Wednesday, April 27, 2016

sample the goods, sample the service

I've worked in luxury retail for nearly 18 years now.  A friend was asking me if I thought I'd only ever work in luxury.  And my first response was plain and simple: anything can be luxury.  So my short answer: yes. 

Consider this: with the right attitude, approach, and communication, every job can be luxurious. 

The attitude: you must always convey a "can-do" tone with your clients.  The more service you deliver, the more time and resources you invest, the relationship becomes more meaningful and more valuable.  Asking open ended questions will determine not only the immediate needs of your clients, but help you learn valuable details about their life and long term goals.  In luxury retail especially, personal details and knowledge is more than power.  They lead to money in the bank. 

Your approach must be consistent.  You must warmly welcome your clients, quickly determine their needs and wants, and start achieving those goals.  Customers don't buy shovels because they want a shovel; customers buy shovels because they need to get digging.  The quicker you respond, the more time you save the clients, and thus, the most loyalty you establish.  Time is everything, no matter what demographic you may be categorized.

Communication is everything.  What does your uniform or clothing say about your personality and salesmanship?  Are you trendy, polished, and professional?  Or did you just roll out of bed and last launder your wardrobe when Tony Blair was at the helm of the kingdom?  Speak confidently and competently; know as much as possible about the goods and services on offer, what you can do for your clients, and how to achieve their goals quickly and discretely.  When you act with purpose, you'll be viewed more seriously and more favorably.  Ultimately, you should be committed to driving the business and mastering your craft.  And when you do, you'll exceed your own goals and do so with an added dash of style + class.
 In doing so, you'll want to offer your clients either a sample of the goods or services you wish to sell.  Recently I was visiting my favorite Nordstrom store in Nashville with a friend.  While we were browsing the cosmetics and skincare department, an associate quickly and casually greeted us, offered herself for assistance if needed, and told us she'd check back with us.  She was unobtrusive and quite lovely.  A few moments later, upon reapproach,  the conversation turned to new products on offer.  Candy, the associate, asked if we had ever heard of the brand Diptyque.  I had indicated that I had a favorite candle, but that's all I really knew of the brand.  Her simple question turned into the biggest smile.  Apparently the brand wanted to remove their skincare range from the store, but Candy was so excited and had built a loyal customer base for the products, that they were able to keep the extended range.  And since I had never tried the skincare before, she wanted to offer me a few samples.  After a moment away, I was presented with the loveliest little bag of a handful of samples, her business card, and the invitation to follow up and share my thoughts on the products.

I'm so impressed.  Not only was Candy excited about her products, but she knew exactly how to introduce the brand.  And with her fabulous presentation, she not only signaled to me that the products were really wonderful, but she signaled to me that she had established a great relationship with the brand's executives, she was willing to go above and beyond for her customers, and the service she could provide me would be top notch as well. 

Candy could have very easily pointed to a few "tester" products on the shelf and told us to take a look.  But instead, by offering a few samples in a small bag with her business card, and asking the right amount of questions, she created a solid relationship. 

We can all take a few tips from Candy.  If you work at a supermarket, offer to push the groceries out to your client's car.  It'll give you a moment to grab some fresh air, a little added exercise, and you will be able to push the empty cart back in and prevent unwanted dings and dents in the parking lot.  Or if you work at a clothing store, make sure to nicely fold the purchases before placing them in the bag.  Wrap them with tissue paper if available.  And walk around the cash register to present the purchases to your clients and thank them for their business.  Or if you're a travel agent, be sure to follow up with your clients after their return.  Not only will your interest in their happiness solidify business in the future, but you may also learn additional tips or updated information from your clients to pass along to others.

No matter what you're selling, offer a sample as much as possible.  You never know what big successes may stem from such a small gesture.

Monday, April 25, 2016

generation next

One of the hardest aspects of any company, particularly in the retail segment, is establishing and maintaining a strong client base while still growing your non-traditional demographics.  Many brands have tried expanding their reach, only to short-lived success.  Abercrombie & Fitch expanded to a younger demographic with their surf inspired Hollister & Co., but their attempt at wooing a more refined, mature audience resulted in their Ruehl No. 925 surviving just a few years.  American Eagle Outfitters' more sophisticated Martin + Osa unfortunately saw the same demise.   Personally, I was really sad when both of these stores closed, as their products were spot-on with fit, fabric, and price point.

