A walk down memory lane…





Exactly one year ago we signed the s to buy the vintage store that would become the new home for Red Velvet. It was an emotional day full of support, excitement and nervous butterflies. The process had happened extremely quickly and up until we were handed the keys we didn't want to get our hopes up too much. Buying a business can be extremeley complicated (much like buying a home) so we were nervous that something would happen in the last minute. Well, everything worked out and we were the new owners of a gigantic, fully stocked store. 

I remember it being a scary time. We had big plans for remodeling and making it our own, but having never done anything on that level before I was a little nervous. You can see the makeover we gave the store over the next three months and . Our goal was to open at the end of October, so we had three full months to remodel the store. We had a very small budget and tons of friends pitching in… It was a season I'll never forget. 



The morning after we officially purchased the store I left for LA to do a Renegade with and help her move home. A few months before we bought the store Didier had made the choice to move back to Missouri to start her in the location of our new store. I could never describe how happy this made me and how incredibly special it was to drive across half the country and help her move. Since the day she moved home, it's been the best year of my life. 

Anyhow, the next few months flew by. enlisted all of his guy friends to help move and build new displays. We filled our days with countless projects. I shared a few little peeks here on my blog and we spent about eight to ten hours every day working on the store remodel. In our 'free time' Didier and I were also conceptualizing the new website and our future plans for Red Velvet (like a ).



Our family and friends were so supportive. We couldn't have done it without them. Having them share our joy made it so much sweeter! It felt like we were all living the dream together. When I watched build the children's section, it made me so happy that this was something we could all share! 


Here are the tags we designed from our family photos. We use these in the shop every day! 



And here are a few peeks at one of the many photoshoots we did last year. We built this little backdrop in our studio right behind the store. It's nice having it all in one building. is our main model lady… good thing she's marrying our little brother! 



Hope's note was one of my favorite 'store warming' gifts! 


It honestly doesn't seem possible that all these wonderful things have happened in just one year. The store opening was magical and surreal… a little girl's dream! Getting and … I don't even have words. Seeing Didier fall in love was another highlight of the year. 

There were countless other memories that made this the best year I've ever lived. It started with so much uncertainty and fear. I am so incredibly thankful for our friends, family and for my blog readers for so much encouragement. We're living our dream and I know this coming year will be amazing too….. lovelove, elsie  (some photos by )

  • that is soooo cool to look thru all these pictures from this journey!! congrats, elise!!!

  • so inspirational and makes me look forward to the day I can accomplish the things I hope for in life. Such a beautiful story!

  • I purely love your blog and I feel like I know all of you even though that is completely not true. I am so happy that this year was so awesome for all of you! Eeee!

  • this was a sweet post els, things have really been amazing for you this year. im so happy i’ve gotten a little glimpse of it!!!!

  • Congratulations!
    I’m so happy it’s been a wonderful year for you and all your family, You seem to work so hard and have so much fun you deserve it.

  • I loved reading through the year as you all rebuilt Red Velvet into a beautiful, creative brand. So excited for you Helen. You deserve it! I may not always comment, but I am always reading and getting inspired by your posts. Xoxo!

  • I read a quote long ago: “What if it doesn’t work out? Ah…. but what if it does?” The unknown can be terrifying, for certain. But, you’ve shown that surrounding yourself with “dream-encouragers”, and filling yourself with belief in yourself and staying afloat of optimism truly pays off. So wonderful to see a dream come true. Wait, what am i saying? Dream? DREAMS!!! Much love, and many wishes for your continued success! The best is yet to come! XO, T

  • This is so sweet and amazing too see how much has happened within the past year. The shop looks amazing! Good luck in the years to come 🙂

    -Amber P.

  • What a heartwarming post! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of your dreams and success over the past few years. You are so deserving and inspiring!

  • The transformation of your shop is incredible! I remember reading those posts last year and thinking, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE THE FLORAL EVERYTHING!!!” I can’t believe it’s already been a year.

    Congrats to everyone on the RV team. You guys are really amazing at what you do.

  • You are so incredibly inspirational! Your blog has become my favorite. Thank you for your courage to follow your dreams and take a chance! Congratulations

  • I second everything Sarah said in her comment 🙂 I can’t wait to someday visit your beautiful store!

  • omg the drawing from Hope is way too sweet!! congrats to you guys 🙂

  • congratulations on everything you have accomplished! may it continue to grow (:
    it’s inspiring to those who have similiar dreams!
    all the best xx

  • I got really emotional reading this post! It is so amazing to read your story. I’m extremely inspired and as a reader I’ve enjoyed being distantly along for the ride! You’ve accomplished so much in the past year and it’s really wonderful that you’re living your dream! There is so much more to come! Thanks for this little recap! Happy days <3

  • My boyfriends family lives in Missouri and he’s been trying to coerce me to go visit them for the last 4 years, i told him the only way ill drive 6+ hours is if we can stop by red velvet vintage (even though its an hour past their house). Looks like ill be seeing you next summer!
    I’ve loved watching your shop grow over the last year!

