Monday, December 7, 2009

Success! The Holiday Bash!

Success! I can officially and happily say that The Holiday Bash at Valentino’s Salon and Spa was a success! The second I opened the door to the Salon on Saturday afternoon, I could feel and smell the Holiday cheer. I couldn’t help but smile as I passed the brightly lit Christmas tree, as I was met by smiles and hugs and an appetizer table.
Ok, Yum! The food table included a variety of crackers and cheeses, brownies and cookies and homemade eggrolls. Drinks included sodas, wines and beers, and were served by a bartender. And...they were all FREE!
Across the way (and downstairs in the art gallery) was Better Than Naked, where we were selling adorable knit and crochet Stocking Stuffers. Starting at only $2, Smart Shoppers nearly sold us out of our scarves (only $10) and hats (only $5)! PunkBaby Wear Onesies and Toddler Tees were available for only $18; Pacman was the hit of the night for the Kids line.
Downstairs was the Art Gallery, where water color paintings were being sold as low as $25! I couldn’t resist and picked up a new number for the dining area.
It’ll go well with the Italian theme kitchen I’ve been working on.
Better Than Naked also had items downstairs, where the art gallery was taking place. That's where we offered mainly vintage costume jewelry and evening bags. I must admit I’m still slightly mourning the sell of the Brown Stitch Bag. But I know it went to a good home.
Many prizes were raffled off Saturday night, including our Hand-Knit, Multicolor Drawstring Bag, valued at $25. Valentino’s Salon and Spa raffled off great prizes such as haircuts, conditioning treatments and European facials. Oh! And...I did it! I did the GM Colin Skin Scan.
I went under the black tent and saw the sun damage on my face...ugh...I knew baby oil and tanning didn’t sound like a good combo (thanks, Dad).
As the time flew by, so did the drinks, food and shoppers. My cousin Dorian was Bartender of the night! Not only did he possess mad skills, but he is the only man I know that can rock a purple sweater. I’m grateful for the friends that showed up. Not only did some brave the cold on public transportation, but others drove 20+ miles to partake in the festivities.
After a joint effort cleanup session, a few of us wrapped up the evening with a scrumptious dinner (and drinks) at Chadaka Thai in Burbank, before parting for the night.
I must admit, I love happy endings!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Tidings

This week's Tuesday Tidings goes to....(drumroll)...PUNKBABY WEAR!

Show your baby or toddler's retro rocker style off with one of the many Boys and Girls onesies and tees that feature cool and retro images, like:

or the Ghost from Pacman!

George Lucas Fans - Star Wars!

Skulls & Bones for Her!

KISS! (my cheeks! hahaha, how great is that?!)

and for you classic rockers, John Lennon (with a pacifier!)

Each image is available in either a onesie or a tee. Visit PunkBaby Wear to see the whole line of clothing. The entire line will also be available at The Holiday Bash on Dec. 5th at Valentino's Salon & Spa in Glendale. Give a great gift with PunkBaby Wear!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Recap

What a lovely fall weekend. The leaves on the tree in our front yard is finally turning shades of orange and yellow, and there was a consistent chill in the air. Saturday was spent cuddling on the couch with the hubby and the evening was spent celebrating my sister-in-law's 21st birthday. And Sunday was a work day.

Better Than Naked was at the Silverlake Art Craft & Vintage Fair on Sunday, at the new and improved "new" location (actually, it's the previous location). I must admit that I really liked this new location a lot better. Because it's a smaller parking lot, the set-up is more uniform and flows through all the booths. The vendors are still ever-changing, but there were a few familiar faces. At our own booth, we were offering up some fashion-tabulous prices and finds in both vintage and handmade!
- skirts were being offered for only $5! All dresses were only $10 - and came with a FREE belt!

One gal was smart enough to pick out a hot pink 100% snakeskin belt to go with her adorable gray, pink and black dress. We were also offering up small clutches at only $5 and wallets starting at $2! And, of course, we had Mystery Bags for the kids.

One fashionista walked out with a Burgundy Pair of Leather Boots for only $12, while another took advantage of the unique and beautiful pair of Etienne Aigner vintage boots that were almost NEW condition!

Our handmade section was given to Katelyn, a fellow handmade fanatic who was offering up fun and frilly crochet scarves starting at only $20!

It was a lot of fun watching the girls practically run up to our booth to try the different styles on. The greens and yellows were the most popular, and Katelyn is working hard this week to fulfill her special requests.

One of my personal favorites, as well as shoppers, was the vintage, mint condition, mink stole. Not only is it soft to the touch and beautiful in color, the inside is lined with satin and features the previous owner's name. Oh, I can only imagine how beautiful she must have looked and felt when she wore this gorgeous piece out. It is available for $150!

