Our city is full of creatives who are making spectacular goods right here in our city, and we at StyleBlueprint just love to introduce them to you! Shopping locally has never been easier with new and old makers coming to the forefront thanks to initiatives like the EPIcenter’s Made By Project, which is working to foster a thriving and inclusive community of local makers. Without further adieu, here are two local makers whose clothing and jewelry lines we adore.

The Maker: Monte Stewart of Beg + Borrow

Looking for a comfortable, custom shirt dress to take you from work to happy hour and beyond? Look no further than Memphis’ own Beg + Borrow. Founder Monte Stewart spent more than 40 years in retail before launching his own men’s custom clothing company. “Women drive the men’s business, so it was no surprise when meeting at a client’s home the wife or girlfriend was usually present,” explains Monte. “What began as a meeting to pick fabrics for my client turned into a discussion of why I didn’t have anything for her. Women loved my men’s shirt fabrics, and they wanted to buy them.” So in 2012, Monte launched Beg + Borrow shirt dresses.

The fabric options for Beg + Borrow shirt dresses are endless. Cotton for spring and summer, flannel for Fall and Winter; you can customize a super comfortable and complementing shirt dress for any occasion.

The fabric options for Beg + Borrow shirt dresses are endless — cotton for spring and summer, flannel for fall and winter. You can customize a super comfortable and complementing shirt dress for any occasion. Image: Beg + Borrow

“In doing my due diligence, I learned that women love shirt dresses, but getting them to fit was another story,” Monte adds. “I tried for two years, using my wife as a model to come up with a shirt dress that fit. At one point my wife began running from me when she saw me coming with another shirt dress to try on until I eventually got it to fit. Now, she wears them everyday to work.”

Monte Stewart of Beg + Borrow works out of The Lab on Flicker Street. Image|Micki Martin

Monte Stewart of Beg + Borrow works out of The Lab on Flicker Street. Image: Micki Martin

Beg + Borrow operates out of a Quonset hut on Flicker Street known as The Lab. Founded by Abby Phillips, the director of Memphis Fashion Week and the Memphis Fashion Design Network The Lab is a fashion design incubator providing space and support for local designers to establish their businesses. Customers schedule private fittings with Stewart at his office in The Lab, and each week he offers an open house with wine and local Shotwell caramels for clients to bring friends and peruse their options.

Shop the look

Each dress runs $150 and includes the custom fitting. Contact Monte through his website or call him at 901-326-3140 to arrange an appointment.

 Oh blessed denim! Add a leather jacket and patterned tights as the temperatures drop.

Oh blessed denim! Add a leather jacket and patterned tights as the temperatures drop. Image: Beg + Borrow

Monte Stewart personalizes each shirt dress for its owner on the tag, an adorable and appreciated touch. Monogramming is also available for the front of the dress.

Monte Stewart personalizes each shirt dress for its owner on the tag, an adorable and appreciated touch. Monogramming is also available for the front of the dress. Image: Beg + Borrow

The Makers: Mimi Beasley Danosky & Mary Seay Loeb of Brave Design

Who doesn’t love a good statement piece of jewelry? Brave Design was founded in 2010 by Mimi Beasley Danosky and Mary Seay Loeb to provide customers with unique treasures for their jewelry collections. Aside from the cool appearance of their jewelry, Danosky and Taylor are firm believers in the ancient healing powers of gems and minerals. “We source our ‘medicine’ globally — Albuquerque to India,” says Mimi. “But our creations are made by hand in Memphis, Tennessee. Here we also hit estate sales, antique stores and eclectic marketplaces for unique components.”

Brave Design Founders Mimi Beasley Danosky and Mary Seay Taylor

Brave Design founders Mimi Beasley Danosky and Mary Seay Loeb find inspiration for their work from nature as well as their clients. “They serve as muses and inspiration as we create to remind them how beautiful, strong and brave they are” says Mimi. Image: Brave Design

Talk about a statement! We adore this fierce agate slice necklace with an agate tusk drop.

Talk about a statement! We adore this fierce agate slice necklace with an agate tusk drop. “The stones that we use are so unique within themselves,” says Mimi. “We take a lot of time pouring over cases of gems and minerals to find the right ones — hunting for those individual pieces that we consider beautiful and sometimes imperfect or uniquely irregular. Those beautiful imperfections are in large part what attracts us.” Image: Brave Design

Unique chain links and beads really make Brave Design’s pieces stand out. Mary and Mimi are looking forward to what’s on the horizon for Brave, and so are we! Exciting joint ventures are in the works for 2017 as well as travel for the business.

Unique chain links and beads really make Brave Design’s pieces stand out. Mary and Mimi are looking forward to what’s on the horizon for Brave, and so are we! Exciting joint ventures are in the works for 2017 as well as travel for the business. Image: Brave Design

Like a candy store for jewelry lovers, the variety and uniqueness of Brave’s pieces are incredible

Like a candy store for jewelry lovers, the variety and uniqueness of Brave’s pieces are incredible. “Currently we are working with a variety of quartz, amethyst, citrine, labradorite and eco-friendly bone beads and horn pendants that we pair with buttery soft sueded leathers and matte gold or oxidized silver chains and components,” explains Mimi. Image: Brave Designs

Shop the look

With price points ranging from $90-$400, Brave’s one-of-a-kind pieces are destined for heirloom status in your jewelry wardrobe. Locally, Brave Designs can be found at Spruce, Oak Hall and Joseph. You can also schedule private appointments at their studio via their website.

Meet more Memphis makers each quarter, as we profile the Bluff City’s creativity!

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