today's headline

Okay, so maybe I put this on off for awhile. I can't believe this has been sitting on my coffee table for over a month already.. Oops!

But this news is too exciting not to share!!

Urban Outfitters to start a wedding brand

Aiming to maintain the growth that led to record 2009 sales and profit, Urban Outfitters Inc. today disclosed plans to start another retail brand next year, this one aimed at the $60 billion wedding industry.
The Philadelphia specialty retailer, whose Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores target an upscale clientele, said it planned to launch the as-yet-unnamed bridal business by Valentine's Day 2011, first online and later with a store opening.
"We think this is going to be a meaningful business," Glen T. Senk, chief executive officer, told analysts today while reviewing the company's 2009 earnings, which included record sales of $1.9 billion and record profit of $220 million.
"Anybody we talk to about this goes, 'Wow, that's exciting,' " he said.
The idea for creating a brand aimed at weddings - featuring heirloom gowns, accessories, intimate apparel, decor, and gifts - grew out of the company's existing business, which often catered to brides and their entourages, Senk said.
According to the company's research, matrimony means money: The average wedding costs $45,000 to stage, and the bride alone spends $4,500 on clothing and accessories.
Bridalwear is a niche that suffered badly last year in the economic downturn; many high-end boutiques closed.
But for Urban Outfitters, the new line could represent a happy marriage with its long-term strategy to expand sales and profit by nurturing six to eight "meaningful" brands - while not allowing one brand to grow so large that it loses value. Along with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, the company operates Free People stores, a Terrain garden center in Glen Mills, and the Leifsdottir wholesale line.
Though the retail industry generally reported strong earnings this year, reflecting a rebound from its 2008 crash, Urban's earnings exceeded analysts' expectations.
Holly Guthrie, an analyst with Boenning & Scattergood Inc., said Urban Outfitters was able to adjust its offerings quickly to the new market conditions.
"They're fast," she said. "They figured it all out."
Sales of $1.9 billion for the year ended Jan. 31 represented a 6 percent increase over 2008. Fourth-quarter sales were up 16 percent, to $589 million. Net income for 2009 rose 10 percent, to $220 million. Quarterly profit of $77.7 million was up 92 percent over the same quarter in 2008.
Despite the snow, Senk said, February sales were also up, indicating that the market for high-end merchandise has been growing.
The company's Internet sales increased from $272 million in 2008 to $324 million last year, 17.7 percent of sales compared with 14.9 percent in 2008, Senk said.
Online sales could amount to more than 30 percent of the company's future business, he said. Urban Outfitters is installing new data-mining software to allow it to target its e-mail-marketing campaigns and to capitalize on its customer base in social networks such as Facebook.
"I don't want to limit how much of our business e-commerce can be," he said.
The company is expanding its European presence and is laying the groundwork to move into the Far East in 2012 or 2013. Senk said he envisioned international sales eventually amounting to 25 percent to 35 percent of the company's business.
Urban Outfitters' stock closed at $34.34 a share today, up 94 cents, or 2.81 percent.



I think I found the perfect pair of neutral heels.

{ Cole Haan "Carma Air Almond" via available at Nordstrom for $199.90 }

Me likey.

Downside--I don't normally drop $200 on shoes (and these are on sale from $300). But I think these would quickly become a go-to work shoe for me. And I am very intrigued by this Nike-Air-in-a-pump technology. I've been hearing about it for years, but still have yet to try it. 

So this is me trying to justify it... 
1) I will wear them a lot (calculating price per use...)
2) I take care of my shoes, so I will likely have them for several years (again, price per use...)
3) I'm standing or walking all day long at work, so comfortable dress shoes are crucial. (sad note about those $1.49 shoes I got... they kill my feet after like 15 minutes)
4) I just got promoted at work, so I need to up my wardrobe a bit...and maybe give myself a reward for my accomplishments :]

Hmm... we shall see.


my dream home

Last week I made a new friend here in LA, Kelly (yay!). Kelly has been house sitting at a home in the Los Angeles area. We decided to go hang out here to make dinner (homemade pizza with Trader Joe's ingredients... delicious), drink wine, and hot tub. It was divine. But this was all after I picked my jaw up off of the floor from taking in the absolutely impeccable interior design of this house. This place was my dream home. I could move in today and not want to change a thing--except maybe swap out their family photos for mine.

I won't try and put the perfection into words. Let your own jaw drop too. (Be prepared for a ton of pictures.)

Living room:

  {This was my favorite space. I couldn't stop staring or talking about it!}
 Dining room/attached to Living Room:

{One of my other favorite spots in the house}
 {Umm... how many favorites am I allowed?}
 {Amazing storage--I love old houses}

 {Another favorite--I love this little niche!}
{I've never seen this done before as a counter top, and I totally love it}
 {Wainscoting abounds in this house, and I LOVE it. 
I especially love the no-fear color choices}
 {It's hard to see, I know, but check out the fabric covered headboard. 
I love the shape, and the olive tweed!}
 {So serene and homey feeling}

 {Colorful, whimsical, retro, and beautiful. I love it.}
Kid's bedroom:

 {Big, bold, floor to ceiling statement curtains were a common theme in the house.}

This wasn't even everything. It was dark outside, so you are missing out on the back porch (picture low benches with a slew of colorfully printed, mismatched shape and sizes throw pillows, vintage lanterns, and zen succulents), the back yard (a huge old mirror hanging on the fence above a sofa, raised stone fire pit, hot tub, umbrella covered picnic table), the guest house (still being decorated, but comparably adorable as the main mouse), and the exterior (Mexican style stucco painted chocolate brown, a front gate, a front lawn enclosed in manicured 15 foot tall bushes, and an adorable bungalow-esque overhang with pillars around the front door).

