Don't forget to send a nice note!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

There is nothing better than opening presents on Christmas morning with your family. I love watching my little sisters expressions as they tear off the wrapping paper and freak out when they realize they got exactly what they wanted (spoiled brats!)

This Christmas send a sweet thank you card to let friends and family know how much you appreciate their gifts. Handwritten cards are somewhat of a lost art form and that makes me like them even better! PLUS, it’s always nice to get something other than bills in the mail. Right?

Undies & Outies on Queen Anne has an entire selection of adorable cards that offer the perfect way to send a note of gratitude. Or better yet, check out Luxe Paperie, an online boutique that carries a variety of novelty cards including an entire selection of cards by Natalie Eden, a Seattle-based designer,

If your New Year’s resolution is to “go green” save a stamp and send an e-card instead- just make sure you write a thoughtful note!

Rocco E Dante Christmas Handbag Sale!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A great wardrobe always starts with style staples. For women this includes a great outfit paired with stylish shoes and of course, a fabulous handbag. You should never underestimate the power of a great bag because it’s the one item that can truly pull your entire look together. Tara, from Rocco E Dante handbags knows this concept very well and on December 19th, 20th and 21st she’s offering her bags for up to 60% off their normal retail prices. This is an amazing steal you won’t find anywhere else and of course, it’s only on Queen Anne at Rocco’s boutique tucked away at 812 5th Ave. North (just a few blocks up from 5th and Mercer). Doors will be open from 12 noon until 8pm for 3 days only. Pencil this into your agenda- you won’t want to miss out on a sale like this!

Shop in the City and Save This Weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Seattle City Stimulus

A few months ago I wrote a paper on retailer consolidations. At the time, the economy was on the brink of a major recession and Macy’s had just announced they were closing their buying office in Seattle. More than 750 employees were laid off (including some fellow classmates who graduated with me from The Art Institute of Seattle). As the retail industry continues to consolidate itself consumers are left with fewer choices and centralized buying offices begin to control more territory than ever before. The hardest hit retailers are the small independent boutiques because they generally have less room to deeply discount their prices and they don’t have multiple locations to help balance out the hardships of a tough retail climate. I’m a huge advocate for Seattle’s boutiques and small businesses because I’ve worked closely with many of them over the past five years while working on Fashion First ( These businesses are the heart and soul of our city and without them the fashion choices in the city would consist of big box stores and mall-based chain retailers.

You can support some of Seattle’s best small businesses this weekend by shopping with a "City Stimulus Card" available at:
It’s totally free to sign up and all you need to do is log on to the website and sign up with your name and email address to get a shopping pass that will get you discounts all over the city- just in time for all your weekend shopping!

The pass is good December 4-7th and I highlighted a few of the noteworthy deals and discounts below:

Thursday 12/4
Belltown Bistro- Half off all bottles of wine (excluding champagne)
Havana- Free cover and happy hour all night
Palace Kitchen- Free wings with the purchase of a cocktail (Keeping it Classy!)
Suite 410- Happy Hour All Night

Friday 12/5
Dahlia Lounge- 50% off your lunch tab
Boat Street Café- 15% off your bill
Matt’s in the market- Free appetizer with the purchase of any entrée
The Saint- Happy Hour All Night

Saturday 12/6 (Everything listed below is valid all weekend long Saturday & Sunday!)
Baby & Co- 30% Off
Clutch- 20-50% off select regular price items
Café Vita- Free 8 oz. drip coffee all day! (Capitol Hill location only)
Sway & Cake- The first 50 customers receive a free gift bag with purchase
Snowboard Connection- 20% off Streetwear
Goods- 20% off everything except shoe release
Tulip- 25% off all purchases

Sunday 12/7 (Everything listed below is valid all weekend long Saturday & Sunday!)
Kuhlman- 10-25% off select items
Retail Therapy- Buy 3 items and get a 4th of equal or lesser value free
Snowboard Connection- 15% off outerwear
Goods- Free red Goods new era cap with purchases of $50 or more
Polite Society- Various deals throughout the store

For a full list of participating locations check out


The main rules of a fashion-conscious woman.

A woman is unpredictable. Today she wants to be a society lioness, tomorrow she will want to be a country-girl or maybe a "bluestocking", in modern meaning of this word. There is a gooв news for women of fashion: winter 2009 tendencies let you be as different as you can amagine.

