It’s my first time visiting the Kittery, Maine, area and it sure hasn’t disappointed. The shipyard is just next-door, the local pizza grill is across the street, and the vibes going on here at Lils Café is all that it should be. The hazelnut latte in a hearty mug, the vinyl vault (no, literally), and the style of the baristas is on point. The windowed walls let this perfect day flood in, making anyone’s spirits just a little happier. I walked in, really, to use their free wifi and do a normal Weekend Wear post. But the personalities of the employees and the slow sips of my latte changed my mind. A year ago I was traveling the country interviewing random people on the streets and I just couldn't help but give in once again. So when the lines slowed a bit, I snagged two baristas….
Meet Emma – I’ve only “known” her for about an hour and I was instantly taken by her genuine love to help customers and eagerness to give someone a quick smile. She’s bright and fun. And when I asked her if she’d answer a few random questions for my blog project her eyes widened with delight and she said, “Oh my god, yes! Oooh! What kind of questions?!” Emma skipped over to the counter that I had stationed myself at and we started talking…
Me: Emma, how would you describe your style and why?
“Oh my God, I have no idea. I kinda just ask myself, ‘Ooooh what’s the temperature?’ and that helps me. I guess you could say my style is Preppy. I like colors. I always wear necklaces, headbands, earrings - Little things to make it fun! If I ever changed my style, I’d do a little more boho, especially for the summer. Big pants!!! They look so comfy, but I don’t know if I could pull it off. My boyfriend always says, ‘In order to pull something off, you just wear it.’ He’s a cool kid. We’re long distance. It sucks. But it’s worth it…Maybe I’ll just go get those big pants…”
Me: Tell me more about yourself, what are some of your dreams?
“Well, I’m a business major. I would love to own a bakery - like this place!!! That’s long term. Short term, I just want to have a simple, happy life. Maybe that’s long term, too. And if not Maine or Vermont, I would live in South Carolina.”
Emma's Style: Pink shirt: Factory Outlet Gap. Necklace: Francesca’s.
Meet Rachel – I hadn’t even been inspired for this spontaneous post or ordered my latte yet, and we mutually complimented each other’s hair. She has an eye for detail, it seems, and is faithful to take care of the smaller things to make this café prepared for the lunch rush. When there was another lull Rachel came over with her iced latte. And instead of staying behind the bar, she pulled up a stool next to me like an old friend...
"People always think I’m shy and quiet, but I’m really not. I like to have fun and here, [at Lil's], we so aren’t shy. I mean you have to be professional and helpful. There’s not room to be too shy…as for my style, I just like to be comfortable but maintain that put together look. I love big earrings – these were a gift to me.”
“I’ve had dreads for about nine years now, they’re almost to my knee. I don’t know, I’ve always been that girl changing my hair – color, cut, etc – but these…these have stuck and I love it. Yeah, so one day I just had some friends help me out with them.
Me: What would say is a dream of yours?
“When I was in 6th and 7th grade, I told my parents I wanted to be a writer. It wasn’t something that was just a cute thing to say when you’re young, it’s still true today. I would like to focus on that, at least eventually. I write about random thoughts that I have, mainly for lyrics (I play guitar and banjo and lean towards folk music), but I think it would be cool to be a writer. That’s a dream of mine.”
Rachel's Style: Tunic shirt: Marshalls. Earrings: Gifted. Bracelet: Gifted from her mom. Rings: A local market, downtown Portsmouth.
Sometimes our style is dictated by our jobs and what we are required to wear. Other times we don’t know why we’re attracted to the pieces we are. And I think Emma’s boyfriend is right – if you like something, just decide that you’re going to pull it off. Fashion is just a vehicle to express yourself – a message board of sorts. Be yourself. It was a joy to hang out Emma and Rachel today...