Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Behind The Scenes

Today I had the opportunity to take a tour of a local studio and see what kind of work goes into a Belk print ad.  Pictures taken at this studio go through quite a process: from here, to India, to Lancaster, PA and back with only TWO DAYS for turnover. Our guide stated that when they first took Belk as a client, they had 14 days to go through that process but technologies have changed and demand has increased for e-commerce which has whittled down the turn time.


I thought this wall was hilarious... where models come to grab their hair extensions in the morning.

I have seen the outcome of this KitchenAid set-up a bazillion times... and here it is getting shot!

This particular office housed commercial photographers, stylists, digital marketing program managers, and a couple other interesting titles that I can't remember specifically.  Before today, I would say I had a pretty narrow view of what a "stylist" was.  My definition would be someone who dresses models in a way that is creative and thought-provoking way for a photo shoot, commercial, TV, etc...... or, hello... Stacy and Clinton!  But today I got a glimpse of how far styling can range.  Some stylists were stacking fuzzy slippers for a holiday ad, some were clamping jackets on models to better fit their less-than-average frame, some were steaming and shaping felt hats, some were sticky-rolling samples, some were ironing men's shirts and trying to re-fold them to the perfect rectangle dimensions.... and I assume there are home stylists that we didn't see in action.  According to one of the stylists we met, the more range in their position, the better.  I do firmly believe that creating creates creativity and it's an ongoing cycle.  Maybe the same philosophy works for them?  As for those stylists shaping felt hats (for one, have you ever TRIED to shape a felt hat?), if it comes in more color way, they have to near-perfect shape all of them, and then place them exactly the same in front of the camera.  I thought back to how I always assumed that Victoria's Secret must edit the color ways on all those bikinis...but now, I don't know?

Fun Fact: While a lot of product is shot in this studio, photographers fly to NYC to shoot Cynthia for Cynthia Rowley, Eileen Fisher, Free People,  Crown & Ivy, and MADE for Cam Newton.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Urban Outfitters in Herald Square

I brag on Dick Hayne, CEO of URBN Inc., every chance I get but he has really outdone himself this time! The newest Urban Outfitters located at Broadway and W 35th Street in the famous Macy's Herald Square is taking the lifestyle brand to a new level. It opened in June, but I just got to see it with my own eyes on a recent trip to NYC.  I wish we could have seen it in the daylight and not at the end of a very long day so I could have taken better pictures, but I'll try to scratch the surface of awesomeness anyway.

(That exciting moment when you get real light spots in a photo... Not added while editing).

There are "trend shops" set up throughout the store... This particular one housed tons of vintage treasures from retro prom dresses to a 90's Alan Jackson photo tee.

Of course they had their normal offering of jewelry, but in addition, there were lots of nicer vintage pieces too displayed throughout the store.

They have a vinyl shop with over 400 titles!! But it think it was the Pendleton record players that really got my heart rate up.

They have a beauty department with a a full-service hair salon and full-time barber.
As a little girl I was a sucker for glitter polish... I never really grew out of that.

Tortoise & Blonde have their own set up, offering eyewear around the $50 price range.  Not that surprising for T&B because I think they've had an ongoing relationship with UO and a history of in-store pop-up shops.

Recently launched activewear line, Without Walls, had a nice spread of space all to itself. A quirky camping scene and tents that protruded from the walls set off the active ambiance.


A huuuuugggee shoe department... Not a couple shelves on the wall... A full-on shoe department.

Tons of unique options in the home department for customizing your space. 

I'm not positive how many square feet the store was, but according to Business Insider, URBN will be experimenting with larger store size with Free People in the near future. I know that the average store visit for their garden brand, Terrain, is about 2-3 hours and they're looking to keep the customer entertained for that same amount of time here. Job well done. Here are all the things I didn't even get to take pictures of:
-Photo booth and photo printing station for your Instagram photos
-the Bikestock vending machine for all your bike repair needs
-it's own coffee shop
-a souvenir shop featuring a Philadelphia-favorite, Three Potato Four
-a book and paper goods department

Oh geez. You'll just have to see it for yourself!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

10 Fun + Easy Gifts for Your Recently Engaged Friend(s)

Recently, a friend at work had friends coming into town on their way back from Asheville, NC where they had just gotten engaged.  She wanted to make their one-night visit special and celebrate their new commitment, but was obviously a little limited on time.  She said "You just got engaged... what are some good gifts I can pick up after work?" 
Which inspired this post...

10 Fun + Easy Gifts for Your Recently Engaged Friend(s)


1. A fun card
If you're lucky enough to live in Asheville, you've got the perfect place for a cute &/or hilarious card for any event....Whist on Haywood Road.

2. A ring dish
Again, Whist has a great selection, but this cute little guy is from Anthropologie.


3. A bridal magazine to get the collection started
There are too many great bridal magazines out there to name... some that cater to DIY ideas, regional,  niche, etc. but The Knot is a great place to start.


4. For the bride who will readily admit that Bey is a Queen, the Feyoncé tank


5. Cold feet socks by Groom Socks via Etsy
Whether it's her or him, they're bound to experience that moment of doubt.
Forever? Are you sure? 


