Maidens Magazine in MPLS

On November 28th, 2016, Yana of Moth Oddities joined 12 talented female photographers in showcasing film photography prints at the Maiden's Magazine gallery event at Norseman Distillery. The event celebrated collaboration between women. Women empowering women. The night of the event, all of the prints were silently auctioned off and the proceeds were donated to the non-profit MN Girls are Not For Sale, a statewide campaign of the Women's foundation of Minnesota to end sex trafficking. 

It feels amazing to be surrounded by such strong, creative women in Minneapolis. Events like Maidens Magazine in MPLS are important to showcase the immense contributions that women bring to our local community. Thanks to everyone who came out to the event to support the cause and celebrate females!

Below are a few of my favorite shots from my exclusive film set for Maiden's Magazine.

MAIDEN: Lauren Harkin
PHOTOGRAPHER: Yana Pietras
WARDROBE: Moth Oddities
FORMAT: 35mm
LOCATION: Northeast, MPLS


Shop vintage items from this shoot!

Moth Oddities Road Trip Recap

We have completed the Moth Oddities Road Trip! Last November we packed up our little car and traveled the United States, collecting vintage along the way, conducting photo shoots in beautiful places and collaborating with creatives and makers around the country. The following is an assortment of questions that we've been asked before, during and after the road trip. Read on to learn more details and stories!

1. What was your road trip route?
Our projected route at the beginning of the trip was to travel the entire perimeter of the United States. Ultimately, this was to avoid the cold winter weather in the midwest and visit the exciting coastal cities with bustling fashion scenes. This route was altered a bit during the road trip as we headed inland to be vendors at a market event in Denver, CO. This updated route also brought us up through Moab, Utah which was exciting because we were able to experience Arches National Park! Other than that slight derail we stayed almost entirely along all the coastal states. Check out the list below to see the cities and towns we visited along the way.

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Fargo, ND
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Pacific Grove, CA
  • Paso Robles, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Williams, AZ
  • Moab, UT
  • Denver, CO
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Marfa, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Gulf Shores, AL
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Fruit Cove, FL
  • Charleston, SC
  • Washington DC
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Boston, MA
  • Portland, ME
  • Middlebury, VT
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Chicago, IL
  • Richland Center, WI

2. What were your goals for the road trip?
One of our main goals was to spread the word about Moth Oddities and broaden our connections on a nation-wide level. We hoped to work with many creative, like-minded individuals around the country, take part in as many pop-up shops and vintage markets as possible, all while keeping up with our online shop, and adding vintage goodies found on our travels. 

PHoto by NylonSaddle Photography

3. Who did you collaborate with during the road trip?
Throughout the entire road trip we took part in six events and 15 photo shoots. About half of the photo shoots were casual sets with the two of us trading off modeling & photographing, in order to get some new items up on the website. The other half were shoots where we worked with a variety of creatives ranging from models, photographers, stylists, boutique owners, bloggers, architects, and artists. Take a look at the list below to see who we worked with! 

Proper + Prim in
Fargo, ND
Read More ↠ 
Ink & Such and Moore Custom Goods in Portland, OR
Read More ↠ 
Sala Architects in
Redwood Forest, CA
Read More ↠ 
Modern Thrifter in the Old World in
Pacific Grove, CA
Read More ↠ 
Melrose Trading Post in
Los Angeles, CA
Read More ↠ 
Palm Springs Vintage Market in
Palm Springs, CA
Read More ↠ 
Dustin Cox at
Salvation Mountain, CA
Read More ↠ 
Libby Ewing in
Las Vegas, NV
Read More ↠ 
Night Bazaar Denver in
Denver, CO
Read More ↠ 
Pieceology Vintage in
Austin, TX
Read More ↠ 
Pegasus Studio Inc. in
Dallas, TX
Read More ↠ 
Sustainably Chic in
Charleston, SC
Read More ↠ 
Artists & Fleas in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Read More ↠
Lake Shore Lady and Ali B. Photography in Chicago, IL
Read More ↠ 
Megan Cline in
Chicago, IL
Read More ↠ 
Enchanted Highway, North Dakota

4. How long were you on the road?
We left Minneapolis on November 18th, 2015 and arrived back home on March 24th, 2016. We were on the road for a little over four months.

