Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The EYES have it!

Okay so a sad thing happened to me. Well several sad things. First I finally went to the eye doctor and found that my eyes had gotten increasingly worse and I needed a new prescription. Normally this would be a good thing; better vision increases the quality of life or something to that extent, but not for me. A change in prescription means that I not only do I get a new pair of glasses, but I also have to update all of my glasses. I have 8 pairs in all different colors, blue/green, red/pink Betsey Johnson, tortoise shell, black, black with pink, orange, and even classic brown.  I decided to get a pair of sunglasses this time (somehow my last pair grew legs and walked away…). I took a gamble and picked a pair of old school, large lensed, pink Glora Vanderbilt frames and "Sun Brown Grad"  as the tint.

They turned out AMAZING and I can see so much better, so I started taking my glasses in to get the lenses replaced. I had two pairs updated and then it happened. The red/pink Betsey Johnson frames broke, and then the orange, and the black ones. And I found out that the two pairs that had previously broken were beyond repair. The devastation and desperation began to set in.

Five broken frames...

I will let you in on the secret that my sister and I have been keeping for the past five years. Almost any pair of sunglasses or readers can be replaced with prescription lenses. You can really expand your options by investing in a pair of readers. They come in such great colors and patterns and even different shapes.
I started my search for the perfect frames-plural-I was down to three pairs and I need to have options. I wanted lenses that were a little bigger than my other ones, but not cartoonish like the 80’s throwbacks that seem to keep coming back, and I needed a red pair, maybe a purple pair, a yellow pair or a green/blue pair, and they also needed to be affordable, around $20. Loehmann’s where I purchased frames before has long left Philly, so I checked out Anthropologie.com (too expensive and what if they break during shipping?). Asos.com didn’t have what I was looking for, and neither did TJ Maxx, and then I hit the jackpot at the Nordstrom Rack in KOP! I found Adrienne Vittadini frames with larger lenses in purple, red, and even a blue green marble. Cha-ching!!!
The next day I headed straight down to the PhiladelphiaEyeglasses Lab on 10th&Arch Streets and Shirley really helped me out. The staff there is really helpful, and friendly; I met Lindsey in August when redeeming a Groupon deal and she remembered me when I returned in October. It probably also helped that two of my family members became customers as well. Anyway the store is great and the customer service is excellent. After the third pair of glasses broke, Shirley felt sorry for me and offered me discounts, which I really appreciated!
All three pairs came out as awesome as I had imagined and I’ve gotten such great compliments! What do you think?

Friday, December 21, 2012

You'd Better Work!

December 15, 2012
I headed to Showroom 77 in South Philly for the “Walk the Talk” Fashion Networking event hosted by Tweety Elitou.

Tweety and JRochelle

Sincerely Shoes specializes in extended shoe sizes.

Styled by Curio Styling Consultants

Natural Beauty Products

Selections from Kat's Mobile Boutique: Sense of Style Boutique, LLC

This event was a great opportunity to meet up with other members of the Philly Style Bloggers, store owners and local designers. I met Kat of  Sense of Style Boutique, a mobile shop, and reconnected with Kaydene of Beautiful Addiction and Karima of Skinny Minority and the organizer of Philly Style Bloggers. I also met Monica-a metal smith, jewelry designer and also a business consultant, as well of Jessica of Trend Hungry and the fledgling Philly FABB. I had a great time and was inspired by all of the stylish men and women who came out to network.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Balancing Act

Balancing Professional Work and Creative Work
I often get asked how I am able to manage having a full-time job in Social Work and growing my fashion design business, so I figure that I would share the answer with my readers as well. There is a constant struggle between my career, my business and my body. I schedule around whatever commitment comes first. If I know weeks in advance that I have to stay late at work, then the business events get scheduled around it. If a business event gets on the calendar first, then that takes priority. If possible I try to leave some free time for myself, but recently that has not been possible because of all of the holiday craft shows and appearances. However regardless of the schedule, my body will tell me if I need to cancel everything and just de-stress and relax. I think that this is the most important part about keeping everything in balance because if I’m tired, drained, or stressed nothing productive occurs anywhere.
This past week there were such great events on my calendar, but I worked overtime almost every day and my body just said “no way”. Because of all the overtime, the time I did have to myself wasn’t rejuvenating. I crashed almost every day and still haven’t recovered. However despite the lack of rejuvenation, I was able to start each day refreshed and my performance at work did not falter.  Even though I bailed on three of the events that I had planned to attend this week, I was committed to attending several events this weekend and I have some events next week that I hope to attend. My work schedule is pretty light, so work shouldn’t interfere this week. But who knows! I just take it one day at a time and work around important work, business and personal commitments, and it’s been working pretty well for me so far.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Men Shop Too!!! Events this week only to make shopping less painful:)

Retailers are making sure not to forget the men this holiday season. This week there are some major shopping events geared towards men, and the women that buy for them:)

Town Home is hosting a holiday shopping evening Tuesday 12/11/12 from 5:30PM-8PM at their boutique at 1616 Walnut Street. If you're looking for something shiny for yourself or someone you love, this is the place to go. From bracelets to cufflinks, belt buckles, money clips and even id tags, you're sure to find the perfect accessory.

Wednesday 12/12/12 from 6-8PM 93.3 WMMR, Rock Bottom Brewery and the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) are teaming up with the retailers at the King of Prussia Mall to present The 8th Annual Men's Shopping Night.

