Shop Till You Drop

We Costume and Production Designed a feature film called “Darcy.”   Darcy’s parents own a motel where she works during summer break doing housekeeping.  Darcy works hard and never gets a day off.  As she is folding sheets and making beds, she dreams of this “perfect day off” She’d go into town, go out to lunch, see a movie, get ice cream and go to the boutique thrift store. She got some courage and decided to ask for a day off.  It was shocking because her parents said yes! Her mom said, “You and your friend Luke better enjoy ‘Darcy Day’ because it’s only happening once.” 

When we’re not working together on a film we run our other businesses.  Rarely, but occasionally, Nando and I will go our separate ways… He to the farm in Lake Wales and I stay home, updating the websites, reading a script or working on new designs.  Yesterday, as he was headed south, he exclaimed, “I’m so excited to come home and see how much you got done. You always get so much accomplished when I go away for the day.” Then he smiled and winked at me because he knows it is true.  I grabbed another cup of coffee and settled in at my desk. It was early but once the darn roosters start crowing, there is no going back to sleep.  

Around 10 am, “Double Trouble” came knocking on my office door.  In the winters, we have a Frenchman and a Canadian that stay here on the farm with us.  The two horsemen told me it was time for my daily riding lesson. Then, they wanted to go out to lunch at Tempo 1930.  How can you say no to that, right?  

I walked, trotted and cantered my little pony. I only fell once but it was right in a patch of stinging nettles. While I was down, She bolted for her paddock.  They made me get back on her to trot a few more laps.  You never want to end the lesson on a fall,  for the horse or the rider. You know the saying, “Get back in the saddle.”

Having definitely worked up an appetite, we headed to Tempo.  They really have a beautiful view of Central Park and the water fountain. It’s a chill spot.  Following a fab lunch, we decided to take a lap around town.  As we were walking, the Canadian said, “Hey Sal, do you want to pop into that Meals on Wheels Thrift Store that you like?” I said, “I really should be home working but, twist my arm and I’ll go.”  We stopped at the bank and the Canadian pulled out some cash.  Frenchie is always up for anything.  You’d think, because he is French, he wouldn’t wear second hand clothing.  Somehow he always manages to find the nicest clothes in the thrift store and picks out the best dresses for me.  Brooks Brothers, Penny loafers and other fine designer pieces literally jump off of the rack at him when he passes by.  

Canada told me, “Get whatever you want.” and he grabbed the tab in the first store.  Then they both said, “What about the Goodwill? It’s so close.”  I usually find Goodwill to be over my budget, but it looked like money was not an object today.  Off to Goodwill we went.  I grabbed a few great pairs of denim and seersucker shorts for Nando.  We also scored some button down shirts that I am planning to up-cycle.  Moneybags was looking for anything sports related.  He wanted “old skool” basketball jerseys, vintage sport uniforms and Polk County athletic team apparel.  I found him a great pair of unworn kicks but he claims to be a shoe snob so he passed.  

Now, while all of this is going on the Frenchman is running around with his little Polo sweater tied around his neck saying “Shop Till You Drop!” As I type, I am just laughing out loud thinking about it.  I said the phrase several years back and now every time we go shopping he says it throughout the entire spree.  

Mr. Shop Till You Drop managed to find himself a “Make America Great Again” campaign shirt, a pair of American Flag swim trunks and a military veterans baseball cap.  He threw in a pair of Walmart flip flops.  Fifteen dollars later, he had a plastic baggy full of all the elements needed for an outfit that he calls, “Well American!” 

Still there is no check-in from Nando.   So, when they suggested ice cream, frozen yogurt and Polar Pops, I didn’t want to be rude and say no.  Plus, they were driving and paying.  We hit up 3 more thrift stores after that.  Frenchie talked me into a pair of super classic leather ballet flats that I would never pick on my own.   The Canadian insisted that I get this traditional western style shirt with pearl snaps. He was obsessed with it for himself but it was too small and didn’t fit into his “sports theme” today. I get this natural high when I am thrifting.  We literally had the truck full of bags and treasures from every thrift shop in Winter Haven.  At the last shop as I was modeling a super chic, crisp white 90’s trench coat, the Frenchman said something that I have never heard any Frenchman utter before, “I can’t take anymore!” (This was coming from the man with over indulgence in his blood.) He said, “I am literally gonna drop. Please, we must stop!”   So, the Canadian and I surrendered.  

We had ten bucks and they had one last trick up their new sleeves. It was perfect timing to watch the sunset over a pitcher on Lake Howard.  It’s one of our favorite things to do after putting in “8 for 8”: a long hard day at the farm or office. With my frosty mug in hand, I figured shopping is actually something I do for a living, so technically today I worked.  While we were experiencing the magical sunset, I turned to Canada and said, “Man, my birthday is not until April 12th but, I feel like today is my birthday.”  He said, “That’s good Sal, we all work really hard and sometimes it’s nice just to take the day off no matter where you are in the world.”  That is when it hit me, it wasn’t my birthday it was my “Sally Day” just like Darcy.  

Nando returned from working just around the same time that we got back to the farm.  He wasn’t disappointed at all that I hadn’t gotten too much done. He was happy, because I was happy.  I had a good day full of “research and development” with my creative team. #shoptillyoudrop 

 P.S.  I Costume Designed 90% of the Film Darcy with Up-cycled and Thrifted Clothing & Accessories Darcy is currently in the film festival circuit


We are Nando & Sally Del Castillo. Style Ambassadors, Trend Hunters and

Model Citizens. As a husband and wife team, we do anything and everything we can that deals with Design. Our work is strenuous and humbling but the payoff is huge. We get to have fun doing it together, while leaving behind a stylish mark for others to enjoy. Between the two of us we have 35 years racked up in just the fashion industry alone. Through his modeling career Nando has worked with the highest designers in Paris, Milan and New York. I went to Kent State University for Fashion Design and Merchandising. We’ve worked in front of and behind the camera. When it comes to Style, Fashion, Set Dressing & Function we get it and know how it works. We are also huge advocates of travel, experience and statement graphic T’s. They represent where you are from, where you’ve been and where you are going. In addition to apparel we decorate and design boutique hotels, mansions and tiny houses. We’re based out of Winter Haven, (where Nando grew up), and Upstate NY, which is where we do the majority of our film work. Winter Haven has a magnetic pull so NY sees us less and less. We are here to share with Y’all some of what we think are stylish insider design ideas and fun side stories/adventures that happen along the way. Thanks for following along! 

Xo Sally & Nando DC

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