Hi everyone! I’m Sam, and you may recognize me from many of the fun behind-the-scenes photos & videos at Rare Dirndl! I love my job with Erika, but today I’m going to jump on the other side of things and write my version of a Customer Spotlight about my Volkswagen-inspired dirndl! 

If you’re like me and grew up in the late 90s-early 2000s, then you remember when the Volkswagen New Beetle was introduced. Even as a 7-year-old, still a while away from getting a learner’s permit, I knew it was the car for me. It was bold, bright, fun, and totally different from the other cars I noticed on the road. Even Barbie had her own version of it, certifying it in my eyes as “cool”.

This dream became a reality when my cousin Emily got her first car- a 2002 bright yellow Volkswagen New Beetle. Was I jealous? Maybe a little, but I was still too young to drive and I knew sitting in the backseat (My sister Olivia always got shotgun) would be just as fun. Cruising around in the Beetle with the girls was always a blast. My favorite memory would have to be the summer we took it up to Summerfest in Milwaukee to see the Jonas Brothers, a band we were all guilty of swooning over as teenagers.

I was 19 when my mom and my aunt came to me with a huge surprise. Emily had gotten a new car, and the Beetle was officially mine! I was over the moon! How could I be so lucky as to have the car I dreamed about as a kid? That summer, my friends and I re-christened the Beetle, taking it out to the beach at midnight, pumping ridiculous playlists through its speakers, and going through the Steak-n-Shake drive thru more times than I think we want to admit.  

Being a Beetle owner was a blast. Not only did I feel fabulous and confident driving it around my college campus, it made a lot of other people smile too, whether it was riding with me on the expressway when the turbo engine kicked in, or by making the comparison to a clown car in their mind.

Unfortunately, age began to catch up with the car. Repairs became more and more frequent, to the point where my mechanic was on my speed dial and the bus was my main mode of transport. Finally, this past, March, it was time to trade it in. I was devastated to give up what became sort of a family heirloom, but from both a practical & financial standpoint, it was the right choice.

Soon after the trade, I was thinking of ways I could honor the Beetle. Since it was a German car, a Dirndl designed after it would be the perfect thing to remember it by. (And a dirndl doesn’t need mechanical repairs!) My Volkswagen Dirndl is bright yellow like my Beetle, and always stands out in a crowd. It has panels on the front and back to look like racing stripes, and they are made from vegan leather, inspired by the leather interior of the car. The Dirndl features an exposed metal zipper, to add some industrial-looking detail, and rickrack on the hem to mimic the treads of a car tire. The apron has modern-looking silver ties and proudly features the Volkswagen Logo.   

I debuted my Dirndl at Chicago’s Maifest, and had an amazing time wearing it and sharing stories with other Volkswagen owners that approached me with compliments and questions. Being able to create this dirndl was not only super fun, (and a bit challenging at times!) but it also ended up being very therapeutic to channel some of the stress surrounding the situation into something creative. These days I’m rolling up to German Fest in my wonderful Toyota Corolla, but when I wear Volkswagen Dirndl, I am still carrying on the tradition started by the Beetle of having carefree fun with my family and friends. 

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl Website and Blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

October 24, 2017 — Erika Neumayer

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