Passion Alone Can’t Pay The Bills

You can’t crush true entrepreneurial spirit. If you have it, it’s only a matter of time before you find your niche. Each “failed” attempt has to be viewed as a lesson learned. The real failure comes about when you don’t take anything away from the experience, when you don’t apply any of your newfound knowledge to your next endeavor. I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. It just took me some time to figure out where my roadmap was headed.

My first attempt as an entrepreneur was in the field of technology consulting. I had the skill set, I had the clients. The one thing I lacked was the passion. Couldn’t even fake it. Money was there but it just wasn’t fulfilling. So I decided to go with a new business, one that I loved.

Handbags. High fashion. It was my obsession. I thought because I had such an intense love of high-fashion handbags that I’d naturally be able to design, market and sell my own collections. However, there were significant barriers to entry I wasn’t aware of because I didn’t take the time to properly research the market and the accessory industry. As a result, quite a bit of debt accumulated over the very short life of my beloved business. Passion, though important, just doesn’t pay the bills.

Promotion concept. Painted staircase with draw in the wall. Business draw.

Promotion concept. Painted staircase with draw in the wall. Business draw.

After that “failed” attempt, I really thought long and hard about my future direction. I let my imagination run wild and decided to write a novel. Being an independently published author is a business just like any other. You develop and perfect a product, market and distribute it to the masses. Again, I was wearing many hats. The difference this time was that I’d done research on the industry and I maintained that critical element of passion.

Along the way (because the entrepreneurial spirit cannot be quelled) I partnered with one of my author friends to build and launch an online directory for authors called Author Navigation – a one-stop shop for all services needed to help polish and perfect a manuscript for the masses. It’s still early days and we’re still trying to gain momentum but we’re slowly making a name for ourselves.

Always strategizing, always planning, always envisioning…ALWAYS.

Think Twice Before Joining The Style High Club

Hubby recently joined the Five Four Club. For $60 per month, he was promised an entirely new and fashionable wardrobe. Upon registering, he completed a detailed questionnaire so the company could gauge his style and taste and send him items according to his preferences.

Sounds simple enough, right?

The first shipment came the other day. I had to include pics because not only were the styles completely off, but the quality is extremely sub-par. The jacket is some kind of flimsy nylon material and the shirt is just a plain black t-shirt with a couple of buttons. Neither one of us was impressed and Hubby decided to cancel the membership.

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After keeping him on hold for about twenty minutes, Hubby found out he couldn’t return the clothing items for a refund. That’s part of the program, not one they widely publicized, by the way. He was definitely cancelling after hearing that.

But then the customer service rep said if he’d like to continue the membership, they would send him higher quality items the following month. Hmm.

Can you say swindled???

That first month tells this company a lot about their subscribers. If customers let it go without complaining about the crappy items they’d received, the company continues to send them shoddy items, saving themselves wads of cash because they’re able to keep costs down and send the lower quality merchandise.

For the subscribers that may not be happy with the quality, they may not want to sit on hold for eons so they’ll just suck it up, take the clothes and not wear them (at least they won’t if they have wives like yours truly).

Only a few will be disgusted enough to call, sit on hold and complain to customer service. These are the ones who they still have a shot at retaining. Offer them better quality to keep them happy. It’ll cost the company a little more, but they’re already making money hand over fist with the others who are just accepting what was sent.

Then there are the dissenters…the ones whom they can’t convince to stay. These are probably few and far between and not the true target for this company anyway, so better to let them go. Not cost to the company since they don’t give refunds. They still sucker them for $60 a pop (even if it was only ONE pop).

The Five Four team is not really embracing the concept of customer loyalty. Or maybe they just don’t care. Seems like a scam to me. Buyer beware. Big time.

Stash Your Phone And Enjoy The Moment!

Back in December, I wrote a post about product offerings from some super-cool female-run startups. Hubby took note of my list and proceeded to get me some of them for Christmas.

I’m happy to report that one is being crafted as I type.

