So far in my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide advocating shopping small, I’ve showcased three amazing small businesses from around the country:
1. Native Bear in Atlanta, GA
2. Woodbury Lane in Milwaukee, WI
3. Must Love Sparkle in Chicago, IL
4. Jordan Grace Owens in Durham, North Carolina
I discovered Jordan Grace Owens back in college at an artist market in Athens, GA and instantly fell in love with her designs. Jordan Grace has the ability to capture the unique personality and essence of a person while keeping her signature illustration style. She has a number of items that are ready-to-buy in her Etsy shop, but she is most well known for her custom work, specifically her personalized paper dolls. Yes, I said paper dolls, but before you shrug off the possibility of purchasing something that sounds old-fashioned, take a look at Jordan Grace Owens’ designs and think again. Jordan Grace started making her illustrations into paper dolls in “an effort to make art that people would want to touch and interact with,” then they took off (Need Supply Co interview)! If you’re looking for a unique way to capture your family or friends, send Jordan Grace your photos and she’ll draw and assemble their likeness for a one-of-a-kind portrait.
J O R D A N G R A C E O W E N S
A girl can never have too many totes. This hand-screenprinted Leggy Canvas Tote is ultra feminine, fun, and functional. It’s sizable (15″ x 10.5″) enough to serve as a pseudo-purse, grocery sack, in-flight carry on, gym satchel, weekender bag – the applications are endless!
Out with the old-school concert tees and in with the cute graphic tees. This super-soft fitted tee has a lovely sentiment and sweet illustration. It’s perfect for any lady on your Christmas list, young or old!
Partners, pets, parents… spouses, siblings, even friends… the possibilities are endless when it comes to Jordan Grace Owens’ custom-made, personalized paper dolls. Unfortunately, JGO’s paper dolls are so popular there is a 3-4 month wait list. So, the best course of action for the holidays is to purchase a gift certificate.
About the Business:
Jordan Grace Owens is an artist, illustrator, and maker based in Durham, North Carolina. Her intimate and stylized designs have caught the attention of numerous publications such as Design Sponge, Need Supply Co., and Real Simple magazine. Jordan Grace’s work is also featured in the book 1000 Portrait Illustration: Contemporary Illustration from Pencil to Digital. With a fine arts background, two years working in graphic design, and plenty of artistic encouragement growing up, Jordan Grace has built a flourishing business on Etsy and made a career making drawings.
Just because Small Business Saturday is behind us doesn’t mean you have to stop shopping small this holiday season. No matter what day of the year, it’s always important to support small businesses!
In Part I and Part II of my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide advocating shopping small, I shared two of my favorite small businesses: Native Bear (based in my hometown, Atlanta, GA) and Woodbury Lane (founded by fellow blogger Katelyn Kosinski of Katelyn Now, located in Milwaukee, WI). Today, I’m showcasing gifts from another small business that is near and dear to my heart: the Chicago-based brand Must Love Sparkle.
You may have seen some beautiful jewelry from Must Love Sparkle in previous posts on ARTicles of Clothing blog. Specifically, I used MLS jewels to style singer/songwriter Erica Bryan for one of her shows last summer.
If you’re hoping to give the gift of jewelry this holiday season, look no further than Must Love Sparkle! For a limited time, use the code shopsmall50 for 50% off all orders or subscribe to the MLS mailing list for 10% off your first order.
M U S T L O V E S P A R K L E
I must admit I was skeptical of the two-finger ring until I tried this poetic and adorable tortoise and the hare ring from MLS. It’s surprisingly comfortable and incredibly unique and fun. Great for a gift or stocking stuffer.
The palace cuff is the ultimate lightweight statement bracelet. It’s cute, comfortable, and instantly completes any girl’s outfit. I used this cuff while styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan, so it’s performance approved! Whether you’re looking for something stage-worthy or just a great gift for everyday, the palace bracelet is perfect!
These are two of my favorite pieces from MLS. This necklace and bracelet are part of the Jocelyn Negron Collection, a group of pieces fashioned by Jocelyn Negron, jewelry designer and founder of Must Love Sparkle. This collection has a stunning design and exceptional quality. A truly beautiful holiday gift for any special woman in your life.
