Tag - Houston

Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Talking Gloves with Damari and Co.
Pin Oak Charity Horse Show‘s “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire”
LUSH Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall
Tootsies Kicks Off National Ovarian Cancer Month with Chic Cocktail Party
Kissue Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall
Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX

Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

One of Houston’s most prestigious and luxurious retailers- Tootsies, kicked off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by hosting a chic cocktail party that celebrated the launch of the Susan Scarf– designed by Manoosh in collaboration with the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Over a hundred guests mingled and shopped Manoosh’s Fall 2015 collection, as well as tried out the “build your own” agate jewelry station at the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. Houston lifestyle blogger, author and ovarian cancer survivor (and Susan Scarf model)- Megan Silianoff was on hand, signing her memoir 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One. Fashion Illustrator- Rongrong DeVoe was busy live-sketching guests. Light bites were passed around by B&B Butchers and Restaurant.

Manoosh is the brainchild of three generations of women- Marilyn Biles, her daughter Nancy Guthrie and Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Anna Wilson. The brand was officially launched in September 2014 and is known for luxurious scarves in a variety of colors. The women saw the need for a company that improves the accessibility and exposure for local artists by bringing art out of the galleries and into the hands of the consumer. The scarves are available in cashmere and silk blends and are rich in vibrant colors, as well as more subdued, neutral tones. They illustrate a range of artistic styles including abstract and impressionist. When Anna saw Marilyn’s abstract artwork, she knew it would translate well onto fabric. They usually end up spending months hand-selecting and testing out fabrics to perfect each collection (in collaboration with other artists). For the SPB Foundation collaboration, she met with Buck- who is Susan’s son and founder of the Foundation. Together, they ended up choosing Marilyn Biles’ “Outcrop”- a 25 to 30 year old print for the Susan Scarf. Susan Poorman Blackie was known for wearing bright, artistically designed scarves after loosing her hair to chemo. Scarves have since been known as a symbol of beauty and strength during the rigors of cancer treatment. Susan lost her battle with cancer in 2014. This scarf not only tells her story, but was created to help empower women about the knowledge of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Being a fan of West Texas and Marfa myself, I gravitated to the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. The wonderfully handcrafted statement pieces resonated the beauty and landscape of the area. Kathy Bracewell launched the brand in 2010, centering her inspiration around her daughter-in-law and stepdaughters, as well as the ranch they bought in the area several years ago. Kathy enjoys walking around the property and looking from Indian artifacts. One day, after gathering up a pile of unique stones, she went into Marfa to the local rock shop – Moonlight Gemstones. The owner- Paul Graybeal, explained that she had a Marfa Agate, which is from the area, but not everywhere in the area. When Paul visited the ranch one day, Kathy and her husband took him for a drive around the property. Paul helped to train her eye to areas specific where the rocks would be. He now plays an important role within her company by cutting the rocks, while Kathy stays at the rock shop and polishes them. The end result is delicately polished Marfa Agates on leather and hand-beaded chains. For the event, she offered a “build-your-own” agate jewelry station, where people could chose from a selection of West Texas agates, various chain styles, vintage Milagros and more. Knowing that teal was the color of ovarian cancer awareness, she included feather attachments, with proceeds from the sales going to the SPB Foundation.

For more information on ovarian cancer awareness, go HERE.

Talking Gloves with Damari and Co.

I was first introduced to Damari and Co. awhile back, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to check out the small studio and chat with the namesake founder- Damari Rubio, regarding the locally made brand. Damari’s love of gloves stemmed from her world travels throughout her life. She would pick up vintage gloves at various antique stores and start collecting them as gifts for herself and her friends. This sparked a creative force in her to start designing gloves, which is turning into a lost art. She is one of the few glove designers in this country.

She officially launched her company January 2014 and started out by doing custom work, as she was still getting use to making the gloves. A year later, January 2015, she launched a line of fitness, dog walking, fashion and lace gloves. EVERYTHING is made in Houston. She’s enjoyed every experience of her highly creative career. “It’s been great, seeing what everybody likes and the market wants,” she said.

Her best-selling gloves (and this blogger’s absolute FAVORITE style) are the angled gloves. The mesh gloves come in a variety of colors and have elastic trim. Damari purposefully leaves out the thumb because of accessibility. People need to be chic, but also need to have access to their phones and other technology. She also designs regular gloves as well, like for opera season and such. Oh and let’s not forget about her line of driving gloves… I mean really, even that is a lost fashion trend (back in the day, people actually wore gloves while driving)… I hope that her version, made of breathable fabric, helps the trend will make a comeback.

