Tuesday, June 30, 2015

StoryLeather Luxury Goodies: Unique Style, Selection, and Personalization!

Most of you know that I am more of an in-store shopper versus an online shopper. This is simply due to preference -- I love to experience a multi-sensory store visit! When it comes to investing in a new retail item, I like to touch the material, inhale the scent of newness, and chat with sales associates as I have questions about merchandise (or simply because I love to talk!).

So when one of the heads of StoryLeather reached out to me and asked if I’d like to sample some of their products, I welcomed it with open arms. And I did so after only briefly browsing the StoryLeather site. Because first impressions are everything, I wanted to simply experience that as authentically as possible. 

Well, I was delighted when it arrived not long after. The packaging was very impressive! I love the details of the box, how it was wrapped, the soft cloth, and the sticky emblem. The contents of the box included: a black phone holster case, a purple leather phone case with credit card slots, and a red key holder. Beautifully custom-made, handcrafted items (100% genuine leather) with individual textures!

Now, what’s especially unique about StoryLeather (after really researching its site), is that you can basically build your own product. The 3 signature steps: 1) Select a Style 2) Choose Your Leather 3) Personalize It. I appreciate a company that realizes that not everyone wants a cookie-cutter accessory, especially when the product is a luxury item (price range: about $100 and up). As for the personalization, I can attest to the beautiful engraving, as the purple phone case/credit card holder had a scripted name on it.

Also, when researching StoryLeather, I was impressed by its selection of goodies for both men and women, as well as the provided product knowledge alongside each item. In addition, the StoryLeather site has a blog section that explores a variety of technology topics. I think that’s pretty cool, as it offers the shopper the ability to learn more about his/her own gadget as well as relevant industry news. This definitely shows that StoryLeather wants its customers to have a stimulating online shopping experience, while supporting its premise: Everyone has a unique story to tell about themselves. (It's also really great online marketing!)

While, I cannot attest to the actual process of placing an order on StoryLeather.com, etc., I can say that the it was a joy communicating with the company. So I will assume that the level of customer service I was provided with is, most importantly, extended to shoppers! 

For luxury goods, especially when it comes to gifting for the holidays, I say YES to StoryLeather quality products as well as its unique concept. And maybe…just maybe…this Los Angeles blogger will reconsider online shopping.

Connect with StoryLeather on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shop 'KIN LA' for Statement, Summer Fashion Trends!

(Asymmetrical Contoured Vest by Phillip Lim, $925)

(Cherry Top in Red Stripe by Again, $210)

(Cap Sleeve Blazer in Moss by Phillip Lim, $750)

(Alley Hat in Red by Brixton, $85)

Although I was unable to attend the recent VIP Media Event at KIN Los Angeles in West Hollywood (busy blogger over here!), I’m happy to share some of the statement, summer fashion trends this boutique is offering both in-store and online. 

Whether you’re all about chillin’ in your PJs and shopping your heart out online or more of the “I want to browse around and try things on” kind of fashionista, KIN LA can help add some edge and creativity to your wardrobe. Stripes…asymmetrical shapes…heavy doses of black...bold accessories? I say rock ON. 

Since 2004, KIN LA has been a highly coveted shopping destination on Sunset. Stocked with the latest collections from established designers around the globe, KIN LA is a multidimensional store that features both men’s and women’s clothing, as well as accessories from more than 20 international and domestic brands. 

No, I have not shopped the store yet. But as I continue to downsize my existing wardrobe to make room for hotter, edgier trends – YES, stepping foot into KIN LA is on my to-do list. (I’m much more of the in-store shopper, as I love the extra inspiration I get when touching fabrics, trying on clothes, and gaining product knowledge from employees.) 

Visit www.kinlosangeles.com to become familiar with this boutique! Be sure to also follow its Instagram page, where you’ll notice that some of Young Hollywood’s statement-making stars wearing designer pieces that are carried in KIN LA, such as Zoë Kravitz and Kylie Jenner. Happy Shopping! 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bolt PR 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

'The Art of Melrose' Celebrates the Character of 'Fashion' Tonight, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.!

For my 16th birthday, I didn’t want a “Sweet Sixteen” or to hang out with a bunch of friends. Nope. All I wanted was to go with my mom to Melrose and buy “something vintage.” And that’s what we did. The next day, I returned to school in the Inland Empire (Pomona High School) as the prideful outcast that I was, wearing my new treasured item: an argyle-printed, turquoise cardigan. And the rest is history...LA eventually became my home.

