Shop owner and personal stylist Mia Brown-Davis brings her passion for vintage fashion to Downtown St. Louis. If you are a vintage lover you might have previously seen her business, Eve’s Apple Vintage, on eBay. However, as of last summer you can also visit her shop on Washington Avenue.
Eleven recently sat down with Mia to discuss moving Downtown, loving vintage, and being a personal stylist.
You were originally just on eBay. Why did you choose to open up a store?
Well, I started out on eBay in, I guess seriously, in 2006. I was in college at SLU and found a passion for vintage clothes…wanted to make a little more money, always been really entrepreneurial and from there…eBay was great, but it didn’t afford me the opportunity to kind of work directly with the customer. I have since become a personal stylist… and so I always wanted to own a boutique, ever since I’ve started that business, and kind of be able to just simply work more directly with customers, and so I just was… somehow it all kind of fell into my lap and everything came together and was given the opportunity to open up here… and so I went for it.
Why did you choose to open up downtown?
Well, I am originally from a really rural town, way out west…was always a country girl and whenever I went to SLU to get my undergrad I became a city girl and I will never ever go back. I love downtown and I want to be a part of it and see it thrive… and I just thought this was a great location also because we have some really great vintage shops and boutiques in St. Louis, but nothing like this downtown. So I thought it was great opportunity to kind of bring that to the community down here.
Where did your love for vintage come from?
Well, to be honest, I haven’t always loved vintage, but only because I didn’t know I loved vintage. I stumbled upon it, when, before I started my eBay business I actually was shopping on eBay and found a couple sun dresses that I fell in love with, realized that they were vintage… and from there really just kind of developed a passion for it; for the quality, for the details, and so it just was all kind of born out of that.
You are the stylist for local artist Nite Owl. Could you explain a little bit about how you got into the stylist business?
Well, kind of another one those things where it just falls into your lap. My cousin is his assistant so I met him through her. I had been unofficially styling people for quite some time, once I started the eBay business and had developed a real love for fashion. I had everyone coming and shopping out of my closet and out my stock and I was putting things together for them and then I met him and we worked on some projects together with his assistant Amy and just kind of developed my role from there, developed with him and from there ….
So do you style other people in addition to Nite Owl?
I do, he is probably my most well known local celebrity, but yes, one of his collaborators James Christos, I’ve worked with him. But, yeah, locally Nite Owl is probably the most well known.
Speaking of music, what kind of music are you into?
You know, I don’t know if I should say this in the interview but I am addicted, and so is my two year old, to “I Want to be a Billionaire”… so not my fault. My sister turned me onto that last week. I really don’t listen to the radio, to be honest. You know if you pulled up my IPod it would be primarily Nina Simone, old old jazz, love her, timeless and…sexy…she is probably my number one. Fiona Apple, Missy Higgins, Jason Mraz…big crush on him… and actually before he became mainstream, I saw him at The Pageant.
I was told that you have a copy of Eleven Magazine in your store from 2008…
Oh my goodness, would you love to see it? It is a little rugged at this point, I have like a mint one at home, but this is it.
What made this issue so special, was it Nite Owl?
It is, I’ve become a fan of Eleven, but to be honest I wasn’t very familiar with you guys before he did the photo shoot. I actually styled him for this photo shoot…and so yeah, it’s just something that I keep on hand here. I also styled him for a St. Louis Magazine photo shoot and I also have that one here. A lot of people know him, he sends them here so I try to keep those things on hand. This was… I actually remember this very well it was a fun project to work with him on.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
One of the things that I really love with this business, and my shop here, is having a request list. It is so much fun for me. I do….like all of the shopping personally, hand-picked stuff. I go all over the country, and again there are some great vintage shops in St. Louis, but the one thing, well one of the things that I think that separates me from the others is that I have a request list where people can literally come in, tell me what they are looking for…they can describe it, they can e-mail pictures, whatever they want to do, but they give me their name and their phone number and I guarantee I am going to find it for you. It might be something that I have in my stock at home, it might be something I can find in a week, it might be six months. But I think that that is really something that sets me apart from the other places is that you can come in and tell me what you want and I make it a really, really big point to find it for you.