When she showed me the packaging for the gloves, I squealed at the ingenuity of it all. She packages each collection in a box that is designed to be a book. The collections are categorized as follows: Be Fit, Be Playful, Be Romantic, Be Chic and Be Free. Every glove has a story. The idea is that you can collect as many “books” as possible and them keep them packaged and ready for use.

The chic gloves are good quality, that don’t come with a hefty price tag. They range from $25 for dog walking gloves to around $90-120 for lace gloves. Check out Damari and Co. for amazing gloves that will fit every aspect of your lifestyle!

** Photo courtesy of Damari **

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show‘s “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire”

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will host its fourth annual fundraising luncheon and fashion presentation, “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire,” on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at one of Houston’s most exclusive private venues. ABC-13 anchor Ilona Carson will serve as Emcee for the second consecutive year.
The women’s fashion presenter this year is David Peck USA, and the men’s fashion presenter is LUCHO. David Peck USA is a full scale American Fashion House, specializing in clothing design, manufacturing, and fashion brand development. David Peck USA is located in the Upper Kirby/River Oaks neighborhood of Houston. LUCHO is a men’s boutique that offers a wide range of products and custom-made clothing — from suits and sports coats to ties and cufflinks. LUCHO also offers high-end women’s shoes made in Brazil. LUCHO is located in Uptown Park. Alexis Caruselle, Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Executive Committee member, and Hector Villarreal, owner of LUCHO, are serving as event co-chairs. Both are also members of The Young Pin Oak Club. Models will include Pin Oak Charity Horse Show sponsors, competitors and supporters as well as representatives of Houston area media organizations.

Individual tickets and sponsored tables for the fashion luncheon event are available for purchase. Sponsor benefits vary based on the level of financial commitment. In-kind support is also welcomed and appreciated. For more information on tickets, tables or sponsorship opportunities, call 713-621-6290, visit www.pinoak.org or email info@pinoak.org.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show was founded in Houston in 1945 and is now recognized as one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the country. As one of Houston’s most unique social and fundraising events, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has raised more than $6 million for its designated charities: Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Texas Children’s Hospital and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. The 71st Anniversary Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held from March 22 through April 3, 2016, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. For more information, please visit www.pinoak.org.

LUSH Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was founded in 1995 by Mark Constantine, Liz Weir, Mo Constantine, Helen Ambrosen, Rowena Bird and Paul Greaves in Poole, England. The story goes that the group held a contest for naming the company. One customer suggested “lush,” which is defined as being fresh, green, verdant and drunken women. The name stuck and has been the household name for years. The first U.S. store opened in San Francisco in 2003. There are now over 200 stores in the U.S., which are being supplied by two cosmetic kitchens in Canada.

The environmentally green brand recently opened a branch at Memorial City Mall…well…more like re-opened, as they were originally in Macy’s. They opened up a larger space near the ice-skating rink to better serve their ever-growing clientele more efficiently. The Grand Opening event was rather crowded. The space was still small enough to where they could only let a certain amount of people in at a time. The first 100 people in line (and RSVP’d) received a limited edition tote bag. Associates handed out fresh juices from Juicy in the Sky, healthy energy bars and vegan snacks by Good Cravings to the guests anxiously waiting in line. Once in, I browsed the shelves of products in happy and naked packaging. I learned about their fresh face mask bar, which was definitely a new concept since the last time I had been in a LUSH store. The masks are made fresh daily and are preservative free. They also incorporate nutritious fruits, vegetables and the finest essential oils to soothe and rejuvenate the skin. The examples (clay with fruit) that they had for viewing only looked good enough to eat!

While there, I decided to get a skin consultation, where one of the expert associates gives you a one-on-one consultation on your skin and then chooses the best products that she/he thinks would be a great fit. Mary Alice was kind enough to help me and I enjoyed how she explained everything as she demonstrated each product she had chosen for me. The products chosen for my oily and acne-prone skin were: Ocean Salt facial and body cleanser, Coalface facial cleanser, Vanishing Cream moisturizer and Tea Tree Water.

It wasn’t a proper ending to an event without stopping by the shop’s photo booth! Say CHEESEEEEEEE!

Do you guys shop at LUSH? If so, what are your favorite products?

