Jux·ta·pose: to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
If you ask sisters Kallie and Lindsay Wesley why they named their store Juxtapose, they’ll tell you it’s because it’s where they brought their two passions together – fashion and painting. Or, they’ll tell you the store is where traditional meets eclectic and conventional meets eccentric.
If you ask me, I’ll tell you it’s where youth meets moxie. Kallie is 23, and Lindsay is 26; and what they have created at Juxtapose is nothing short of astonishing. It’s a beautiful shop in the middle of Hyde Park in Tampa. It’s filled with women’s apparel, unique jewelry, pottery, books, and paintings. The layout and design of the store are exceptional. It’s such a beautifully merchandised shop, it’s hard to believe such young women put it together.
But these are no ordinary young women. These are two creative souls wise beyond their years. What really sets them apart is their courage, their pluck, their moxie. What they do seems to flow naturally from a creative source deeper than what feels comfortable for most people. They create so effortlessly and fearlessly that you have to wonder – how did they become so free with their professional creative expression at such a young age.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Kallie and ask her about Juxtapose and what makes these sisters so soulfully creative.
Why did you decide to open Juxtapose?
Lindsay and I both had a passion for art, design, and fashion. After graduating with degrees in studio art, we dreamed of a way to make a career out of everything we loved. The store is a juxtapose of those ideas: apparel and art studio.
You and your sister are so young, how did you get the experience and the courage to open Juxtapose?
We had a creative childhood growing up in Lexington, Kentucky. Our parents realized early on that we preferred the arts over athletics and encouraged us to do what we enjoyed. We took many classes at the local arts center and fell in love with painting and drawing. We were accepted to the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and we both majored in art and vocal performance. We learned early on to follow our passion.
In college, Lindsay went to our family’s alma mater, the University of Kentucky. She graduated with two degrees – art administration and art studio. I was the rebel and went to University of Mississippi. I graduated with a B.F.A. in painting.
Juxtapose was always a dream of ours and with family close by in St. Petersburg, Florida, Tampa seemed like the perfect spot for our store. We love the idea of an outdoor shopping village and once we saw Hyde Park, we fell in love. We recently celebrated our one year anniversary at Juxtapose. It’s been truly a blessing.
You are both such talented artists. Tell me about the art on display at Juxtapose.
Lindsey or I create all the paintings that are for sale at the store. We are also frequently commissioned to paint portraits, landscapes, abstracts, and pets.
It’s such an eclectic mix of items. Is the store a reflection of your passions?
Absolutely. We hand-pick every item that we sell at Juxtapose.
The jewelry at Juxtapose is unique and interesting. Who are your favorite jewelry designers?
We love local artists who hand make each piece. It provides customers with unique one-of-a-kind pieces. A few of our favorites are:
- Love, Nina Jane focuses on leather and pearls. We love her vintage mix with a classic feel.
- MRB Designs is owned by a friend of mine, who makes one of a kind statement pieces. Her necklaces are truly works of art.
- Bourbon & Boweties creates wire and stone bangles that look great layered or alone. Who doesn’t like a little arm candy!
If you were a customer in your own store, what would you buy to add to your winter wardrobe?
That’s difficult because I love it all. If I had to chose, I’d go with an Equipment blouse, a great pair of colored skinnies from Citizens of Humanity or 7 For All Mankind, and a pair of FRYE boots.
You and Lindsey are both so stylish. What do you think makes someone stylish?
What do you think about style versus trends? Can you be stylish and not pay attention to trends?
Absolutely. Some of my favorite pieces have been in my closet for years. They may not be “on-trend,” but in my style-hand-book they’ll always be trendy. I think personal style is about going back to what makes a person stylish – confidence. Wear anything with confidence and it will be amazing.
I love your moxie. Can you share your secret with us? What does it take to follow your dream?
Having a vision and executing it. Also, accepting that not every idea ends up being a good one. And, not everything you think of turns out exactly the way you envisioned it. But that’s why Juxtapose is an evolving vision.
It’s not all fun and cute clothes, is it? What’s the worst part of your job?
Being my own boss. When things start to pile up because the daily grind, you have no one to blame but yourself.
No matter what though, it’s worth it. Right? What’s the best part of your job?
I come into work every day, unlock the double doors, and am greeted by all things fabulous. The best part of my job is my job.
Being an entrepreneur is a lot of work. What do you do for fun?
Pinterest is a favorite pastime. It’s a great way to get inspired. Lindsay and I are also total foodies. We love trying a new restaurant. Having a good meal and a glass of wine is the perfect night out.
What do you do to tune out the world and tune into yourself?
Paint! When I paint, I turn my phone off, and I don’t listen to music. There’s nothing better than getting lost in the moment of making art.
And there it is! The answer I was waiting for. Kallie and Lindsay’s creativity flows so freely because they have learned to tune out the world and tune into their creative voices. They have that connection to their souls that makes every artist a vessel, or a conduit, of a greater message. Countless artists, writers, and musicians have described this feeling. They sit down to do their chosen form of artistic expression, and they feel as though God moves them to create a work of art that is not of them but rather flows through them.
It takes a lot of moxie to sit down and tune into yourself. You never know what’s going on in there or what’s going to come out. But something tells me, once you tune in, you’ll find it’s not so scary. And with all that extra courage you’ll have, you’ll be able to do some other scary things – like stepping up your wardrobe and buying those sequin shorts at Juxtapose.