After a great weekend, we are going to bust our behinds in the earlier week to post as many handmade and vintage items that we can so that we can enjoy the company of our family and friends during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Tidings

I've decided that Tuesdays will be the day that I share my favorites. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by creative people in my daily life, and with this comes knowledge of new things! Of course, these things are beneficial to one's life, otherwise I wouldn't be sharing them.

Anyways, my first ever "Tuesday Tidings" goes to Witchy Poo Lotions & Potions for their "Powder Strokes All-Over Body Shimmer." With 3 available colors, each Body Shimmer comes in a container with a Built-in Pump Brush! At only $26, you're really purchasing 2 products for the price of 1. Choose from Bronze, Diamond and Pink, which work with any skin tone. I had fun this weekend with Diamond, as it gave me that wintery shimmer I was looking for. If you prefer a more bronzed look, than go with Bronze Shimmer which gives you that perfect amount of tint. Whichever your preference in color, you won't be disappointed in the results.

Containing natural elements, this Powder Strokes Body Shimmer also provides a light level ofSsun Block, helping to protect you skin from sun and free radicles. Look "luminous and youthful" all year round with Witchy Poo's Powder Strokes All-Over Body Shimmers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Morning Recap

This past weekend was a weekend for creative stimulation and great shopping. i sold at the Silverlake Art Craft and Vintage Market on Saturday and attended the Market again on Sunday at it's New (old) location.

Saturday was slow...but not as slow as I had feared. I was showcasing a specific selection of vintage purses, jewelry and shoes, and included our Handmade Line and Witchy Poo Cosmetics. Smart Fashionistas took advantage of our super-slashed prices and purchased killer boots for as low as $10, bracelets as low as $5, and handmade scarves went for $18 and up. Body Shimmers with built in pump brush were purchased for only $20! It was a great sale day at Better Than Naked's booth at the market.

When I found time, my mom and I strolled around the market. I passed by an adorable booth offering hand-crafted baby and kids clothes. Cute designs, with just enough edge for baby. I passed by Mr. Bob's Unique Store, where shabby-chic style furniture was being offered. He refurbishes great vintage furniture with fun shades of red, green and blue. And the prices truly can't be beat! Items began as low as $10! Look him up in the Gardena area. I purchased 2 adorable bookmarks which should keep me motivated to read. Donna is the owner and creator of Buttoned Flower, and she also offers greeting cards, note cards, tags and more! If that's not enough talent, her husband recently (and I mean recently) discovered that he's a great painter! so the talented duo was offering up great paintings and amazing prices as well as their beautiful line of stationary.

Sunday I headed back to the market, this time as a shopper. The Silverlake Art Craft and Vintage has moved back to its original location; the Citibank parking lot on the corner of Glendale Blvd Silver Lake Blvd. I'm hopeful about this new location, as it is located on the same street as Red Lion Tavern, Rockaway Records, The Circle, and other great local LA hangouts. I made some fun discoveries that I just have to share - it would be selfish of me not to. Thank god for Brown Bag Books! I've been searching high and low for a sketch pad, and was SO excited when I found it at Brown Bag Book's booth! This clever artist and teacher takes the front and back covers of vintage books and binds them with paper. And, you can purchase 2 for $20! that's cheaper than buying corporate mainstream! Each notebook is obviously one-of-a-kind, and some of the titles and covers will have you rolling on the ground in laughter. Perfect gift for yourself and a friend. I made my way over to another creator, Cathi Milligan with Cathi Milligan Designs. Offering up unique and tasty looking beads, Cathi creates and makes each one of her desert inspired glass beads, and offers them to us at super great prices! I seriously wanted to eat every donut and cupcake design on the table. And my most fun find of the day, which I still think about and catch myself laughing about, was Quirky Creatures. Creator of her own creatures, Artist Irit Elazar Cohen captures "other wordly creatures roaming our planet" and offers them up in framed pictures, greeting cards, kitchen magnets, tree ornaments and more! I'm a huge believer myself in the WolfOwl.

After purchasing a pair of fun and funky sunglasses for only $3, I made my way out of the Market with a grin on my face and a bag full of fun finds. I ended my Creative and Fun weekend with a Tarot Card reading at Caulderon Kitty where I gained some insight on myself and my possibilities and was able to reach back down to my root. It was a nice experience and I recommend Caulderon Kitty in Silverlake if you are going to have your cards read.

