UV darlings come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and beliefs, and from all orientations and affiliations. That's who we are and we wanted to pull back the curtain and celebrate it. We gathered a group of local customers, employees, and partners for a glamorous photo shoot. These are the photos we captured, and these are the stories behind each unique beauty.
Multi-tasking mama of three and the author behind BurbankMom.com, Jessica puts her faith and family first. When she's not writing for her blog, co-creating theatre reviews, raising money for local charity, directing documentaries, or keeping up with her rambunctious little ones, she’s marching to the beat of her own maternal drum. "This life would be a boring world if we were all the same!" she says enthusiastically. "I am proud to be a mom who can show her kids how unique I am (and they are) every day. I love the differences in all of us. It makes me love people more."
Marti has been a UV darling since she found her dream prom dress at the store back in 2009. She is outgoing, effervescent, and athletic (she loves basketball and shot-put) with a personality as bright as the lipsticks and hair colors she loves to flaunt. She's also an inspiration in overcoming adversity. Right before her 22nd birthday, she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). "I’m still living with it till this day and it’s not stopping me from being the fabulous me that I know I am," she says. "I’ll be turning 25 on May 20th and I’m so excited to see what the next chapter in my life brings."
Stan Salas is the sassy voice and creative curator behind UV’s social media presence. His adoration for vintage fashion, knowledge of Old Hollywood, as well as his love of a good undergarment pun shines through on Facebook, Instagram, and more. "There’s a lot to be said for a man who willingly chooses to wear pantyhose," Stan jokes. "Uniqueness, to me, is defined by how we choose to express ourselves. The art of drag-queenery is so much more than putting on a wig and a girdle (I like things like cheese and cakes, don’t judge.) Drag is about getting to be this heightened, larger–than-life version of your everyday self. I am unique because regardless of who I am that day, I am fabulous."
When Michelle Choi isn’t saving lives in the ER, she’s a voice for the voiceless with the organization Pinups for Pitbulls - a group that advocates, educates, and raises awareness and funds for the misunderstood but loveable pit bull breed. "Super heroes don’t always wear capes. They can wear scrubs or Unique Vintage!" Michelle says. "I am extremely proud and honored to be involved with the #iamunique campaign. The opportunity to celebrate an individual’s story and originality is very important in today’s society. I loved seeing people from all different backgrounds come together to support one cause. It was an amazing experience!"
You'll rarely catch Courtney without a hair flower or her signature red lipstick, which made her a natural fit for the UV marketing department when she joined back in 2012. A hellion in high heels and a self-proclaimed feminist, she loves the power and beauty that pin up fashion embodies. "I love the feminine and empowered spirit the modern-day pin up represents," she says. "It happens to be my signature style, but there’s a little pin up in all of us. You can let her out through your fashion on a daily basis, on special occasions, or just have her as that little angel on your shoulder reminding you that you're beautiful, fabulous, and kick ass no matter what you're wearing. It's about that attitude and state of mind."
Unique Vintage store manager Sheena Walker gets ink, rides motorcycles, executes flawless make up and hair (her perfect cat eyes are unrivaled) — in a word, she’s a total badass. An instant BFF to everyone she meets, her larger-than-life personality is as vibrant as her sleeves and ever-changing hair color. "I am a vintage enthusiast that loves to add my own flair and make my style my own," she says. "I rock a body of tattoos that showcase my life... I believe that everyone is entitled to look and feel their best whatever that means to them. Own it!"
Ninety years young and fully fabulous, Mary "Gammy" Grady is the grandmother we all want to adopt and the woman we all aspire to be. Full of life, sass, and impeccable fashion sense, Mary is who she is and has no qualms about speaking her mind. "I dare to risk saying truth," she says. A true Old Hollywood vet and a pioneering businesswoman ahead of her time, Mary’s life's work revolved around her talent agency, which she founded in 1959. "The Mary Grady Agency," which still operates to this day, is one of the oldest and highly respected agencies in Hollywood. She may have retired over a decade ago, but her star power still shines through.
Letty describes herself as a "momtrepenuer." The owner and designer of gorgeous, vintage-inspired dress line Queen of Heartz - which UV has proudly carried for over a decade - she knows the value of hard work, determination, and making your dreams come true. She’s an inspiration to working mothers, entrepreneurs, and most importantly to her two young daughters. "I have conquered a lot of adversity in raising my daughters alone as well as various obstacles in maintaining my business through those times," she says. "Strength is not expected in women, and I feel that it is this that makes me unique, I am proud to be a strong woman."
This is just the beginning! We want to celebrate you. Share your unique images and stories with #iamunique