It’s not every day you get to sit down with not one but two exceptionally accessorized women (who are pretty exceptional themselves), all the while, being surrounded by a myriad of luxury items in a former potato chip truck called Jays. (Yes! These types of wonderful people DO exist.) Meet trendhunter and style entrepreneur, Joey Wolffer, of the STYLELINER, and her business-partner and all-around wonder woman, Sara Droz. These ladies are no joke. They travel the country looking for treasures and outfitting their van (and their wardrobes) with unique luxury items from Europe to the U.S. of A. BYT caught up with Joey and Sara to get the-inside-scoop on the STYLELINER and how these covetable cool women really met.
WELCOME to the STYLELINER! Starting today!!! EVERY WEDNESDAY!!! The STYLELINER will be in Dupont Circle, 20th and P Street NW. AND this weekend, Thursday & Friday 6-9pm, Sat 8-midnight, is the W Washington DC. And then back to M Street & Wisconsin Ave. Don’t miss out.
all photos: Jackie Garcia
BYT: So, first things first! How did the STYLELINER get its start?
JOEY WOLFFER: I started this two years ago – June of 2010. And since the very beginning, Sara and I were trying to figure out a way to work together.
BYT: Did you have a childhood past?
JW: No (laughs)! We met at a Halloween party in this very seedy club. And Sara had the biggest wig on I’ve ever seen. She was Annie, but she took it to a whole new degree. And i think i was a unicorn…?
BYT: I was a unicorn once for Halloween! That’s wild!
JW: (Laughs again) So, we connected on that.
SARA DROZ: And we had a mutual friend. Oh, it was the worst party ever!
JW: EVER. Ever. But, we connected and then we started slowly hanging out more and more.
SD: And then we became fast friends.
JW: Sara has all this marketing experience and I have been in design my whole life. So, it really was what I needed–I needed a marketing person! Because doing it ALL is impossible. Its nice to have somebody else selling the business side of things, you know.
SD: And really without even laying out lines of “who does what,” really, it’s so very clear to see who does what. I’m more the business side of it and Joey is more the design side of it.
JW: You need to have that at some point. And its been so great for me to be be able to focus more on that [design] side rather than reaching out to people and saying “can you host me! Can i be there?” Always, always always.
SD: And eventually we do want to have our own line together- Joey Designs. So, that creates time. And Joey already does her own designs. Like this is hers (points to chic bag with beaded embellishments).
BYT NOTE: [Wolffer’s] handbag line, in collaboration with Laetitia Stanfield of Roarke NYC, meshes Moroccan rugs with hand-beaded panels from India, but it is made locally, in Brooklyn. “It’s all about mixing materials and mixing worlds,” says Wolffer. (via)
BYT: You also design jewelry?
JW: Yes, absolutely. But slowly, you know, little pieces here and there. Where I’d really like almost everything to be that. To have it be a brand! We’d really like this to be a brand. So, I guess, it’s the way to start.
BYT: And, you have a background in STYLE, correct? Tell us about it.
JW: Well, I was a trend director for Jones Group and I’ve been in fashion designing jewelry since, really, right out of college. I went to Vanderbilt and studied Psychology, but was kind of just making jewelry, you know. I went to work in London and got a great job and kind of just learned it from there.
BYT: That easy! Wow. Very impressed.
BYT: Okay, we have to ask. We heard the STYLELINER used to be a potato chip truck?! What was the transformation process like?
JW: I actually found this amazing interior person…
SD: (Interjects) Oh–its a good story–just finding the truck.
JW: Okay, so Matt, my husband…
BYT: Wait–are are you’re married?
SD: (Laughs) People are always SO surprised to find out that Joey’s married for some reason.
BYT: Ha. Why’s that? Well, you’re young.
JW: So, my husband went into the streets of New York and went to EVERY coffee shop, mobile coffee shop, and food truck. And finally somebody was like, “We got it! At this company in New Jersey.” They just gave in ha. Matt said, something along the lines of: I’m not trying to compete with you, my wife is trying to do this retail truck, and it would be great if you could help!” It was called Jays Potato Chips truck.
SD: Not to be confused with Lays.
JW: And you walked in and it was like a refrigerator.
SD: It was like a meat locker.
JW: Yea–it was. iI was like a meat locker! Thats a better word. I always love your words.
JW: You can’t envision the interior unless you were a person who does showrooms. I had this amazing designer Regina K out of New Jersey. Her husband was a jeweler, so she really knew exactly how to do this. And really, the whole vision was kind of like an 80s night club. So, that’s where the gold and the red comes from. It’s great because its timeless! It doesn’t feel old. And there’s the husband chair (points to the plush cushions in back of the STYLELINER), and really, everyone loves that.
SD: (Thoughtfully) The husband bench.
JW: The husband bench, exactly. In the back. We should really put a sign up. So, that’s it. The background of how it all started.
BYT: How long did it take to get everything set up?
JW: Honestly, it was three months. I wanted to get it done. Once I decide something…I just wanted to make it happen. You know, you have to push a little bit. When I do it again, I’ll do it differently. I will probably always have a different kind of look.
BYT: A new look? A new STYLELINER? What about a fleet of STYLELINERs?
JW: Yes, I think we would like to do another truck. The STYLELINER will probably always have a different look. I would love to have one on the West Coast. But, right now, we’re busy and always moving. We were just in New York getting fixed up for DC and then we’ll go to the Hamptons in June.
BYT: Name some major destinations.
