Anthropologie and Creative Kidstuff have some company at the slow-to-get-going new Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. Love Culture is open, and ready to give H&M and Forever 21 some competition. Did the sign on that t-shirt table really say $2.90 each??! This fast growing, fast fashion chain was founded just two years ago in Los Angeles and now boasts 23 stores in 11 states. West End is Minnesota's first. The store is big and bright with lots of trendy temptations for less than $50 - heck, many less than $30 - like buckle ankle boots, sweater dresses, long tops, leggings and plenty of basics and accessories. Just be sure to try things on: the return policy is not-so-friendly and some items, like the $35 boots, are final sale - even at regular price. Still, great to have a new player in town!
Technology experts Meghan Wilker and Nancy Lyons of the Geek Girls Guide entered the FM107 studio for our Shop Girls radio interview pecking away at their iPhones. The minute the On Air light went on, they flipped me: recording our interview on one of those adorable little Flip video cams, which they consider one of the best things to happen to mothers since all-day kindergarten. You want to be friends with these two. They're with-it, working moms on the cutting edge of technology, but are able to talk about, well, geeky matters in an entirely approachable way. Here are a couple of the cool new things they told me about for iPhone devotees: The Owle Bubo, an attachment that turns the iPhone 3GS into a higher quality, more flexible video camera, and a couple of must-have apps that moms can feel good about using to bribe - er, educate - young kids: Baby Flash Cards and the pro-vegie game Pickin' Time. Geek Girls speak fashion too: they turned me on to Polyvore, a cool website where you can catch up on the hottest trends and actually mix and match pieces to create looks. Want more? Listen to a podcast of the Geek Girls on Shop Girls (Hour 1, Dec. 19).
So let me get this straight: StormSister Spatique in St. Paul is inviting women to bring the contents of their beauty junk drawer to the store. That's right, all of it. Owner and product fanatic Becky Sturm will clean up your stuff - those many lotions, potions and serums you bought or got for free and used once or not at all. She'll tell you what to keep, how to use it and what to toss. She'll even take care of recycling the throwaways. Then, Sturm will reward you for her efforts with samples and a voucher good for 50 percent off one product.
I love it when retailers make the effort.