Saturday, November 21, 2015

Boutique Peek: Soft Surroundings Opens in Saddle Creek

Posted By on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 11:06 AM


Last week The Shops of Saddle Creek welcomed its newest store Soft Surroundings, a multichannel retailer based out of St. Louis that began as a catalog company in 1999. As the brand's name alludes, the merchandise focuses on softness from the clothes that touch your skin to the sheets on your bed, with fabrics they rate by softness. It was natural that they soon became a brick and mortar shop so that the shopping experience became tactile and the comfort of the materials could be conveyed firsthand. 

Entering the store, a luxurious bedroom surrounded by softly lit curtains reads as clearly as their entry signage "Soft Surroundings." A array of women's apparel from casual wear to holiday party line the walls. Mixed in are pieces of French-inspired furniture and gifts for kids and jewelry. Towards the back is one of the key unique offerings -  a beauty and make-up consultation space with staff always on hand. Products are curated skincare and make-up lines that are quality tested. They also offer perfumes and scents only found at Soft Surroundings.

The styles they offer do appeal more to middle-aged women but they also offer items that appeal to younger women. Particularly for this fall and winter, there were faux fur lined jackets, chunky scarves, knit hats, and dramatic jewelry.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Meet the Women Behind the New Socially Conscious Brand Lesouque

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 9:48 AM


Beautiful, unique, quality-made, and above all socially conscious – the goods that lifestyle brand Lesouque has carefully sourced represent an awareness that shopping can truly make a positive impact.

Lesouque founder Gokben Yamandag and co-founder Penelope Fisher launched their online store of these ethical goods this past summer, introducing up-and-coming designers to consumers around the globe. As with most retailers by this time of the year, they are promoting the start of the holiday shopping season but in quite a different way. This year, they are encouraging us to “Break up with Black Friday.”

“Think about the madness of Black Friday where you will probably buy things you might not need. The holidays are about family. Breaking up with Black Friday is saying, ‘stop and take a breather,’” explains Penelope, while also pointing out how in the end it helps you enjoy the holiday season.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Closet Essentials: Building a Wardrobe with Organized Style

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:53 PM


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Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Inspiring Looks with Thuyvi Vo and A Look Inside the Lofts at Merchants Row

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 3:43 PM


“Anyone can put clothes on; that's easy, but what I want to know is the story your clothes tell.”
– Thuyvi Vo
Today, Thuyvi tells her story both through her words and through her inspiring style. A believer that clothes can speak gracefully about the life you love, she gives insight into her passions and how they've helped develop her sense of style – the definitive example of effortless.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dress for Success Memphis presents The Little Black Dress Event

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 10:39 PM

A few LBD committee members and volunteers. Front Row, Left to Right: Cynthia Daniels, Yevette Hughes, Sandra Burke, Tyria Perkins.  Second Row: Nykeshia Cole and Rebecca Bush. Photographed at Memphis Botanic Garden.
  • A few LBD committee members and volunteers. Front Row, Left to Right: Cynthia Daniels, Yevette Hughes, Sandra Burke, Tyria Perkins.  Second Row: Nykeshia Cole and Rebecca Bush. Photographed at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Tomorrow night, Dress for Success Memphis hosts its annual Little Black Dress Event at Memphis Botanic Garden. The fundraising event created around this classic essential also highlights an organization that helps transform the lives of women through fashion.


“The LBD event is a chance to share our story,” explains DFS Memphis Executive Director Sandra Burke. “Donors and potential donors will meet our clients who be there as hostesses. Put on your favorite little black dress, and you’ll feel your highest.”

As Sandra points out her fascination with the history of the little black dress, it appears that the LBD story begins to touch on the positive effects of the organization’s story. Coco Chanel, credited to the introduction of the little black dress, designed and showcased a simple black dress in the 1920s worn by highly regarded women such as Edith Piaf. The LBD made its statement by being accessible to women of any social standing yet maintaining a chic appearance. The economy of the black fabric made it affordable, and the neutrality of black allowed the silhouette of the dress to become the focus. In essence, without the frivolity of details or another color causing distraction, a superbly simple black dress allows its wearer to shine and feel their highest.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Baby Style - Layering Up for Fall

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 2:51 PM


October arrived with a preview of chilly fall weather, letting us break out our jackets and sweaters again. Not to mention all the extra fall gear like hats, scarves, and vests. Style mavens Alexandra Nicole and Laura Boswell point out the fun in layering - assembling your favorites all in one fantastic outfit. 

