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You’re like, really pretty.
If you’d like to hear that on the daily, (who wouldn’t??) then might we suggest you just drop on by Honeymouth, the new handmade leather goods and clothing store in the Old City. Owner Georgia Vogel has the saying painted on her walls in shades of pink and peach, pretty as you please. But this isn’t just some Insta-worthy mural (even though it definitely is.) The Mean Girls quote turned sweet girl mantra is actually what launched Georgia down the road of retail.
“I pressed the phrase into a piece during a leather workshop at SCAD that I went to with a friend for professional development,” Georgia says. “It was then and there we decided we needed to make this a thing.”
And we are very glad they did. Two bestie art teachers creating and selling pretty things meant to spread kindness? It’s no surprise the online business—complete with the catchphrase #carrykindsness—was a major success. But Georgia wanted to bring people together IRL.
“I wanted to create a retail shop that was also a community space where people can come and sit and do workshops,” Georgia says.
The space where she worked through college, the former Crown & Goose, became available, and her old boss, Jeffrey DeAlejandro, took the next door down for Hen+Hoc. The stars seemed aligned, and she bought her friend out to open the Honeymouth shopfront.
Enter the big bad guy of 2020: COVID-19.
“I obviously couldn’t open in the middle of the pandemic.” Georgia says. “My landlord, Thomas Boyd, was really nice and just let us take our time.”
So she shifted from making leather with sweet sayings to facemasks with the same. Which is clearly exactly what the world needed. That, and more than 1000 free masks for essential workers, which Honeymouth also provided.
“It kept the dream alive while putting good into the world,” Georgia says. “But we finally decided to go ahead and open because you can’t put your dreams on hold forever.”
The dream’s coming true with an opening this weekend, and oh what a dream this place is. Friends, it’s a palace of positive reinforcement where Girls Rule. Not only is it full of products by Georgia and other female makers, but half the bags declare the phrase outright. Another key hint: the “Don’t be a lady, be a legend,” mural of 6 powerful women: Dolly Parton, Maya Angelou, Frida Kahlo, Stevie Nicks, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai.
Georgia commissioned a former art student, who is now at VCU on a graphic design scholarship, to create the mural and design the font for both murals. Speaking of powerful women, Georgia’s still teaching art for South Doyle Middle in the midst of all this. How does that even work?
“Coffee. Wine. And an army of incredible humans,” Georgia says.
I confessed my love for her on the spot. Thankfully, she receives love as well as she spreads it.
To justify my girl crush: When we met, Georgia was wearing a hot pink, crushed velvet blazer, high waisted jeans and a t-shirt, and pink striped high-heeled clogs. The outfit embodies her signature style and her business plan: she takes pink and kindness from cloying to cool girl with her special touch.
Her line is more of the same, from retro circle handbags to statement earrings embossed with Legendary, Independent, and Boss. While full-on community gatherings are still a no-go, Georgia’s already started renting out the Honeymouth space for bridal showers and birthdays. She weaves an extra communal touch into rentals with options for boxed dinners from neighbors Hen+Hoc or Kaizen. Everything she touches, Georgia tries to make a little bit “lovie.”
“It’s something my family has always said. It means sweet and kind and happy—all-encompassing and heartfelt,” Georgia says. “I believe that you need to be mindful that everything you say and do has an effect on people and try to put a sweetness in it,” Georgia says. “When you’re intentional about the words you say it’s like honey in your mouth, hence the name.”
Honeymouth. Kindness. Women supporting women. It’s all, like, really pretty.
Publish date: 5 January.
Images by: Emilie Stooksbury
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