Friday, March 30, 2007

My process...

Happy Friday everyone!

This post is dedicated to 9jamommy and Omara (lol) ...

The end of the week for most people means rest and relaxation… for me its usually a sign of more work – LOL!!

This post stems from the recurring question that I have been getting from a few bloggers (ok, not just bloggers/friends/would be clients…you get the jist of it)

How does my process work??

Well, it all depends on the client.

If you are thinking of using my services, you must have internet access and a phone. Why? Well, its tough enough shopping for people, but communication is the key to making it more successful.

If this is established, then here are the steps below.

Fill out a profile. Now for bloggers that want to stay anonymous, you don’t have to worry about that, your privacy is something that I value and will not disclose. The profile is rather simple, it tells me a bit more about you, your general sizes(across varying designers), body type, max/min per purchase, favorite designers, likes and dislikes etc. You fill it out and return it to me.

Then we chat via phone to discuss which of my package options you prefer. The packages are also rather simple. Either account based (where there is a direct debit taken out of your account to support your shopping habit – LOL) or a sort of pay as you go option (I want to spend 500 right now, what can I get for that etc)

Once we have decided what you want to do, I send you a few options that I think might work for you based on our conversation. These are all pictures that I have taken in the store or have ...

Now we get to the money part. I do not purchase anything for anyone without having their money (for first timers a deposit) first. Sorry folks, but I have to protect myself too! You have multiple ways of getting it across to me. Either you give me your credit card info (I have a credit card machine), send me a check, or wire the money to me. There are also simple ways of merely depositing into an account (more details later – can’t put everything online!!!)

Once we have this all sorted out, we discuss your shipping options versus people going to naija/eurpope. I tend to prefer to ship (its far more reliable). But people sometimes have relatives coming over who also help them carry their items back – I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT!!!

Now for people within the tri-state area, its a lot simpler. i still need you to fill out the profile, but we can meet in person to figure the rest out, which cuts short the process drastically. when I take people out shopping (I do that too), I have an hourly rate. To style you for an event…it all depends on if I am doing the shopping as well. I do not “double charge” my clients.

Do you shop for everyone?
Yes I do. Man, woman and child.

Are the items authentic?
Yes, I have always had very high standards. My reputation is very important to me. A lot of people want to save money buying asking for high quality replicas. I am sorry, but I am not the girl for you. That is my reputation on the line and I have worked hard to build it, not looking to wreck it for a few bucks!!

Do I ship?
Yes I do, DHL preferably (I also have their account), but we can use any method you are comfortable with as long as I can track it.
If you can afford it and if it is a large enough (shopping for the whole family) or expensive enough item (such as a Rolex - no one will carry that!!), I will bring it to you. Obviously you cover the travel expenses. Same applies if I am styling you outside of NYC and you need me to be present.

Do I also sell items?
Yes I do.

Is there a max/min to start with??

Yes, when I take people out shopping, the minimum is 3 hrs. Very little can be done in under that amount of time.

When shopping for people from afar, there isnt a minimum. However, it would make no sense if your shipping costs outweigh your purchases. It would make absolutely no sense...

Any other questions, feel free to ask!
Referrals from bloggers and bloggers get a discount. Just mention it.
Thanks everyone - have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Men in Colors other than BLUE!

Shopping for people isn't always a cup of tea you know. Sometimes it is DOWN RIGHT ANNOYING!!

A lot of people actually say they want to change their closets/the way they dress, but really don't. I end up having to do the same job twice.

In my family, we love fashion. I mean my son loves clothes and looking good, so does my hubby (he is another story entirely!) And there is no color that we wont wear. My husband owns literally every color shirt possible! His ties are something I need to post about!!

I am bringing this up because I tend to forget sometimes, that not everyone is as evolved. I don't discriminate at all, but sometimes , Nigerian men can be the hardest people to shop for. They would rather just stick to what they know and not venture into anything new , which limits me professionally. A lot of Nigerian men think its effeminate to wear pink. Do they realize how those softer colors look against their dark skin?? Or how sexy women find it?? I guess not!