You should buy immediately:

Lacy panty hose, that is шт fashion again this season. Patterns can be various from simple netting to intricate floral ornament.

Bring back to wardrobe:
Leopard print clothing. It is a fashion trend that has steadily grown this fall, and will continue to be prominent through the winter and spring 2009. One way that the animal print trend is developing is that it now includes other animal skins, for example, cheetah, zebra, jaguar, ocelot, cow, giraffe or tiger.

Pay attention to:

Combination of red and blue colors and chequered clothes. English style is extremely fashionable this season. Checkered coats, handbags and scarf are the hit of this season.

Look for inspiration in:

Men's accessories. Put on an ascot without doubts. You will look very sexy wearing suspenders cuff links, studs and hat in man style.

Crave Holiday Shop Sale!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Save the date on your calendar for the 2008 Holiday Crave Show. This year’s show will be Wednesday December 10th from 5-9pm at McCaw Hall (Seattle Center). Tickets are $15 and include entry and access to some of the best holiday shopping deals you will find anywhere in the city. Local participating boutiques include La Ree, So Much Fun Sport Chic, Opal, Face Logic, Angela Miller, Inc., Baby Legs, Bouncing Wall and Derby Salon. The line up will continue to expand as the show gets closer so check out the Crave website for the most up to date information (

Here’s a list of Must-See Crave Show Highlights:

La Ree- Rachael Nov has one of the hottest boutiques in Bellevue and if there is one stop you make at the Crave show it better be to her booth! With labels like Mint, Alexander Wang and 18th Amendment you can’t go wrong. If I can get her to cough up specifics on what she’s bringing to the show, trust me, you’ll be the first to know! For more info check out

Opal- With three locations in the Seattle area (Seattle, Mill Creek and Redmond) Opal is taking the city by storm. Opal carries labels like Rock & Republic, William Rast, True Religion, Juicy Couture, Ella Moss and Black Halo. For more info check out

Revival Ink- Tara from Revival Ink is excited to unveil the newest eco-friendly addition to her collection at the Crave Show. If you’re "going green" this Fall you will definitely want to check this out! Revival Ink will also have deals on their signature Blossom Wraps, a bin full of items from last season for a special price of $12 and an assortment of jewelry from Minx Jewelry ( For more info on Revival Ink check out when you view the site check out the ‘ABOUT’ section to hear more about Tara and her mission to support local artists and take care of our planet.

Girly Girl Gifts- Laurie, the creator/owner of Girly Girl Gifts makes the most adorable hand painted stemware, dinnerware and personalized gifts for girlfriends. Custom hand painted wine glasses run for $21 and she can even personalize sake sets for sushi night for a flat rate of $24. For more info check out

Star Juice Aromatherapy- If you prefer a holistic approach to wellness and you love body products you’ll need to stop by the Star Juice Aromatherapy booth. Darcey will be giving out samples of her Cosmic Sugar Scrub which comes in 4 flavors: Creamsicle, Cocowood, Lavender Buzz and Cherub Booty. Check out for more info!

Haute Portraiture- Jennifer Bloom has amazing talent when it comes to painting portraits of people and pets. Her pet paintings make a great holiday gift if you have someone on your list who is an animal lover. Jennifer will be offering free design consultations at the Crave Show- plus, a 10% discount for anyone who signs up for a custom painting. For more info check out

Rocco E Dante Handbags- Come shop seriously deep discounts on all Rocco E Dante handbag samples. We're talking about 45% off retail and some bags at wholesale prices. The economy is in recession and let's face it- there is never a bad time to add a great handbag into your accessory collection.

Grab your girlfriends and come shop!


Weather changes but we want to be fashionable and beautiful at all times and seasons.

Suede jackboots Fendi

Handbag Bottega Veneta
Threre are various styles of handbags to every taste – strict, business-like, pretty feminine or chic. Every woman will find her own style.

Girdle Fendi
The elements of this trend include fringed boots, folk-inspired tooled leather pieces, charm belts and jewelry, embroidery and paisley prints.

Grey dress best-seller RM by Roland Mourent
As we have already mentioned tartan and check are the trends of this season. We see plaid patterns on anything: skirts, jackets, dresses, blouses. Rather than the traditional red tartans, 2009’s check embraces a palette of muted greys, blues, greens and browns.

Shoes Stella McCartney
Winter 2008-2009 shoe trends are bold, sparkling and sometimes a little wild and extreme.