Now, an LA blogger who is still a total Melrose enthusiast and shopper, I’m proud to help announce something extremely cool and accessible: The Art of Melrose. Basically, it’s a celebratory, 3-series event that will take place the third Thursday of every month throughout June, July, and August. The Art of Melrose starts tonight, June 18th, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

(Image courtesy of www.melroseavela.com)
“The goal of the event is to showcase tremendous opportunities and value where consumers, and all of LA, will realize the magic that is Melrose,” says Don Duckworth, Executive Director of the Melrose Business Improvement District (BID), during our recent phone chat.

According to Duckworth, the BID is brand new – just a year old: “It’s a district that was formed by a vote of the property owners. The BID is a legal entity that was adopted just to promote business on the street.”

So how did the concept of The Art of Melrose come about?

“One of things that we have a desire – and an obligation – to do is to promote the full length of Melrose and all of the characters that are different from area to area.  And so we tried to figure out something that really identified the uniqueness and the fascinating array of activities and opportunities that are available on Melrose," says Duckworth. "So we came up with the idea of celebrating the art of Melrose in three unique characters; one being fashion, another being design, and another being expression. Each of those characters that stretch over a different number of blocks on Melrose, really add up to a story of what this street really is and the opportunities it has for people…whether you’re a shopper or a window shopper, or someone who is just looking to have a good meal and experience something good and fun in Los Angeles.”

As a super excited local resident who is welcoming The Art of Melrose, and all that it represents, I appreciate learning from Duckworth that the business owners along Melrose are pumped and full of enthusiasm too! Tonight's 'Focus on Fashion' event will take place in the center section of the BID in the Gardner, Martel and Fuller blocks (the area that is home to a large concentration of high-end boutiques, trendy restaurants, and unique stores). 

“Some business owners are going to have in-store models and fashion shows…there will be live music and restaurant specials. So there’s a lot of enthusiasm we’ve been met with and that’s very gratifying,” says Duckworth. “Once we get that enthusiasm going, it’s infectious and it will build upon itself. And we’re hoping to bring back the buzz of Melrose.” 

To keep you in the know, here are some of the participating businesses and what they’re offering tonight, during this much-anticipated fashion event:

 • 310 Jeans: 50% off
 • B. Poy & Jo: Live music and complimentary cocktails
 • Blackjack Clothing: 20% off
 • Bliss: 20% off
 • Cosmo & Nathalia Glamsquad: Live models, live music, dancing, 15% discount
 • Couture, The Clothing Company: Gift with purchase
 • Essex Clothing: Complimentary beverage
 • For The Love of Motorcycles: View Motorcycle Street Collection and gift of Power Plant t-shirt with $100 purchase.
 • Groove Theory: 20% off
 • Italiano Couture: Celebrity jewelry designer Uccellino Couture will be in-store selling a selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, glasses and custom pieces.
 • Jigsaw Melrose: 20% off
 • Kawaba Rice Ball: Sampling of dessert offerings
 • La Creme Café: Complimentary 12 oz organic coffee drink with purchase of savory or sweet crepe
 • London Shoes: 50% off & refreshments
 • Monster-a-GoGo: Live models in window, 20% off
 • Psychic Alana: Complimentary palm reading
 • Vinoteque on Melrose: Extended happy hour

Already obsessed with the concept of this 3-series event?! Get in touch with The Art of Melrose by visiting its website and/or by connecting via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lemon Frog Shop: LA's Hip, Unique Treasure!

(Goodies galore!)
You know that place you drive past every day and always tell yourself, "One day, I'm finally going to go in!" Well, for me, that place was Lemon Frog Shop -- the hip, unique treasure that is located at the border of Echo Park and Silverlake on Alvarado and Sunset. Situated in an often-congested area that connects you to both the 101 and 2 freeway, this unique vintage bazaar is tucked away right next to the delicious Tierra Mia Coffee Company. You may not necessarily notice the name of the shop right away on the building, but you will notice colorful clothing neatly adorning the shop, directly outside its doors.

Interestingly, the day I stepped foot in Lemon Frog Shop for the first time, I was also trying Tierra Mia for the first time as well! After spending an hour or so reading at the café, I decided to poke my head in the vintage boutique to check it out before I headed to my car.

