One year ago, artist Nicole Phillippe opened up Allie Cat Arts in Cooper-Young to showcase the most diverse collection of local artists and designers Memphis has to offer and has yet to discover. Allie Cat Arts centers around local talent and frequently hosts social events and art openings and classes.
Next to Cafe Ole directly across from the Beauty Shop, this charming little shop indeed features not only art but handmade jewelry, clothing, and the I Love Mi-Me beauty products that first led me there. The fairly small space houses an immense collection. With many pieces reasonably priced, the collection is one you can admire and then afford to take home.
Here are a few "wearable art" pieces that caught my eye, ranging from the colorful felt necklaces to salvaged pocket watches reassembled into jewelry to whimsical earrings of miniaturized desserts. There are even several glass jewelry pieces from Nicole herself. From the wide range of style, I chose a pair of drop earrings by Cindy McKee (shown in last photo) that I thought I would buy as a gift but I ended up claiming them as my own.
Visit Allie Cat Arts to find a handcrafted piece that you will want to claim as your own.
Felt necklaces by Nikkila Carroll.
Pocket watch “steampunk” pieces by Jan Shivley.
Dessert/food jewelry by Funlola Coker.
Beaded bracelets by Stacy Green.
"In middle school, I was very shy," Fenise says. Pulling together an outfit was a way for her to express herself. This view of fashion-as-identity aligns pretty closely with the nonprofit Dress for Success where Fenise has volunteered her styling talent. For women from low income backgrounds, fashion conveys strength and optimism, and Fenise's philosophy is that when you feel confident in how you look, there's no telling what you can accomplish.
Just a quick peek at her collection below reveals the strength of Fenise's vision. Bold colors, cultural patterns, and flattering cuts exude confidence.