We'll be out at the Silverlake Market on Sunday, 11/22, and we'll be returning with our vintage handbags and jewelry and handmade fashion and accessories. So if you're in the area, be sure to come by and say hi!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The 3rd Saturday

september 26th was the 3rd Silverlake Swap Meet for us folks at Better than Naked. it was another hot day, naturally, and the crowd was smaller than the last 2 times we had attended market. but that didn't make for a slow day for us! while business was pretty crummy, i'll admit...i had a great time socializing with all the fantastic vendors!
ok, before i get ahead of myself, i have to admit that i am a little bit proud of myself...I hired an assistant for the first time! the husband was looking forward to an exhausting Sunday and had made it very clear days prior that he would not be helping at or attending the swap meet with me. he also strongly suggested that i not go either. well, i decided against his opinion and went ahead with it anyways. i posted on facebook that i was looking for an assistant and my friend (and previous co-worker) Shelly answered the call...and I was happy it was her! Shelly met up with me around 8:15am on Saturday morning outside of Micheltorena Elementary School, which is where the Silverlake Art Craft and Vintage Market is held every Saturday. We cruised into the school and proceeded to set up the booth. After a successful set-up, Shelly was off the hook. Off she went and sitting I did.
After what felt like hours, I started chatting with the 2 sisters in the booth next to me, whose items were fairly similar to mine. But this time I had done things different at my booth, and played around with the inventory i was offering. bad move that I will never do again. But that's besides the point. The 2 sisters have a fun little business set-up: they collect email addresses and email their fans updates on where they will be so you can go on a shopping spree at their current location! and I'm not lying when I say spree. All belts were $3, Antique 50s Hats for only $15, and all clothing only $5 each! After some time, I took my sad little sweaty self on a tour of the market once the hubby showed up. Wait a minute, didn't he say he wasn't going to come?! well, he lied! (He showed up with sandwiches around noon and stayed with me until shut-down time, and I apologized for not helping and commended me on my job done.)
on my walk, i ran into a super cute girl named Corrie who had a super cute clothing line called David - Solomon. After admiring her dresses, we exchanged info, and I'm hoping she remembers to call me so I can come pick up my dress, which was only $25! Whatta steal!
After leaving Corrie's booth, I walked up on Mother-Daughter team Laurel and Amanda. Their booth was filled with all sorts of fun toys and trinkets, including a vintage Care Bears TV Tray. I admired it then shared with them that I had a similar TV tray in my booth, except it was ET.
Too hot to explore any more, I made my way back to my booth and tried to not look like I was melting. Wendy, the cute skinny girl in the amazingly fabulous vintage dress came by and we chatted about our Etsy stores. She runs a fab online boutique called Strim Vintage, and she's known to refurbish her finds into fabulous one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. We promised to "Favorite" each other on Etsy before she pranced back to her booth.
The afternoon crawled by at snail's speed, I'm not afraid to admit it. Anyways, everyone else was! I waiting until 4:00, not any earlier, to start packing up the goodies...many of which I had hoped to find a new home but was not successful in doing. After reviewing the days log, seems to be that purses and jewelery are still favorites and shoes are picking up. Home goods are better when sold online and $1 mystery bags...they're still a hit!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

meet you at the roller rink

roller skating...ahh, what a fun pastime. me and my friend, let's call her lynn, recently recalled our days of young when we made up dances on roller skates to the soundtracks of La Bamba and Dirty Dancing. lynn was a roller skating student of a very famous professional roller skater, so she would come home with all these super cool tricks and moves on her skates; shoot the duck was one of my personal faves. this skate obsession went on for quite some time, and still holds a special place in my heart today. 30th birthday - what did i do? went rollerskating! and mind you, i do not rollerblade.

today i discovered: the vintage blue roller skate shoe.

i had some time to spare in my day today, so i cruised into a personal favorite treasure hunt spot of mine to see what i could find. i lazily looked around, as there wasn't much going on in there. no luck with purses, shoes, belts...boring! then...just as i was about to give up all hope, i reared a corner, and, right in my point-of-view and in all its beautiful retro glory, were these funky-town, perfect condition, vintage blue roller skate sneakers with bright, fat yellow wheels and clean white shoestrings! i picked them up, waiting to be disappointed. but i wasn't! yellow wheels... never been worn...clean white shoelaces...vintage...retro

these blue roller skates will be available in better than naked's online boutique soon. but for now, you have these pics to admire them by. enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1980s Plastic Charm Bracelets and Necklaces

yes, i was a child of the 80s...not a teen, but a kid. i was a fan of the smurfs, rainbow brite, the care bears, tom and jerry, bugs bunny and scooby doo...i was NOT a fan of teenage mutant ninja turtles, ducktales or any of those weird shows; by that point i was baby-sitting the kids watching those wanna-be cartoons. i'm just clarifying to make sure you know when i'm coming from.

so...i was at my parents house a couple weeks and i was going thru a closet in the room that used to be mine when i found something i've been thinking of for a while now - my 1980s plastic charm bracelet and necklace!

i don't know who remembers these, because some of the people i've asked just look at me with a blank stare, but these were so bomb! each necklace and bracelet is made of cheap plastic links and adorned with large, plastic charms (each about an inch or more) with small bells and make no sense whatsoever. for example, one of the charms on my bracelet is all white and has a bear riding a dolphin...?!

