Monthly Archives

August 2017

Event fashion Uncategorized

Tradeshow Findings: Vintage at Intermezzo

nyc tradeshow

The newest part of these tradeshows is vintage which showcases an array of local vintage dealers who curate collections of both name brands and unknown pieces. During my walk through Vintage At Intermezzo aisles I saw a great smattering of original, timeless pieces. I found original Chanel toe capped sling backs and Gucci interlocking purses all with a respective price tag to match. Those pieces may be worth those exact prices, but I’d need to work a very long time to be able to acquire them.

So I was so happy to come across the Empyrean Vintage booth. A mix of affordable no name no labels and famous name brand pieces with personalities of their own. Every vintage piece has a story, and that is exactly how owner Natalie Como feels. I got stuck in her booth not only drooling over all the amazing finds but chatting with this infectious personality as well.

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Vintage has always been a part of Natalie’s life as her mother also owned a vintage shop in NYC called Siam Limited. During this time her mother would reconstruct the items and give them new life. For example she would repurpose ordinary denim into unique finds with fun pink rhinestones. Like heirlooms Natalie inherited the love of vintage as well as an array of unique pieces from her mom. Although her dad was as Natalie put it a “snazzy dresser” so there was no shortage of style inspiration for her.

When she did a stint in the corporate world her ability to express herself through her clothing is what entertained her in a droll environment. As Natalie sources the world of vintage for herself and her customers she does so with instinctual emotion. She respects the history and the story that comes with each piece. Although she doesn’t get too attached to items unless they were passed down to her from her mom or symbolize a pivotal time in her life, like her prom dress. Natalie feels vintage is meant to be passed along, each person giving each piece a new story.

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As to what her favorite era of clothing is, everything but now! For Natalie there was more personality in the way people of the past dressed. You can see her love of the era’s foregone in the colorful bold print dresses and high waisted bell bottoms she wears. As to why her pieces or so affordable in comparison to other vintage dealers? Refreshingly hiking up the price is not her focus. Her knowledge of what the piece is worth combined with her belief that vintage pieces have stories to be passed on are what influence her pricing decisions most.

So what is next for Natalie and Empyrean Vintage? Eventually Natalie would love to open her own store and continue to showcase her pieces in other vintage boutiques. Joining a supportive environment of vintage dealers under one roof known as a Vintage Collective is also on her to-do list. Currently she has upcoming dates for pop up in Vintage on First a vintage collective located in Hoboken, NJ. Empyrean Vintage has also gained notoriety around the globe as Natalie recently styled her pieces for the Dubai based brand “Mesh”.

After hearing Natalie’s story and falling in love with the pieces I saw in her booth I could not leave without snatching a piece for my own collection. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me style vintage pieces passed on to me with modern apparel. And so was my plan for the no label Asian inspired, high split long length top. Here are a few of the ways I styled the piece.

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You can find out more about Empyrean vintage here! ( The link is correct, Natalie is in rebranding mode). Do you own vintage pieces? Let me know in the comments and on social media and check out my post on the other brands I loved at the tradeshow here!

T.S.

Accessories Event fashion Uncategorized

Tradeshow Findings

tradeshow post

If you’ve read my previous post working a trade show, you will know that recently I was able to attend the women’s tradeshows at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. During the show I came across great brands both new and seasoned. These brands were gracious enough to show me their great items and answer some questions. I visited Accessories the Show,  Accessories Circuit,  Fame, Moda and Intermezzo. Although the following brands showcased at Canvas and Accessories The Show.

Canvas

This pop up part of the tradeshow features apparel, accessories, and home items. It also showcases brands that sell beauty and gift items. This year twelve brands showcased their latest creations. While there I was intrigued by the most delicate and gorgeous headbands and hair accessories from the brand Mrs. President & Co. created by Angela Velayos. Angela is a super humble lady and has the most infectious laugh and smile. Her constant giggle as we chatted made me want to stay in her booth the entire show! Her story of creating Mrs. President & Co. is the ultimate encouragement story for entrepreneurs like myself. A simple thought as she put her child to sleep launched a business that continues to grow.