Brown is one of my clients within the corporate world in naija. He works for a telecom company and wears strictly suits. I started shopping for him last year and on his most recent shopping stint, he really wanted to break away from his usual colors(or so I thought). He has seen pictures of my husband and said that he would love to dress like him. He actually had the audacity to say that I was holding out on him as I do not send him colors that my husband wears. Now mind you, he has filled out my profile o, and has FIRMLY stated that he would never wear pink. Yet the picture he is complaining about, my hubby had on a grey 2 piece, 2 button suit, a pink shirt and blue paisley tie. Even if I say so myself my hubby was looking FIERCE! but you see, I do all of his shopping too, and there is no one telling me not to buy this color or that. my husband trusts me and knows thatif i am buying it, its because I believe its hot and its fashionable. Yes he is a clothes whore... what can I say, so am I! The more stunning the color, the more he loves it.

Anyway, when he contacted me this time and deposited the money, he said I shouldn't hold back...I was getting VERY excited here! As much as I love dressing my girls, I also love dressing my men, knowing the effect they have on the women when they see them decked out! The key is that women know what other women look for. Unfortunately, it takes a "GROWN" woman to be able to send her man out looking fierce and not being worried about how GREAT he looks. Its a pride for me...and my husband enjoys this daily!

Sigh... it should have ended nicely here, right??

Nope... it didn't!!

I did his shopping over the course of 2 weeks. He arrived for his conference yesterday ready to pick up his stuff. Now mind you, his favorite shirt colors are blue, yellow and white. Lilac has never touched his skin (at least so i think ) - he probably owns every shade of blue!
This time I didn't buy a single blue shirt - whats the point?? He said he wanted to change that , right?Boy was I wrong! He totally hated the pink shirts I bought without even opening them from the packs! I bought 3 different pink shirts from Hugo Boss(solid pink), Charles Tyrwhitt (herringbone pink pinstripe) and Paul Smith (multi color stripe -pink being the dominant color) . All the ties were Mimi Fong, in a paisley green (for his blue shirts) , a brocade red and another pink one! He hated them all!! Thank Goodness, i had a few other things that he did like, or else that might have been the end of that business relationship! Jeez!!

He went right back to BLUE! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Everything went right back to the store.

Nobody ever said it was always easy :(

Now here is my question for everyone out there. Do you limit yourself by wearing only certain colors? I personally wear every single color on the rainbow ( not all together - LOL) but in one way or another...

My husband wears it all and LOVES it. Pink(our personal favorite), lilac, orange...sigh. Thinking about some of his shirt and tie combos ...sigh!

What do you think???

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grown Women

A very good friend of mine sent this to me and I immediately thought of posting it on blogger as it made me feel really good and I felt it might help others.

I am dedicating this particular post to all of my "GROWN WOMEN" and to my "GIRLS"out there. You have to once be a girl, to become a grown woman. Its hard , but it can be done! I am proof of that.

Grown Women

Girls leave their schedule wide-open and wait for a guy to call and make plans.
Grown women make their own plans and nicely tell the guy to get in where he fits

Girls want to control the man in their life.
Grown women know that if he's truly hers, he doesn't need controlling.

Girls check you for not calling them.
Grown women are too busy to realize you hadn't.

Girls are afraid to be alone.
Grown women revel in it-using it as a time for personal growth.

Girls ignore the good guys.
Grown women ignore the bad guys.

Girls make you come home.
Grown women make you want to come home.

Girls worry about not being pretty and/or good enough for their man.
Grown women know that they are pretty and/or good enough for any man.

Girls try to monopolize all their man's time (i.e., don't want him hanging with his friends).
Grown women realize that a lil' bit of space makes the 'together time' even more special-and goes to kick it with her own friends.

Girls think a guy crying is weak. Grown women offer their shoulder and a tissue.

Girls want to be spoiled and 'tell' their man so.
Grown women 'show' him and make him comfortable enough to reciprocate without fear of losing his 'manhood'.

Girls get hurt by one man and make all men pay for it.
Grown women know that that was just one man.

Girls fall in love and chase aimlessly after the object of their affection, ignoring all 'signs'.
Grown women know that sometimes the one you love, don't always love you back-and move on, without bitterness.

Girls will read this and get an attitude. Grown women will read this and pass it on to other Grown women and their male friends".

