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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dressing up for the New Year

Santa's not watching anymore - be naughty and be nice to yourself this New Years with some fresh pretty dresses from Vitae.

The Dear Creatures Marquis Dress has a charming 'Diamonds are Forever' motif & looks cute with Maude Wren button drop earrings and this chevron stripe necklace from Be Joyful.

Be a snow angel in this Winter White lace tablecloth from Rock N Reconstruct, then pack it as a cover up when you make your getaway and hit the beach!  
Essential necklaces are from Girl Friday and Luxe Debris.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Give Them That Warm Fuzzy Feeling!

Mmmmm, the bandana scarf from Whitly Craft Works 

Whitly Craft Works Pom Hat,  Downtown Bow Brown Pull Through Infinity Scarf and Bow,
Julia Pinkerton Arm Warmers

 Downtown Bow Brown Necklace Scarves

God Bless the knitters! ...and the Bakers, the Soup Makers, and those people that chop Firewood and bundle it for us and sell it at the gas station.  They make our lives warm and cozy just by doing what they love...I for one am not planning to ever learn to knit - it seems to involve counting and keeping track of things (shudder) - no thanks!  Yet is the essence of home made, and it's just one of those things I'm glad I don't have to do for myself   or be faced with the not lovingly made mass produced varieties.. which are acceptable & all that, but hand knits are..... divine:)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gift Ideas!

Here are some great gift ideas available at Vitae!

Acanthus long sleeve aviator shirt, Girl Friday earrings, Black Apple print, grey knitted cowl by Julia Pinkerton and a Christmas card by Wit and Whistle. 

Bark Decor printed leggings, Antler and Chain earrings, Acanthus Apparel Indian burnout baseball tee, Midcoast Design headband and Florence Oliver clutch.

For the little one. Acanthus Apparel bee t-shirt, Crafty Curiosities felted elephant head, Azul camera, Oh, Little Rabbit lunch bag, Whitly Craft Works cowl and Wee Marcel over the knee socks.

Black Apple postcard collection, Acanthus Apparel skull v-neck, Girl Friday necklaces, Julia Pinkerton fingerless gloves, Oh, Little Rabbit dish towel and Wit and Whistle decoder holiday card.

Acanthus Apparel elephant hoodie, Ruff House Art card, Decadence leather cuff, Field Trip iPhone case, Whitly Craft Works hat, Forever Gold Volume 2 photography book and Sweet Marcel over the knee socks.

Monday, December 9, 2013

For the Foodie on Your List

'Tis the Season for baking and enjoying  festive meals together.  Relish it with quality cloth napkins and pretty hostess aprons from Trouves!  Made in Iowa.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Great Gifts Under $40.

Antler & Chain 

Bark Decor



Friendly Trade gifts - made in America by really nice people:) 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pssst... Black Friday Sale at Vitae!

Without giving too much away....
we have some BIG Black Friday surprises in store for you!!

You won't want to miss this sale on YOUR FAVORITE BRANDS
THIS weekend only. 

 And don't forget -  We're open till 8pm on Fridays
  &   12 -4  every Sunday till x-mas:))

Monday, November 25, 2013

Handmade Community

Many of our sellers are on etsy and other online sources of  crafted goods.  As a matter of fact, we are that concept in a brick and mortar store.  Our local makers are top notch, world class and amazing. Shopping in the East Village makes sense...we bring the best to you.  See it, try it, buy it with no shipping or delay.
Come see what Iowa is made of  and invest in your home town creatives - it does a world of good!

Knit goods from Whitly Craft Works  

Decadence - where leather and scrap meet their destiny 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Open House Time

Enjoy everybody’s favorite holiday kick-off in everybody’s favorite neighborhood with the 12th Annual Holiday Promenade on Friday November 22nd from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.! 
Spend quality time with Santa at The State Historical Building from 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. and Brenton Plaza from 6:15 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Enjoy caroling, ice skating, sparkling holiday lights, festive surprises and your favorite boutique’s holiday open house from 5 p.m. -9 p.m.
Relax with a free horse-drawn hay rack ride from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the corner of East 5th and Walnut.  Top off your evening with a delicious dinner and glass of cheer at one of over 20 East Village eateries!
Shopping maps and event information will be available at Brenton Skating Plaza and the State Historical Building from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
As you stroll through the neighborhood, peek into the festively decorated windows and vote for your favorite! Access your ballot on your smartphone with the QR code or website address listed at each participating businesses!  Voting will end on December 12th!  Lucky winners will be announced on December 13th!
*NEW IN 2013:  Late Night Fridays in the Village!  Many of your favorite East Village shops will have extended holiday hours every Friday from Promenade until Christmas.  More details, including list of participating stores, coming soon!
reprinted from the website

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crafty Kitchen Gifts

 The best gifts are things you would want for yourself, and that was our guiding rule in sourcing gifty what-nots for the shop this season.  When we  stumbled upon Oh, Little Rabbit from the Portland area, we knew we were on to something...we wanted it all.  
    I swear Portland is the unofficial sister city to Des Moines. When we get shoppers  from out Oregon way, it's like a soul re-union.  They get us, and we get them. It must be a creative, progressive, nice gene or something.  Oh, Little Rabbit is a small husband and wife company with amazing line drawings screen printed on organic cotton using eco friendly water based inks.  Check, check BOOM, you're welcome. 

