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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kick off for Independent’s Week! (Reposted)

As many of you know, or maybe you don’t, I am a member of Shop Local Raleigh. They are running a contest where you shop at different stores, get stamps and potentially win gift certificates. My business is shopping, so I decided to visit some stores and give a free in-store consult to shoppers and see what they had. First stop…Galatea.

The women at Galetea couldn't be friendlier! Cheryl is the owner, Susan is her store manager and Lissa helps, as well. This is by far is the most creative bunch of women I have worked with in a long time. The clothes are classically funk, with comfort, rich textures and interest all folded up into one. During my time there for the Shop Local event I met several women aging from 30's to mid 60's. The common theme was that most of them seemed dedicated to shopping the store while seeking somewhat of an artistic flair, but definitely wanted the versatility in look for their everyday lives.

Susan showed me a tiered shirt with various fabrics in all patterns and colors with a brown stretch waistband. She proceeded to fold the skirt, making it into a cap similar to a cloche hat dating back from the roaring 20's. She took a fabric flower (made by employee Lissa) and cinched it in the front and put it upon a patrons head. Wanda is a regular customer - very petite with a sassy short, reddish colored bob. Wow, creative and what fun. This idea, of course, got my wheels turning, as I volunteer at the Image Boutique at Duke Hospital on Wednesday afternoons. What Susan demonstrated was easy enough that I could certainly do a similar look for the patients.

Amongst many of the interesting items that Cheryl provides for her clients is a smock with a tightly gathered waist and free flowing bottom. At the bottom of the dress/skirt there is a loop that you draw upwards to pull the skirt up on one side giving the skirt an angled appearance. What is most intriguing about this skirt is that it can also be pulled up over your chest and worn as a dress. The dress also is provided with a tie that can be tied around your neck for support for larger breasted women or when worn as a skirt cinching in the waist. Hot damn, many practical uses for our 90 plus degree days. I borrowed the item and have decided it is the perfect "Gotta Have It" item for my NBC My Carolina Segments on Fridays.

I so enjoyed the people that came through while I was there, especially my new friend Mary who actually paints fine china. How cool is that?!? Galetea, near Logan's downtown, is a perfect stop for anyone looking for clothes that are cool and comfortable and interesting in color and style. Cheryl obviously works hard at find those items that will not be found elsewhere!

Second stop…..Clothes Hound

Visiting the Clothes Hound for the Shop Local event was such a treat. I am celebrating my 20th year being in business as a stylist and chatting with Bryce, the store owner, brought me back to where my fashionista ways first came about. Bryce is a young energetic mother and entrepreneur! She built a successful online business and always dreamed about having a store front.

Her store in North Raleigh has the promise of being a boutique to find small treasures for great values and prices. She had a several lines that were well priced and very versatile. For my job as a stylist, I spoke to Bryce about taking certain items and transitioning them into fall looks. She had several cute work/nightlife dresses that could certainly be worn in the fall with a simple white blouse or long sleeve fitted tee underneath. She also carries a line of camisoles and tee shirts that are made by Downeast Basics that are reasonably priced, have a nice weight, and a variety of sleeve and necklines. The light foot traffic of the evening did give me a chance to get to know Bryce and work with her on merchandising her store. She now has, in retail words, merchandise stories within her store and a great selection of dresses ranging in styles of colors, fabrics and sleeve lengths. I expect she will build a strong following of dresses with her clients as she gets the whole idea of value shopping and great looks. Go check out the store as it is so important to support local merchants and especially aspiring young women making their mark in the industry!

Be sure to stop by my other haunts for Independent’s Week while I’m there. I’d be happy to help you shop!

I’ll be at Dapper Style House from 6-7:30 on Wednesday. On Thursday, I’ll be at Tyler House from 10:30-12 and The Art of Style Boutique from 12:30-2. Come on out and visit, and stop the stores - mention I sent you!

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