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fave Finds – Branigan Brooke Designs by Sandy Moore

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 4:26 PM


Jewelry artist Sandy Moore wanders through antique stores with a loving eye for worn pieces of metal and architectural trinkets. Along with old keys and chandelier prisms, these objects find new life from adornments for a space to adornments for the body. The peeling paint on the surface are preserved in the final jewelry piece to honor its previous use.

“I have always been crafty and I needed a pair of earrings for an outfit and did not want to spend $100 for the pair so I made a pair that looked like them. I was hooked after that and I started buying jewelry parts from Hobby Lobby and turning them into pieces that I liked. I finally attended a class that showed me how to use architectural pieces in jewelry and Branigan Brooke was born.” Sandy Moore explains her start in jewelry making. 

In a special glass case in South Front Antiques downtown, Branigan Brooke Designs are displayed. Like charm bracelets, the necklace chains are strung with many found objects within the store. Sandy has added bracelets and earrings to her collection along the way. 

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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Ivory Closet Moves to Overton Square

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 4:10 PM

  • Photo by Dirk Olsen

After opening The Attic boutique in Overton Square two years ago, Alexandra Nicole has seen the success of the district grow firsthand. Overton Square has leased a diverse mix of businesses to bring in activity day and night. The increasing foot traffic has been an asset for small retail such as clothing boutiques, especially if they weren’t the first or primary destination for visitors. Sandwiched between busy restaurants, these stores become welcoming ways to pass time as people wait for a table to open at nearby Babalu’s or Lafayette’s.

With her confidence in the great synergy of Overton Square, Alexandra Nicole has leased the 27th and final space for relocation of her first boutique The Ivory Closet from Harbor Town. It became official news last week that Overton Square reached full tenant occupancy. Alexandra, with feedback from her customers, confirmed that the move would not likely lose any business from customers who were Harbor Town residents. Also with this move, The Cedar Room merchandise will merge with the men’s items at the Attic. The Ivory Closet will continue to carry the same lines that vary from the Attic classic women’s apparel but in the new space adjacent to Golden India will take advantage of a larger footprint. They hope to open this location at 2095 Madison this November.

As a side note, Ivory Closet fans can soon find other store locations outside of Memphis. Alexandra is franchising two locations in Mississippi. Details have yet to be revealed.

Special thanks to dirk olsen. Alexandra is photographed in an outfit from The Attic just behind her new location in Overton Square.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Festival Style - Germantown Festival

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Laryssa, high school student
  • Laryssa, high school student

Here's what the young folks were rocking at the Germantown Festival this year - plaid, plaid and more plaid, plus some great accessories, picture-perfect dog included. Honestly, I didn't set out to find only the young folks nor outfits with plaid, but it did seem to prove that plaid was indeed "making a comeback," though I find it's always in style for fall. Let me me know what you think.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Biking in Style - Emmye Walker

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 3:37 PM


I’ve been scoping Memphis for quite some time to find great street style incorporating bicycles, so I was thrilled to find the first candidate. Biking around the city in style is downtown resident Emmye Walker making a delivery of her latest jewelry designs to Muse Inspired Fashion. Emmye’s look works in comfortable sneakers well with her vibrant colored dress and straw hat. It’s a challenge to bike comfortably and look chic. Emmye pulls off both. 


See more of her jewelry online:

If you’d like to take the challenge to bike in style and be featured or have any suggestions for candidates, just contact me.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Sneak Peek: Junior League of Memphis Repeat Boutique's 70th Birthday Sidewalk Sale

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 5:09 PM


This Saturday, August 29th, the Repeat Boutique will hold a special sale to celebrate its 70th birthday, bringing in many new items donated from local companies in addition to their large stock of gently used merchandise. The thrift shop has been operated since the early 1940s by the Junior League of Memphis (JLM), one of the largest volunteer groups in the Mid-South. Aligning with the mission of the JLM to improve the Memphis community, the Repeat Boutique offers affordable clothing and housewares and reinvests the proceeds from their sales into services, projects, and programs that impact the community.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

A Day to Night Look with Sarah Stramel

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 2:48 PM


Welcome back to the work week.

For public relations and social media consultant Sarah Stramel, a typical work day often bleeds into her nightlife. With a hectic schedule, a complete outfit change isn’t so convenient. Here, Sarah shares a few tips on changing your look easily from a business suitable “9 to 5” to a more relaxed night out.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

A Look Inside the New H&M at Carriage Crossing

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 12:55 PM


Yesterday, hundreds of Mid-South residents gathered to celebrate the opening of their very own H&M store in Collierville’s Carriage Crossing shopping center.

