Monday, March 25, 2013

A Visit with Kari from LaDiDottie

Today we are off to Elk River, Minnesota, a suburb of the twin cities, to visit with Kari from Etsy shop LaDiDottie. Kari grew up in Elk River, and now she and her husband make their home there along with daughters Dottie (3.5) and Rosemary (2). Theirs is a tiny, cozy place nestled in 4 acres of woods that have been spared the development of the rest of the town: deer, meadows and woods replaced with mini malls and McMansions.

Right now, a little house in the woods is a perfect spot for their family:

Vacationing on Madeline Island on Lake Superior
"It's enabled us to do a lot of traveling that we wouldn't be able to otherwise, and I feel like we have a very low-stress day to day life, not having to worry about our finances and so many other things. We're saving to build a house in the meantime, and with our limited space, we are all growing ever so closer to one another!

We have a couple of trusty chickens, and a great garden in the summertime. The deer and birds frequent our front door--it's pretty awesome! I wouldn't say that I'm a country girl at heart, because there are so many things about city life that I am drawn to. I get my city life fix when we have our date nights, and then we come back to the quiet streets and sky full of bright stars."

Luckily, their town and the nearby Twin Cities offer a lot of opportunities to stock up on vintage treasures for her shop, and Kari has no shortage of eager helpers as well.

Dot and Rosie with their babies
"We are constantly at our local Goodwill! My 3 year old daughter Dottie can spot that Goodwill sign wherever we are traveling, which I find kind of funny. I stay home with my two girls all week, so its nice for us to get out, hit our favorite thrift stores, hang up our fun finds on the chalk board and take photos! I absolutely love the whole process… the excitement of "What are we going to find today girls?" to having them model the clothes occasionally, taking photos, and being really happy with being able to offer a cute piece of vintage, to someone out there that's looking for it.
We are fortunate to have a handful of other stores within a 15 mile radius, and we hit those every couple of weeks. Once or twice a month we head down to the Twin Cities, where there's an endless supply of thrift stores between Minneapolis and St Paul.. There are quite a few VKC members that live in the metro area, so I always tend to look around wondering if any of them are there to stock up their shops too:)"
LaDiDottie has its roots in Kari's own vintage obsession. Not only is vintage style very near and dear to her heart, but having two adorable little girls to dress in vintage clothing has further fueled her passion.

We wait all year long for the Minnesota State Fair....
"I absolutely love everything about the styles of the 50s & 60s. I am a 50s girl at heart…truly. I have an obsession that has recently gotten out of hand with little girls dresses from those eras. Peter Pan collars…the precious prints…they are so classic and unique in this day and age.. I dress my girls up often, so I feel totally justified, plus, when Dottie has outgrown twirling in them, Rosemary gets them! This is something I remind my husband of when he sees yet another package arriving in the mail from someone else on Etsy:)

I love vintage for the same reasons that so many folks do. When I come across a piece of vintage clothing that still looks great, it makes me smile. The style is original, and the items are usually pretty great quality, fantastic fabrics and prints that you don't see too often these days unless you want to spend a pretty penny. I am so impressed that they've lasted so many years, and when you spend a few minutes each week digging for them, its like finding a real gem."

Some of those gems find their way into her Etsy shop, which Kari started back in 2011.

"I have a friend who sold vintage housewares on Etsy a few years back and she was great at encouraging me to start up my own shop. Why not turn a hobby of collecting vintage, and make it into a little business?
Every time I get a nice note from a customer about how much they love a certain item they bought from my shop, it makes me happy. Its been a fun job for me these past few years! I also opened a women's vintage shop a couple years ago, and that has been equally as exciting."

And some of her finds become beloved parts of her home. The latest treasure?

"It's my vintage butter yellow Kitchen Aid mixer that we got for insanely cheap. Upon my husband bringing home Joy of Cooking a couple of weeks ago, I have been whipping up the goodies like crazy. Seeing that silly little yellow mixer, just makes me so happy!"

Our orange VW bus that we cruise around in all summer long!
Of course, hunting for vintage treasure often turns up new obsessions as well. Kari might be a 50s kinda gal, but the 60s are starting to look mighty interesting...

"Although I have a pretty large collection of vintage dresses for myself from the 50's, I've lately been drawn to the hippie side of the 60s… I think a lot in part to what I'm exposed to on Etsy… nonetheless, its something I've become more fond of! I'm starting to collect!"

A sampling of the vintage goodies that Kari (and her adorable helpers) have available at LaDiDottie:


  1. my girl! if you ever see a redheaded, dazed ME come up and say hi! ha! we really need to do a massive sale or even just a thrift trip with all of us on etsy from MN!!!

  2. Totally love this! It sounds as though you have the perfect setting for raising your girls, and have such fun with them!
    And hello.......who could not love that orange VW?!

  3. I adore your girls and sounds like you have a pretty fantastic life!

  4. Love LaDiDottie! I think its wonderful that you live in a little house in the woods with your darling girls and oodles of pretty vintage dresses!


We'd love to hear what you think!