Style Break! Sale ends tomorrow
My hometown is Baltimore, MD and my boutique URL ishttp://shesgotbling.kitsylane.com/
IMAGE ON FACEBOOK
How did you hear about Kitsy Lane? Through a friend who said how fun having a Kitsy Lane boutique was… so I decided to give it a try, and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.
Favorite part about Kitsy Lane? I love every aspect of Kitsy Lane but I would say my favorite part would have to be choosing what products I want to add to my boutique and flash sale each week. It truly is your “own” business and no two Kitsy Lane boutiques are alike.
How would you describe your style? Fun and trendy with a mix of glam.
How are you getting the word out about your business? What’s working? I am the co-owner of four networking pages on Facebook, so that’s a big help in getting the word out about my boutique. I’ve recently started putting up some of the fliers that we can print from our back office… plus word of mouth. I love all the marketing that Kitsy Lane does for its Boutique Owners, too. It’s a huge help and not only saves us time but money, as well.
Best advice you ever received? Two things seem to stick out in my mind… the first being “Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you should NEVER give up!” and the second being “No hard work goes unrewarded!”
Any words of advice to pass on to other Boutique Owners? Do not get discouraged if you don’t get a sale immediately. Building a business is about building relationships and building those relationships will bring you recurring customers. I would rather have 5 recurring customers than 15 one-time customers. And you can’t be afraid to ask questions… the Kitsy Lane Facebook page is a great place to do this – you can get the perspective and advice from other Boutique Owners who may have already “been there, tried that.”
Top 5 pieces on your Kitsy Lane wish list? In no particular order: Amadore ring, Alicia Pink, Adede necklace, Candy earrings, Hydrangea necklace
Anything special you’re saving up for with your Kitsy Lane commissions? I’m not really saving for anything in particular…it’s really difficult not to spend all of my earnings in my boutique. The good thing is, if I were to do that, at least I would earn commission on my purchases!
The warrior’s stone
Garnet, which we tend to think of as a dark red stone, actually occurs in a multitude of hues – every one, in fact, except for blue. The birthstone of January (and associated with the sign Capricorn), the vibrant stone may appear to change color when taken from daylight to incandescent light (but only slightly). The rarest color is a brilliant, bright green hue. Read More
Awards season is (finally) here!
If you’re anything like us, we’ve had Jan. 10th (Critics’ Choice), Jan. 13th (Golden Globes), Jan. 27th (SAG), and Feb. 24th (The Oscars) blocked off since, oh, pretty much last year. Between catching up on our film watching and daydreaming of what we’d wear if we received an invite, this time of year finds us with stars in our eyes.
We wanted to pass along some of the magic by throwing out a challenge: style your red carpet look and share it with us on Facebook! And we were simply wowed by your submissions. Read More
Yvette Craddock, the designer and visionary behind her eponymous line, is a real treat. She’s practically brimming over with inspiration and passion (not to mention exceptionally great style)! Have a listen, and don’t hesitate to snag one of her creations in this week’s sale.
How did you get your start with jewelry and fashion? I began collecting jewelry years ago and discovered that I really couldn’t consistently find the type of unique statement pieces that I desired through one outlet. That discovery triggered my idea to create a source dedicated to beautiful, unique statement jewelry from a variety of artistic viewpoints. I developed the Style Folio collection to include the works of other artists. Shortly thereafter, one of my dearest friends encouraged me to design my own jewelry. One day I sat down and the designs just began to pour from my soul.
My love of fashion started when my parents accepted an invitation for me to begin modeling at the age of five. Their intent was to involve me in a new activity that would help me to overcome my shyness. Their idea worked. My coy nature was cured and my appetite for fashion and fabulous design grew – along with my closet space.
What goes into your designs? I start my creative process by laying out all of my gemstones and findings. Most of the time, I allow the gemstones to guide my vision and create designs in the moment. Sometimes I dream about a design, or one will come to me while I am running. I typically finish a design in one setting. Other times, I will begin a search for that extra ingredient that gives the piece its essence. I know that a piece is finished when I experience an indescribable feeling of wholeness and happiness.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered? My biggest obstacle has been helping women to understand their beauty and personal power. When I first started to do trunk shows, I observed women who were afraid to touch the jewelry even with polite encouragement. It dawned on me that these women were actually afraid of their personal power and not the jewelry. Since that time, I look at this initial obstacle as an opportunity to nurture and encourage women to honor themselves.
Best business advice you’ve ever received? Pursue your passion.
Best style advice you’ve ever received? A friend who graduated from Parsons told me that style is not about a designer label or price tag. It is about identifying the right elements that make you look and feel your best and that truly reflect you.
What’s your favorite material to work with? I love working with gemstones for their natural beauty, healing properties, and spiritual significance.
Where do you get your inspiration? Everywhere. I reference inspiration from colors, nature, films, magazines, photos, art… and the list continues. Each component is a source of design inspiration that truly dictates the story behind each piece of jewelry.
How do you stay refreshed? Any places you like to go to get away? I spend a significant amount of time in nature (the woods and oceans are my favorite places) to stay connected to the earth, spiritually balanced and to listen to my own creative voice. Exercise is also a critical lifestyle ingredient that keeps my mind focused and strong and my heart open. The ideas and inspirations flow when I enter a calming state of uninhibited bliss.
How would you define personal style? Personal style is about celebrating your individuality and combines how you dress, behave, walk, speak, and groom yourself. For apparel, style is identifiable through timeless signature pieces that combine line, color, shape, silhouette, texture, pattern, designers, periods, accessories, and more. How you wear your hair and apply your makeup is part of your presentation. I think personal style benefits from consistency with an element of unpredictability.
You have five words to describe your style… go. Alluring, sophisticated, boho-gypsy, dramatic, and global.
Tell us about your closet. (Well, what’s inside…) All kinds of yummy items – suits, dresses, slacks, blouses, blazers, jackets, sweaters, handbags, hats, shoes, and boots (mostly stilettos), formal attire (gowns, dresses, skirts, and blouses), capes, ponchos, coats, scarves and gloves. My wardrobe is an extension of my art collection. It is full of color and imagination anchored by basic black in unconventional interpretations. I mix designer and vintage with my own designs crafted by my tailor. Every item is uniquely me. My purchase philosophy is to invest in quality and take care of these investments so that I can keep them for years.
Any tips on styling your pieces? Although most of my designs are on the elegant side, every piece can be worn with a simple T-shirt and a pair of jeans. The key to wearing my jewelry is to have fun and celebrate your individuality. Customers have worn jewelry in an unconventional way such as wearing a long necklace as a belt. I suggest mixing pieces to create interesting textures and pattern combinations for a more visually dynamic impact.
Any style philosophy to pass along? Find your voice and purchase only those items from apparel to accessories that truly reflect your individuality.
Here at Kitsy Lane, we couldn’t help making some style-related resolutions. Topping our list is the commitment to try some new trends – so we’re kicking things off with a closer look at colorblocking. We brought in Toni Ferrera, stylist extraordinaire, to give us her insider’s take on the trend.
First off, describe the trend for us: Color blocking is when you pair 2-3 colors together. It can be done with blazers, tops, skirts, pants, shoes, and yes! – even jewelry.
How do you like to wear it? I like to choose colors close together on the color wheel (remember the whole ROYGBV in art class)? For example, try a turquoise top with cobalt blue jeans. I also love to pair shades of the same color together, ie, a red top with a pink pencil skirt. Remember, opposites attract!
What’s the fashion industry’s take on it? The fashion industry’s a fan of color blocking, just keep in mind these simple rules: 1. Stick with two colors. No one ever said Rainbow Bright was a style icon! Work with the hues that work for you. 2. Solids never steer you wrong. A big mistake most people make is mixing colorblocking and prints! 3. Shoes are important, but too much color is overkill. Keeping in mind the “less is more” rule when it comes to finishing off the details of your very well-put-together colorblocking ensemble, it’s best to stay with nudes and black shoes.
How would you use jewelry to create a colorblocked look? Define your palette and let your colored jewelry be the accent of your outfit. Choose a shade from either your top or bottom to accentuate the colorblocking trend further. For example, a red blouse, dark purple jeans, and pink earrings work well together. The same red top and purple jeans could easily be paired with violet or plum accessories too. It’s your call – have fun with it!
Where would you wear a colorblocked look? I think there’s plenty of times to try colorblocking! At the office, spruce up your work ensemble with a colored slack or pencil skirt. Date night or an evening out with the girls is also the perfect occasion.
How do you use jewelry to build the look? I think big, bold jewelry balanced with gold or silver really creates a beautiful harmony with a colorblocked outfit.
This is the year. We’re resolving to take our look up a whole new notch, and we’re using jewelry to do it. Here’s how we’re getting started:
1. Sparkle every day!
Sparkle and shine will never, ever get old. Here at Kitsy Lane, it’s our raison d’etre – our reason for being. And we’re resolving to bring it to you every day, from the hottest merchandise to a better and better shopping experience. More ways to get inspired is on the horizon, too!
2. Try a new trend.
Whether it’s something we’ve been dying to try, or something we thought we’d never try, we’re giving it a whirl. Open minds, right? From color trends to of-the-moment silhouettes, our sales this year will be stocked full of pieces to challenge and inspire our styling selves.
3. Organize our jewelry box.
Yes, this means we’ll inevitably have to throw out some things. (Better yet, donate your once-loved style! Thrift stores, schools, homeless shelters, and other charitable organizations are always worthy causes, and your donations can be tax-deductible, too.) Young daughters, nieces, and friends’ kids might also love your extras. Need some inspiration before you get started with sorting out the tangles? Check out this Pinterest board!
4. Master the art of layering.
It’s time to stop envying those friends who always have it together – we’re diving in 110% and mastering the layered look. Our plan: to start with simple, versatile pieces that can be staples for all the years to come, and build up from there.
5. Share style.
Whether that means playing the give-and-take game with a friend or dishing out styling ideas, we’re doing it. No more fear! You can be sure we’ll be sharing about Kitsy Lane every chance we get, and we’ll be debuting more easy tools to get the word out soon.
We’ve all been there…
Whether we’ve had to don a hurts-your-eyes sweater to please the giver or in pure fun for a party, our instinct has been to stay away from additional accessories and hope no one notices us (wishful thinking, yes…).
We asked you on Facebook how you’d style the “ugliest” sweater you could find – and wow, you blew us away with your great style sense and willingness to go a little crazy! You proved that even a horrendous sweater could go high fashion with a little sense of humor. Here’s a look at what you came up with:
Stay tuned for more style challenges!
A very special thanks to Beautiful Treasures, Jamie B., Jessica W., Julie D., Lynn’s Jewelry, Much Lush, Sam S., Taya E., and The True You by Kimily for your awesome submissions! We’ve posted your images to our Pinterest board.
We are big fans of Leah. Besides being super creative and dedicated to her business, she’s using her boutique as a platform to raise awareness for endometriosis (more below) – check out her story and give her a “like” on her Facebook page. You’ll be inspired, promise!
First, tell us a little about your story! Endometriosis is one of the reasons I started my boutique. Endo, as it is known, affects over 176 million women and can take years to be diagnosed. So it is one of the reasons why my logo and most of the colors are YELLOW right now – to subtly raise awareness (I will be doing something in March all month long). I’ve started my own support group (women only-with or without a confirmed surgical diagnosis) called EndoBook.
Why “Opal’s Jewels”? I choose Opal’s Jewels because the opal is my birthstone. I just love opals. Granted, while I haven’t seen any opal jewelry at Kitsy Lane, there have been a few pieces that reminded me of an opal stone. Also, when taking some time for me (recharge moments), I use the name “Opal Rayne” when writing short stories or other pieces.
Love it! What do you do when you’re not discovering beautiful jewelry? I love to craft and design gifts. When I am not working on a special gift for a client, I can be found creating new pictures/cropping pictures and so much more. Before becoming a Boutique Owner, I worked in retail – I was a manager, cashier, key holder/shift leader, did inventory counts, etc.
You’re always making your own collages and graphics for your boutique. Any tips? For those not sure how to start creating their own graphics, it just takes some creativity and patience. Know that the first thing you design might look horrible or you may have a great eye to piece together a great promotional timeline picture or sales announcements or whatever you choose to design. Experiment. You never know if something will work until you try it, so just play around.
Favorite project so far? I am a very creative person and tend to make a lot of crafty types of [insert just about anything here]. I have some old business cards and a bunch of colored scrap paper lying around, so I thought, why not re-purpose those business cards and get creative. Think outside the box – that’s my motto!
Using the old business card as a size template, I cut scrap paper (I’ve used purple and orange so far) to match the size. On the plain white side of my scrap paper, I fasten a QR code (you can just print it out from your printer) which has also been cut to size. On the side that has color on it, I’ll write something like “Do you like jewelry? (If yes, flip to back…)” to direct them to the QR code, or maybe something like, “FLIP ME OVER FOR MORE INFORMATION.” I like to call them “flip & scan cards” – just one of many handmade or re-purposed items I’ll be making to help promote/grow my boutique!