Meet Ringly, the cocktail ring that will keep you connected with an app. You can keep your phone tucked safely away in your handbag without worry that you’ll miss an important meeting, update or call.

The rings are made with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. They are available in US sizes 6, 7 and 8 and new orders will ship in the spring.

LOVE!!!! <3 <3 <3

My only reservation is the potential skating…I have pretty small fingers so I’m a little concerned that the weight of the stone will make the ring skate around my finger, a pretty huge pet peeve of mine. But judging from the look of my new finger candy, it’ll be a small sacrifice to make.

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Courtesy of www.women2.com

This fab creation works with iOS and Android devices. Through a downloaded app, you will decide what notifications come through. Waiting for an important call from your sweetie while you’re out at happy hour in a super noisy bar?? No problem! Ringly will let you know when he calls through one of your selected color and/or vibration patterns.

You’ll never need to have your phone glued to your hand again. With Ringly, you can actually hold your cake and eat it too. =)

 

Want To Digitize Your Closet? There’s An App For That!

I am a self-proclaimed fashionista.

Clothes-horse, shoe-whore, handbag junkie…you name it, I’m all over it.

But sometimes having all the components makes assembling the perfect outfit even more difficult. Like, where the heck do you find time to sift through everything and put it all together so it looks effortlessly chic????

Ahhh, luckily for me, there’s an app for that. =)

ClosetSpace is a new application from fashion analytics company Stylitics that wants to give you a digital closet for your smartphone as well as supply you with daily fashion inspiration and access to a personal stylist for only $25.

Yikes, the thought of snapping pics of everything in my closet makes my head spin!! But to have my phone feed me daily outfit suggestions, saving me oodles of time in the morning? Well worth the money!!!

Courtesy of www.techcrunch.com

Courtesy of www.techcrunch.com

The app can even offer weather-based suggestions and “style stats” from over 140 fashion bloggers providing fashion advice and fresh ideas on rejuvenating your personal style.

ClosetSpace Brings Fashion Inspiration And Recommendations To Your Smartphone – TechCrunch

“It’s for anyone who wants to dress better, feel more organized, or do more with the clothes they already own,” says CEO and co-founder Rohan Duskier.

Additionally, ClosetSpace will work to connect users with offers and deals from retailers based on the makeup of their closets, as well as other services they might like to try, like laundry delivery or beauty services like GlamSquad.

I’m GLOWING For The Bargain Price of $4,000!

If you’re lucky enough to find the absolute PERFECT dress, how many of you will wear it until it can probably walk around by itself? Yeah, I know. Me too. =)

But how cool would it be to BUY that fabulous dress and be able to customize the color and pattern through an app, constantly reinventing the look?

Flipping AWESOME concept, right???

The Coolest Fashion Innovations of 2014

CuteCircuit is a super-innovative fashion brand creating amazing technology-inspired and interactive Haute Couture and Ready to Wear designs. You can transition from day-to-night and seriously maximize your closet space…to leave room for more shoes, of course! <wink, wink=””>

Celebs Love CuteCircuit Too!

Nicole Scherzinger and Katy Perry are devoted fans…probably because they’re among the elite who can actually afford the hi-tech couture. The K dress, for example, is priced at about $4,000. But it’s so HAUTE!!!!!!!

Courtesy of www.cutecircuit.com

Courtesy of www.cutecircuit.com

How Does The Technology Work??

After the great success of the K-dress, inspired by the gorgeous CuteCircuit couture dress that Katy Perry worn at MET Gala in New York in 2010, CuteCircuit presents a new version with even more LEDs.

Slightly longer than its predecessor, the hand-pleated silk chiffon dress with hundreds of LED lights embedded in the fabric comes in a variety of colors.

The LED lights glow and sparkle in whatever color and pattern you choose. The K Dress has a small snap-in controller that recharges via USB. Just plug it into your computer USB port and charge. The long-life battery is fully charged in about 2 hours and you will be dress to impress all night long.

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Still Plenty Of Time To Shop Startups!!!

