CEO Sit Down: Jesse Selchow on Stevies General Store

Jesse Selchow’s new company born from tie-dye dreams.

In the chaos and idleness that quarantine can bring, many people have utilized newfound time to turn their hobbies into businesses. My friend Jesse Selchow is one of them, who has been transforming vintage finds into up-cycled tie-dye pieces. I sat down with Stevies General Store‘s CEO Jesse Selchow to learn more about how she turned her passion for tie-dye into a business over the past few months.

Jesse, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m Jesse. I grew up in the midwest with hippie parents, so tie-dye was something I saw a lot of when I was a kid. I have worked in the fashion industry for over ten years, and have dabbled in everything from styling to model casting, to eventually becoming an event producer for luxury brands.

How did Stevies General Store start and why recycled clothing turned tie-dye chic?

I have always had a love for vintage! With the world in its current state, no one is doing events so I found myself with extra time on my hands. I started brainstorming how I could combine my enthusiasm for hunting recycled clothing with a new hobby of tie-dye and turn it into a creative outlet.

Personally, has starting this business helped you to manage the COVID-19 quarantine currently present throughout the United States?

Definitely. It has been a blessing to find the feeling of productivity, even amongst the chaos surrounding the world. Keeping busy was really important for me to stay sane.

What is something you look for when finding clothing to recycle and revamp?

I have an affinity for 80’s era clothing, especially when I am looking to up-cycle. I always thought the retro 80’s graphics were really cool, and turning that into something new has been exciting.

What has been the most unexpected challenge in starting your e-commerce Instagram business?

The most unexpected challenge has definitely been the time it took to get the style and aesthetic of the brand ready to show the world. The possibilities are endless when identifying your style and, to me, continuity is the most important part of a brand.

What has been the most fun part of starting your new business?

Experimenting with colors and dying techniques has been really fun, especially on vintage items that already have a certain style to them. Surprisingly, I also found enjoyment doing the photoshoots for Instagram. I hate having my photo taken, however, we managed to find a playful way to do it that made it feel like I’m not taking myself too seriously which is ultimately what the overall project is about.

What new skills have you learned in starting Stevies General Store?

I have learned a lot of tie-dye techniques that I had never tried before and lately I started experimenting with ice dying which I am going to focus on for home goods such linen napkins and placemats.

Last question, if you could tie-dye any clothing piece- from past, present, future, you name it- what would it be?

I would love to die a vintage gown- ideally an organza or taffeta dress with big sleeves and a bow. Probably a vintage Yves Saint Laurent or Valentino from the 70’s or 80’s.

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