5. How many miles did you drive?
Our odometer reads around 8,280 miles.

6. How many states did you visit?
35 states.

7. Did you plan everything beforehand or did you make it up as you went along?
When the trip started we had everything from Minneapolis, MN to Portland, OR planned out. After that it was a free-for-all. We made it up along the way! A few connections actually built off one another leading to all kinds of different opportunities.

8. What vehicle did you drive?
- YANA - The Moth Mobile! a.k.a. A grey Honda civic. We get asked this question the most out of any other question. People expect us to have a much cooler answer.
- IAN - People always expect a bus! Well, we've been searching for a larger vehicle and when we find it will definitely be driving that across the country next time.

9. What did you pack?
Two huge storage boxes full of vintage, two huge suitcases full of vintage, one huge hiking backpack full of vintage, and two small suitcases for our personal belongings. Thanks to our good friends Adam & Kevnea for letting us borrow their car topper for four months, we could also bring a full length mirror, a small table, two clothing racks and a large wooden Moth Oddities sign for our events. There was packaging materials for online purchases, camping gear that we ended up sending home to make room for more vintage, a bag full of car snacks, and our bikes strapped to the back of the car.

Lover's Point, Pacific Grove, California

10. Were you paying for an apartment lease back home?
Nope. There is no way we could have afforded the trip if we had an apartment back home. After our lease ended in October of 2015 we moved all of our belongings into Yana's parents guest bedroom - Thanks, guys!

11. What type of lodging did you stay in? 
It was pretty 50/50 between staying with friends and family vs. staying at an Airbnb. We are extremely fortunate to have many loved ones in different states who have let us crash their couches, air-mattresses, and guest rooms. Some even let us take over their own rooms! (crazy, right?) They shared their homes but they also shared their time and for that we are truly grateful. Not only did it save us money and make this trip possible, but having a local show you around their city is 1,000x more fun than if you’re doing it on your own. They already know the great places to visit, the yummy restaurants, the beautiful sights, and the best of the best dive bars. Thank you to EVERYONE who has been a part of this road trip. Each of you enhanced our experiences so much. Shout outs to all of you below!

Kelsey Reinke - Uncle Jim & Aunt Sally Mahady-Adam - Jimmy & Charlie Mahady - Luke Nord & Bonnie Gail - Brian Nielson - Gina Pagnella & the Pagnella family - Uncle Mark Mahady - Libby Ewing - April Onebane - Ellen Macdonald - Grampa James O’Neill - Kevin & Pam O’Neill - Uncle Michael, Uncle Mark, Rex & Lilly Pietras-Weed - Rachel Borka - Uncle Phil & Aunt Kathy Pietras - John Pietras & Michaela Mahady - Megan Cline

12. Where was your favorite place to visit?
- YANA - This is a very difficult question to answer! There is so much variety and rich culture all over the United States. Austin, TX is one city that stands out to me because its overflowing creative scene, endless outdoor activities and amazing warm weather.
- IAN - My favorite single spot would have to be New York City. I loved the energy of the city and exploring different parts of The Big Apple. Everything is on a grander scale. It makes you think that the possibilities are endless.

Manhattan, New York City

13. Could you imagine living in any of the locations that you visited?
That was one of the most fun things to do in each place, imagining what it would be like if we lived there… 'Where would we live? Where would our Moth Oddities shop be? What would we do for fun? How would our lives be different than living in Minnesota?' Even though it was fun to entertain these thoughts, it honestly became very clear to us how much we consider Minneapolis our home-base. We would love to get a rhythm down so that we could live in Minneapolis for a period of time and then travel for a period of time. The road trip has made us realize that we can, in a way, do our job from anywhere! But we still find it important to continue to be a part of the Minneapolis creative scene.