 Some of the tea towel images include Paul Bunyan (and Babe),  a vintage camera and a circus elephant - 3 of our favorite things, and oh so gender neutral.

Yes, that is a squirrel.  On a reusable lunch bag. Well played little rabbit, you had us at schooner ship.
p.s. we also have baby onesies from these folks...more on that later!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Odd and Friendly World

Encountering the art of Emily Winfiled Martin aka The Black Apple is 
like bumping into your best imaginary childhood friend - 
and picking up as just where you somehow drifted off. 

 Reading books, braiding hair,  sharing secrets, scars and countless know, when the days were long and we were oh so small.

Black Apple images are familiar and lovely.  The originals are done in watercolor,  and prints,  cards and similar items (all framable) are printed on archival paper in dusky muted tones. 

We are pleased to offer a nice selection of Black Apple prints, cards and even paper dolls  - so nice for giving- that is,  if you can part with them:)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Re-Imagining a World

 JJ & JoJo is a line of made up things.
 We have always been a fan of upcycling and reconstruct, but Jen of JJ & JoJo seems to take the child's perspective.  We can just picture the day that playtime sparked a real life adventure.  "What if we made daddy's old shirt into a dress today??"
  Maybe it was a snow day and a trip to the fabric store was out of the question...we don't quite know just how it went down, but it's plain to see that Jen gets kids and has the skills and fashion savvy to concoct a little magic.

Children today are more fashion aware - in this world of instagram and hipster heroes, seriously, Garanamals just won't do.   We spoke with a customer recently whose toddler longs for "big girl clothes"... not for dress up  but for real -  street style looks like mom has.   Come on, they know...they're more intuitive than your smartphone  and are ready to hit the playgroup with the sizzle and steam of a budding fashionista.
On the tag of each creation is a photo depicting the article in it's former state...pre-magic and wonder. 
  You'll find dresses, tops, scarves, hats. leggings and jackets in sizes 18 mos. to 6/7 youth, so  grab the girls and come shopping at Vitae soon:) 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Antler & Chain - Nuggets of Glory

A friend sporting A & C at their 80/35 booth last Summer

 Antler & Chain is an indie jewelry line affiliated with Band of Gypsies, a handmade collective in Northeast Iowa. You may have shopped their booth at 80/35 and other pop-up crafty events.  Recently A & C set up at Hops & Crafts at the Confluence Brewing Co. along with Vitae's Decadence, Midcoast Design and other Midwest makers.
We had a chance to meet Olivia of Antler & Chain when she was last in town & had the opportunity to get some great stuff for the shop! 
The artist brings together natural elements in gorgeous hue and texture combinations.  You'll find dyed and expertly cut leather and Gold plated findings supporting gorgeous chunks of Amethyst and Quartz, along with  simple and at times deftly complex chain arrangement.  No doubt there's some antler and lace in there too -  that works.
 Come have a look at the great selection we've got for you. It's handmade Iowa goodness, and we're all about it. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloweening in the Village

No doubt many neighborhood bars and restaurants will be hosting Halloween mayhem (hello, Zombie Burger??), but here are 2 sure things you'll want to check out.

First of all, it's the (4th?) annual dog parade "Spooky Paws" going on Sunday 10/27 right here on East Locust.  Dress your pet in costume, or just come spectate - it's adorable and fun.  This year will also feature trick-or-treating for kids.  For more info, click here:

And 2ndly, In lieu of a November 1st Friday event, the usual suspects will be open late on Thursday 10/31 with various treats and themed events for the holiday. Costumes mandatory. Not really, but come on, have a little fun already:) Check our facebook page for more details as they are fnalized. At this point, Raygun, Eden, Vitae, Hill Vintage and Knits & most likely Domestica and Leona Ruby are participating... so glue something awesome together, and don't forget your treat bag!

image courtesy of Lava360

Friday, October 11, 2013

Acanthus Apparel: Dogs

We have a couple of new dog items for fall from Acanthus Apparel. The bee and crossbones raglan for $16 and the eagle hoodie for $30. We are a dog friendly store so feel free to bring your dog by to try on some clothes!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adore(n) Yourself

Necklace scarves are nifty.  They add texture, color, drama - if you will, to any outfit
and are easily the most justifiable jewelry purchase you'll make this season.  
You don't want to catch a cold now, do you??

Our friend Gina "Downtown Bow Brown" makes these versatile scarves.
 The style in picture 1. above
can be pulled and shaped to suit your mood.  I'm tempted to try cat's cradle* with it 
but try to resist playing with the merchandise.

