Category Archives: Shopping

Supporting Small Businesses – Kayla Baggett

 

Happy Super Bowl Sunday from Houston, Texas!

Today I am featuring a very talented woman that I recently teamed up with.  Her name is Kayla and she has a great line custom monogrammed items.  You can find her on Instagram @brookewood3 === We have a giveaway going on right now that I’m really excited about. There is still time to enter!  The deadline is 9 pm CST tonight. Follow both of us and tag as many friends as you like. Hopefully you are already following me @KiwiAndEllie

Not only is Kayla absolutely stunning, but she turns out high-quality products.  I’ve posted a few of her items below.  I hope you will visit her Instagram account and her etsy store.  She also has a web site: www.brookewooddedesign.com You can save 20% off your purchase by using code: KIWI20.  How awesome is that?

Something that is really fun about partnering with other small and woman-owned businesses is that we help promote each other while having fun doing it. I have some monogrammed items arriving from her soon and I can’t wait to share them with you.

I asked Kayla to tell me a little about herself and how she got started in this business.  Here’s what she said.

“It all started with a simple Christmas present from Santa!! It was an embroidery machine. 🎅  So, I started making monogrammed gifts a few years ago. It’s only been a couple of years and I have discovered this is my passion! I love seeing smiling faces after they receive a gift that is personalized for them. It truly brings so much joy to me.

Shortly after receiving my first embroidery machine from Santa, I branched out and purchased 2 more! Plus I also purchased a screen printing business. Needless to say, this is my passion, this is what I live for. This is my business!”

Kayla Baggett

Her photos are taken by Forever Yours Photography. You can see Ashley’s work on her Instagram Feed @forever_yours_photography.  She is based in Atlanta, GA

If you are a small or woman-owned business and would like to be featured on my blog and social media, please send me an email ann@kiwiellie.com.  Enjoy your day Y’all.

The high cost of plus size

Happy Friday Everyone,

Today I read a blog post by “Grown and Curvy” about Target’s new plus-size collection.  She mentioned that although Target is carrying a variety of styles online, most are not carrying the line in stores.  This got me thinking, again, about how frustrating it is to be:

  1. Relinquished to shopping in the “woman’s section.”
  2. Having to go to a separate “Woman” store.
  3. Paying a premium

Sadly, I am speaking of Talbots, my absolute favorite line of clothing.  If you follow my personal Instagram account @CapeCodAtHeart You will see that literally 95% of my wardrobe comes from there.

Here’s the rub. First of all, the sizes are always separated either by walls or total stores.  That doesn’t seem fair.  Then, plus-sizes are ALWAYS more expensive.  Well, you think, “Maybe it costs more to manufacture due to the use of more fabric.” Yes, I considered that theory.  However, it is not true.  Here’s why.  I am currently wearing a 14WP in bottoms and a 12WP in tops.  Some times I’ll wear and XLP or regular XL.  It depends on the style.  Okay, so we have established I am probably in the Woman’s section, or store, most of the time.  Don’t let me lose you here.  This is very insightful.  So, regular petite sizes only go up to 16P but regular woman’s sizes go up to 18.  So, an 18 regular is too big for me.  Now, I have to either go to another store or move to the “Woman” section for bottoms.  A size 18 is larger than a woman size 14WP.  But I have to pay more because I am petite.  Then there is the sheer fact that a regular size 18 is also too big for me on top.  So, I have to again go to another section or store for a top.  And, pay more again.

Ugh.  So, now let’s say I tried on a blouse in the “Woman” section.  I tried the 12WP and it fits.  Great but a surcharge is placed on it.  Now, I go back to the regular sizes and the size 18 (remember petite only goes to 16P.) Guess what?  I’m swimming in the size 18.  Again, that too has more fabric.

So, in a nut shell, plus size women in certain size ranges pay a premium because of subtle sizing differences imposed by the retailers.  Then even larger size women don’t even have the choice to cross-over shop.  So I pose this question…. What about the woman who wears a size 0?  Why doesn’t she get a discount because far less material is needed?  No, she definitely won’t.

Retailers can also gauge size popularity by what is left at clearance time.  Isn’t it usually harder to find larger sizes on clearance?  It is for me.  I see lots of small sizes on the clearance rack.  Why?  Because we plus size women spend money to look good.  We may even pay full price since the odds of finding the item on sale or clearance is slim.