14. Where did you find the best food? 

IAN'S FAVORITES

YANA'S FAVORITES

Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA
Sushi 21 in Las Vegas, NV

15. What was the most rewarding experience you had during the road trip?
- YANA - There have been a whole slew of rewarding experiences that we shared together as Moth Oddities but some of my favorite memories of the trip were when we actually took days off work (what a concept, right?). It was during those days off that we connected with 'the road' in a entirely different way. We had the opportunity to visit seven national parks. We spent whole days hiking through terrain that I could only ever dream of before having seen it with my own eyes. We purchased the America the Beautiful Pass, the annual access pass to all National Parks, and we highly recommend it! If you're ever planning to visit multiple National Parks in one year, this pass pays for itself after about three visits.

Grand Canyon National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Olympic National Forest
Grand Canyon National Park
White Sands National Monument
Arches National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
White Sands National Monument
Arches National Park

16. Who has been a source of inspiration on the road trip?
- YANA - We met one of my BIGGEST idols on the road trip! Blog readers, meet Mark Hunter a.k.a. The Cobra Snake. The Cobra Snake is a famous photographer who captures everything in the global hipster culture from party photos to fashion editorials. He also owns a vintage shop located in Hollywood, CA called The Cobra Shop. The edgy aesthetic and funky style has kept me coming back to the online shop for years. The Cobra Shop has always been a huge inspiration and helped me jump into the world of selling vintage and starting Moth Oddities. The Cobra Snake brand also includes a fun fitness club. Twice a week, Mark leads a running group through the hills of Runyon Canyon. We joined the New Years Day run during our visit. We had a blast and left Los Angeles feeling completely re-invigorated and inspired. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us, Mark!

- IAN - I was inspired by Justin Godfrey of Whiskey & Honey. W&H is a vintage shop based in Seattle, WA co-owned by Justin & Ariel Tustin. They are located in Georgetown, which bore a strong resemblance to industrial parts of Northeast MPLS. We rang a doorbell on the way in which established the homey feel of the building that used to be a hotel and home to the Hells Angels. Their shop instantly drew me in. I remember walking around and wanting to interact with every object I saw: old baseball gloves, cameras, perfectly worn in jeans, and vintage patterned blankets that seem perfectly jumbled into place. Their careful and thoughtfully developed aesthetic is an inspiration to me and makes me want to delve more into vintage Americana menswear. We really appreciated the time they took to meet with us and for their advice on the whole vintage slangin' lifestyle. Thanks Justin & Ariel!

17. What is one of the best moments you shared on the road trip?
IAN - Around the Christmas holiday we took the time to reflect on our road trip experiences and discuss goals for the future. At that time we had been on the road for a little over a month. Everything still felt so new. Each place was an adventure in itself. I remember how happy we were realizing that we could manage something as crazy as ending our lease, bringing our business on the road and working together to chase the dreams we are creating for ourselves.

Paso Robles, California

18. What was the worst experience you had during the road trip?
- YANA -  The worst experience I had during the road trip was an epic bike wipe-out while speeding down a steep hill in San Francisco. I was wearing my helmet and thankfully didn't break any limbs. However, I managed to get all tangled up in my bike and have the pedal and my crotch meet at FULL FORCE. Needless to say, we took a few days off from the bikes because of my bruised undercarriage.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

19. How could you afford taking this trip?
- IAN - Yana and I started planning the road trip about a year in advance. We quickly adopted an extra frugal lifestyle to save as much money as we could. We scaled back on going out to eat, we picked up freelance design projects and I went back to work part-time for two months before the trip. On the trip, we visited places based on their vintage markets and creative opportunities that would benefit the business and allow us to make important connections with people in our field. We also sustained ourselves with sales from the online shop, which increased a ton with the exposure we gained from the road trip! 