About the Business:
Must Love Sparkle is a Chicago-based a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. Jewelry designer and founder Jocelyn Negron has a keen eye for buying and designing, which has allowed her to curate a diverse collection of her own jewelry designs as well as that of other designers. The MLS girl likes to mix it up by wearing hoodies with high heels or Nikes with fur. However, at the end of the day, MLS is for anyone who wants to shine, no matter your style.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! So, there’s still time to get mom something special. Whether your mom is into food, fitness, or fashion, I’ve got seven gift ideas for you to suit your mom’s unique style PLUS a bonus Mother’s Day idea for daughters on a serious budget!
Where better to get some stylish items for your fashion forward mom than from Hot Mama. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you might not be familiar with this boutique chain, but they have a website you can shop that ships to all fifty states! Hot Mama is a concept boutique created by a mom for moms. From the design of each store to their buying techniques, Hot Mama keeps moms in mind. Needless to say Hot Mama is gearing up for the holiday honoring moms with 10 Must-Haves for Mom, one each day in May. So, you’ll have to stay tuned to their Facebook page for picks 7-10, but here are their first six must-haves for mom!
1. AG Middi Ankle, $215
2. Summer Scarves, $28-$48
3. Graphic Tees, $38-$68
4. Ray Ban Sunglasses, $115-$160
5. Sanctuary Shorts, $69-$79
6. Prairie Underground Sweatshirt, $199-$268
If your mom loves to cook and entertain, there’s a brand new cookbook that just hit the shelves in time for Mother’s Day: Extra Virgin – Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen ($20). I’ve been watching Extra Virgin with actress Debi Mazar and her Tuscan hunk of a husband Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Channel since its debut three years ago. Finally this gem of a show is getting the recognition it deserves! The couple just released their first cookbook, and I imagine every recipe is sinfully good given I can’t help but swoon over every single dish they prepare on the show.
What mom doesn’t love a day at the salon to make her FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD? Get her a gift certificate to her favorite salon so she can enjoy a day of pampering and beautification! Not sure which salon your mom loves? If you live in the Atlanta or Athens area, I recommend Salon Dm3. They’ve got an amazing deal going on for Mother’s Day Gift Certificates! Buy a $50 gift certificate for $40, a $100 gift certificate for $75, or a $200 gift certificate for $150! Salon Dm3 offers cuts, colors, blowouts, extensions, waxing, and other treatments. Visit my amazing stylist of over six years, Catie McWhirter! Head to their site to purchase and book. Offer is good through this Saturday, May 10!
Is your mom into fitness? Does she travel frequently for work or play? Does she live across the country from you? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I might just have the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you. You may have seen me feature my favorite online fitness program, MyBOD Wellness, in a post or on social media. MyBOD offers Personal Training, Pilates or Yoga sessions via Skype or Google+. Simply set up a computer, smart phone, or tablet in your living room, office, hotel room, or anywhere on your time, and one of Mybod’s certified instructors comes to you over Skype or Goggle+ for a personalized workout session. Needless to say this gift is ideal for busy, jet setting moms. MyBOD believes consistency is crucial for good health, and their online mindful fitness allows an activity plan to be maintained on the go. Better yet, MyBOD offers semi-private sessions, so even if mom lives across the country, you could have a duet session together! Please visit MyBOD’s site for a FREE 20-minute consultation before purchasing and booking
Recently I realized my mom and I haven’t had our pictures taken together since the days when we wore matching outfits, so I decided to gift her a photo shoot for the two of us. You may have seen me dote on my all time favorite photographer, Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography in previous posts. While Angie’s specialties are senior portraits, boudior, and wedding photography, she is up for any challenge and has the creative mind and talent to tackle any shoot, which is evident throughout her amazing photography featured on this blog! Contact Angie for scheduling and pricing!
Mom’s love lingerie just as much as any girl, and of course my all time favorite lingerie brand is Hanky Panky. They’ve got an exclusive Mother’s Day pack of two V-Kini panties for $54, and while supplies last, you can get a beautiful, limited edition, hand pressed Mother’s Day card with the code MOMSDAY for FREE with any purchase. If mom’s not into lacy lingerie, Hanky Panky has lovely tanks and sleepwear to suit any mom’s style.
If your mom likes the finer things in life, gather your siblings and your dear old dad to go in on a gift together. Buy her a luxury timepiece for Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of ten fabulous ladies watches that would be perfect Mother’s Day gifts for Crown & Caliber, the premier place to buy and sell high-end luxury timepieces. As you skim through this gift guide and find something that catches your eye, head over to Crown & Caliber’s “Watches for Sale” to find a stunning pre-owned timepiece to purchase for your mom!
