The TEll// By Thrift & Tell

Welcome to THE TELL//BY THRIFT & TELL: a celebration of fashionable women who dress as smart as they shop.

This week’s guest on THE TELL// is Gen Sohr of Pencil & Paper Co. : designer, entrepreneur, and style icon. Gen epitomizes the T&T lady: mixing highs and lows with ease in both her home and her closet. While she may be smart about how she spends, that does not mean Gen compromises her style. Quite the contrary. With great taste and an eye for design, she gravitates towards pieces with personality whether that is at a flea market, high end department store, or vintage shop. Gen is not a carbon copy of something she saw in a magazine or on Instagram (no dad sneakers here.) Instead, her style exudes confidence and is distinctly her own. She wears what she loves, mixing bold pattern and textures with current trends and one of a kind vintage finds. I adore Gen and am honored to have her be part of this series. They say if you want something you have to manifest it, so I look forward to thrift store shopping with Gen in days to come. Enjoy!

Gen Sohr- Pencil & Paper Co. - Interview with THE TELL//BY THRIFT AND TELL

//Your style in 3 words: Classic, colorful, and fun!

//Staple Outfit: For evening, a statement making patterned dress (usually vintage) paired with a modern heel. And for work, a classic pair of Levis, cashmere sweater (our favorites are from Everlane and J.Crew), and a pointy toe ballet flats.

//Style Icon(s): Diana Vreeland, CZ Guest, Jenna Lyons.

//Your First Big Purchase: A yellow leather Prada handbag.

//Do You Still Have It? Sadly, no! After being worn to death it was looking a little worse for the wear and I sold it at a tag sale for nothing.

//Best Fashion Advice You Ever Received: Buy what you love...applies to your home too. For me that's usually a vintage treasure, I love not ever having to worry about showing up in the same dress as anyone else.

//Types of clothing you invest in: A beautiful handbag and well made shoes are always worth the investment. They keep your vintage treasures feeling current, and add polish to your basics.

//Types of clothing you save on: I've found the perfect Cashmere sweatshirt at Everlane for under $100 (pretty much my winter uniform) and love an inexpensive pair of Vans, and H+M’s lace hipster briefs are the absolute best find!

//Your greatest extravagance: Handbags and shoes, and treating yourself to having your makeup professionally applied for special occasions!

//Brands That Will Stand the Test of Time: Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Oscar De La Renta- anything that you love, is well made and flatters your body type. I have so many no name vintage pieces that are beautifully made and I will hold onto forever!

//Favorite High Street Brands: J.Crew, H+M, Gap

//Favorite Designer Brands:  Valentino (currently coveting anything designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli) Gucci and Hermes.

 //Favorite High-Low Brands to Mix: Gucci and H+M

//Favorite Places to Shop Consignment: Etsy

//Favorite Places to Consign Your Own Closet: Haven’t done this yet….maybe I should sell some pieces on our Instagram stories?

//Currently Collecting Dust in the Back of your Closet: Formal vintage gowns that were too amazing to resist- but sadly I rarely have occasion to wear. Now, I just need to be invited to  a few more fabulous black tie soirees!

//Your Closet Tried and Trues: Vintage kaftans, stacks of wood bangles, and fun statement earrings!

//Best investment you ever made in your style: Deciding to trust my intuition and wear what I LOVE, and stop worrying about what someone else is wearing to the party. Oh and a great purse just makes you feel pulled together, even in old Levis and a pair of Vans!

Gen’s couture, hand painted evening gown she found for $150.

Gen’s couture, hand painted evening gown she found for $150.

Gen wearing the yellow dahlia midi dress from Pencil & Paper Co.’s recent product line.

Gen wearing the yellow dahlia midi dress from Pencil & Paper Co.’s recent product line.

//Style Choice From Your Past That Haunts You: Very dark burgundy lipstick in the 90's.

//“It seemed like a good idea at the time” a.k.a Purchase you most regret: I usually regret what I DIDN'T buy! A lesson that I learned later in life is that one very good "investment piece" usually makes me happier and gets more wear than all those "deals" that were too good a price to pass up.

//Closet From Which You Would Like to Borrow: Laura Santa Domingo, Jenna Lyons, Deborah Brett.

//Last Time You Splurged? That might get me in trouble.....last week? I finally invested in the (mentioned above) matching set of luggage!