So do you understand my love affair?

What does your dream home look like?


deal alert!

I love silhouette art, don't you?

This deal from Cut Arts via Groupon can be enjoyed by anyone, not just LA residents.

The artist, Karl Johnson, is the real deal. His work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, O magazine, Domino, Elle Decor, Country Living, InStyle, Traditional Home, and many more.

Here is some of his work:


{ photos all found at Cut Arts website }

The deal is this: $25 worth of services for $12 (you can use this to cover a basic 5x7, or have $25 go toward a bigger, fancier order)

Snag it by April 18 at midnight!


not for my man, but maybe for yours?

My brother, of all people, sent me the link to this men's wedding band.

He is not into wedding planning, nor does he have immediate plans for having a wedding soon... but his friend sent it to him, and this is the one wedding detail that he will be putting his foot down about. That is hilarious to me, but besides the point :]

My husband obviously already has his ring (which is awesome, by the way), and this one really doesn't fit his personality anyway. But I have a feeling that this may float a lot of men's boats out there.

Does your man like tinkering with cars? Does he like taking things apart? Does he fix things?

He will most likely think this gear ring by Kinekt Design is pretty cool. I'd say it's pretty dang cool, as well.
{ Kinekt Design }
I love the uniqueness, and the design is pretty much flat out rad. Plus, it's made of stainless steel (which your manly man will love).

Check out the video for the full effect.

{For some reason, the video is slightly off-center in the frame. If you are annoyed by this, watch the link on YouTube. My tech-savvy skills aren't enough to figure this one out. Apologies.}

Did you watch it? Yeah. I know, right?

Oh, and did I mention the price tag? It's a jaw dropping $165. And it gets better still... free shipping worldwide AND a lifetime warranty. WHAT?! 

Hurry up and buy this thing before Kinekt realizes that they are being robbed.


because everyone loves a makeover...

I don't know about you, but I can't afford a shoe closet overhaul, no matter how much I may want one. So despite my longing for new shoes, I decided to work with what I had to give it a little boost.

Here is what I did:
1. Bought 2 pairs of $1.49 shoes (okay, this wasn't part of the plan--but it seemed like a practically free improvement!)
2. Pulled out a couple pairs that I'm just not feelin' anymore (i.e. So uncomfortable that I never wear them, anyway)
3. Washed 3 pairs of cloth flats
4. Spot treated my sneaks with carpet cleaner.
5. Cleaned the suede on some boots, and the details on my sneaks (and Matt's sneaks, too!)
6. Gave my favorite pair of shoes a makeover.

The makeover part is my real insider secret here, so I will explain.

Remember the days of shoe repair? Probably not. It was long ago. But why can't we keep that little corner cobbler in business? And why don't we even consider fixing our worn out shoes? Well, this is a loaded question, but the short answer is this: most of the shoes we buy are made cheaply to accommodate our throw-away consumer society. Most of our shoes are not repairable. But I bet you have at least one really good pair of shoes--or at least a leather pair. There are some things you can do to repair well-made shoes, with a little time, and oftentimes, only a few dollars.

I bought these shoes at least 5 years ago...and they are one of my absolute faves. They are such a fun, yet neutral color, and they are really comfortable, yet dressy enough for work. After about a year of wearing these shoes A LOT, I noticed that the gold was starting to wear off, especially at the toe and the heel. They were lookin' a little shabby. So I stopped wearing them, but couldn't give them up. Then I got the idea to try and repaint them. 

I went down to Sander's Shoe Repair in Salem, and picked up some Meltonian Nu Life Color Spray in Gold. They have a wide range of colors, so if I really wanted to, I could even change the color of these shoes completely. Keep in mind, if you are painting your entire shoe, you don't need to find an EXACT match, but if you are only touching up a spot or two, you need to choose your shade wisely. This gold is actually a little darker than the original shoe color, but I didn't mind.

In action:

Before and after:





Some other easy shoe repair:
Replace shoelaces (DIY)
Resole (go to a professional)
Retip (for pointy toe shoes-- again, go to a professional)
So what do you say? Are you feelin' a little cobbler in ya?


trying it on: Trend Alert

In a challenge (or gentle suggestion?) by Lauren from the little things we do... I was asked to wear the trend described in this post

She lives in Portland, and said that the tights-under-shorts look didn't seem very practical (or maybe a better word is "accepted") to wear there. Which it probably isn't. That is one plus that LA has... You can kind of get away with wearing whatever the heck you want*.

So what do you think? And try not to be mean, because I pretty much love this outfit :]

*I mean that in a dressing up kind of way... in Salem, you could get away with wearing pajamas and nappy sweats, and that is not so norm here...


the joys of finding a deal.

Don't you just love having "a find?" A cheapie surprise never fails to fill my heart with joy. :] Especially when you find out it's on sale at the register. Just sayin'.

So this was my amazing find today. These were at Old Navy, and were returned (unworn) from OldNavy.com. Since this is an online exclusive item, they discount it to get it out of the store, and give you an extra 50% off so you can't return it, and it won't end up in the store again. So these shoes were marked $2.99 and with the extra 50% off, they were $1.49 each. I KNOW, RIGHT?

So I paid $3.24 for two pairs of shoes.

Holla. And happy Friday to me!

I know they aren't exactly what I was longing for in my shoe closet post, but a deal is a deal, is a deal. So I don't know about you, but I will always find room in my shoe closet for a cute pair of $1.24 shoes. 

Even if they turn out to be the most uncomfortable shoes, ever. 

Worth it.
Related Posts with Thumbnails