Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Few of my Favorite Things - the "Shop Small" Edition: 2017


Every year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is celebrated as a day to support small businesses and all they do for the local community.  Small businesses keep money in our local communities and many of these business owners are our friends and families.  I have to admit that my preference is to shop online, but in the past decade, more and more of my friends have entered entrepreneurship in some form and I'm compelled to put my money where my mouth.

This Saturday, November 25th, after you've wondered for the 100th time why you ever bother with those miserable Black Friday sales (did you really expect to nab one of 5 tvs at the low low price of "this is so not worth it"? and did you not expect to get pushed over in the race through the store doors? and how much fun was camping out for hours instead of enjoying a post-dinner food coma in the warmth of your home?), eat a hearty breakfast of leftover turkey, mac and cheese, and cranberry sauce, and get out into your local community to put your money where your heart is.  These small business owners are invested in our communities and there is nothing like the warm fuzzies you get from the personalized attention they give.

Below are some of the small businesses I frequent, some I have been supporting for years - before I'd even heard of Small Business Saturday, some I have just recently been turned on to, some have brick and mortar establishments and some are completely virtual, some are in the DC area and some are in other states. But take it from your favorite Chief Fashionista, one thing they all have in common is excellent customer service!

The Gucci sunnies on the  left and the Valley eyeglasses on left center were both purchased from Elegant Eyes, Inc., an eyewear company with 2 stores in NJ.  Follow owner and optician, Utenzi Miller on IG @utenziconcierge and schedule an appointment for a virtual fitting session or ask her to find a pair you've had on your wish list but can't seem to find.
There's nothing better than having something that no one else has (or is that just the selfish Fashionista in me?  Don't judge, I AM sharing my good info with you all!) The sunnies on the right center and right are one of a kind custom creations from @iwearbyraqui and @dearemery respectively. I love being unique! And is it obvious I have a thing for eyewear?

You get 2 for 1 in this pic: the black and silver lipstick tubes are from Luxe Vie Luxe Face by Kiki Hinter.  Local DC native Kiki provides makeup artistry and custom made lipsticks - pick any color you could possibly think of  and watch Kiki bring it to life.  If you want, she can add a little or a lot of sparkle.  I've eaten a huge tub of buttery popcorn with my lipstick on and the color didn't budge!  Follow on IG at @luxevie_luxeface.
The 2 Mason jars are filled with shea butter goodness from @zeninajar. Owner Nikki is the Zen Fairy who whips up the most delicious smells to soothe your skin and ease your mind. 

Small businesses are service providers too.  These ladies are my G-Stars and help me look my best on the outside.  Germaine, Esthetician and Owner of the Red Bloom, has these amazingly gifted hands that give the best facials and she nurtures your spirit as well. She can link skin problems with issues with your diet and change your entire life.  Gwynn is the owner of Go By Geohaghan and is a super special hair stylist. I cannot tell you the times I had some crazy hairstyle idea in my head and she executed it exactly the way I imagined. Anything you want she can make happen - she even makes wigs!

Here comes the fashion! I really do love shopping small in this regard because I don't like wearing something that everyone else has. While I frequent big retailers like Nordstrom and Zara because they are stylish and convenient, let's face it, you run the risk of hundreds of people buying the exact same items you bought. A small boutique can only carry so much in its inventory, and will only order so many items at a time. Works in your favor as you have less of  chance of running into someone with your same dress. It pays to get to know boutique owners personally as some will give you a heads up on new arrivals that are your style. Black coat from @simplyprissyness, burgundy hat and black kimono from @gipsyliscious, black net skirt by, pink tutu by @bvrsuperstars, navy blue embroidered mesh dress at @flybehaior, leather fringe earrings by The Yolae Experience.

If you know me even slightly, you know that these are photos of my 2 favorite local small businesses,  Yvette Crocker Art and Lee's Flowers.  I truly enjoy the friendships that have developed from my patronage of both of these female entrepreneurs, Yvette and Kristi. Yvette is an amazing native Washingtonian artist, as well as a clothing and jewelry designer. Kristi's floral arrangements are works of art - she has an eye for detail and always seems to know what I like.  Her family's business, Lee's Flowers, has been in DC since the 1940s and also supports other small businesses at its weekly Flower Power Happy Hour.  In the photo above, my mom is shopping with the wonderful Malonda, also a DC native and long time friend, who owns Malonda's Treasures, a vintage shopping wonderland. Follow all 3 ladies on IG - @yvettecrocker_artist @leesflowersdc @malondastreasures

Last but definitely not least of all, eLevated Style Studio is a small business too. If you aren't aware of the services I offer, scroll up to the top and check out the services page.  I would love to count you as a client! 

Happy Shopping Small!

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