We’re thrilled to introduce you to Kristin, an awesome fan and savvy Boutique Owner whose new boutique is off to a great start. She had a lot to share about using social media and tons of tips – enjoy!
How are you using Facebook? I utilize Facebook a lot in promoting my Kitsy Lane storefront. You don’t want to saturate your page and have people hiding your updates, but I make one (two at most) KL posts per day to invite people to shop on my page. What you will find at first is that even though people may not buy right away, they are engaged and you may see some new names popping up on your list of customers. I also purchased a few KL items for myself, and modeled them in my profile picture. I sold a feather headband that way. The picture got lots of likes, and compliments by people who saw me wearing it in person!
What I’m finding is that you need just a tad of kooky/crazy to put yourself out there, and promote the business. Follow through, and don’t be hesitant about promoting your business no matter what!
Any tips for posting about your boutique? Be confident in your posts about your store, and have a “take it or leave it” approach. What I’m finding about this business (since it’s free to start, with no penalties or company-driven quotas) is that I can be really cool and take a more laid-back approach with promoting it … I am not in the business of forcing people to be interested, or going out of my way to convince those who doubt, but I am happy to answer any serious questions people have. I like to post fun, open-ended messages to pique people’s curiosity, and while they may not respond via a direct comment to your post, you may start getting inbox messages, asking what exactly it is you are up to.
The comments, the photos, inbox messages, status updates, everything, all present opportunities to show and tell to all the people who may be interested, just by virtue of being your friend.
What have you tried that seemed to work well? Think big! If you have a list of even three customers, and no sales, post a sincere thanks to those customers for supporting you via a Facebook status update for maximum visibility. Think about it. You post a status saying, “A sincere thanks to all my fabulous customers for their continued support! Keep shopping and tell a friend to tell a friend!” – I don’t care if you are addressing 3000 customers or two, a status like that lets people know you are open for business, and people are watching and listening. So even if you are not selling at the level you anticipated (yet), operate and present yourself (truthfully and with integrity) as though you already are! You are very likely to generate interest that way.
Do you use email, too? Yes, though some are hesitant about providing email addresses. I always hip people to the social networking aspect of Kitsy Lane. One person commented on my post saying “Do I have to give an email just to window shop”? My response was that Kitsy Lane is a community that you sign up to explore, just like you provided your email address to start a Facebook page, or a Twitter page. And I left it at that, because if he wanted to sign up, he would, and if he didn’t want to sign up that was his prerogative… long story short, he is on my customer list now.
I always level with my customers, and let them know that they can opt out of the emails by unsubscribing if they’d like to. In general (because I don’t like receiving daily emails about anything either), one thing I do and suggest to others is to open an email account specifically for connecting with businesses and signing up for deals.
How about Pinterest? Pinterest has proven to be a good way to at least get people to view the items you carry, which can drive business – every little bit helps. I have a pinboard, (with the same name as my store) that I pretty much use to accompany my storefront and drive traffic to it. All the pictures I pin are directly linked back to my store. You can even use the pricing feature to list the price on the pins for your items. (Sometimes that little black price tag in the corner makes things more tangible to people, so they know it’s available for sale, and they can acquire it, as opposed to being just a picture you liked and pinned).
But as far as actual sales, I’d say Facebook has been better since I interface better with people that way and answer their questions via inbox messages. I didn’t sell merchandise right away, but I was AMAZED at the amount of people who became followers and viewed my page. It gave me a confidence boost just to know people were listening and somewhat engaged.
Any encouragement to pass along? For those of us who have not made a sale yet, this is when you keep pushing and thank high heavens that Kitsy Lane offers the platform free of charge. Many sales businesses make you pay maintenance for a webpage whether you get hits, make sales, or not. It’s wonderful because you are paying zero out-of-pocket whether sales are up, down, or non-existent.
Be patient – many brick and mortar businesses have a significantly longer period before they turn a profit – and that’s after 6+ figure investments and sometimes years of time and trouble. But the key is to promote the business as though you have invested $$$. Invest your time and patience in attracting customers who will buy and it will pay off eventually if you keep at it.
Any final words? One last thing… prior to opening a Kitsy Lane boutique I went searching for more information about the company, and this unique platform they are able to provide for free, because it just sounded too good and too easy to be worth my time. The big selling point for me (besides being free) was that the site was just launched in July. I only wish I’d gotten in while membership was still three digits big, but we are very lucky to have gotten in while numbers are still only in the thousands. Take advantage of the fact that 3 out of 4 people you meet have not yet heard of Kitsy Lane. You are in on the ground floor, before the market becomes too saturated to penetrate effectively. Here we sit, on the cutting-edge of social commerce. Plant your stake firmly, and claim your spot!
Trends may fade, but that perfect jewelry find can endure.
We all know some of the rules: Sterling silver needs a good polish every once in a while, pearls should always be the last thing to put on, and you shouldn’t wear leather into the shower (duh). But even fashion jewelry can take a little extra care to keep its sparkle through the season.
Fashion jewelry (n): Cheaper, more disposable jewelry intended to be worn with a particular outfit or as part of a certain trend. Not generally regarded as a collectible or investment, and usually crafted of synthetic materials. Sometimes called “costume jewelry.”
The first step to proper care is taking note of the materials at the time of purchase. If it’s a true fashion piece, you may see “gold-tone metal” instead of “24K gold” or “resin accents” instead of “gemstones,” and so the following instructions (and common sense) will apply:
- Store jewelry in plastic bags or in a closed box.
- Remove while sleeping, showering, or working out.
- Take off when applying lotion or perfume
- Don’t wear while cleaning.
- Instead of using soap or a jewelry cleaner to clean, try Windex. Rinse with water, then dry carefully. (NOTE: Never use a silver cleaner – it can strip a silver finish in seconds!)
If you’re looking for a day-in, day-out statement piece, finding one crafted of genuine materials is worth the investment. Fashion jewelry, while just the thing to satisfy our trend-loving style and of-the-moment outfit creations, simply isn’t made to withstand the everyday grind. But hey, while we have them, we sure love them! (And we’ll take any excuse to keep our jewelry box freshly stocked each season.)
Spend a little, gain a lot.
A penny saved may be a penny earned, but any marketing professional will tell you that putting money into advertising is a tried-and-true way to see results. And what more feel-good way to market than by giving potential customers instant credit to shop at your boutique?
Enter the five-pack of gift cards.
Assuming you’d earn a 20% commission on your sales, you can do the math: five customers would have to join and spend $250 ($50 each), and voila – you’ve made back your cost. But now they’re customers. And they’ll be back.
So, who will be your lucky recipients? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- The babysitter, because she always washes your dirty dishes too.
- Your neighbor, who brought your escaped pup back… again.
- Your mom, because she’s never one to pass up a coupon.
- The librarian, because jewelry is clearly her thing.
- Your kid’s best friend’s mom – she hosted the last sleepover and gave you a night off.
- The secretary, who always makes sure your husband calls you back.
- That friendly barista who always remembers your name – and drink.
- Your girlfriends at the luncheon you’ve been trying to plan for ages.
- The waitress at the restaurant, just to make her day. She has friends, right?
- Your sister, whose niece wants to be just like you.
- The kids’ teachers, for all the gold stars.
- The teller at the bank, for a little extra sparkle of her own.
When you treat your boutique as a business, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Good luck – and have fun!
Jewelry, like art, but perhaps more than art, is expression. At Kitsy Lane, we’re always on the lookout for designers whose work exhibits a deep understanding of our desire to express, play with, and build our style. And Adia Kibur fits that bill to a tee.
The line’s designer and a once-aspiring diplomat, Nadia Lee, was inspired to create jewelry after seeing a little girl proudly sporting a tiny metal-spring bracelet in Taiwan. She started her experimentation with guitar strings, and now fashions her designs out of the finest available materials (which you can also find at Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, Shopbop, etc.). Now that you’re duly impressed, without further ado, a closer look:
First, tell us how you came up with your brand name. Adia Kibur is Nadia without the “N,” and Kibur is my brother’s name RUBIK reversed.
Any story to the materials or the production process? I always look for the newest and most interesting materials that are not likely to be used in jewelry as inspiration for each season’s collection.
Best business advice you ever received? It’s OK to say “no” if the fit is not right for you, regardless of how big or how persuasive a customer can be.
Do you remember your first jewelry design? Bracelets and necklaces made from guitar strings but inspired by the shape of rice.
How about your very first job? Adia Kibur is my very first job and my first business out of college. I always knew I would have my own business and do what I love most!
Can you tell us anything about your studio – paint the picture, set the scene…? My office is retro modern but classic. It’s very much my style. I want it to be fresh and modern but very comfortable in its environment and utility. We renovated the office from an old sewing factory. We have high ceilings and big loft-like windows with lots of light and space. We put in a touch of femininity using beautiful chandeliers and wallpaper to make its space feel warm and beautiful.
What’s the biggest challenge when you’re designing or creating? The biggest challenge is trying to bring the whole collection together when there are so many beautiful materials that excite me. I want to incorporate everything into each season, but am forced to choose. Therefore, narrowing down the line is the hardest part of designing each collection.
How do you keep refreshed? Any favorite places you go to take a break? I travel to Santa Barbara often on weekends to get away from Los Angles. I love San Ysidro Ranch and Bacara best when I am there. It’s tucked away and quiet place to spend time with my family.
How about to get inspired, invigorated, motivated? I get inspired when I travel to Asia and see how fast each city, country, and people grow and change each time I am there. I feel energized when I feel that the world is moving so fast and working so hard to move forward into the future.
Any tips on styling your pieces? When all else fails, keep the clothing basic and put on that statement necklace for impact.
To wrap up, how would you describe your own style? Classic in its core, yet edgy for every fashion moment.
We met Monica Davis, Boutique Owner, on Facebook, and were excited to get her “stylist extraordinaire” tips. Take note!
What do you love about Kitsy Lane? What I love most is its business model. It is not a “pyramid” scheme where you have to recruit others in order to make any profit or invest a fair amount of your own income for start-up costs. And we can’t forget the spectacular jewelry, of course! I believe that everyone should have access to beautiful and positive things that make them feel good about themselves.
And how does jewelry fit the bill? To a lot of women, jewelry allows them to play up their assets and attract attention without being too gauche or revealing. Unlike clothing that may fit one day and be awkward the next, wisely selected jewelry and accessories will be more consistently flattering.
How are you using your boutique to help style others? I use “Monica’s picks” to draw attention to the latest styles – the ones that fit a wide variety of tastes but can add a bit of edge to the more timid client without overwhelming them.
Tell us about how you go about making jewelry recommendations to your friends. I think I just pay attention to the personalities and features of an individual and help them select something that brings out their best, which in turn empowers them by giving them increased self confidence. Let’s face it, when we believe that we look our best, we tend to act the part, whether we are conscious of it or not.
Do you have any background in styling? Just my own, which, if I do say so myself, isn’t too shabby! My other line of work is hypnotherapy and life coaching which actually uses similar principles, but is directed more internally, of course. I guess my interests are in both inner and outer beauty and how one reconciles both to create a masterpiece of individuality and style.
Any tips for others struggling to know how to recommend pieces to friends? Ask them to bring you any favorite go-to pieces for different occasions. For example, their best work pieces, fun/casual pieces, evening/special event pieces, etc and expand on these in ways that make them feel daring yet comfortable in their own skin at the same time. It can be done!
Anything else you have to add? In fashion, as well as in life, I have to go with my brother Shakespeare on this one: “To thine own self be true.” Stick with this and you’ll always find your way.
Celebrity stylist & style expert
Toni’s goal: To empower women through fashion in a positive way. “It’s not about the pricetag on fashion, because style cannot be bought.”
Favorite part of her job: Transforming clients’ confidence from average to STYLE ICON in minutes!
Celeb stylist and style expert Toni Ferrara has more than 10 years of fashion experience filling out her (very stylish) resume. Working out of Beverly Hills (natually) Ferrara’s client list reads like “Who’s Who” of Hollywood: A-List talent includes Kim Kardashian, Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin, Kaley Cuoco, and Ryan Seacrest – to name a few.
Honored as one of the “100 Most Iconic Faces in L.A. Fashion,” by Fashion Group International, Ferrara’s talents reach beyond the glossies to include styling and consultations for fashion shoots, celebrity editorials, the red carpet, music videos, film, and commercial advertisements – all while she styles her private clients on the side.
