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vickerey-vic-picks-blogEco VIC Picks is back for Earth Month,
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Bright & Happy Spring Yoga Faves

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Here’s our favorite bright little numbers for yoga & beyond! These new arrivals are sure to invigorate your practice :
1. The perennial favorite prAna Quinn Top is back, in this new Dragonfly Bali print »
2. A perfect compliment for the warmer/yet surprisingly crisp days of spring, this vibrant Om Girl Shanti Sweater will keep you looking & feeling great to & from the studio »
3. We’re so psyched about our new pieces from Solow! Check out these Foldover Bootcut Pants »
4. New! The prAna Quinn Top in an elegant Quinn Bra Top »

Our Spring Cocktail Bucket List

Here’s a quick round-up of three cocktails we’re thirsting for this spring. Recipes from Eat. Drink. Love., Cookie + Kate, & The Life Styled

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SPRING SANGRIA by Eat. Drink. Love. »

yield: 6 SERVINGS prep time: 15 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of fruity white wine
  • 3 cups Sprite (you can also use lemon lime sparkling water)
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • sliced lemons, lime, and oranges (and pineapple if you want!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pitcher, stir together the wine, Sprite, pineapple juice, and the orange juice. Then gently stir in the slices of fruit.
  2. Refrigerate the sangria for about 2 hours and serve.*

Soaking citrus fruits for too long can result in a bitter taste. If you are not going to serve the sangria within a few hours of making it, I recommend waiting to add the fruit until you are ready to serve it.

cookie-kate-spring-cocktailsCucumber Caipiranha from Cookie + Kate »

Adapted from Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season
INGREDIENTS:
3 slices cucumber, each 1/2 inch thick
1/2 of a lime, cut into two wedges
1 teaspoon raw (turbinado) sugar
1.5 ounces white rum
club soda
cucumber slices and lime rounds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a short glass, thoroughly muddle lime wedges, cucumber slices and sugar.
2. Fill glass with ice and pour in rum. Top with club soda.
3. Mix by pouring into another glass and then back into your drinking glass.

Makes one drink.
Note for Mojito Lovers: You could totally muddle mint with the cucumber and lime to make this a cucumber mojito.spicy-grapefruit-mojito-the-life-styledSpicy Grapefruit Margarita from The Life Styled »

INGREDIENTS:
Cayenne Simple Syrup -
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you’re adventurous – I did a heaping 1/2 tsp because I’m spice obsessed)

The Drink -
4 oz grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed if you can – takes about 2 grapefruits)
2 oz tequila
1 oz cayenne simple syrup
ice
lime wedge

Salt or Spice Rub – any kind of premixed spicy powder normally used on meat – yep (if that weirds you out, make your own using salt mixed with a little bit of cayenne, but I do prefer the spice rub).

DIRECTIONS:
First step is to prep the simple syrup. Combine the sugar, water and cayenne in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat until the sugar is disolved and the cayenne is blended. Cool in the fridge – ideally it’ll be able to chill there for an hour or two before making the drinks, but if you don’t have that kind of time, stick it in the freezer for a few minutes and the ice in the shaker will do the rest.
To mix the margaritas, run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass then dip it in the salt or spice rub. In a shaker, combine ice, tequila, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Shake, serve, enjoy the kick in the buns.

Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Photos by Ian Sheppard

Happy Things to Welcome Spring

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1. prAna Organic Throttle Tank »  &  Flex Short »
2. prAna Selma Tank »  &  Tess Short »
3. Om Girl Mindful Racer Free Spirit Stripe »
4. Shop Savon de Marseille »
5. Clairefontaine Vintage Notebooks »
6. Royston Turquoise & Brass Ring »
7. Zen Magnetic Poetry Kit »
8. Organic Barrel Short Sleeve »
9. Soloist Yoga Chime »
10. Gemma Sweater »  &  Organic Suki Short »
11. Organic Soy Votive Candle »
12. Good Karma Animal Rope Toy »
13. Hemp Compo Stripe Leash »

Happy Weekend from a Happy Pet : Tommy from Houston, TX

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Happy weekend from a happy cat named Tommy in Texas. We fell head over heels for him once we read Friends For Life Animal Shelter & Sanctuary‘s description of this dapper fellow :
“In another life Tommy’s name was probably Rico Suave because this handsome man loves the ladies. Tommy showed up on the porch of some nice lady’s house (imagine that!) and convinced her to feed him and give him some love. Now he’s looking for his forever home, where he can settle down and be a real house (fat!) cat. Come by and schmooze with our ladies man, today!”
Check out Tommy’s Petfinder.com profile right here »
Happy weekend, everyone!
—V

Fab Things We’re Loving Now…

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Hello, April! What beautiful days you’ve brought our way so far. Here are some must-haves to celebrate the first waves of warm air :
1. Organic Beyond The Sun Organic Crew Tee »
2. Mindful Racer Free Spirit Stripe »
3. Perri Scarf »
4. Cocktail Shaker »
5. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay »
6. Prtty Peaushun Skintight Body Lotion »

Alexandra Ferguson on her Recycled Pillows’ Made in America Journey

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I’ve always thought of myself as a factory girl. When I worked in the fashion industry in New York in my twenties, I worked with local factories in the garment center of Manhattan to have salesman samples made. Then I took the helm of our in-house sample room and managed teams of pattern makers, cutters and sewers. Eventually my career took me to China, where I spent up to 4 months out of the year working with some of the largest factories in southeast Asia. Nothing thrills me more than heavy machinery, the sound of productivity, and a beautifully constructed product.