This is such a fun post because it combines several components I’m very passionate about….FASHION, TECHNOLOGY, SHOPPING and ENTREPRENEURSHIP!

Women 2.0 put a list together of 21 gift ideas born of female-owned startups. This is right up the Idea Mama’s alley!!!!!

21 Gift Ideas That Technology Made Possible

There were several that really popped out…really super-cool, sleek and cutting-edge. Check out these awesome finds and support these fabulous females this holiday season!!!

ElemoonJing Zhou, Co-Founder & CEOBoring rubber wristbands…yeah, they’re considered “smart tech” but they are NOT considered stylish…at least not by self-proclaimed fashionistas like myself. Elemoon combines a touch interface, activity sensor, notifications and colorful lights into one elegant accessory. The Elemoon’s LED light designs and colors can be customized to match different outfits. Can we say WINNER????

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Ringly Smart Jewelry – Christina Mercando, Founder & CEOLove the look of this finger bling! I hate the feeling that I’m going to miss an important text or call when I’m out, but I also dislike carrying my phone in hand. This brilliant tech invention comes with an app that helps you decide what’s important and what’s not. If something is critical, your ring will alert you by buzzing or lighting up while your phone is tucked safely away in your bag. And it’s PRETTYcrafted with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone and available in black onyx, pink sapphire, rainbow moonstone and emerald. YUM!

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Courtesy of www.women2.com

EverpurseLiz Salcedo, Founder & CEOBrilliant! How many times are you in the situation where you’ve completely drained your device battery from obsessively checking Facebook and your email? Everpurse is a clutch that charges your iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or Samsung Galaxy S4. You charge the clutch on a mat overnight and when you wake up in the morning, you can keep your phone juiced for up to 48 hours!

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Courtesy of www.women2.com

CuffLinkDeepa Sood, FounderCuff smart wearable technology enables you to connect with friends and family members in emergency situations. Activating the device will send a notification with your GPS location. It also incorporates audio so whoever you notify can hear what’s happening around you. Safety plus fashion equals a surefire winner!!

Courtesy of www.women2.com

Courtesy of www.women2.com

It Can’t Just Be Smart…It Needs To Be Vogue

It can’t just be a “smart” watch.

Because Apple would effectively eliminate and alienate every style-and-label-conscious consumer in its target audience.

Common objection to an iDevice gracing my wrist – Why do I need a smart watch?  I’d rather sport a Chanel J-12 or my Cartier Balloon Bleu.  I have an iPhone…with a super blingy case…I’m good.

Well, I guess Apple got the memo because the company recently added some big designer names to its payroll – Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts, Yves Saint Laurent’s Paul Deneve, Nike’s Ben Shaffer and now Marc Newson.

And the designs?

Let’s just say Apple should definitely see a positive ROI under the direction of their recent hires.

Courtest of www.bostonglobe.com

Courtest of www.bostonglobe.com

The watch designs combine fashion and function.  A selection of elements – from bands to faces to color, textures and metals – will certainly satisfy varied tastes of the masses.  Your watch can emulate your personal style – and still deliver on the smart part.

Check out Apple’s website for all of the combinations.  You can go as high-end as you want and select leather complimented with an 18 karat gold finish.  Or maybe you’d prefer something more sporty – go for the space gray aluminum and a more modular face.  The customizable possibilities are extensive.  There really is a style for everyone.

2015 should be a pretty lucrative year for Apple.   =)

Jersey Girls Love Their Barefoot Sandals!

Ahhh…Oyster Fest 2014.

Lobster rolls, crab cakes, clams, oysters, beer and…bling?

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Something I’ve always loved about the festivals in Jersey is that they celebrate small business owners.  We always find interesting products in our travels and if they are any bit girly, Lulu is at the table, front and center, ready to patronize.

Yesterday was no exception.  Lulu found Jersey Girl Barefoot Sandals and fell in love.  It really is such a clever product – jewelry for your feet that you can wear with or without sandals.  There were all types of designs to choose from.  Of course, Lulu decided she needed an anklet to match each of the sandals.  She’s such an easy sell…just like her mother.  =)

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Here is a snap of Lulu and Bev Beveridge, entrepreneur and one of the co-owners of this super-creative venture, showing off their foot candy!

