Monday, December 22, 2014

The Ultimate Gift - Presence

So this morning my sister (a yoga instructor and manager of the Core Power Yoga Studio in Arlington Heights) posted this video to Facebook. I watched it after just coming home from yet another run to Target and the post office. After watching the video and really taking time to think, of all the things I've been making and all the cool German inspired products I've been promoting, this is the greatest gift.

I'm sure all of us have spent the past month running around and buying gifts, checking things off the to-do list, making cookies, preparing meals etc… but that whole time (if your anything like me) you've had your phone at your side and kept on working and "socializing".

It is no secret, I'm in the business of not only creating products and items that people like and would enjoy, but in order to make a living… I have to sell them. So, my month has been filled with  trying to meet sales goals, buying more fabric and trim to meet demand, late nights sewing, early mornings Instagraming, filling orders and waiting patiently in line at the post office. It's been a super busy month and I truly appreciate all my customers who made this month so busy, but now with Christmas only days away, I am going to stop. Stop worrying about sewing more gloves, stop feeling sad that I didn't reach all my goals, stop running around like a crazy person, and just decide to be present.

This is a holiday, whether you are religious or not, that at the end of the day... is about celebrating love with family and friends. Giving gifts is a way to show others that we care and love them, but those will mean nothing to them if when they open it, you're staring down at your cell phone, texting or checking Facebook. Starting Christmas Eve, I'm going to turn off social media, turn off the e-mail and just be present in the moment and cherish the time with my family and friends. It's more important to give presence than to give presents! So join me in turning off the distractions and tuning in to the spirit of Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Happy Holidays and everything in between from our Rare Dirndl family to yours!

Check out the original #givepresence blog article by clicking here

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top 3 German Inspired Gift Ideas Under $100 (2014)

This time of year is all about family and friends! I love it when I find the perfect gift for the people on my list and a lot of those people would be super excited about these great German gifts that I found/made. So here are my top pics for this year!

#1- Purse-a-palooza!

Apron Purse
No one likes schlepping around a clunky purse at a German club picnic, German Fest or Oktoberfest… so we have a fabulous solution. The Apron purse! So easy to slip onto the ties of an apron or a belt, and it holds just the things you need… phone, wallet, chapstick, etc. Handmade by Heidi Kelly of HKelly Designs and available in 3 simple and classic colors, it is sure to be a big hit this year. The purses start at $49 and there are 2 styles to choose from. Click here to get one for the dirndl wearer in your family.

Lederhosen Clutch
This is another great gift for any lovely lady who loves unique gifts that have a German touch to them. The lederhosen clutch is slightly larger than the typical wristlet and it's made from the leg portion of genuine leather Bundhosen. "I'm always surprised with how much I can fit in it. I use it all the time', says Katherine from Chicago. This is a limited edition purse and is available on the Rare Dirndl website for $45.00. Click here to add this must have to your cart.

#2- Celebrate our Weltmeisters!

Jerseys for you, and something for the little ones too! 
After the epic World Cup win this year, any German lover on your list would love a new Germany National Soccer Team Jersey with 4 stars! Home and away jerseys are available for $89.99 at But let's not forget about the little ones in your family who need to start supporting the greatest soccer team in the world asap! How about this adorable onesie available for $14.43 on etsy. (Click here for link)

#3- Always the perfect fit… Jewelry!

Custom Jewelry Designs by Kristen Hunger
I'm so excited to be working with local jewelry designer Kristen Hunger this year. She has designed a gorgeous selection of jewelry to match Rare Dirndls. Some of my favorites are the Beer Stein Earrings, Industrial Style Edelweiss Necklace, and Oktoberfest Charm Necklace! She creates each piece to be a perfect compliment to both a dirndl and an everyday outfit. Ranging from $15-$79 her jewelry designs make a wonderful holiday gift and you can see the whole collection by clicking here.

The Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet
To put it simply, this is the greatest bracelet I've ever owned. I don't even feel it when I wear it and it looks so chic. Layer it with a second bracelet or layer it with other bracelets and again… your ready for the Christkindlmarkt, Oktoberfest or for work! At $20 each or double up for $30, this is a no brainer gift for the edelweiss-obsessed on your list.

Speaking of lists… Every year I make a list and always forget someone, not because I'm not thinking of them or do not want to give them a gift, but because my brain is moving 90 miles an hour and I simply forget. So this year, we did it for you! We made a Holiday List, so you don't miss anyone this year. It's an editable excel file that you can download to use to help make sure that no one gets forgotten. There is a second doc with gift ideas just in case you get stuck trying to think of something for them.

Click Here to download the Weihnachtsgeschenk Liste
and Click Here to download the Weihnachtsgeschenk Liste with Ideas

I've also made a quick video to show you my Rare Dirndl favorites!


This year we are offering Holiday Gift Wrapping for only $1.00! You can add it to your cart at checkout and even include a message. Wrapping gifts and getting it all organized is such a hassle, so let me do it for you!

If you think any of this info would be helpful to your friends, I would be honored if you would send them to this blog post so they can get some fresh holiday ideas. I hope this helps you with your Christmas shopping for those crazy-fun Germans on your list. I know my list is full of them… and I love them all!! Merry Christmas to your family from ours!

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Krampus Fest Here We Come!!

I'm so excited to be a part of Martyrs' 2nd Annual Krampus Fest! This is a FREE EVENT at Martyrs' near Lincoln Square (3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60613) Rare Dirndl will be one of the local vendors at the Artisan Holiday Market 11am - 4pm  and then there is a Krampus Parade 4:30pm and Live Music 5:30pm

It should be a great family friendly event to shop, eat, drink, stomp, chant in celebration of Krampus, St. Nick's dark partner. Wicked good fun!

Last year was the first Krampus fest and it's a day long event paying homage to St. Nick's dark partner, Krampus, because sometimes it's hard to be good! This is a family-friendly fest, so no Krampus beatings. (sorry!)

We will have table at the Holiday Arts Market from 11am-4pm along with other local artisans, crafters, bakers and purveyors of beautiful handmade and homemade gifts. Super cool background mixtapes from DJ LowFi. There will also be delectable sweet and savory edibles: cakes, chocolates, German sausages, potato pancakes, a terrific housemade Glogg and of course, hot cocoa!

Take a picture with Krampus! or St. Nick! Are you feeling naughty or nice? Chillax, we get it! Most days we're both, too! Krampus Parade at 4:30!! Wicked. Cool. Fun

Can't wait to see you there!! But first I need to decide what to wear! I feel like any of these dirndls could fit a Krampus theme, so come to Martyrs' tomorrow so visit my little booth (see which dirndl I chose), meet Krampus and enjoy a truly unique holiday tradition! 

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Kathleen Martini

Kathleen Martini - Columbus, OH

I'm Kathleen Martini, a 20-year-old Schwob living in Columbus, Ohio and dancing for the Trenton Donauschwaben Jugendgruppe. I have four Rare dirndls, one of which is custom, and I'm a little more than obsessed.

The custom dirndl Erika made for me when she was moving locations is probably the most beautiful piece of clothing I own. It is a vision in white, and I love it, but I think another piece she did is even more beautiful...

I'm half-Schwob, half-Irish, with my mom being the only non-genetic Schwob in the family. She always comes to Labor Day and whatever other club events we drag her to, sporting a dirndl more often than most, and throughout the years, she's always joked about getting a green dirndl to show off her Irish pride. When I discovered Erika a few years ago, she posed the perfect solution to my mom's problem. I emailed her, and she drew up a design for a beautiful shamrock-themed dirndl that I gave my mom for a late Mother's Day present. My mom loves it still, and I'll be stealing it out of her closet one of these days.

Erika is an artist, and I love her visions for dirndls. I love the tradition of our Donauschwaben heritage, and I know she does, too. It's beautiful to see her create modern pieces that are still tributes to our roots.

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

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