Eat & Drink

November 21, 2013

Gussy up for the big day in a retro apron

They work nicely with a flea-market theme and are wildly popular.

You’ve meticulously planned your Thanksgiving dinner, drinks and decorations to make your guests feel special. Now what about yourself?

May we suggest a retro apron? They work nicely with a flea-market theme and are wildly popular. Just ask Debbie Pearson and her mother, Freda Mayer, both of Lenexa.

The two founded

Creative Chics

(pronounced like the baby bird) in 2009 to market their hand-sewn retro aprons through the online shopping website Etsy.

They’ve sold 30,000 aprons since then and have hired three other family members to keep up with demand.

“We sell all across the world,” Pearson said. “Twenty-five percent of our customers are international. It’s beyond our wildest expectations. But vintage is the new thing, isn’t it?”

Creative Chics’ aprons are crafted from brightly colored designer fabrics with retro-feminine details including rickrack trim, full layered skirts, pleated bodices, cinched waists, patch pockets and bows. Prices range from $30 for a waist apron to $55 for a full apron.

“We make our own patterns, we pick the fabrics ourselves and we come out with one or two new designs each year and retire one or two each year,” she said. “We try to offer different styles for different shaped women. We have something for everyone, but our main demographic is ages 25 to 45.”

A lot of them are purchased as gifts, so weeks leading up to Christmas and Mother’s Day are their busiest.

Walk into any store that deals in kitchen supplies, and you’re likely to find retro aprons alongside retro-inspired oven mitts and dish gloves. We found them at Pryde’s Old Westport, the New Dime Store in Brookside and Anthropologie on the Country Club Plaza. Type in retro aprons online and websites for Jessie Steele, Flirty Aprons, the Apron Shoppe and ModCloth will pop up.

“In the last three or four years, we’re seeing a boomerang effect where people are much more into being homemakers, watching what they eat and preparing home-cooked meals,” Pearson said. “It’s a coming-back-to-basics thing. Our values are moving back into the home and not eating out all the time.

“So a lot of women are saying, ‘I need an apron. I want to look cute while I’m doing it and not frumpy and old,’” she said. “We get so much positive feedback about how it has inspired people to get back in the kitchen. It’s improving their life in an odd kind of way.”

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