Tootsies Kicks Off National Ovarian Cancer Month with Chic Cocktail Party

On Wednesday September 16th, Houston’s foremost luxurious retailer- Tootsies– is kicking off National Ovarian Cancer Month by hosting a chic cocktail party.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Tootsies along with Megan Silianoff is hosting a cocktail party to celebrate the launch of the “Susan Scarf”, designed by Manoosh in collaboration with Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. The beautiful teal scarf (the national ovarian cancer color) features a painting by Houston-based abstract artist, Marilyn Biles, and was created in honor of SPB’s namesake and founder who passed away last year. After Susan lost her hair during chemotherapy, she wore colorful, artfully designed scarves that became a source of beauty and
strength through the rigors of cancer treatment. All proceeds from the sale of the Susan Scarf support ovarian cancer awareness and research and benefit the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Anna Wilson of Manoosh and Kathy Bracewell of Agate Ranch + Marfa will also be in attendance to present their Fall 2015 collections with host Megan Silianoff selling signed copies of her book. Kathy will create a “build your own” agate jewelry station where shoppers can add teal pieces to create one-of-kind necklaces. Guests can mix and mingle as they enjoy light bites and wine while
being live sketched by local fashion illustrator, Rongrong DeVoe. Shop for a cause as a percentage of the evening’s sales will be donated to the cause.

The event will take place from 5:30-7:30pm.

Tootsies is located at 2601 Westheimer (at Kirby)… Houston, TX 77098.

RSVP info is on the flyer.

Kissue Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall

Texas sisters- Kailey Tissue McCollum and Kaygan Tissue recently celebrated the grand opening of their flagship store- Kissue– at Memorial City Mall. I remember attending one of their trunk shows back when they were just selling online or out of their residence back in 2014 (you can read about it HERE). Now, you can shop their affordable hand-curated clothing and accessories that are distinguished in detail, such as: clean cut, modern, sharp and fine lines at their brick-n-mortar. They carry a variety of brands that are for the most part, from either Los Angeles or New York, such as: Ark & Co., English Rose, Nameless and C. Luce (which are their favorite brands as well). Their store’s mainly black and white decor stays true to their minimalistic esthetic, which I think helps to draw more attention to their products, which also now includes costume jewelry and the latest sunglasses styles from Quay Australia. When walking around the shop, I saw a small lounging area, complete with a Kissue lookbook and books on McQueen and general style; several dressing rooms; a crazy cool white room divider (perfect for spontaneous outfit shots) and black and white posters of a model wearing Kissue’s latest looks.

Kissue is located at 303 Memorial Way Houston, Texas 77024- Inside the Dillard’s wing of Memorial City Mall.

Below are photos from the event, including shots of my fave pieces!

Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX

Tagspire is the latest app to enter the blogosphere- let alone the overall “social media-osphere.” It recently launched in May 2015 in Austin, TX and was inspired by the need for a social media platform to support user-generated content for product recommendations and a direct way to buy from content. “Other social media giants are just now getting “buy now” buttons and only support brand advertisement. Our platform is built with a consumer-first approach that makes an individual’s content directly shoppable and discoverable in a trusted network among friends, family, and other trend makers. Plus, individuals are rewarded for sharing their recommendations and earn cash any time someone makes a purchase from their post,” Amy Chait – VP of Marketing- explained.

The brand recently invited Houston influencers to brunch at Downhouse, where we were able to learn more and try out the app. Below are some key take-aways that were provided by Amy:

* Tagspire is not only an app, but a community where you don’t have to fill out an application. It includes the tools to share outbound to other social channels and blogs as well. The brand built their own technology so that we don’t have to rely on other technology platforms to do our core business (i.e. how Pinterest took away affiliate links for bloggers and they are no longer able to directly monetize their Pinterest posts).

* Tagspire has other tags, including the video and link tag, that are not provided by others.The video tag allows you to include YouTube tutorials or reviews to compliment whatever you are promoting. The link tag is a convenient option if you are not able to find product in the database or want to link back your blog. Also, other bloggers have used the link tag for their ShopSense links since they don’t provide a pay-per-click program (they pay per conversion). The brand doesn’t mind if bloggers use their other affiliate links, but they can’t guarantee payout if they don’t use the Tagspire sell tag.

* Tagspire is transparent. You can see your balance dashboard to see clicks and sells. It will enhance the dashboard overtime. It always passes back 80% of the merchant commission back to the user.

So when it comes to monetizing apps, you may want to check out Tagspire, especially because it’s more accessible than other platforms that either require an application, are for influencers only or that require a minimum amount sold.

Huge thanks to Leah and Amy for inviting us and sharing the world that is Tagspire. Thank you to Downhouse for the wonderfully-good Russian Pancakes!

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