Recently we interviewed Becca Payne, creator Sister Petra, an incredibly chic vintage store. The store focuses on unique styles and “conscious clothing”. Becca Payne gave us a few minutes to tell us about her work and inspirations.
What made you want to create Sister Petra?
It has been a life long dream of mine to be a boutique owner. With the advent of Etsy, I created Sister Petra as an initial step towards that dream. Additionally, I wanted to build a collection of vintage clothing and homewares that reflected contemporary marketplace trends that I was inspired by. So often what we see in magazines and on the runways are just re-worked vintage designs. If you know what you are looking for, you can find very similar items already in circulation.
What do you look for when finding pieces for Sister Petra?
When sourcing pieces for Sister Petra, I always consider material first. We (my sister/ business partner and I) are very particular about what fabrics we choose for the shop. We make comfort a priority and select mostly natural (breathable) materials. Sometimes, it is very hard to leave behind those amazing 60's and 70's polyester pieces. We love the look of those items, we just don't love wearing them. If i don't like the way a garment feels, then I don't want to sell it to my customers and risk them associating discomfort with our brand.
What rule do you follow when styling and accessorizing?
When styling and accessorizing, I try to strike that perfect balance between form and function. I love an interesting outfit, but if you are struggling with your clothes all day that's just not a good look for anyone. Personally, I am on my feet a lot, so I often build an outfit by choosing my shoes first. I also like to play with mixing masculine and feminine pieces, like a structured suit with a floral shirt and statement earrings.
Why did you decide to do business in Austin? What do you like about the city?
One of the first things that struck me when visiting Austin was the small business culture that exists. From the shops, to the restaurants, to the food trucks, it seemed like a place where people were able to make their dreams a reality. Bringing Sister Petra to Austin from Atlanta was a very natural transition. We have experienced so much growth here and have felt embraced by existing small business owners, which continually encourages us. Overall, I think the feeling of community is what we appreciate the most.
What are some of the words you live by?
Words to live by: WORK-LIFE BALANCE. It is so important, people! We live in a time where we are constantly engaged and bombarded with information and obligations. If I am feeling super burnt out on posting to my business Instagram or un-excited about going to some networking event, then I just allow myself to take a little break from those things. I used to beat myself up over having down time, telling myself that I would never accomplish anything if II slowed down, but now I think differently. I want to enjoy my life, not be frazzled and frustrated all the time. Not sleeping to accomplish my dream sounds more like a nightmare to me.
What are some of your favorite things for the summer?
Some of my favorite things for the summer are straw hats, in particular Janessa Leone's SS18 collection. I am also loving jewel-toned vintage slips and bold florals. I think this summer I am gonna be all about a lightweight dress and maybe even a parasol. If you haven't heard... Texas is hot, y'all.
Any tips for people trying to have a career as a stylist?
Styling is a craft. It takes more than just being able to pick out a cute outfit. If you are really serious about getting into the styling world, I would recommend reaching out to a stylist whose work you admire. Ask them questions over coffee or even volunteer to assist them on a shoot. There is a ton of energy that goes into the images that you see and its not all glamorous. There is advanced planning and physical labor involved, not to mention knowing tricks of the trade that will save you in a bind. It's a fun way to earn a living, but there is so much more behind the scenes than you will ever see in #BTS.