Toni is currently the Fashion Editor for Beverly Hills LifeStyle magazine, and just this past year became a fashion expert for InStyle magazine where you can find her style tips and tricks in the “Reader Q&A” section. She is also Style Network’s MyStyle and AOL Stylelist‘s go-to-girl for “must-have” trends. You may also find her quotes in various newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
As one of the first stylists to head up Kim Kardashian’s ShoeDazzle company, her aptitude for fashion forecasting continues to keep her a step ahead of her peers in the industry. She says: “It’s not just about seeing what trend is hot today, it’s about being able to make trends happen tomorrow.” Truth!
Toni worked with us on our 2012 Fashion Week series, too. Get her take >
A real style pro weighs in.
“I love reaching out to everyday women and helping them look great every day. Having owned and operated a retail business for many years, it is my passion and has always been my true interest. It takes the same passion to run an online store. I handpick each week’s selections to complement my own new line of jewelry. Stick with it, be consistent and persistent. When you communicate, be transparent and open to conversation.”
We’re thrilled to welcome back Sheree Whitfield – with us from the start of Kitsy Lane, she’s back to launch her brand-new line, offered exclusively to the Kitsy Lane community. With a resume that includes casting on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, her career in fashion and retail is something she’s been at for years. Her fresh-off-the-press line features loads of full-on style elements, but don’t let that fool you – what we love about her designs is their ability to transition effortlessly from a white-tee look to ballgown occasion.
We were recently able to score some time with the busy (and stylish) woman at a recent photo shoot where we got the scoop on her style, design process, and inspiration. See below for the scoop!
By way of introduction, how would you describe your personal style? Sensible, versatile, feminine yet sexy, and with a bit of edge.
And what inspired you to create your line? Having owned and operated a retail business for many years, it came natural to me. It is my passion and has always been my true interest.
What’s your favorite material to work with? I love feathers and anything with texture, it breathes life into jewelry in such a unique way.
What kind of woman do you have in mind when you design? She is active and fashionable, cares deeply about her family, cares about her health and still yet aspires for more for herself and her family… I love to interact with this woman – she is my inspiration.
Any favorite places to go for a design break or ways you stay refreshed? I love my workouts – whether strength training, pilates, yoga, or bike riding. I get refreshed through my daily exercise routine. It’s very powerful for me.
Tell us about your design studio! My design studio is in my home so I can multi-task. I pull tearsheets from color palettes in nature shoots, I watch and listen to women I see every day and I like to mix it up with a bit of my personal soul and style. I often spend a lot of time perfecting a base design, then add dimension to finish it off really nicely.
They’re free, fun, and practically guaranteed to get friends shopping.
THE ONE-ON-ONE A jewelry consultation can be as simple as a one-on-one meeting with a friend to go through her jewelry stash, feel out her style, and make some suggestions on how to wear what she already owns. Then you might spend some time proposing some pieces from your boutique to fill in the blanks. Is she missing a big statement necklace to amp up with those tank tops she always wears? Long necklaces to layer and keep her look fresh? The obligatory glam-bam cocktail ring?
Take some time to walk her through your boutique, showing her how it works, the range of product, and offering specific recommendations. A fun tip: sign into your account with her and browse through the catalog, letting her pick out her 12 favorites – then stock your next flash sale with them. Don’t forget to reinforce that those pieces will be offered at sale prices – so it’s a great time to load up and build out her collection.
THE ANY-EXCUSE-FOR-A-PARTY Party? We’re there! If putting a girls’ night out on the calendar sounds like the best idea you’ve heard all week, don’t wait! Get started with an e-vite (Facebook, Evite, and Paperless Post all do the trick), tell your friends to bring their jewelry collections, and after everyone’s ooh-ed and ahh-ed over each’s individual style, you can take the stage as stylist and make some recommendations on how to wear them in new ways by premiering your own collection. (Another idea: make the evening a fashion show, complete with your own “catwalk” where you can coerce volunteers to show off various looks.)
You’ll want to have a laptop on hand (better if you can hook it up to display on a bigger screen) so you can walk everyone through your boutique, pointing out essential pieces to have on hand, making specific recommendations for each friend, and going through the catalog to let people nominate their favorites for your next flash sale.
And don’t foget the snacks! Whether you prefer going potluck style or setting up your own spread, food (and maybe a cocktail or two, if you’re so inclined) can really get the evening in a happy mood. Another tip: If you have friends who are running their own home party business, you can double (or even triple) the fun by inviting them to bring along their goods and adding to the stylish scene.
THE SECRET RENDEZVOUS (FOR MEN) “A jewelry consultation… with men? My guy friends don’t wear jewelry!” Ah, but their girls do. And we’re guessing that the thought of buying jewelry for their wife/girlfriend/mom/etc. really puts the pressure on. Enter you, Boutique Owner, jewelry maven, style aficionado! This is your ace in the hole, your secret operation, your prime time to shine.
Here’s what you do. Send a note to the men in your circle (subtly, of course) letting them know about your business and the affordable fashion jewelry you’re offering. Then tell them that you’re willing – for free – to spend time with them picking out the perfect pieces for their special woman. If you can find a time when the lady of house is gone and you can peruse her jewelry collection together, illuminate some of her specific tastes, point out some classics (or trend essentials) that she’s missing, and make a list of things he can keep an eye out for when shopping. Then it’s back to the computer where you can walk him through your boutique and make some specific suggestions about what to put on his shopping list. Our guess? He’ll be eternally grateful!
Have you tried it? Let us know how it went on Facebook!
Want to read more about home parties? Check out what Janice L. is doing >
More ways to share = more sales. Hurrah!
We’re so excited to announce the newest (and non-virtual!) tool in our box of sharing offerings. Now, you can pick a design (choose from holiday, seasonal, or generic) and customize it with images of your favorite products. And with tear-offs featuring the link to your boutique and your email address, you can post them anywhere! Ready to hit the street? Here are a few ideas to get you pointed in the right direction:
- Visit local shops, restaurants, and businesses and ask if they have a bulletin board where you could post one.
- If anyone in your family works in an office with a board for postings, pack a couple along with their lunch (it’s a subtle hint…).
- Bring them to any groups you’re involved with and ask members if they wouldn’t mind posting them for you.
- If you live in a bustling neighborhood, put some out by your mailbox, like Jade M. did!
- Tiffany P., Boutique Owner is posting hers in nearby apartment complexes and laundry rooms.
- Print some out and bring them to holiday bazaars – or as Kristine S. did, stuff them into goodie bags along with business cards and some merchandise images from your boutique.
Have an idea or picture to share? Post or tag us on Facebook!
The Gift List: making unprepared gifting moments a thing of the past.
We’ve all been there. Your friend/associate/second-cousin-twice-removed shows up with a gift and you’re empty-handed. The worst! Starting now and running through Christmas, you can discover The Gift List – a series of sales that runs two or three times a week and highlights a piece that’s perfect for giving. (You’ll also see The Wish List, which includes selections to ensure you show up to all your holiday events appropriately bedecked.)
Have someone on your list who always makes shopping impossible? Give us the deets on Facebook (or ask your Boutique Owner) and we’ll make some suggestions!
We’ve heard from some of you that you’re planning parties at home and at the office to show off your boutique and some of your purchases, so when Janice wrote to the concierge last week, we snagged the opportunity to get the inside scoop. Have a story to share? Message us on Facebook or email@example.com!
How are you inviting people to your events? By the end of December, I will have hosted and participated in four Christmas Bazaar shopping events and hopefully more. I am hosting an event at my house this weekend using Evite and Facebook as a way to introduce my business and provide a fun early Christmas shopping experience for my friends and family. I’ve invited friends who have their own businesses such as Scentsy and others. It wasn’t something I planned on doing but it’s proven to be an effective way to showcase my business.
Can you share how you go over the business with your guests? I set up an external monitor and keyboard to my laptop and go through the site. I’ll have my business cards next to the keyboard so guests have the option of browsing at their convenience.
Any tips for other Boutique Owners about throwing their own Kitsy Lane party? We’ll set up food on my island. We’re having an ugly Christmas sweater contest with each vendor [from the other home businesses] donating an inexpensive item for a prize bag. Another idea I’ll probably use in the future is to come up with a theme like Girls’ Night Out. Decorate with fun girly things and come up with games and inexpensive prizes. I think girls love to get together just to be girls, so it’s easy.
How else do you get the word out? I have friends and family who know a lot of people. I’m asking them personally to share a post on Facebook or email about my new business venture as well as handing out business cards when networking opportunities present themselves. My husband is handing out my business card as well. I attended a girls’ night out recently and gave away business cards. I’m encouraging husband and men on Facebook to shop for their special girl for the holiday season. I’m really trying to be creative and think outside the box.
Anything special you’re saving up for with your commissions? I will be putting my earnings back into Abri Brae (my boutique) for expenses. I want to run it like a typical business where I have operating expenses and revenue generation. I think that will motivate me to create a high revenue generation target every month.
Any other tips or encouragement for our other Boutique Owners? Well, first and foremost, I love fashion and accessories! It makes me downright happy to browse every day and share all of the adorable jewelry with people. That’s the easy part. I started my business at the end of October so I’m excited about the business model and watching it grow. It’s the first of its kind and it’s exciting to be a part of something unique and amazing. Social media is used for business marketing like never before so I know it will work. I do understand that running your own business like this is just like anything else: you get out of it what you put into it.
TERMS & CONDITIONS Eligible orders include orders whose totals equal either $100 or $200 before taxes and shipping. Each coupon is good for one use. Expires Saturday, December 1 at midnight ET. Not eligible for Boutique Owner commissions.
It’s never been easier to get friends to shop.
Free. Jewelry. Who can resist? We’re wrapping up a whole new way to grow your business and delivering it straight to your customers in the form of a free gift that ships with every order they place over $50. It’s really that easy! (And it works for orders you place, too.)
That’s our part, now it’s up to you to get the word out and remind your customers that now is the best time to shop (and hey, it helps cross off that gift list!). So here’s how you can go at it:
1. Share the promotion across your social channels, email, and speed dial – and be sure to mention that all orders over $50 also ship for free!
2. Send the gift as a personalized recommendation, whether it’s Lucy’s big date for New Year’s or Brianna’s big presentation at work.
3. Talk about wish lists and ask your customers what they’d have on their (hypothetical or otherwise) jewelry list.
4. Post a picture of you with your gift to Facebook and show off how you’d style it (or if you’re on Polyvore, create a board and post your image).
5. Pin the free gift to Pinterest, add the link to your boutique, and share it all around.
6. Talk it up over Christmas cookies and holiday feasts.
And there’s a bonus: when three of your customers place qualifying orders, we’ll quietly ship you your very own gift – no purchase necessary. On the house! That’s how we like to say “thank you” around here. And we’ll keep on sending you one for every three customers who earn it. (We’ll be changing up the gift pick every once in a while to keep things fresh.) Want to check your progress? Just go to Manage Boutique > My Earnings and you’ll find a new column noting whether or not orders placed at your boutique are eligible.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
To be eligible, orders must contain $50 or more of merchandise (order total calculated before shipping and tax). There is no limit to the number of qualifying orders that can be placed during the promotion period. In the event of a return from a qualifying order, free gift must accompany the return shipment, or the value of the piece (up to $50) will be deducted from the refund amount. Free shipping comes standard with any order over $50. While supplies last.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
To be eligible, orders must contain $50 or more of merchandise (order total calculated before shipping and tax). There is no limit to the number of qualifying orders that can be placed during the promotion period. In the event of a return from a qualifying order, free gift must accompany the return shipment, or the value of the piece (up to $50) will be deducted from the refund amount. Free shipping comes standard with any order over $50. While supplies last.
Thanksgiving is a heartwarming time to slow down, take a pause, and let our hearts well up with all the things we have to be thankful for. Among all things great and small, jewelry (naturally!) makes our list – so we thought we’d share the trends that anchor our everyday look with you.
Jessica is full of jewels of wisdom – and we just adore her take on style! Take a read and get inspired.
How did you hear about Kitsy Lane? I found it on a work-at-home forum and signed up right away! I ran a direct sales jewelry business a couple of years ago, and you didn’t get commission unless you had a certain amount of sales ($250 per month I think). Way too much to keep up with. This is perfect to do in my spare time, plus the auto [Facebook] posts, the remarkable ways it is intertwined with social media and is up-to-date with technology… I love it!
So tell us… how would you describe your style? THE ANTI-MOM!! I have three daughters (Sophia is 4, and I have twin 2 year olds, Amelia & Natalia), but I am only 30 years old! I recently lost nearly 65 pounds and don’t want to have to wear mom jeans and flats everyday. I love experimenting with makeup, nails, jewelry, shoes… basically anything that makes me feel pretty. 30 is the new 25, and there’s no reason to give up on yourself when you are a mom. I want my daughters to look to me for style advice and not have to turn to too skinny models and negative ads. All women have it in them, and Kitsy Lane can certainly help with style AND self-confidence!
