F*** the Tree

Posted on December 18, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

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Last fall I spent a great weekend reuniting with a fabulous group of southern women that I had not seen in 15 years.

We arrived at a NC Beach House over the course of a day and by evening we were all settled in sharing sharing stories, mostly laughing, a little crying, sharing good food and tasty beverages. We all met many years ago when our children attended High Park Church Pre School in Fayetteville NC. They were all from the south. I was an Army wife whom they so graciously invited into their group. We kept in touch over the years but children, husbands, careers and life got in the way. One thing I learned from these Southern women while I lived amongst them was they know how to decorate, entertain and look good - always. Their homes always looked amazing and were decorated to the hilt especially on holidays. So, flash forward 15 years - we were sitting around talking about what we had given up over the years. As we went around the room sharing each one of these Southern Women shared a story about being too stressed out at the holidays and how they had forgone the Christmas Tree - me included. Thus the phrase F*** the Tree was coined.

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Fall is Here

Posted on October 19, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

  Fall is here - Chilly mornings, cooler days and earlier evenings. Fall is flying by, but now we get to pull out all of our  fall/winter accessories that we packed away last year. If haven't tried them, Fingerless Mittens are a great option for cool fall days.   Fingerless Mittens are a hybrid of glove and mitten. which contains open-ended sheaths for the four fingers  and  an additional compartment for the thumb. Fingerless mittens can be warn both inside and outside. They provide just the right amount of warmth and also leave your fingers free to drive, text, and anything else where dexterity is required. www.JackandMaryHandbags.com

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Favorite Free App Blast

Posted on August 19, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

  I want to give a shout out to Songza, a free music streaming service. Songza is different from other music streaming services for two reasons: the playlists on Songza are made by music experts and Songza helps people find playlists by personalizing the Songza experience based on the time of day mood or activity. This morning I logged into my Songza App and was greeted by the following choices -  It's Sunday Late Morning, play music for; Working Out, Waking Up, Summertime, Recovering from Last Night, Reading the Paper, Cooking Breakfast. I decided to go for a run and chose work out. I was then given 6 choices from Pop, Rap, Eclectic, Classic, Rock and Electronic. I chose Pop. I then had a choice of 3 selections - Drop-a-beat, Today's Dance Club Hits and All-Pop Workout. I chose Drop -a-beat and had a continuous play of 61 songs including; Adele, Pink, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Havana Brown, no doubt, The Wanted, Rihana, David Guetta and much more. If you do not like the choices you just scroll back and chose another genre. Give Songza a try if you are looking for - Crisp audio -A Music Concierge that presents music based on time of day - Numerous themed lists, including community-curated playlists - Solid recommendation engine - No audio ads. www.songza.com  

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Wholesale Vs Retail Shows

Posted on July 29, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

I have been transitioning my business into the wholesale arena (away from retail shows) over the past two years. There is a huge difference between the two. I miss some of the simple interactions and casual conversations with retail customers. Wholesale shows are all about business and pace. A wholesale buyer comes into your booth (or just walks by) and you have about 5 seconds to give your elevator speech. It is a new challenge for me and one I am learning to embrace. I like like that you can travel lightly - you only have to bring a representation of your product line.  A similarity between wholesale and retail shows is the trial and error trying to find the best shows to attend for your product line. This year I have attended a lot of wholesale shows; the New England Products Trade Show, Portland ME, Buyers Market of American Crafts,Philadelphia, PA, Boston Gift Show, Boston, MA, and Northeast Market Center, Hudson, MA. I will be attending New England Apparel Club, Marlborough, MA and New England Made, Sturbridge, MA. Next challenge - should I hire a Sales Rep?
Boston Gift Show March 2012

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Do you MOO?

Posted on May 01, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

I found out about Moo 5 years ago and have been using them since then. Simply, Moo makes the greatest business cards. They also make Mini Cards which I use for tags on my products. MiniCards are half the size of Business Cards but some say 'twice as nice'! You can upload your own images or personalize Moo's designs. You can use up to 100 different designs in each pack, and show off your portfolio, your products, your business or yourself.

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The Label Dilemma

Posted on April 29, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

I have never been a fan of clothing/accessories with large logos/labels. I have no interest in being a walking advertisement. I do not understand why someone would want to wear clothing that graphically screams out the designers name. Although it bothers me less, I am also not a fan of the more subtle logos/labels that are also visible from the outside - like Kate Spade, Tory Burch and Coach. So here lies my dilemma - to label or not to label, that is the question. When I started my company, Jack and Mary Designs I always sewed my labels on the inside of the garments. I was told by many people I should move them to the outside for name recognition and they also happen to be really cute. So, I started having them sewn on the outside. The other day I was at a wholesale show taking an order from a store owner.She asked me to model one of my hats. She gasped when she saw my label on the outside and stated that she would not place an order with me if I was one of those designers who place their labels on the outside - labels belong on the inside. My labels are small - about 1/2 x 1.0 inch and colorful. I am not sure what to do so I decided to ask for feedback. Any opinions?    

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Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Posted on March 27, 2012 by 1 | 0 comments

I spent the weekend in Boston at the Boston Gift Wholesale Show. Boston was in full bloom - which is about a month early. Due to the un seasonally warm winter, spring is in the air and the flowers have arrived!   I  have been trying to come up with a creative use for all of my sweater scraps. I tested out a few ideas and the Flower Pins won out. The Pins are made up of layers of petals made from sweaters, attached with a vintage button and and finished with an alligator clip.   They can be worn on just about anything - hats, scarves, headbands, purses, clothing, jackets, belts...to name just a few. They were received well at the show and were one of my best sellers. The $6 wholesale price point seems to work. The Flower Pins look great in a basket next to the check out area - An easy add-on and last minute purchase.   Happy Spring!!!

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