Archive - 2015

Market Street in The Woodlands Blogger Preview- Holiday 2015 Edition
Shop. Taste. Empower. Holiday Event @ The Cottage Shop
TOMO Mags – Not Your Average Magazine Stand

Market Street in The Woodlands Blogger Preview- Holiday 2015 Edition

The folks at Market Street The Woodlands invited bloggers out for an exclusive holiday preview at select retailers. This year’s retailers were Johnny Was, Elaine Turner and Cos Bar. It was my first time visiting the open-air mall and it was nice to get there early before the crowds. The award-winning town center, which reminded me of The Grove in LA, was all decked out for the upcoming holidays, large Christmas tree and all. Myself, along with fellow bloggers: Melissa, Jillian, Angela and Paola, were a part of the intimate group of previewers.

Johnny Was was the start of our preview. Johnny Was is a bohemian and vintage inspired brand based out of Los Angeles. It was founded in 1987 and encompasses quintessential California lifestyle with free-spirited bohemian edge. They are known for their higher quality easy-to-wear clothing, as well as their scarves. I fell IN LOVE with the hand-painted kimonos and obi belts. The lovely associates showed us some products that were available for the holidays. One being their signature scarves and a gift set that includes: the How to Tie a Scarf book and Talia Fragrance Oil. The gals also demonstrated ways to wear the silk scarves, as seen in the video below…

Our next stop was the Elaine Turner store. The Houston-based brand was founded in 2000 by Elaine and husband Jim. In just 15 short years, the brand has grown exponentially. Elaine is a huge supporter of breast cancer awareness, so pink is seen throughout the stores and even in the interiors of the handbags. The associates highlighted some of the holiday pieces, such as: the “Celeste,” which is a nod to her original handbags. It has a natural bamboo handle and can be converted into a shoulder bag, cross body and back pack. The new apparel line was spotlighted, which included the Ponte knit Diane Blazer, the Kate Tunic and the Sienna Faux Fur Vest. Shoes were also highlighted (such as the Carrie Boot and the wedges) which are constructed of all Italian or Brazilian leathers and have double layer memory foam insoles. The brand pursued “Gifts under $100” (and under $200) especially for the holidays, that included coasters, mousepads, picture frames, wrap bracelets and more! The store also raffled off a Kassidy crossbody bag, which I was the lucky winner.

The last stop was Cos Bar. Cos bar is a beauty emporium that was founded by Lily Garfield in 1976 in Aspen, CO. The brand was since expanded to thirteen stores located throughout the United States (with plans on building more stores) and offers the finest skincare brands for men and women. The store had an intimate environment, with expert consultants who also allowed for us to sample and try out.

Huge thanks to Alicia for the invite to the event and to Johnny Was, Elaine Turner and Cos Bar for spoiling us!

** I would also like to recommend the Tommy Bahama Cafe for their wonderful service and patio dining! The fish sandwich was rather large, but pretty yum-tastic! **

Shop. Taste. Empower. Holiday Event @ The Cottage Shop

The Cottage Shop recently held their Shop. Taste. Empower event in celebration of the upcoming holidays. Guests enjoyed shopping gently used clothing (men, women and children’s) and home goods; as well as newer clothing, accessories and gifts that have been generously donated (thank you Francesca’s and Tres Chic), at incredible deals. For guests who wanted some tips on holiday (or general) styling, they could turn to vintage style expert Dawn Bell, Houston Chronicle‘s Joy Sewing or fashion designer Becky Hollands. Yummy treats were provided by Jodycakes, Paulie’s and Whole Foods Montrose, while sips were provided by Greenway Coffee and Topo Chico. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on a Happy Hour for 8 at Boheme, Barista 101 class for 15 guests taught by David Buehrer of Greenway Coffee, jewelry from Burdlife, plus much more.

