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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘shop girls’

Diana Exhibit @ MOA

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Tonight, I got to preview Diana, A Celebration, the exhibit opening Saturday, Feb. 4 at Mall of America. I was totally impressed. So much of the advance talk has been about Princess Diana’s 1981 royal wedding dress, with its 25-foot train–that I had no idea how much more the exhibit had to offer: a look at Princess Diana’s childhood, her charity work around the world and a collection of 28 dresses she wore through her years in the public eye. Fascinating to see how the fashions changed and her sophistication evolved. Sad to recall how abruptly it all ended.

Mall of America campaigned hard to get the exhibit, which travels to just a couple of cities each year, and always returns to Diana’s family estate, Althorp, in England for a summer display. (William walked Kate through these very artifacts before their own wedding.) Tune in to myTalk107.1 at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, when exhibit handler Nick Grossmark will talk about Diana’s impact on fashion and share more behind-the-scenes tidbits with me on Shop Girls.

The exhibit is on the fourth floor (across from Hooters). Once inside, you’ll forget where you are, and remember where you were for a couple of the most-watched events in modern history. Tickets start at $23.50 for adults and $13.50 for children. Purchase them at guest service desks throughout the mall and the exhibition box office. Diana: A Celebration will be at MOA through June 10.

Tabatha’s Take on New Season

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I spoke to Tabatha Coffey, the no-nonsense hair dresser turned TV host, author and business coach, in anticipation of her season premiere tonight on Bravo. This season, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover becomes Tabatha  Takes Over as the tell-it-like-it-is queen of common sense tries to save a gay bar, a doggie day care, a bed and breakfast and a beauty school.

“So many people have written to me to say ‘I wish you would come to my business and help me,’” Coffey says. “It’s a natural progression. Business is business–especially when you’re dealing with the customer service industry and all the problems small businesses face.”

She starts the season true to her roots, by taking over Jungle Red Salon in Minneapolis. Bravo’s plot summary says “Owner Suzanne Erickson seems more interested in acting like a teenager than a boss.” Coffey is actually gentler: “Suzanne got off track. She was one of the girls, which is really a problem. You have to be a leader and hold your staff accountable.”

Coffey, who is still in touch with Jungle Red, says things at the salon are going much better now. She applauds Jungle Red for getting organized, getting better educated and dreaming up a signature hair cut, “The Sex Kitten.” “It’s very fitting for Jungle Red,” Coffey says. “And anything that helps you stand out in the market is a great thing. I think they’ll do well.”

She was less optimistic about H Design Salon at Lake and Lyndale, which will also be taken over by Tabatha later this season. “It was a unique situation. The owner is not a hairdresser. He didn’t know what he needed to give his staff to do their jobs effectively.” And it sounds like he didn’t take much advice.

“I do my best to go and try to help people see things from a different point of view,” Coffey says. “At the end of the day, as much as I try to get the staff to be honest about their problems, if the leader of the team doesn’t want to listen to that advice, things aren’t going to change.”

Attend a Tabatha viewing party tonight on the second floor of Seven, 700 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. The Jungle Red staff will be there to reveal “The Sex Kitten” cut in a runway show, and watch the episode, which airs at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

Want more? Listen to my conversation with Tabatha on Shop Girls, myTalk107.1 (halfway through hour 2 of  Jan. 7 show.)

Win VIP MOA Parking + $25

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Some retail destinations promote their selection or sales this time of year. At Mall of America, all that’s a given. The issue is getting to it. Thus, the “12 Days of Parking” promotion. MOA is reserving 12 front row parking spots for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I’m giving them away today-Saturday, Dec. 10–on Shop Girls. A dozen listeners will be guaranteed VIP parking for next Saturday, Dec. 17. Each winner will also receive a $25 mall gift card. (And we all know you could spend that thing four or five times over in the minutes you’ll save searching for a parking spot.) Listen to win, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today on myTalk107.1.

P.S.: You’ll get another chance to win Tuesday in our shopping e-newsletter, Swag.

Weather Vs. Calendar

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

A caller this weekend on Shop Girls was headed to a wedding and wanted to know if, on the unseasonably cold day, she could wear black tights with her short black party skirt and Mary Janes. My co-host Alexis Walsko said an emphatic no – it’s mid-May, for goodness sakes. I encouraged her to go for it – especially in a place like Minnesota, where I wore white jeans last Monday and a heavy wool sweater on Saturday, dress for the day, rather than some idealistic calendar of seasons. Increasingly, we see designers creating seasonless collections, and that’s a function of travel, crazy weather, and a more individual approach to fashion. Particularly at a transitional time of year like this, anything goes. At an event this week, I saw women in head to to black, and in a white short sleeve t-shirt and silver skirt. The best outfit is the one you feel good in, no matter the weather. Even better: ignore the forecast all together and take a date who will drop you at the door.

All about the brides

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Time to get married. Or at least start realizing your dream wedding. Mpls.St.Paul Weddings presents the Bridal Party this  Sunday, Jan. 9 at The Depot (details here) and in anticipation, we highlighted some trends bright and early on Fox 9 Morning News with M.A. Rosko. Some of my favorite details:

Time to move beyond cupcakes. Miniature desserts are gaining popularity - like these individual wedding cakes by Grandma's Bakery in White Bear Lake

And speaking of mini, these cake lollipops by Cocoa & Fig are always a hit, either as a bite-sized dessert table treat or individually wrapped to take home.