    <3 Sarah

  • What a great inspiration read. Your dreams coming to fruition is a beautiful sight to behold. Good luck in the coming years and congratulations on an amazing first!

  • Aww I love this post! This has been such a great year for you, and I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your adventure unfold. I’m so excited to see what is in store in your future! <3

  • I’m so touched by your post!!!!!!! That is just a wonderful wonderful story! It’s very encouraging to see ghat hard work and great friends & family pay off! Xxx

  • Congratulations, it has been so fun for all of us to watch your journey!

    PS Don’t forget to enter my blog giveaway for an online shopping spree from Zestii! All you have to do is enter here!

  • What a wonderful post! I had to stop myself from getting teary eyed. I’m so happy for you and your family and all the wonderful things you have done together. Congrats on your year and I hope there will be more to come. 🙂

  • aww! i’m so happy to see everything work out for you 🙂 i know you’ll continue to make wonderful memories and i’ll be here reading them!

  • You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for giving us all hope 🙂 I’m so glad things have worked out for you!

  • Wow! I honestly can’t believe that it’s only been a year either. It’s been a whirlwind but I’m sure you’re thankful for every bit of it! Congrats!

  • CONGRATULATIONS! You have accomplished so much in just one year. You should feel really lucky and proud of yourselves. I’m so happy that I have witnessed all these through your blog. You journey is an inspiration to all of us!
    I can’t wait to see what will happen next! 🙂

  • Congrats!
    This is such a magical story, I’m so happy you are living your dream (and letting us be part of it too). You (and Didier, Jeremy, Rachel and all of your friends and family) are such an inspiration! Thanks for that!

  • What a great post! I’m a new(ish) reader so I never saw the before & afters. You guys did such an amazing job!!!

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • You don’t know me. I’m just a fan. I have watched you grow from the CK days, to the successful business woman that you are. I am old enough to be your Mom! You are an inspiration to me and I have passed on your website to my 16 year old daughter – she’s the true artistic one of our bunch. I’ve used you as an example of what an artistic entrepreneur can do. So many artistic people are told that they won’t be able to do anything with their talent. They’ll never make money. They’ll never be successful. You are proof that this is false, negative thinking. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for putting it all out there for others to see. Thank you for being an inspiration to those coming behind you and also to us “old” folks! You are darling!

  • so nice to see the progression of everything that happened to you this year! congrats on it all!!

  • I am so glad that you had such an amazing year and that you share it with us.

    congratulations on all your success!!

  • beautiful post…and i love the first pictures, very dreamy…


  • That’s wonderful! I’m so glad you’ve had such a good year. It’s very inspiring to me (as well as the rest of your readers!).

  • Oh Helen–

    This is my favorite post 🙂 I am so happy for you and Jeremy, and I love your enthusiasm and drive to do what others only dream of doing. You’re inspiring!

    <3 Christina

  • I loved this little trip down memory lane. You and Didier should be so proud of all that you have accomplished. It is inspiring for a small business owner like myself…no dream is too big!

  • This is such a sweet post. Even though I don’t know you and Didier personally, I feel so honored to have been reading about your life for the last couple years. You guys have accomplished so much and I am so proud of you both! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. Congrats on an amazing year!

  • Dreams do come true when you do your very best to make them happen 🙂
    Proud of you girls 🙂

  • I’m so happy for you 🙂 Very inspiring! Thank for sharing!

    XO Lauren

  • Great post! It’s been a lot of fun following along with this dream of yours ~ can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Heritage… very vintage, and very sweet!

    You’re one of my favourite blogs! ♥

  • Awww, how wonderful! Congrats on everything having gone so well! All the pictures are beautiful.


  • I love this post, and I love Red Velvet! Your store is perfect, and Didier’s cupcakes are the BEST ever! You both are such an inspiration 🙂

  • There’s only one thing for me to say: well deserved, you two!!


    Lots of love to you!!

  • Woo!

    I’ve been looking to your blog a lot for inspiration and recently took your Blog Love course. I hope to do something similar one day (i.e. run an independent business), but I’m afraid that I don’t have the army behind me necessary to get my project off the ground. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing my novels and designing/sewing dresses. One can dream! 😀

  • This was a lovely post. What an amazing year! Cobgratulations for… well for all :3

  • congrats! i’m so happy for red velvet’s success and cannot wait to see what you all have in store for us this fall! 🙂 -Lo

  • Helen i am so happy for you and Didier, what a blessing and i pray that your success continues! i love your blog and am very inspired by your entrepreneurial spirit!

