My Facebook status stream is pleasantly awash today in a flurry of hashtag ridden posts reminding friends to #shopsmall for #smallbusinesssaturday often accompanied by images with inspirational quotes about how patronizing small businesses supports a family, pays for dance lessons, funnels money into the community, and improves the economy. Small businesses are often passion driven and innovative, started by people who want to make a change in the world around them, but success is hardly guaranteed. Failure rates are high, and customers often assume the owner is rolling in the cash or “getting rich” from sales. Small businesses can lend you financial stability, but they can also place you on the verge of financial ruin, to say nothing of the tremendous strain they place on personal relationships. What you perceive as a successful business owner could be one on the verge of bankruptcy and divorce. We’re all faking it until we make it, but the problem is some of never will make it. It’s a hard path to walk, and small business Saturday at least tries to reward those who choose it.
During the holidays, my family loved to blend practical gifts along with fun ones to ensure my brother and I had what we needed but also something special we wanted. In fact, clothes and video games are still totally acceptable gifts for me even at thirty, and some of my favorite presents were practical with long term value, like a converter which allowed me to broadcast my mp3 player through the radio of my car (this was before cars got all fancy). Today’s buying guide is perfect for the person needing or wanting affordable basics or utility pieces to wear and enjoy all winter!
Hello Everyone! In the past, I have reviewed Glamory hosiery and been smitten with their impressive collection of beautiful but functional hold-up stockings. In fact, the Vitals collection became one of my favorite hosiery products because they are specifically designed to improve circulation. Anyone who spends all day on their feet knows good circulation in the legs is imperative to staying active and healthy, and on the days I wore the vitals, I felt better at the end of the day than any other stocking I have tried. Most traditional stockings which offer this technology also exploit a control top (bleh!), so to have a lovely pair of hold-ups which make me feel as comfortable as I do fashionable is a blessing! Recently, Tim and I were chatting on the phone about Glamory and what else the brand has to offer customers and retailers alike, and I realized it would be wonderful to do a formal spotlight both on him as the US distributor and on the line itself. Reviews are great, but I always love to hear more about what a brand hopes to achieve and how they see themselves growing with future collections. So, let’s chat stockings with Tim today while you enjoy your morning coffee!
We all know how much I love Bolero dresses. My closet is practically a Bolero sample rack at this point, and I freakin’ love it. However, Bolero also makes amazing separates, including faux-wrap tops, tunics, and pants. Today, I’m spreading the love around by showcasing several different Bolero styles including a faux-wrap top, a tunic, a classic blouse, a casual dress, and a pair of wide-leg pants. Yes, we’re having a five-in-one Bolero special up on the blog today!
As my teeming inbox continues to remind me, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and general holiday chaos are right around the corner! This year, we’ve brought in some very special products to make shopping for loved ones (or for creating your own wishlist!) easy and affordable. As many of you know, I have an aversion to “Buy this!” posts because I feel uncomfortable using the blog for such blatant marketing and promotion—an ironic turn of events given my original intentions when I created it five years ago. However, as the blog grew and flourished, the purpose transitioned into towing the line between professional and personal, and I prefer eschewing gimmicky posts in favor of interesting content. That said, I also feel that our store, like many local businesses, is often forgotten during the hustle and bustle of the holiday gift giving season when we have so much to offer. More people buy online to avoid crowds or head straight for one-stop shops, but small businesses often possess unique, one-of-a-kind items and the money spent with them funnels back into the local community and charities. Not to mention, since I rarely post any new products here, some customers may not realize how many wonderful potential gifts we have in the shop right now . . . oh, and did I mention prices range from $15 to $100? All budgets welcome here!
Remember my annual stats series? No? I don’t blame you seeing as how I started it back in August during a streak of productivity and over-ambitiousness which was ultimately sidelined by the damn move I keep mentioning. Anyway, the store has been unusually quiet, even for a traditionally slow month, and while that bodes poorly for sales, I seized the opportunity to slog through my expansive “To Do” list and revisit my statistical posts. Originally, I planned to divide the content into two smaller, more manageable blogs, but sheesh, how many do we really need? I have so much more content to work on and post that I think we’ll close here with an abundance of cool information on our best-sellers, our up-and-comers, and even our down-and-outers. (Previous entries were: A Guide to Interpretation, Band & Cup sizes, and Best-Selling Bra Sizes.)
“You have way too many books,” my brother, uncle, and cousin all stated repeatedly during my recent move. My book collecting, or hoarding depending on who you ask, began early and never abated, even with the advent of e-readers. Despite the convenience and ease of a Kindle (which I do own), I stubbornly cling to my books, preferring the nostalgic weight of the binding in my hands as I breathe in the musty swirl of ink and paper. My passion for books began with my parents who encouraged me to both value reading and develop my own tastes. They trusted me to pick my own selections, placing precious few limitations on what I could or couldn’t read and allowing me to gravitate to the topics and authors I enjoyed most. I visited the library often, but I also perused my parents’ personal collections for new material too (well, the ones not hidden on higher shelves or in closets *cough* Gerald’s Game *cough*).
If you follow the blog, you may recall a certain heartfelt post I wrote about how depressed I was and how people, some of whom I never met, came together to lift my spirits and restore my faith in the world around me. It was poignant for me to write, and I loved every word of it. And then, freakin’ Lunar Pages upgraded my server without telling me or doing a proper back-up and lost TWO WEEKS worth of comments and posts, including the aforementioned one. So, those gratitude filled words now reside in the ether of the universe but not on the blog. Since I’m not in the same place emotionally as when I wrote them, I am not going to recreate the post. Instead, we’ll do the TL;DR thing and say: I was sad. You guys made me happy. Thank you!
You may recall earlier in the summer, I posted a blog explaining that I was currently deciding between refinancing my existing home and moving elsewhere, and much to my chagrin, I have spent the better part of the summer in a kind of limbo unsure where I would be at the end of the year. The entire situation has been extremely stressful for many reasons, and for the process to coincide with our busiest time of year only compounded the anxiety. My goal was to minimize the impact of moving on store hours, but there were several occasions where I needed to either close for the day or leave early. Unfortunately, in order for the store to be open, I need to physically be there, and when you are simultaneously exploring options for refinancing, selling a home, and finding another, it’s not always something that can be done from the comforts of a sales counter.
With the general band and cup size sales for the store reviewed, analyzing the specifics of the best-selling bra sizes often confirms trends I already observed and aids in finding which core sizes deserve not only more available styles but also multiple units to prevent stock outtages and minimize reliance on special orders. However, in keeping with my desire to streamline the series this year, I eschewed my standard assemblage of bar charts with the cup size distribution for each band in favor of a single line graph showcasing the sales for all of the bands together. The simplicity of the unifying graphs allows you to see how each of the bands differs from the others in what cup sizes perform best as well as showcases the data lines contributing the classic Bell Curve created by cup size sales. (Note: For clarity and ease, I strictly utilized the UK sizing system and only focused on 28-46 bands.)