At 4 years old I remember packing “my Burger’s bag” (a paper grocery bag from a local grocer) with clothes to go stay at Mammaw’s house while my mother went into the hospital to give birth to my brother Jason. And while I was growing up my mother worked at Rosalee’s, an upscale women’s boutique. I would play amongst the clothing racks, admiring the beautiful styles and fabrics and I thought the women who worked there were the most glamorous I had ever seen. Also during this time my mother worked at “The White Hare” as a cocktail waitress and I can remember her leaving the house in platform shoes, velvet hot pants and a blond Afro wig to go to work. It seems like important moments and places in my life have also had a connection to clothing.
When my mother wasn’t working or dressing in the latest ‘70s garb, she was dragging my brothers and me to every antique show she could find. Being a young girl that loved fashion, I was drawn to the vintage clothing booths. As adolescence approached, I began expressing my own personal style, incorporating a mix of old and new fashions.
During the 80’s it was not unusual for me to leave the house in a vintage men’s robe and a large vintage hat or a 1960’s swing coat, dripping in rhinestones for a night at Medusa’s, a club in Chicago. Cindy Lauper announced “girls just want to have fun” and I was in love with Prince. I scoured the second-hand stores in search of a new outfit whenever possible. I became empowered to dress as outrageous as I wanted and I loved it!
Skip forward 25 years…I still love vintage clothing and fashion, hence the creation of my business Onomatopoeia.
The word Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes, example BUZZ! POW! BANG! It is a word that has its own life and creates its own excitement, but more importantly to me it is part of the nickname Leah Onomatopoeia, that my best friend Mary has called me since we met freshman year in high school. I strive to achieve that BUZZ! POW! BANG! in my vintage clothing business as well as in my everyday life.
Another Memorial Day marks the 8th opening of the Randolph Street Antique Market! Come by to see treasures of all kinds from Vintage Clothing, Jewlery, Household Items and Oddities for every occasion! Stop by and say Hi at the Onomatopoeia booth! Rumor has it we are next to the Dethrows! Yippeee