Friday, May 23, 2014

Roman and Leo- A guest post by- Angela Castelli

I have so many things to be thankful for in this beautiful life of mine. And as silly as this may sound, Instagram is high up on that list. Instagram has connected me with so many beautiful, talented, loving women (mothers and non-mothers). Without Instagram I wouldn't have half of the extraordinary friends I have today. 

A few weeks ago I posted a collaboration photo, asking if anyone would be interested in working together. Angela Castelli was the very first woman to contact me. Her & I emailed back and forth & had fun getting to know each other a little better. She's a mother of two crazy cute boys, Roman and Leo, wife, and owner of one of my absolute favorite "one stop shop" stores. Talk about superwoman! I could go on and on about how wonderful of a soul she truly is... but what's the fun in that? I'd much rather make you see the beauty in her, for yourself. Below I'll insert a little about Angela (in her own words) she was also nice enough to throw in her top 4 baby/toddler boy styling + fashion tips! Such a gem! 

"The day I found out I was having a boy 4 ½ years ago, my first stop after my ultra-sound was to the mall to buy this little guy his first digs!  After venturing through several children’s stores, my husband and I were pretty disappointed when all we could find for little boys was either littered with animals, appliques, and silly phrases, OR was all athletic apparel.  Being married to a man who has style, we both wondered why we couldn’t find a great store in our town with trendy, fashion-forward apparel for little boys!  Over the months of my pregnancy, I stopped into local children’s stores and boutiques only to find that 90% of each shop was geared towards girls apparel, and the 10% for boys just wasn’t my taste.  I started searching online back in 2010 for styles that fit what we were looking for, and hallelujah, success!   Through the Internet, I began curating (and obsessing over) a long list of brands that carried the trends I loved!   Over the years, and plus one more baby boy, everywhere we’d go, someone would either A.) want to know where we found our outfits, or B.) want to know if I would sell them our boys’ clothes once they grew out of them!
After always being complimented on our boys’ style, my husband (who is a finance guy, but an entrepreneur at heart) told me I should consider bringing these boys’ brands to Indiana.  So last summer, on a 6 hour drive home from Pennsylvania, I sat in the front seat with my NOTES open on my iPad, and my husband and I just started throwing out ideas, brands, trends, business names, ways to market, who to target…and I loved it!  I was so excited and passionate about everything we were talking about, and having a background in marketing, I knew it was something I would love – but could I take the risk and open my own boys shop?  
After renting a small space in an existing boutique for one month, and having a huge health scare that required a pretty extensive surgery and recovery, I decided, if not now, when?  And from this, Roman & Leo Boys Apparel + Accessories was born!
Roman and Leo are my boys, my models, my inspiration, and my everything!  I truly believe they’d be adorable in absolutely anything I put on them, but they love the clothes I choose for them, and they even put together some of the best looks themselves!  When dressing my boys, I follow these 4 simple rules, which I’m happy to share!
1.  Don't buy 'outfits' from one brand. Try to dress your boys the way you dress yourself - pulling in pieces from different brands.  Mixing and matching brands makes for a more cohesive look - and it's not so matchy-matchy!
 2.  Boys have accessories too.  Yes, girls have the bows, bracelets and purses, but there are some really great accessories for boys too!  I love beanies, hipster glasses, bow ties, sunglasses, suspenders, scarves . . . I could go on and on!  Little pops of color with accessories are fun too, like colored shoelaces, Shwings, and baby bandana bibs!  As with girls' accessories, boys’ accessories complete an outfit - and there are so many cool options these days!
3.  Shoes are key!  Nothing ruins a great little boy's outfit than the wrong pair of shoes!  There are so many amazing and comfortable options for little boys' shoes – like Converse, Adidas, Natives, Vans, New Balance, Toms, Keep Shoes, moccasins (for babies), and Sperry's.  There is a time and a place for a pair of Batman sneakers - but if your little guy is wearing a rad little outfit - complete the look with some rad little shoes!  And for the record, by boys don’t know Batman sneakers exist! J
 4.  Dress him like Daddy (or a grown man).  Whenever I am shopping for my boys, or my shop, I always think, "Would my husband wear this?".  I just love dressing little boys like men!   To get the "dress him like Daddy" look, follow these simple rules:  Look for fabrics - like soft tri-blends; look for styles - like raglans and cardigans; look for fit - like slim and tailored; and look for more masculine patterns and colors – like camo and distressed patterns, and grays, blacks, and maroon colors.  
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to translate my love of fashion to my every day life of dressing my boys!  Following trends, curating  looks, and bringing them to my hometown excites me and I’m so thankful to be where I am today with my new little biz!"

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a little about Angela. Stay tuned for a style inspiration post, where I will be featuring a few awesome items from her shop! 

Gram with Angela here:

Thank you for visiting the RadAndRebellious. Have a beautiful week. Hugs x kisses from J & I to you. Xo 

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