New Instagram Account Bringing Country Stars’ Clothing to Fans’ Closets
Where do a country star's stage clothes go when they're no longer being worn? Stage to Closet, a newly founded Instagram account run by Little Big Town member Karen Fairchild and friend and family employee Kristy Mondelli, aims to bring those items to fans' closets while helping out causes near and dear to the artists' hearts.
In August, Mondelli uploaded consignable pieces from Fairchild and bandmate Kimberly Schlapman's wardrobes to the Stage to Closet Instagram account for an inaugural sale. "There was a game plan," Mondelli admits, "but still a lot of uncertainty whether it would be a success or a flop of utter chaos."
"Our first sale started at 1PM on a Sunday, and at 1:01PM, I was group FaceTiming both of them because we had sold through 75 percent of the inventory in the first 90 seconds of the sale," she continues. A second sale of Fairchild and Schlapman's items, followed by a late September sale featuring a bevy of clothing, jewelry and shoes from Kacey Musgraves, were equally successful.
"We thought if Karen (and other artists now) posted about it from their Instagram account, we’d surely get some good customer traffic," Mondelli adds, though Musgraves' fans in particular "completely flooded" the account's inbox. Both new and repeat customers -- everyone from fans to up-and-coming artists looking to add to their own professional closets -- are setting Instagram alerts to be first in line when a sale begins.
Fairchild and Mondelli met about five years ago, when Mondelli was a teacher at the school attended by fellow Little Big Town member Phillip Sweet's daughter Penelopi. In 2015, she became the full-time nanny for Fairchild and bandmate Jimi Westbrook's son Elijah, and is a personal assistant to the family as well. Mondelli has been consigning Fairchild's clothes "for years," she tells The Boot via email, both through local consignment shops in Nashville and some online outlets. The idea for Stage to Closet came about in February, as a natural extension of that work.
"We still felt like there was space for us to sell designer clothing and accessories that had sentimental value directly to the fanbase or fashion lovers looking for a new piece," Mondelli explains. "Karen and I were standing in her living room talking about how we wanted to sell a recent (large) purge of her closet items when I said, 'You know, we really should try and sell all this on Instagram. The fans and upcoming artists would love to buy your clothes!' ... She was totally down to try it, and our ideas started rolling from there."
Fairchild and Mondelli are a true partnership, "collaborating on every single detail," says Mondelli: "She’s the creative force, eye for fashion and point of contact for every client we’ll do business with going forward. I’ll be the one to manually execute and hopefully make our ideas seamlessly come to life from start to finish."
Fairchild and Mondelli describe Stage to Closet as a place to find "gently worn fashion from fierce men and women, from the biggest stages to your very own personal closet." The prices are reasonable -- about what you would expect to pay at a higher-end consignment store -- and both high-fashion items and more everyday brands are up for grabs. Followers can preview items ahead of time via the Stage to Closet Instagram feed, and when a sale goes live, shoppers DM a photo of their desired item and their contact info; the first in (the virtual) line gets first dibs.
In the three sales Stage to Closet has hosted thus far, they've sold off Musgraves' Stagecoach performance outfit from 2018, Fairchild and Schlapman's music video looks and much, much more, with proceeds benefiting Love One International and the Ocean Conservancy. They're aiming to stage one sale per month and "have a couple 'certain someones' lined up to round out the year," Mondelli teases.
"Right now, we’re going by causal text and word of mouth from [Fairchild's] industry friends," she adds. "So many of them have mentioned a need to get rid of the overload of clothes barely worn in their closets."
More than helping artists free up closet space, though, Stage to Closet, Mondelli says, is another product of Fairchild's go-getter attitude.
"Karen has a way of inspiring all woman to be their own kind of girl boss, to go with your gut and take risks," Mondelli reflects. "I’d like to think Stage to Closet is a product of exactly that."
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