i brought my plastic bracelet necklace and bracelet set home. i looked up examples online and currently there is an ebay auction featuring 31 charms on a necklace - current bid is $47! while i would love to expand my collection, i know there's a die-hard bidder in there that will pay whatever need be to acquire this necklace, and I'm not that hard up (yet). i did find a smaller and cheaper auction where I'm currently the highest let's keep our fingers crossed!

anyways, i've attached a photo of my plastic charm necklace and bracelet. the necklace is a red plastic chain with the following charms: a blue racket, a white roller skate, yellow fish, a hot pink fist, an orange bottle and a teal tansistor radio. the bracelet is a neon yellow and features a red hair dryer, yellow smiling frog and a white bear on a white dolphin.

i'm not planning on wearing these out, least not yet...but i'm just so excited to have found them that i had to post my own! wish me luck that i win the auction!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

vendor virgin no more

so i survived the silverlake art, craft and vintage fair. i should seriously make t-shirts that say that for all those who survived along with me; shoppers and vendors alike.
the first time is always the hardest, isn't it? well, so is the case in this situation. however, well worth it, which looking back i can't say that for other virgin no more experiences.
i was super organized, which helped. i packed up purses, ties, hats, clothes, shoes and jewelry in big tubs. we packed the truck strategically and left with plenty of time to arrive and set-up. we had already tested the tent a few times to get the hang of it (although our vendor neighbors talked us thru the set-up on the day of - thanks, tim!). we were all set!
but hot damn! talk about butt-a** hot! after barely surviving set-up in 100 degree weather at 9-ish in the morning, shoppers started finding their way around. 3 pendants sold in minutes. the green swim cap was purchased within 20 minutes. awesome, there goes a straw bag within 1 hour! my mom played cashier. i was the welcome committee. we always work well together.
as time slowly melted away, shoppers were coming in small spurts. the gorgeous yellow dress went home to a skinny minnie who paired it up nicely with a mint green belt. the whale tee found its new home with the same sweetie-pie that picked up the fabulous black strawberry necklace. loose pendants were a hit as well, only $3! the mystery bags seemed to be a hit with teens, kids and the adults! for only a buck, they couldn't be resisted by the shoppers.
i met some super cool people and was happy to see some pals turn out to show love and support. we managed to hang in there until about 2:30, but after almost passing out and being beet red for hours, we decided to call it a day and head back into the valley, where it was 2 degrees cooler. all in all, it was a great day and i had a blast. we'll definitely be back when the weather decides to chill out a bit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

yes, still talking about the fair this coming saturday!

i may sound like a complete broken record by now, but i'm just overflowing with excitement and enthusiasm! i am finally taking my "boutique" on the road and going to set up a public shop for the day. i've purchased my 10x10 tent, have stocked up heavily on inventory, and am in the final process of decorating my booth.
i found a chain-link fence a couple months ago in the backyard of our semi-new house after removing a large metal gate and have been dying to put it to use since its discovery. i'm thinking that the fence will be perfect for displaying the bags and purses!
oh yes, the bags and purses...uh, what should one do? i have purses coming out of my ears over here! i counted 101 purses a couple weeks ago, of which maybe a 1/4 were posted and have since been deactivated for repricing. since that last count, i have purchased at least 20 or so MORE purses, including this beautiful royal blue beauty! i'm not sure which to take out with me and which shall stay...or should they all go? i don't know! argh! the stress, the pressure!
i also decided to take a look into the jewelry i've accumulated...which turns out to be a lot. i have over 20 loose pendants and charms and only a couple chains worth using. so do i sell the pendants as is or spend more $$ on the chains, thus marking up the prices on my charms? then how vintage of a price can i offer? the agony! the confusion!
oh my geez, then there's the shoes! heels, boots, kids, men and women...even freakin' moccasins! hey, where did those come from anyways? must have been another manic day...when, then or now?
oh yes, trucker hats and ties for the guys. i can't wait! i have been having so much fun shopping for ties. there are some super cool digs out there. the boys in my life have been taking first pick, but luckily for the shoppers they are conservative and left the bold ones for, well, the bold ones!
i'm feelin' pretty lucky at this point. mom will be there working the $$$ and mother in law will be there, too. hubby and pops are expected to make an appearance as well! just keeping my fingers crossed for the love and support of my family and friends and the eagerness of shoppers to come out for superb saturday shopping at the silverlake art craft and vintage fair!