Since the first H&M store opened in New York City 15 years ago, the fashion retailer has opened over 3,600 H&M stores worldwide and is still expanding. The Carriage Crossing location is the third in Tennessee, serving a customer base that they knew wanted more options for trendsetting yet affordable clothing. The H&M brand is recognizable and sought after for both of these things.

“Absolutely a big fan,” says Tonia Hailey, one of customers waiting in one of four lines wrapping the building. “The clothes are stylish, trendy, and inexpensive.”

The H&M brand which initially catered to women’s fashion also carries items for men, teens, and kids. They carry many basics like t-shirts and jeans but also basic items for business attire – “business casual with a modern twist.” Other items include accessories such as hats and purses. There is also a section devoted to just shoes such as boots and flats in various colors and patterns. Complementing the basics are their more fashion-forward pieces for women, men and kids. Keeping an in-house staff of about 260 designers help keep the trends affordable.

What also distinguishes H&M is their effort in making sustainability their main goal. Customers are able to donate their old clothes at any H&M store, and they will receive 15% off their next purchase. The old garments can then be recycled into a special clothing collection they call the “Conscious Collection.”


See more photos of the store offerings and grand opening in the slideshow below.

H&M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) at Carriage Crossing
4674 Merchants Park Circle, Collierville, TN 38017
(855) 466-7467
Store hours will be Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 9:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Fave Finds: Vintage Wear at Canale Estate Sales Showroom

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 3:35 PM


Canale Estate Sales has opened a showroom of fabulous antiques in Cooper Young. Amidst the luxurious and ornate furniture are vintage couture dresses that are just as luxurious. The first two dresses shown here are an emerald green lace dress and a silk and wool zebra print gown both by renown designer Arnold Scaasi. In big red letters, “SCAASI” is written on the tag of the zebra gown to exhibit that it has never been worn before. Originally priced when created at $3,390, the gown is being offered at a more tempting price of $495. The cream dress displayed near the window is a Retrotherapy hand-crocheted dress priced at $78.

Many other vintage fashion pieces are on consignment at Canale ranging various style eras. Couture pieces bear the tags of top designers such as Emilio Pucci, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Yves St. Laurent. 

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Katie Kalsi - Beyond Handbags

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 3:39 PM


With a background in painting, Katie Kalsi injects a distinct personality into her handbag designs, making them as collectible as art.

The concept of her line is rethinking the traditional canvas. In this case, the straps become the canvas, creating a “wearable piece of art.” Every strap is unique because each one is hand painted.

“All of the straps are made to be interchangeable, so in a sense you are able to create your own handbag customized to your style! Whether you want a funky colorful strap that fits your personality or a collegiate strap to rep your favorite sports team, there are numerous styles to choose from!” she says.

With all the customizable style, the bags still speak strongly to the root of her style. “I have one rule when I dress: be stylish, but be comfortable. I love jeans with boots or Converses with a great top. I love hats and big, dangly earrings. I make a great modern-day hippie!”

Combined with the quality leather and the “modern-day hippie” vibe of the bag itself, Katie Kalsi bags have become a sought-after brand. Style-savvy celebrities including Faith Hill, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears, and Lisa Maria Presley own at least one of her bags.

“It’s all about research and planning and whose path you cross. For instance, Faith Hill was a early fan of my bags and still carries them today . Referrals also play a large part growing my brand. Most of the time people know me through word-of-mouth, which I love because that means my bags are marketing themselves. I constantly get compliments about their quality and uniqueness. I've been blessed with a very strong fan base and through that I continue to meet other entertainers and professionals.” - Katie Kalsi about the celebrity clients.

Yet, there is more to the Katie Kalsi brand than just handbags and more to Katie than just being an artist and designer. The future of the brand will embrace more of a designed lifestyle approach by expanding into bedding, jewelry, and shoes. The current collection already includes more specific leather encasements such as iPad covers and the ultimate wallet for organizing.
“I’ve always believed in moving forward slowly and deliberately as the best way to maintain my quality and differentiation. For instance, I'm now designing and producing wallets and iPad covers as part of my line. I'm constantly designing and expanding new styles. My next major project will be footwear. I feel shoes are a natural progression of my line because of my extensive experience with leather goods. My business goal is to be a lifestyle brand within the next three to five years,” she explains.
As important as her role as a designer and artist is her role as a mom to her two daughters — Sophie, age 12 and Sadie, age 7. Though she rarely has spoken so personally on media platforms, she shares a glimpse to how her business and family life balances out and how they interweave. 

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