On the top of Chow Bella's holiday wish list? An apron from Girl From Arizona (@girlfromarizona).
This fall, we began noticing that chefs around town -- like Crepe Bar's Jeff Kraus -- were donning chic aprons. Then Instagram began buzzing. So we tracked down Angela Muniz, a.k.a. Girl from Arizona, to learn about her new business -- and where we can get our own apron.
Muniz says her apron business began accidentally. Kraus came to her in search of a more desirable apron that fit better. He said she ended up drawing a custom design for him, which is made of denim and looks similar to overalls.
To personalize the apron, Muniz modified the size to fit Kraus. Then she added a few pockets -- one on the front for his three tasting spoons, one for his pens and markers, and a couple of secret ones that he doesn't want anyone to know about.
For Kraus, it's not just about the fit or the extra pockets, the apron allows him to express his personality and originality.
Through word-of-mouth and social media, Muniz's work became noticed. The orders started coming in. It all began in April and just a month ago she moved into her own workshop. She has made aprons for Crepe Bar, Cartel, and Top of the Rock, Frank Food Truck, and others.
This isn't the only business Muniz has started. When her friends were opening a restaurant, she did public relations and marketing for them. Through referrals and networking she began her own PR company, Tin Can Marketing.
Although she gets to play with bright colors and fabrics, she applies her marketing background to her aprons.
"I never really thought that the aprons would tie in with marketing and PR outside of my connections in the community," Muniz says. "I never really thought of it as an extension of the marketing and your brand until I got into developing some of the requests I had gotten."
From this realization, Muniz works to give the aprons she crafts the appearance and feel of the restaurant while customizing them for the chefs or baristas.
"I want it to match," Muniz says. "I want it to fit, not just fit you, but fit what you want to do to create your food or coffee or beer."
Some of the modifications Muniz can add are pockets, cellphone pockets, towel loops, and color. She can tailor to your size. The fabrics she works with are durable and light-weight.
Lucky for us, Muniz makes aprons for home chefs and brewers as well. They can be ordered online instantly without customization, or if it is desired, we can modify them too.
Muniz even sews aprons for the kids. They fit more like a smock and can be personalized by changing the initial and trim.
"Kids have 100 different careers in a day," Muniz says. "They are a mechanic or a princess or a doctor, and an apron just helps them do whatever they want to do and keep them clean."
Muniz admits the aprons are more costly than the ones off the shelf, but says they are worth it.
"There's that factor of having something that fits you well enough so that you can move quickly and you can have the features from a towel loop to the right kind of pocket for your pens or tools at your ready," Muniz says.
Aprons for adults cost $45, but add-ons -- like a towel loop or extra pocket -- cost $4 each. The children aprons start at $25. For complete custom orders, the aprons start at $65.
In order to get an apron wrapped in time for Christmas, order by December 15. Aprons can either be mailed or picked up from the workshop at 1022 West 23rd Street in Tempe.
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Muniz is also having a pop-up shop at Crepe Bar, 7520 South Rural Road in Tempe, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 14.
Pick up our pre-orders or order aprons there. She will have special designs available for the pop-up shop. If you want to add modifications at the pop-up shop, you'll have to wait another three days.