Friday, August 21, 2009

jewlery, jewelry and more jewelry!

i've been preparing for my first public appearance which will be on saturday, august 29. i've purchased a booth space at the silverlake art and craft fair and in anticipation of this great weekly event, i've destroyed my home upside down and have been pulling out purses from ungodly places. ok, not really ungodly places, but my god! i have over 160 vintage bags!!!

as i was going thru the goodies, i came across necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants that i forgot i had. DOH! how selfish of me! my purpose is to find them new homes, not hoard them!

so what's so special about my jewelry? well, for starters, check out those handmade sunkist earrings! they are made from recycled sunkst cans and padded with a foam-like lining on the back. the heart-shaped earrings are on silver hoops. or how about screw-back wood earrings or red dots?

ok, let's talk necklaces. although hard to see, not only do we have big junky necklaces, we also have glass bead necklaces perfect for layering, scrabble pendant necklaces, and domino pendants with vintage pics and hilarious sayings!

bracelets are there too! gold bracelets, silver, beaded and more!

this is one example of the many vintage finds that will be available at our August 29th booth in silverlake!

Monday, August 10, 2009

painting on leather is rad!

i've always wanted to enjoy painting, i just always had so many issues with it. maybe it has to do with the fact that i failed, yes failed, my first painting class my 1st year of college...i failed mainly because i never showed up, and i never showed up because i didn't like the professor, and i didn't like the professor because he was so negative about art that was not done in his exact manner. one which i prayed to never obtain. sure, the man was talented, otherwise he would not have been teaching a painting class. but he was just as lame as his boring paintings and became in my mind a mini-hitler: pissy about his crappy paintings so he took it out on his artists. yes, that's a large accussation to make, but it's funny and it makes me laugh, and this is my blog!

so! moving on, the above story does have a meaning to this blog, unlike many other i tell. after i failed that art class at 18 years of age, i never felt the same enthusiasm about a paint brush and canvas. many years later i had found photography to be artistically fulfilling, and there was a positive response to my pics, so i let that consume me for a few years. but, like everything else i experience, i got bored.

ok, i'll get to the point! i started painting on vintage bags. blah, there it is! my first attempt came out pretty clean. i took a white leather clutch with a wrist strap that needed a little "vavoom!" only having had purchased the electric blue paint, i followed along lines already present in the purse. this paint i'm using from eco-flo is fun because it glides on smooth and evenly and colors include bright yellow, hot pink and neon greens! once the paint dries, a water protector is applied to the paint to keep it sealed in and protected...forever!

today i finished my second bag. this one is a black leather purse with leather interior and silver accents and a great design that was getting lost in monotone. although i've since purchased more eco-flo colors, i found myself gravitating towards the electric blue. following the vertical and horizontal lines on the bag, the black handbag got a makeover too! it's been posted on my etsy site and can be seen here.

i went through the 101 purses and pulled out 8 more bags that are set up to get a makeover. stay tuned, my goal is to knock one out by tomorrow!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Silverlake Indie Swapmeet

yeah, i might be a little late on the bandwagon, but at least i finally know! saturday i went to the silverlake art and craft sale/swapmeet with the hubby. he was excited to browse through records and i was excited!

when we entered the gate, there was this woman playing flute and reading what looked like very old sheet music. it was so pretty! it took me back to my flutist never appreciate what you have until it's gone, huh?

heading past the flutist, we came across a booth of 3 gals, one of whom was selling these adorable tie-dye baby tees with felt designs. i was shocked to learn that she hasn't been selling her items on etsy! she said that she wasn't sure about her designs aftering viewing the current etsy sellers, but i strongly and honestly disagreed with her. so hopefully she will just go for it and see for herself!

moving on we came across a girl sitting at a small table with 3 vintage dresses and really funny cards. she is a seller on etsy and i giggled at her most popular seller that read "Congrats, Bitch"in beautiful cursive. i then purchased her 3 vintage dresses for $15. whatta steal! still haven't decided their fate. i'm thinking they are gonna be added to my wardrobe, being that i possess 1 vintage dress, 1 skirt and 30 vintage purses...yeah, i need some clothing.

we darted straight past the massive racks of vintage and retro clothing. so overwhelming! at this point i had lost gino. i stumbled upon a booth of all sorts of trinkets and goodies. lots of fun stuff, and one purse labeled "Space Girl Purse." oh, look! records! and gino!

gino joined me, knit kitty in hand and 20 bucks later. we passed by this oh-so-clever guy with a sewing machine and clothing galore! what a clever fella! you could create your own dress, right there on the spot! you pick 3 different vintage fabrics, mainly old tees, and choose from 3 styles of dresses, hand on over to mr. clever, and...wah-lah! your very own, custom-made, vintage dress. that was probably the highlight for me.

we passed by jewelry and art....i picked up black crystal earrings for 12 bucks, and gino scored a magnet. we made our way around the back end...ooh! what is this? 5 and 10 dollar racks! i scored myself an adorable house-dress...yes, i made my status of housewife official!

we passed by more vintage booths, but a little too chaotic to entice us. we got a good laugh out of someone trying to sell a destroyed "X"album for $100 and made our way back to the entrance and the flutist.

what a great time! i'm thinking about trying out the swap meet for myself, and seeing if i can have any luck selling my vintage goodies. my current active inventory consists of 68 items, plus i just counted out 101 purses that are still in the "warehouse" which weekend should i choose? hmmm...

