Monday, June 25, 2012

Have You Ever Wondered WHAT the Heck I Do?

Have you ever wondered what the heck I do for a living? Looking at my page it seems like I have my hand in many pots. Well I do. I have had several readers ask what the heck I actually do. Well let me fill you in a bit!

My main job is the "Senior Operations Manager" for Turn of the Century Antiques on South Broadway. I love working here. You will find me here Tuesday through Friday and the occasional Saturday.



I gave myself this title and I truly enjoy what I do. I am basically the go to person for pretty much everything technical around there but my function has evolved into this over the years. I have for sure put in my time. I spent my childhood in this store hiding in doll cases and scaring people. Now I scare them but from behind the counter. Our store works because half of our talent is artists and the other half are business people like myself that think in dollar signs and bottom lines. I have to make a lot of decisions and I am our conflict resolution specialist so I stay pretty busy around there.


I handle our internet sales, advertising, some buying, and I travel to trade shows and set up booth to sell on the road. I am on a commission pay structure.  My Mom started that business 37 years ago and we specialize in antique dolls, silver, toys, and decorative smalls.

With the advent of eBay and selling on the web, she needed someone to oversee selling online - which to someone who has never done it is quite the challenging task. I have been working at Turn of the Century Antiques since I was 14 - started selling on eBay, our personal website, and got us on Ruby Lane. I have creative control and love researching new avenues for us to generate income - and a lot of my ideas work. Some don't. It's neat to ebb and flow with the changing markets.

Here are a couple links to our eBay stores, Ruby Lane store, and our website.

I got my degree in Communications and Business Management and worked full time through college. After college, I had several options but with my background in business and true love for what I was doing, I stayed working in the family business. I expanded it pretty exponentially online and liked my little empire that I had built. I got a little burnt out though and took a step back from antiques and took a three year job selling jewelry for John Atencio which was one of the best experiences of my entire life. For personal reasons, I left in December of 2011 but still miss it and think fondly of my experience all the time.

This entire time however, I was approached by several stores in the Denver area that needed help with their online sales. I began my consulting business in 2006 and I help people build and online platform to sell their items - no matter what they have - I teach people the best selling techniques and strategies to sell their "stuff". I can sell your crap that you just want out of your life to super high end unique items.

I also teach lessons on pretty much anything. Last week I gave a lady three hours of Facebook lessons. I think it's safe to say I know a little about Facebook :)

I have been working for Heidelberg Antiques on 1460 South Broadway since 2006 and if you haven't been to this store, totally come in. It's so cute and full of amazing European antiques and the owner buys them personally in Europe about six times a year. It's been fun learning a whole other world of antiques from what I specialize in. Here is their eBay store that I built from the ground up: http://stores.ebay.com/heidelbergantiques

I also do the web for Scandinavian Antiques on Antique Row in Denver. If you need to decorate your place, this is where you come. The owner here also goes to Europe several times a year to buy the furniture and ships it back in huge crates. These people and the furniture that they have is AMAZING and they have a studio to customize or make anything for you from scratch.

I am a certified workaholic and consistently strive for balance in my life. I love opportunities and working and it's very hard for me to pass anything up - even when I have to sacrifice in other areas. I have found myself on way too many occasion saying "well I love to work" when asked about my hobbies. As I strive for balance in my life, I am also thankful because I do what I enjoy and that is huge and I feel very blessed.

XO

Rachel 






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Michael Kors Watches


Now that I have just blogged about extreme, over the top, lavish J12 watches, I wanted to follow it with something a little more practical. Don’t get me wrong – I love my J12 but the fun thing about fashion is that it doesn’t have to be expensive to be amazing. There are several lines of affordable watches out there. My favorites being  Michael Kors. 



People notice watches. Believe me.  Especially if you are in sales like I am, you don’t want something too fancy but you definitely want something good. It’s just like a good bag or shoes. Accessories matter and watches are one of the four most important accessories. For women, here is the order of importance: Bag, (Jewelry which is your watch), Belt, and Shoes. Choosing between a great bag and watch for me is like Sophie’s choice – pretty impossible. Still, bags trump all and if you need a great one, I am happy to offer suggestions. 

Anyway, back to the watches. 

If you aren’t quite in the market for a white or black J12 but want the lavish look anyway, get what I got to start and that is the Michele Deco ceramic with a diamond bezel. I bought these in white and black and used the hell out of them before getting my J12. 



They hold their value and they are a great solid watch. I sold them to my Mom when I bought my J12 but they are still in the family and look awesome on my Mom and she really loves them. They come in a lot of fun and funky styles but my advice on funky styles goes back to the J12 – keep the funky stuff for when you are so rich and bored you just need to waste your money on dumb shit or buy inexpensive fun and funky watches.  With an investment piece, you want to buy a classic look. Trust me on this. 