And I'm so glad I did. Here is my breakdown on the fabulousness of Lemon Frog Shop:

Immediate Customer Service: As I held my Ethiopian-flavored coffee from Tierra Mia, I pushed open the door to Lemon Frog Shop already enthralled by the goodies that surrounded me. And after noticing the "no drinks" sign, I asked the petite woman who greeted me if I can place my coffee cup at the register. She replied with "Thank you for noticing the sign! Most people don't. But yes, you definitely want your hands free so you can experience the whole store." I love shopping in places that are run by those with passion and pride in their merchandise. Turned out that the kind woman with the cat eye glasses was the owner (Micki) and made me feel comfortable from the start. Although I
(Thanks for the pic, Marie!)
didn't purchase anything that day, as I simply wanted to poke my head in so I could get a feel for the boutique, I definitely did when I returned the following week. To my satisfaction, I received the same courteous and friendly service from her associate, Marie, during that second visit. From taking photos of me trying on clothing to answering all of my random questions, Marie provided me a pleasurable shopping experience.

Savvy Selection: Although the store is small in square footage, the selection of merchandise is sovast and organized! I'm all about great deals, and I appreciated that both Micki and Marie showed me that the front of the store held the less expensive items, while the more expensive pieces trickled toward the back. Marie mentioned to me that they usually receive items on a daily basis, which is great to know. It gives frequent Lemon Frog Shop customers the eagerness to return for more! The shop is home to various special items that have stamped some of our favorite eras. Think hippie, disco, punk, glam, mod, bombshell and bohemian clothing, purses, shoes, hats, and a wide range of accessories. Yup - something for everybody!

Crisp Quality: Adding to the quaint, well-organized structure of the shop is the quality of the items. Skirts and pants were clipped on hangers perfectly, shoes neatly lined the shelves and floor, and accessories nicely hung from fixtures and were laid out on flat surfaces for ease and accessibility. It's clear that Micki runs not just a shop full of vintage items, but a shop stocked with treasures that are made for fashionistas who want to make a statement in something unique (and affordable!). Just as dusty shelves and poorly-hung clothes say tons about the caliber of management and pride employees take in their job, so much can be said about those who are happy to provide a positive shopping experience. Lemon Frog Shop is, no doubt, characteristic of the latter.

(Looooove this summer top!)
Sea of Inspiration: YES...inspiration abounds at this beautiful, LA boutique! From the colors and textures of the items to the affordability and well-taken-care-of pieces, the merchandise gave me a sense of calmness and openness. This knit, yellow top immediately caught the attention of my boho-chic personality. As I softly touched clothing and accessories while hanging out in the shop, I felt a sudden surge of inspiration regarding my own wardrobe...I couldn't wait to get rid of old things in my close to make room for new pieces that exemplify my style even more. So, although, I didn't purchase the yellow knit top (I need to see if it's still in stock because I can't stop thinking about it!), I did find two $10 accessories I knew I couldn't live without: a turquoise ring and a pair of turquoise-teal dangly earrings. I wear a lot of black and these colors add a nice pop of creative color to my daily ensembles!

Special Treat Upon Purchase: So after I tried on merchandise, graciously thanked Marie for taking pics of me (and for listening to my rambling chatter), I was ready to check out with my two accessories! And then I heard the cutest thing from Marie. She said, "You get to pick something from our treasure box!" I mean...huh?!? I get a thank-you gift after only spending a few bucks on amazing pieces? That final touch of the Lemon Frog Shop experience really proved the level of appreciation Micki and her team have for customers. It was a small detail that was a major
(My new treaures...perfect to wear with black!)
contributing factor to my overall satisfaction. I felt so special! The item I chose was perfect: a decorative bobby pin. This practical, chic hair accessory fits my style wonderfully, as it perfectly pins some of my locs back. And to be honest, I personally felt like a treasure as I walked out!

So, yes, I definitely recommend Lemon Frog Shop. It's the place to go for great customer service, a stylish selection of vintage goodies, and the fashion inspiration you may need. Hope to run into you there!

Connect with Lemon Frog Shop on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ENTER TO WIN a Toola Accessory That Will Protect Your Tech and Give You a Peace of Mind!

(Add some peace to your life with the help of Toola!)

"WHERE. Is. My. Phone??!?!?"

