Q&A | Erin Austen Abbott


I get really excited when I discover people doing exciting things in unlikely places, well, not unlikely places so much, as just parts of the country that don't get enough coverage. Not only is Erin Austen Abbott doing one super exciting thing, like founding and running Amelia, a store out of Oxford, Mississippi that purveys unique goods and gifts (like these vintage push pins and this flask and this letter opener!), but she's done so much cool stuff that I feel an Erin Austen Abbott list is in order:

1. Has an MFA and is a talented fine art photographer.
2. Was tour manager for bands such as Ok Go and Hot Water Music.
3. Founded Amelia, named it after both Earhart and Bedelia.
4. Co-founded rad company called chARTer nannies, for people who want creative nannying while traveling (brilliant idea!) and continues to do a little travel nannying on the side for bands like The Flaming Lips and Mates of State.
5. Has son named Tom Otis.

And she's generous too! She is offering Tomboy Style readers 20% off from Amelia with the code TOMBOY. Thanks Erin!


If not in Mississippi, I would live in...somewhere next to a river in the mountains or Vashon Island, off of Seattle.

My dream holiday would be to...
go camping at Lake Bled in Slovenia or travel around Ireland and Wales then over to London to attend Wimbledon.
   
My current obsessions are...

Food:
Avocado, now and forever. Love the stuff. I’ve also been cooking a lot of leeks recently.
 

Music: Tycho (perfect for listening to around the house or on long quiet drives) and the Away We Go soundtrack (I listen to this every night as I'm giving my son, Tom Otis, his last feeding before bed).
 
Fashion: Moccasins, penny loafers, jeans always, and a big bulky sweater. I also love my heart shaped locket earrings by designer Erica Weiner and sharks teeth earrings by Laura Roebuck, from Amelia. I also love little bags (plural) in my purse, to keep it organized, which can double as a clutch if need be. I love button up shirts and polka dots. The two together just makes it that much better. Basically I channel my inner John Hughes character daily. 

 
Retail Stores: Amelia of course. I have really been into children's stores lately, since having Tom Otis. Miniluu is very well curated. I also love Estella and Darling Clementine.

I channel my childhood self when I...
think about games and activities for my son. And also when I'm singing him silly songs. I write like 20 songs a day... all to the tune of wheels on the bus. I’m so original, right??

The fictional characters I most relate to is...
Samantha Baker from Sixteen Candles, Angela Chase from My So-Called Life, Felicity from Felicity, and not sure how much fiction is woven into a David Sedaris book, but I can totally relate to that guy and his stories.

If I had to be outdoors all day I would...like to spend it exploring. City, nature, doesn't matter which. I don't sit still well unless I'm camping. I can sit around a camp fire for hours.

My favorite quality in a man is...
humor.

My favorite quality in a woman is... creativity and independence.

I'm terrified of...
not having a new, creative idea every day. And worse than that, I'm worried some of my ideas will never come to fruition. And rats.

My dream car is...
I have a bit of a vintage car obsession. As a child, my favorite car was always the Porsche 911 and 912. I've since found love for a vintage BMW 3 series and the 2002. To top it off, I would love to own a vintage Land Cruiser one day. I'm also really into vintage Vespas.

My cocktail of choice is...
a Dark and Stormy. There's another drink I really love, but if you are a serious wine drinker, please move onto the next question. You won't be happy with me. I call it Water Valley Sangria. It's just red wine, ginger ale and some frozen berries and/or peaches over ice. I don't know if I made this up or if it's a real drink from somewhere, but it's really good and great for summertime porch drinking in the South.

My celebrity crush is...
Josh Duhamel, Scott Speedman, Brian Williams (yes the newscaster/ funny SNL host) and the fictional character Jake Ryan in 16 Candles.

My beauty product of choice is...
I’m really into the line Cold Springs Apothecary that I carry at Amelia. They make a wonderful dry shampoo and I love their face line of toner, eye cream and night cream. 
 
My friends and I like to...have coffee dates and talk about everything!

If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...
the 1950's without a doubt. I love the design from that era.

As a teenager I was totally into...planning and writing. I have always been a planner. I also had a radio show all through high school and college on the NPR affiliate station in Tampa, so I was really into working on that. And making mix tapes for friends.

I tend to splurge on...
travel and nice meals. I don't need expensive things around me, but a great trip and a nice meal, I'm all for it.
 
I'm not afraid to get dirty, (and well, I have four brothers, so being anything other than a tomboy was not in the cards)...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is so. effing. rad. Definitely one of the best interviews.
I'd never heard of her shop before but now there are so many things in there I neeeeeeed!! :)

Kate said...

oh my-- she is even more amazing in real life! Glad to read about her on your blog...what a nice surprise!

mamavalveeta03 said...

Oxford is where the University is right? (I know, dumb question given that the "Ole Miss" motel is right behind her!). You find things in towns with U's that you wouldn't expect sometimes. Great Q&A...funny! And I love her peasant top.

Anonymous said...

Great article but you spelled "Whales" wrong fyi!

Lizzie said...

Good catch, I'll fix it for her. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this interview! She has so much energy and creativity! Loooove her shop's website. I want practically everything on it!

Amielle said...

Definitely one of my favourite interviews that you've done.

Anonymous said...

So excited to see a fellow Oxonian represented on this blog! Amelia really is one of the coolest shops not only in Oxford, but also in general, and I'm so thrilled to see Erin getting coverage lately!

Jessica said...

What a great chica! I also love that style of shirt she's wearing. Any idea where it's from? Thank!