Blouse with a bow Burberry

Lacy skirt Diane Von Furstenberg
If you have chosen skirts instead of pants you should notice a change which fits in with the season. Skirts are longer a little just below the knee. Of course, miniskirts are very popular among young girls. But there are fewer of them now. Besides lace is extremely fashionable again this season.

Cardigan Vince
Winter is cold and of course you can't do without a warm cardigan. This season designers have returned pastel shades to fashion. It is chic and looks perfect on every woman.

Long waistcoat J Mendel
We have seen a lot of fur clothes as well as fur embellishments. Fur collars are extremely popular and are seen in many collections.

Tunic dress Аnna Sui
It is part peasant, part sex-goddess rock chic. It has its roots in traditional folk elements - particularly Russian ones - but it fuses in luxury elements and rock-chic attitude.

For the Girl Who has Everything

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chances are you have at least one person on your list that has everything. My suggestion is to skip racking your brain and wandering the mall aimlessly and just pick up a copy of the Crave Seattle book "The Urban Girl's Manifesto". This year they published their 3rd Edition and as an avid reader I can tell you, it's their best yet.

The book is a complete insiders guide to all of Seattle's best shopping destinations, spas, salons and more. You'll find interviews with Colette Courtion from Calidora (pg. 38) as she talkes about how she spends her free time and what the most popular treatments her customers ask for. You'll find an interview with Clutch store owner Kimberly Arrington (pg. 52) and discover why she is absolutely obsessed with handbags , and you'll read about Giovanna Duque and what mistakes she made when opening Duque Salon and Spa in Ballard.

See a list of my personal Crave book highlights below:

Fashion Ethic- pg. 82
Meet Candice Caldwell and learn about her sustainable business model

Girl About Town- pg. 97
Meet Darnell Sue and find out why she's passionate about hosting women's networking events like 'Girl Power Hour'.

Holiday Go Lightly- pg. 108
The best part about traveling is getting to relax, so next time you need to book a girlfriend getaway check out and find out why women everywhere love Kerry Rupp's business model.

Kelley Moore- pg. 124
Get up close and personal with Seattle's premier lifestyle expert and find out how what motivated her to start her own business.

La Ree- pg. 130
Rachael Nov is adorable and she brings the best fashion to the Eastside through her fabulous boutique, La Ree. Find out what most people are surprised to know about her and what the best selling products in her boutique are. Don't forget to check out La Ree's partner in crime, Angela Self at Posh on Main, pg. 171.

Red Salon- pg. 187
I would be insane if I left out Angela Bern Castagnola's salon RED from my list of highlights because my girlfriend Chantelle works there and always makes my hair look amazing!

Spa Scotta- pg. 216
Jessica Campbell is taking the city by storm and has been featured in countless Spa Directories in Allure and Lucky magazine. Find out what motivates her and what mistakes she will never repeat.

Turquoise- pg. 248
Meet Gretchen Freeman, a Fashion Marketing grad from The Art Institute (and one of our former Fashion First interns!) and find out what motivated her to open up a fashion boutique in the U-District.

Queen Anne Dispatch- pg. 180
Naturally, I saved the best for last and that's why my top pick of book highlights is Queen Anne Dispatch because Tara and Sabrina rock! Find out why they love doing business on Queen Anne and what people might be surprised to know about them.

The book is available at all the places listed in my highlights and online at


This book makes a great coffee table book, a great reference guide in a fashionista's library and of course, a great gift for the girl who has everything.


Thursday, November 13, 2008
It's very difficult to set our choice on one pair of footwear. There are too much shoes that are in fashion this season!

The variety of stylish boots and booties is so big that we don't know where to look first. Fashion of Winter 2009 sets a very difficul problem that we have to solve anyway :)
Varnish and sued boots, fringed cowboy boots, bright womanly booties, rough manly booties... No matter what style of footwear you choose it will be your perfect shoes and you will look pretty and fashionable.

1. Varnish red boots Bottega Veneta 2. Booties Marc by Marc Jacobs 3. Heeled booties Jil Sander

4. Boots Dries Van Noten 5. Blue sued booties Chloe 6. Brown sued boots Chloe

7. Booties Alexander McQueen 8. Booties Christian Louboutin

10. Red cowboy booties Chloe 11. Classic boots Jil Sander


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The simple graphics.