  • Congrats on such a wonderful year! I can’t believe it has already been that long 🙂
    Love and Turtledoves,

  • I discovered your blog a couple of months ago. I had no idea that you had bought the shop fully stocked. It’s an amazing job that you’ve done with the place. I absolutely love the sweet shop. What ever you touch seems to turn into gold.

  • Helen Dear….can it be that a year has already passed? I am so proud of you and Didier for all your hard work and dedication. I remember what an exciting time it can be to see your dreams fall into place and am glad to have made the trip with you thanks to your cute and inspiring posts. I still believe that everything has happened just as it was supposed to, for you all and for me. I too have seen my prayers answered and know that all is well. I am so happy for you and Jeremy starting your lives together. Sorry I have not had time to come visit more but will soon. I wish you continued success and am sending my love….Debbie

  • How neat!! Keep up the wonderful work here’s to many more years!!! 🙂

  • Congrats Helen! Wow time flies! We can’t wait to come and visit your lovely shop one day!
    the girls of oh so lovely.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this story! It’s so inspiring hearing your success story. I wish you the best for the years to come, may you have many more like this one!

  • It sounds indeed like an amazing and happy year! I hope all the coming years will be just as wonderful 🙂

    NEW OUTFIT POST: Passion Tea Lemonade

  • Absolutely love your site, store, and fashion line! You are one of my role models. Although, I’m not really into fashion design I am into classic film, art, and photography..oh, and I love dresses! Keep up the good work. I have your store featured in my blog currently. Visit if you like!

  • your good fortune is well earned. all the best to you! i totally dig all those pix.

  • You and Didier are so amazing and continually inspire me to live my dreams! Congratulations on an amazing year, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Red Velvet!

  • What a beautiful post! So inspiring. And congratulations on everything you have achieved in the past year! x

  • wow, what an incredible year!! all your hard work & long hours has definitely paid off. happy that you’ve realized your dreams.. not many people can say that, especially in their 20s!

  • Thanks for saying there was uncertainty in the beginning. You worked hard for your dream everyday and it was not an overnight success. This is so encouraging to keep believing in what you know to be true and add in a little patience too.

    Thanks for continuing to be you–it’s inspiring!
    xoxo, Andrea
    brand & bloom

  • Such an incredibly wonderful story… you and your blog are so inspiring! Thank you for being you and sharing your life with us!!!

  • This is so special! It’s been a wonderful year for you seems like. I’m glad it’s all come out so well. I hope you have many more years of bliss to come. 😀

  • What an incredible story, but really well deserved. You have all put so much hard work and dreams into Red Velvet, it is truly inspiring to watch the journey unfold. Here are to new adventures and to the upcoming collection! Cheers!


  • I love this post! What a great beginning to so many great new things. You all are so talented and inspiring and I wish you the best!

  • I’m going to read over your old posts about the transformation now, you two deserve everything you have 🙂 You guys are inspirational xo

  • aw, Helen, this is perfect 🙂 I can’t believe its already been a year-what a great year it’s been for you! So happy 🙂

  • Congratulations to Red Velvet and the Beautiful Family that made this dream a true reality. Much love.

  • adorable blog my dear. i am in love. hope you’ll take a minute to look at mine

    love m.
    keep in touch

  • happy anniversary Im happy to see this post, I think that we (the readers) that have been this long here, we feel part of that success and that store. Congrats again!

  • I have loved watching your journey, Helen! Thanks for sharing it all with us. May this next year, also, be full of dreams come true!

  • congrats on such a wonderful year. It is truly inspiring! I hope you have many more to come and thank you for sharing your wonderful blog/life with us. I always look forward to reading it 🙂

  • Liked this post a lot. beautiful pictures and very nice with that links to the other post’s, since i haven’t been reading your blog before.
    really cool to see how your shop has changed, it’s so pretty.
    Good Luck with everything in the future too.

  • You are super woman! I can’t even imagine how much work it was but the thing that amazes me most is that you did it with so much style and grace. And cuteness and quirkiness!

  • Congratulations on your stor-iversary :p It must have been an amazing journey for you all.

  • This may sound a bit silly, but this post about how lovely your year has been, and how lucky you were about your dreams coming true, really gives me hope for my own. 2011 has been a very difficult year for me and my family, but I’m sure you’ve had bad years, too. This just shows me that it will get better, and all the dreams I have, and those around me, will happen to. Thank you for the late night inspiration, Helen. You bring so much inspiration to so many people I’m sure. I’m also so happy that you’re living your dream. :]

  • Congratulations! Can’t believe it’s been a year already 🙂 The store is perfect, it was and is so great to follow your process <3

  • Thank you for sharing a very touching post. It is so true that sometimes big projects are clouded with so much uncertainty and are scary. Happ for you that your dream came true!


