1.11.17 2

Fresh Princesses of Chicago


Now this is a story all about how, our lives got flipped, turned upside down!
And I’d like to take a minute, maybe a second to brag
I’ll tell you how we became hashtags and handbags…

Just kidding! Oh wait, you mean you want to hear a custom rap about us to the Fresh Prince theme song?! Well in that case……

Innnnn West and South suburbs, born and raised
Outside Chicago, is where we spent most of our days.
Chillin’ out, maxing, relaxing all cool,
Until college came, and we found the same school!

Just a couple of girls, the same dorm building,
And then we both went off to do the fashion thing!
More college years, this time miles apart,
Until we both moved to Chicago, with a dream in our heart.

Maria started the blog in 2016, around July,
And in September I asked “Hey girl, can I try?”
Our duo blog began, and we shot our first outfits,
Shoesday Tuesday was born and we said “Yo, we might as well kick it!”


Haha Let’s just fast forward now to the part where we get to look at our kingdom, ‘cause we’re finally here, to sit on our throne as hashtags and handbags!

…Okay, so maybe we don’t have a kingdom, but Chicago is pretty much the next best thing. And you’re right, we don’t really get to sit on a throne either. We actually both sit on a swivel desk chair in a cubicle all day! Well, Maria actually sits in one of those new-aged “open air offices” with no walls- while I am confined to my cubicle. Haha

Ironically enough, we both devote all day to spending other peoples’ money at work. Then, once five o’clock hits, we forego our own budgets and throw financial planning out the window to shop for the best stuff to feature right here on the blog haha (insert flying money emoji here).

Maria works at an advertising and media company assisting clients on how to prioritize and allocate their budgets. She helps them to understand the products they purchase and how to best utilize them to maximize results! Maria loves that she gets to work directly with their customers, helping to give them that personal touch!


She started the blog after realizing that she really missed having a creative outlet and that the fashion jobs she looked into in the Midwest weren’t going to pay off her two degrees worth of student loans! Friends and family always asked her for fashion advice and to go shopping with them, so she began to look into how she could incorporate that into her everyday life. She began researching blogs and decided she would never be truly satisfied until she took control of her own happiness- so she took a leap of faith and hashtags and handbags began!


Much like Maria, I dabbled in my own blogging, because I love to write, and in social media styling to stay immersed in fashion. I currently work as an assistant category manager (fancy title for assistant buyer), for a distributor in the fishing industry. I help choose the assortment of fishing rods you see at your local sporting goods retailer- which is pretty cool! My favorite part about my job is the relationships I get to make with our vendors! I definitely aspired to become a buyer, just never thought it would be in sporting goods and durables rather than soft goods and fast fashion. I must say, I absolutely love my job, but I too was searching for a way to stay inspired and let my artistic side run wild.


When I saw Maria’s first few posts, that’s when it really clicked for me! We are two best friends who are passionate, driven and educated. We both love fashion and helping people look and feel their best. And we were both desperately trying to find our creative freedom. Why had we never thought to do this together?! Because let’s be honest here, two is almost always better than one. Two different styles, two ways to wear the same items, two different body types, two different voices, two for the price of one, two scoops of ice cream, two days off in a row…you get my drift.

So one day, I texted Maria and proposed the idea. “Are you interested in joining forces and for H&H to become a duo blog?” I could have jumped for joy when she replied yes! Immediately after came the discovery phase- talking business, brainstorming the ideas we both had and coming up with our “vision” together! Ladies and gents, that brings us to today. We have a long road ahead of us with MANY goals lined up, but we are so damn excited to be on this journey and to have each other to lean on along the way!


Moral of our H&H story? Go after your dreams. Run. No wait, don’t run. Sprint. As fast as you can. Like there is a food truck ahead of you and a T-Rex behind you. Just go. Whatever it is you may want in life, chase it. Even if you stumble, even if you fail, you will find fulfillment and satisfaction throughout the process and in the end you will BE HAPPIER. Trust us.



Topshop Sleeveless Sweater // Hudson Black Flares // Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag // BlankNYC Similar Moto Jacket or ASOS Collarless Moto Jacket


Kristin Cavallari Embellished Pumps // Vince Camuto White Blouse //Express Faux Leather Legging // Echo (Price Matched!) Similar Grey Vest or Wool Blend Vest (On Sale!)

Photo Credit: Meredith Hess

xoxo Stacy

Leave a Comment


  1. Danielle wrote:

    I loved this post girls! Literally dying over how clever your Fresh Prince remake was! I totally feel you both with the 9-5 – having this creative outlet keeps me sane!!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

    Published 1.13.17
    • hashtagsandhangsbags wrote:

      Haha thanks girl, we’re so glad you enjoyed it!! xx- Maria and Stacy

      Published 1.15.17