Penciling eyes with black eyeshades is very popular again this season. Black and dark grey lines in make-up are very topical now. There is no need to shade the lines, clearness is the most important thing.

The pencil line has to run strictly along eyelashes. A whitish blank is a serious makeup mistake.

1. Eye shadow pencil Double Wear, Black Pearl, Estée Lauder 2. Eye pencil Le Crayon Khôl Black Carat, 024, Lancôme

Queen Anne Dispatch + Friends & Family Sale- FRIDAY!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008
My favorite boutique on Queen Anne is Queen Anne Dispatch aka Undies & Outies Boutique. Tara, Sabrina, Mercedes and team (including Chico, the store mascot/watch dog) are fabulous and this Friday Nov. 7th they're hosting their annual Friends & Family sale featuring 20% off all purchases! 

That means 20% off their amazing selection of shoes (including the navy blue Oh Deer! pumps with the reptile skin gold toe (see above picture!) and 20% off all of their apparel & accessories.

DJ Darnell Sue will be on the turn tables spinning your favorite tunes and you'll be treated to cocktails while you shop compliments of the Queen Anne Dispatch team. 

The fun starts at 6pm but the sale lasts all day. So stop by and take advantage of the amazing discounts they are offering for 1 day only!

When: Friday Nov. 7th

Where: Queen Anne Dispatch. 2212 Queen Anne Ave. N. 

Time: 6-9pm (But the Sale lasts all day long!)


Rocco E Dante Trunk Show

Monday, October 20, 2008

Come join the girls at Clutch Handbag Boutique for an exclusive Rocco E Dante trunk show featuring the latest Fall handbags. Designer Tara Sauvage will be on hand to showcase the latest designs from her Italian handbag collection and if you are lucky Rocco and Dante, (Tara’s pet pugs/muses) may stop by and make an appearance. I highly recommend coming to the trunk show and then prancing across the street to Purple for a nice glass of wine and some delicious sea salt caramels……

Date: Thursday November 6, 2008

Time: 5-8pm

Location: Clutch. 1212 4th Ave. Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 624-2362

New Ballard Boutique > Dolce Vita

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I love weekends for several reasons but mostly because it gives me time to SHOP. Recently I stopped by the Ballard Sunday market to pick up some fresh flowers for the apartment and stumbled upon a great new boutique called Dolce Vita. This store is part of a chain that carries women’s apparel, accessories and footwear and has locations in New York, Santa Monica, Los Angeles and now….Seattle! Designers carried in the store include Black Halo, Bravo, Doma, Douchette Duvall, Rory Beca and Twelfth Street by CV. They also have an amazing assortment of shoes under the Dolce Vita brand and also several styles by DV. If you are in the neighborhood you should check it out. It’s a great store and the merchandise is worth the trip off the beaten path. You can also check out their website at

Sway & Cake Featured in LUCKY Magazine

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Seattle boutique Sway & Cake was featured in the November edition of Lucky Magazine (in stores now). Lucky Editor Kim France even mentioned the boutique in her Editorial notes by saying that "Sway & Cake is just the type of boutique that makes you feel loved". The boutique was also listed as a "Reader Favorite" on page 131.

Sway & Cake has been in our Fashion First runway show for 5 years in a row and they have a fierce following among Seattle's fashion elite.

Sabrina Love Trunk Show

Handbag designer Sabrina Love will be hosting a trunk show at Canopy Blue on Friday October 17th. Enjoy 20% off all Sabrina Love Handbags while you shop. The trunk show runs from 4-7pm so be sure to stop by and get a handbag to complete your fall wardrobe. Sabrina's handbags are amazing. She was featured in our Fashion First 2008 runway show and the set was amazing.
Canopy Blue is located at 3121 East Madison St. Suite 108. Seattle, WA 98112.
Be sure to tell Summer at Canopy Blue that I said hello! :)

Fashion First- Seattle's Best Runway Show

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In order to understand boutique fashion, you have to know a little bit about why I’m so into Seattle’s independent boutiques. For the past five year’s I’ve worked as a producer for Fashion First and that is precisely when I fell madly in love with boutiques.

Fashion First started in 2004 by Jared Seegmiller and Joan Kelly. The original goal was to provide much needed exposure to the small, independent boutiques in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle and give them the opportunity to participate in a fabulous runway fashion show. Many of them had great apparel and accessories but just like many small businesses they had very little money to do marketing or promotions. Fashion First helped to fill that void and five years later continues to showcase the best designers and boutiques in the Seattle area.

