Monday, April 26, 2010

What It's Like to Work for Betsey Johnson

In high school I always wanted to dress like Alice.  She made a t-shirt and jeans look cool with her DIY sparkley Converse and  amazing hair.   She loved fairies and when we went to an Incubus concert together she wore a pair of big fairy wings and cat ears.  And it looked good. 

She now fittingly works for Betsey Johnson and I thought all the fashionista Dancing Branflake readers would like a peek into what it's like to work for the famous Betsey Johnson.  Not only is she incredibly stylish but she has a great sense about life and loves to joke around (as you can tell from these photos, which I got from her Facebook page)

DB: What is your offical job title?
Alice: Store Manager (or head Pink Lady) of the Betsey Johnson boutique in Union Square, San Francisco.

DB: Why Betsey Johnson?
Alice: Betsey has always been one of my favorite designers. I mean, who wouldn't want to wear a party dress on a Wednesday just because? Dressing-up has always been my favorite past time; I would spend soooo much time as a kid coordinating my shoes to my belt to my headband to my eyeshadow...eek! It's always been so much fun for me to really get creative with my outfits and personal style. She has always been fashion's wild child; having really theatrical runway shows, and always finishes her shows with a cartwheel down the runway. Ha, I used to finish my cross-country meets in high school with a cartwheel across the finish line! Oh me and Betsey, meant to be...

Subtly joking around.

DB: Describe a typical day.
Alice: Coffee, paperwork, Prom shoppers, Vegas trip, visitors from Italy, wedding dress!!!, lunch at Boudin's, kombucha from Crepe O Chocolat, more paperwork, emails, favorite Betsey client who comes in at least once a week, Shipment!!!!!! (feels like Christmas morning!), buy a new pair of tights or something, home.

DB: You work the most stylish and intriguing woman in the world. What is she like?
Alice: She is literally exactly how you would imagine her: Spunky, big red smile, and just a really warm and playful personality - just like the clothes. She has more energy than you could ever imagine coming out of a 67 year-old 5'2'' woman. She is very gracious and sweet, and always makes a point to thank me for my hard work and ask if there is anything I need. She even sent me roses on my birthday!! Betsey is also one of the only designers I've seen that really dresses in her own designs, and Betsey is always head to toe. She has NEVER been seen without those big red lips, and I totally love that about her.

DB: What are the perks of working for Betsey Johonson?
Alice: Well, the obvious answer is the DISCOUNT. But I really like that we run the company with a real mom-and-pop feel. I have a lot of freedom to really run my store my style, and my feedback is really valued in the company. I don't feel like employee #123456789 or something; I'm just Alice from Geary!

DB: Describe your personal style.
Alice: A little Joan from Mad Men with a little Betty Draper on the side.

DB: Imagine yourself looking in your closet. What's the first thought that comes to your mind?
Alice: Oh my, well I always think, "how on earth did I fill this thing!?" (I have a two story, 13' long closet, and it is filled to the brim!). Then I like to start with one small piece, maybe even just a scarf or a shoe, and build up from there. It's funny how you can start with just a pair of socks and make a great outfit around that! Get a little inspiration for the day and go with it. My friend and I like to use a Grey Gardens quote when we finally pick our our day's outfit: "Yes, this is the best costume for the day".
The only serious photo here.  She looks amazing!

DB: Any fashion advice to Dancing Branflake readers?

Alice: Oh goodness, it's so easy to get lost with Fashion Rules. I think if it makes you look good and feel good, just wear it! Don't let your friends or your significant other poo-poo your style - wear what makes you happy. One of my favorite stores in San Diego has a really great slogan I love to use: "Relax, it's just a dress!" Ooooh oooh, one more cheezy line (I am the queen!!) : "The only thing that can be over-dressed is a salad!" So go big or go home, people!

DB:Anything else you like to add?
Alice:You can check out a bio of me on the Pink Spotlight on Betsey's website.
And definitely come see me if you're in San Francisco!!! XOXO

Thanks, Alice! 


  1. I want to be Alice when I grow up...she rocks!

  2. OMG...what an AMAZING post. I adore Betsey. My most cherished piece in my wardrobe is her design. It must be just incredible to work for her. Alice rocks the house!

