The lovely lady featured in our Everyday is Halloween Collection banner is Chevygrrl. Known locally for founding the Nickel City Dolls and as an internationally published pinup, we decided to get to know her a little more!
Photo: Sweet Heart Pinup
What's the story behind your pinup name?
My Name is Anjie, but in the pinup world I go by Chevygrrl. Back in 1995, I bought my first classic car, a 1972 Chevelle. Also around this time was the wonderful world of the AOL chatroom and I needed a handle. One of my customers at the bar I was working at would always call me “that Chevy girl” so I thought it would make an interesting name for the chatrooms. Flash forward to about 4 years ago when I was thinking of a pinup name... I had just bought my second classic car, a 1963 Chevy II Nova, and thought it was only fitting that I brought back the Chevygrrl name as my pinup persona.
How long have you been interested in the pinup scene? What do you like most about it?
My interest in the pinup scene here locally began about 7 years ago when I was attending The Cavalcade of Cars at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. It was around that time that they started the Old S’cool Review Room where all the local hot rods and rat rods were featured. As we were walking around we saw some of the finest dressed women, from head to toe they were dressed to kill. I wanted to be them! They had so much confidence and grace. I needed to find that within myself. So I started to do a ton of research on how to do the classic hairstyles and experimented with different makeup styles. What I love the most about the pinup scene is that it really is a true sisterhood and we all share with each other tips and tricks that we have all learned through the years.
You've been featured in many magazines; do you have any advice for pinups starting out?
If you are just starting your own pinup transformation the best thing to do is research. You can never know too much! There are so many different styles of pinup. If you are into cars and music such as me you might be more comfortable in rockabilly styling. Whatever you choose just make it your own and be comfortable. That goes for hair and makeup as well. If you struggle with victory rolls don’t wear them, can’t do a winged eyeliner don’t worry and just do what works for you. There are no rules!
Throughout this journey of finding myself, I started doing pinup photoshoots just like many of our members. Many of The Nickel City Dolls have been published in numerous magazines. I have been fortunate enough to be published in 11 magazines 2 of which are international publications. I had no clue what I was doing and boy was I nervous but working with Destiny Rogowski of Sweet Heart Pin Up Studio made it so much fun and the chats we have while she is doing the hair and makeup actually make you forget that you are about to be in front of a camera. The best thing to do is make every photoshoot unique to you and your personality. Don’t try to copy everything you see in the magazines. Most importantly have fun!
Photo: Sweet Heart Pinup
Speaking of the Nickel City Dolls, what made you start this group? How long has it been going on? What exactly do you do?
About 3 years ago I found myself in a rut. The husband was off doing band things or car club things and I found myself sitting at home alone a lot. I had a beautiful car sitting in the garage that was just begging to be driven so I started going to cruise nights. What I noticed at these events was there are a lot of women that go to cruise nights and usually end up sitting alone while the men are off talking about car stuff. So I started chatting with these ladies and come to find out they know just as much about cars and the men do! I thought what better way to get out of my rut than to bring together a kick-ass group of women who enjoy doing car related things. It started out as just a social club with hopes to just get the group out to car shows or just do dinner dates. What we have grown into is a 100% volunteer group. When asked to attend events we usually sell 50/50 tickets for the event, or whatever help the event might need. These events can be for veterans groups, animal rescue groups, bike nights and cruise nights.
Photo: Rumble Shots Photography
Shout out to Current Members!
Currently, we have 20 members including myself. I honestly could not do this without these ladies. The love and compassion they show for our community is overwhelming sometimes. So to Kathy K, Pam W, Kris O, Kasia, Erin F, Pam E, Faith, Amy, Kathy C, Kelly, Amanda, Erin M, Stacy, Emily, Shirley, Cynthia, Sarah, Rose, Alicia thank you for support, your selflessness, and your time.
What events have you planned with the Dolls, what are you working on, what events do you have coming up? Which ones are you the proudest of/ excited about?
For 2 years now The Nickel City Dolls have hosted an event at the Buffalo Zoo called “Pinups at the Zoo”. This is a national event that is hosted throughout the year in different cities, some of which do a Spring and a Fall date. With the help of many local businesses and artists, we have been able to provide gift bags to the attendees both years. For 2020 we are planning a Pinup Picnic, a High Tea at a local antique shop and tea house and of course the 3rd annual “Pinups at the Zoo”.
Pinups at the Zoo 2019. Photo: Rumble Shots Photography
This year has been a busy year for us and this is probably what I am the proudest of and excited for. We were asked to be the street team for the 19th Annual Food Bank Run/Rally and Car Cruise-In. So as a group we have all been hitting up all the cruise nights and bike nights handing out fliers and spreading awareness of the Food Bank of Western New York. This event takes place on September 14th starting and ending at the Newell – Faulkner American Legion Post 880 in Eden NY with stops at Gowanda Harley Davidson and The Outer Harbor in Buffalo NY. Along with this, we have been doing 50/50 ticket sales at Kettles in Orchard Park on Monday nights during their weekly cruise nights. We were able to help them surpass the amount they made last year by a couple of hundred dollars. American Harley Davidson has also allowed us to come to a few of their events this Summer to sell 50/50 tickets for this run as well.
What's it like to team up with Cats Like Us?
What an honor it was for me when Julie Ann and Andrew asked me to model for them and interview me for their blog. The photoshoot was so much fun and Julie Ann’s styling was amazing. If you need help for a photoshoot, car show, or even a pinup contest please ask her advice, she has a wealth of knowledge from true vintage to all the Repro brands. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a huge supporter of the Shop Small, Shop Local movement and Cats Like Us will always be my go-to store for all of my pinup needs.
Behind the scenes of the Halloween shoot!
Do you like Halloween?
Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I was a child. I love coming up with an idea for a costume and creating it from scratch. Some recent costumes have included a goldfish, a jellyfish, and a rain cloud.
Can you tell us about the Rambler car that's featured in the Cats Like Us image?
The car featured here is my husband’s 1959 AMC Rambler. This car is very much like Frankenstein’s monster. She is comprised of many parts from other makes of cars. The engine is a Chevy 350 small block, the rear end is out of a Ford Explorer just to name a couple.
How can someone get involved with the Nickel City Dolls?
If you or someone you know would like to join you can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nickelcitydolls or call 716-472-7121.
Follow Chevygrrl on
A big THANK YOU to Anjie for taking the time to model for us and answer my questions!