Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Shopping Party!

March 21st was not only the 2nd day of Spring, but it was also Better Than Naked’s 2nd Backyard Boutique! Celebrating the sun, flowers, birds and local businesses, we opened the Boutique for a 3-hour Shopping Party and offered Spring shoppers the latest in Vintage and Handmade Clothes and Purses, vintage-inspired Baby and Kid Tees by PunkBaby Wear, skin care and candles by Witchy Poo Bath, and...for the first time ever...a Wax Bar! Yes, a Wax Bar! Jennifer Grubbs, owner and esthetician of Valentino’s Salon and Spa, set up a private Wax Bar indoors and offered pain-free waxing!
Better Than Naked pulled out the arsenal of Kids Vintage and Handmade and featured vintage sweaters and osh kosh overalls, handmade hats and wraps, and retro roller skates! Vintage Bracelets flew off the counters at only $5 each. Lucite screw-on earrings and pendants started at only $3.

PunkBaby Wear was selling onesies and toddler tees for $15 each, and as cheap as 3 for $30! Pink Skull tees were a hit with the little ladies and the retro comics logos were popular with the boys. It’s always good times when mom and kids agree on fashion!

My favorite corner of the Boutique was the Wax Bar. Jennifer Grubbs makes waxing fun and painless. In the privacy of the Wax Bar, we listened to Jessica Fichot as she waxed my gams. Others took advantage of Jennifer’s Brow talents. Whichever the choice, everyone left the bar happy...and sober!
Staying in the Skin category, Witchy Poo made an appearance and offered up Bath Salts, Skin Scrubs, Makeup as well as their sister line, True Apothecary with their soy-wax candles!
Moms and daughters came shopping together and new friendships and connections were made. I was so excited to meet Shawnie from the Backyard Boutique Party Network! She made time in her busy schedule to visit our Shop and we are very grateful for that. As karma would have it, she won a Vintage Evening Clutch in the Chinese Raffle!
Other creative people and local businesses stopped by to show their support. Skin Care Specialist Fern, from Faces by Fern, enjoyed the Witchy Poo booth and was happily chatting away with owner Tonya. Attorney at Law, Brian Ward, made an appearance with his lovely wife Brandi and we were able to congratulate him on his new office in Pasadena. I had the pleasure of meeting Graphic Designer Martha Camacho of MC Design Studio, who also has a talent for knitted handmade items! I’d have to say the biggest bundle of joy that day came from Kennedy, the 5-year old daughter of Robyn Reynolds, owner of Organize2Harmonize. She was kind enough to show us scenes from her upcoming school play, Annie. Although Robyn is serious business when it comes to business, her soft side comes out to play on the weekends. Check out her radio show. I did and I learned in a quick 15 minutes the importance of getting my affairs organized. What a fabulous, FREE service she offers.
With this last Shopping Party, flowers and friendships blossomed alike. It was nice to look out among the shoppers and see smiles, friendship and excited eyes over their new finds. Looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Defining Vintage

It has come to my attention that there are many businesses, big and small, selling “vintage” fashions and accessories. I’ve recently visited these stores and saw their their "amazing" and "affordable" vintage finds...which cannot be given an accurate date or brand, and the pricing has been left to the discretion of the shop owner.

So how’s a shopper to know if it’s Vintage? Especially when it’s not obvious that the item is Vintage? Does it matter to the shopper if its true Vintage?

Derived from the wine making process, vintage is to describe something from seasons past. So does that mean that the dress from Fall 2009 is vintage? Technically speaking, YES. But in the vintage collector’s fashion world, NO. However, I’ve noticed a growing trend of retailers claiming to sell vintage fashions when indeed they’re not.

So what is Vintage? While it appears that the definition of Vintage is in the eye of the beholder, for starters its any item belonging to another era in the 20th century dating 20 years and older. Yes, that means that items from 1990 are now vintage pieces! If an item dates prior to the 1920s-1930s (timeline debatable), then you’re in the Antique category. Not my all!

For my personal collection and my business Better Than Naked, I choose to define vintage from the 1940s-1970s. The 1980s are Retro and 1990 doesn’t exist for me as a vintage item. I happen to be a collector of purses and admire their architecture, interiors, and chosen fabrics and materials. Purses range from exotic skins such as eel, cobra and lizard to cheap plastics and vinyls.

Say you just found out that your 1960s vintage purse from the corporate store or local boutique isn’t vintage like you thought or was told. Upon closer examination, you find a small tag inside that reads Made in China, when in reality that’s not where a purse from its era would have come from...If it’s not vintage, then WHAT is it?......It’s Vintage-INSPIRED.

Inspire: “to influence, move or guide...exalting influence on...” Vintage-inspired - new fashions inspired by fashions from 20 years and older.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying vintage-inspired, as it’s obviously a compliment to fashions and times of the past. I’m simply defining the difference, in case you wanted to know.