How are you getting the word out about your business? What’s working? I have found that having it post on Facebook every night like you have it set up to do is amaaaaaaaazing for my business. Don’t say anything – just let it post. People will see it. I also post on public forums every few days about the free opportunity. Lots of people pay to join companies (I am one), and they feel like they are losing before they even start. With this company, you are able to start for nothing and then with the VIP coupon, you get $80 for only a $40 investment! I am sure to say that in my advertisements a lot. People love a great deal and women love jewelry. I am also keen on advertising for the holidays. After Christmas will be Valentine’s Day (ding ding!), then Easter, etc. Never forget that there are birthdays and people always looking for great deals. Mention the coupons you have, mention that you have flash sales. Don’t over advertise. People HATE that. Be forward, but vague. They’ll be back.
Since we’re talking about holidays… do you have a favorite? Gosh, I’m probably going to have to say Christmas now that I’m a mom. It’s amazing to see the wonder of Christmas through my daughters’ eyes. My oldest shakes from excitement for days and I love seeing them so happy and excited! One of my most favorite things about being a mom, hands down!
Best advice you ever received? I don’t know where I heard it, but the old adage that if you don’t love or take care of yourself, how could you do the same for others? True of many things – your love life, your health, your children, and your business! Don’t look to others for self-esteem and worth. Do it yourself and you will see huge results in all of your life’s parts.
Any other words of advice for other Boutique Owners? Don’t give up – ever! Be persistent, but never annoying. Follow up, offer coupons, and if you get an order, personally email the customer to thank them. Don’t forget to offer your amazing free business for a part-time opportunity!
Okay, an easy one: favorite Kitsy Lane piece so far. I purchased the Elvira skull bracelet in white. I love to throw in a shocking piece to my daily wear. What’s more shocking than a well put-together woman with a super hot skull bracelet?
Are you saving up for anything special with your Kitsy Lane commissions? Oh… probably some Kitsy Lane jewels! Bad, I KNOW!
Spin, win, and style!
Answer three rounds of trivia to get your name on the leaderboard. Five winners each week score up to $500 in beautiful Kitsy Lane jewelry! We’ll announce the winners each Sunday on the game page.
HOW IT WORKS Spin the wheel to discover how many points you’ll get for each letter you guess. Think you know the answer? Just click “I know it!” and type or select the letters to unveil the answer. Each game consists of three rounds, and you can play as many times as you like – but only your most recent attempt by the end of Sunday counts. Each week it’s a new game!
Many of you have been asking about business cards, and we can’t wait to get started on designing some templates for you once the craziness of the holiday season is over (this is retail, after all!). In the meantime, some of you have shared your own designs with us, and we wanted to make sure you all got a close look.
Introducing… Jessica, whose fabulous biz cards are thoughtfully designed and have a plan behind them to get the word out!
Jessica, we love love love what you’ve done. How are you planning on sharing them? I have asked family and friends if they would post my business cards around where they live – so far I am sending them to three states and several different cities and towns. I’m still asking people so hopefully I can reach a few more states and get my business further out there.
What seems to work the best? Leaving them at restaurants after your meal, when paying bills include a business card, give out two cards instead of just one, and ask local businesses to keep some next to their register.
Any recommendations for Boutique Owners who want to get started with their own designs? I use an online publishing company called Heritage Makers. You can create your cards from scratch, or use a pre-designed template… everything is customizable! I am also an Independent Consultant for them so I already know the quality of the product and that I could do just about anything. I actually used a pre-designed template and modified it the way I wanted.
Any other tips? Post your cards anywhere you’re allowed and ask your friends and family to help. Putting a QR code on them will also help you get traffic to your boutique. Always carry cards with you wherever you go, so when someone says “That’s a beautiful necklace!” just hand them a card and say “Thank you! You can find it here at my boutique”! Creating a business page on Facebook helps too. Also, ask your customers what they want to see more of, what their style is, and then use that information when adding jewelry to your boutique or flash sales. It’s their boutique too!
So once all this work pays off… anything special you’re saving for? A family trip to Disney World.
Feeling a little less than confident lately? Tap into your imagination and replace that negativity with joy – it just takes a touch of topaz! The name comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire,” and the stone was believed by the Egyptians to be colored by the glow of the sun god Ra.
Despite being a particularly hard gemstone, topaz (just like diamond) can be split with a single, well-placed blow. (Speaking of diamonds, there’s a giant, colorless speciment of 1,640 (!) carats that was set in a 17th century crown originally believed to be a diamond.) If you, like us, usually think of topaz as blue (Imperial Topaz was a favorite among Russian Czars in the 1800s) its spectrum of hues also include pink, green, red, gold, yellow, blue, white, reddish yellow, brown, and even grey and a colorless sort. Deep yellow and pink are considered the most valuable.
If you’re into that sort of thing, the metaphysical properties of topaz include being able to correct unloving behaviors, to bring about lightness of spirit, stimulate metabolism, and to enchance clear-sightedness – physically and spiritually. It’s also known as a protective stone – from everything from harm of all sorts to sleepwalking. The ancient Greeks even believed it could make the wearer invisible in times of emergency (we’d like to hear the story behind that one)!
Birthstone: November (Sagittarius) – orange topaz Anniversaries: 4th, 19th, or 23rd years of marriage Symbolizes: Friendship Comes from: Russia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Utah, and others
Everything about Thanksgiving warms our hearts. The family and friends gathered ’round, the cozy layers required by chilly air, hot drinks, and a table laden with mouthwatering dishes.
In the spirit of thanks, we wanted to share a little tradition. Below is a page you can save (drag and drop to your desktop) full of little cards to cut apart – on each, you’ll find a blank to fill in with something you’re thankful for. Then, at the dinner table, pass them out for everyone to write their thanks on, dropping them into a hat, jar, or whatever clean pot you have left. Then, pass around the container and have everyone draw one out to read aloud. Instant happy heart!
Verily, verily, verdigris. It turns our head every time. Not only is that vibrant green hue instantly fascinating, the process by which the finish is achieved ensures that every piece is completely unique. Here’s how it works:
It all starts with copper. Exposed to acetic acid (or the ocean – you’ve seen the Statue of Liberty, right?), the beautifully burnished surface starts to react, crusting over with verdigris. Centuries ago, as a required pigment among painters, copper plates were hung over pots of hot vinegar or submerged in pots of distilled wine. The plates would take about a week to turn to verdigris, and housewives would then scrape it off to be used for paint pigment.
And fashion loves it. Bright yet neutral, there’s something very earthy about it, and today’s obsessed-with-all-things-vintage trends can’t get enough. From home accents to clever pendants, we’re loving it too!
We discovered Tiffany on our Facebook page, and knew at once we had to interview her. A business-minded and fashion-loving woman of great style, she had quite a few ideas and encouraging thoughts to share with the rest of you. (Have something YOU want to share with everyone? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
How have you been getting the word out about your business? I have been doing everything I can think of to get my boutique out there – from ordering T-shirts, pens, and notebooks, to a Twitter page, Pinterest, Facebook, and pasting my URL to everything I can stick it to. My aunt has her own store where I have placed flyers and business cards. I take this seriously and I am honored that I am taken seriously. I have also added Kitsy Lane to my resume (thank you guys for that wonderful tip) so when I present myself to the world as a business woman, I am not only looked at as a entrepreneur but as someone who is motivated.
I have been looking for an opportunity to be part of the fashion industry and having an online boutique such as this one has been quite the experience for me. Thank you for sharing this opportunity with women such as myself, who are looking to move forward in today’s world of fashion.
Love that you’ve got your eye on the fashion industry! What inspires you? I think of myself as a fashion-forward woman of style and this is my beginning into a striving industry. A lot of my favorite blogs and resources come from the magazine editors, fashion icons, and those who have been in fashion for the better part of their lives. I look to Fashion Week to keep up with the latest on- and off-runway styles and up-and-coming fashion designers. I look at what they are wearing and what they are bringing into the fashion industry. And I have always been a huge fan of the designers who have yet to get their collections out to the world. They are the ones who bring me my inspiration because they are the ones still striving for that success and no matter what they never give up.
What are some trends you’re loving now? I have always been a big fan of the retro look and the more classic look. The Rave Review as well as the Alexandra Koumba Collection (which, by the way, is one of my faves), offers the closest match to my own personal style.
What’s your ideal outfit? My dream outfit is a mix of runway, classic, and urbanwear. It’s BOLD and makes a confident statement. It’s edgy and daring yet sophisticated and demands attention when I walk into a room.
Any other words of advice or encouragement for our other Boutique Owners? Be AMBITIOUS, and pursue your dreams whatever they may be. Only you will be your biggest success if that’s what you are striving for. Stay focused and never lose sight of why you started this business – always strive for the bigger picture… stick with it from beginning to end. And always stay true to who you are.
Are you saving up for anything in particular? I am saving up for my three babies.
You have five words to describe your style. GO. Eclectic, Classic, Sultry, Fierce, and Fabulous.
Well-played conversation starters, the unique sophistication of Alexandra Koumba’s creations turned our heads immediately. The artist, who premiered her “eye for design” as an interior designer, is known to scour auction house and galleries for inspiration – and it pays off: Alexandra became the official designer of jewelry and accessories for the 2011 Special Olympics (summer) and is regularly covered by top fashion publications (it helps that her work is popular among the Greek celebrity set). Here’s her story:
How did you decide on your brand name? myi4d stands for “My Eye For Design,” which encapsulates all I do: proposing and creating 3D objects and spaces which express my eye for design!
Where do you get your inspiration? I am inspired by nature, ancient Greek, universal symbols, and protection keys. Overall, I use simple bold forms or intricate microorganism-like patterns.
Any story to the materials or production process? All are handmade from three artisans in Athens – nothing is made in Asia or any other place. Also, all the stones are individually set – not glued – even if my collection is about offering fashion accessories and not fine jewelry.
Best business advice you ever received? Don’t sell yourself short!
Do you remember your first jewelry design? I was 13 in a French summer yard of a sculptor who taught me how to make metal wire and how to weld – that was all I could do, so I made a double wire bracelet with many welded columns, like a Roman Coliseum!
How about your very first job? It was designing interiors in a basement office with endless bright white strips of light. Not great really…
We love picturing our designers working away in their studios. Can you set the scene? It’s a mess of boxes and drawers. My desk is a quarter filled with samples of tiny bits and half filled with accounting info, manufacturing costs, and bills… not that creative! Creation is a spark of 1% in the overall process I believe!
What’s been your biggest design obstacle so far? In jewelry making, to make a mold of lace without keeping the lace inside the final object. In interiors, to combine many fabric patterns and colors in a tiny room.
What’s your favorite spot for a design break? Is there a design break? It runs in your veins! But really, it will be Paris revisited!
Metal of choice? Rose gold!
If you could only wear one piece of jewelry for a year… My Crown pendant with malachite stones!
Give us a few words to describe your style. Refined, affordable, sophisticated.
How do you like to style your pieces? Styling my jewelry is about wearing monochromatic combinations with these bold but yet refined pieces to carry through your unexpected days – from work straight to cocktails and late night dinners.
A rainbow of gold? The metal that caused the rise and fall of kingdoms does indeed come in a wider spectrum than you may guess. But it takes an alloy to reflect a hue – other metals are added to 24K gold to take the color in a new direction.
Far from watering down the gold, mix-ins strengthen the precious metal and enhance its color. Even white gold comes with a little something extra: manganese, nickel, palladium, and platinum are common choices for lightening the tone (even then, the alloy is usually coated with a thin layer of rhodium to whiten and brighten).
For that delightfully warm and whimsical hue we recognize as rose – or pink – gold, copper is called upon to work its magic, usually at a 75/25 ratio (so gold is still the dominant element). And in an attractive twist unique to the alloy, the color brightens and deepens with age – that’s thanks to the tarnishing of the copper.
As for the other hues, there’s purple (mixed with aluminum), blue (with indium), green (with silver), and black (with rhodium or ruthenium). Sound easy to mix and mingle? While all start with a malleable 24K gold, getting just the right percentages of the mix is a tall order – too much or too little and the alloy could be too hard, brittle, or impossible to work with.
We confess, we played dress-up with our mother’s (and grandmother’s) baubles when we were wee ones. While we may not have taken it to the level of success seen by sisters Laura Lee and Tracy (our “creations” were, ahem, a little less inspired), their jewelry line, FULHAM, really inspires us to get out the jewelry box and start getting more whimsical. Their all-grown-up designs have been featured in top style publications (think InStyle, Lucky, and WWD), on Gossip Girl, and we’re so pleased to have them on board!
Tell us about your very first jobs. Laura Lee worked as a fashion stylist for a Canadian magazine. Tracy (now based in NYC) worked for an entertainment show at a Canadian TV network.