I had a photo shoot after the event, so luckily, a complimentary beauty bar and its’ Holiday Glam Squad were on-site to give shoppers a makeover, while hairstylists demonstrated quick holiday up-dos. Beauty blogger Nicole Kestenbaum used LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and gave my lips and eye lids a fresh start, while Dani- makeup artist for By Terry Cosmetics finished off the look. The other makeup artists on hand were: Lydia Lutz (Artistry by Lyd), Justine Hernandez and Kenya Hunt (Makeup by Kenya). Special thanks goes to The Make-Up Artist Project and Shany Cosmetics for also helping to sponsor the Beauty Bar.

I ended up making a beeline for the vintage section (obvs) and picked out an adorable pastel green with lace and bows on side nightgown (thanks Dawn!) and a two-piece floral duster and long nightgown lingerie set…all for under $20. Not only do I LOVE thrifting, but knowing that my money goes for such a great cause really made the experience more worthwhile.

Next time you are in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, definitely check out The Cottage Shop!

TOMO Mags – Not Your Average Magazine Stand

When you think of a magazine or news stand, you instantly think of either a small corner store- esque structure or a modest stand-alone hutch off the street (like in NYC). Well, the guys at TOMO Mags decided to take the millennial magazine stand to the next level. TOMO Mags is housed in a blue repurposed school bus and parks at various locations throughout Houston. I finally had the chance to visit the bus during one of their Sundays parked outside of Tout Suite.

Meet Vico Puentes and Keiwing Chong. Puentes has been dabbling in various markets throughout the fashion industry for about ten years. He’s done everything from buying, marketing to styling and is currently doing art direction for a major retailer. Chong is a graphic designer and loves paper and being technical. The guys wanted to combine projects that they’ve worked on and turn it into one business. They thought that the magazine industry was a really natural way of bringing their dream to fruition.

They chose to repurpose a small scale school bus, due to less overhead than an actual brick-n-mortar (and why not go to where the people are). They chose the name TOMO because “we really think of this project as one of our other “kids” (they have two dogs named Keito and Toshi) so we thought, ‘let’s name it something similar and in the same sense as a Japanese name.’ So while researching, we came across TOMO, which means ‘knowledgable friend’ in both old and new Japanese. In Latin, it means ‘volume’ as in book or issue. It can also mean ‘to take in’ in Spanish. So for us, it means ‘a knowledgable friend that you take in information from.'”

The shelves inside the bus are filled with publications with what seems like every subject imaginable; from architecture, design, LGBT, to fashion and children’s. I even spied paper goods, buttons and journals. Puentes further explains, “A lot of times, when we look at what we want to carry as far as a publication is concerned, I look at it more from an emotional standpoint. I flip through it (magazines) and ‘oh it makes me happy or it makes me think’…That’s sort of my mind set. For Keiwing, it’s more like that he pays attention to the paper or the technical aspect, which I think is a good balance. But we definitely keep an open mind to make sure we’re not just buying for ourselves. We allow different points-of-view to be available so that people can find something that interests them. Ultimately we want to make sure that everyone can walk in and find something, as there is a little bit of something for everyone. We want something that makes people interested to want to pick up and read and feel like they can take it with them. We look for architecture, design, opinion, fashion…We don’t have a set criteria. We don’t want to be known for one thing. We want to be known for having a variety. There is a set of expectations with the quality of the publication: great art direction, great color, design, the material has to be high-quality. We’re still open minded. Ultimately as long as it’s a publication itself that has a strong opinion whatever the subject is, is worth it for us.”

They officially launched on October 11th of this year. It’s been a good start, but they’ve had to deal with the weather as well.”We have great partnerships with retailers from boutiques to coffee shops that allow us to park and then either set up inside because of we have to be really careful of the humidity (it is Houston after all). If it’s way too humid or if it’s raining; even though we’re protected, the paper starts warping.”

They dedicate Sunday mornings, usually from 10am to 2pm(ish) to #techrehab – a chance to disconnect from technology and hang out or read a magazine while sipping on coffee from Tout Suite on another local coffee shop of their choosing.

Once their website launches, they plan on selling the magazines there as well. They want to help promote Houston publications like Sugar and Rice and Gulf Coast Journal. “Those are publications that we feel Houston is aware of and we are happy to carry them even though they are carried in a lot of places.”

In the meantime, check out their FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to see where they are on Sundays and other local happenings!

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