My favorite brand of affordable fun watches is Michael Kors. For a cool $150 - $450 you can get a great watch. I am wearing my two tone yellow and rose gold “Bradshaw” watch as I type this. I have it layered with all kinds of bangles and it’s so much fun.


 I am on a flight to NYC right now and I wore my Kors watch for this trip because it’s stylish and if some hoodlum puts a gun to my head, I will have no problem slipping it off if he wants it. Of course I would slip off my J12 in the same sitch but why risk it. Honestly, my Kors watch is flashier than the J12 anyway. My Mom said it looks like, “something a thug gangster would wear” and she is right. (Flava Flav liked it when I ran into him in the lobby of the Desmond yesterday!) I freaking love it.


Michael Kors is close to over saturating his watch market because he has produced so many and I have a feeling he might crash and burn in the future (so don’t buy one thinking it’s an investment) but for right now he is staying strong and coming out with some cool stuff.

My fav Kors watches are the oversize gold watches. I especially love them layered with all kinds of fun bracelets.




I also like the tortoise shell styles. 



My friend Lindsay recently got this one and I really like the twisted band. 



They also make a decent ceramic watch. Here is Britney and I in the Michael Kors store in Vegas. I bought a white ceramic and oversized gold men’s chronograph on that trip. That was a fun trip. Check out my dark hair!




My friend Karen has this one and it’s super cute. 



Here are my takeaway tips about buying Kors or watches in general: 

  1. ·     Don’t buy anything because I said so or because you think that’s the one you should get over the other because you saw it in a magazine or whatever. My number one rule about fashion is that you should wear what you feel. Get a watch the suits your personality. My Dad wears a Timex from Walmart and the back is taped together with Duct Tape - and he has more money than God – and you know what? It suits him and his personality perfectly and I love it. Get what you like.
  2.      Don’t EVER and I mean EVER buy a fake watch. (This goes double for purses.
  3.      If you cruise eBay and the sale rack at Nordstrom or even Nordstrom Rack, you can pick up Kors watches on a sale. Even at full price though, I feel they are a worthy investment and there are not many things they I feel is a good value at full boat – so you are safe here. Enjoy watch hunting!
XO
Rachel


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Iconic Chanel J12

Have you ever had a watch you were obsessed with? Like when you see it on other people you sit there and stare and even if you are walking, you smack into the wall because you literally couldn't stop staring? For me, that watch is the Chanel J12.



Chanel J12 is a watch range made by Chanel was launched in 1999. It's a unisex watch and has a style that has become widely recognized with its clean lines and fusion of masculinity and femininity. They came out with two ceramic watches - black and white. White is my favorite but I also really love the black.



 When the movie "The Blind Side" same out - I went because in the previews I saw Sandra Bullock wearing a white J12. She wore it in every scene so I could obsess for over two hours!! Sure the movie was heart warming and had a good message and junk but I only cared about one thing. THAT WATCH!





I think what I like about them is that they are so over the top. They are hard to get anyway and they make some that are just insane. Check this one out:

Chanel J12 Sapphire limited edition, 12 pieces only. Made of 18K white gold, equipped with self-winding movement, 425 baguette-cut diamonds inlayed, 28 carats in all; 338 baguette-cut Congnac-brandy-colored sapphire, 14.5 carats. To finish the inlaying job, masters spent more than 350 hours on each watch. (PS this watch is a cool $650,000)


I tried this baby below on in the Chanel store in Encore in Vegas and about wet my skinny jeans. 



With so many styles how can a girl choose?




Now that I planted the seed, you will see them everywhere. You see them a lot on celebrities but if you pay attention, a lot of people have them - or more commonly ones that try to be the J12.




I went with the first style made - the white J12 ceramic in their largest size - the 44mm. I have been wanting it since I was in my mother's womb and I don't regret it. It's an investment piece and it's important to get something classic and something you know you will get a lot of use out if. I love it. You can always buy diamond bezels later but this is chic and perfect for everyday.


Watch out for my Michael Kors watch post coming up next!!

XO,
Rachel

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tory Burch

Hey All! So my lovely friend Barbara asked me about my best flats that I recommend for work. I was quick to recommend Tory Burch. I have a wider foot and Tory Burch shoes are good for wide feet and also (most importantly for a flat) is that they are comfortable! Plus and most importantly - if you are going to wear a flat, it better be a cute one. These fit the bill.



I like Tory Burch shoes for several reasons. I feel like they are a great value for the money, they are super fun, and they last a long time. They are good investments. I like the shoes. I feel Tory Burch's clothing is over priced and her bags are just OK but the shoes are great. Don't buy the ones without the gaudy gold emblem on the front - that's half the point of buying Tory Burch! I love the emblem.  These sandals will carry you through summer. Great with a maxi dress!



If you can't afford Tory Burch right now, save up. DO not, I repeat, DO NOT buy the GUESS brand fakes or something trying to be Tory Burch. Until you get the real thing of anything, don't buy a lesser fake. (This goes with everything.)

