Alums who do cool things: Chloe Swirsky ‘11.5

There are really cool clothes in JWW! I don’t know about you, but every time I see hamster jackets and high end designer bags on sale, I get a little bit excited… After graduating from Brown this past January, Chloe Swirsky ‘11.5 founded Crystal Cat on Etsy, an online shopping platform for vintage and handmade items. These clothes are both fashion forward — or backward, depending on how you look at vintage apparel — and consumer friendly. Don’t worry, no musty grandpa cardigans here (if you want those, check out what Macklemore has to say). Chloe sells high quality winter coats, scarves, bags, and shoes, ranging between thirty and sixty dollars. You might be thinking, “But Caitlin, everything at Salvation Army is under ten, why don’t you just go there?” Well, these clothes don’t smell bad, and they’re way trendier than anything you could find at Salvation Army.

Let’s go over some more reasons why you should support Chloe Swirsky besides the fact that she will infinitely enhance your wardrobe:

a) She went to Brown…Duh!

b) She’s done something cool and personalized with what she studied here. Chloe majored in computer science and economics, but she was also deeply involved in researching the science behind how people make decisions. Yes, my fellow CLPS victims, you heard that right — MAKING DECISIONS! She did an independent study under none other than The Man: Dr. Steven Sloman. Anyone who’s had Prof. Sloman knows that no matter how poorly you do on those quizzes or how infrequently you open that textbook, he’s still a boss. A year ago Chloe was a student just like us, loving art and fashion while studying the science of consumer marketing, and now she has her own business. Newsflash! This is how we fix the economy people, by starting up small businesses — love your job and get paid!

c) Mad props to Chloe for transforming what is often considered an irresponsible hobby into a self-sustaining career. It just goes to show that shopaholics can in fact be intelligent (hope you’re reading this, Mom).

You can pry my shoes off my dead body, cows!

Now for the kicker! For the next three days Chloe will be setting up shop from early afternoon until 5 p.m. in JWW, and if you donate any old, ratty, disgusting pair of shoes, she’ll give you a 30% discount redeemable at the stand or at her store on Etsy! What is she going to do with all these gross shoes? They get donated to ShoeboxRecycling, an organization that gives the shoes to the needy and donates 50 cents per pound of shoes to the animals over at Potbelly Manor. Potbelly Manor, based in Kingston, RI, rescues farm animals that would otherwise be euthanized and provides them with temporary or permanent homes. Chloe has been involved with Potbelly Manor for some time now, and wants to extend a hand after they sustained serious damage from Superstorm Sandy (Cohen). As if things couldn’t get any more adorable, Potbelly Manor brings animals to visit underprivileged children at local schools, and they even rescue llamas and bunnies!

Check out Crystal Cat Vintage at the pop-up showroom in J. Walter Wilson this week or, if you can’t make it, check Chloe out online at Etsy or at Crystal Cat Vintage on Facebook.

Leave a Reply