//Currently Saving Your Pennies For: A Chanel crossbody purse or a Hermes crossbody purse.

//A Deal for the History Books/Your T&T Personal Best: A couture, hand painted evening gown in the most magical print, with the tags still on, for under $150.

//Advice to someone looking to define their own style: Create your OWN signature what works for you. You’ll always find me in a low messy bun- it just feels right.  And rarely will you find me in black….I just love a bold pattern way too much! Define what you love- and commit to it!

 //Trend you wish would go way? Cowboy Boots as a fashion statement - Sorry Nashville!

//You feel great. What are you wearing? A fabulous vintage kaftan, sandals, great statement jewelry and a bold red lip!

//Occasions when you splurge: When I absolutely LOVE something and I can imagine multiple ways to wear it!

//Occasions when you save: I ALWAYS try to save…because getting great design at a great price is icing on the cake! Price or wealth does not dictate true style.

//Most prized possession: I just treated myself to a set of Gucci Luggage (in my favorite Tian pattern ...because I just can't resist a whimsical chinoiserie pattern)- and I finally decided that as 50 approaches, it was time to have pretty matching luggage!

//Home Decor Style: Much like my personal style.  I love color and pattern, but always with a nod to the classics. Nothing makes me happier than a beautiful deadstock fabric that no one else will have, or a great vintage treasure.

//Favorite place to hunt for home decor: I love a great Flea Market or Thrift Store, especially while traveling! Palm Beach is always fun, but we hit the markets and vintage stores wherever we travel. I’ve thrifted in Paris, Lisbon, Mexico City, The Bahamas- you name it. If I’ve traveled there, I’ve thrifted there!

//Go-to for unique items, whether it be clothing, accessories, home or art: Etsy is my “go to” for vintage clothing. I love being inspired by the runway. Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino is my current obsession! It’s always fun to use a color (currently hot pink) or technique (embroidery) as a guide for your Etsy search.

//Your fashion motto: Wear what makes your heart happy, and don’t think too hard about it!
//Your life motto: “Your imagination is your reality.” Diana Vreeland (we have this quote as a wall mural in our studio.)

Gen Sohr- Pencil & Paper Co. - Interview with THE TELL//BY THRIFT AND TELL

Gen Sohr- Pencil & Paper Co. - Interview with THE TELL//BY THRIFT AND TELL

Fill in the blank:

//A woman should invest in- herself (travel, and a great handbag and shoes doesn’t hurt either.) //You’re never too old to— start a business, feel pretty, be on Instagram! //A woman can never have too much— vintage jewelry. //Bury me in- pattern!// True or False: More is More- ….usually, until it’s too much! //Fashion is- a visual expression of your personality! //Style: your book cover, in a library filled with great books!

Currently Loving:

//Music: I leave the playlists to my husband...who is always up on what’s new and interesting!

//Print: Just purchased all of the Slim Aarons books- wishing we could travel back in time.

//Food: Everything tastes better in a beautiful space!

//Drink: Coke, prosecco, or an ice cold Kalik (preferably on a boat in the Bahamas)

//Film: Always love a good documentary! Love: Dior and I, American Dynasties: The Kennedy,  and my all time favorite- Herb and Dorothy

//TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel of course!

//Podcast: How I Built This and Second Life

//Instagram Handle: @pencilandpaperco

//Designer: Valentino for fashion and I’d be happily hand over our next house to the wonderfully talented Miles Redd and David Kaihoi!



Southern lifestyle tastemaker and interior designer, Gen Sohr is the co-founder and colorful creative behind Pencil and Paper Development Co. After nearly 20 years of bringing large-scale retail concepts to life for Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Oiliy, The Body Shop, and Victoria's Secret–and having lived in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago– Gen and her husband Benjamin set their sights on bringing their love of design to Benjamin's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Together they have created a celebrated design company and lifestyle brand: specializing in residential, retail, commercial and product design. This year, Gen will launch her second art collection with One Kings Lane (be on the look out for the launch party at One Kings Lane's Southhampton store this June), new styles of her whimsical dress line "Gen's Favorite", and her first fragrance this Summer!

Follow Gen's daily creative adventures on Instagram and don't miss her favorite finds over on the Pencil and Paper Co. blog!