The ‘Upcycle’ Entrepreneur

Celebrating one year at her Market Street shop, Cherné Bishop specializes in accessories for the ‘everyday fashion icon’

Class of 2012 University of Delaware fashion merchandising major Cherné Altovise Bishop, owner of the 316 N. Market St. accessories shop Cherné Altovise, is enthusiastic about her store’s approaching one-year anniversary on Oct. 17.

The milestone is just one check on the 26-year-old entrepreneur’s list of career goals, which includes future locations in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City – all of them based on her slogan of creating options for the “everyday fashion icon.”

Bishop’s approach to designing accessories—for women as well as men and children—is actually a form of redesigning. She artistically interprets the reuse method of “upcycling” by transforming an existing product into something better.

Upcycled products provide the base for most of her accessories and window displays.

For example, Bishop may begin by shopping for vintage items that will ultimately be altered into one-of-a-kind pieces, or a customer will bring in a piece he or she wants redesigned.

“You’ll bring in your grandmother’s pearls, and I’ll change them into something else entirely,” Bishop says. “Or someone may walk in and say, ‘I bought this charm in South America, can you make me something with it?’”

Customized jewelry is just one segment of Bishop’s product line—not all products are used or from recycled materials. She’ll also work on trend and bulk pieces and, additionally, present collection items that are debuted on regional runways and through private events at the shop for customers to get a first look. Items start at around $18.

Not surprisingly, Bishop is passionate about sustainability. She incorporated it into her lifestyle in her high school and college years by being selective about where she shopped, recreating items and recycling. Her store reflects that continuing passion.

“Now that I have a storefront, I also have a great window space to portray sustainability’s importance in my life,” Bishop says.

Inspired by the staged window displays of fashion retailers like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, Bishop says her displays always create foot traffic. They often feature donated recycled goods from other local businesses—Parcels, Inc., Downtown Visions, Bobbi Rhian’s Executive Lounge, local bars and restaurants, to name a few —which Bishop then transforms into whatever theme she wants to feature.

“Even if you’re not coming in, you may want to stop and take a picture,” says Bishop.

One of the recent displays had a backdrop covered with 279 soda cans in the form of the American flag. Bishop gathered the cans by offering discounts to customers who brought in cans, and she collected additional empty cans from nearby bars and lounges. Another display for a back-to-school theme included life-size pencils made from recycled shipping tubes from Parcels. Another segment utilized old fencing from what would have gone into Downtown Visions’ trash.

“Now that I’m known for it, people bring things in for me to work with instead of throwing them away,” Bishop says. “And my customers let me know they look forward to it.”

Bishop, who started designing jewelry at the age of 10, has run the business online and in boutiques since 2008, adding the storefront last year. She worked at Nordstrom as a stylist and men’s department manager before leaving to devote herself to Cherné Altovise fulltime. The shop—modestly-sized with a clean, black-and-white aesthetic—is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

And while Bishop is ambitious, she’s not in a rush to expand to those other cities on her checklist. “Because I hand-make my own pieces, I believe in going at my own pace because I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of my work just because I want to have more products or to expand too quickly,” she says.

In the meantime, the store is a regular stop on the Wilmington Art Loop—Friday, Oct. 7, this month. Also, every third Friday (this month, Oct. 21), Bishop’s store takes part in a multicultural-entrepreneur-in-business initiative, Melanin on Market. This month’s Melanin on Market will be even bigger in celebration of Bishop’s one-year anniversary, and the store will offer sales and giveaways throughout the day on Oct. 17.

For more information, visit chernealtovise.com.

The War on Words – Oct. 2016

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Facebook Follies

Being on Facebook means never having to pay attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar, or, really, anything resembling proper English. In a feeble attempt to correct some of this errata, here are the (current) most misspelled words, as determined via scientific survey (my personal observations): • It’s cannot (one word), not can not. • Conversely, it’s all right (two words), not alright. • You lose something, you don’t loose it. You can, however, let loose on Facebook. • A female is a woman, not a women! • And (here we go again) you are an alumnus (male) or an alumna (female), not an alumni. (That’s plural.)

Movie Mix-Ups:

As a house party breaks up in Don’t Think Twice, one of the characters tells Keegan-Michael Key that a limousine is coming to pick him up and bring him to the airport. The action (and the limo ride) will be away from the speaker, therefore the proper word is take. As noted previously, the song is not “Bring Me Out to The Ball Game.”

Department of Redundancies Dept.

Shamed Olympian Ryan Lochte claimed that he “over-exaggerated” in describing his infamous incident in Rio de Janeiro. Similarly, Jenna Bush Hager, George W.’s daughter and sometime correspondent for Today, said that a colleague “over-exaggerated” when she praised Hager’s tennis skills after she hit a few with Venus Williams. Exaggerate means to overstate. From a press release for a new book: “Demia shares some of her own personal experiences.” The italicized words are redundant. And long-time reader Debbie Layton says she was watching synchronized swimming and heard the announcer say that one pair “had trouble seeing each other visually.”

Not So Fast . . .

Speaking of Debbie, she caught a glitch in the September column that resulted from a hasty correction on our part. We cited this sentence from the Pennsylvania Gazette—“The Pentagon people came to us instead of we going to them”—and claimed that “we” should be “us.” But, as Debbie points out, it properly should be our.

