We sure love Free People at V2V. We’re also quite fond of our Chicago based rep, Kelly Travalia. She is the quintessential Free People girl, but as she’ll tell you, that can really be many types of women! She is creative, approachable, stylish, and fun, not to mention, absolutely stunning with her long, strawberry blonde hair. Kelly and her new wife, Emily, just got married at the coolest venue, and she sent us some beautiful photos of their day. Enjoy!
How did you first step into the world of Free People? What were you doing before?
I started at FP as a part time sales associate in our Bucktown store (had yet to open at the time). I was in college at the Art Institute at the time and a classmate told me the brand I loved (FP of course) was opening a store and was hosting interviews that day. I printed my resume in class and ran over to the Apparel Center where I got an interview… and the job!
What makes you identify with the brand?
The main reason I identify with the brand is the versatility. You can be whomever you want in FP – and for me that changes daily based on mood and my activity for the day.
How long have you been a rep for Free People?
I worked in the Bucktown store for one year (July 07 – July 08), then I made the switch to wholesale and I am still here J
What does a typical day of work involve for you?
My day to day is constantly changing… Some days we are working at tradeshows while others are spent at my desk reviewing selling and making sure my accounts are happy!
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is the weather! I know this sounds silly, but when you pre-book for a season you don’t know what the weather is going to send your way. If your floor is filled with sweaters and we have record warm temperatures, we have to reevaluate the product assortment so that the retailer remains lucrative. This is hard because it is ever-changing and out of our control!
What are some of the perks?
I get to work for a company that I am proud of – the product, the people, the image, they are all huge perks!!
What are some of your favorite Free People pieces available at V2V?
I am currently obsessed with the Vegan Leather Moto Jacket in Green – it is the perfect update to the classic moto!
We know you recently got married. Congratulations! Did your wedding have any Free People influence?
Thank you J I have been at the company for so long, that most of my life has FP influences in it some way or another. We were married in a burned down factory that is now preserved as a museum, so our whole vibe was very much a mix of new and old, north woods and bling – a combination of us!
What song did you choose for your first dance?
We tried to keep the music fun for the whole event… we all walked down the aisle to UB40’s Falling in Love with you, we then exited to Bruno Mars’ Treasure. After some socializing we introduced the wedding party to Earth, Wind and Fire’s September... and finally our first dance was to Sam Smith’s Stay with Me.
Do you have any advice for those planning weddings now?
Keep a wedding notebook! I bought a super cute journal from Anthropologie and filled it with everything from business cards and inspiration photos to notes and to do lists! Now that the wedding has passed, it is still fun to take a peek at! My other advice would be to remember the wedding is for the two of you – don’t plan for your guests, plan it for your selves and your guests, who are there because they love you, and they will have an amazing time!