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I was really impressed with the selection of styles and the price was reasonable – we paid $10 per sandal, which any woman knows is a bargain for bling!

This is a pic of yours truly and Bev.

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Check them out on Facebook!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card by clicking here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f30243524/.

 

What’s Inside Your Closet??

How many times have you spotted someone who’s rocking a killer pair of booties or swinging around the most delectable piece of arm candy you can imagine? How about catching a glimpse of someone who just really knows how to piece together an awesome outfit? Someone whose style you’re just dying to emulate?

I came across an article in Venture Beat for a brand-new digital concept in fashion. Poshmark, in Menlo Park, CA, is launching a women’s fashion marketplace in app form where members can follow the closets of fellow fashionistas and buy coveted items at up to 70% off retail. No longer do you need to chase after these style mavens at the mall! LOL, am I the only one who actually does this and looks like a crazed stalker in the process??

Courtesy of Venture Beat

Courtesy of Venture Beat

It’s fabulous, socialization of looks and trends for fashion lovers! You can even sell your own wares!  Based on your tastes and closet browsing history, you’ll get a feed from the app that connects you to your fave designer duds and style icons. When you follow others or make purchases from their closets or other retailers, the app will craft your own unique Style Genome. And the best part is that you can have a split fashion personality – boho and preppy, glam and grunge…you’ll never be pigeon-holed into one category again!

Absolutely BRILLIANT concept. And they’ve gotten millions upon millions from angel investors like Aston Kutcher and Rachel Zoe to prove it.

 

 

InStyle Fashion and Beauty Round-Up…My Picks (And Pics)

I FINALLY had a chance to leaf through the current issue of InStyle.  Yes, the one I’ve been staring at for about a week and a half.  And I thought, hey, why not share some of my finds with my friends in cyberspace??

Not sure if I’m going to draw fire over this post since I am uploading pictures of pictures taken by InStyle photographers, but oh well.  If they come after me, that’s a good thing, right?  Means I’ve gotten the attention of some pretty self-important people.

Henri Bendel, Cartier, Nordstrom, Swarovski

Okay, this first pic won’t get me into any trouble because I took it and it’s of my arm candy.  Swarovski, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel and Cartier.  All of my wrist besties.  =)

And it's Gucci for Amy Adams

And it’s Gucci for Amy Adams

First up!  So metallica, Amy!  I love the color of this strapless Gucci.  Not wild about the shoes, but I wouldn’t turn away the dress if it showed up at my door!

Armani Beauty, Rouge D’Armani lipstick in No. 401

Reeeeeeeed HOT!  But not for me.  Everyone says that brunette’s look great in red lipstick and admittedly, a lot do.  Sadly, yours truly is not one of them.  So this will just continue to sit in my makeup bag, unused and unloved.  I can’t even doctor it up – I tried different liners to add more depth to the color and a little gloss.  Not good!  Sorry, Hubby.  I tried…

www.aldoshoes.com

www.aldoshoes.com

Ahhh, Aldo.  Definitely a fan.  Love the heel, love the texture, love the electric blue color!  If I could just figure out my size, it would be fantastic!  Am I a 38 or a 39 or a half size?  Never consistent.  Makes online ordering with Aldo extremely frustrating!

Chloe should stick to designing handbags...just saying

Why oh why, Mandy??

Don’t be confused by this pic, folks.  I had to include Mandy, not because I like her dress but because it’s so hideous I had to share!  Chloe should really stick to designing handbags instead of clothes.  LOL

Julien Macdonald is clearly inspired by the allure of Vegas

Julien Macdonald is clearly inspired by the allure of Vegas

I would SO wear this dress.  Abso-posi-tutely!  It’s not even close to being age-appropriate but I’d do it anyway!  And I wouldn’t even have to be in Vegas!  Julien Macdonald, I’m totally a fan!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Did I pick well???

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