Tell us about Mercy Supply co? How did this company gets its start, what was the inspiration?
Photo by Eric Tank
I started Mercy in 2009, in a lawn mower shed, in a backyard. We’ve all heard the story before – I worked a few jobs that were terrible and vowed to never work for another person again. But I really meant it. I wanted my business to focus on well made, long lasting, durable, hand made products. This interest has us constantly testing our bags and workwear to the max. How far can they go? How long can they last? We wear our clothes hard and our bags heavy. It’s what they’re meant for. It’s what I live for. Mercy is striving all day everyday to craft products and clothing that are built to last, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Why is speaking to the customer an important part of the buying process, do you have custom
Photo by Lance Nelson
Communication is key. My door is always open for people and I’m more than happy to discuss our materials and how we make each item with you.
Mercy does not offer custom made services. We’re focusing our energy more on limited runs of products.
Can we expect more product categories in the future?
Photo by Lance Nelson
I’d like to say that you can expect quite a lot from us in the future. We’re always designing new products and testing new ideas to grow our lines. You’ll find more in the way of workwear throughout this next year. Perhaps someday a line of dog goods. We’re always thinking.
Your company seems to be successful so far, what do you want to accomplish in the next
Photo by Lance Nelson
We’d like to continue to grow slowly and see where it all goes. We’re always ready for new opportunities and new
business relationships. Mercy is in the works of releasing quite a few new products in the next 6 months. That feels like a big accomplishment for a small shop.
Can you tell us about yourself? How you got to where you are today and all the good beginning and middle stuff too?
Well, this is really too much to write about as it was a looooonnnggg journey! I don’t think you have enough room in your blog! LOL! Suffice it to say, I started modeling at age 13, was valedictorian of my class in my small hometown of Dupo, Ill. I received a scholarship to St. Louis University, but was so tired of school. So, coincidentally, at about this time, a new St. Louis Playboy Club had come into being…. a girlfriend suggested I go for an interview and I was hired. After doing a “Best Bunnies” pictorial, I was invited to transfer to Chicago, Playboy’s hub, and move into the Playboy Mansion. It was a dream world with Hef in residence at the time. The girls were great, the parties were awesome and I loved it! I became Playboy Bunny of the Year in 1976 and a centerfold in December 1979. I worked at the Club for another couple of years and then quit to resume my modeling, which took me to Europe and New York, where I had a billboard in Times Square for JVC. I also filmed a small part in Risky Business with Tom Cruise (I still get residual checks!).
Photo by Tom Staebler
I see you were the fashion editor of TCW, what did you do for them as editor?
As an editor, I styled the fashion features as well as the cover. I loved doing it as I met so many great women. When founder Sherren Leigh started the online version of the magazine, she asked me if I wanted to write a blog for it, which I did. When I quit, I continued my blog on my own, which has lots of fans, not only in Chicago, but around the world.
Being in the public eye, what would you say is the hardest and easiest thing about your job?
The best thing about being in the public eye is having interaction with people…. not only people you know, but making new friends as well. The hardest thing is looking your best even when you’re just going to the grocery store! LOL!
You have been called a style icon and style trendsetter? What does style mean to you and what would you consider your distinct style?
Style means knowing yourself. It means wearing what makes you feel good and not dressing for other people. You don’t have to have money to have style–as a matter of fact, some of the most stylish women I know shop at the cheapest spots. It means having a good eye for the unique and knowing what to do with it once you find it. I consider my haircut to be my signature. When I first started modeling, all of the photographers would always slick my hair back. I finally got the hint!
Can you tell us about your blog and what we could expect when we look at it?
Photo by Amie Hana
The intent of my blog, as well as my award-winning Internet show (Candid Candace TV on YouTube), is to “bring people to the party.” From film premieres to
charity galas and hot parties, I bring the event to life through my descriptions and photos, as well as with videos. It’s a look behind the velvet ropes, so to speak. I also love to add funny videos and updates on anything exciting I might be involved with.
What is something you want everyone to know?
My husband and I love to collect rare books. We have both the English and American first editions of all the Harry Potter books signed by J.K. Rowling as well as signed movie scripts from the films. We also have two adorable Chihuahuas, Mickey and Rooney, who we adore and spoil to death.
Photo by Amie Hana
I think it’s amazing all the events, committees, and things you support, I have to ask how do you find time?
I’m not a good time manager so this isn’t an easy question for me…. I’ve learned to pick my spots…. in the past, I tried to go/do everything. I realize now, by being more selective, that everything works out much better and I’m a lot happier!
Follow Candace Jordan on her blog here and with the Chicago Tribune here.
We have had the privilege of working with Misty Blank, owner of Mayfair, on multiple occasions since she also does hair and make up for film and print. If you are a regular Ansel and Opie reader you may recognize some images on her website.
Ellison Sunglasses is a handmade designer eyewear brand that has great product and a great story behind their success. We won’t say any details but be sure to check back soon to read our Q&A with Ellison as a featured brand.
BLU Collar Clothing is a lifestyle brand that encompasses the passion and hustle of the everyday leader. They are not just about being cool but being cool with a purpose. BLU is also an Iowa based brand that we hope to collaborate with in the future as a featured brand. In the meantime see what they have to offer and buy something here.
Models take up boxing as way to stay strong and fit.
With the big trend in sportswear this year it is no shock that more emphasis is put on working out. Models, designers, and editors are trading in their yoga mats for boxing gloves as a way to get into shape. And with such designers as Chanel and Alexander Wang for H&M it is even easier to find clothing to make you look the part. Boxing has always been known as a man’s sport, but with such models as Adriana Lima and Iman giving there seal of approval you’re sure to see many more models trying the new fitness challenge. However, it is not for everyone because it will not only test your body, but your mind. You have to immerse yourself into the sport in order to see the results you are looking for.