To reach a broader demographic successfully, brands must have a strong awareness and identity - customers should automatically associate their brand name with quality, value, and trust.  The products must stand on their own, without overly gimmicky marketing or tacky packaging.  The same codes and hallmarks of the brand must be evident in the "new" product lines.

Two really strong, successful examples of companies expanding their reach are Target's capsule collections and Estee Lauder's new "The Estee Edit" campaign.

For the last several years, discount retailer Target has created capsule collections with luxury designers and fashion houses to viral success.  Target's shoppers are known for favoring clean lines, fresh perspectives, and quality products at an affordable price.  They're typically willing to buy a new cleaning product, as long as it smells nice or comes in cute packaging, and get weak in the knees for a "deal" on something you might not have been looking for, but would love to have.  Their client base is fashionable and trendy, well traveled and more globally aware, might own a few luxury pieces, and appreciate living a more beautiful, simple life.  So it's no surprise that designers like Alexander McQueen, Lilly Pulitzer, Missoni, Liberty of London,  and Marimekko.  These pocket collections often feature iconic prints or details indicative of the famous designs, only mass produced or made in a significantly more affordable manner.  The marketing is always co-branded, featuring a flash of the famous red bulls eye and elements so obvious to the featured design house.  And the second these products are released in-store and online, they immediately sell out.  Target makes money, brands extend their awareness, and customers get a taste of the luxe life they've only dreamed of or drooled over.  It's the ultimate "gateway drug" for luxury fashion houses to the mass market and middle America.

Another great example is cosmetics and skincare giant Estee Lauder and Sephora.  When you think of Estee Lauder, you typically think of older women like your Grandmother who are focused on anti-aging skincare and the same lipstick shade they've worn since 1962.  Over the last few years, Lauder has really ramped up their game and extended their reach to a much younger demographic, hiring the likes of Kendall Jenner as a spokeswoman and featured cover girl.  Impressively, they've continued to focus on what they're known for - bringing revolutionary skincare and quality cosmetics to the marketplace, only with a bit of a twist.  Capitalizing on social media and technology, they've recently launched "The Estee Edit", a pocket collection of established skincare and beauty products mixed with a few new products and packaging for taking the perfect "selfie".  From makeup removers, cleansers, and wipes, to pore minimizing sticks and flash photo powders, to skin illuminating creams and bronzers and everything in between, the collection focuses on how to have flawless, photo-ready skin and makeup.

Technology is always associated with youth.  The latest and greatest trends could be lost on an older generation if they seemed cheap, tacky, or not well executed.  But the power and image associated with Estee Lauder are underlying throughout all of these pieces.  And for a brand that's traditionally focused on anti-aging and looking your best, what could be more perfect than being photo-ready at a moment's notice?  It's the ultimate injection of youthfulness for the beauty brand.

Rule Breaker. Risk Taker. Beauty Boss. No one owned it quite like Estée Lauder. She built a beauty empire practicing what she preached: “Beauty is an Attitude.” In this spirit, we bring you the Estée Edit. Beauty attitudes—inspired by Estée and Guest Editors—created by you. From instantly gorgeous skin to covetable color trends. Mix it. Match it. Blend with abandon. You make the rules. This is a declaration of who you are and who you make yourself up to be. What’s your attitude? Wear it. Share it. Own it. #beautyattitudes

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

shout the benefits

Customers don't buy shovels because they need a shovel.  Customers buy shovels because they need a hole.  As sales associates, it's important to understand the features and functions of the products or services we're selling, but we must not forget the end result.  The end result isn't just to sell products; the end result is to achieve the goals of our valued customers.  If we focus to achieving their goals, competently and confidently recommending products and services to suite their needs, we'll have customers for life.