On July 23, 2013 I got my very own factory. Our new 4,000 sq ft space on the waterfront in Brooklyn was, literally, a dream come true.

Until that point, my company, alexandra ferguson, had been based in New Rochelle in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City where I grew up. The first pillows I ever made in the first few months after launching our Etsy shop in January 2009 were in my living room of my loft apartment. There was a photo of me sewing in my living room with my sunglasses on, late afternoon sun streaming through the windows with probably CNN running on the television in the background.

By spring of that first year, we moved all the bolts of fabric and supplies to my mom’s garage and set up shop. Talk about *big time.* Now, in fairness, this wasn’t your typical garage space. My mom had hand stenciled the floors, and together we had painted the walls with folk art inspired trees over white washed wood paneling. The only heat source was an old fashioned wood burning stove (which kicked some serious heat) and double glass sliding doors opened up to the garden. For a year and a half, I toiled away with a small team in this lovely little space. When I worked evening shifts, my mom would pop her head in to announce dinner was ready. Life was good.

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By the summer of 2011, we were bursting out of the space. Thankfully when the weather was nice, we spilled our packaging into the lawn and prayed it wouldn’t rain before the UPS truck showed up.

17 my office-1Fortunately my loft apartment about a mile away was zoned as a work/live space. So I personally moved out, and the company moved in. Heat that could be turned on with a button, my own private office and a sprawling 800 square foot work room felt truly luxurious. We had designated areas for cutting base panels, sewing machines and packaging. We learned to pile boxes 4 high, make tables serve double and triple duty, and organize our supply chain to ship us exactly what we needed when we needed it. By the holidays of 2012, we were storing our inventory of shipping boxes in the kitchen with only enough room to crack the fridge door open to grab a soda can. It was a great exercise in efficiency.

Shop Alexandra Ferguson Pillows »

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.49.38 AMShortly after the company turned 4, it had become clear that it was time to move again. There were some important criteria: the new space would be in the outer boroughs of New York so that we could tap into a larger talent pool to build our team. It had to be light and airy, close to public transportation and in a safe neighborhood. And it had to fit our budget.

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The search took 3 months, and in the end we decided on a raw industrial loft space in Industry City. It was perfect. Sweeping views from the 6th floor of New York Harbor, including downtown manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Wall to wall wrap around windows. And over 4x the space we were currently in. Manual operated freight elevators and loading docks felt like a luxury that I couldn’t wait to indulge in. On Tuesday July 23rd, the moving truck came. On wednesday, our sewing machines were delivered. Custom steel 10′ high aqua colored shelving running the length of our 120′ long wall was one of my most delightful purchases. By Friday, the sweet sound of needle and thread joining fabric together could be heard echoing in the space. For all I knew, it sounded like Mozart. How we pulled off manufacturing within 3 days of the move is a miracle in human determination that I will never fully understand.  But boy, I do know that I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I did this summer.

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Sohere we are!  2 months in to our new space.  Besides real estate, what’s different?

-We’ve grown our team to 8 full time employees (and still hiring!)
-We’ve consolidated all of our manufacturing under one roof.
-Due to efficiencies of scale, we were able to lower our prices 15%.

-We have “greened up” our shipping by installing a custom built pillow “compressor” which will dramatically slash shipping costs, packaging materials as well as our carbon footprint. (go, team, go!)

< Our custom built pillow compressor

-We have teamed up with our neighbors: our latest batch of hangtags were printed on the 3rd floor. Our makeup case panels were cut in a cutting room on the 5th floor. And we will start working with a silkscreen printer across the courtyard later this week. My landlord has officially become my sourcing agent, simply by recommending other tenants in the complex.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.49.27 AMMost of all, I am so excited to be part of the growing movement of makers who are bringing manufacturing back to the States.  Everyday I’m reading articles about different factories who have carved out new niches for themselves, jobs being created in communities that desperately needed them, and an overall spark of energy in the air.  This is such a great space to be working in right now and I feel so lucky to be in the middle of it.

What can I say?  So far, with two months under our belt…yes, it’s everything this factory girl dreamed it would be.
Shop Alexandra Ferguson Pillows »

It’s Earth Month! Enjoy our Eco Collections – Style with Soul

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At Vickerey, we celebrate Earth Day for the entire month of April!
We truly love when good style goes the extra mile into eco-friendliness. These faves are designed with the earth in mind!

Shop Women’s Eco Boutique »
  Shop Men’s Eco Collection »

Catch the Organic Indie Dress (above) right here »