Yup - it's what most women exclaim day in and day out. And usually there is this overwhelming feeling of stress that develops while hunting through the same oversized purse or pile of clothes. Whether that stress developed out of the fear that you've actually lost your phone or out of annoyance because your lengthy to-do list can only be accomplished with the use of your phone -- it's no fun dealing with the frustration that could potentially ruin your day.

So, when I came across this Toola fashion accessory, one of my first thoughts was: "Wow...even if I were to lose my phone in this case, at least that peace sign will give me a sense of calmness when I finally find it..." And in addition to the obvious benefits of a phone case -- providing protection should it drop or get too close to some unidentifiable liquid -- this particular style can serve a functional purpose. You'll be able to hang your phone right next to your purse! Let us also consider and respect the edginess of the black chain, as it will take nearly any outfit to a cooler level. Whether you wear it on your shoulder or wrapped around your wrist as you strut the catwalk (remember: the street is your personal runway!), it's all rock and roll.

That said, I'm sooooo happy that I'm able to give away one iPhone 6 Peace Phone Case ($48 value), an exclusive product of www.toolastyle.com!

ENTER TO WIN (Pick 1):

*Leave a comment that answers this question: How do you regain peace in your day if your stress level gets too crazy?


* Tweet this post and tag both @GoodGirlShops and @ToolaStyle!

Last day to enter: June 1st! Winner will be chosen at random. All entrants must be located in the U.S. 

(Please Note: All phone case models by Toola are customized to a particular smartphone. To place your order, feel free to contact this LA-based company directly! Get your Toola Style on and shop now! ) 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Viva La Print!

(March 8, 2015: Schooling myself at Barnes and Noble/ The Grove, LA)

Over the past decade, I've made a career in the online world. From heading an SEO writing department and managing social media campaigns of professional practices to becoming a fashion columnist, freelance writer, and currently, a full-time Los Angeles blogger, my life in the field of communications has been solely Internet-based.

Ironically, when I wrote for my college newspaper and student-run magazine back in the day (Daily Titan and TUSK Magazine), I never cared if my articles were published online (mind you, it was the late 90s - early 2000s...). As an observer by nature, I just loved watching other students on campus reading my articles in between classes and folding it up to put in their backpacks. Having my words splattered inside something tangible was an indescribable feeling! But after I graduated (print journalism degree), technology evolved, and I realized how truly awesome it is to work in the online world, my goals in print took a backseat. The opportunities that I was presented shortly after graduating from CSUF became priority, so I sorta stopped pitching to mags and stuff. But I never stopped studying and reading some of my fave publications (especially when sipping on coffee at Borders or Barnes and Noble).

See, the thing is, my heart beats fastest when reading, touching, and inhaling the beauty of a print magazine versus scrolling and swiping on my laptop or iPhone. Slowly turning crisp pages, folding the corners on a great article that I can revisit later, and opening up the perfume ads to rub on my wrist -- print magazines offer a multi-sensory experience that a blog or online magazine just doesn't have the ability to do.

(August 19, 2013: the now-closed Barnes and Noble/ Pasadena, CA)
OK, I realize that this article is coming across as Internet-bashing, which may seem especially odd coming from me, a blogger. But nope - not what I'm saying. This is more of a don't-forget-about-print-magazines even as you remain addicted to blogs, websites, and social media. When I hear people say things like, "print is dead" or "print will soon be extinct"...my palms get sweaty imagining life without them. I also feel for the entire teams behind producing just one monthly magazine issue. From the writers and editors to the employees behind a cool printing process and advertising execs that work hard to make sure their brand gets a proper space, I would hate to think that their jobs have an expiration date. (I mean, I still want to contribute to a print mag one day myself!)

Ultimately, my love for print publications comes from the 'lil pleasures that are really big deals. That said, here are my top 5 reasons why print mags still rule: 

(1) Perfect for a long bath: I do NOT trust myself with anything technology-based near a mass of water (and you shouldn't either!). Wet, wrinkled pages, on the other hand, I can deal with. Last night, I enjoyed a glass of merlot and the lovely sounds of Sade in a bubbly bath as I studied some of the new workout moves and nutritious recipes in the latest issue of Women's Health Magazine. Was a perfect evening!

(2) Coffee table conversations: The type of magazines that someone has laid out on their coffee tables says a lot about his/her personality, be it a gossip mag or a fashion publication. It gets conversations flowing ("Oh my gosh! Do you think Kylie Jenner will ever stop enhancing her lips?") provides an artsy touch to, possibly, an otherwise dull table, and gives guests something to casually browse through as they wait for you to get ready. (Last-minute date?)