How about your very first jewelry design? It was a hand-wrapped pair of beaded earrings.
Your brand name is of course your own last name. Any more to the story? It’s also a bit of a tribute to our heritage, specifically our father whose work ethic we admire.
And where do you get your inspiration? We’re mostly inspired by the classics – from the old movies we love to our very extensive collection of vintage fashion magazines. We’ve really been inspired by the fashionable women in our lives – our mother, grandmother, and great aunts – women who truly dressed to impress.
You have five words to describe your style. Go! Bauble-loving, vintage aficionados.
Your pieces are really lovely. Can you tell us a little more about what you’re going for? The line features handmade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that meld vintage materials such as crystal findings, chain, fabric, and baubles with modern elements. Our mission is to create affordable, premium, original, fashion-forward jewelry infused with glamour and sophistication. Each piece is handmade and with a definitive attention to detail which speaks of our commitment to the highest standards of quality.
What kind of woman do you design for? FULHAM pieces can be worn by anyone – from the most chic fashionista to the laid-back, understated girl-about-town. Inspired by our grandmother’s costume jewelry collection, we design for the girl who wants to make a statement and knows what to wear to best reflect her personality.
Best business advice you ever received? Do what you love and love what you do and you’re guaranteed to be successful.
Any favorite spots for a design break? In a quiet spot with a good cup of coffee poring over design and fashion magazines.
What has been your biggest design obstacle so far? Sourcing findings in Canada. There is definitely a small market on jewelry findings and an even tighter one on vintage.
Any style advice to pass along? Never follow trends – always wear what makes you feel your best.
Heard of howlite? Versatile and adaptable, the semi-precious stone is a favorite among jewelry designers for its softness and ability to take on dye colors. While it’s naturally found in a snowy white or grey with black veinwork, you’ve likely seen it imitating turquoise, lapis lazuli, or red coral when saturated with dye. (Want a great example? Take a look at Alice Upton’s SKULLETS brand!) The majority of all howlite comes from California and Canada.
Now, if you’re into the mystical attributes of your gemstones, this one happens to claim some wonderful properties: Calming, it’s said to aid in sleeping, dreaming, and stress relief. With a ingrained sense of decency, it encourages desirable personal attributes and pushes out negative emotions (anger, resentfulness, selfness). It also assists in helping you look deeper inside yourself.
So, whether an unavoidable confrontation is on your horizon or you just want to show off your style savvy, add some howlite to your look!
‘Tis the season for going a little goth. And no one’s more ready than designer Alice Upton, queen of all things skulls. But lest that be a frightful thought, take another look – her designs, while edgy and chic, have an element of cuteness and decisive personal style. And they’re no mere trinket: skulls are constructed of dyed howlite (a semi-precious stone), and the eyes are inset with Swarovski elements for a higher-end goth/glam juxtaposition. The cleverness!
So. Skulls. We need some tips on how to wear them! Try wearing them to a more formal event such as a cocktail party. I also like to see them worn every day. They work well worn layered with more SKULLETS or with other bracelets.
How’d you get the name “SKULLETS”? It’s the merging of “skulls” and “bracelets.”
Can you tell us a little more about what these are made of? The materials I use are made of semi-precious stones, lava beads, and Swarovski elements. Most all of my designs feature a stretch band instead of clasps so they can be put on and taken off very easily.
We love all the variations of color. There’s a little something for everyone! Yes, my SKULLETS designs are inspired by different personality types and different personal styles.
If you could wear any one piece of jewelry for a year… It’d be my Purity Wrap Around because the colors are neutral and it would match everything!
Tell us about your studio! My studio consists of mostly art materials, works of art from college assignments (Massachusetts College of Art & Design, class of ’11), and I have a section of the room devoted to beading/SKULLET making.
First job? Favorite job? My first job was babysitting, then I worked at a privately owned daycare – I loved working with children. While in art school at MassArt, I decided to follow my passion for makeup artistry and worked with a woman who had a wedding makeup business. Shortly after, I started work for MAC Cosmetics, which is where I currently work. (At Fashion Week in NYC, I did makeup backstage for Katie Gallagher and Peter Som!) I have a makeup artistry and airbrush tanning side business for myself. I love art and design in general as well as the beauty/fashion industry which shows in the work I choose to do!
Here’s our latest Boutique Owner Spotlight – we met Kathryn through our Concierge, and were immediately impressed with her enthusiasm and sense of community. And since we love to get to know our Boutique Owners, we had to start a converstation and wanted to share it with you!
How did you discover Kitsy Lane? I received an email from a well-known site promoting Kitsy Lane. I signed up right away. It was the opportunity to do something fun, interesting, and different that I had been waiting for.
The best part about Kitsy Lane? Meeting new people. I have loved getting to meet people from all over the country. I have discovered the world of blogging! I have been in contact with many bloggers and I love their individual styles, posts, and what they have to say about my boutique.
What do you think about the styles and trends in the boutiques? Love them. Everyone has such a fun unique style.
How have sharing and sales been going so far? Sharing has been great. I have been able to get word out about my boutique on the internet and through friends and family. Last month my sales were amazing. This month not so much. I am not worried though. It is all part of the process and part of the fun. When sales are down I am finding new ways to challenge myself and thinking of new ways to share and promote.
Any tips for new Boutique Owners? Connect with people who are interested in what you are doing. Maybe it is your customers or your Boutique Owners… or maybe even family. It is so important to stay encouraged and excited! I have reached out to my Boutique Owners to see what they are interested in – what they like and don’t like. We are keeping each other encouraged. My friend and I are also in this together. We bounce ideas off each other about how to promote, etc. and keep each other updated with the new things going on with the boutique.
How would you describe your style? Clean and simple. I love wearing basics and then adding a great statement piece to the mix. It really highlights a great piece of jewelry.
Equal parts vintage and modern, Kanupriya’s signature look involves overseas influences (she grew up in India) and luxurious overtones, emanating an innate beauty that can be dressed up or down. Citing the smart, stylish, and fearless woman as her inspiration, the line (launched in 2010) is already a favorite among the fashion elite – from the US to South America, Europe, and Japan – and we’re so thrilled to bring it to you!
Can you tell us about your first jewelry design? My first jewelry design was made when I was 10 – I strung together two of my mom’s pearl necklaces and made something truly glamorous!
Where do you get your inspiration? When I was starting out, I studied and read about a great deal of ancient Indian and Victorian jewelry, the styles and trends. Ultimately, I draw much of my inspiration from traditional Indian jewelry and add a contemporary twist.
Any story to the materials or production process? We source materials mostly from Jaipur, Rajasthan which has a wealth of stones and unique materials to create jewelry. I personally travel to India twice a year to sit and design my collection with the talented craftsmen. A lot of jewelry is handcrafted and the intricacies of design in each piece are handled painstakingly.
Describe your style. Bold, Classic, Elegant, Exotic
Tell us about the woman you design for. Usually aged 25-45, they are smart, working, and have style, but are not afraid to experiment. They are aware of how they look and the choices they make. These women are fashion forward. I love the style aesthetic of Keira Knightley, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Halle Berry.
If you could only wear one piece of jewelry for a year… I think my go-to pieces are my cluster necklaces, which I can wear with jeans and a shirt or a cocktail dress. Perfect for dressing up or down.
Best styling advice you ever received? Reinvent the vintage. Add a modern accessory and voila – you have a new look!
How about the best business advice? To always listen to my buyers – they are the ones who wear my jewelry and I try to incorporate their feedback in my style of working and designing.
We love imagining the life of a designer. Can you paint the scene of your workspace? I work from home so I have the shortest commute in the world. The big wall in my office I painted deep red myself – it’s crammed with images of all my recent press. One side of the wall has mannequins which are adorned with my latest creations as they come in. The design board on my desk is filled with sketches of designs as I keep thinking of them. There is a huge color palette on my wall to pick and choose my colors for the next season.
If you need to escape from the studio for a while, where do you head? The beach – there’s something about the ocean which inspires tranquility and creativity.
Mireya Villareal, Founder and Designer of Pink Pewter Collection, is worthy of a little praise. Her love of all things hair (which began in the salon), has evolved into a clear-cut ambition to accessorize and transform the looks of Hollywood celebritities and everyday women alike. We love Mireya’s creative style and use of jewels for trendy tresses. And for a little Did-You-Know: her Pink Pewter headbands were featured in the Golden Globes Awards Celebrity Gift Lounge!
Tell us about your very first job. I was a shampoo girl in my mom’s salon.
Where do you find your design inspiration? From traveling around the world – I travel quite a bit and try to find the most unique beads and fabric in the most remote places and build the combinations based on international inspirations.
What’s the best styling advice you ever received? Always have a smile on your face. It makes you pretty in any kind of clothing.
What’s your favorite spot for a design break? My sun room. The natural light gives me energy. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk in the local nature park and hug a tree.
How did you decide on your brand name? My daughter actually named it. She loved the color pink (of course), and she used to call the “computer” the “pewter.” So, since I was always on the computer working, the two words just merged together.
Karine Sultan is an esteemed French artist and a go-to for Hollywood stylists. Her line, Karine Sultan Paris, is the result of a remarkable 20-year journey in creative jewelry design and craftsmanship. Now living in L.A., Karine designs for women of all ages. What we love? Her timeless manipulation of basic metals. Distressed, twisted, hammered, cutout… each piece is truly unique.
Here, Karine shares a bit of the mystery behind her designs.
Where do you find your design inspiration? My design is a reflection of what I feel and experience. It might start with a simple bracelet that anybody could find anywhere. After spending some time just looking at objects, clothes, or even people surrounding me, I turn my inspiration into shape.
What prompted your move from the high-style Paris scene? I had the opportunity to open my first US boutique. And L.A. has a style reputation of its own – the beautiful and interesting architecture, the culture, and most importantly the people of the West Coast, have definitely influenced my design style – organic elegance.
We’re bow-obsessed. If you think they have a reputation for being overly fussy, think again: we have tips to tone down the sweetness and rev up your style cred.
Debra Shepard is a pioneer in the modern jewelry world for designing an earring that requires no backing (yes, you can lose that stash of erasers in your fashion-fix-it kit). We love her lightweight yet dramatic designs that dazzle and command attention in every light – and so does Hollywood!
You have such a large celebrity following. How do you continue to design for the everyday woman? Most of the designs spotted on celebs like Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Hilary Duff, and Fergie were initially created as one-of-a-kind or limited edition 24K gold designs. Today, I’m excited to offer both sterling silver and gold vermeil jewelry styled after my most popular celebrity designs.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your pieces? I want women to feel pretty, playful, and feminine – with a genuine sense of ease and comfort. When I can make that happen, I know I’m on the right path.
Where do you find your inspiration? My inspiration comes from the process of design itself. I love to surround my workspace with the colors, shapes, and textures of nature. I manipulate these natural elements to achieve new perspectives and insight.
What inspired you to pioneer a new style of earring? I was convinced earrings could be designed without post backings in a way that would make them lighter and more comfortable. But I also wanted earrings that would inspire a sense of playfulness and fun. So I attached a thin strand of sterling silver chain to the end of an earring post, then threaded the post and chain through three piercings in my right ear. Then I thought, “I’m on to something…”
How do threader earrings stay on? With all threader earring purchases, we provide complimentary hypoallergenic, surgical silicone O-stop backs. To keep your threader earring in place, slide the O-stop onto the bottom of the earring post or slide further onto the chain at the length you want your threader earrings to rest. The O-stop will keep your threader earrings secure, however, many people wear our threader earrings without backs.
Here’s our latest Boutique Owner Spotlight – we met Deborah on Facebook, and were immediately impressed with her enthusiasm and savviness for sharing. Naturally, we had to start a converstation and wanted to share it with you!
What do you do when you’re not discovering beautiful jewelry? I just retired from selling ads for a newspaper. Selling accessories on Kitsy Lane is more fun, less stressful, and it excites my marketing sense!
How did that prepare you for Kitsy Lane? Selling runs through my veins! Since the late 1980s, I’ve always had small businesses on the side – and I’ve conducted over 200 yard sales to date! I believe in the “re-use” philosophy, so I have sold items on the internet, including jewelry.
Favorite thing about Kitsy Lane? The Kitsy Lane business model is like having designers, manufacturers, merchandisers, and marketers all rolled into one! That gives me the freedom to focus on advertising my hand-picked pieces. I can sit at a laptop and choose colorful jewelry for one flash sale, then for another, classic layering necklaces. Most of all, though, I look forward to bringing more women (and men) into the business!
How do you like to get the word out? Of course, I use email and social media to broadcast new looks and styles. I use email, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and will add Twitter and Tumblr soon. Since I am a jewelry “maven” I also talk up jewelry with my friends and with people I meet. When wearing my own boutique’s jewelry, I broadcast the source even if not asked! I look forward to the flyer and business card templates that will soon be available for us owners.
