Friday, January 29, 2010

#5 Eye Candy

Calvin Lockhart -
Stern and high cheekbones.
Heavy eyebrows.
Beautifully cocoa complexion.
Overall rating (1-10): 8.5
The original Biggie Smalls (Let's Do It Again - 1975) and Colonel Izzi in Coming to America, Mr. Lockhard is truly missed (1934-2007)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recycle your Fashion and Consign for Cash

I am super excited because I've booked an appointment for tomorrow at HUSH ( - Ottawa's coolest (and most profitable, as far as I can see) consignment shop.

WHAT IS A CONSIGNMENT SHOP?!?!!? In short, it's an upscale second hand clothing boutique where you can find great items and sell some too. The store will accept items from consignors (that'd be you) and put them on the sales floor. When the items sell, the shop will give the consignor a certain percentage of the resale value (usually 40%-50% - it's outlined in the contract that you sign at the beginning), and promptly cut a check.

Back in the day, I used to do pageants (helped put me through college, they sure did - more on that to come in the Business section!!!), and I went to consignment shops to buy my gowns - I knew they'd have gorgeous, unique, and very reasonably priced gowns....but then I realized that they also have a selection of beautiful ready to wear clothing too......From Banana Republic to Anne Taylor to BCBG to St. John's to Chanel - you name it, they had it!

Fast forward a few years, jobs, and serious wardrobe additions later, I realized that I had a ton of clothes that I no longer found as treasurable as I once I gave consigning a try. I found a shop, booked an appointment, left a few items at the store, and collected my check a few months later. It's SUCH a great way to make some unexpected money, get rid of unessential pieces, and pass along joy to the next potential buyer!

If you've got some items to be fashionably and lucratively recycled, here are a few ideas that I found helpful:
  • Shop around for the best consignment store in your city. Find one in an area with high foot traffic and one that sees a lot of shoppers on a daily basis.
  • Look at the price ranges, quality, and labels of clothing currently for sale. Be sure that you'd be happy and comfortable with your items being sold alongside what's already in the store.
  • Ask if they require dry cleaning. Most consignment shops require that the garments be clean and stain free. If dry cleaning is required, I'd pass and move on to another shop - it'll get way too expensive.
  • Make an appointment. Try to book an appointment 2-3 months ahead of a season. If you want to sell spring items, for example, book some time in February. Call and make an appointment early because if the store is successful, its inventory will fill up quickly and they'll no longer accept items after they reach capacity.
  • Create an impressive display. When I take my items, I place each item on a nice wood hanger, place all my pants in 1 garment bag, tops in another, jackets in another, then place them in a huge suitcase that they wheel to the back. This way, they know that a consignor that takes this much care of the presentation probably takes good care of her clothes, and hopefully, they'll price them a bit higher, which boils down to a few more dollars in my pocket:)

Hope this helps, and wish me luck tomorrow!

that be about it for now.
ciao, y'all!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Entrepreneurial Itch

When you love doing something so much that you'd do it for free, there should be a business license and tax form with your name on it.

while the majority of north americans are quite content with their J.O.B.s, i'm sure there is an increasingly high number of self-directed, self-made, self-advised income generators, business creators, service providers, consultants, and ceo.s who second my support of self-owned businesses.

J.O.B. - just over broke. unless you're signing your own checks, this is what you will continue to be. even if you make a $xxx,xxx salary, your supervisor/board/stockholders/ have the ability to cut your purse strings like that (insert SNAP!), take away your pension, give you a puny severance that barely covers groceries, cut off your company phone, and put you back at square one.

i was having a convo with a friend of a friend today who loves to decorate christmas trees. she's saved several from past years (she spray paints them all different colors, depending on the year) and spends hundreds on decorations, which she keeps in storage. my suggestion....come september, get a website going, figure out a reliable and reasonable method of delivery, and start selling!!! she has the talent, interest, creative space, and basic tools on hand already. Instead of looking to some other source to tell you what to do in order to make money, use what you already got!

While i'm certainly no expert on running a business (my idea to run a B&B in south africa has been on my inspiration wall for YEARS), i do like to at least be in the conversation about it. if you're also at the initial stages of developing some business plans and ideas, here are some of my own ideas that you might also find helpful to mull over......

*narrow what you like to do. do you like to make things? fix things? advise on things? write things? tying that in to the core of your service/product offered is pretty valuable.

*do some financial forecasting and planning. we're in a silly economic mess. is what you have to offer something that people would spend their nonessential money on? now? 2-3 years from now?

*create a relationship-tree. consider this to be a family tree that outlines your clients, partners, sellers/buyers, etc. this could be really helpful as you evaluate your potential market.

that be about it for now.
ciao, y'all!

Feb, 9 - US and CAN release of Sade's Soldier of Love

I'm very excited about the taste of real music, which finds itself on my entertainment plate only once in a blue moon these days.

With so many reality-show stunners (some of which are quite talented, I must say), producers/actor/singers, (c)rappers, and one-hit-no-wonders looking, sounding, dancing, and performing in such a uniform and similar way, I wait with baited breath for those single artists, who, through years of honing their craft, bless us with creative and original layers of musical perfection.

When is she coming to Ottawa?

Thank you Lord today for.....

Quirky inspirations.
Finding what you want, on sale, but remembering the discipline to save instead.
Random smiles, hellos, and exchanges of positive energy.

Secret #2

I've been secretly planning a wedding since I was 12.

It's evolved, though. I want something very simple, very characteristic, very affordable, and very, very, very fun.

I'd imagine it outside (with a barbeque as a reception) and I'd love for my girls to dress colorfully in their own choices. Hope they cut me the same break!

ciao y'all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#4 Eye Candy

Takeshi Kaneshiro -

Nice jaw line.
Very present lips.
Expressive eyebrows.

Overall rating (1-10): A multi-lingual 9 (jiǔ in Mandarin, kyuu in Japanese - and he speaks both fluently!)

Thank you Lord today for.....

The joy of sending (and receiving) postcards.

An occasional ride to work.

Iron-rich Cream of Wheat.

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