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.

Releases and Openings and Launches. Oh MY!

November 13 First stop was Philadelphia Eyeglass Lab for an eye exam and new glasses. I decided that since I needed new sunglasses, I should make that a priority. After searching around I found the perfect frames and decided on a tint. Now I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that they turn out well...

I headed across Broad Street to The Philadelphia Art Alliance. While waiting for the Motherless: A Legacy of Loss From Illegal Abortion Film Screening to begin, I checked out the current exhibition. Emily Cobbs' Emily Cobbs' Legends: Studio Jewelry is a delight look into Cobbs' imagination. Her pieces and the stories that accompany them are colorful and fantastical. The film itself was very interesting. It showed a different perspective on abortion, and does not preach and allows you to draw your own conclusions. The ACLU and several other organizations have made this 29minute film available online and are trying to promote viewings nationwide.

November 14:  I joined a local Meet-Up group this summer, and have just started attending events. The event this week was an informational workshop about "Business for Bloggers" featuring Jamila Payne of Stylish Life.This event sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun and educational. Leave a comment or contact me if you want more details!

November 15 Launch of Maison Martin Margiela at H&M. Unfortunately I had to work all day, so I was not able to visit the store until 4:45PM. I was so anxious on my way down Walnut Street. I saw women walking down the streets with Margiela bags, and I had hope that there were still items left. I walked inside and almost passed out! There were so many items left and in my sizes too!!! I bought a pair of trousers and the "hair lock" necklace and after chatting with the cashier decided that I should try to return on Friday because more items were expected.

The release of Beaujolais Nouveau wine world-wide. I enjoyed my glass at Tria! Then I headed to the Fabulous at Any Age event hosted by CJ Tours at Piazza Sempione KOP

November 16 Obviously my first stop was H&M to see if there were any new arrivals. I picked up the Circle Shirt and the Enlarged Watch Frame Bracelet.

Next I headed off to the i-g Creative Open House on The Walk in Northern Liberties. I love this company and this party had such a great vibe!

Audio for Music Boxes

Music Boxes available on Etsy

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hunting for Prints

This week I've been on the hunt for printed pants/skirts. I started with the Narciso Rodriguez collection at Kohl's...

November 7 Narciso Rodriguez collection at Kohl's
I was so excited about this collection. The video trailers and the online images were so exciting, but what I forgot was that the because the collection is well-below the Rodriguez price-point, the fabrics would be as well. This coat was one of the few items that had any natural fibers-a wool blend, and unfortunately is not very flattering on me. And I love love loved the print of the pants, but the polyester fabric really detracted from the quality. Synthetic fibers don't agree too well with my sensitive skin, so I had to pass. In case you can't tell, I've got a super sad face behind the camera and unfortunately did not purchase anything. However the online selection is a lot more robust then the store I visited so maybe I can still be persuaded...

November 8 I was downtown so I headed to H&M to see if they had any printed pants. I found a few pairs, and then headed to Anthropologie for the Chef Jose Garces' cook book signing. While waiting for my friend to arrive, I checked out their selection of printed pants. While they had a few interesting items, I did not find exactly what I was looking for. Plus I also was not willing to spend $100+ on a trend item that isn't really part of my personal style....The night was not a loss. Although there were no labels, the selections from Chef Garces' book were tasty and the Spanish wine was an added bonus!

This is the only outfit photo from the night, and I know it's kinda incomplete, but I do love this new to me Air Force jacket. It's not very warm, so I layered a fur vest underneath it, and add a belt to create some definition.
November 9, I took a break from my hunt for prints to attend the Girls' Night Out Fundraiser for Spin Inc as a vendor. 

 I made some great contacts, and was so busy with customers that I forgot to get an outfit photo. I loved my first pair of sneaker wedges so much that I bought a second pair from Asos. I paired these sneakers with tomato red/orange jeans and these tops. Sometimes I forget how bright metallics can be....

November 10, I finally tried on the pants that I bought from H&M and hated them both!!!! So I headed to another location and after searching for hours and trying on too many items, I finally found two pair that I love! I'm building this week's outfits around them, so stay tuned!