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As a little girl Angela loved hair accessories and her favorite time of day was when her mom would put her hair up in a ponytail before going to school. This love of a great hair accessory inspired her one night as she put her son to bed. The name Mrs. President popped into her head and she ran with it. The memorable name and her intuition on what made a great head piece helped her create the brand. The memorable brand name and quality products that she created caught on quickly in the retail sphere. Within her launch year of 2011 Mrs. President & Co. was being sold in Bergdorf Goodman.

An array of clips, pins, barrettes, headbands and pony holders are part of Mrs. President & Co.’s current collection. Although these are no ordinary hair adornments, these beauties are 24 karat gold, silver, tortoise and mother of pearl infused. With the 24 karat pieces being hand crafted in her birth country of Brazil. Simplicity and overall beauty is what inspires Angela as she comes up with new designs. It can be seen throughout the current collection which consist of minimalistic and elegant designs. Angela not only thinks of how your hair will look when you put on one of her pieces but how it will blend with your outfit and jewelry.

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Mrs. President & Co. has been featured in InStyle,  Cosmopolitan,  Allure and Glamour in their print magazine. While Vogue, ElleHarpers Bazaar and more have spotlighted the brand on their websites. The brand also has a great partnership with e-retailer Shopbop  that consist of multiple collaborations. A global commodity Mrs. President & Co. can be found in shops around the world including New York, Tokyo, Hamburg and Paris. But this bubbly entrepreneur has not yet reached her creatural peak as this coming winter of 2017 Mrs. President & Co. will be collaborating with mega-stylist Rachel Zoe on the namesakes website.

So what is next for Mrs. President & Co. ? At the suggestion of her original inspiration, her kids, jewelry might be on the horizon. Which I have no doubt will be just as big of a success as her hair accessories. Can I put my name on the list first? Sign me up!

Accessories the Show

Accessories the Show showcases the latest in fashion trends for women. It also highlights the newest creations in women’s accessories. While there I  came upon the fun brand Strung, owner Jenny talked to me a bit about the brand.

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Strung is  a brand started by band members Jenny Mann and Tim Barbour in 2014. They were inspired when they realized how easily guitar strings can be wrapped into a bracelet. After selling a few at a concert in New Jersey they noticed that people could not get enough of their new creations. The bracelets were bigger hits than any band t-shirt they tried to sell. Each bracelet has a music related name and can be adorned with charms that are named after different songs. Great for men and women with a love of music these bracelets also can come in pairs perfect for gifting. Strung also sells an array of necklaces and beaded bracelets all with music or rock and roll details. After much demand from male fans the brand will be releasing an official men’s collection in September with a color theme of black, red and white. You can find Strung on their website, in boutiques and  in gift shops. I look forwards to seeing what is next for this music loving brand. Perhaps different genres?

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I enjoyed learning about these great brands and items. Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and on social media. And check out the blog post covering Vintage at Intermezzo where I cover a great vintage dealer that showcased in the tradeshow.

T.S.

 

 

Blogging Career fashion Lifestyle Uncategorized

Blogger and Freelancer: A Juggling Act

NJ SEO

This is a sponsored post. Parts of this post were guest written by Alex Berger. This post contains sponsored links and content.

Since I decided to start writing about my career I figured I’d write about how I juggle being a freelancer in the fashion industry and being a blogger. Any blogger who runs their blog as a business can tell you it’s a 24/7 job. I’m always attached to my email for blogging purposes and as a freelancer in the fashion industry as well. I’m always editing, brainstorming and responding to people on social media and on the blog. Many times a lunch break consist of eating and answering blog related emails or social media tasks. As a freelancer I have agents who help me along my professional journey of working in the fashion industry. It is up to me and those agents to keep a constant open line of communication. This is equally important when you are working with companies for a blog or social media post. When I began this journey I had to figure out how I would balance it all, and you can too! Here are some guidelines on how I balance my hectic career and a blog.