6. Ikat monogram letters from Anthropologie
Find a letter that represents the last name they'll soon share.


7. Don'ts for Husbands & Wives from Paper Source
Mini books that contain entertaining advice for a happy marriage.

8. Share a Coke
Take advantage of the times... how easy is that?


9. A nice smelling candle is always a crowd pleaser.
Duncan & York of Asheville has/had my personal favorite--Produce candles:



10. Last but not least, for the animal lovers, the I Do Too bandana



Cheers to love and friendship!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lucky in Lucky


This past Thursday we had our quarterly corporate meeting at work to get everyone pumped up for Fall and Holiday trends and sales.
To kick off the meeting they had a "show us your best boots" contest where volunteers from the office  (which ended up being over 30 people) had to parade across the stage and they showed our boots on the big screen.
Judges narrowed it down to 3 finalists and in the end I was named for having the best boots!
I won $1000 in a Frye shopping spree.... AWESOME prize!

My legs were like jell-o right about here.


My most prized Double D Ranchwear boots.

 Free People Daisy Lace Dress/ Lucky Brand Ditzy Floral Top/ Lucky Brand Necklace/ Vintage Turquoise Ring found in downtown Asheville, NC/ Anthopologie Scalloped Monogram Bracelet


And if winning the boot contest wasn't exciting enough... they announced that **MIRANDA LAMBERT** will be the entertainment for the Belk Bowl on December 30th this year.... her concert that is free to the public starts at 4:00p.m.  I will be camped out all day for that.



Saturday, August 2, 2014

Too Damn Young

....to feel this damn old!
So many things have changed in my life since my last post.
I finally became a watch-wearing 9-5er with a "big girl job" that I started about two months ago.
Some nights I even go to bed before 11pm and am considering getting my eyes checked to see if I need computer monitor glasses.


His: Diesel watch (cause every #redneckdiva has a nice Dale Earnhardt watch)
Hers: Fossil watch/ Layered bracelet from Altar'd State/ Lenny & Eva beaded bracelet

Trying to find the sweet spot between looking professional and being able to express my style has been on of those processes that makes it all feel real... I can't default to tennis shoes and jeans like I could in college, or super casual Free People clothes like I could at my URBN internship (you could really wear a crop top and shortie shorts and have purple bed head, if you so choose).


Dress from Altar'd State/ Lucchese boots from Watsonatta Western World - Boone, NC

But luckily, I don't have to give up my boots for Modern. Southern. Style.
I turned 23 a week ago.... and thanks to Austin, I'm learning to play guitar!


Oh, and AUSTIN PROPOSED! 
WE'RE GETTING MARRIED.
And I'm here to tell ya... wedding planning is a lot of fun, but not nearly as glamorous as Pinterest leads you to believe.


Not only is Austin my best friend, completely in-tune with what I'm about, and totally selfless...
He gave me the most beautiful ring I've ever seen.

Prepare yourself to see lots of wedding-related posts.
And as for the blog, I am really excited to start back up.  
I have taken the pressure off of myself of having a big blog following, and am more utilizing it to document and share, as it should be.

Thanks for stopping by :)



Monday, October 14, 2013

Fringe for Fall [Transition]

Necklace from Free People/ Top from Urban Outfitters/ Vintage clutch found at Moon and Arrow- Philadelphia, PA/ Free People skinny jeans/ Big Budda booties


West Asheville.



You were probably starting to wonder.... where is the fringe?





Friday, September 6, 2013

The Bittersweet Truth

....about working at URBN.

Why was URBN awesome?
Well, as you could imagine, the work space was beautiful....

Don't even get my started on the Free People building....


Jharoka, our coffee shop, knew I wanted a small black coffee and a breakfast wrap every morning...

I met wonderful, amazing people like Kathy, my supervisor, and Jen, my counterpart...

Johanna (pictured here) and many more people who helped me along the way, who I could also laugh with or ask a bizillion questions.....


Complete creative freedom in a fundraiser that helped puppies and kitties...


And I got to be Twitter famous for a day...


The view at lunch was great...

The view at my desk wasn't bad either...

Two words: sample sale.

Summer Party. Food. Drinks. Photo booths. Zip line. Rock climbing wall. Inflatable obstacle course. Screen printing. You name it.

And the best part of all....
Working on this one day...

 And seeing it online in a couple months and feeling like "I WORKED ON THAT!!"


It was an amazing experience.

At the end of the internship I was hoping to be offered an temporary tech design job that would eventually turn into a permanent "big girl" job.
The offer I got instead was to extend my internship through the end of the year.
I wrestled with the decision to stay or leave for two or three weeks.
I loved URBN, but I [obviously] love the south.
I enjoyed Philly so so so so much, but it wasn't home.
I appreciated technical design, but I wanted more creative freedom.

My parents had helped me with rent of the summer (fortunately) and I think if the pay would have increased I would have stayed.
The door is still open at URBN, but I am happy to say I am back in the south.

My ultimate goal is to have my own store in downtown Asheville, but I realized quickly I'm going to have to do some work I don't necessarily l-o-v-e doing in order to save enough to do that.

Working part time and looking for more ways to continue learning about apparel construction and the industry in general isn't as glamorous as "working for URBN" but one thing I have learned in the past couple months is "Be who you want to be, not what others want to see."

God has a plan and that's all the comfort I need.