From baking cakes to tie dying: meet the man behind FlyDyes

Baking a cake and making clothes may not be as different as they seem, according to Chris Ventriglia.

“Everything has an art to it,” Chris Ventriglia said. “Whether it’s cooking, singing, drawing or clothing design. We’re all artists painting on this big canvas.”

The 25-year-old Seaside Park resident originally studied cooking at Ocean County Vocational Technical School, where he fell in love with baking, but after a restaurant job fell through, he switched paths and started making his own clothes.

FlyDyes, which he founded in 2013, sells women’s vintage handmade clothing. You may have spotted his styles on the street — cropped flannels and cut out tees that have been acid washed and tie dyed to give it some edge.

Ventriglia, who also works as a merchandiser at Urban Outfitters, said he never planned on starting his own clothing business. At first, he was only making designs for himself. His friends, however, pushed him to start selling his creations.

His clothes currently feature flannels, cut out t-shirts, crop tops, denim jackets, and shorts. All of the clothes have been sourced from thrift shops around the country and beyond. His favorite finds have been in Philadelphia, California and Canada.

“I get inspiration from just traveling, go camping, on road trips and to concerts,” Ventriglia said. “Or just sitting in the backyard.”

Philly is one of Ventriglia’s favorite cities to visit — “In Philly, people don’t care about opinions,” he said. “They’re not thinking, ‘What are people going to think of me wearing this?’ ”

He said the same is true for the Asbury Park area. Trends aren’t being followed, they’re being made by the locals.

Ventriglia’s always loved standing out. Ever since he was younger, he preferred wearing bright colors, and statement shoes that weren’t the most popular. He remembers buying sheets of fabric with animal prints on them at the age of 14, and adding elements of it to his clothes.

He loves when customers buy one of his shirts and make it their own.

“I see ladies cut it up in their own way, which is totally awesome. I’ve seen ladies take flannels and cut the sleeves off,” he said. “Seeing people who have different styles and are not afraid to express themselves and not worry about what people think, is something I pride myself on.”

When making new designs, Ventriglia said sometimes he’ll have a vision in mind, and other times he’ll wing it.

Chris Ventriglia Owner of FlyDyes

“Sometimes I’ll do a spiral dye instead of the blotchiness you (usually) see,” he said. “Or I’ll do a cool half bottom dye, sometimes I’ll make the tie dye heavier, sometimes I’ll do lighter depending on the color.”

“You can put 20 flannels on a tarp and just see how it goes. That’s what’s so cool. You never really know how it’s going to turn out.”

Visit etsy.com/shop/FlyDyesShop or follow FlyDyes on Instagram @_flydyes.

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