  • This is so wonderful and I’m so glad this year I stumbled upon you online. I’ve enjoyed watching your store grow and everything over the last year so much! I just wanted to say that you are a great inspiration as well, Its so wonderful to see someone my age doing something amazing that they ahve always dreamed of and doing it WELL. I have found myself thinking more than once while reading your blog how if I lived somewhere other than London I would be all over this. I’ve actually written up a business plan and everything for opening a similar [not so much vintage] shop of my own and more than once have thought about getting in for advice. Alas, reality has set in and other life challenges have reared their heads and I’ve put it on hold… but you continue to give me hope that one day I might own my little hand made boutique in some corner of the globe.

    keep it up!
    x Dianne //

  • Such a lovely post Helen.
    Congratulations on your first year. I bet all of your family is SO proud of you 😉

  • A*W*E*S*O*M*E post… wow, you certainly packed a lifetime in one year! you are super inspiring elsie!

    thanks for sharing it all!



  • i’ve said it before and i know i’ll say it again- you are ultimate dreamcatcher and one inspiring lady!! i’m happy to know you and proud of you and your circle of friends/family. it’s fun to watch you all grow & make the world a cuter place day after day!

  • its been wonderful to see your store and life develop! You are so inspirational <3

  • Oh, goodness, I started following your blog just as you were signing the papers – it doesn’t seem like a year has passed since then.

  • This is such an inspirational post, it fills my heart with hope and joy for the whole Red Velvet family and also for my own adventures in life!

    Congratulations guys! You deserve every ounce of your success!

  • I can’t believe it’s been a year! I remember reading with excitement when you first got the store. I’ve loved all the posts updating the progress of your dream-come-true. You’re such an inspiring woman.

  • “Everything great starts with a vision. If you can’t see what it can be then it will never be. Without it our lives are aimless. I choose to live this moment I have been given. I will live the dream” My words from my blog

    Living The Dream

    Of course I’m not doing anything fabulous. YET. Your blog is such an inspiration to me.

    I can’t wait to see your fall dress collection and many more things to come 🙂

  • Congratulations! That’s amazing work you’ve done. We’re doing the same, building a business, and it’s always such great inspiration to see others who’ve pushed through working on something they love with all their heart!

    Keep it up!

  • congratulations on your first anniversary of owning your shop. it has been wonderful to read about and share in this adventure with you all. good luck for the future and I wish you all the success and happiness in the world.

  • Congratulations Helen and Didier! Your story is so incredibly inspiring and I am so happy for you!

    Much love,
    Katie x

  • This is wonderful! Your successes with Red Velvet are so inspiring. See, I even wrote about how awesome you are!

    I really admire your passion and dedication to what you do as well as all the creative outlets you’ve made for yourself. While I have no plans to get involved with clothes or crafting, but I absolutely would love to style my career similar to yours. I hope to be able to launch creative projects and be directly in charge of where my job is going.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • WOW! One year! Has it truly been that ‘long’ already? Time has really flown and it has been a real pleasure to watch and read and hear of all your adventures along the way in both your personal and business life. 2010/11 has been a magical year and I look forward to watching your further RV adventures unfold.

    *raising a virtual glass of champagne to you all*

    Congratulations 🙂

    hugs, xo

  • I could not believe that it’s been a year since you’ve opened this wonderful store of yours! Awesome! Making your business work is not as easy as it seems. But because of your passion, hard work and effort, your business became so successful. Keep everything up girl! Congrats!

  • This is so incredibly fantastic! I am so proud of what you have accomplished as I know all the hard work and hours that goes into a store like this, as we’ve just recently celebrated our first birthday of having our store open! It’s really inspiring to read your story and how all this came to pass and so looking forward to seeing where this venture will take you guys!


  • Definitely this blog is very informative and neatly designed. Really you’ve motivated me strongly in my new project by this article. As a constant reader of your blog I want to tell you that your writing skills are superb.

  • 委託金の一部が運用に回されなかった点について、浅川和彦社長(59)が監視委の調べに「損失は取り戻せると思った。だますつもりはなかった」などと説明、詐欺の犯意を否定していることも新たに分かった。


  • Helen, its so magical to look though your blog! I’m so grateful you put it up and that i found it because its been such an inspiration to me! I hope that you do well in the following year(and the rest of this one of course) and that after college i will follow your footsteps because that would be a dream come true for me !!! thank you so much for letting me in on your wonderful journey of your year 🙂 <3

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