JW: We’ve been to Miami, Palm Beach, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Sundance! The retail truck “thing” has really just started, so we’ve received a lot of attention.
BYT: Sundance! Very cool, literally. We heard you transformed the van into an igloo. That must have been amazing. Do you travel further West?
JW: Not that far. We want to go to California and we will. But, its a huge project. The retail truck “thing” has really just started, so we’ve received a lot of attention. We had a really great response at Sundance. And, yes, we had an igloo! It was a lot of fun.
BYT: Are there other “styleliners” spreading style out there?
JW: There are three retail trucks in the country! All different. But nothing quite like this. Nothing that’s like a high-end boutique.
BYT SIDE-NOTE: (A customer walks in a tries on a bejeweled neon bracelet.)
JW: OMG! With her outfit. Their stuff is like the hottest thing.
SD: Ha it actually is the hottest thing out there. It’s a little TOO hot for our truck.
JW: (Continues to talk with the bejeweled customer) I love that one! Definitely one of my favorites. You will be surprised how much you’ll wear it. It’s bright–but it kind of goes! Just a fun layering piece.
BYT: Cool. What about the designers?
JW: So, that’s SHOUROUK from Paris. She’s really fantastic and has built an incredible brand. It’s all about mixing rhinestones with sports-cords. A unique mixture and great colors. She’s great. Then there’s HOLST+LEE who are friends of mine from New York. They do big layering pieces- woven necklaces with tribal influences- and they hand do all of this. They’re beautiful. They’re some of my favorites.
There’s a French brand called VIVE LA DIFFERENCE, which is that mesh handbag there. Best quality leather. Quality, that’s just lasting. And, then there’s DASSIOS! He’s a Greek designer that does things like embellished jean jackets. Everything from him is vintage Ottoman costumes. They use these components and mix it great with leather bags, jean jackets. He was a costume designer in Greece and we became just such close friends. I just adore him and am just so passionate about their work.
BYT: Speaking of adoration. Who is your style icon?
JW: My style icon is Talitha Getty (she’s my favorite) and Jane Birken. Those are my icons for sure. Current icons, I do love Kate Moss. I love the way she puts herself together–its very cool. But, I’m more inspired by people from the past. It’s more about owning who you are and not so much about trend. And everyone had their specific style. You own it and you are not trying to look like anyone else.
BYT: If you found a magic talisman- and were granted three wishes- GO:
JW: 1. My dream is to have more trucks! Seriously, I want this business to be spread across the U.S. I think with my personality, and with Sara, we can really create something. I’m so lucky to know so many good people and everyone gives you different advice. So, it’s really more about getting confident with your gut before you take that next step. I’m feeling like we’re figuring it out now before we take that next step. DC is making me feel like it’s really happening! We’ve had a great response. 2. I am dying to design my own line because that’s where my heart is, for sure. I do have a handbag collaboration! But again, its just getting it going. 3. Hm. My third dream…Not business, I think, starting family with my husband. We just got a puppy, so we’re starting with that.
BYT: It sounds like family is very important to you. Tell us about your great great grandpa?
JW: My great great grandfather created a retail store in london called Marks & Spencer (!). So, that was where it started. My dad was an entrepreneur himself. He came for Germany with zero after WWII and he just created businesses and businesses. He was so inspiring with his energy. I like to see myself like that too. I clean the truck, I don’t care, I dont have any ego about that. I loved my former job but I didn’t fee like I was getting anywhere. Do i really want to be at the head of the company? I don’t know! I don’t know if thats my goal. I have been able to meet so many people doing this. And thats me. I love meeting people and being out there.
BYT: Any treasured possessions?
JW: My engagement ring, which I designed. The center part is an earring that my dad gave my mom. He passed away three years ago, so its really nice for me to look down and see it. It feels very much like I would just never want to be parted with it. That and this ring my mom just gave me for my 30th birthday. It is what my dad gave my mom when I was born. Obviously, I love new stuff, but I also like pieces that mean something to me and this really does. It says, and you can see, “Love Joanna, ” which is my real name. My real name not my fake name (laughs). My full name, I should say! I’m not that formal.
BYT: How do you think the STYLELINER appeals to DC style?
JW: There’s definitely things for the DC girl here. But, I’ve done this in greenwhich and it was great. People like being helped to make their style a little less conservative. I think there’s stuff to really jujj up an outfit, so to speak. You dont need a lot. There’s definitely something for everybody. We’ve got great scarves, clutch, belts, etc. I mean it’s definitely more “out there” than conservative. ANNIEL, for example, is a brand out of Paris. They make jazz shoes with printed python design. Always good for that girl who likes python and sparkle.
BYT: Final story.
JW: I always arrange the STYLEINER and all its coveted items into stories. There are three stories! There is always my tribal story. You will never ever leave the STYLELINER without a bohemian feeling. The second, currently, is more of my preppy, bright colored, bold prints. And finally, for now, this more sorbet and natural, with neon hits. So, its always in three stories. Its easier this way to see the items and understand where each comes from.
THANK YOU to the STYLELINER! Joey and Sara will be in Washington, DC, now through June 17th. Check out their website HERE to see all the tour dates and where you can find them parked (more often than not, its M Street & Wisconsin Ave, Georgetown).
Starting today!!! EVERY WEDNESDAY!!! The STYLELINER will be in Dupont Circle, 20th and P Street NW. AND this weekend, Thursday & Friday 6-9pm, Sat 8-midnight, is the W Washington DC. Don’t miss out.
TIPS? LINKS? SEND THEM TO: [email protected]