Friday, August 7, 2009

101 Purses

a couple weeks ago i moved my vintage inventory from the guest room into a new, larger storage space. in a matter of weeks my inventory had grown out of control, as i had been buying more than selling. it took almost a day until i was able to see the guest bed (ok, it is a twin, but still!)... and that is when i discovered that i had some unposted items...well, a lot...

after this realization, life went on and so did my purchasing. my new storage space was much larger, so i kept packing. i took on a couple consignment gigs. then, next thing i knew, my new storage was a mess of a place.

after many awful nights of sleep and irritated eyes that burned at the sight of the sun, today i finally awoke after a decent nights sleep with energy... and decided to review and organize my backed up inventory because i'm thinking about doing my 1st swap meet.

tackling only the purses, i scoured every nook and cranny in my home for bags. yes, my madness is that bad. painted purse in one corner, stack of clutches in another, straw bags covering the dining table...

HA! so after pulling every purse out, I just had to take a photo of what still needs to make its way into the boutique. i'm wondeing how long it will take to photograph, measure, describe and post 101 vintage purses...

to be continued...

Friday, July 31, 2009

mens vintage ties

i have been coming across many mens ties lately...i have always had a love for ties, but who am i to judge what a man will or won't like? i've never worn a tie before, so i imagine i am pretty clueless when it comes to tie shopping. but at one of my spots, they recently have received ties, ties and more ties! they kept catching my eye during visits, so i finally decided to check 'em out.

ok, maybe that was a bad idea...because they were all so awesome! i found myself grabbing one after another after another...not good for the BTN budget!

i came home with my ties and then left them sitting in inventory for about a month. my hubby came to check out my inventory and he saw the ties and he loved them! i allowed him to take what he liked because he claims that he doesn't have any ties. then our good friend came over and i wanted another mans opinion. he fell in love with 4 of them, so i let him take them to a good home. all homies seem to get one round of freebies at their first time shopping with me. i don't mind; i'd rather my items go home to loving homes and get used than sit in the cold and emotionless inventory room.

so after the boys in my life ransacked my tie finds, i am left to present to my vintage fashion friends vintage ties that come in handwoven & italian silk and include brands such as: Girgio Armani, Avanti California, Johnathon Lake, Cosy, Hardie Amies & more!

i'm gonna show the guys some love this weekend and spend my time posting all these fab ties. check in with our store soon for some tie lovin'!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

vintage pink pumps by amanda smith

the other day i had an was the same day that i claimed my yellow samsonite, which has been airing out for the past week and is now closed up with fabric sheets. after cleaning it all up, it really shined up nice on the outside.

anyways, this is about the adorable pink pumps i ran across. so i was knee-deep in the shoe and purse section when i came across these adorable pink pumps. examing them, i noticed how pretty of a pink they are. not hot pink and not soft pink...maybe it's the faux alligator print that creates that perfect shade of pink. the inside is an adorable and super clean silver and pink with amanda smith printed inside. the bottoms are in good used condition and feature 6M. the heels measure approx. 3 inches in height and the shoe is made of leather upper.

more photos and information and buying options online at our website!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

my vintage yellow samsonite

a couple weeks ago i found a blue suitcase with goodies inside of it. i was forced to make a cruel decision that day: pick the blue suitcase with goodies in it, or take the yellow samsonite. i chose the blue case because of the curiosity the items inside brought out of me. but i never forgot about that beautiful yellow samsonite suitcase.

yesterday morning i awoke with one mission: thrift shopping. you ever get those feelings that if you do something it will prove successful? well, that's the feeling i had about going thrift shopping. i went to my favorite spot and had to control myself from running in. i went straight to the luggage section and...WOOHOO! the yellow samsonite was there! i snatched it up and caught myself grinning all the way to the purse and shoe section. i picked up 15 great vintage bags and 3 pairs of adorable heels, all which will be for sale.

i'm so excited about my new piece of luggage that i had to post some photos of it. this baby is going on my palm springs trip this coming weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

vintage village - a vintage fans heaven!

after a long and successful 4th of july weekend, last night around 9pm i caught a better than naked bug and spent a couple hours online looking for websites. i came across this network called ning. it's so cool, way better networks that fit your individual and business requirements. and you get to meet new people that share your same interests and are very supportive!

so speaking, or should i say typing, about new people...i joined this cool network called vintage village. if you love vintage and retro, you should definitely check this place out. all us vintage business owners are there, retro rambling and inventory sharing...

