3S: Why ‘REVOLuTIo?’
Heather: “It’s the phonetic spelling of ‘revolution.’ I came up with it with my son’s father in Chicago. We had discussed maybe opening a gallery or coffee place a long time ago and he was talking about ‘Revolution,’ and since I’ve been home, the last three years of my life have been pretty crazy. My mother died, my son had a disability… I’ve just had a lot of stuff going on. When I decided to open the store, I got a space in the building, shockingly, that my parents used to own. This was after my mom passed away.
“I came up with this name for a lot of reasons, because it means a turnaround and change of events. So I thought after all the stuff I’ve been through the last year my company is my turnaround for the better, basically.”
3S: How would you describe Revolutio?
Heather: “It’s kind of an eclectic boutique. I used to carry more consigned items. I would take in local artists and I’ve had shows for painters. I try to bring in different products and scout out unique pieces. I’m trying to keep the price point fairly moderate. I’ve also been trying to carry things in the store that people can afford, yet there are also these high-end items that may cost a little bit more money. I like to buy things that I would like to have.”
3S: When did you start playing around with fashion?
Heather: “When I was growing up I dreamed of going to the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’m a jack-of-all-trades and I actually ended up instead going to a liberal arts college in Vermont and I studied painting. Then I left for Italy and I got back and was into the high-fashion design I had seen there, but was still a painting major and got into photography. Then I came home and got into glass blowing and got a degree in specializing with glass. I have kind of a diverse background.
“I ended up getting a really bad arm injury, so it ruined my glass career. I woke up one day and I couldn’t write or do anything with my right hand. I had been going to a store in Oakland, owned by Erica Tanov, a high-end fashion designer, and I applied to manage her store. I got the job, loved working there and got to see how she did things.”
“I’ve always worked for other people, I’ve always wanted to have my own store and I’ve managed a lot of boutiques. Then I found the perfect store for us, which turned out to be owned by my parents when I was a kid. It felt like it was meant to be.”
3S: How would you describe the style of your fashion line, Tonatiuh (Aztec for sun)?
Heather: “I’m calling it a sophisticated bohemian style. For spring and summer I’m doing more light fabrics, sear suckers, and chambray cottons. Now, I’m doing a more sophisticated Fall look (to be seen at Tucson Fashion Week) that’s going to be relaxed, but with very high-end silk and a lot of other trends going on.”
3S: What do you see in the future for Tonatiuh?
Heather: “I have a very hands-on approach to what’s going on right now, which is fun and exciting. I feel like everyone has their own talent in it, so I’m really trying to build a good team of people and I want to make sure to hire people in the United States, especially with our economy right now. I’m considering down the road selling something with the line that may possibly have potential to donate money to a non-profit, especially with what’s been going on with my son disability-wise.”
3S: Where do you find your own clothes?
Heather: “Anthropologie, high-end designer resale boutiques in Chicago, Buffalo Exchange, Loehmann’s, Marc Jacobs, and Lori’s Shoes.
“When I was in Italy, I was mostly influenced by Jean Paul Gaultier. I would get a lot of his sample pieces at the Italian market. I actually still have some of the pieces from when I was 18 years old, and I’m 40 now. Erica Tanov also had an influence on me. I loved her style and she based a lot of her pieces off of vintage pieces. Other influences include Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors, Alexander McQueen, and Diane Von Furstenberg.”
3S: Who or what was your first fashion crush?
Heather: “I would say Betsey Johnson was one of my favorites when I was younger. Her and Gaultier were whom I actually had in my closet.”
* It’s fitting that Heather’s first fashion crush was Betsey Johnson, as both will make an appearance at this year’s Tucson Fashion Week, October 17-19. Get your tickets now, and look out for 3 Story’s special fashion issue in October.
*REVOLuTIo is at 43 S. 6th Avenue. Click here for details.