NJ SEO

 

Organize Yourself

This can be done simply with journals, agenda, calendars, alarms etc. I don’t do anything in the fashion industry without a notebook dedicated to the job I’m doing. As anyone who has ever worked in a creative industry knows, projects and people move way too fast to keep track of every change without a written reminder. There can also be so many different tasks you have to handle that without an organized list you wouldn’t know what to get done first. This is similar in having a blog, I have dedicated notebooks and different stationery to my blog. I organize meetings, events and posts within these notebooks to keep me up to date. These also help me track blogging numbers and goals by writing everything down. Now I’m partial to writing things on paper, but I also use the calendar in my phone to keep me on track. There are also apps that help you carve out time to focus on your task.

nj seo

My notebooks. Some older than others.

nj seo

Experiment with all methods of organization to help you get your work done. Something is bound to help you accomplish each goal. Writing for me as well as many other bloggers begins at least three days to a week in advance. So carving time out of your busy schedule to get a post done is super important. Step away from distractions for as long as you can to work on a post. Trust me I have been there and always feel better when I have at least something written down rather than nothing at all.

Always Conduct Yourself Professionally

In all ways and at all times act professional. As bloggers we are subject to a much more of the public’s reaction than other people. When a personal matter is occurring it is up to you to decide if you want to share it and how much of it to share. I feel the same about political topics, you may be super frustrated about what is happening but you must be careful what you post. I like many bloggers post every single day to social media because it is part of the job. In doing so you will attract many comments and readers. How you respond to both negative and positive feedback is up to you. I choose professionalism over anything else, because remember being a blogger is being subject to the public. Consider your boss, coworkers, family and collaborators as being part of that public!

Educate yourself

When you are the creator and editor of your own blog or business you never stop learning. Just like when you start a new job, there are bound to be things you don’t know. Before I started my blog I did a lot of homework with the help of Pinterest and social media. Being open to mentorship and critiques works in your favor as well. People who have more experience than you do are bound to give you sound advice. In saying that learning how to make SEO, plugins, apps and networks work for my blog is something I constantly do as well.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a huge part of running a functional blog. When applied correctly it helps search engines like Google find your content. To have this work you must input a mix of keywords, tag words and links. The title of your post must also be long enough and correspond with your keywords. SEO also helps you determine how the link to your article will appear in a search engine. It allows you to see what the title, pictures and link will look like once posted. What I love about using SEO is what I call the “grading system” which signals you with red, yellow or green circles. As you write and edit your article the circles go from red to green. Symbolizing how easy your article is to read and whether it will be found easily on search engines. With this guidance it is easier to write an understandable and reachable article.

Be Flexible

Being able to collaborate with other bloggers, industry experts and people who have more experience than you do is paramount in working in both a faced paced industry and being a blogger. Dates might be changed on a collaborative project, something I’ve personally dealt with. Essentially it’s about respecting the other person’s schedule as best as possible and finding a way to work it out. Figuring out what you want to write about is also part of being flexible. I may want to write about a specific topic but might have to put it off until I get a different post done first. Finding a way to balance your needs and wants as a blogger is part of being your own boss.

I would love to be able to do everything myself, but it’s just not possible, so I have to pick and choose based on what needs to get done and what I am skilled in. One thing that a lot of bloggers and freelancers should spend more time on is digital marketing and SEO, but unfortunately most are not skilled in it. This is where collaborating with industry experts comes into play, but then you have to go through the process of finding the right marketing agency to hire. Although this can be time consuming and it can take many hours of research to learn about SEO. Some would be better off by searching for the right company to help them with the SEO process.

The NJ SEO Company or NJ SEO is the number one marketing agency in New Jersey. They are a full service marketing agency offering effective content strategies for forward thinking companies. Lead by brothers, Matt and Dan Anton, NJ SEO is dominating multiple markets – in Atlanta, Georgia and New Jersey. Matt is in charge of client strategy and execution, optimizing for specific industries, business goals and budgets for the New Jersey office. He is cited as an SEO expert and has many amazing reviews and over 100+ testimonials. Supporting a local and family-run businesses that can assist me is the way to go, in my opinion. According to the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration), “Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.” This is just another reason to support local businesses, including NJ SEO and Matt Anton.

 

NJ SEO

Owner Matt Anton!

 

So now you have an insight into how I juggle being a blogger and working in the fashion industry. Organization, Professionalism, Education and Flexibility will all help you not only work in a tough industry but run your own a business as well. These paired with perseverance, a strong work ethic and using the businesses around you like NJ SEO you will be better prepared to juggle a job and a business.

How do you juggle it all? Let me know in the comments and on social media!

T.S.

