Seeking Summer 2017 Social Media Intern!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to run social media for a modern handcrafted business?

Have you ever wanted to get an inside look at how handcrafted shops and studios are run?

Do you have a dream of getting involved with fashion, but aren't sure how to do that here in West Michigan?

Then you might make for a great Parliament Summer Social Media Intern!!!

We're seeking a 1-2 day a week intern that is snappy with a camera, has rad style, and can bring the hype both in-type and in-real-life to assist with our social media this summer. Candidates should have a swoon-worthy IG feed, and be able to charm, sass, and word-craft with the best of digital divas. This individual will report to Elyse, the creative and marketing manager for Parliament. Interns may also need to be available for other weekend and evening hours for special events.

Think this is you? Send us an email of introduction to parliamenttheboutique@gmail.com with the following:

  • tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in working with a handcrafted shop
  • include links to your current social media handles: IG, FB, + Twitter. Bonus if you have blogging or Pinterest experience!
  • A short writing sample- this could be a blog post, a critique you wrote, or an article. Be creative!
  • A few photos showing your Photo styling skills- Parliament is known for its distinct style and eye!
  • attach a resume or CV

Finally, stop in for a visit or during one of our events, and introduce yourself! There is nothing better than a face-to-face meeting to make a best impression.

We're seeking to fill this position within the month, so get your fingers typing and spread your wings, babes- I'll be keeping my eyes on the inbox!

xoxo

Elyse

Me Made May 2017 at Parliament!

Hello friends of Parliament! It's spring, we're feeling the creative energies flowing, and we are so stoked to share with you about our upcoming participation in Me Made May 2017. As makers of Parliament, we are passionate not only about creating handcrafted goods, but also empowering others to learn the process for themselves. Thus, we couldn't be more excited to bringing an amazing batch of workshops to our space for the month of May, all centered around creating your own goods for a more sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle! We will be offering the following workshops and events during the next month:

What is Me Made May? Me Made May was started in 2010 by Zoe of the Blog "So Zo, What do Ya Know?", a sewing blog dedicated to Zoe's process of making clothing for herself and her family. She shares patterns, tricks, tutorials, and in 2010 started Me Made May as a challenge to herself to wear something she had created everyday of the month! She wrote about her goal on her blog, and the idea was met with great enthusiasm from the DIY and Sewing communities; fast forward to 2017, and it is now a Instagram phenomenon and network of its own, connecting rad folks across the globe who make their own clothes during the month of May using the hashtags #memademay and #mmmay17.  It has also evolved and grown to include considerations about slow-fashion, who makes your clothes and just how much time goes into them, sustainable living through a handmade wardrobe, and the impact of choosing to buy locally handmade goods from others. 

For us at Parliament, making our own wardrobe is one of the side-passions amongst all of us makers. Both Elyse and Megan got their start with handcrafted in sewing clothes for themselves, and have been long-time users of open-source patterns such as BurdaStyle.com, have been drafting patterns for their own clothes for many years, and regularly make their own clothes still, for fun! Plus, they both have professional experience: Elyse minored in Fashion with her Accessory Design BFA from SCAD, and Megan works as a professional seamstress for local makers Conscious Clothing, an organic clothing company who we're proud to be hosting for First Friday in May to kick off our month of programming! Thus, we knew that in this new space where hosting workshops was such a blast, that we wanted to bring together a series of programming in honor of this fun month, and celebrating the handcrafted wardrobe.

Participation in Me Made May is simple; you make a pledge that for the month of May, you will meet some goal regarding your handmade wardrobe and lifestyle. You may post this on your social media, and Zoe asks that you comment on her blog-post here with your goal, so that we can all support each other in our goals. This goal can be simple or complex- it's up to you! You may be a brand-new sewer who wants to make a shirt for the first time, and signing up for our Crop-Top Workshop may be just the goal for you! Or, you may be a seasoned sew-ist, and make it a goal to wear a different "Me Made" item from your wardrobe every day of the month. Many participants like to share their journey on social media, and connect with other makers using the hashtags- we'll be sharing our own "Makes" and workshops on our Instagram and Facebook pages, and would love to have you follow along; we'll be using the hashtag #memademayParliament along with the official hashtags of #memademay and #mmmay17. Comment here too with your pledge! Ours is as follows, pulled from the format on the Me Made May Website:

 We, Team Parliament @parliamenttheboutique, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. We endeavor to create a space of support and community around achieving handmade wardrobe goals through workshops and events, for the duration of Me-Made-May '17. We also pledge to share our journey and adventures along the way!

You can make your own pledge using the following format, and comment below to share with us!
 'I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear......................................................... each day for the duration of May 2017'

We are thrilled be able to support our creative community this Me-Made-May, and hope you will join us at the shop for a workshop or two! Sign-up for classes on our website here, or stop into the shop in person to reserve seats!

Here's to Me-Made-May '17! See you at the shop!

The D.I.Y. Weekend

Wondering what that “D.I.Y Series” thing is that Parliament is hosting? Well, let us explain!

We have decided to add some do-it-yourself events to our schedule to allow for more community members to get involved with something creative. We understand workshops are not for everyone, and they can be slightly more pricey, and we do not want that to stop you from enjoying the process and getting creative with us.

