Looking back now, three years after forming Do It With Soul, it's easy to see how sisters Erin Corder-Brown and Emily Stone would become entrepreneurs behind a vintage clothes company that blends classic looks with rock 'n' roll flair.
Their grandmas were both incredibly stylish, they say, and some of their earliest memories were going thrifting with their mom, and "upcycling" pairs of jeans with blown-out knees into new skirts and purses.
"We just have a big background in being thrifty and unique with style," says Stone, while Corder-Brown adds, "Fashion seriously runs in our blood."
While they are sisters, they're not twins. Stone, 32, handles a lot of the business tasks. She has a business degree from the University of Idaho, and a personal style that, her sister says, she "kind of just falls into the closet and then comes out and looks good." Corder-Brown, 34, is a mother of three and the artistic visionary of Do It With Soul. She has a design degree from Washington State University and was selling vintage furniture with her mom before deciding to focus on fashion.
"It's always nice to have a healthy balance in your closet of new and vintage," Corder-Brown says, "and that is kind of how we've evolved."
If they had to put a label on Do It With Soul's style, "grunge" comes to mind. The company sells original-design printed tees, as well as upcycled denim and leather jackets they've recreated by painting designs on them, and T-shirts they've distressed with bleach or by adding holes, or swapping sleeves.
"I'm obsessed with street fashion," Corder-Brown says. "You see people who maybe started the day with a pair of tights on and just snagged them. 'Well, OK, I'm going to snag them up and down, and I'm going to embrace the chaos.' That is how trends turn. That's where I thrive."
The sisters and their extended family will hunt down clothes to work on at yard sales and thrift stores — "I like to say we're female-owned, but we are family-operated," Corder-Brown says — and see the vintage scene in Spokane as a friendly one. Stone says the different vintage resellers tip each other off to sales and are on a group text together. And working in vintage threads is something that won't go out of style even as, say, trends leaning on '90s looks or camouflage inevitably move on.
"You're always going to have those people who believe they were part of a different generation, like an old soul," Stone says. "They connect with something in the past that makes them want to wake up and put on a flapper skirt and a little crop, and they look good and they feel good in what they're wearing."
Comfort is key with Do It With Soul's clothes. They want people to feel good in what they wear, and bring customers the confidence that comes with knowing they have a good look happening. One advantage of working in vintage, reclaimed clothes, they say, is that the sizes are usually worn off, so people just have to try clothes on and see how they feel. And that goes for men and women.
"I love it when people come in and are like, 'Where's the guy section?'" Corder-Brown says. "I'll be like, 'There are no genders in fashion!' If it feels comfortable and you feel confident in it? Rock it."♦
Shop Do It With Soul online at doitwithsoul.com; at Chosen Vintage, 7 W. Main; and Kiss and Makeup, 920 W. Garland