New threads in full bloom

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

Store owner Shellie Jobe Venters, left, and regular customers Venitta Reeves, seated, and Fredrika Miller model some of the Synergy Organic Clothing from Seasonal Bloom.

Shellie Jobe Venters has spent the past three years traveling to local and regional festivals, trunk shows and private parties with handmade Synergy Organic Clothing. Since hitting the road, Venters has settled in her first retail space, Seasonal Bloom at 7204 Wrightsville Ave., sharing the building with Paradise Yoga and CoolSweats.

Venters said Thursday, May 9 that she knew there was something special about the clothing line after she bought her first Synergy dress at FloydFest in Floyd, Va., more than three years ago.

“I had so many people comment on it, how they loved it and loved the way it felt and so, I called [Synergy] and told them I wanted to do trunk service,” Venters said.

At the time, Synergy only dealt with retail shops and was featured in about 600 stores across the country and internationally, but Venters said it was willing to give her a chance.

“After three years of selling their line I’m their second highest buyer, so, Wilmington is very, very happy with this clothing line,” she said.

Synergy is based in Santa Cruz, Calif., where Kate Fisher and her husband Henry Schwab started the line in 2006, using low-impact dyes and organic cotton, as well as following fair labor practices and fair trade guidelines.

The various appliqués of reverse butterflies, dream catchers, feathers and flowers on the dresses, tops and skirts are all handmade and sewn onto the 100 percent organic cotton fabric by women employed in Nepal.

“[The fabric] is so comfortable, it’s almost like a silky, cotton feel that just feels good on the body,” Venters said.

Colors range from purple orchid and aqua to simpler grays and blacks in most any designs, including the Peacock Flutter dress, Cherry Blossom dress and the longer Angelina skirt that Venters carries in her store.

Since Venters celebrated the opening of Seasonal Bloom, she has picked up another organic clothing line from Clary Sage Organics based in San Francisco, as well as handmade jewelry from Arabella Designs, which is created by Wilmington artists Kim Ward and Sarah James. 

Though she has found what she hopes is a permanent space, Venters said that she will continue to sell at festivals, including the Penguin Music Festival on Saturday, June 1 in the Castle Street Art and Antiques District in Wilmington.

Private parties receive group discounts of 10 percent and may be booked at her shop any weekday after 6 p.m. and on Saturdays by appointment, while regular store hours are noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.

For more information or private party inquiries, email Venters at  or call 910-274-3857.


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