Each day, spend a moment and look at your business from the eyes of your clients.  What do you notice first?  Does your store's presentation and environment convey the message you're hoping for?  Does your store layout make sense?  Can customers easily find what they're looking for and navigate effortlessly?  Empower your junior managers, supervisors, and everyday associates to keep this perspective in mind.  When you focus to meeting the goals of your customers, you'll naturally meet the goals of your employees and business. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

more than just numbers

Is it just me, or does it seem like more and more companies are merging into conglomerates and mega-companies?  Over the last few years we've seen many airlines merging into super-lines, expanding their routes and minimizing their reach.  We've seen car companies gobbling up each other like a buffet, mixing the expected with the unexpected.  If you told me 15 years ago that Jeep, Fiat, Chrysler, and Maserati would all be owned by the same Group, I would have laughed in your face.  Canada's Hudson Bay Company boasts a myriad of retail brands throughout Canada, Belgium, Germany, and the United States, including Galeria Kaufhof,, Hudson's Bay, Home Outfitters, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the Saks outlet version OFF 5th.   I'm all for increasing efficiency, implementing best practices, and improving the final product for customers.  However, sometimes these mergers aren't as seamless or positive as one would have hoped - often resulting in decreased customer service, layoffs, and lost brand identity. 

I read an article recently that said Nordstrom had reported an increased inventory of 12% in the last quarter, and this must mean their having a hard time selling their merchandise.  I understand that inventory levels can shed some insight into a brand's business strength and sales figures.  But as both a businessman and a customer, I know this only shows a portion of the picture.  Have they considered that Nordstrom is constantly evolving with their customers - often featuring new brands and designers, new product categories, and new services?  Offering newness takes both time to implement and time to test.  Every time I visit my local Nordstrom, there's a line at their coffee bar, the restaurant is packed, and there are plenty of customers - not just looking, but actually buying.  It makes me wonder, are those business analysts comparing traditional departments from year-to-year, or are they including the overall inventory? 

Buying a Fiat is a completely different experience than buying a Maserati.  Buying a wardrobe at is a totally different experience than buying a wardrobe at Saks Fifth Avenue.  The end result may be basically be the same, but the approach, the expectation, and the experience couldn't be farther apart.  Regardless of what products and services are sold, when brands commit themselves to establishing the most incredible experience for their customers, prioritize product knowledge, and implementing a "can-do" attitude to help their customers identify and reach their own goals, every business wins.

 Retail = Relationships.  Relationships between employees and customers drive the business.  Relationships between business partners and shareholders shape the direction of the brand.  Relationships between the buyers and designers influence product availability.  Relationships between managers and employees effect the atmosphere and culture of each location.  And relationships between influential clients and their friends can impact general consumer sentiment toward the brand in general.  Better brands prioritize these relationships and spend massive amounts of time and resources both establishing and maintaining positive relationships.  And rightfully so.

Yes, companies should focus on the bottom line.  But they can't lose sight of the two most important aspects: their customers and their employees.  When you establish a corporate culture that includes clear expectations, constant support to not only perform those job expectations, but to succeed and surpass goals, and an environment that adds value to your employees' lives, this will only intensify and increase levels of customer satisfaction.  Happy Employees = Happy Customers. 

Across every culture and country, there is only one resource that is traded equally: time.  When you do something that saves time, there is added value to that task.  When you spend time with someone, there is more meaning, more passion, and more value to that moment.  When someone gives their time to your cause, you're more thankful, more loyal in the future, and more committed to their relationship and cause.  Time is everything.  And the same is for the retail industry.  When an employee takes time to walk you to a specific department, rather than just point or give you instructions, the customer feels more value and loyalty to the brand.  When a manager takes time to train an employee on a new task or improved function, the employee retains the knowledge, feels increased care from their superiors, and an increased priority for teamwork and education.  The feeling is contagious. 

When has an employee gone above and beyond for you?  How did it make you feel?  When have you spent extra time with a customer or client?  Was there a positive return on investment?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

the E-elements cubed

When you think about successful retail operations, there are three elements that must be present: experience, education, and excitement.  Whether you're at a discounted furniture outlet, a luxury fashion boutique, or a car dealer, and everything in between - it doesn't matter what you're selling.  The focus should always be how you sell those products or services.  And when you prioritize those three elements, you're always guaranteed success. 

First: the experience.  There are many aspects that impact a customer's experience.  Is your location convenient to access?  Your facility should be clean, well lit, organized, and easily accessible by your clients.  You should have the right products in the right place at the right price with the right signs at the right time.  Whenever possible, ensure you have samples, demonstrations, or interactive stations to engage your clients.  Encourage your employees to "play" with everything - the more they have personal experience with your products, the easier it will be to sell those products and services to your clients.  If you're a travel agency, maybe you organize a "reward" trip for your top salespeople, which in turn creates incentive and doubly allows them to experience the actual services they're selling.  Or if you're a Medical Spa, maybe you offer your employees a complimentary service on their birthday, intensifying employee satisfaction and your employee's brand awareness.

