“I really like modern kitchen appliances. Love the microwave and crock pot. However, I do hold old fashion values”.
Owner of Bear Flag Republic and Designer of BFR retro shoes, Regina lives on a 20 acre ranch with her husband and their two children . She loves Marlena Dietrich, vintage hats and the Cicada Club in Los Angeles.
Regina describes her family life as very old fashioned in a lot of respects. “We are Christians and believe in the gospel. We believe in putting family first!” Regina’s children learn about the Bible and they learn about family and responsibilities. They have a chore schedule so they learn how to perform in a family. Regina also said that her children are courteous, respectful to adults, and believe in paying it forward (doing good deeds before they are required).
Her children are limited to exposure of TV and Video games. They play lots of card games and board games. Regina’s children know what a Victory garden is and can take care of themselves in an emergency or disaster. They have been taught to cook, use a rifle, and how to use a first aid kit. They also raise chickens and plant gardens and fruit trees at their ranch.
Regina decided to start her business when a friend of hers was getting married on the Queen Mary and it was a period wedding. “ I had the hardest time finding vintage clothes to fit my larger hips. The 40's women were much thinner and less hippy.” The groom for this wedding was a musician so they wanted to get him a radio/CD player that looked vintage but had all the modern elements. But instead it turned into a treasure hunt that ended with them buying antique dishes.
Afterwards, Regina had a knee injury which gave her time to put together a business plan for creating a store where these items would be very much available. The little hunting expedition that began with the Queen Mary wedding led Regina to do something she enjoyed.
Regina’s store the Bear Flag Republic cater to the retro enthusiast. All of her items are based on the 30's 40's and 50's. Her stores sells a variety of items and there is something for everyone. Her best selling item which is her BFR retro shoe, has a 1940' wedge with a sole designed to swing dance in. For women there are retro clothing provided by Bettie Page by Tatyana, Stop Staring, and for the purist Lipstick Vogue which are handmade designs from originals.
For men there are shirts from Classic Steady, Spectator wingtip shoes also with a special suede sole to swing dance in. In fact the Spectator 1 has been featured on Dancing with the Stars. And then there is Pomade from wax based Highlife to Layrite the newest pomade that washes out. In store there are tin signs, night lights, radio's & CD players, knick knacks, & lingerie.
We asked Regina what she likes about her business. “The creative element of taking a picture of an old shoe and turning it into a BFR shoe. I love the work, the things I have learned, and the fact that it is ever changing. We are defining who we are and expanding in new areas, and that is something I am instrumental in. It is never stagnant and the events are fun. I have met some famous people who are average Joe's and swell individuals.” Regina’s fashion shows had gotten wide acclaim and her models are becoming famous. “ It is always nice to see others do well”, she added.
Another main reason why Regina loves her businesses is the flexibility to spend more time with her family. “Working somewhere else provided a barrier with my children because it was tough to make sporting events and dancing, but now I am in control. In addition, the business brings tax dollars to our little town.”. Regina works 3 days a week and her husband works 2 days a week in the store. Regina also can work on the store via the computer, which allows her to work from home too.
The next best thing about her business that is consistent, is the friends Regina has made. “They are the most genuine heart felt individuals who also care about my success.”
When asked to describe her vintage style Regina said,“ I love 50's knit dresses because by then women were more curvy again. Women were starving in the 40's rationing sugar and meat for soldiers and those clothes are often to narrow for me.” When Regina goes out she wears retro or vintage dresses with seamed pantyhose, not stockings like they would have, “because pantyhose are more comfortable, they don't slip down or wrinkle at the ankles (I have short legs), and the garters don't show,” she said. Her husband likewise looks like he stepped right out of the 40's, in his Elliott Ness suit, spectators and fedora.
One of Regina’s favorite retro places is the Cicada Club in Los Angeles. It was a clothing store in 1928 and was restored to its past elegance. You will find people there who live the life, their home is 1920's or 40's. They drive their old cars everywhere and wear vintage clothing all the time. But the best part of the Cicada Club is the entertainment. Swing bands, singers and dancers.“ I have seen a girl trio like the Andrew Sisters, girls with umbrellas descending the grand staircase and dance just like you see in the old films. It is the best bargain in town and out of town for that matter.”
We asked Regina what year she would visit if she could travel back in time.
"Different reasons for different time periods. I love the 30's because women were feminine. Clothing was romantic with lots of sheer ruffles and open back dresses. But I love the 40's too. Women were patriotic but coming into their own as society was changing. It was acceptable for women to wear slacks. I am sort of complicated I guess, I love that women were women in the 30's but I love women were released from the caste that had been their role for centuries in the 40's. Men tipped their hats for ladies and opened doors, I'd like to see that again."
We asked her to give advice for women that are planning to start their own business.“ Do what you love and you'll love what you do".
Copyright © 2008-2009 Time Warp Wives
Regina's Recipe Tips: Mother's Macaroni Recipe
Vintage Hairstyling Book: Beauty Page
Bear Flag Republic:
Ebay Store:Bear Flag Republic