  3. i loved this interview!

  4. Love this interview!

    Also, I need her hair stylists number asap! Love her hair colors in all the pictures!

  5. I love your blog. What a great interview!! xoxo

  6. Uh... HELLO! I had PE class with her freshman year of high school. Totally shocking to log on and see her on here. Now I'm thinking about the upcoming inevitable high school reunion, yikes.

  7. Love Betsey Johnson's designs. She has a very nice shop in London. I have quite a few lovely pieces from this designer. Enjoyed reading the interview.

  8. Great post! She has such great style!

    I have gotten Scarlet Johansen before and it is such a compliment! Thanks!

  9. I would love to work there. I sent this post to my friend at work--she is a Betsy fanatic. Her dream is to meet Betsy (and eventually fit into her dresses!) Right now, she's head to toe Betsey jewelry and handbags!

  10. Alice look's like she is having so much fun good for her & what a great friend Tiffany!
    Loved the interview & pictures its put a smile on my face this Tuesday morning. :)

  11. This was really cool! Alice seems like a really fun, positive person. Her style is very Betsey!

  12. she looks fab! hell, i love her look!

  13. This is so cool!! What a great interview from a really cool gal!! :)

  14. This is so crazy! My fashion designer friend, Glenna, worked for Betsey in like 2001 or 2002. I forget, but she loved it :) I always thought her stuff was really cool, but alas, no plus sizes.

  15. This is so cool! Betsey Johnson (and Alice!) is beyond fabulous.

  16. Tiffany, this interview was so cool! Your friend Alice really is one of those awesome girls that you want to take out to lunch and pick her brain about fashion. I really love that she loves her job so much and that she doesn't feel like a number.

  17. She is so fabulous!
    Fashion should always be fun & creative~

  18. Oh this is fantastic and she is absolutely adorable!!

  19. Amazing pink lady! I can so understand why she would be your style icon at school. Great interview, Tiffany.

  20. Ohh what an amazing post!Well done:)

  21. I so enjoyed the interview. I wonder what "costume" I shall wear today...

  22. I LOVE Betsy Johnson!!! What a glamorous, fun sounding career path :)


  23. What a great interview! She seems like she also has a lot of spunk and would be fun to hang out with.
    Agree about the salad quote. I don't let others (who are underdressed I might add) make me feel inappropriate. =) Love your blog!

  24. great interview! i love betsy johnson :)

  25. Ohmigosh I LOVE you for posting this, Tiffany! I am obsessed with Betsey Johnson - I think she was one of the very first designers I was ever introduced to (in terms of clothing and accessories, that is).

    Fabulous interview, my love!! :)

  26. Oh, I love this! I may have to check out the store at Union Square now and say hello =)

  27. Sweet post! I've been a huge fan of Betsey Johnson since the 1980's, when she was featured in Seventeen magazine.

    Just picked up some Betsey Johnson socks @ Nordstrom Rack last fall. I brought 'em on my UK trip; they are divine.

  28. First of all, great interview! And I love the playfullness of Betsy Johnsen:)

    Ps. I am following your faboulus blog;) See you!

  29. This was a wonderful interview! Alice is so cool and I loved her answers! I've been to that Betsey Johnson boutique in Union Square and do love it. Thank you for posting this!

  30. Hey girl :)
    Oh this is such a fun post- thanks for intereviewing Alice!
    I'd never been that into Betsey before, but she just seems like such a fun, sweet woman, and I her already.

    Have a great little Thursday!

  31. Ha, what a great interview! I totally want to go to Union Square now :D Wearing what I like has become somewhat of a new goal for me, hope I one day have the confidence she does!

  32. This was a great interview. I LOVE Betsey Johnson.
    I recently started a fashion blog under the title Don't Dress for Boys, inspired by one of Betsey's famous quotes. Check it out!
    Tell your friends!

    BJ loves you! :D
    p.s i'm just starting out as a blogger and i would love some advice, comments, feedback, and opinions.

  33. Admirable writing. Undoubtedly you are an expert of such writing topics. This is absolutely the first time I visited your site and frankly speaking it succeeds in making me visit here time and again.And yes i have tweeted your site .


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