On a recent trip to Nashville's Green Hills Mall Sephora, I was quickly greeted by both Jessica and Ty.  Not only were these two employees incredibly welcoming and friendly, they quickly started talking about their new favorite skincare products, offering demonstrations, and encouraging me to try things for myself.  There wasn't an overwhelming sales pitch, but instead a genuine demonstration of love and excitement for the products they were offering and a true desire for me to try these products and samples myself.  Before I knew it, I had Peter Thomas Roth's 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches on my eyes.  It wasn't just a generic offer to "feel free to try anything you want" - but a very specific invitation to try something new and exciting, that both employees had used and loved.  And this product isn't cheap, either. But that didn't matter. Jessica and Ty loved the product, were excited for the results, and wanted me to try them for myself and experience a piece of the luxury for myself.
What it is:
A pack of eye patches with a unique blend of colloidal gold, caffeine, hydrolyzed collagen, and humectants that work together to minimize the look of fine lines and puffiness.

What it is formulated to do:
Peter Thomas Roth’s 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches leave the eye area looking smooth, revitalized, and radiant. Enriched with pure 24K gold and colloidal gold, these powerful and refreshing eye patches lift and firm the delicate eye contour in just 10 minutes. They’re formulated with Pure 24 Karat Gold, which imparts an opulent, radiant glow, while it locks in moisture and supports skin’s firmness. Colloidal gold, an “activated gold," helps to give skin a lifted, firmer appearance. These eye patches help plump the look of skin with hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and humectants help to deliver intense hydration by attracting and retaining moisture from water in the air.

This set contains:
- 30 x 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patch duos

Secondly: education.  You must educate your employees.  Do they know the history and heritage of your company?  If you sell multiple brands, are they able to describe the difference between ranges on offer?  If you offer services at multiple price points, are they able to differentiate between category levels? If they are, they'll be able to confidently and competently recommend the right products and/or services for the right clients.  And in turn, an educated staff will make for educated customers.  Again, I reflect on my last experience at Sephora.  Both Jessica and Ty were able to ask open ended questions, learning exactly my skincare concerns and preferences, and based on my hopes and needs, were able to show products that were of interest. With a brief conversation about being stressed and tired, they both instantly started showing the latest and greatest eye potions, lotions, tonics, and pads.  And before I knew it, as demonstrated by the photograph above, I was trying something I didn't even know existed.  And while trying the product, I heard in detail the ingredients, the inspiration behind the product, and how it would so easily fit into my skincare routine.

Thirdly: excitement starts with you.  If you're excited, your employees will be excited, and most importantly, your clients will be excited.  Excitement creates energy.  Excitement creates a dynamic feeling of euphoria and encouragement.  Would you want to shop in a store where the employees look miserable and lack a passion for their craft?  Of course not.  At the Sephora, both Jessica and Ty were so obviously excited for their products and roles.  They were engaging, very well educated, and absolutely excited.  The excitement was infectious.  And this wasn't just my experience.  In between my trying other products and browsing on my own, both employees were bouncing back and forth between other customers, equally providing the same exciting, educational, and experiential services and attention they were giving to me.  If there was something that struck our fancy, we were given product printouts and samples to take home before even asking or hinting at the offer.  The experience wasn't just free - it was fabulous.

And as if the skincare experience wasn't absolute perfection, our conversation randomly transferred from skincare to fragrance, and before I knew it, Ty was walking me over to meet fragrance guru Bill.  The same care, passion, and fun I had in skincare was duplicated in fragrance. 

After this experience, it's very clear that the manger of this location is spot-on.  Shout out to the entire team, and all the supplemental teammates behind the scenes who make such a wonderful place.  I am beyond impressed.

Here are a few other products that were recommended to me that I'm really intrigued by and loving:

Sunday Riley's Power Couple Duo: Luna and Good Genes
What it is:
A transformational power product duo that combines lactic acid and trans-retinol ester to exfoliate and brighten the skin.