Also, Tory Burch has sales so just wait and get a discount! Neimans is having a sale right now on Tory Burch and you can get some cute ones for a great price!

Love these wedges!



I have two pairs of the flats - black and red. The red ones are suede and do get dirty easier than the regular leather. I love them though. What I love about these shoes is the variety of colors and textures in the leather you can buy.


With the shoes with the cinched back, I need a half size larger than I usually wear - otherwise the back of the shoe can pinch a little bit.

I love these for work or traveling when you have to be on your feet a lot.

I have these and they are super chunky and fun! This is the "Jodie" sandal.
I bought these on sale at Neimans this week and they are SO comfortable!!



These flats below are my next conquest. Love the gold on gold. 
Like I said, remember to try on a half size larger if you are getting the cinched flat and hold out for a sale. If you are patient, you can get a great pair for a good price. Also, the suede shoes get dirty pretty quick so if you are going to wear them a lot, the plain leather will be the best for longevity. 

The reason I like Tory Burch shoes though is even if you pay retail, you are getting a really well made product for the price point. 

XO
Rachel

Friday, June 8, 2012

Maxi Dresses!

So every summer I seem to have a go to outfit and OH MY GAWD this summer it's maxi dresses. I am obsessed. Maxi dresses are flattering on every body type and even though I have shed my summer pounds, I love the dresses because I wore them last summer when I HADN'T shed my summer pounds. The point is, they are cute and flattering at any  weight but make sure the top is fitted. You do not want to look like a balloon or a tent. Stay away from tent dresses that flare out. Fitted top + loose bottom = great maxi dress.

They are so easy to wear - you can dress them up or down. I love wearing them on dates because I like to feel pretty and girly and you can bring along a cardigan or jean jacket to pop over them if you get chilly! My favorite part of my body is not my legs and I am perpetually white so I like having long maxi dresses. I think long ones are the cutest anyway. Here are a couple home shots of me - ironically right before dates! I got the blue one at Express and the gray one from the ARC but the Target tags were still attached.





My tips are maxi dresses:

1) Don't buy expensive ones. It's not worth it. Maxi dresses are generally made out of the same material with expensive ones and less expensive ones and they aren't like an amazing pair of pants where there is tailoring you pay for. There is no reason to spend a lot on a maxi dress. Target has some super cute ones. In fact, Target is my favorite place to buy maxi dresses. They are $30 and under. My favorite maxi dress I got on sale at Express and I wore it to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and got it caught in the escalator. Good thing I didn't pay $300 dollars for it.

2) Wear them different ways! Try a jacket over top or add some bulk with a fun scarf. You can wear a maxi dress a ton of different ways by accessorizing it.

3) If you wear open toed shoes with a maxi dress, make sure your toes look good. This is important every single day. If you toes are not done, don't even consider wearing open toes shoes. Seriously. It's important and I can't stress enough how people notice.

4) Don't go overboard with the hippie thing when wearing a maxi dress. Keep it classy. If my dress is kind of hippie, I don't do hipping hair and jewelry. Keep a rule of threes. Don't do threes. If you have hippie style dress and hair, don't have hippie jewelry. This is just my opinion but keeping two out of three like two browns and a black or two blacks and a brown - this plan works great for me.

5) Make sure the top fits. Some maxi dresses are too loose around the top. If you find a super cute one but needs some more support around the bust line, it's really inexpensive for a tailor to do it.

6) Maxi dresses can be kind of shapeless so try adding a belt. It's super cute.

Here are some maxi dresses I like:









XO, 
Rachel

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Catching Up!

Hey All! First off - my apologies for being MIA! It's been a busy and productive last couple weeks.

A couple weeks ago, my Mom and I flew to Milwaukee for an overnight doll show.


We fit a lot of fun into that trip. It's always nice to catch up with our customers in person! There was a fun luncheon on a historic hotel - the Pfioster Mansion. I loved Milwaukee and can't wait to go back.

The day after we came back, our doll friends Michael and David came through town and we took them out for a fantastic lunch at Sushi Den. I had one of my favorites - sashimi!

That weekend my Mom and I had a chance to check out the YSL exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. OMG. It was amazing. My cousin from Nashville is visiting right now and I am going to take her because she loved fashion. Before my Mom and I went to YSL, we went out for SASHIMI! They also had a AWESOME seaweed salad. 




The next day, my friend Alyson and I went to Bluefin for...SASHIMI!


Monday of this week my cousin Sara and I had reservations at Fresh salon for a spa day and they somehow messed up our reservations...but told us AFTER they took off our polish so I gave myself my own pedicure right in the chair. 


I have really been into stacking things next to my new Michael Kors two tone watch and someone came in the antique store and sold me these fun bangles which I am loving!

This post was kind of rando but I have had lots of requests for posts which I can't wait to do so stay tuned. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend Lovers!

XO
Rachel