WISHFUL STITCHING

When it comes to clothing, we're huge fans of recycling -- from thrift stores, rummage sales, flea markets, anywhere! Digging through second-hand garments is so much fun, like a fashion treasure hunt! The exercise is not only relaxing, but it can yield some pretty unique finds that can keep you from looking too cookie cutter and help you define your own personal style.

But beyond just simply wearing second-hand clothes, why not recreate them? If you need some inspiration, just check out Tessa Perlow, who goes a few gorgeous steps further when it comes to repurposed fashion. The New Jersey-based designer has been making her own clothes since high school and studied fashion design at FIT. During an internship at an evening wear company, she learned how to bead, which peaked her interest in hand-embellishment. In her spare time, Tessa taught herself how to embroider and began decorating her own clothes with intricate and hyper-colorful florals designs. In 2014, she got into the entrepreneurial spirit and opened up an Etsy shop where she sells her one-of-a-kind fashions and hand-embroidered housewares.

Tessa's designs are whimsical and full of color and positivity, a mix of surrealism, nature and fantasy. They're very reminiscent of late the 60s/ early 70s craft movement, when artisanship and global style influences became favored over mass-manufactured fashion. She almost exclusively uses repurposed materials and her pieces have become so sought after that the sell almost as quickly as they are put into her store. So if you see something you like, snatch it up quickly or it may disappear. Additionally, you should follow Tessa on Instagram and let her inspire your own creative journey!