It is not just Talbots that does this.  I don’t want to single them out.  I’m still going to shop there all the time, I will also continue to pay a premium because I love the label.  I have loyal customer for over twenty years as a size 6.  At that time they didn’t even have plus sizes.

Oh and another thing.  Based on the location of the store, they may not even go as high as 16P or regular 18.  Their demographic analysis shows that women of “that” size don’t shop there.  Well they are wrong,  One Talbots store in Plymouth, MA didn’t go any higher than 14P (my size a couple of years ago). So I would pretty much have to buy online or get lucky if a larger size item was returned in the store.  There was a “special” rack for the larger sizes tucked into the back corner of the store.  Gosh, I’m kind of getting more annoyed as I write this.

Enjoy your weekend and Go Pats!  #DoYourJob #PatriotsNation.

 

Shopping Brooke Feather – River Oaks, Houston

It was a rainy morning today and I’d been wanting to buy this Houston Canvas bag I’d seen on brooke5Instagram for a while now.  So, I decided it would be a good day for shopping.  I headed over to Brooke Feather on West Gray Street in Houston.

When I arrived I was greeted by the owner of the boutique, Brook.  She and her team were so gracious and attentive.  They even helped me photograph the store.  I absolutely love the clothing line.  It’s a very upscale sort of “SoHo” collection of comfortable clothing and accessories for women. The decor was relaxing, yet sophisticated.  Located in a somewhat unassuming strip mall of stores in the heart of River Oaks. Oh and it is conveniently next to Talbots (my favorite).  I’ll save that story for another time.  This shopping area has a  collection of wonderful boutiques as well as high-end chain retailers.  So, let’s get back to the reason I went there.  The tote!  Yes that

Houston Burlap Tote

Houston Burlap Tote

Houston tote bag that had been calling my name since I arrived here in December.  I’d seen it in a newcomers guide to Houston and knew I had to have it.  Several months went by and then I spotted it on Instagram.  I knew it was meant to be!  Brooke Feather is the only place in all of Houston where you can buy this.  Although they don’t have an online shop, you can call them and they’ll be happy to ship one, or two, for you.  Their number is 713.520.0211. You can also email Brooke, INFO@BROOKEFEATHER.COM.

Being the shopper that I am, I couldn’t just leave with that one item.

 

I spent time browsing the racks and found an adorable tee by Amo that said “Tomboy.” It made me think of my nineteen year-old daughter.  I may have to send that to her at college.

It’s a slouchy AMO tee with shredded holes and printed ‘Tomboy’ lettering. 100% cotton and the best part is that it’s Made in the USA.

When I was at the checkout brooke2chatting with Brooke, I noticed this amazing perfume by Maison Louis Marie.  It’s called Cassis.  The high notes are, of course, Cassis, Bergamot and black pepper.  The mid note is white rose and the base is Oakmoss, Musk and Tonka.  It is such a refreshing, crisp, clean smell.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had to buy it.  It was conveniently at the cash-wrap.  I’m always picking something extra when I checkout.  Smart upselling!

The next time you’re in Houston, it is completely worth the trip over to Brooke Feather located at 2020 West Gray Street in Houston. What a wonderful morning.

brooke12

 

What Every New Texan Gal Needs

So, since I arrived in this state, I’ve noticed there are certain things a southern belle needs. Start with a pair of cowboy boots, Miss Me Jeans in bootcut, a handgun and some western style jewelry.  I found this ring on Boots and Bourbon. Don’t you just love it? You’ll also need a good bottle of Bourbon for when friends drop by.  Be sure you are using one large ice cube so as not to water down the spirits.  I’ve seen these kind of ice cube trays everywhere. They do sell them on the Boots and Bourbon site also.  May I suggest Blanton’s bourbon. (Frank Underwood in House of Cards drank this.) It will set you back about $65.  What is your favorite?

Of course these bourbon glasses rock! No pun intended.

annfrancis

July 4, 2016

_12878927This is no joking matter.  I am in love, love with the packaging of the new Christian Louboutin Lip Lacquer.  Seriously.  I checked out the Nordstrom web site and they sell it.  My favorite color is “Akenana.”  I’m not sure what the word means, but the color is so amazing.  Will you pay $90 for this tube of lacquer?

I mean just look at this boxed.  Don’t you want to die? This is seriously about as close as I’ll ever get to owning a pair of Louboutin shoes. Or, anything from the design house._12757028