see you there?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

contents of "the case" - small floral box

so yesterday i was quite disappointed with what i pulled out of the was this wooden box that you can buy at Michael's Craft Store with an unattractive floral design that was pathetically glued on to the box. unamused, i opened the box anyways.

exhibit #2:
1) fun and bright round blue bead necklace with gold. brightens up any outfit!
2) black oval beads with gold diamond shaped beads separating every 2 black beads.
3) white beads that are largest in the middle and become smaller as it goes up to the closure. gold small beads separate every white bead.
4) handmade shades of pink necklace with complicated knot-like design throughout.
5) 2 silver "LOVE" pendants...could be used on a necklace or big-a** earrings.

i'm thinking i might want to make necklaces or earrings with the LOVE pendants; they're pretty rad-o! i'm thinking the necklaces will all be sold together in a lot. and the box? i dunno...trash it?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

contents of "the case" - Swedish Leatherette Box

yesterday i went to my secret shop to see what i could ever get those feelings like today is a good day to treasure hunt? well, that's the feeling i had, so i went with it. after a semi-successful purse find, i checked out and made my way to my car. i spotted the luggage center right near the exit that is usually pretty empty and decided to stop since it was packed full! i fell in love with a vintage bright yellow samsonite suitcase with a super clean (but musty smelling) yellow interior with white polka-dots. sold! but then, this smaller, blue suitcase was sitting there - nothing special, i thought...but then something silver inside of it glimmered and caught my attention. one of the locks was sealed shut, so i could barely see inside, but i noticed a handful of objects inside. reluctantly, i ditched the sunny yellow samsonite and grabbed the blue case and headed to the check-out stand.
on the ride home, we hit a bump and the other lock sealed shut. no problem, i think. these locks always open so easily with a small key...HA. well, about an hour later i am still fidgeting with those dang locks! finally...crack! one lock opens. ah, the suspense!!! i work madly to open the second one, not wanting to damage the locks; i had hoped to adopt this case into my luggage. but, curiosity got the best of me and one flathead screwdriver later, the case was opened!

exhibit #1: Swedish Brown Leatherette Mens Jewelry Box

i love these leatherette jewelry boxes. i made the mistake of selling all the ones i had come across in the past, so i was quite happy to find this baby (although it too will be available for sale).
this men's jewelry box is brown leather with a gold crest border and a large Royalty Crest in the middle. it opens to reveal a soft brown velvet interior with 3 rows of ring/cuff link holders, 3 dividers, and a watch/tie pin holder on top.
the bottom reads in gold: "SWANK. Skandinaviska Etuifabriken - Malmo. By appointment to the Swedish Royal Court. Box made in Sweden. Design Philippe."

Stay tuned for more contents from "the case"...there's another beauty in there you'll want to know about, especially if you love silver!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - new handmade & vintage site

i found this great website last night during one of my late night searches called yeah, maybe i'm a little behind and others have already discovered it; however, i was surprised and thrilled to see something that excited me again as much as etsy had done years ago when i first stumbled upon it.
taking advantage of their free 10 posts, i decided against the $7/month fee for unlimited posting since i'm not sure of the benefits i stand to gain from using this site. so, i created an online studio (that's what they call it) and posted a few of the items that i had already posted on etsy.
the main page is and there are some cool finds floating around that site! please be sure to stop by better than naked's studio during your stay!

Monday, June 22, 2009

family costume jewelry

this weekend i had the lucky pleasure of looking at, holding, photographing, and trying on my brother-in-laws mother's vintage costume jewelry. my sis-in-law, a full supporter of my vintage obsession and creator of many awesome things, had this beautiful gold jewelry box sitting out on their kitchen table. she invited me to take a peek at what it had to offer inside...and wow! what a sight! just the jewelry box alone was such a beautiful vintage piece, with a delicate design and gold hardware with pull-out drawers all lined with black velvet and featured a gorgeous black and gold design at the top interior. so after i finished admiring that for a while, i finally started examining its contents, piece by piece.
there were necklaces of all sizes and colors and from different eras! faux pearl strands, a matching crystal necklace and bracelet with a beautiful chain clasp, faux floral diamond brooch with matching earrings, bright retro purple necklaces and earrings, a large amber ring, a faux yellow diamond, and many more pairs of earrings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces!
my sweet niece will be inheriting these beauties one day in the very far future, and today i saw her in a gorgeous matching earring and bracelet ensemble from that box that was a delicate, heavier white metal (seemed from probably 30s/40s) with a feminine pink and blue floral design. it was so awesome to see someone young appreciate and know the value of that jewelry and to wear it with such pride!
the photos i took of some of the jewelry was taken from my camera phone, so unfortunately a lot of them did not come out and those that did don't give any justice to the true beauty of these pieces. but i'm sure all the vintage divas can appreciate it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