What it is formulated to do:
In use together, this power product duo uncovers more radiant, moisturized skin while promoting evenness of skintone. Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment exfoliates and moisturizes the skin while smoothing the appearance of fine lines. Luna Sleeping Night Oil contains a powerful, yet gentle trans-retinol ester and moisturizing botanical oils to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and sun damage while preventing flakiness and irritation.

This set contains:
- 0.5 oz Good Genes Treatment
- 0.5 oz Luna Sleeping Night Oil

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
For sensitive skin, alternate use of each product nightly. For skin accustomed to treatments, apply one to two pumps of Good Genes in the morning and four to five drops of Luna at night. For most effective results, and for skin accustomed to these treatments, use products together, layering at night. Use Luna first, allow to absord into skin, and follow with Good Genes application.

Dermaflash Facial Exfoliating Device
 What it is:
A first in class at-home, patented, safe, hygienic, exfoliating device inspired by dermaplaning, a procedure available only in medical spas or doctor’s offices, which refinishes skin by removing dead skin cells and built up debris, while also gently removing facial hair for smooth, luminous, and youthful-looking skin.

What it does:
Made specifically for women, DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device comfortably and discreetly sweeps away skin imperfections, dullness, and peach fuzz with a subtle sonic vibration. In just three simple steps, it gently removes dead cells, debris, and fine hair from the cheeks, jawline, lip area, chin, and forehead. It is safe for all skin types, skin colors, and ages. DERMAFLASH immediately unveils smoother, more vibrant, and younger-looking skin in the comfort of your own home. Prep is a pre-treatment cleanser and Soothe is a nourishing hydrator for use immediately after using DERMAFLASH.

This set contains:
- DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device, charging base, and line cord
- 6 x DERMAFLASH Exfoliating Edges - To perform DERMAFLASH
- 0.8 oz Prep
- 0.8 oz Soothe

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device prepares the skin perfectly for skin care and creates the ideal canvas for flawless makeup application. DERMAFLASH makes you look as though lit from within and results increase with each use.

Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment
  What it is:
A two-part, intense, wash-off treatment duo powered by black and white charcoal that minimizes the appearance of pores while balancing the skin.

What it is formulated to do:
This decadent treatment is formulated with the power of black and white charcoal and the added benefits from Kaolin Clay to detoxify and cleanse the skin and pores deeply without irritation. The formula also moisturizes, balances, and hydrates for a clearer, more refined, stronger, and healthier looking complexion.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is also free of preservatives, artificial fragrances and colors, gluten, and ethanol alcohol. It is dermatologist tested and can be used as a full facial or a spot treatment.

Perricone MD OVM Serum
What it is:
A professional-strength overnight serum to brighten and tighten the appearance of skin.

What it is formulated to do:
This powerful overnight serum harnesses eggshell membrane and effective levels of retinol in a proprietary formula that delivers all of the benefits of retinol without side effects. It diffuses the appearance of wrinkles and unveils radiance so skin appears younger and smoother.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
The eggshell membrane is the thin layer between the egg white and the shell. It contains the perfect matrix of components to nourish and protect precious egg components, which are now harnessed in OVM Serum to deliver powerful and protective properties to the skin.

Kate Sommerville's DermaQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol Advanced Resurfacing Treatment
What it is:
A powerful antiaging booster treatment that combines oxygen with firming retinol to create a smooth, supple glow.

What it does:
Inspired by the most sought-after treatment at the Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts™ Clinic, this resurfacing booster treatment is formulated with a retinol active ingredient combined with natural bio-retinols, which support natural collagen production and healthy cell turnover to create the appearance of firmer skin with increased elasticity, reduced wrinkles, and more even pigmentation. Its unprecedented delivery system infuses skin with three powerful ingredients in the Advanced HydraFill™ Complex: wrinkle-relaxing PFC-oxygen carriers, fast-penetrating hyaluronic acid, and radiance-boosting rare botanical extracts. The result is a complexion that appears smoother, more hydrated, and healthier.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

Research results:
- In an independent clinical study over 4 weeks of use:
- 100% of women reported significant improvement in the appearance of skin roughness, firmness, and moisture after just one use.
- 100% of women reported significant improvement in the appearance of skin roughness, firmness, moisture, pore size, discoloration, and fine lines around eyes after 4 weeks of use.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

Special note: even if this product had absolutely no benefits, I would buy it.  Because it smells
abso-freaking-lutely amazing.  When Ty and Jessica first introduced me to this product with rave reviews, they warned me the smell would be intoxicating. And they weren't kidding.  I'd also add "seductive" to their description.  I think I needed a private moment to myself after trying a bit on my arm.  And the entire car ride home, I couldn't stop smelling and feeling my arm.  That's how incredible this product is.

