Meghan Colligan talks about her growing homemade earring business and her creative and artistic style. Photos by Lauren Hough.
MADELEINE HALL | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan Colligan, a first-year dance performance major, can rarely be seen without a pair of her unique homemade earrings on. She recently even turned her passion for fashion into a small business. Colligan’s style highlights her creativity and artistic expression, from her thrifted fits to color combinations in ballet class.
The Butler Collegian: How would you describe your style?
Meghan Colligan: I don’t know that I follow a specific style, it’s more of a mix of whatever I’m feeling each day. I try to go for looks that aren’t as basic but I would definitely say that color coding is something I love to do with my outfits. For example today, I wore a green sweater vest with green frog socks, avocado earrings and green clips in my hair.
TBC: What kind of things influence your style?
MC: I like to feel like I’m wearing unique outfits — actually I would say 75% of my wardrobe is thrifted. I get a lot of inspiration from things I’ve seen online but I do feel like my style improved a lot over quarantine because I had the time. I also embroider a lot of my clothes and make my own earrings!
TBC: Earrings are definitely a staple of your look — how did that come to be?
MC: I’ve actually had only had my ears pierced for a little over a year, but I immediately fell in love with fun earrings. I started buying earrings off of Etsy and soon began making my own over quarantine last year. Some of my favorite earrings that I have are dice, avocados, goldfish in a bag and little glass jars with pink beads inside.
TBC: Could you tell me some more about your earring business? What’s the process? How do you come up with new ideas?
MC: When I began making earrings, I mostly used plain beads, but then I began experimenting with more charms, unique beads, chains and other objects. I would get a lot of ideas from Michaels and their bead selection or online earring shops. Sometimes fun ideas will just pop into my head, like these lego earrings I made. These turned out super unique and I just used regular legos to make them. I keep all my earrings at a cheap price and am now offering free delivery to Butler students on campus!
TBC: Are there any other reasons aside from cost that influenced your decision to start thrifting more?
MC: Definitely learning about the impacts of fast fashion, both environmentally and the labor conditions that exist for the workers. I have always been environmentally conscious, avoiding plastic, becoming vegetarian and now buying as much as my clothing that I can from secondhand sources. Buying secondhand clothing is not only better for the environment, but also leads to finding some of the most unique pieces.
TBC: What thrifting tips do you have?
MC: I would say patience and time. You can’t go into a thrift store and expect to find something immediately. You have to spend time going through each rack and searching. Second, don’t look for generically trendy pieces of clothing, look for things that you could style into an outfit and have character. Don’t give up if you don’t find anything that you love the first time, thrift stores are constantly restocking clothes so returning in a few days will bring with it, a whole new store.
TBC: How do you determine what outfit to wear each day?
MC: Honestly it depends on how I feel each day, where I’m going, what I have to do, if I have dance classes. Sometimes I just throw something on if I have to run somewhere, but if I have more time I’ll put more thought into it.
TBC: As a dancer, how do you keep your individuality while following a dress code?
MC: I definitely feel like this one is hard, but I’ll incorporate fun clips in my hair, small earrings — we can’t wear big dangly ones to class — and I recently started doing eyeliner. I also love fun [leotards]!
TBC: What are your top three favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
MC: My favorites change all the time, but right now they’re probably my embroidered jeans, purple corduroy pants and turtlenecks because they are so great for layering in this cold weather. I’ve also been obsessed with the lemon bandana I have.
TBC: What’s some advice you have for people who are struggling to find their own style or the confidence to wear what they want?
MC: Honestly you just have to stop worrying about what other people think of you, which I know is easier said than done but this fear is what stopped me from dressing how I wanted for such a long time. As for finding your own style, don’t just go for the basic clothing that everyone else is wearing- wear what makes you feel good. If you are feeling bored by your style, try layering, incorporating fun belts, socks, bandanas or earrings.