business but learn some of the skills themselves? Because ecological responsibility is such a big part of my business ethics I'd want to share what I know with others. I try to do that virtually via the Pierogi Picnic website as well as on sites like Sprout Chicago and EcoEtsy.

[SLB]Do you have a style icon or favorite fashion era?

{LK}I wish I could answer this question succinctly - but the truth is - I have some many visual obsessions I could never narrow them down to just one. Fine art, advertising, design, music, nature, structures, texture - they all come together in my head to create new designs and looks. The sixties were amazing as they brought us a cacophony of different styles - from the free spirited flower child to the plastic and poised visuals of mod. I'm also obsessed with the structure and femininity of the 50s as well as the down right goofiness of the 80s. In terms of current trends I love stalking street style blogs and seeing what people internationally are doing fashion wise. That's what it all comes down to in the end anyway - practicality. 

[SLB]Favorite independent Chicago boutique?

{LK}Ooh - that's a tough one too! It really depends on my shopping mission. If I'm looking for bright, bold and crazy I go to Beatnix on Halsted, as I've been doing for over a decade. I live on the far north side so I do a lot of shopping in Andersonville. I love the Galleria because it's all local artists sharing an enormous and beautiful space. I also love Green Genes for family gifting. Renegade is always good for quirky and Lenny & Me for vintage. I adore the Randolph Street Market. And - truth be told - my favorite place to go shopping is the thrift store! I'm a digger!