The first show was held in 2004 at the Bada Lounge on First Avenue. The slogan was "There is only one style that suits you- your own". The lineup consisted of Sway & Cake, Ian, Baby & Co., Endless Knot, Moda Express, Ottica Seattle, Kuhlman, Karan Dannanberg Clothier, Alhambra, Carol McClellan, Maxwelton Aerie Apaca, Nuvo Moda, Mercer & Co., David Lawrence and J.Gilbert Footwear. The show was a huge success and even before the evening concluded guests were inquiring about next year’s showcase and how they could buy tickets in advance.

Tragically, eight months after the first show co-producer Jared Seegmiller passed away from cancer. It was then that Joan Kelly and I made the decision to continue doing the show in his memory as a tribute and also as a benefit event for The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The 2005 show was bittersweet but it was beautiful. We upgraded the venue from a bar into the Palace Ballroom on Fifth Avenue. We even got to work with a larger lineup of boutiques including Ian, Encanto Barcelona, Alhambra, Nuvo Moda, Betty Blue, Cinti Jewelry, Lizzie Parker, Ottica Seattle, Moda Express, Great Jones home, Endless Knot, Mercer, Planet Lulu, Carol McLellan, Sway & Cake and Butch Blum.

The 2006 show was sold out just like the first two and our scope of boutiques changed from Belltown Businesses and expanded to all over the city including West Seattle and Downtown. Our line up that year included Karan Dannenberg Clothier, Ericce, Blackbird, Canopy Blue, Nuvo Moda, Lizzie Parker, Furla, Carmilia’s, Renee Bassetti, Ottica, Manhattan Boutique, Cintli Jewelry, Moda Express, Alhambra, Derek Andrew, Encanto Barcelona, Promesse, Sway & Cake, Riveted Jeans and a finale set by Mario’s.

By the fourth annual show (Fashion First 2007) it was clear that we were the biggest and best runway show in Seattle and the best part was, we were still having a fabulous time doing it! This was the year we upgraded the venue to Fremont Studios and gave VIP guests a lounge of their very own. The lineup included La Ree, Polite Society, Illi, Posh on Main, The Finerie, Carmilia’s, Ragamoffyn’s, Marqsmen, Lizzie Parker, Tatters, Renee Bassetti, Pine IV Denim, Alhambra, Riveted Jeans, and Sway and Cake. The event also featured a finale with a special final dress by students at The Art Institute of Seattle worn by former first lady of Washington, Mona Locke.

This past year was our fifth annual show (Fashion First 2008) and we’re proud to say it was a completely sold out as expected. We moved the venue to Lake Union and prayed our plan to naturally air condition the building by keeping the windows open all day would work. We had a solid line up including Sway & Cake, Marqsmen, La Ree, Tatters, Opal, Illi, Canopy Blue, Ragamoffyn’s, Rock Star Jewelry, Marilyn Berg,, WCM Belts, Rocce E Dante, Shoefly, Clutch, The Finerie and a final dress by students at The Art Institute of Seattle worn by celebrity model and former Melrose Place Star, Josie Bissett.

Working with the best and brightest boutiques in the city has given me an immense amount of respect for all of their hard work bringing the hottest apparel and accessories to Seattle. It’s truly a labor of love and I’m honored to have been able to spend the past five years working amongst them in order to produce Fashion First.
Since then I've moved on from Fashion First and have been focusing on working in the industry as the Mens Private Label Sourcing & Production Manager for a local apparel company and of course, doing freelance writing for fashion publications in addition to writing for my blog. But with all that being said, Fashion First will always have a special place in my heart!

Taking it From The Top

For the past 5 years I've produced the largest runway show in Seattle aka Fashion First. This past year we hosted our 5th Annual Show at The Lake Union Naval Reserve Building and welcomed over 1,000 guests. The goal of the show has always been to feature Seattle's best and brightest boutiques because they are the ones who truly bring the best fashion into the city. Over the years we've worked with Ian, Karan Dannenberg, La Ree, Marqsmen, Sway and Cake, Alhambra, Polite Society and The Finerie just to name few.

This blog is dedicated to the boutiques in the city who work hard, play hard and strive to keep Seattle fabulous. We love you!