The charming Ashley Rogers, owner and buyer for Canned Ham Vintage, exudes a passion for fashion. She loves finding the perfect pieces for her clients and the thrill of the vintage hunt. And if her store is any indication, she has a knack for it. She spills her best style tip, favorite go-to items and fashion mantra for us.
WHAT I DO: I'm basically the creative director. The first thing on my mind is always content for our social media. Next, I manage our busy event calendar, which often has four or more events each month in season. Then we normally have at least one project in the works, photo shoots, styling clients, house calls for buying, vintage shows, interviews, etc.
If we are handling a photo shoot, I’m probably running around the shop fitting models, normally with no shoes on and a measuring tape around my neck. I think best that way. And to top it off, three days out of the week I’m up before the sun shopping to fill the shop with fresh vintage items.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO OPEN THE BOUTIQUE: Honestly, I was working for a company that I didn't feel encouraged my growth. I wanted to use my creative talent, and I wasn't doing that there. Knowing myself and that I could never be good at a job that I wasn’t passionate about, I looked to the things I enjoyed for the inspiration for Canned Ham Vintage.
FAVORITE ASPECT ABOUT THE BUSINESS: Dressing people for special occasions. I get to be a part of people’s lives and their memories, even if its just in that small way. Oh, and I love the shopping!
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO SCORE VINTAGE PIECES: This is like asking a chef for his recipes. What I will say is I hunt for each piece myself and a lot comes from private collections. I don't buy wholesale because I find the quality to be too low.
MY STYLE IS...: I’d say my style is colorful, quirky and adventurous.
HOW MY STYLE HAS EVOLVED: I don't know if I have really evolved as much as I have added to my style. I grew up a “tomboy,” in cutoffs and sneakers, and I still resort back to that when I'm out picking for the shop. The only change is that I trade the cutoffs for a colorful dress and keep the sneakers. Yes, I wear sneakers with dresses.
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Vera Neumann, Ui-Maikai, Gene Shelly, Tori Richard, Mr. Dino and Peter Max. I don’t really pay too much attention to designers. That’s mostly because dressmakers or tailors made a large quantity of vintage clothing. I look closely at the cut and quality more than the labels.
WHOSE STYLE INSPIRES YOU? Lana Del Rey, Iris Apfel and Kate Middleton.
BEST STYLE TIP: Don't always look at size and just try it on. When shopping, ask for help from the shop owner. (Yes, even if you are a seasoned shopper!) They know [their inventory] better than you do. They also might have a treasure in the back or in their personal collection that no one has seen yet!
FASHION MANTRA? Wear things that make you happy. I view fashion like art. They both are meant to evoke emotion.
MY GO-TO ITEMS: '50s cotton day dresses, '70s jeans, '60s Hawaiian maxi dresses, suede loafers and my huge handmade leather tote.
FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR STORE RIGHT NOW: The mid-century furniture, especially the couch. It makes the shop feel cozy and welcoming. I wish I had room to keep it.
MOST-PRIZED POSSESSION: My rescue dog and a ring my mother made when she was in high school.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: These are rare, as my fiancé is a wonderful cook. If we do go out, we normally head to somewhere for Thai and then check out one of Sarasota’s events; maybe a movie at Burns Court theater. I would wear a '60s shift dress and the flattest shoes I own.
Ashley is wearing a vintage 1960s caftan, a ring designed and made by her mother, her antique engagement ring from the 1920s, turquoise earrings, a gifted ring, an abalone bracelet from her time in the Caribbean and thrifted Clarks wedges.
A Florida native, Alicia King Robinson is the director of public relations at Sarasota-based ThreeSixOh Public Relations and the blogger behind New Version of You. Her love of fashion and eye for stylish living began at an early age. Meant to inspire, she explores fashion and the evolution and ever-changing versions of ourselves with style-inspired content.