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Mickey Mouse hits on mamas

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

It’s not enough to dominate the toy store with Buzz, Woody, Ariel and Hannah games, clothes and lunch boxes – Disney wants parents too. Its latest collaborations include designer handbags and maternity apparel. This week, Dooney & Bourke debuted a collection of bags decorated with Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and their respective crowns and castles. Prices range from $70 to $220. (find them here.) Motherhood maternity recently introduced maternity shirts, sleepwear and accessories featuring Mickey, Minnie and Winnie the Pooh. Indeed, the Disney marketing even covers the womb.

Oscar & Belle store closing

Friday, June 11th, 2010

There’s nothing glamorous about running a store – even in a charmed neighborhood like Linden Hills; even selling darling high end baby apparel and bedding that’s organic to boot. Oscar & Belle plans to close its retail space by June 24 – after just a year of business. The local company is going back to focusing on what it does best: design and manufacturing. The line is sold at 75 boutiques nationwide and online. In a statement released today, owner Anna Gustafson said, “Our wholesale business is growing with some new opportunities on the horizon and I am unable to effectively do it all.” Gustafson and her husband are also expecting their first baby in August – and having one baby to pour all your time and energy into is more than enough.
See closing sale details here.

Happy little feet

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Great resource for grown up girls with petite feet:, specializing in women’s sizes 4 to 5 1/2. The site features vintage shoes  (smaller feet, back in the 20’s) and new shoes are coming soon.

Double the shoes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

After more than 20 years together, Grethen House and Netc are splitting up. No need to pick sides – the separation is amicable. Netc is moving down the block at 50th & France, to the former Stephanie’s space near The Loft. Owner Nancy has a new partner as she starts contemplating scaling back her workload. They will open as Netc the first week of June with an expanded assortment of high-end shoes and accessories. Meanwhile, Grethen House is wasting no time filling the void with its own spin on shoes and accessories to complement the designer fashions that have made this boutique a destination for decades. From two proven vets like these, I say the more the merrier.

Third spot’s the charm?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Zelaz is on the move again. Following stints at Ridgedale and the Wayzata Bay Center, the locally owned tween and teen retailer plans to settle down in Excelsior. The new location will open Thursday, May 20 at 287 Water St. Let’s hope the third spot’s the charm for this mother-daughter owned boutique – one of the very few independents that balances a look trendy enough for tweens but modest enough for their moms. Click here for details on the opening sale.

Dig the junk

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Junk collectors have to know they are but one cable show away from becoming hoarders. Collector, author and celebrated re-purposer Sue Whitney can’t stop gathering junk, but she does know when it’s time to sell. This week, she returns to retail (her former store in Long Lake used to draw from miles around) at Art + Architecture. Here’s but a small taste of the redone goods for sale. Click here for more details on the event. Whitney is already planning a return to Art + Architecture most likely in October.

Oscars fashion: Best all around

Monday, March 8th, 2010

The girl next door did not disappoint! And why not dress a little like an Oscar when it's your night to win one? Sandra Bullock looked perfect. Love the red lip. Love the hair down – so shiny and sleek! The dress was gorgeous, and more importantly so was she.

Voltage Spring 2010 Preview

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Fresh from the Voltage Spring 2010 Preview fashion show tonight at the studios of Vision Management, it's exciting to see the local fashion scene growing up. This was an invite-only event geared towards getting retailers interested in selling the clothes that will appear in the Voltage: Fashion Amplified show on April 16. The objective being to take local designs from runway to retail. I'll share my perspective on that in my Savvy Shopper column in this Sunday's St. Paul Pioneer Press. But I won't keep you in suspense over the hip crowd that attended tonight's show: Project Runway's Christopher Straub and Fox 9's Robyne Robinson were there, having contributed accessories for the show. Macy's fashion expert Laura Schara and the owners of several local boutiques were there – as was my shopping buddy, Calvin Klein model Will Defiel, just back from walking in the Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabanna shows in Milan. Not bad. But about the fashion. PFT Couture was a definite highlight (shown with a Christopher Straub handbag): IMG_0404

Danielle Everine showed potential with a feminine take on tailored clothing: IMG_0398 And here's CK model Will Defiel, just because he looks so cute. IMG_0396

Oh no: Satin pants

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Just received the Banana Republic Spring/Summer 2010 look book, which has a slouchy tailored vibe. I might – might – be able to giddyup through the denim-ness of it all: denim trench coat, denim shirt dress, denim shirts with jeans. But silk and satin pants? I'm worried. Very, very worried.

Bananaspringdenim Bananasatin

The deals keep coming

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Everyone who sells anything seems to be caught up in Black Friday fever this year. Stores that hadn't planned a sale are making one up as we speak. That's the beauty of smaller retailers – they can discount on a dime! Some of the latest: Urban Junket is offering 20 percent off on its popular new eco-friendly, multi-functional, bright colored T.O.T.E. bags. Enter THANKS at checkout through Nov. 30. Arafina is offering 30 percent off clearance – just until NOON, 20 percent after that. Doozie's doing doorbusters – 20 percent off, just until noon. Mystery discount at Creative Kidstuff: 10 to 30 percent off your purchase. Uber Baby's got 40% off. Ooh – here's a good one: 30 percent off site-wide at trendy plus size retailer today only. Check Sales/Specials for tons more Black Friday sales more civilized and stylish than big box mayhem.

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