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Hallie Borden

Owner, Milk Handmade

This spring, Hallie Borden did what a lot of us dream of doing, but lack the guts to actually do: She left her comfortably successful career in corporate marketing and followed her dream of opening her own boutique. She’d been putting it off for a time when she was “older, more established, more mature,” she says. But earlier this year, when she asked herself “Why not now?”, she couldn’t find an answer to the question. So she took the plunge, and opened Milk Handmade in Andersonville. Hallie stocks Milk with high-quality, handcrafted women’s clothes and accessories, many of which come from local designers and artisans, and all of which are handmade. The store has a rustic, homey feel—sort of like a comfortable yet ultra-fashionable walk-in closet. The make-yourself-at-home atmosphere is amplified by the presence of a ‘shop dog,’ Hallie’s gorgeous greyhound named Sauvie. In that spirit, we talked shop with Hallie for this week’s Spotlight.


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BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>>  scent: NANETTE LEPORE // moisturizer: PONDS DRY SKIN CREAM // body lotion: FURTHER // foundation: CLINIQUE SUPERPOWDER // blush: NARS MULTI IN MAUI // mascara: MAYBELLINE GREAT LASH // eye liner: PALLADIO HERBAL EYE LINER // lip gloss: JACK BLACK // nail polish: HOT COCO BY ESSIE // eyebrows: NARS EYEBROW PENCIL // favorite: SHU UEMURA DEPSEA WATER

Q: The store has such a sweet name—where did you come up with Milk?
A: I was thinking about what I wanted the store to look like: a little bit rustic, a little bit elegant, and very approachable. I had the idea of beautiful accessories placed on milk crates; I liked it because most vintage milk crates say “Borden” on them, which is my last name. It just clicked. Plus, I love that milk has connotations of nature, femininity, and a back-to-basics feel.

Q: It’s perfect! Tell me about some of your favorite new fall acquisitions.
A: I love this new line of 100% silk blouses by Ella Lai, in rich fall colors like eggplant, evergreen, and copper. They are so timeless and feminine. A Chicago brand, Squasht, makes these swingy, soft cotton skirts and dresses that are practical and playful. And layers and layers of spotted agate and gold bracelets from Nicki Jean Jewelry (another local favorite) add some sparkle to understated outfits.

Q: It seems like ‘girly’ and ‘feminine’ are major players in the store’s concept. Talking about your personal style, would you describe it similarly?
A: I like to dress a little flirty and a little edgy. I tend to overdo things, whether it be a ton of necklaces stacked on top of each other, or several uber-feminine pieces combined in one outfit. Coco Chanel always said, “Before you leave the house, take one thing off.” I am definitely not that girl.

Q: So if not Coco Chanel, what fashion icon are you inspired by?
A:  I emulate strangers on the street much more than celebrities.

Q: And of course we have to ask: You’ve got a tall glass of cold milk—what is your favorite cookie for dipping?
A: My mom’s homemade snickerdoodles. If she lets me get at the dough before they’re baked, though, I really prefer that…

Find your perfect piece at MilkHandmade.com.