Career Event fashion Life Lifestyle shoes Travel Uncategorized

Working a Tradeshow

Childrens Club Fashion

For the past few months I worked for Children’s Club, the leading tradeshow for children’s fashion in NY and Vegas. I’ve done so in the past and have written a post about what it is like to attend a show and the brands that were there. Read about that here! As part of a new section of my blog I will start writing about what it is like to work in the fashion industry. Today I will be talking about what it is like to prepare for and set up a tradeshow.

Before a tradeshow occurs there are months of preparation for an event that is only three days long. For every tradeshow there is a team behind it who guides every company that wishes to exhibit at the tradeshow. During my time working for Children’s Club my responsibilities include inputting contracts, chasing money and selecting pictures sent to us by the brands. These pictures would be put on social media, a slide show shown during the show and in the brand book that’s given out at the show. I also was in charge of interacting with the brands on Instagram.

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The process of brands selecting a booth starts with the contract. Each brand is given a contract which gives them options on what type of booth they want, where they want to be located and who they don’t or do want to be located near. And lastly they have to sign the contract, something believe it or not some brands forget to do. Once this first step is taken a tradeshow manager or I can input the contract into the system which officially puts the brand into the tradeshow. After I’ve put in contracts and helped double-check all of them, it’s time to chase down money from brands who have yet to pay the full price of their booth.

Once we’ve collected all the money owed it’s time to floor plan. Something I helped with occasionally, but that is predominantly done by the rest of the team. Booth size, type of booth and the brands’ wishes are all taken into account, although you can’t please everyone and some brands will complain about their positioning and price. There are also the brands who pull out of the show or try to, without realizing they sign a legally binding contract. There are some sad excuses given when the brand has to explain why they are breaking the contract. Although life happens and family or legal issues has forced brands to legitimately back out.

After months of this detailed preparation the show dates are upon us. It’s time for all the brands and teams from UBM Fashion to make their way to the Jacob Javits Convention Center to set up and attend the show. Set up days can be hectic and they are longggg.  They consists of most of the brands coming into the Javits all in one day and setting up the merchandise in their booths. At this point the actual booths are already up, and if the brand is satisfied with their booth they start to put in their merchandise. Operative word is IF, because most of the time set up day consist of all the UBM fashion crew (including me) being pulled in every which way with a million and one questions.

During these days my job predominantly consist of helping salesmen recheck that all of the more than 500 booths have the correct signage. I also help collect samples from all the brands that have the opportunity to showcase their merchandise on mannequins. These are place in the front of the tradeshow entrance. This is basically a free ad for these brands, a great opportunity for them. At the end of each day the mannequins are dressed with the samples I or a salesman collected. I had never changed a mannequin until I worked at UBM! Those things can be uncooperative but look adorable once all dressed and arranged into a group of coordinated outfits.

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Childrens Club Fashion

At the end of the day is when the mannequins for which I picked up samples for are dressed. I dressed the girl in the front with the striped top. Outfits are arranged as best as possible with what each brand gives us.

Childrens Club Fashion

Crates of merchandise are delivered, forklifts are being driven in every which way and carpet is yet to be laid. These days call for jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.

 

 

Finally the opening day of the tradeshow begins and the Javits is full of vendors, wholesale buyers, press, fashion professionals, UBM staff and tradeshow workers. Aside from the actual tradeshows occurring there are also side events. Special speakers like fashion legend Iris Apfel and Accessories magazine editors hosted talks and Q&A’s this year. Children’s Club always hosts a fashion show with Petite Parade. Basically toddlers to teens strutting their miniature stuff on a catwalk. The three-day tradeshows wrap up, with hopefully many orders filled and sales made. Almost immediately preparation begins for the Vegas tradeshows.

In my next post I will talk about what it is like to attend the Women’s tradeshows. I came across some awesome brands and can’t wait to tell you about them. Let me know if you are interested in more of these job post. As I am thinking of making it apart of my blog thanks to my ever-changing career.

To learn more about the UBM fashion tradeshows click here, here or here! 

Lastly since my post was a bit different this time around here are links to awesome fashion/travel blog posts from my great Instagram blogger group. All super stylish ladies!

Read about a trip to Poland! By Monica of Jersey Girl Texan Heart & great outfit posts by Yaudy Cristina here!

T.S.