BONUS: For a Daughter on a Serious Budget
If you’re on a super tight budget this Mother’s Day, remember when it comes to mom, it’s truly the thought that counts. Get mom a great card, like the ones featured in this post on Hello Giggles. Make your own Mother’s Day brunch by trying a new recipe like this one for Cream Scones with Currants from the Food Network. Give mom a mani/pedi by creating an at-home spa treatment like the one I featured in this post back in March. If you get creative and infuse it with love, it will be the perfect Mother’s Day gift!
Over the past decade we’ve become an increasingly digital society in nearly all facets of life. Part of that transition has been a shift in shopping at brick and mortar stores to shopping online. Now, more and more people are shopping online for a variety of reasons. I used to strictly shop at brick and mortar stores, even as the popularity of e-commerce grew. I felt the need to see things in person, touch them, and try them on. At one time, I could never have imagined converting to a life of online shopping.
Since college, travel has become a huge part of my career and life. Between jetting around for work, maintaining a long distance relationship, and visiting friends and family, it seems I’m rarely in one place for an extended period of time. This lifestyle has made me become an avid online shopper because I no longer have the luxury of time to go out and spend a leisurely Saturday shopping at brick and mortar stores. Over the course of my transformation into an online shopper, I’ve become skilled at examining products and assessing them for their fit and quality without the in-person sensory experience. I’ve also realized one of the major benefits of shopping online: price comparing and finding the best deal. It’s online shopping (in combination of many years working in wholesale and retail) that has made me vow to never pay full price for anything. Now, I can’t imagine going back to my old brick and mortar ways.
So, what is the future of online shopping? We’ve already seen strides in e-commerce as social platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Polyvore have integrated shopping into their experience. Advancements like this will hopefully continue to grow and evolve. There’s also talk of two other digital shopping game changers on the horizon: the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, and the latest retail technology innovation, Beacon.
Alibaba is the leading e-commerce site in China. Imagine Amazon meet ASOS on an even larger scale. Let me give you an idea of the scope of Alibaba. According to Forbes, the site handles more goods than eBay and Amazon combined, and on it’s busiest shopping day last year, Alibaba sold three times as many goods as were bought in the United States on Black Friday. Alibaba is currently preparing for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange that is estimated to raise $15 billion. Later this year, the company plans to enter the U.S. market by launching a new e-commerce site, 11 Main.
Beacon technology is blurring the lines between shopping online and offline. Online shopping allows retailers to gather a wealth of information about their customers and track consumer behavior. Web cookies track our every click and the ability to login to sites with social media accounts is just another way to collect more personal data. Retailers with brick and mortar stores want the same ability to gather and track information about their patrons. Beacon technology uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to devices like your smartphone when shopping in-store. Currently, the downside of Beacon technology is that it requires retailers to have the hardware installed and users to opt in. However, there are benefits for consumers who elect to participate. For example, Beacon offers hands-free payments. Beacon technology may also help shoppers navigate a store to find what they like best. Most recently the personalized fashion marketplace Lyst has partnered with Paypal Beacon. When Lyst users enter a store that uses PayPal Beacon, they’ll be alerted of brands they follow on the app that are available in the store and have access to current inventory information. Because the technology is still in the very early stages, the possibilities for its application in the future are truly endless!
Today I’ve got a triple dose of deals to share from Baublebar! They extended their Cyber Monday sale offering 20% off sitewide with the code CYBER20. For a chance at even bigger savings, you can play Baublebar’s Cyber Savings Smash where you can snag $100 off, $25 off, or 30% off! Finally, Bethenny Frankel featured Baublebar under her Christmas in December Holiday Giveaway segment on her talk show today! Every member of her audience walked away with a $100 gift card to Baublebar, and you have the chance to score one too by entering to win! Whether you cash in on 20% off, roll the dice on a bigger deal in the Savings Smash, or happen to be the lucky winner of the $100 gift card, you can always find something fun and festive at Baublebar! Get a gift for yourself to glam up your holiday look this season or use the deals to grab some glitzy gifts for your girls! Still need some help deciding what to buy? Here are my picks! I’m loving these sets. They’re the perfect way to give one and get one or just stock up on lots of gifts to give!
MIDI RING SET
P.S. Remember to CLICK the images to SHOP the deals!