There will be special offers and even personal shopping assistance as you search for gifts for yourself and others.  PLUS a chance to meet Preston&Steve from WMMR, a Silent Auction, a chance to meet Hall of Fame Flyer Bob Kelly and the WMMR Calendar Girls, Flyers ICE Girls and Tito's Handmade Vodka Girls, Tito's vodka samplings and some other surprises to make shopping less painful!

Nicole Miller is hosting their 21st Annual Men's Night at both their Center City location ( Thursday 12/13/12) and in Manayunk (Friday 12/14/12).

Bernie Robbins Jewelers, best known for their beautiful jewels and luxury designs is also making sure that men treat themselves and the ones that they love. Cigars, whiskey and "delicious food" at their Men's Night at their St David's location on Thursday 12/13/12 will certainly transform holiday shopping into a great experience.

Also, my all time favorite shop, Commonwealth Proper is offering special holiday hours. I know you're prepping yourself for the fake smile you'll show when you receive those horrible ties as gifts, but you'll feel a lot better knowing that you've already got a few of Commonwealth Proper's new flannel ties in your closet! This modern shop has an old-school feel and such a personal feel that every staff member feels like a new friend!

Holiday Hours: Wed through Sun - 11am to 7pm and closing at noon on Christmas Eve.

Happy Shopping!!!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

PhilaDanco: December 7-9,2 012

Last night I attended the PhilaDanco Fall Season "back to Black (so called 'Black' dance)", and it was one of the best shows I've attended in a while! The music, the costumes, the lighting all enhanced the choreography. But the technique and skill of the dancers is what stood out the most. The chemistry between the dancers, the muscle control, the lifts and the pirouettes were divine.
Photo credits: Philly360.com

Spoiler Alert: Two of the pieces feature my favorite artists, Nina Simone and Otis Redding. The segment set to "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" brought a tear to my eye. It was so beautiful and heartfelt. There were many lighthearted moments and also some intense heartfelt moments. The show is running only through the weekend and there are still tickets available, so buy your tickets now!!!
Photo Credits: CultureMob.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Business of Thanksgiving

So I've been wondering what to blog about this week since it was a holiday, and I didn't do any networking or go to any events, and then it hit me. This was a pretty important week business-wise. Thanksgiving Eve I met up with the executives at i-g Creative and we did a lot of brainstorming about the life/future of my leather handbags, as well as come up with some ideas for marketing. To be honest with you, I hadn't really thought about the leather bags as existing beyond a small project, because I'm still holding on to my ultimate goal of the concept store. I was given some homework assignments for over the holiday weekend, and I really did put a lot of thought into it, especially since part of the assignment was related to my major activity during the weekend. Well my second major activity, obviously the first one was eating...

Saturday was "Small Business Saturday" and another craft/gift fair. This was my second event, and it was another learning experience. I was able to network with other, more experienced, vendors and observe the way customers responded to displays and set up and color at my table and at others. I have come to realize that there is no secret formula, however my system does need some more perfecting. Small Business Administration has some great tips and I have been thinking of ways to apply them for my next few events.
My next event is Thursday 11/29, and I'll let you know how it turns out!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Margiela, Margiela, and more Margiela

Okay, so you must have been hiding under a rock (or just not follow fashion news) if you haven’t heard about the Maison Martin Margiela Collection for H&M .The fashion world was buzzing with rumors all summer after the official press release in June, and then fashion folks everywhere were counting down the days until previews were posted online. 

Just in case you do not know who or what Maison Martin Margiela is or why this was such a key moment in fashion history, I will share my tiny bit of knowledge with you:) Martin Margiela is a Belgian designer who studied at one of the most amazing schools, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve had the privilege to attend their student fashion show and study from a graduate of the school, Anke Loh, and I'm always amazed with the designs that are created. There's the whole story of the Antwerp Six and Martin Margiela is often referred to as the 7th. Antwerp is also my second favorite city in the world (Philly is number one of course) so basically in my mind nothing bad can come out of Antwerp. The Maison Martin Margiela label is known for deconstruction, size manipulation among other techniques, and generally has a sense of humor and mystery around it. The fashion maven, Kanye West, often raps about Margiela which for some reason means that the line has street cred too....who knew. No one in the general public has ever seen Martin Margiela (there is one photo that exists) and he mysteriously left the company in 2009. Drama and intrigue always make things much more interesting...

I digress. I was eagerly anticipating the launch of this collection. Unfortunately I was unable to camp out over night and there is no online shopping in this area, so I was anxious all day hoping there would be something left for me. Fortunately there were still plenty of items available when I arrived later that afternoon although the Candy Wrapper Clutch was long gone.

The Mini Skirt Trouser

I didn't see the pieces that I loved, plus the cashier said that they were expecting a late shipment, so on Thursday I decided to get a classic item, a pair of black wool Pattern Cut Trousers and a fun piece, the Hair Lock Necklace. When I returned on Friday, I picked up the Circle Shirt and the Enlarged Watch Frame Bracelet.

In general, I love really/expect great packaging that is usually associated with luxury brands, but this was my first purchase from a H&M guest designer and I was pleasantly surprised!!! Each accessory came in a special box with a dust bag imprinted with information about the original release of the design. There were special shopping bags with canvas handles, cloth garment bags and a free sample of the perfume Untitled that were all a part of the purchase. Even the iconic number grid that represents the life of the fashion house was everywhere; on the labels inside the garments, the price tags, the shopping bags and even the garment bag. It would have been overkill except white on white is so clean and fresh that it wasn't overwhelming.

To say I am in love is an understatement. I might have to check back next week to see if there is anything left...

P.S. I have not received any reimbursement for endorsing any of the brands or products mentioned in this article.