20. Was Moth Oddities successful during the trip?
Yes! We have had increased online sales and gained many new followers on our social media platforms. Both of these are metrics for gauging success for this trip. 

Fargo, North Dakota

21. Have you found ways to be frugal while traveling? If so, what tips do you have?
Going out to eat was always enticing but one of the best ways to save money on the road trip was to make our own food. We actively sought out Airbnbs where we were able to use the kitchen to cook most of our meals from home. We reserved going out for celebratory occasions and tried to take advantage of local happy hours.

22. What discoveries did you make on the road trip?
- YANA - Traveling is a great way to learn about people, the world, and our place in the world. It’s a cyclical pattern. After entering a new place you learn about the place itself, the people who inhabit it, the way they interact with the world and with one another. This all makes you reflect on yourself. How you interact with your environment and with those around you. The road trip made me think about this topic often. Ian and I had great late night discussions about how we felt slightly different from one place to the next, just based on the character of the particular place. There were times on the trip where I felt like I was the dorkiest Midwestern lady, speed walking with my visor and “OOH MY!” attitude. Then there were times where I felt like the most free-spirited flower child in the room, sitting cross-legged on the floor and being just a tad too free with my opinions. The thing is, I wasn’t changing at all… my environment was changing. The people were changing. One of the biggest discoveries I made on the road trip was becoming more aware of myself, as a woman, in each environment. 

Alpine, Texas

23. If you could do it differently, what would you do?
For our first USA road trip attempting the perimeter was a HUGE feat. Traveling the perimeter was a great way to get a small taste of each region and see a vast variety of things all over the country. Our future road trips will be more focused. We will spend a longer period of time in each region so we can truly immerse ourselves in the culture. 

24. What are you looking forward to in the future?
The road trip had a way of igniting all sorts of goals for Moth Oddities. It fueled our wanderlust. We have already begun to plan for future travels. Reflecting on this road trip has given us great insight into how we can continue to travel, seek out the best vintage treasures and share our finds with you. We're excited to put what we learned into practice and take part in awesome creative collaborations and pop-up shops in Minneapolis. 

We're especially looking forward to our welcome home event, A Vintage Adventure. A Vintage Adventure is a social hour and shopping event to celebrate the completion of the Moth Oddities Road Trip. Stop by to shop incredible spring and summer styles for women and men, circa 1950's - 1990's, with an emphasis on items made in the USA. Funky fashion lovers, you won't want to miss it! A Vintage Adventure will take place on Friday, April 22nd from 5:30pm - 8:30pm. The event is in collaboration with Tandem Vintage and will take place at findfurnish in Northeast Minneapolis. Feel free to get a head start and browse our Road Trip collection.

Bozeman, Montana

Thanks for reading the recap. Hope you enjoyed following along with the Moth Oddities Road Trip. We really appreciate your continued support!

Happy Trails,
- Yana + Ian, Moth Oddities

Lake Shore Lady + Ali B. Photography

Our last stop on the Moth Oddities road trip was Chicago, IL! During our stay we had the pleasure of working with my good friend Ali Burgoon who I met during college while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Ali took beautiful travel photos during our adventures throughout Europe and after returning home her passion for photography went from hobby to full-on side job!

She now photographs engagement sessions, family portraits, event celebrations and fashion sets for local bloggers, including one of my all-time favorite bloggers from the Chicago area, Lauren Nolan of Lake Shore Lady!

We were so excited to hear that Lauren was into the idea of modeling some of our new spring & summer items like this vintage floral midi skirt and these vintage umbrella beach shorts

With her fabulous styling skills she brought a whole new light to our vintage items and made them look so fresh and contemporary!

We had a great time working with Lauren and Ali. We learned a lot from observing how these two work together. 

Professional, open-minded, quick and confident, they got these beautiful shots within minutes! We can't wait to collaborate with them again next time we come through Chicago :)

Excited for warmer weather? What is your favorite spring style? Comment below!