So, for our D.I.Y. series, we are having three different projects available throughout the weekend of March 17th.

Friday will consist of dyeing your own garments in natural dyes with Megan Roach of Adventure Textiles. You can pay $5 per garment, or $10 for 3 pieces, to naturally dye them in our beautiful dye baths. Saturday will be for creating a pouch necklace with Elyse of Littlewings Designs. These little necklaces are unique and fun to make. If you are interested in jewelry or just one-of-kind items, this D.I.Y project is for you. Sunday we will be offering a D.I.Y. monogrammed key fob, which you will make with Jake of Harbinger Leather.


For more information on this series and the different projects, check out the shop tab. This is a unique event that allows you to get involved with natural dyes and interact with Team Parliament. So, stop by on one of these days during our store hours and get creative with us!

Vend + Teach at Parliament

Interested in hosting a workshop at Parliament or vending your handcrafted goodies in our space?

Well, you now have that opportunity! You can apply to either of these positions under the Vend + Teach tab above.

To apply for either a pop-up shop or hosting a workshop click on the Vend + Teach tab. Under this tab you will find two separate forms, the one on the left is where you apply for hosting a pop-up shop and the one on the right is where to apply to teach a workshop. After you apply, we will get back to you in roughly ten to twelve business days. For further questions, please send us an email!

To register to take our Greenery: Natural Dye Workshop, and future workshops, you can go into the Shop tab above and find the product block with your desired workshop. Right now, we are able to purchase your spot in on our workshop on March 11th. Reserve your spot now, tickets are limited!

If our workshops do not appeal to you, possibly our new DIY Series could be better fitting. This new series will allow you to stop in on the given night and engage in Do-It-Yourself projects with Team Parliament. For the first DIY Project, you can bring in your own garments to dye. To check out pricing on each garment, check out the second block under the Shop tab that is called DIY Series: Dye Your Garment. You must bring your own items and we will provide the rest.

The DIY Series allows everyone to give natural dyes a try, whereas our workshops are more for educating. If you are highly interested in natural dyeing fabrics and garments, this may be the class for you; but if you would prefer an express version of this, you can stop by for the DIY Series. Think of the Workshop as a full class and the DIY Series as a self-guided session!

We have lots of exciting events coming up, so be sure to explore our website more and stop into our space for any questions. We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events!

Big Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Grand ReOpening on Friday the 3rd. It was such a wonderful turnout and we were so thrilled to have so many friends, family and community members at the event supporting us. The Grand Rapids community has been very supportive throughout this whole process, and we are so honored to be apart of such a colorful arts community. We look forward to making many more connections with our local community.

For more information on our upcoming adventures, check out our Workshops + Events page. You can also find out information on hosting a workshop or vending your goods at Parliament under the Vend + Teach page- stay tuned for info next week on how to sign up for our first workshops, coming up in March, Natural Dyeing and a terrarium building workshop!

We've Moved!-Parliament's Grand ReOpening

We’ve moved!—Parliament the Boutique has moved to a new space, and it is only a couple doors down from our original space. Over the past couple of years Parliament has been growing continuously, starting as a small studio + shop, growing into two spaces, and now coming back together again under one roof.  We entered 2016 abrim with the possibilities, but not sure of what was next. A new store? A different studio? We greatly felt the need to streamline and simplify, but were uncertain to do so.  When a space we only dreamed of having opened up, on the Avenue for the Arts and within our community, we knew we had found the opportunity. In August, we made the choice to move both store and studio back under one roof, like the original Parliament, but way bigger and better than ever before! We knew it would be a long road and transition over the next 6 months and into the New Year, but we also knew it would be oh-so worth it.

We want the new Parliament to mean something more, going beyond the products sold, we want to connect with the community of Division Street and the greater Grand Rapids area. We want to bring the craft and artistic aspects of our goods to life; every customer will now be able to understand how the finished products they purchase go from raw materials to works of art. Our old space was challenging in this regard; our audience could only shop the product, and everything was made off-site in a different space. Our bright new space will offer a comfortable environment for our visitors to both shop and learn, all under one cozy roof.

If seeing is not believing for you, why not take a step closer? We will be introducing community workshops starting in March; workshops will be taught by Parliament founders and other community makers + artisans, and you will have the chance to create under a teacher’s instruction, within our space. We are so thrilled to add this aspect to our business, and are excited to bring the participatory experience of creating an object full circle, for our audience. Throughout the year there will be a number of different workshops for the community to participate in, including basic leathercraft, natural dyeing, and a DIY clothing series in May- we are so excited!

Our goal for the new year, and new space, is to make Parliament a cultural destination. We want people from near and far to be curious as to what we are, not just what we can sell. We want them to experience the magic that goes into our craft. We are no longer just a place to buy hand-crafted and unique products, but a place that the community can come together and explore the process of crafting the beautiful objects that fill our daily lives.

We are looking forward to what 2017 has in store for Parliament, and are excited to welcome you to join us in this journey. Parliament has always been a crossroads for makers and their community; we are blessed to continue being that place, and look forward to all the new ways to deepen this space for everyone’s enjoyment. We want to thank the community for the endless support and we are excited to share our new home with you!

We hope to see you are our Grand Reopening on February 3rd, 2017 at 5pm. You can find more information on this event on our Facebook page.