(April 22, 2012: Soaking up the sun with Self/ San Dimas, CA
(3) Summertime companions: I don't know about you, but there is something awesome about laying out in the hot SoCal sun -- whether on the sandy beach or while laying out at an apartment pool -- and flipping through the latest this or that mag. Soaking up the rays and new knowledge at the same time is pretty peaceful, if you ask me. (Which you didn't, but you're reading this, so you must care about my opinion in one way or another!)

(4) Wall or fridge art: When I see an amazing outfit on a website, I rarely print it out and post on my bulletin board or frdige. But when I find something memorable in a magazine, such as an affordable pair of heels or an inspirational quote, I rip out and plaster it somewhere. I love this convenience factor as well as the actual look of a ripped-out page of a mag...uneven torn edges are just so ultra-cool and edgy.

(5) Creative artifacts: While I don't like to face that fact that print will (ahem, could?) become obsolete, I think it's important to start saving some of your favorite issues. For years, I saved as many magazines as I could with Gwen Stefani starring as the cover model. These are social artifacts that our children of children may one day want to discover. Let's give 'em something to talk about!

So, now that you have an understanding (I hope!) of why I believe that print still rules, I gotta know your thoughts! Are you proud to shout "Viva La Print!" at the top of your lungs? Or, are you so Internet-based that you don't find value anymore in print mags? Do tell!

For additional commentary, interviews, or any other inquiries, please feel free to contact me directly. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Put Your D.I.Y. Skills to the Test With Jamberry Nails!

(Photo Credit: Jamberry Nails on IG...and moi!)

...And that's what I did recently. You know, put my arts-and-craftsy self to the test with Jamberry Nails at-home application!

I was introduced to Jamberry Nails, which launched in 2010 by three sisters who were ready to take nail art to a new level, by my friend and Independent Consultant Shana Swanson. Now, I haven't seen this adorable chick for years, but we go waaaaay back. I'm talking Sunday School as kids, Jewish camps in Malibu as know-it-all-teens, and Honors English classes throughout high school in Pomona (as the only two Jews in the school, besides my sister, I think). Fortunately, due to the power and incredible benefit of social media, we've remained connected on Facebook. (Oh yeah, and after visiting Israel back in the day, she brough me back a Tori Amos T-shirt in Hebrew and an album from a singer dude that has a track titled, "Elana." See what I mean?! Shana rocks.)

Anyhoo...so when she messaged me and asked if I wanted to try out Jamberry Nails and blog about it, I was all over the opportunity for a few reasons. Yes, the first being that Shana is my girl, and I'm always into supporting a friend. The second reason is that, of course, as a blogger it's fun to sample products and write a review. And for the third reason: I'm all about saving money. This cost-effective application method offers nail art lovers the chance to save a good chunk of mula. (I'm sure you'll agree with me that visiting a nail shop every two weeks or so can add up!)

So I tried out her samples, and as you can see from my photo collage above - I had a great time showing off my results. Here is the application video that I chose to watch when it came to applying my Jamberry Nails -- pretty easy-to-follow:

Soooo....the question now is: Are Jamberry Nails right for me -- an LA blogger who is always on the go? The truth is, I absolutely adore the plethora of unique designs and colors. In addition, the application process is simple and straightforward. However, I believe that the ideal Jamberry Nails customer is a gal who has PATIENCE. While I am working on building up my patience (in all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons!), it also requires time and a clear mind. You must be conscientious and meticulous regarding the process! Because I was a little nervous that I would mess up each fingernail (which I did with a few during the filing step), I didn't enjoy the overall process as much as I thought I would.

Therefore, for me and my busy lifestyle, I prefer to let the pros beautify my nails in between running errands around town. 'Cause truth is, I trust that they will do a near-perfect job and I'll get that hand and arm mini-massage that I live for.

But if you, my dear, pride yourself in being a D.I.Y. queen, then I highly suggest looking into Jamberry Nails. Their website is fun to cruise, the range of selection is vast, and the cost range is VERY affordable: $15 - $17.50/set. And, of course, please connect with my friend Shana when you're ready to get started!

To place an order, schedule a party, and/or join Shana's team:
Join her Facebook page for customers to ask questions/share pictures:
Cell: (702) 275-6326 (text is preffered)
Email: shensta@gmail.com