Rachael Barlock’s Style is as Lively as the Stationery She Makes

The founder of Hazel + Dolly talks her ‘sportswear meets Victorian’ fashion
Rachael Barlock
Rachael Barlock sits inside her Ferndale apartment wearing a top she made from a thrifted tablecloth, a vintage skirt she altered, Soft Haus socks, and Converse sneakers.

By day, Rachael Barlock is a civil engineer for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Also by day (and nights and weekends), she’s a printmaker and illustrator — and dabbles in sewing, quilting, and ceramics. 

The 32-year-old Ferndale-based artist started her stationery business, Hazel + Dolly, in 2014, selling letterpress-printed cards along with fun stickers, pins, prints, and notepads. She says her work combines her love of traditional written correspondence and antique letter-pressing methods with modern calligraphy, uplifting messages, and snarky sayings (think: a card congratulating someone for having a baby that reads, “Look, I’m not gonna babysit — but I’ll buy your spawn cool shit”). Hazel + Dolly goods can be found at shops around metro Detroit and in nearly 20 other states. 

When it comes to her own personal style, Barlock says her fondness for color and mixing prints and textures — Hello, multicolor clay flower earrings, patchwork jackets, green-and-black polka dot skirts, and checkered Vans! — reflects her journey to self. Here, she shares what inspires her looks and what else makes her, her. 

My style is … Sportswear meets Victorian. I love old T-shirts that say like “Varsity,” or just have a number, mixed with Victorian-inspired things. I love ruffles and the big, poofy sleeves that are popular. I try to be colorful and fun. I’ll always take things that probably shouldn’t go together, like a T-shirt and a sparkly skirt, and I almost never wear pants unless I’m on my motorcycle — because of safety.

My style evolution: When I started figuring out that I have depression, I used to wear a lot of black clothes — a denim button-up was my go-to with black jeans. And then, once I started realizing that I had mental issues to address, I started blossoming as a human, and it felt really good. And I was like, “OK, this doesn’t feel like me anymore. I feel like this is a dulled-down, masked version.” And so then I started just finding things that were big and bold and felt more like my personality. Now if you look at my closet, it’s like a rainbow.

Where I find my real gems: I love the Value World in Oak Park, and there’s a Salvation Army in Livonia. Then there are three vintage shops that I go back to: Flamingo Vintage in southwest [Detroit], Old Soul Vintage in Midtown, and then Lost and Found [Vintage] in Royal Oak. 

I can’t leave the house without … A film camera. I take a film camera everywhere I go. I don’t have any understanding or education in photography, but I like taking a film camera to just take pictures of flowers and stuff. And then it’s a very fun surprise when I finally get through 36 pictures and get them developed.

My favorite tattoo is … I just got my best friend’s face tattooed on me, and so that was fun. I’m also working on covering my back right now, and I have a big triceratops head. It’s like my main backpiece — I really love dinosaurs.

I am most inspired when … I’m learning, because trying new things is so exciting. 

Shop Hazel + Dolly at hazelanddolly.com.

This story is featured in the September 2021 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more stories in our digital edition. And click here for more MI Style.