Posts Tagged shopping

Baublebar Obsession

One of my favorite parts about getting dressed every morning is accessorizing. Whether that’s with rings, bangles, headbands, or an understated necklace, accessories keep your wardrobe updated without having to actually spend money on new clothes! One of my favorite online sites that I just discovered is baublebar.com! I first heard about it after my blog crush Courtney Kerr (from Courtney Loves Dallas) collaborated with the online retailer to create a jewelry line.  Her line features fabulous statement necklaces–but not the bubble necklaces trend that’s finally going out of style (thank god–why was this ever a thing?) Her jewelry is unique and sassy and absolutely perfect and affordable for dressing any outfit up.

What I love about the website is that every week they feature $10 and $20 dollar deals on jewelry pieces that don’t break the bank.  If personalized jewelry is your thing, they’ve got you covered there too! Go check em’ out!

baublebar.com

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Everyone’s Favorite Four Letter Word

Sales! It’s that time of year again when retailers gear up for holiday shopping. What’s different about this year is that retailers are having black friday deals early to entice customers to shop all month long, and not just Black Friday–or Black Thursday as it should be called from now on.  Many department stores like Target, Walmart, Macy’s and Kohl’s will open up between 6-8pm. So you can walk off that food coma in the department store aisles.  If you’re feeling really ambitious, you should head out to Old Navy; they open at 9am on Thanksgiving day!

However, if you’re like me and don’t want to bother with all of the crowds but still want all of your favorite designer clothes, shoes, and accessories on sale (yes I said on sale) then you need to check out Nordstrom’s Women and children’s half yearly sale! Designers like Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Vince Camuto, Tory Burch, Trina Turk, and Burberry have select items up to 40% off.  If shoes, and and handbags are your thing, then this is the sale for you!  Sam Edelman, Dolce Vita, Coach, Diane von Furstenburg, and  everyone’s favorite Frye boots are some of the featured designer shoe and handbags with discounts.

My favorite part of the sale? The jewelry of course! I snagged this gold letterpress Marc by Marc Jacobs necklace, and House of Harlow sunburst necklace–both 50% off regular price! The half yearly sale is constantly changing so be sure to check back to see what else has been added!

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Retailers Brace for Price Jolts

wwd.com

Beginning in fall 2011, retail prices are predicted to jump an additional 10-15% or higher than they currently are set.

During the recession companies were forced to offer a better value for their products but with sudden surge in the economy, companies are dramatically increasing their merchandise prices, which will negatively impact consumers.

“This is the first time in a decade or more that we are seeing some inflation that is quite high,” Glenn Murphy, Gap Inc. chairman and chief executive officer stated.

This escalating issue will be more prominent towards mass and mid-tier retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Company Inc. and The TJX Companies, Inc.

“You will see some price increases, but you will see it affecting the lower-end basics and commodities, such as underwear, a lot more than the luxury, designer end,” Saks Inc. chairman and CEO Steve Sadove said.

This rise in price of raw materials has a lot to do with this issue.

For more information visit wwd.com.

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Derek Lam To Launch Ebay Collection

Derek Lam announced plans to design the first-ever exclusive Ebay collection come February 2011. The unveiling of his ready-to-wear line will occur during New York Fashion week this spring.

This release will encourage shoppers to “vote” for their favorite garments on Ebay.com. The consumer influence will determine which pieces should be produced for the exclusive line as well as helping to determine price points.

The final collection will be available for sale in late spring/summer of 2011 allowing shoppers immediate access to signature designs at fair value exclusively on Ebay.  For more information, go to WWD.com.

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Louis Vuitton Struggles to Keep Up with Increasing Demands

Louis Vuitton has just announced that they are closing their Paris stores an hour early every day with the goal of selling fewer products.  The company is struggling to keep up with the product demands of their customers, so closing their doors an hour earlier is an attempt to preserve stock until Christmas. Louis Vuitton is not alone in the struggle to keep up with demands post-recession. Chanel is also finding themselves in trouble with keeping up with the recent demand for luxury goods. Chanel has decided to raise the price of their signature classic bags by 20 percent. Many other designers are coming up with different ways to keep their stores stocked heading into the Christmas season. For Louis Vuitton this is just a temporary measure—they plan to resume regular business hours in November. Check out www.vogue.co.uk for the full story!

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Talking On a Whim with Jennifer Ankrum

Photo Credit: firstandmainblacksburg.com

Jennifer Ankrum is the owner of the chic accessory boutique On a Whim, located in the First & Main shopping center in Blacksburg, Va.  Jennifer is originally from West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a major in political science and minors in accounting and commerce.  She journeyed to Blacksburg after she got married, and opened On a Whim in November 2008.  Jennifer sat down with FMDS Daily to discuss the beginning of On a Whim and what it takes to run your own business.

Q:  You majored in political science at WVU.  How did you go from that to owning a boutique in Blacksburg?

A:  Actually my major for three years was accounting.  So I changed at the last year and switched to political science because I wanted to go to law school.  And then after I did a summer internship in law, I just did not want to do that.  So I graduated with political science and minors, and then I worked in sales- advertising sales.  So I kind of went into marketing, kind of went back into the business thing…got married, moved to Blacksburg.  You know, actually it was the center, First & Main coming to town.  I probably would never open a store anywhere else in Blacksburg.  So the opportunity kind of presented itself.  I’m a shopper, I like to shop when I travel, so looking around Blacksburg, I felt like it needed a cool little accessory boutique that had a little bit of everything in it.  And with [First & Main] opening, it was a good fit.

Q:  How long did it take you from having the idea to actually starting your own business after you found out about the First & Main shopping center?

A:  It was about two years in planning.  Between lease negotiations, design, layout, a business plan, and loans.  And then, of course, I hand-picked all of the merchandise.  It’s not franchised, so it was completely by concept.

Q:  How did you come up with the name On a Whim?

A:  The name actually changed.  The original name that I had kind of come up with was “Whimsy Chic.”  I wanted something whimsy.  And when I emailed the development company showing my interest, I listed the name “Whimsy Chic” as an accessory boutique.  They called me back and left a message that said they wanted to talk to me about my boutique “Whimsy Chick.”

Oh geez!

[Laughs] And right then I knew, “Okay, that’s just not going to work.”  So I went back to the drawing board and On a Whim is what I came up with.

Q:  Are you considering expanding On a Whim to more than one location?

A:  Yes, I have considered franchising the store, but I’m not there yet.

Q:  What is the biggest obstacle you have come across in starting On a Whim?

A:  I think it is branding and awareness of what we have.  We have people come in on a daily basis who have never been in.  I think it’s just getting the word out about how many different product categories we have, you know, that we have things for personal use, we have gifts in every category, and we have custom-order merchandise.  I think people are always surprised at the depth of products they can get at the store.  I think that’s one of the biggest obstacles.

Q:  So have you ever had a moment of doubt in starting On a Whim?

A:  You know what, I think it’s been so fast-paced that those moments are few and far between, but I think with everybody who starts a business, at some point you have a bad month or make a bad product decision or purchase and think “Oh gosh, what have I done?”  But it turns around so quickly and it’s so up-and-down that probably for the first year, you’re just learning, and in those moments of learning, you start to see a pattern and you start to plan.  And in that first year you kind of have an idea of what your patterns are, who your customers are, when those customers are shopping and that demographics always change, so you kind of have to just be ready for it.  But otherwise, I’ve been very pleased.

Q:  Is there anything you would’ve done differently?

A:  No.  I don’t think so.

Q:  Is there one piece of advice that you could give to a young person looking to start their own business?

A:  One, stay true to your core values and don’t change who you are.  But also, you have to keep in mind that you’re there to provide service and your customers are important.  If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be in business, so the day you start treating your customers like you’re not there to serve them is the day you start being in trouble with your business.  You’re not doing your customers a favor by being there, they’re doing you a favor by coming to your store.  And I think you always have to keep that in mind, no matter how big you get and no matter how busy you get.  You always have to take the time to remember to thank your customers.  They’re the whole reason your doors are still open.  And I think the day you forget that and you think that your customers should thank you for being there is when you’re in trouble.  I guess to just not get too big for your britches!

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