We love Pinterest! How do you recommend other Boutique Owners get started? Pinterest is my favorite for getting Deb’s Forever Facets into cyberspace! Along with nature photos and food, fashion has to be the most pinned visual on the site. You can copy photos from Kitsy Lane’s website and also pin each of their emails with comments to a board named for your boutique. I like to think of this as my special online boutique brochure! Each week I pin photos of my sale items and include the sale price in the comments area. Pinterest automatically features the price in a banner across the upper left corner of the photo – voila! Make sure you go back in the following week to revise the prices, but leave the jewelry there (unless it sells out!) so you have a sort of visual inventory. Always include the name of your store or its URL in all comments in Facebook or Pinterest. And PLEASE take photos of you and your friends in boutique jewelry and post them everywhere!
Any words of advice/encouragement you can think of to share with other Boutique Owners? Have fun! Think outside the box! Smile!
What inspires you? I am inspired by all women, everywhere! If I can encourage women through my business to become more independent, think more highly of themselves, and earn money to accomplish their goals, I will have succeeded in life!
Now for a fun one: are you putting your Kitsy Lane commissions toward anything special? I have a travel fund – now that I have time to travel!
The celebrity fashion stylist and style expert dishes on Fashion Week and her Kitsy Lane picks.
The high-powered celeb stylist thrives on transforming clients into style icons. Besides styling true A-list talent, the Beverly Hills-based expert is regularly quoted in publications. Here, her stylish perspective.
What are you watching at this year’s Fashion Week? I’m obsessed with J.Mendel, Michael Kors, Rachel Roy, and Naeem Khan. These are heavy hitters who influence me and inspire my red carpet looks for my celebrity clientele. All of these designers are true innovators and continue to reinvent the definition of “sexy” collection after collection.
What look are you dying to try? I’m dying to try this look I saw on Nicole Miller’s runway of the white dress with black leather motorcycle jacket. The blend of femininity with an unexpected edgy element of leather is so fresh!
Your boutique, GLAMORE, has some great picks! What inspires your collection? The fashion-savvy girl who lives a jet-setting lifestyle. She may be walking Melrose in Los Angeles one day, the beaches of St. Tropez another, or be found enjoying the nightlife of Tokyo. I look for great statement pieces that unify your look and make you effortlessly chic. As a tastemaker and respected celeb stylist, I think this is an amazing opportunity for you to steal the accessories that I’m loving right now. You get to purchase my must-have pieces!
What one style item could you not live without? I couldn’t live without my YSL heels. I believe the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! (I’m 5’9″ and still strut in my heels because its all about appreciating being sexy.)
Five words to describe your everyday style? Effortless, feminine, sophisticated, sexy, classy.
We’re thrilled to be featuring the SoCal stylist and former fashion editor as part of our Fashion Week 2012 series.
“L.A. girl in the know and on the go,” Stevie Wilson has an eclectic fashion sense and media savviness that’s earned her significant credentials in both style and the digital industry. Here, a peek at what drives her style – and her picks for Fashion Week.
First, let’s talk Fashion Week. What are you watching? I am watching Prabul Gurung, and almost anything that seems to show a lot of texture and color. I liked DKNY’s collection simply because it is based on three colors but she has wearable designs with that amazing pop of color.
What I am personally looking for in these shows are pieces that are truly wearable, with prints, colors, or designs that work for the modern woman – not just romanticized visions of the world.
Tell us about your dream Fashion Week outfit: For Spring 2013, Louboutin shoes. The color and style all depend on the outfit, but I would love to have a T-strap if possible with a not-killer pointed toe or an almond toe. I tend to like brights and thinking about them helps make a statement about the entire outfit.
I would have two different outfits: for daytime, wide leg pants – think trousers in an interesting, tiny pinstripe or a great deep dark denim in skinny fit tucked into suede bootieswith a laceup oxford-like detail. Then I’d add a soft top in a silk chiffon or a beaten silk tank in copper or gold and a great jacket in a lightweight wool blend that would be in rust or a dark dark brown or a metallic bronze.
For evening, give me a great mini-tank dress (think a bit body-conscious and sleeveless or cap-sleeved or 3/4 sleeves) in a metallic lace with a black leather jacket. Or, give me a pair of black leather pants that are skinny with a lacy top and a velvet jacket or a metallic almost-tuxedo-like jacket in gold or bronze or copper, with interesting earrings (like the Elyse ones), a couple of layers of necklaces, a cuff, and a seriously great watch.
I’d top it off with a Reed Krakoff bag and also a small clutch from one of my indie designer friends. And don’t forget the Louboutins! But if I am wearing the dress, I want slouchy boots, and if I am wearing the leather pants, I want sexy stilettos.
And what would you say inspired your Kitsy Lane collection? My personal style – I bridge between sleek and sophisticated and edgy rock & roll mixed with a little bit of surf culture.
What could you not live without? Shoes (sandals and boots are my thing) and jeans!
What look are you dying to try? Hmmm… I want Louboutins, and I want a new pair of black leather pants – but anything from Altuzarra would be a welcome addition to my wardrobe provided it’s in the right color – and the new Azature nail polish in black diamond!
Describe your everyday style for us: Eclectic, feminine, vibrant color, layered, and taking chances.
… Stay tuned for more STYLE PRO(file)s soon!
We checked in with blogger Kasey Ellison to get the inside scoop on her style – and what she’d wear to Fashion Week.
In honor of New York Fashion Week, we’re thrilled to be spotlighting Bay Area Style File blogger Kasey Ellison, who’s curated her most Fashion Week-worthy picks for us.
Kasey, you’re about the fashion scene. What are you watching at this year’s Fashion Week? Until I have the opportunity to actually visit a show in person, I go to Style.com and look at the photos from the shows.
Tell us about your dream Fashion Week outfit. I’d be comfortable, and true to my own personal style, so I’d probably try to wear a pant option from the designer’s show I’m visiting, or jeans, simple black pumps, and the jacket of the season.
What inspired your Kitsy Lane collection? My own personal style – I look for items that will make my go-to uniform of jeans and a tee pop.
Which one piece could you not live without? A pair of dark wash vintage flare Gap jeans. They fit great, and since they are dark and have a flare they make your legs look slimmer, longer, and work for day or night.
What look are you dying to try? Brocade pants!
If you had to describe your everyday style in five words… Comfortable, simple, unique, eclectic, fun.
… Stay tuned for more style spotlights throughout the week!
Our next Boutique Owner caught our eye as soon as we heard her beautifully creative boutique name. Here, her story.
We love the name of your boutique! What does it mean? “Zaelanni” is a combination of my kids’ names. “Zaela” (Xela) is how you would pronounce Alex, my son’s name, backwards. My daughter’s middle name is Noelani, so I combined the two and changed up the spelling.
What do you do when you’re not discovering beautiful jewelry? I am a proud stay-at-home mom of two beautiful kids, and the co-president of the PTO at my son’s school.
Favorite thing about Kitsy Lane? Aside from the beautiful jewelry, the fact that a regular person such as myself is able to start up a business in today’s economy, without having the principal funds needed to get a small business up and running. I love that Kitsy Lane provides that opportunity.
How would you describe your personal style? My style is more eclectic! I would say my style depends on how I feel on a particular day. I tend to stay away from trends because they often fade. Whenever I buy an accessory, I make sure it’s something that I can wear for a while, not just a season.
Are you putting your Kitsy Lane commissions toward anything special? My commissions will be going into our savings account. We are saving to buy our first home!!
Any words of wisdom for new Boutique Owners? Treat this business as if you put $10,000 of your life savings into it, and do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t fail. Think outside the box when you’re thinking about marketing – social media is a HUGE tool in growing a business. Make sure that you’re having fun in whatever you do!
What inspires you? My husband. He is a very hard worker who never gives up – he always look at the brighter side of things. He’s the type of person who makes up his mind to succeed, and works hard every day to achieve that success.
Go ahead, live a little.
Between exotic prints, crystals galore, and animal motifs, our adventurous side is really getting geared up. Our tip: If on-the-wild-side pieces like these feel a bit too much, you can downplay them for the everyday by layering with your usual accessories. After all, it’s just about having a little fun!
A few key pieces go a long ways.
We love the thought of having a few pieces in our jewelry box we can always turn to. Standbys that anchor our look. Favorites that make for the finishing touch. We’re talking cornerstones of our entire collection here! That said, here are five of our very favorites from our “Style Me: Classic” sale:
We may not have paid much attention in math class, but shapes and colors we can handle! Here’s a look at some of the pieces from our Geometry Class sale and how you can work them into all your style equations.
We’re thrilled to be spotlighting LaQuinta H. and her boutique, Bella’s Closet. She told us on Facebook that she was planning to run seminars at her office, so we knew she’d have some great ideas to share with the rest of you.
How did you discover Kitsy Lane? By looking for a legitimate work-at-home opportunity online.
What do you do when you’re not discovering beautiful jewelry? I’m a realtor and mother.
Okay, now, we’re dying to hear how you’re getting the word out about your boutique. I have been getting the word out in so many different ways: Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, church, real estate clients, Backpage, and last but not least, my favorite: Instagram. Also, I’m hosting monthly seminars at my office in Atlanta just to show a couple of pieces from my store. I go over the business opportunity that Kitsy has to offer for working at home with zero out-of-pocket expense, and I will offer refreshments and do a presentation on the rewarding benefits and opportunity. I also place ads on all my social media websites – I have a mailing list that consists of church members, real estate clients, and networking business associates who I send invites to about the opportunity.
What makes you excited about Kitsy Lane? I love the fact that I can do something enjoyable and help others do the same. The opportunity was zero out-of-pocket expense, no inventory, customer service on call… The best part is you can sell beautiful jewelry and make some extra money, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. What else could a girl ask for?
Any words of advice/encouragement you can think of to share with other Boutique Owners? Have fun with this and enjoy it – the potential long-term is great! It depends on your efforts, but have fun and network.
What inspires you? My son inspires me every day I look at him. It gives me strength and courage to explore different opportunities to make a better life for him.
How would you describe your personal style? Flawless.
Are you putting your Kitsy Lane commissions toward anything special? Yes, I’m saving for a rainy day.
“There are so many ways to try the trend – you can stay subtle with a gleaming and classic collar style, or go a little bolder with a breastplate. Then there’s the bright and joyful Peter Pan style – which is really just so fun to try.” — Meeka, Merchandiser & Kitsy Lane
Bold is always big. There’s something about it that’s edgy, a little bit playful, and generally popping with color. Which is why we’re loving Ashley Spencer’s beaded and woven finds! Colorfully rendered in two-tone, geometric, and on-trend angles, her handiwork demonstrates a command of the craft, so naturally, we wanted to learn more.
Ashley, we’re so thrilled to feature you on Kitsy Lane! How did you discover beading? When I first started making jewelry, beads was my choice of material. Of course as I learned more, I tried other materials like wire and polymer clay, but I always went back to beads. Once I bought my first bead-weaving book I totally stopped making strung jewelry. I was hooked! Plus, I always loved seed beads, though stringing them is a pain.
How did you decide on your brand name? I knew I wanted my brand name to reflect my love for sparkly bold things. So I wrote down all the words that I liked that reflected this and daily I would read them aloud to myself and others.
Your colors combinations are really beautiful, and we love the boldness. What inspires you? I draw inspiration from many places. I like to thumb through old and new fashion magazines. When I’m looking through a magazine, I’m mostly looking at colors and patterns on fabrics and jewelry made with materials other than beads. I also like to people watch to see how everyday women wear their jewelry and what shapes I see worn most. But mostly I like to browse the internet looking at crafts, home decorations, and fashion old and new. Once my creative juices are flowing, I sit down with some beads and experiment. It’s rare for me to sit down to bead and know what I’m about to make.
The beach party. It’s an invite that either sparks daydreaming of brightly-colored accessories… or leaves us completely clueless about what to wear. Our resident style advisor always arrives at the office looking so polished each morning, so we thought we’d give her a challenge and see what kind of magic she could work with styling a swimsuit. Here, her tips:
“The idea is balance. When you reveal more skin for those sultry summer days (or nights), your accessories can take center stage.”
It never hurts to have a seasoned fashionista around. Robin M. has been working next to luxe style brands for years now, and was instantly intrigued by the concept of Kitsy Lane. What we love about her? She’s taking it a step further and giving all her commissions to a cause! Here, her story:
What attracted you to Kitsy Lane? I love that it’s online and doesn’t consume your time – everything can be done at home or on your lunch break! Also, the Kitsy Lane team sends out the emails so it’s really little effort on my part. I just need to pick the merch I want which is fun!
I also don’t feel like I have to be super salesy since it is online versus a home party like some other brands. You aren’t asking for a lot of time from your customers.
