The creator of the #VLgirls, April Ann Reardon, otherwise known as Ape Real. Owner of Velvet Lounge, Wildflower Weddings, keyboardist in daMood, wife, mom and most importantly, bad ass. She has been a role model to many women in the Frederick community and continues to wow everyone with her work ethic and compassion. It’s safe to say that all of us lucked out on having April as our bo$$ lady! After studying fashion in Atlanta and Los Angeles, April decided Frederick needed a better spot than the FSK mall for stylish women to shop. The rest is history as they say….. What’s even more important than April’s several successful businesses and ventures, is her kindness and positivity. Many joke that she could start another business as a life coach because many (and we mean MANY) people look to her for advice. We can’t help but think that her good nature, regardless of the economy or changing fashion scene, is what has kept her in business this long. Read below to learn all about the OG #VLgirl that we all know and love.
The fact we have been in business almost 20 years and some of our customers are people who have been shopping with us those 20 years.
If you could pick any celebrity to endorse Velvet Lounge who would you pick?
Elle Goulding. I like that she is musical and every time I see pictures of her I think her style is super cute and edgy.
What is a food that you couldn’t live without?
My motto. My motto is if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You can never be too organized, you have to be flexible and you have to have drive and want to work hard.
If you could have one album on repeat for the rest of your life what would it be?
Odesza's Summers Gone album.
If you were to open another business in downtown Frederick, what would it be?
A dope spot to get your nails done! Although it’s hard to maintain a mani working with flowers, I always thought it would be cool if there was a hip nail salon that served good drinks, great magazines, played good music and had a hip atmosphere. I went to a spot in NYC called Paintbox nails and had the best experience ever!
In my garden pulling weeds! Honestly!
When picking out your outfit for the day, what piece do you think about most?
Although Frederick is your hometown, what other city could you see yourself living in and why?
I LOVE Savannah, it's so gorgeous and I love the architecture in it.
What was your motivation to open up Velvet Lounge? Has that motivation changed?
My motivation was to provide a source for women to find cool, different, hip brands that weren’t available in the area. That motivation has not changed because I feel that we are still fulfilling that need.
Describe yourself using three words.
Creative, grounded, positive.
A bird, but a predator bird. A hawk or eagle, cause I’m not trying to get eaten! I would love to be able to fly.
What is the best activity for a girl’s night out in your opinion?
Everyone hangs out at someone’s house and we all cook dinner together to catch up. To me that is more fun than going out to the bars. I also LOVE entertaining and setting up dinner tables for people, creating an ambiance for me and all my girlfriends always makes me happy.
A Margaritas and tacos girl or pasta and wine girl?
Tacos and margaritas!
When you envision Velvet Lounge ten years from now what do you see?
I see us still holding down the corner of Second & Market street, by that time I will have a whole new renovation for the store and wanting to still keep up with the trends. Maybe by then my daughter will be a leader in the new generation of #VLgirls.
Photography: Brad Barnwell