She also makes adorable chunky hair bows and hoodie scarves for those colder days that 
lie ahead.

*Cat's Cradle
 - you'll need a friend:)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Acanthus Apparel: October Sale

This sale will be going on through the month of October. There are limited quantities and sizes. Shop at Vitae or on Etsy. On Etsy these items will be located in the new Sale section.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Colors

Well, we must be feeling the Blue/Burnt Orange vibe based on these snaps of what the manne's are wearing this week at Vitae.
Is this color combo a thing? ?  

Likely as anything it's a reflection of the cool/warm tug of war going on with Midwest temperatures lately 
and the abundance leaves and pumpkins  and the deep blue sky. 

 OK we love it and it's lovely.  Autumn gathers us back in to schedules, traditions, recipes and romance like no other....time to dust off my 5 favorite pairs of boots - I've missed them:)

Acanthus Apparel's Aviator raglan looks sweet tucked into this cozy Pink Revolver skirt with a twice wrapped soft  scarf by Magpie.

This subtle chevron skirt by Magpie is made of 70's ribbed jersey and dresses up well with the Patsy blouse from Dear Creatures. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

There's a World of Food in the E.Village

Ahh, it's here. There's nothing quite as appetizing as watching them set up tents and tables for 2 days while you eat your salsa-less tortilla chips from the bag for lunch..again. We're ready and willing to try gator (not really), delicacies we cannot pronounce, and to wash it down with exotic beers and/or cocktails.

And music. Yes please. Presumably there will be more, as the title to the event has changed...and that makes sense because music makes the world go around.  Or is that money?  Well, you won't be needing tons of that to get your fill...there's no charge to enter the festival, and each of the many food vendors offers a $1. sample size option, along with entree choices ranging from $4 to $6 as we recall. 

Most shops will be open late and even Sunday, so check out the retail stops, be a rebel and hit one of our world class restaurants, and carpe weim (seize the weekend)!

Here's the link to the official website:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's For You!

You can pick up one of these covers for iphone 4 and 5 at Vitae.

Field Trip is an independent design co. out of Vancouver, BC and we found their stuff so irresistible, we just had to share.  As we all know, it's just a good idea to personalize and protect your favorite gadget - and we've got a big selection to choose from.  Come check them out for yourself or someone you may be gifting.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stripes and Such

This adorable diagonal stripe swish dress from Pink Revolver makes an easy transition to Fall with
the addition of a luxe knit bandanna - available in 2 colors from Whitly Craft Works.

Ohh, here's another Dear Creature(s) feature:
 the Monique dress - sweet & stylish in a lovely Cranberry/Navy 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Here are some Fall essentials you can find at Vitae this week...

The Tularosa dress from Dear Creatures is:
1. adorable
2. available in a full size run
3. warm and stripey

Sweet Marcel socks are:
1. Uhmazing
2. Available in Over the knee, knee high and children's styles
3. Going to sell come by while the pickin's good:)

p.s.....We'll see you Friday (7 to 9pm) - if not before.... as we host the Forever Gold Vol.2 release party!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fall Dresses are Arriving!

Well ok, there's one thing we love about Fall, and its pretty much the same thing we like about the other seasons....DRESSES!! 

 The difference is, we now artfully plan our layering strategies & that's half the fun - but more on that later.  Now's the time for some new key pieces to get us through the climate challenge that lies ahead for many of us. 

Bring it.

We are loving the Abigail dress, new in the shop this week from Dear Creatures. The sheer shoulder and smart collar are details that make us swoon.  Come try it in Navy Blue, and peek at the other new arrivals (we'll be blogging about them soon)! 

xoxo, Vitae

Friday, August 23, 2013

We Have Stationary!

We're excited to introduce two new labels, The Black Apple and Wit & Whistle—stationary is now on the shelves of Vitae! 

Live inside the storybook-like imagination of Emily Martin, the "curiosity peddler and picture scribbler" behind The Black Apple, Vitae's new line of creative cards and paper goods. 

Emily's art is the work of dreams, and it's no coincidence. As a child Emily drew her dreams, and she didn't let growing up get in the way. Her work is also inspired by fairy tales, carnivals, vintage children's clothing, her favorite films and autobiography.

Make your friends' spirits soar with The Black Apple cards, just because. 

The Black Apple writes fairy tales with paint instead of words. Live inside her plots (this one is about a spring wedding celebrated between a girl and a bear—love) with her whimsy wall art.

Amanda Wright—self-proclaimed design nerd, behind Wit & Whistle, wants to bring a creative edge to your life with her witty line of cards, stationary and paper goods.

Never stop writing with Wit & Whistle's jubilant jotters.

Write a personalized secret messages to loved ones with Wit & Whistle's Decoder Card.

Stop into Vitae to check out our sweet stationary and quirky cards.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Acanthus Apparel Fall Items

New Acanthus fall items are rolling into Vitae! We love the three new designs. Right now they are available on the items pictured but they will be printed on more items in the coming weeks. Stop in and check them out!