Media Watch

• “The Clinton’s are the real predators”— tweet from Donald Trump. Like all semi-literates, he gets apostrophes wrong. We’re betting the sign on his house reads “The Trump’s.” • Nick McCarvel in USA Today: “Work is something Nadal has never been adverse to.” The word Nick was looking for is averse, which means “opposed.” Adverse means “unfavorable,” as in “adverse weather.” • WIP’s Jody McDonald talked about a player being “over-evaluated.” This is a common error among sports talkers. A player can be over-evaluated, but they almost always mean overvalued or overestimated. • From The Washington Post: “They sunk into the white sandy beach that stretches along Disney’s luxe Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.” That’s sank. Another common error among both broadcast and print media. • Similarly, Liz Hernandez, host of Access Hollywood: “And now another lucky newcomer who has sang and danced but never acted.” Should be sung. Courtesy of reader Larry Kerchner. • From the News Journal: “Particularly for those that try to find that authenticity in their food, (the report) is not going to phase them.” That should be faze, of course. Phase is a distinct period or stage in a process of change, as in “the final phase of the war.” • From Humble Heroes, a book about the USS Nashville, a World War II Navy ship, the author writes of a cook who worked “in the boughs of the ship.” That would be bowels. • And finally, in the best-selling Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo misuses disinterested several times to mean uninterested. Disinterested means “neutral” or “objective.” He also drops “of” from the expression “a couple of,” as in, “he moved a couple blocks away.” Surprisingly, this has become common among some of the best writers.

Word of the Month

vituperative Pronounced vy-TOO-puhr-uh-tiv, it’s an adjective meaning criticizing bitterly; scathing, abusive.

F.Y.I. – Oct. 2016

CHARLES PARKS BOOK RELEASE IS OCT. 27

The Charles Parks Foundation will release a photo book about the world-renowned sculptor and proud Delawarean on Thursday, Oct. 27. With text by Pam George and photography by Kevin Fleming, the book honors Parks’ life and works. The book release ceremony will take place in the DuPont Environmental Education Center on the Wilmington waterfront from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Charles Parks Foundation is a non-profit founded in 2000 with the goal of keeping Parks’ collection in the state and ensuring his legacy. In 2011, Governor Jack Markell accepted the nearly 300-piece collection, along with Parks’ files, for the benefit of generations of Delawareans to come. The book, Charles Cropper Parks – The Man Behind the Art, costs $50. For more information, visit charlesparksbook.com.

MATTRESS FIRM PARTNERS WITH CFF

Mattress Firm is partnering with Children & Families First (CFF) to launch its Foster Kids Program to provide necessities to foster youth and raise awareness of foster care. Mattress Firm has partnered with local nonprofits like CFF, which has helped support 3,000 families and more than 2,000 adoptions, to expand its outreach in Delaware and provide children with the tools they need to flourish. As a donation from the Mattress Firm, the CFF will receive clothing, school supplies and toys to distribute to those in need. The Delaware Mattress Firm is holding a shoe drive now through Oct. 31, and a Secret Santa Toy Drive from Tuesday, Nov. 1, to Sunday, Dec. 18. For more information, visit mattressfirm.com or cffde.org.

AAA MID-ATLANTIC HOSTS BILL SIGNING

In late August, in a ceremony at AAA Mid-Atlantic headquarters on the Riverfront, Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 302, which doubles fines for drivers caught using a handheld device. It increased the civil penalty for a first offense from $50 to $100; for subsequent offenses penalties range from $200 to $300. The bill also increases the portion of the assessed fine that will go to support the Volunteer Ambulance Company Fund. Since 2014, Delaware State Police have issued an average of more than 12,000 citations a year to drivers using cell phones and other devices. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, an average of 150 crashes a year in Delaware involve cell phone distractions.

COCKTAILS FOR A CAUSE

Grab some friends and head to Harry’s Savoy Grill on Thursday, Oct. 20, for food, live music and an auction in support of the Greater Wilmington Boys & Girls Clubs. Featuring music by Cooke and Friends and cocktails for a cause, all proceeds will benefit the foundation’s mission to provide youth with educational opportunities and tools for success. The event is 6 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $60. For more information, visit bgclubs.org.

7TH STREET ARTS BRIDGE PARK

In celebration of National Park(ing) Day on Sept. 2, The Creative District Wilmington unveiled its 7th Street Art Bridge Park(let). National Park(ing) Day is an annual celebration where artists transform parking spaces into temporary public spaces, which the 7th Street “park(let)” will prolong as it continues to hold community events throughout the year. The art park will promote the Creative District’s goal to transform and unify urban areas around the City of Wilmington. For more information, visit creativedistrictwilm.com.

DELAWARE CRAFT WEEK

From Friday, Oct. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 16, experience Delaware’s role in the nationwide Craft Week as artists exhibit their works statewide. Participants include jewelers, sculptors, potters, painters and many more at venues throughout Delaware. Local artists will exhibit and/or sell their crafts, showcasing our state’s eclectic artistic community. Participants include Hagley Museum and Library, 2nd Act Antiques, Collectibles & Treasures, Mispillion Art League, Penn’s Place and more. No admission fee will be charged to exhibits and events. For more information, visit americancraftweek.com.

INAUGURAL GRIT GAMES

The Central YMCA will host its first-ever GRIT Games, a fitness competition open to the public to test strength, stamina, agility and power, on Saturday, Oct. 8. Entrants can compete individually or on a team in three events: In Runner’s Revenge, contestants complete as many repetitions as possible of several exercises at several stations; the Strength and Conditioning Match-Up includes clean and press, squats and more using a weighted bar; Explosion and Power Challenge involves box jumps, plyo pushups and more. Bring your own team or the YMCA can match you up that day. All athletes, from beginners to pros, are welcome. The competition starts at 9 a.m., and prices range from $30 to $40. An after party with beer and pizza will be held in the parking lot. For more information, visit ymcade.org.