IMAGE BY:SATURN TWINS
While many of us could chalk our twenties up to a blur of ramen noodles and dead end jobs in cubicles, this Chicago based entrepreneur certainly does’t fall in that camp. Lindzi Shanks is the type of woman for whom the word talented is an understatement. As Founder of The Trendy Sparrow, she’s the brains and creative force behind a line of shirts, mugs, art prints, and notebooks that are un-apologetically feminine, fun, and inspiring. Plus her designs make great gifts for a girl boss! So how did she get to where she is today? A leap of faith.WCW:What’s your educational and professional background?
TTS: I have a BA in psychology from Texas Tech University and a MA in social-psychology from the University of Chicago with an emphasis in mental illness stigma research. Nothing to do with graphic design or business. I actually never worked in the psychology field because I started my store and blog during school. Once I graduated, I decided to take on my store and blog full time and have never looked back. Your degree doesn’t define your passion.
WCW: How did you choose the name for your blog?
TTS: Choosing the name, The Trendy Sparrow, was a pretty easy choice…it’s the name of my store! The Trendy Sparrow name is inspired by my grandmother who used to called me her “little sparrow” while I was growing up. Ever since, I’ve always had an affinity for the bird and what it represents. Trendy comes from the fact that I love fashion and staying ahead of and creating trends. The name is sort of me in a nutshell, combining my past (the nickname) with my present love (fashion).
WCW: As a Trendy Sparrow fan I’m well aware of your affinity for Blair Waldorf. So I have to ask, what’s your favorite Blair Waldorf quote?
TTS: “Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse for people to wait around for things to happen instead of making them happen.” – Blair Waldorf
WCW: How do you unwind?
TTS: What is this unwind of which you speak? Just kidding (mostly). I feel like I’m almost always working, so I don’t have a lot of downtime. When I dounwind, it’s usually with a glass of red wine, a good book; cuddled up with my beagle, Lilly. When my boyfriend is in town, he cooks for me while I sit at the counter and talk to him. Just having him here, chatting over the meal; always seems to ease my nerves.
WCW: What’s the last book you read?
TTS: Luckily, this one is easy to remember! I run a book club on my blog called the “Boss Babe Book Club”. I’m currently reading this month’s book “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)” by Felicia Day. Before that, it was “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling. I love reading at least one book by a fabulous and inspiring woman each month. It reminds me that empires are come from all sorts of directions, and motivates me to have a book of my own someday.
WCW: List three random facts most people aren’t aware of.
TTS: Three random facts? Hmmm…
- To the surprise of many…I’m not a natural redhead. My hair is almost completely black. I just like to dye it red. I’ve been told the color suits my skin tone more than my real color anyway, haha.
- I’ve never been out of the country… a fact that seriously bums me out.
- Someday, I want to own my own clothing line beyond just shirts.
WCW: What are you favorite apps?
TTS: Instagram, of course! I’m probably on Instagram way more than I should admit. But hey, I’m a blogger, so it’s considered research right? I always tell people that my iPhone is pretty boring because I don’t have any games or anything like that on it. Almost all the apps on my phone and in some way related to work. I do, however, spend way too much time (and money) shopping on the Posh Mark App.
WCW: Has blogging changed you in any way?
TTS: Oh, I absolutely think so! Blogging has helped me connect with an amazing group of passionate and kick-butt ladies who are out there living their dreams. I’m originally from Texas, and since I moved to Chicago to originally pursue a field vastly different from the one I’m in…all my friends were academics. That made it a little hard for them to understand this weird and creative world of entrepreneurship. Enter blogging. I have been able to connect to wonderful ladies both in Chicago and otherwise to help create a network of like-minded individuals who are so wonderful and supportive. Having a blog has also helped me to connect potential customers to my store who may not have seen it otherwise. I encourage shop owners to at least attempt to dabble in the world of blogging because it allows your customers to see more than your products… they get to see and know you.
WCW: Describe your favorite vacation or adventure.
TTS: Last April, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Denver, CO for his birthday. We didn’t really have any specific plans for the trip; we just went. It was so much fun getting to explore the city and try to absorb some of the local culture. Denver is known for its artisan community so we tried to go to as many small businesses and art based places that we could. We even went to the New Belgium Brewery, which was so much fun (even for a non-beer drinker like me). To exit the brewery, you have to go down a twisting slide! We loved Denver so much that we’ve talked about maybe moving there someday if we ever decide to leave Chicago.
WCW: What’s your favorite place to shop online & in store?
TTS: The Trendy Sparrow, of course! But apart from that… I shop at Akira in person a lot. If you ever go to the Akira on Diversey just ask for Bradley or Alyssa and mention me. They are AMAZING! They make shopping in person SO MUCH FUN! For online shopping, I love Etsy. Yes, I know I sell on Etsy, but you can purchase so many adorable things for your home and closet on Etsy. You just can’t go wrong. For clothes online, you can find me glued to the computer every time that Kate Spade hosts a surprise sale (gotta get those deals!)WCW: We’re all glued to something! What can’t you live without?
TTS: I know it’s cheesy, but I’m absolutely glued to my dog and my boyfriend. I have no idea what I would do without either one of them in my life. They keep me grounded and positive even when I don’t want to be. Buuuuuut if we want to talk about purely material items…I’m glued to my phone. I do so much work on my phone for both my business and my blog. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t function without it; which is why sometimes I force myself to turn it off completely for a couple hours…for my own sanity.
As always thank you for reading, commenting, and liking!