teens in need

this morning while the hubby and dogs and I were lounging on the couch watching tv and drinking coffee, the doorbell rang and on the other side of the door a young man stood on the other side. i opened the door and stood out on the porch since my dogs were going insane and he greeted me with a big smile and introduced himself as Christian, a young man who recently was released from juvenile hall, where he had spent 6 months for crimes he had committed. he explained to me that he was from east los angeles (we live in the suburbs) where he had joined a gang around the age of 12. now at 17 and with time behind him and a baby on the way, he is trying to make a future for himself and his future child and that he had joined this organization called Homeboy Industries. He was happily surprised when I mentioned I knew of this organization and was excited to hear that it was progressing. he was selling newspaper subscriptions, and my dude and i just ended one, so i gave the kid a $30 check as a donation.
we talked about how my uncle had been a criminal most of his life and once he finally had cleaned up his life, his adult child felt hatred towards him and the years of drugs and abuse on his body landed him with emphesema, lung cancer and hepatitis c . just as soon as my uncle had rejoined his family (i met when i was 18) and was enjoying the better life, his illnesses took him.
i saw so much life and hope and excitement in Chrittian's eyes and I really hope and pray that he will follow his goals and become anything and everything good he has ever wanted to be.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I added the wrong link?!

i just realized that my profile page had the wrong was missing an "n"! arrrgh! maybe its time to place the phone in the other room when its work time. oh well, it's been fixed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lovin' Leather!

i'm lovin' these beautiful vintage brown bags, in all their leather retro glory. not only are they super soft all over, they are great everyday bags! In house at better than naked this week are vintage bags from PHILLIPE, KENNETH COLE & COORDINATES by ColorMate. i stumbled upon the PHILLIPE the same time i stumbled upon a new place for finds. buried amongst other treasure was this slim, women's tote/handbag/briefcase with soft gold hardware. i ran my fingers over it a few times to confirm i loved it, and it was confirmed. the front features a slim, fully functioning zipper pocket and the logo on the bottom right corner. the interior is of a wipeable material and has the logo printed throughout the 3-sectional compartments, which are all enclosed with a zipper closure! gotta love those 3 compartments - they hold so much in such a deceiving way! maybe it will go to a professional with flair, or a student with movement! whomever it is, this baby is FOR SALE!
more photos at
the next leather beauty is one that has actually been sitting in our boutique, complimented and admired from shoppers near and far; but yet, no takers! can't go wrong with a vintage leather brown messenger/tote/handbag, by KENNETH COLE. Trying to find a flaw? Well it will be hard when you have a thick, adjustable leather strap with silver buckle and button snap closure. i'm surprised a student hasnb't snatched up this 3-compartment purse with a zipper closure! interior features a delicate design on fabric with the kenneth cole logo in leather and smaller compartments. FOR SALE! check out more photos at
please tell me i'm wrong, but i find this retro bag to be quite unique. this smaller light brown leather retro purse has a darker brown leather accent in the corner and a removable slim strap, allowing it to be worn as a clutch! "Super Magnet" button closure is exactly that, a darn good magnet that snaps shut! Delicate gold hardware and 2 slim leather pockets inside; one with zipper. I've looked this retro bag up, but haven't been able to find out much about it or its brand "COORDINATES by Color Mate" (made in hong kong). Not sure what I love more about this retro find - the 2-tone leather or the sassy clutch ability! FOR SALE!
check out more photos at

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Retro Finds thru Our Time!

better than naked just finished posting all our current and sold items on flickr! please add us at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Retro Purses in Bloom!

tuesday was a great day for retro purses. while i love the 1950s and 1960s styles very much and find myself collecting only the real old classic ones, i absolutely fell in love with these great retro bags! many modern purse designers are making their styles to look more and more like the older designs, but there's nothing like a true original from the era.

the purple clutch - what a beaut! so this clutch is a fun, electric purple in a PVC/faux leather material with a gold button snap and clean black lining. not only a gorgeous color, but a fun style! what i love most about this one is that you can really dress it up or down, depending on your mood! and it's season-proof! this purple can spruce up an outfit in the dead of winter or compliment that flirty summer dress!

the red retro - classic red - doesn't get more red than this! lovin' the fun design on the front that really makes this one a cutie! 2 favorite things about this red retro: 1 - the strap is removable, so you can have a purse or a clutch - or both in one wearing! 2 - the interior is so adorable! open the red zipper top and you have an adorable and clean red dot design with a zipper compartment. outfit lacking color? well this retro piece is sure to solve that problem!

the black beauty - retro design at its best! simple black purse with removable strap has a simple knot design on the front top that is oh-so-cute! and like the retro red, this black beauty also has a removable strap, allowing for a sexy clutch or daytime bag!

for full photos and price information, please visit or email at your place for vintage finds at vintage prices!