Alayna Spratley had never intended to be a part of the fashion industry, but in the fall of 2008 she found herself at Ma Petite Shoe. "I've just always had a very specific aesthetic when it comes to style, and perhaps I serendipitously found Ma Petite Shoe," she said. Now, the 26-year-old is the store manager and buyer for the trendy Hampden boutique. The shop specializes in eccentric shoes and chocolate, offering purple platform heels with peacock feather accents (Best of All by Irregular Choice; $214.99) alongside dark chocolate with crystallized ginger (Chocolove; $3.79). Here, Spratley gives b the scoop on everything from her "vintage bohemian" style to her love of Swedish music.

Worst pet peeve? People who are self-righteous and pretentious. Really now, this is Baltimore!


What's on your iPod? Lots. But right now I'm listening to the Knife, because I'm pretty much obsessed with anything Swedish. Also, I heart Feist's new album and, of course, lots of Fela Kuti, because he's the awesome-est.

What song are you hating/loving right now?  I'm loving "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen, because it's both somber and hopeful.

Last concert/gig you went to? Those Darlins at Golden West.

Your worst habit? OMG, all my habits are awful. Perhaps the worst-est: I'm terribly judgmental.

Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Leggings as pants. Unless you're working out, doing laundry or going camping, please just stop.

Favorite actor/actress? I will always love Rosemary Clooney. She's just perfect.

Last movie you liked/disliked? I recently saw this movie by Joseph Losey called "The Servant." It's really quite twisted. Just how I like it.

Last video that made you snort with laughter? Looking in the mirror is enough to make me snort with laughter. I don't need a video.

TV shows you can't get enough of? "Absolutely Fabulous." I basically want to be Patsy Stone.

Favorite book you recently read? Not a book, a collection really. "Love is a Dog From Hell" by Charles Bukowski. The man has some issues, but don't we all?

Last great meal you had? If it's a cured meat, it's always a great meal.

Food you hate? Anything not in a wine glass?

Favorite place to get a drink? 13.5% Wine Bar. Fantastic people watching.

Favorite/least favorite kind of chocolate? I heart the Guajillo Chili Chocolate Mexicano from Taza. Spicy burning in my mouth feels so good!


Favorite and most loathed fashion statements? I love wearing so many patterns simultaneously, as if to transform into a kaleidescope. Also dumpy cardigans and thick plastic glasses make my day.

Favorite quote/saying? "Ride the bus until the wheels fall off." Life would be so much more awesome if we all did this!

Favorite fashion icon? Pixie Geldof.

Best source of inspiration? The craziness that is my brain.

Your best vintage find?  A rabbit fur hat I got for $2 at a thrift store in Tampa. Hello, Iris Apfel!

Craziest shoes you own? A pair of shoes from A/W 2011. It was a collaboration with Jeffrey Campbell and us [Ma Petite Shoe]. They are these fur encrusted booties. They look as if an animal just died on your feet. So hideous and wonderful!

Favorite thing about Baltimore? How incestuous it is.


If you go

What: Ma Petite Shoe

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 12 p.m.-5 p.m Sunday

Where: 832 W. 36th St., Hampden

Info: mapetiteshoe.com