Thanks for reading!
- XO Yana, Moth Oddities

Sustainably Chic

Moth Oddities visited Charleston, South Carolina while on our USA road trip! During our stay we collaborated with Natalie Kay Smith, owner of Sustainably Chic. Sustainably Chic is a blog, boutique and community for the conscious consumer. We reached out to Natalie because we love that she is using her blog as a platform to educate people about shopping small, shopping smart, and shopping sustainably. At Moth Oddities we share similar ideals. It was great to get Natalie's perspective on sustainability in the fashion industry. Oh, and she's a great model! We had a blast shooting her in a few of our favorite pieces from Moth Oddities.

Natalie believes that we can all make a difference by what we decide to purchase AND what we decide NOT to purchase. We vote with our money! Fast fashion has created an environment of abundance, accessibility and cheap products. However, this affordability comes at a cost. The fashion industry has become the second highest source of pollution in the world, following closely in the footsteps of the oil industry. Individuals can make a difference by choosing NOT to purchase fast fashion items and by being advocates for brands that represent a different, more positive outlook. 

By shopping with our values in mind we can help positively influence the environment and local economy. As Moth Oddities, we contribute to this cause by embracing the second lives of vintage and recycled clothing. A few other sustainable trends that are making waves in the fashion industry are products and companies that are cruelty free, fair trade, handmade, up-cycled, and recyclable. It is important to educate ourselves on these trends, choose a route that coincides with our beliefs, and make conscious changes in our consumer experiences so that we can work towards a healthier Earth! What a head start? Check out a few of Natalie's favorite ethical brands on Sustainably Chic's Shopping page.

We really admire what Natalie is doing with Sustainably Chic. She taught us so much and inspired us to keep moving forward with our goals. Learn more about Natalie and read our Q+A below! 

Natalie-Sustainably-Chic-Charleston-South-Carolina-American-Flag-Sweater-6.jpg

How do you incorporate sustainability into your life? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Cheers!
- Ian


Q+A with Natalie Kay Smith of Sustainably Chic

Tell us how you started! How did you initially get involved with sustainability & slow fashion?
It was in college, when studying fashion, where I realized how awful the industry had become. The waste and unethical treatment was too much for me. I started researching on my own the benefits of fair trade, slow fashion and other related topics. I knew from that point on that the only way I could be a part of the industry was in a positive manner. After moving to Charleston, I found it difficult to find a job relating to my passion, so I created it! Sustainably Chic was my way to learn more and discuss the topic of sustainability.

How do you define Sustainability?
It's being aware and making decisions which have a positive effect on the future. Sustainability is all about sustaining the resources we have now, so others can use them later. There is a more ‘sustainable’ option for almost everything you do in life. There is a lot of subjectivity, and it will be different for everyone. It’s just knowing what works best for you, your community and the Earth.

How long have you been blogging as Sustainably Chic?
It will be two years in July! Went by so fast.

Can you tell our readers a few ways they can make more sustainable choices?
First things first, less is always better. This materialism crap has really got us all out of whack. A lot of us have put quantity over quality. Instead of buying ten t-shirts from Forever 21, buy a couple sustainably made shirts from a company that cares about what they are doing. The thing I’m getting real tired of is when I hear people say ‘well, college students can’t really afford a $40 shirt’. Now I’m not saying this is the case for everyone, but I find that to be total BS. Why do I see them in a new outfit every weekend? I worked at a consignment store before, and it was absolutely insane how many clothes {with tags attached} would be brought in day in and day out. Now with that being said, I realize this does not apply to everyone, it is just something I have seen often. I don’t think we should just stop buying. In order to be fully sustainable, we need a rockin’ economy. It is this overconsumption that is bothersome. My best tip: Whenever purchasing something, figure out who made it and what it is made from. If it seems as if someone or something is being taken advantage of {a cheap price is a red flag} then pass on it. Yes, you will be paying more for a sustainable product in the end - but t-shirts aren't supposed to be $5 ;)

What has been one of your favorite projects to work for your blog?
Honestly, I love any project where I get to take the photos. Editing and playing with scenes is one of my favorite parts of blogging. This year, I made it a point to do all my photography for the site. I’m working on a post for the Sustainable Traveler, and I’m pretty excited to release it this month!

