Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kate Design - Soft Luxurious Wearable Art

So, my obsession with fabulous accessories continues!  My latest discovery pairs a wonderfully whimsical British artist, living in St. Kitts, with a grounded, level headed business woman with fabulous taste and an entrepreneurial sprit.  The result is a collection of fine scarves which is more like a collection of fine art.  When Kate and Maria met on one fateful afternoon over a rum punch in St. Kitts, their lives changed…and so will yours.  Kate Design was born.

Kate Design West Indies Collection Shot
Kate Spencer is a well known British artist who is happy to call St. Kitts her home.  While she shows her work all over the Carribean and Europe, she absolutely loves living and working in the Carribean which is a constant inspiration for the artist.  Maria (that's Mar-i-a) is a recently wed 30 year old with a love for, and background in, business and branding, and a huge appreciation for Kate's art and a desire to share it with the world.

Their first collection, the West Indies Collection,  launched a few months ago with 5 fabulous designs…3 of which are available on Shoddy-Ba-Chic.  Each scarf, says Kate, "starts life as a large oil canvas in my studio. It’s a combination of design and figurative painting. The understanding of the harmony of color has really been my study,”  Once the design is complete, the scarves come to life.  Woven in Kashmir from the finest fabrics, hand dyed by artisans, washed using natural Kashmir spring water, and finished manually…the finished product is second to none.  To see it is to love it…to wear it is to be obsessed!  So soft to the touch... whether you wear it around your neck as a scarf or around your body as a cover up, wrap, or sarong…you will never want to take it off.  It is like wrapping yourself in a gorgeous work of art.

Seahorse (my favorite)

How lucky we are that these two fabulous women met.  I am thrilled to have discovered them and to be able to showcase their collection on Shoddy-Ba-Chic.  What a wonderful way to love and appreciate one of the the Carribean's greatest artist!  Available in a single weight ($225) and a double weight ($325)…the reasonable prices make these works of art accessible to the many art and fashion lovers around the world.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ava Maistrellis Wallets - Organize your life with flare!'s been a long time since I posted! So excited to have a fun new designer to write about who, while going through a divorce, healed her broken heart with some retail therapy and found she not only had a passion for shopping, but also for designing beautiful, functional, and fabulous wallets! I guess the joke is on him!
If you are anything like me, your wallet is more like a dumpster for receipts than a carrier of money. The mile long receipts I get from the grocery store are among the most annoying to me. Or, the numerous "frequent shopper" cards that I can never find at checkout so it can be "punched." Imagine if your wallet and your organizer could all be in one place. Meet Ava Maistrellis, who's need for fashion and function led her to create The Silver Lining Wallet. Like an accordion file organizes a business persons files, The Silver Lining Wallet organizes every woman's life. Designed with tabs to separate and organize the endless receipts, papers, cards, etc...that seem to find their way into our wallets.

After years of research and prototypes, Ava has perfected and launched her collection of wallets made from fine Italian leather in Camel, Raspberry, Orange and Black. Each wallet comes with tabs with headings like "wine & dine","travel", "Rx", "returns", "retail therapy", "bank"...and more! Additional themed tab sets can be purchased, depending on your lifestyle, including "9 to 5", "retail therapy", and "full house."

I have always said that I think wallets are very personal. Personally, I think that this is the greatest one around...beautiful and fits the bill for every woman. It can be tucked away in your favorite handbag or carried on it's own. It's the perfect accessory for somebody like me...who needs all the help I can get on the organization front.

Since one of my my missions at Shoddy-Ba-Chic is to find new relatively unknown designers and introduce them to my shoppers, I was thrilled to meet Ava and fall in love with her wallets. Try one and find out for yourself how fabulous and organized you can be!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wilbur & Gussie and affordable!

When I decided to start Shoddy-Ba-Chic, my goal was to stock the website with unique items that couldn't be found everywhere...preferably that couldn't be found anywhere! Imagine my delight when a dear friend told me about her cousin, American born but raised and still living in London, who designed a collection of clutches. Imagine my greater delight when I discovered they looked like this...and they weren't carried anywhere in the USA!

In 2005, two friends decided it was time to move past their careers in film, jewelry design, and fashion buying, and do something for themselves. Friends since their teenage years, Brett and Lucy put their experience to use and, named for their beloved dogs, Wilbur & Gussie was born. Their collection of affordable and fabulous clutches has grown through the years but my favorites happen to be the simplest. The envelope style clutches come in so many colors and designs, they are perfect for a formal occasion or a casual night out with the girls.

Check out Pippa's clutch!

And a more formal style...

The bags can not currently be found anywhere in the USA and they are coveted throughout England and Europe by "it"girls and royalty alike. The perfect clutch for the holiday season, or any the first to have one before they take America by storm. I have it on good authority that they are about to!

Monday, November 14, 2011

East meets West in Frankie Slaughter's works of Art!