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
This is wonderful! We need to teach our young ladies to be grown women.
I didn't ask to be a Queen, but if the crown fits. . .

What do you think??? I am Very much a grown woman and proud of it. I know who I am and what I am worth. Do you?? We need more women to empower each other...pls feel free to comment :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Late night styling...

It is exactly 11:35pm.

Two friends just left my home after a late night styling session.

The International Beauty show is tomorrow and one of my friends does hair and make-up...
The IBS is a trade show where all of the hair and beauty companies showcase their products and they have thousands of beauty professionals together all under one roof . there are both seminars and amazing performances surrounding the 3 day event. My friend has work to do on 2 of those days.

They are required to wear all white one day, and all black the other. She wanted us to go over the looks to make sure they were on point. I love collaborating with other people in the fashion industry because they are easier to persuade to try something cutting edge , either new, old or daring. She is also GORGEOUS and would make a sack look good!! LOL!

Her white look was great...
a short sleeve military style blouse , that had bright silver buttons everywhere..., white wide leg pants, and round toe white , stiletto boots. I would have LOVED to break the white, but due to the color constrictions, I had to settle with the a lilac colored set of the only hint of color!

Her black look on the other hand will be sexier than ever!!
Black leather bustier top (with boning ) on top of a white wife beater and black leather pants. silver choker at her neck...

I must say I love what I do!!
Have a great week all!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Hello all...

I know , I know, I should have posted ...

But it hasn't been easy getting time to do it - my apologies!

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages asking how I was...I truly appreciate it!!

Needless to say, I have always stated how busy my life usually gets. The lacking updates are mainly because blogging for me is very, very delicate and time consuming. Why delicate?? I can never freely come and pour my heart out. Why?? Well first, I have clients. Number one rule in business, you should never expose your clients or put their business out there. As much as I would love to sit here and chat about it all …I unfortunately cannot. Why time consuming?? Read my older posts and look at an example of my day. I refuse to blog from work (OK, its also not allowed) and trying to blog via blackberry isn’t ideal!!


I have been rather busy in the past few days, and yes, it has been with clients. Well also dealing with my son's stuff too, but that's another story entirely!

One of my clients came into town from London and I needed to take her out shopping and also to entertain her … another was pushing for stuff within a very short time frame from Nigeria. By pushing I mean he wanted a lot of shopping done within a few days so that he could avoid the shipping charges… having his friend bring it back. Mind you the friend is only here for a business trip … for about 3 days! So I had three days to pull stuff together for a seriously Ijebu dude who likes designer stuff! I call him this to his face, so I know he won’t be offended if he reads this!! I pulled it off…YAY for me!!

OK, so let’s pick something more generic

Let’s talk about styling and shopping in general and why I got into it.

I chose this profession because I actually happen to enjoy making people feel good about themselves. When it comes to shopping, I am the energizer bunny reinvented!! I don’t get tired, even if I don’t buy one item for myself!! Saving money is crucial and that’s why being in NYC and having my ear to the ground helps. Sample sales, friends in the right places, an excellent memory and a lot of self control, ensure that my services will always be needed. Did I mention also being stylish??? LOL!!! Every sale I get, I pass on to my clients. Why?? Because I still get paid regardless. You’re paying me to find the deals for you!!

Here’s a good example…

Out at dinner and I meet a new up and coming designer who has heard about what I am doing and my company. He invites me to his studio and I fall in love with his shirts for men. They are finished just the way I like them ( I am big on finishing) and they are funky enough that my hubby would even wear them (hubby is a serious fashion guy and wouldn’t wear anything “conservative or boring” – and yes its all my fault too!!) He gave my hubby one, and I took some pictures and sent it to my male clients. They liked it, and proceeded to order a few…typical networking in a nutshell. I knew that credit card machine would come in handy!!

On another note…

A lot of people do not realize that no one is perfect. Even the best looking person has something that they hate about themselves, they have realized how best to cover up their flaws. Nigeria really doesn’t encourage the whole self esteem thingy. I realized after moving back to this country that your confidence in yourself, will take you places. The fact that you have choices, gives you that confidence that I find, takes everything to the next level. Looks, business, school, relationships – EVERYTHING!!

How confident are you?? In yourself, in your skills, your looks, your relationships…