Did you notice how I went straight to the sweets? Backing up a bit:

A loose up-do by Sarah Sponberg of MN Bridal Makeup (she did the airbrushing too). The hair looks soft, lovely and natural (no one has to know it took hours and is rock hard with hairspray)

Gowns from Priscilla of Boston

Oh yes, the dresses! We wanted to cover a variety of looks and trends with just three dresses and arrived at these from Priscilla of Boston.
Left: Vera Wang strapless silk mermaid gown with swirling tissue organza flanges on skirt. Note the jeweled grosgrain sash at the waist, a way to add a pop of color or embellishment, without committing for the whole night – take it off after the ceremony, or put it on for the reception. Available in lavender and blush tones for a more subtle look. ($4,650)

Middle: Platinum for Priscilla of Boston textured organza and tulle ball gown with a classic art deco styled belt and full, draped skirt. Fulfills the princess fantasies, while looking contemporary. ($4,975)

Right: Melissa Sweet strapless silk chiffon short dress with ostrich feather skirt. Yes, you can wear a short dress for a fancy wedding. Tea-length and even above the knee gowns are gaining popularity. Perfect for the bride who wants to show off her legs…or just have a little more fun. ($2,975).

P.S.: Another bridal event kicks off in Minneapolis this weekend: the first Bridal Expo at Macy’s, downtown Minneapolis. Every week through Feb. 13, take advantage of bridal trunk shows and advice from industry experts like The Wedding Guys, Sheree Bocheneck, creative director for Apres Party and Tent Rental and others. The festivities culminate with a bridal sample sale Feb. 10 to 13. (Event details here, and call 612-375-2162 for appointments and more.) This Saturday, Jan. 8, join me and my mom Harmony Kaplan as we broadcast Shop Girls from the first floor of the downtown Macy’s. That’s 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on myTalk107.1.

LEGO mania at MOA

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

You can leave the hand sanitizer at home on Saturday, Dec. 4: LEGO is unveiling a new Imagination Center at Mall of America. Yes, that means brand new bins of LEGOs for kids to build. The store, still on the first floor, south side, will feature seven brand new LEGO models including the world’s largest LEGO model, a 34 foot tall robot and the largest pick-a-brick wall with 180 bins. Tune in to Shop Girls at 12:30 p.m. CST Saturday to hear a LEGO brand manager talk about the making of this new store. And one more fun fact for you (I feel like such a LEGOs nerd, but who doesn’t like LEGOS?): the word LEGO is a contraction of two Danish words, leg and godt, which means Play Well.

A Saturday with Rick Springfield

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

He didn’t serenade me with an acoustic version of Jessie’s Girl (“You have to pay for that”), but I’ll forgive my childhood crush Rick Springfield because he was so candid, so interesting and so game during our time together yesterday. And we did spend a good bit of time: First he came to the myTalk 107.1 studios to appear on Shop Girls. “Is this live?” he asked as his music began to roll. It was – and my co-host Alexis Walsko and I really got him talking, and even laughing – clearly not his comfort zone. Eat your heart out, Barbara Walters, Rick talked to the Shop Girls about his wife’s reaction to his book which details his many, many illicit trysts (she doesn’t want to read it and is on a spa retreat to escape the media glare), his future writing plans (novels, healthy living guide – sky’s the limit), his work out regimen at a “ladies gym” in Malibu – alongside Matthew McConaughey and Pierce Brosnan, and what he has in common with Paris Hilton. We also hit on the serious side of the memoir – Rick’s lifelong battle with depression.  Hear the full interview.
Then it was on to Mall of America where Rick signed copies of his new memoir “Late Late at Night.” I asked him what it’s like to have groupies show up in t-shirts emblazoned with his face. “I don’t think of them as groupies,” he said. “Groupies are girls who come backstage and want to have sex. They’re fans. And it’s nice.” Ok, then!
After two hours of autographs, Rick and I went shopping. For all the celebs that are “muchtoobusy” to give me 20 minutes, Rick was quite willing to spend more than that: he wanted to go “shop” for vintage cars (his fleet includes a ’63 Corvette) or hit an animal shelter (no kidding- I spent three weeks back and forth with his publicity team trying to arrange this around his schedule, mine and the limited hours of far away car places). But he also wanted to get back to writing and get to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for dinner, so we settled for book browsing at Barnes & Noble and talked about everything from Star Wars to sinking ships to Sci-Fi. A parent to two boys, just like me, he promised I would one day again have the time to read. You can read all about my shopping escapades with Rick Springfield in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Iron Mike talks shop

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Iron Mike Ditka stopped by the myTalk 107.1 studio for a live chat with the Shop Girls on Saturday. We think he got lost on his way out of sportsville am1500, but decided to take full advantage. He looked sharp in a black shirt, jeans, boots and aviator glasses. His hair was perfect (I asked about it, but he didn’t give away trade secrets). When we admired his shades, he recounted an amusing tale about wearing them to Whole Foods (he’s so fancy), buying his groceries, paying (no reusable bags), getting in his car to go home – and reading about the entire episode, sunglasses and all, in the gossip columns the next day. “Why is that news?” he asked. Probably because we’d have to think about things like oil spills and the economy if it wasn’t.
Hear the whole conversation – including his thoughts on Brett Farve and Bud Selig and skinny jeans here.
Okay, not skinny jeans.

Where Geek Girls and Shop Girls collide

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

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).

Beauty of a deal

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Organic Divas founder Ann Garrity appeared on Shop Girls today, encouraging us to seriously consider the content of our cosmetics. You can start with the "Diva Challenge" on - but be prepared to purge most of what you've got. To help rebuild, Organic Divas is offering my listeners an exclusive 20 percent discount on orders placed today and tomorrow. Promo code: shopgirls. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved