Four years ago, before Ashley Sixto Artidiello ever thought about opening up a storefront, she was busy running an online clothing store and blog. Her fashion sense garnered her a following and left many of her followers thirsty for pieces they could wear instead of fantasizing about through a screen.
This past January in the heart of Wynwood, Sixto opened Spin Gallery, with a spin on the regular fashion-boutique business model. The gallery curates everything from the design of the store to events that build on the typical retail shopping experience. Her focus is to highlight local vendors, designers, and artisans out of the storefront while fostering relationships with their neighbors and customers. Spin sells unique apparel in standard sizes but rarely restocks its inventory.
Aesthetically, Sixto harnessed her inner DIY spirit and, with her husband Adrian Artidiello, created everything inside the shop, from the handmade calligraphy signs to the pipe-themed hanging frames. She uses everyday women to display her clothing rather than shooting models wearing items from the collections. The boutique also offers styling services, helping customers put outfits together that reflect their unique look.
“I wanted to create a platform for people in Miami to be able to showcase their products. I have a local aromatherapy line, Finessing hats, local nail polish from SquareHue, and I even host workshops. It creates a sense of community not just in Wynwood but in Miami,” Sixto says. “We reach out to different artists in Miami and invite them to teach their trade here.”
The workshops range from flower arranging to learning macramé patterns and jewelry soldering. The shop can host up to 12 people in its space; Sixto uses the activities as a way to create networks among creatives and provide a different shopping experience. Spin hosts events three to four times a month.
Elisa Gonzalez models the store's clothes and has been working with the brand to curate its RE/Spin collections. Gonzalez now curates the one-of-a-kind thrift pieces and distresses them for Spin Gallery. Items range from band tees to camo jackets, jeans, and shorts, all with an interesting touch.
“I go to local thrift stores, and I base the designs on what’s going on, trend-wise. I buy vintage Levi’s, Calvin Klein, T-shirts that I think have a lot of personality, and I cut them up and I bleach them. I think a lot of people get a thrill from coming into Spin and having a one-of-a-kind item that was made by someone they can meet,” Gonzalez says.
The Spin team members say they're grateful to be in Wynwood despite the recent Zika outbreak because the neighboring businesses all care for one another. Sixto, who is eight months pregnant, has continued working at Spin throughout her pregnancy. Still, she says the outbreak has devastated businesses financially. The shop didn’t see a single visitor in the past month, a hard hit for the small business.
Spin's team, however, looks forward to revamping its events for this month. They say the brand's message is designed to resonate with all types of shoppers from Miami.
“We want to be a brand that’s always creating and pushing the envelope while embracing individuality,” Sixto says. “We try to have a good mix of things. There’s nothing off-limits, and if someone stated that they wouldn't be able to find something [in Miami], we challenge them to come in and check us out.”
Spin Gallery is located at 251 NW 23rd St., Miami. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. You can also shop the looks online at spingallery.com, or call 305-707-7687
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