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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vegas and High Fashion

So my hubby and I went to Vegas this past weekend to celebrate the fact that I had finished my swag for the gift lounge. The kiddos stayed home, so it was grown-up central (first time in, I think, eleven years). I had never been to Vegas and was very excited to check it out. There were a couple of surprises.

First, I was expecting wall to wall people, kinda like a frat party. It was surprisingly easy to navigate (well, unless you wanted to cross the street and then you have to maneuver through escalators and walkways to get where you want to go).

My second surprise was all of the high fashion. I had no idea that Vegas was a fashion mecca! Of course, I checked out all of the bag and shoe stores :) First of all, how in the world does a female wear heels 8" high? Totally not practical for a Mom of three, beautiful and sparkly, but never gonna happen.

The bags were interesting. Beautiful colors of orange, yellow and blues (all hot colors for the upcoming Spring season) adorned the shop windows. I was surprised by how many different sizes were represented and also by the price of these pieces. Holy heck! $500 for a bag? Really?!?! Wow! Even if I had a ton of money, I could not imagine paying that much for a BAG! Most of the bags, of course, were leather, which increases the prices. While leather is beautiful, all I could think of was what happens if something, like say juice, gets spilled on it? Again, never gonna happen for this Mom.

One of the reasons I started making bags is because I could not find what I wanted in the stores. High quality, functionality, and a reasonable price. Plus, I could not find prints that I liked, or my favorite colors. One of the things that I am proudest of about my company is that each female that has a custom bag done gets to pick their fabric and have the bag done their way. I know that when I send a bag out to a customer, that they are gonna use it and I know that it will last a long while.

I know that high fashion is popular and I love to watch trends. I guess where my philosophy differs is that I think everyone has the right to choose what THEIR fashion is. People should not try to "fit into" some else's idea of what they should wear (or in my case carry), designers should try to get into the mindset of their clientele. It would be more profitable for me to say that I only offer certain fabrics and believe me, people have brought that to my attention. I don't buy it. I think that there is a large portion of the population that would love to be able to dictate what works for them. That is where I come in.

If you agree, check out to see past custom orders and place an order of your own :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

In line for the roller coaster

I remember my very first roller coaster ride. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and our family vacation every year or so was up to Sandusky OH to Cedar Point. I was *finally* tall enough to ride a big kid roller coaster.

It was a wooden roller coaster called The Gold Mine. My Dad took me to ride it. Since it was the height of the summer, it was hot and the line was long. We were in line for what seemed like forever. Anticipation was high. We FINALLY get to the ramp that leads to the loading platform and I start to get nervous. Some people are getting off the ride laughing and smiling, but others looked sick to their stomach. What if I wasn't ready? What if what I had built up in my head all year made me sick instead of jubilent? My Dad noticed that I had gotten quiet and asked if I was alright. (He knew that I was his cautious kid, always weighing my options, always looking for pitfalls, not a leap before you look sort of person). I just looked at him and he said, "You are never going to know, if you don't try. You are going to be fine. I am right here".

So on the coaster I went. The first hill was terrifying. That long ride up. The click, click of the chain and the shaking of the car (it was a wooden coaster) and I wanted to leap right out of my seat. We got to the top of the hill and away we went! It was breathtaking, fast and FUN!!

I went on to ride bigger coasters of all kinds as I became an adult. High, twisty, FAST. All because I had the courage (and a nudge from my Dad) to ride the first one.

Well, I am in line for another coaster of sorts. It has been a long 5 months. Signing up for the GBK Oscar Gift Lounge and deciding what I was going to make as my swag gift was just the start. I worked with some friends at The Artisan Group, rebranded and got a new Mama website up and running. I searched for days trying to find the right fabric, not only for the swag, but for my display piece as well. I even tried (and failed) at designing my own fabric. FINALLY, found the fabric and started making the swag gifts. All the while designing my display piece in my head. That is the hot and sunny in line work....not thinking about the ride itself, just working and waiting.

Now, The Artisan Group just finished the GBK Golden Globes Gift Lounge and I find myself on the ramp leading up to the ride. My display piece is done and I am 9 wristlets away from having all 100 swag gifts completed. I've made some great contacts, have some awesome promotional things lined up, the "sweat" part is almost over. Soon, all that will be left is the ride.

I find myself wondering what it will be like. I watched my friends getting on the roller coaster and getting off giving high fives and laughing this weekend. I am hopeful and excited that I will have the same experience. There is, of course, the thought that perhaps even though I have done everything I could, honestly given it all I have, that the ride may not be as great for me. But, you don't know if you don't give it a shot. So up the ramp I go, hopeful, excited and a smidge scared, but I am going on no matter what. I didn't stand in line all this time to turn back now :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oscar prep almost done

My daughter says that I am OCD with my assembly process! I say that I am organized. It took me over a week to quilt the wristlet sides, sew on tags and make the handles. (Elizabeth cut the lining pieces for me) All that is left now is the final assembly. Granted, I have everything divided in sets of 10, but that is so I can see my progress :)

Even though all of the pieces of the wristlets were cut from the same fabric, because this is Indian Batik, each wristlet will be different. I am happy that I am able to give each celebrity or presenter with their own unique piece, but still able to mass produce. I cannot even imagine how I would have made 100 unique pieces otherwise.

Almost done. Next pictures will be of all 100 together. 100 of ANYTHING is a lot!