Where are your favorite places to shop sustainably?
I’m not the biggest shopper myself, but I love a good thrift store. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a few companies who have sent me clothing, which really helps my tiny wallet. I work at Marine Layer part time, and they make 85% of their clothing in California out of recycled beechwood and pima cottons. My discount is pretty nice there, so I have a little collection going at the moment. A few brands I’m obsessed with are LA Relaxed, Stormie Dreams & Braintree. They are on point with their designs, fabrics & construction.

Other than shopping, in what other ways do you incorporate sustainability into your life?
I will always live in a small space. I don’t need a ton of square footage to live my life, and prefer things mini sized. All my beauty products I use are natural. I hardly overindulge in food, and try to stick to plants mostly. However, cheese will always be in my life - maybe not a lot, but definitely still there. Meat is not something I crave, but I will not pass it up if someone cooks it for me. We are so fortunate to have the option of what we can and can not eat, and with almost 800 million people suffering from malnourishment I could never have it in me to associate with a certain diet or pass up food that has been put on the table. Other than food, I try to keep driving to a minimum, lights off, AC down and not too many showers. Ya know, the little things.. they all add up in the end.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?
My hands are always busy doing something - I like to crochet, tat, sew and play the ukulele. 

What and/or who inspires you?
People like Moth Oddities! I need others in my life who are on the go and always getting shit done. I don’t like stopping, and seeing others succeed makes me want to work harder.

What goals do you have for the future, either personally or for the blog?
For the blog, I’m kind of playing it day by day right now. I don’t have any huge plans, but I would like to work with as many brands as I run into. The more options I have for the conscious consumer, the better! Otherwise, I’m still trying to talk my boyfriend into a long road trip like Yana and Ian are doing! 

Foucault's Pendulum

Did you know Yana's parents (John Pietras and Michaela Mahady) own Pegasus Studio Inc., a company that specializes in architectural glass and mixed-media sculpture?! They have designed a variety of amazing projects over the years including a recent installation of a large-scale Foucault Pendulum in the grand lobby of the Hunt Corporation in Dallas, TX. We had the honor of visiting the building and photographing the project during our drive through the Lone Star State!

moth-oddities-pegasus-studios-foucault-pendulum-dallas-5.jpg

The Foucault's Pendulum has a 21' diameter. The floor medallion is made of marble, granite, brass and stainless steel with a 15' diameter superstructure of painted steel, bronze, stainless steel, and glass. The reception desk behind the pendulum is made of ebony and cherry wood with bronze details and marble top.

Hunt's Foucault Pendulum is a beautiful balance of science and art. The polished 240-pound weight, called a bob, is suspended from a wire to freely swing from a fixed point in the lobby ceiling.

As the bob is observed over time it appears to rotate in a circular motion, but it is the Earth's rotation under the swinging bob that is revealed. The pegs it knocks down allow observers to track the Earth's rotation.

Learn more about the Foucault Pendulum project on the Pegasus Studio Inc. website

Thanks for reading!
- Ian, Moth Oddities

Libby x Nevada

Moth Oddities visited Las Vegas, NV during our USA road trip. We stayed with my good friend Libby. We've been friends since we were six years old! Libby showed us a great time in Vegas, taking us to some fun vintage shops, an intense game of BINGO, a hilarious comedy show, and to our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. She also took the time to model some of our recent Moth Oddities pickin's with major southwest biker-babe vibes. She pulled it off amazingly, wouldn't you say?!

Shop your favorites below!

Thanks for reading!

- XO Yana, Moth Oddities