We hear you have a little bit of a charity aspect going on. Can you tell us more? Yes, I’m very excited! I’m calling my boutique “Curating for a Cause.”
I really looked at it as a long-term growth plan, and thought about it two-fold – first, it’s a great way to give back, which has always been important to me. Secondly, it’s a way to expand and get more members – and hopefully sales.
Can you tell us more about the cause you’ll be giving to? I’ll be donating all the commissions I make from now until August 31 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I chose this charity because I have a friend who has MS and is very active and involved with fundraisers and loves fashion as well! So I thought this would be the perfect partnership.
For September and October, I’m looking into some breast cancer charities as I have a lot of friends who will be doing walks/races for them.
How do you communicate to your customers that all your proceeds are going to charity? I have changed my welcome message and have been sending out emails and Facebook posts! I’ve also been tweeting to different MS charities across the nation to try to get the word out.
Love that idea. Do you think the charity aspect helps to draw in customers? I’m hoping they will – it’s still early, but I have gotten some additional customers and I’m hoping to get more. Hopefully they will be more inclined to shop as part of it will be going to a good cause… I know I would feel better about it! Read More
Laura Haggstrom’s bold yet fanciful creations whisk us away to simple, playful times. With bright colors and delicate filigreed patterns, they’re just the pieces we were looking for to create a one-of-a-kind look and add a little festivity. (And did you know? She’s designed for the cast of Bachelor Pad!)
Pass the style, please!
All that reaching for more potato salad and juggling plate, cup, and napkin (how are you even supposed to eat at these things?) makes for a perfectly unexpected opportunity to cash in on some style advice. Here, a tip from Meeka (she has that chic thing down pat) on ways to amp up your look for the occasional finger-lickin’ occassion.
“Eyes are instantly drawn to the wrists at outdoor get-togethers. So reach for bright, bold bangles, stacking bracelets and compliment inducing cocktail rings to complete your casual, yet polished look.” – Meeka, Lead Merchant
We’ve loved getting to know Nicole C., one of our select Kitsy Lane ambassadors. We knew she’d get a lot out of Kitsy Lane as soon as we met her and learned of her passion for jewelry and marketing. We sat down with her to hear a little more about how Kitsy Lane works with her lifestyle, and get her tips for the rest of you.
First off, tell us how you discovered Kitsy Lane. I learned about Kitsy Lane through a friend who recently launched her own boutique and asked me to check it out.
Had the thought ever crossed your mind that someday you might have your own store or boutique? As a child, I always dreamed of having my own store, a place where I could sell the most beautiful things. Once my mother gave me a jewelry box with the words, “hello, beautiful!” written beneath the attached mirror, I knew feeling beautiful on the outside was a wonderful way to begin each day.
Inspire sales with a mix of prices, styles, and trends.
It’s not just a great theme that will keep your customers coming back for more. Nope. There’s a little secret to selling that will help keep your boutique running successfully week after week, and we’re about to share it with you!
The key is in the balancing. Not only do your customers want to see a nice mix of product, but they’re looking to discover something that’s attainable for them.
For example, say you’re building your next flash sale around Aztec style (yes, we did that!). Now, that particular look may not be for everyone, but your goal is to show them that it can be! You’ll want to include a few really all-out statement pieces that define your theme, then fill in the blanks with a few pieces that may be a little less bold – this will help your friends and customers find something to experiment with without the cost of going all in. (Plus, adding a few smaller, lower-priced selections in there might inspire a bonus sale when they’re ready to check out. You never know!)
Once you have a range of prices and styles, just think about your mix of the type of product you have for each. Rings may be less interesting to some than earrings, so be sure you include a few of each kind to make it easy for everyone to dive into the style you’re pitching.
That glamour shot you’ve been holding on to? Use it here!
One of our favorite things about Kitsy Lane is the opportunity it creates to build your own brand. You’re the store owner now, and it’s all about you!
That said, the image you choose for your profile doesn’t even have to include you. You can use your own logo (or make one), or choose a piece of jewelry that really sums up your style. Still, there are some guiding principles to the process that we think you should know. (Just as a refresher, this is the image that appears on your boutique’s main page and in the emails you send to your friends. If you haven’t uploaded an image yet, you’ll see a silhouette of a girl.)
1) Zoom in. Since it’s a small image, you’ll want to make sure you (or your subject matter) are front and center. None of that “here I am standing in front of the Coliseum and I’m as big as an ant!” business.
2) Get lit. A dark image just doesn’t look professional. You can use any number of basic photo editing programs to lighten things up and give a little life to your shots.
3) Go solo. As great of a picture of you as it may be, if there are other people in the background (or they’ve been obviously cropped out with only shoulders and chins remaining), you might want to rethink your choice. The same goes for any pictures of product you want to use – choose one in which you can clearly hone in on the subject matter.
Remember, your boutique is the place where you get to bring your style to life, so the more you portray your stylish sensibilities, the more effectively you’ll grow your brand in the minds of your customers. (And what does that lead to? MORE SALES!)
An interview with the designer.
Meet Sara Reichert, designer and creator of One OAK by Sara. Her strands (you may have spied them in EXTRA or US Weekly) caught our eye with their heavy, serpentine shapes and layering potential – so of course we had to sit down with her and get the full scoop what goes into her line.
What does your brand name “One OAK” mean? It stands for One Of A Kind and speaks to the distinctness and uniqueness each gemstone. One Oak represents the individuality of the everyday woman. The versatile pieces can be paired with casual everyday clothing or glammed up with formalwear. With a chic but earthy feel, the collection can easily be paired with other accessories.
Give your customers a big, warm welcome.
The welcome message is part of your site’s theme, which means you can make it feel just like you! To change it, go to MANAGE BOUTIQUE (it’s in the navigation on the top right of your site), then click CUSTOMIZE MY BOUTIQUE on the left. The theme customizer will open, and you can go to WELCOME STYLE AND MESSAGE to let your friend know this is your store!
There are plenty of ways to keep your message fresh. You can use it to extend a simple welcome, or you can use the space to tell your customers what inspired your flash sale this week – whether a trend you’re loving, a seasonal switch, or a friend whose style you tailored your picks to. (Want more ideas on building your flash sale around a theme? We’ve brainstormed a few to get you started.)
Just don’t forget to hit Save when you’re done – your customers won’t be able to see your changes until you save them, so feel free to play around!
Ready to wax eloquent? Activate the theme customizer now to get started.
We’re so excited to welcome our newest Boutique Owner – and this week’s guest editor – here at Kitsy Lane…and she’s thrilled too!
1.) Don’t give up right away. Even though adoption and sales may not have taken off like you were hoping, sometimes people just need time to warm up to something. When they see your business continuing, growing, and your picks revealing more and more of your inner style editor, they’ll be knocking on your door to see what this “boutique on Kitsy Lane” thing is really all about.
2.) Don’t blow up your social networks with a million and one postings about your boutique. It’s awesome that you’re excited! But too much of a good thing and people quickly tune out. Post in moderation, and absolutely share every bit of excitement you have about your new business.
4.) Don’t forget to ask your friends to re-post or re-tweet your links to spread the word. Even asking for likes on Facebook is a totally valid way of getting more traction and making sure more people see what you’re writing. Saying “please” doesn’t hurt either!
5.) Don’t think you can get away without sharing pictures. Let’s face it, images are what we want to see. Whether pictures you saved from the catalog, shared images from our Facebook page, or – better yet – pictures of you and your finds, that, ultimately, is what will bring people to your page.
6.) Don’t forget about other networks besides Facebook: there’s Twitter and Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, blogs, and… the list goes! Our point: there’s always somewhere new to share your boutique, so there’s no reason to overload a single network.
7.) To that point, don’t share the same thing across all your networks each time you post. Repetition is boring, and you don’t want to be that person. Keep it fresh and mix up your posts so you only post to each a channel once or twice a week.
8.) Don’t forget to say thank you. It never, ever hurts. Say thanks for a purchase, a share, or even just for being the inspiration behind some of your picks!
Now get out there and grow your business, you social commerce guru, you.
Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Google+. Tumblr. Instagram. Blogs.
The list goes on! And each of them can be a tool for getting the word out about your boutique. Here are some quick tips – with more to come:
1) Connect your boutique to Facebookso your sales get published automatically. And don’t forget to “like” our page – you can share any of the images we post along with a link to your sales on your own Facebook page.
2) Follow us on Twitter, and be sure to tweet your link every once in a while. One idea: tweet each week about the theme of your flash sale.
3) Share images of your picks on Pinterest. You can even create a Kitsy Lane board with all your favorites – when your friends click on any images they’ll be taken right to your shop. (Include a link to your store in the description or comments, too).
4) Blog about your experience as an entrepreneur with Kitsy Lane, and offer up an invitation for your readers to join (remember: you earn a percentage of their commission when you sign them up).
More to come. Stay tuned to the blog and your emails for more tips on getting the word out and growing your business!
You have 30 seconds.
First, know that an elevator pitch doesn’t even count as public speaking, so don’t duck out yet! Not familiar with the term? It comes from the idea that a short, simple summary of your business can be one of the most winning ways to get across what you’re about. Like telling a stranger in an elevator where the doors could open at any second.
And… it’s the perfect way to talk about Kitsy Lane! Given that you have roughly 30 seconds to share, we have some tips to get you started.
Things to consider:
- Don’t memorize it. You’re just sharing your story and a few details.
- Think about what the person you’re talking to is likely to be interested in, then tailor your pitch to emphasize the ideas that will be most appealing to them.
- Get to the point quickly and explain the benefits.
- Don’t feel like you have to give all the information all at once – just enough to get the idea across and get them interested.
- Think about it as a way to get a conversation started, and if you have business cards, keep them handy to share and keep the conversation going.
- Be ready to answer any follow-up questions.
Something like this:
“I recently joined Kitsy Lane and opened my own online boutique. I get to sell jewelry and accessories in weekly flash sales, and earn a commission on everything I sell which can be up to 25%. Not only do I get to customize my whole website, but they make sharing really easy by sending all my emails for me. They also take care of all the order processing and shipping. It really couldn’t be easier, and I love playing style editor and making picks for my friends! I’ve made probably about $50 a week, and so far everyone keeps coming back for more.”
Be confident – you’re running your own business now! Be excited – you get to pick out jewelry every week and make money! Now… find a mirror (or tape recorder) and start practicing.
Finding a strategy in your weekly picks.
Sure, you can tag your favorites every Wednesday and piece together a new flash sale, but how effective is that really? Any brick-and-mortar boutique owner will tell you that the key to success is an ever-changing and cohesive selection, with a few surprises.
The good news – it’s easy! Here, some tips to help you keep it fresh and your customers coming back for more:
1) Choose a theme. In our Headquarters sales, we’re always dreaming up fun new themes to build an assortment around. Plus, it’s just fun to step into a sale and be presented with a variety of different takes on that theme – it makes it easy to choose the piece that feels most like you!
2) Think of a friend, then build your selection around their style. Not only is this is a fun way to get your friends involved in your business, but it can prompt you to choose pieces from the catalog which you might have never noticed otherwise. It keeps things diverse.
4) Go with current events. Whether the Olympics or tweets about the latest thing Ms. Kardashian was spotted sporting, look outwards for inspiration and use that as a springboard for your selections.
3) Pick a trend. From neon to white to all things internationally spirited, there’s a never-ending list of trends to pull from so your sales never feel stale.
5) Holidays! Holidays and events are by far the most relevant and easy thing to build a sale around. Whether for New Year’s, prom, or graduation season, we’ll be giving you plenty of inspiration for all occasions – keep an eye here on the blog to see what we’re thinking about.
6) Put together a look. Start with a piece of your wardrobe like the little black dress, then choose a range of accessories to style that look and keep it fresh.
7) Organize by category. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings. Silver, gold, leather, beads. Chains, pendants, cuffs. Pick your poison and stock your sale full of every example you can find!
8) Keep it balanced. This is something you can apply to any of your sales if you’d like. With 12 items in your sale, you might want to have 3 bracelets, 3 necklaces, 3 rings, and 3 earrings.
Choosing a theme also helps you direct your communication to your customers, creating an opportunity to play style editor and tell them what’s inspiring you this week (whatever approach you end up taking, be sure to update your welcome message – it’s under “Customize”).
Inspired yet? Get to it and start stocking your next sale!
Hint: It started waaaaay before summer camp.
Ever wondered how those iconic friendship bracelets got their start? Well, the first thing to know is that they’re a version of macramé, a craft which uses knot tying to create patterns (rather than weaving or knitting). In China, they’ve found decorative knots from as early as 481 to 221 (B.C.!)
While the craft itself originated in Arabia in the 13th century (travelling from there to Italy and France), the practice of giving a bracelet as a gift of friendship is traced to Central America. Sailors, too, furthered the skill, using their knowledge of knots to pass the time at sea.