I first learned about Frankie Slaughter at a trunk show she had at Goodie 2 Shoes, my favorite small boutique in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. My mother, a huge fan of Frankie's work, encouraged me to go despite the fact that I was 7 months pregnant...not the most opportune time to invest in a fabulous jacket...but invest I did and I have never looked back. Three years later, and entrenched in the process of trying to start my website, I tracked Frankie down at that same boutique in Jackson Hole. I explained to her that my dream was to start a site where one could buy some one of kind high end items along with some more affordable, but still fabulous, things. When I thought about what it would look like, I thought about Frankie. Primarily sold through trunk shows around the country, Frankie agreed to let me showcase and sell her work on Shoddy-Ba-Chic. I was thrilled! The pieces I have on my site are some of my personal favorites but, let me know your thoughts, if you have a color palate or silhouette in mind, I am sure Frankie could dream something living back in Hong King, I am sure she will be further inspired...who knows what will be next!

Frankie, a native of Virginia and a mixed media artist by trade, moved to Asia for nearly a decade, and was forever changed. Upon her return to Virginia, Frankie began to realize how inspired she had been by the wearable art in ancient cultures. Different fabrics and textures, which were so "everyday" in Asia were suddenly extraordinary to her, and that began to show in her work. Her one of a kind jackets, among other things, are made by mixing textiles and ornaments from East and West, so clearly inspired by the ancient culture of Asia and the modern world of America. All of them different, all of them fabulous, quite simply, her jackets are works of art.

Lucky for us, Frankie has recently expanded her collection to include bags that are made from leather and remnants from her jackets. Perfect for an overnight or for everyday, these bags are second to none! new personal favorite, Frankie uses the same textiles and ornaments used in her fabulous jackets and has created a cuff that is so naturally chic...mixed in a "Frankie" kind of way and placed atop a sterling silver cuff, I have never seen anything like this. At the risk of sounding like a giddy teenager...It is AWESOME!

While Frankie's designs cover a wide range of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and is all personal to Frankie and to it's buyer. Everything is one of a kind and reflects something about the artist and the buyer. Try one on, dare to be different, and show the world who you are!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You all don't know this about me but I am accessory, and specifically handbag, obsessed! Imagine my surprise and excitement when I was stumbling through the Atlanta Gift Mart and found this gem who is Phil LuanGrath! I mean, I knew there would be some cute things there, but these bags are SPECTACULAR!!!! All made with love in Argentina from Nile or Caiman Crocodile, Python or Ostrich, no detail has been overlooked. They are perfection. And, while I know they are on the pricey side, for those of you who have some wiggle room in your wallet, these are worth EVERY PENNY! Designed in a variety of silhouettes, from wallets to satchels, to clutches, to totes, these bags are all suede lined with inside zip and open pockets as well as cell phone holders. The bags displayed on Shoddy-Ba-Chic are in stock and looking for a home now! But, here is the best, you can special order from Phil any skin, color, and bag your heart desires.

A little something about the genius who makes these bags. For 14 years prior to founding his company, Phil co-designed and manufactured wonderful home furnishings with his partner. For Phil, it was a natural transition to the world of handbags and Phil LuanGrath exotic skin handbags and accessories was established in 2008. With a bachelors degree in fine art, every bag is conceived with art and design in mind; always contemplating detail, shape and form. Although relatively new to the world of fashion, Phil is already moving forward and will be adding exotic skin ladies shoes and Italian lambskin leather apparel to his collection, soon. Lucky us!

Get in early...Phil is the next great name in the world of exotic bags!

This clutch is so yummy for a night out with the girls!

Don't forget about the men in your life....Phil hasn't!

I just can't pick a favorite!

Well...maybe I can!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wow, it has been an exciting few days. After almost a year of preparation, the site launched and I got some feedback on all the products that I have been so excited about. I shipped my first packages out today and that feels good! Wouldn't you like this to arrive at your door?

On this Blog, I am planning to highlight all the designers with whom I am working so my readers and shoppers can get a better idea of how unique a lot of the products are as well as the people who design them.. Today, I will start with Anna Trzebinski.

Anna is a native Kenyan; well, born in Germany but moved to Kenya at a very young age and has no memory of growing up anywhere else but Kenya. Anna is also a passionate designer who is inspired by the culture and traditions of Kenya and, among other pieces, she designs the pashminas carried on Shoddy-Ba-Chic. The Pashminas are woven in Nepal from Tibetan yarns and shipped to Anna in Kenya. There, the tribal women, who she has trained in her workshop, attach by hand a variety of native feathers and beads to create the works of art that are the finished product. It is a painstaking process but, Anna's passion is not only for the products she sells, but for the women who make them and for her native Africa. The women she trains have a job they are proud of, put food in the mouths of their family, and are great role models for their children and young people of Kenya. Anna is also passionate about giving back and helping her community triumph over the adversity that many Kenyans face.

I was fortunate enough to track Anna down, through a mutual friend, and tell her a bit about myself and my website. While her pashminas are primarily sold to discerning shoppers at trunk shows around the world, she kindly agreed to allow me to carry her pashminas on Shoddy-Ba-Chic. I have been fortunate enough to travel to Kenya twice in my life and, both times, I was incredibly inspired by Kenya and its people. I am thrilled to be able to sell her works of art and bring awareness to the tribal women of Kenya who create them! Please see my website to take a look and see the images below. I can work with Anna to get the exact color, size, and feathers your heart desires!