What it is:
A fast-absorbing body cream that helps tighten and smooth the look of skin.

What it is formulated to do:
Many Brazilian creams have a secret ingredient: guaraná, a native Amazonian plant whose fruit contains one of the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is also powered by a Brazilian blend of extraordinarily nourishing cupuaçu butter, antioxidant powerhouse açaí, and super-conditioning coconut oil for irresistible, touch-me skin. The fast-absorbing texture contains just enough mica to add a perfect Brazilian glow, as the formula helps your body look and feel its smoothest and tightest. Pistachio caramel leaves skin delicately fragranced.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is also formulated without animal by-products, propylene glycol, synthetic colors, PEGs, and petrolatum.

”We came together with a mutual love of the distinctly Brazilian attitude towards beauty, their secrets, and their know-how. In Brazil, we believe you’re as beautiful as you feel. Our beauty isn’t a standard to reach, it’s an attitude to take. A head-to-toe sensuality that comes through in a smile, a saunter, a samba. A confidence that comes from playing up our best assets. Based in the USA, we’re excited to be able to bring you the most effective, transformative, and fun beauty care experiences you’ve ever had, incorporating the latest and greatest super ingredients from the Amazon.”—Que Gostoso

Maison Martin Margiela's Replica 'By The Fireplace'
By The Fireplace combines smoky and woody accords with the subtle sweetness of chestnut to evoke a familiar but forgotten moment—the warmth of a cozy fireplace in midwinter.

The ‘REPLICA’ collection’s first feminine and masculine fragrance, this warm fragrance blends notes of smoky woods and grilled chestnuts. The frosted top note contrasts with the warmer heart for a soft, enveloping, and addictive experience. The scent subtly evolves on the skin to offer winter’s hot and cold contrast; outside it is snowing on a frosty, shivery landscape, but inside the flames of a comforting fire crackle with glowing warmth.

The silhouette of each 'REPLICA' bottle is inspired by classic apothecary jars, allowing the collection to be instantly identifiable. Each bottle carries a 100 percent cotton label, which is printed using black ink text and resembles the tags used on the clothing and accessories for the 'REPLICA' couture collection. The unique pumps are wrapped with a rope to symbolize the authentic reproduction of the original 'REPLICA' couture line.

Pink Pepper, Orange Flower Petals, Clove Oil, Chestnut Accord, Gaïac Wood Oil, Cade Oil, Vanilla Accord, Peru Balsam, Cashmeran.
Warm. Comforting. Woody.

If I worked for Sephora, or any of the companies that stock their products in Sephora, I absolutely would head to Nashville's Green Hills Mall location immediately.  They are a working model of how each and every Sephora should be.  

 What stores or businesses do you look toward for inspiration or encouragement? 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

designer drift

Christian Dior is so much more than small leather goods, ready-to-wear, footwear, fragrance, and beauty products. It is art. It is history. It is elegance. 

You know a brand is on their A-game when they are true purveyors of the art world.  Take a look at this movie.  It is simply beyond.

J'Adore Dior.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nordic Style, right on Target

I love when brands collide.  Montauk smashed into the tennis courts of Paris when  J. Crew paired up with Lacoste, offering the brand's iconic polo shirts with original crocodile logo, tennis tails, and slim fit. Discount retailer Target has fostered many luxury capsule collections, from Alexander McQueen to Missoni.  And on 17 April, the brand launches yet another cult like collection by famed Finnish design house Marimekko

More than 200 pieces will feature the bright and bold prints the House is known for, many of which are under US$50. From bicycles to bikinis, gardening tools to the girlies tunics, there's something for everyone.

Simple and spirited, Marimekko infuses its authentic Nordic sensibility and iconic prints into a signature collection of fashion and home pieces. Splashed with color, pattern and purpose, Marimekko is a true hallmark of Finnish art and design that never goes out of style. We have Marimekko artist, Maija Isola to thank for these prints and patterns.