There are two versions of the tradition: one has it that the recipient is to wear the bracelet until the cords wear out naturally as a way of honoring the love and hard work of the creator; the other tells that the wearer is entitled to a wish once the bracelet falls off. Either way, friendship rules!
The colors mean something, too:
Purple: royalty and magic Turquoise: tranquility Pink: kindness and beauty Red: courage and confidence Orange: energy and joy
More reasons to love the hue.
We love the range of this color. Whether you’re inclined more towards the romantic or a shade more laced with energy, the many messages and meanings of pink run the gamut. A few:
– Potential – Fullness – Action and confidence – Friendliness – Hope – Calm & non-threatening – Nurturing (either the need to give it or receive it) – Love – Beauty – Tenderness – Kindness – Gentleness – Compassion – Approachability – Playfulness
… there’s more:
The name comes from the flower (genus: Dianthus). (Bonus fact: the pink flower has frilled edges, which is where the verb “to pink” comes from. Remember that the next time you pick up your pinking shears!)
As a combination of red and pink, it comes with the passion and action of red with the potential for success and the completeness of white. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy. Read More
It totally counts!
Hadn’t thought of adding Kitsy Lane to your resume? It’s a business, isn’t it?
Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s totally fair game. Think of all the great things you’re doing and maybe even learning: You took the initiative to start up your own online business, branded it with your name and your look, and now you’re running it and making sure your customers keep coming back for more. We say that’s plenty worth bragging about.
Here’s an example of how it might look on your resume:
Boutique Owner & Independent Sales Consultant @ Kitsy Lane
– Created and branded my own online boutique. – Became a style editor and selected jewelry and accessories for a weekly flash sale according to a theme. – Marketed directly to my network, expanding my experience with social commerce. – Crafted email, social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest), and personalized product recommendations. – Grew my business to over 350 customers in 3 months.
See? You have a lot to be proud of!
… Keep up the great work.
The first step to sales is building your contact list.
So you’ve opened your boutique and made picks for each flash sale, but you’re not seeing things fly off the shelves like you were hoping. When do your customers show up?
The single-most important key to success is getting the word out:
- Email your friends a specific piece you think they’d enjoy along with a personal recommendation.
- Share a link to your website on Facebook or Twitter.
- Post products you like to Facebook – on your wall or a friend’s.
- Create a pinboard and post images from your sale to Pinterest.
When you’re first starting out, the key is to cast your net wide – send invitations to as many people as you can. They could be people in your network, or you could recruit from the general public (think a Craigslist ad, Facebook Marketplace posting, or business cards left in your local coffee shop or laundromat).
As soon as you add contacts, we get to work – sending out emails and letting your friends know when it’s time to shop.
Ready to get the word out? Go to “Manage Boutique” – you’ll find all the tools you need under Grow My Business.
Best of luck!
Don’t think you can pull it off? Our stylist lays your worries to rest!
The Aztec-inspired trend delivers just the challenge we were looking for. Its geometric shapes and golden finishes evoke heat, adventure, and travels – whether boldly colored or crisply black and white. While those guttural tones sound great for the sultry nights of summer, you may be wondering how they translate to in-the-office wearability.
Our stylist and lead buyer Meeka is here to tell you to rest easy, take it one step at time, and have a little fun.
“Don’t overthink it by focusing on more than one piece at a time. A simple hammered metal ring is a great way to introduce the look.”
What does your storefront theme say about you?
While there’s no science to choosing your boutique’s theme, that twenty-second decision might say more about you than you think.
Miami Bold – You like bright colors and loads of sparkle. The beach is your favorite hangout by day, and those hot hot nights are a great excuse to get dressed up and paint the town.
Old Hollywood – Your style is classic, iconic, and polished. The “little black dress” would be your daily uniform (if only!), and you have your ensembles all planned out for at least the next week. Metals and big, bold rocks tend to fill up your jewelry box.
Boho-Chic – Clearly, relaxation is right up your alley. Your style is easygoing and punctuated with pops of color… and just a little bit eclectic. It may take a little extra work every morning, but your look is totally you.
Lovely Layers – Fresh, easy layers are your m.o. You like to keep your foundation neutral with subdued hues, but you’ve always got a little surprise or playful wink mixed in – like ordering cheesecake after your is-that-really-a-meal salad for dinner.
Urban Edge – Hey, you. A city girl (or city girl at heart), you’re all about taking it one step further – whether with your style (hello, boldest necklace in the universe), or taking those corners a little faster than necessary. Even in a minivan.
Bold and Beautiful – Center stage doesn’t terrify you. You aren’t afraid of color, yet you know how to mix it in so it doesn’t overshadow your pop-star (in a good way) personality. Your confidence is refreshing and inspires the style of those around you!
Island Time – Where’s your beach chair? When packing for a by-the-sea vacay, two suitcases doesn’t seem unreasonable. Glowing metals and hues of water and sky characterize your resort-dreaming outlook. Your beachy, peachy outlook also makes you a great gift giver.
Free Spirit – Hello, day dreamer. As much as you may find your mind wandering during the day, your style also benefits from your optimistic and free-ranging outlook. A simplified, classic look is your foundation, and you love adding charming embellishments on top.
Glam Rock – You know yourself, and you never know when the paparazzi might show up. Always put-together and dressed to the nines, your accessories emphasize your glamorous side and give in to a little sparkle. A manicure is a standing appointment on your calendar.
Euro Style – Planes, trains, and automobiles – you’re a citizen of the world and the map always makes the world seem bigger than it is. Ready for anything (you know how those airports can be), your no-fuss look is clean, versatile, and savvy.
Whimsical Wanderer – You little pixie, you. Lighthearted and playful, you pile on whatever you feel like in the moment – and it works! Nature is your second home, and you try to pull in natural elements whenever you can.
What do you think – did you pick the theme that’s most you?
Meet Devon Pavlovits, designer and creator of her eponymous line – and self-professed “inspiration hoarder.” Here, she dishes on her start in fashion, her process, and the best business advice she ever received.
First, tell us how you got started in fashion.
Besides babysitting, my first job was in 1999 when I was 17, working in a boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. (I got to help Alice Cooper find some crazy rocker pants… highlight of that job!) After that, I ran boutiques around Los Angeles. That led me to once manage the women’s half of the Barney’s Warehouse Sale, and they asked me to work at the store in Beverly Hills, where I worked as a bridal consultant in the Vera Wang Bridal Salon (not there anymore).
And where do you get your inspiration?
From literally everywhere I look. At the supermarket, someone’s sweater might inspire some cool color combinations in a piece, or a blanket at a flea market. Maybe a piece of exotic fruit, or a painting. Studying different cultures definitely has a huge impact on my designs.
I’m an inspiration hoarder. Many laptops have died from being overloaded with my thousands upon thousands of reference photos and inspiration images. I save everything from colors, textures, silhouettes, proportions that spark something in me. Sometimes I look back and draw inspiration from, something I saved years before, and I see it differently upon second glance. Read More
Help your customers feel like they’ve uncovered a personal shopping destination.
Ever check reviews before you buy something? The power of a personal recommendation moves us to action even more quickly than a general review, and now that you’re the style editor at your boutique destination, the power lies in your hands!
Struggling to get past the basic, “I think you’ll love this piece!” note? Try these:
“Tanja, you were wearing a long necklace the other day and it inspired to try layering a few. Check these out and let me know if you see anything you like!”
“This piece + your blue dress would be perfection!”
“Kalia, as soon as I saw this in the catalog I immediately thought of you.”
“You’re so good at making that boho style look easy and always do something creative with your jewelry. I picked this one out for you – you like?”
“My flash sale this week is totally inspired by you! Check it out – I hope there’s something there you like!”
“Don’t you have a high school reunion next month? You definitely want to make a splash, and this piece might just do the trick!”
“Try this for that company party coming up – that dress you showed me looked fabulous so I hunted around to find the perfect accessory for you!”
Happy sharing and selling!
It’s a beautiful thing.
No matter how you feel about Facebook, its power as a networking tool is indisputable. Have you connected your boutique yet?
This feature gets productive real fast: once you connect, all your picks, reviews, and sales are published to your Facebook Timeline. That means that if your friends are subscribed to you, they’ll see your posts in their newsfeeds and be prompted to shop!
Even if you decide not to make the connection, you can always post your picks, reviews, and recommendations on Facebook, and send them directly to friends. Stay tuned for more on this later.
Still have questions? Email us anytime at email@example.com.
Summer’s here for now… but fall is coming!
Designers update and reinvent their styles each season, so we’re taking that as a great excuse to keep our storefront looking fresh and in tune with the rhythms of the fashion – and natural – world.
For example, our themes “Boho Chic” and “Free Spirit” may be great for summer, while “Miami Bold” and “Glam Rock” can give cooler, blander months some sparkle. “Lovely Layers” would make a great pick for spring and “Urban Edge” could be a good transition into fall.
And don’t forget, you can always upload your own images – try taking pictures of some of your scores in the great outdoors, or pile them on and feature YOU as the main image! Then, keep playing around with colors and textures so it never gets boring.
We’ll be adding new themes along the way, so stay tuned for more images and more ways to keep your boutique ever fresh – your customers will keep coming back to get a taste of your style mood, and that means more sales!
AKA, the fast track to sales success.
We get asked all the time if it’s really as easy as it sounds to make this work. Our response? Absolutely it is! Once you pick out your flash sale items, all it takes is five minutes each week to keep your sales coming. Try these tips to get you started:
1. Connect to Facebook so your picks and sales post automatically. (30 seconds)
2. Email one friend a week with a personalized product recommendation. (3 minutes)
3. Update your welcome message to tell your customers all about the theme or inspiration for your latest flash sale. (1 minute 30 seconds)
4. Find two more people to invite to your boutique. (2 minutes)
5. Give yourself a high five! (1 second)
It’s your business. What you put into it will determine what you get out of it, and we’re here to make it as easy as possible. Stay tuned for more grow-your-business tips, and happy selling!
It’s easy to make your boutique feel just like you.
We had so much fun putting together a wealth of themes and images for you to use to customize your boutique. Have you explored them all? Here, a few helpful tips in case you need a boost to get started:
- Choose the theme that feels most like you to start with.
- Then, pick your colors – anything goes!
- Take it to the next level by uploading your own image if you’d like.
- Write your welcome message – it’s the email we send to greet your customers when they visit your store for the first time.
When putting your fresh new look together, you might want to take into account what kinds of pieces you’ll be choosing to stock your sales. For example, if they’re really bold and bright, then you might want to stay away from a more softer and more whimsical theme.
So go on – play around and have some fun! And if you really want to show off, send us a link to your boutique so we can check it out (and maybe feature your store in a blog entry): firstname.lastname@example.org
Its powers include added oomph, double takes, and instant style cred. Need we say more?
Not one for getting lost in a crowd, neon knows how to stand out. And, anyone can wear it! Yes, it looks especially spectacular with a tan, but even for those more apt not to get more than a peck from the sun (we’re not jealous … we’re not jealous …) it knows how to get things done. Not to mention, it’s just plain fun!
At the peak now of summer, we’re grabbing hold of everything playful and touched by the sun – and not planning on letting go anytime soon.
PS – Feel free to save this image and post it on Facebook with a link to your store!
AN INTERVIEW WITH BOUTIQUE OWNER MARIA G-F.We were recently totally inspired by the story one of our Boutique Owners shared with us. Maria is the newlywed wife of a wounded Marine Corp Veteran, and has devoted herself to taking care of him at home, and was so generous in sharing her story that we had to hear more and share it with the rest of you.
What did you do for work before things changed?
I worked in corporate sales for a design company catering to home decor. I was a Design Consultant and went to people’s homes (warm leads and self-generated leads), helping them decide what was best for their project needs and selling them on the product. I did this for 16 years. I started when I was very young and in college at the age of 19. The funny thing is I apply my sales strategy to a lot of things in my everyday life.
Tell us more about your background in sales.
I used to work inside a showroom assisting both callers and walk-in customers to help make a better assessment of their needs. I had to manage sales by achieving both personal and corporate set goals. I was successful at both, although I prefer not to be micromanaged. So when I was promoted In-Home Design Consultant, I was pretty much my own boss with commission-only pay. It was my bread and butter so I really had to hustle with self-generated leads when sales were low. It wasn’t easy. Especially when the recession hit. Read More
Welcome to The Style Hub! Here on the Kitsy Lane blog, you’ll find tips and tricks on everything from styling to caring for your discoveries, as well as exclusive interviews with designers and our resident style gurus. We’ll also deliver a wealth of trend forecasts, share some inspiration, and give you a peek into what’s happening behind the scenes at Kitsy Lane. If there’s ever anything you’re dying to read about, pitch it to us! TheHub@KitsyLane.com
Can’t wait to share all things stylish with you.