Archive for January, 2011

The Plain Midwest

Monday, January 31st, 2011

This is one of the first images Google turns up for "Midwesterners". Only one pattern. Hmmmmm...

In her latest post, Penelope Trunk wrote something that kind of stuck in my craw:

“You know the pictures of Midwesterners in NYC? I spent ten years learning how to spot a Midwesterner in NYC but really, it only takes ten minutes. Because people in the Midwest have no style. It’s plain top, plain pants, plain shoes. You can rarely peg the decade their outfit comes from because it is tied to no particular style. I have made fun of this for years. And now I’m pretty sure it’s what I look like.”

Penelope Trunk

Now, as a girl who’s spent most of her life in the Midwest, I can tell you first hand it’s not the style mecca of the world.  But plain top, pants and shoes?  That really doesn’t accurately describe us.

After moving to Charleston, I did have to change my wardrobe.  I had a different career, climate and region to dress for.  Compared to Detroit, Charleston is more dressy, more feminine and lighter.

But have I gone from plain t-shirts to patterns?  Not exactly.  I still have plain t-shirts.  Dark jeans.  Black patent shoes (that I can assure you, are anything but plain.)

What does the rest of the world think?  Are Midwesterners … plain?

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SAG Confusion

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The SAG Awards were last night.   They’re not the hip Golden Globes and they’re not the granddaddy of them all – the Oscars.  The SAG’s are confused what kind of award show it could be (Hey! Let’s serve dinner during the show!)  and it seemed to show in the gowns many actresses picked.

Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal tweeted “Angie Harmon, great dress, but wrong venue. That’s an Oscar dress.”  I have to agree.  Plus, didn’t Sarah Jessica Parker wear the short version of this dress (famously) to the Emmy’s in 2000?

It’s only a matter of time before Kim Kardashian is declared “Sexiest Woman Ever”, so what happened in this Marchesa gown?  She looks more like a Real Housewife of New Jersey.  Maybe its all that time in NYC rubbing off on her.

January Jones’ Golden Globes Dress said all the right things.  This Carolina Herrera one said all the wrong things – not sexy, not current and not fashion forward.

I adore Jane Lynch.  But this purple taffeta number from Ali Rahimi it at the exact opposite end of the scale.  Perhaps she thought the theme was 80′s prom?  (I men, that theme does seem to be oh-so-popular these days.)

Give her a veil and bouquet and Winona Ryder could be wearing this Alberta Ferretti gown to renew her vows.  I just expect, way, way more from the Queen of Cool.

How did Dianna Agron from Glee manage to look old?  The length of her Chanel gown, the shoes, the dark make-up…it all contributed.  I have a feeling she was trying to look all Mad Men chic, but it just didn’t work.

What did you think of the dresses last night?  Any favorites?  I’m ready to see the Oscar fashions.  Hopefully they won’t disappoint.

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Beautiful Day

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

One of the big perks – if not the biggest perk – about moving to the South is the weather.  While our midwest counterparts are waiting for the groundhog to tell them when Spring will arrive, here in Charleston, it’s already here.  We are enjoying a day of 70 degrees plus.

While it won’t stay this way, its sure a welcome break in the colder weather.  These photos are from a walk I took in our neighborhood – Daniel Island.

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

Daniel Island - Charleston - Alesya Bags

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Favorite Photos

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

I’m taking a beginners photography class.  While I have no ideas about becoming a professional photographer, I would like the pictures I take to be better.  My latest assignment was to pick out some favorites shots.  Here are a few:

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Corporate Event Blogs

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Of course, we all know wedding blogs that we follow and love.  But do you have any blogs about corporate events that you love?  I’d really like to hear about them.  Please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments box or email me at alesya (at) alesyabags (dot) com.  Thank you!

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Why Being an Entrepreneur is Like Going to 2nd Base 1st

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

“We’re the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It is how we make our living.”

- President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 2011

If our President, the Leader of the Free World, is encouraging entrepreneurs, why aren’t there more of us?  Why aren’t college students asking how to get funding rather than how to write a resume?  Why aren’t children saying they want to be an entrepreneur when they grow up?

I’ll tell you why: Ambiguity.  Uncertainty.  Fear.

For most things in life there are directions.  Steps to follow.  Hoops to jump through.

Think about it – you go to school for the first twenty or so years of your life.  There are tests, class schedules, credits and graduations that tell you exactly what to do, when to do it and when you’ve crossed the finish line.  Grades to even tell you how really smart you are.

When you are dating cultural norms tell you how to do it.  Get the number.  Make the first date.  Hopefully make the third date.  Buy dinner.  Buy chocolate.  Buy flowers.  Don’t forget Valentine’s Day.

Even with mating there are steps to take.  First base.  Second base.  Third base.  And God forbid some poor schmo tries to go to second base before they go to first base.  Well, that would just be anarchy!

Starting a business is exactly the opposite of this.  There are no directions.  No 27 step plan to success.  No one to grade you on how well you negotiated that deal.

Its scary when you don’t know what to do.  Its even scarier when you’re right in the middle of everything and don’t know how well you are doing.  But the reward is totally worth the risk.  And its certainly worth feeling uncomfortable.

So how do we get more people to understand the sheer joy of launching your own venture?  For me, it took seeing it first hand.  What about you?

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Bag Available in Charleston?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

King Street

One of the questions I get most often is “Where are you going to sell the bag?”  Of course, they will be available online.  But I’d really like them to be sold somewhere in Charleston.  Supporting local folks is important to me and hopefully, this is another way to do it.

After extensive shopping, ahem, research I’ve narrowed down the stores I’d like to present my bags to for a potential partnership.  Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Biton – Clothes for the hippest folks in town.

Cooper Penny – Very stylish clothes and shoes for women who care about fashion.

Gwynn’s – The loveliest department store in the area.  Very high-end.

Hampden Clothing – Hard to find, emerging designers

Monkees – Southern chain carrying many designer brands.tw

Palm Avenue – Focuses on Lily Pulitzer, but has other fashionable brands as well.

Thera M. – Both classic and trendy pieces for women.

What are your thoughts?  Am I missing anyone?  Do you have a favorite on the list?

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Bag vs. Chinese New Year: An Update

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Last night I got the final update before the Chinese New Year.  Here’s the news – I’ll get a final sample bag in black with no custom hardware.   This isn’t great because:

1. I’m not offering a bag in black!  They couldn’t get the leather in colors I’ve picked delivered to the factory in time to make the sample.

2. I’m dying to see the custom hardware – you know, with the logo on it, etc.  If I can’t see it…well it makes it really difficult to approve, as you might imagine.

However, its not terrible news because:

1.  Even without the bag, I’m moving on with the website with placeholders and illustrations.  I’m actually more excited about this than the other photo shoot I had planned!

2.  The factory is still on track to have the bags done in March, which will get them here in April.  Which means I will hit my goal.  NICE.

Wanted to keep you all in the loop.  Things are moving along.  And I’m loving it!

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Update Coming Soon

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Hello folks!  I’ve had a busy day and half but I will be updating the blog today.  Actually there will be two updates – one on the bag and one as part of my regularly scheduled programming.  Sorry for the delay, but they will be up this afternoon!  ~A

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Fashion Illustration

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Last week I told my Sample Setback tale of woe.  While I was busy fretting, two folks chimed in with great comments.

Teresa nicely suggested a fashion illustrator while Dan Rudman gave me a much-needed kick in the pants saying, “I also believe that — if needed — you could find a way to launch *without* the photo shoot. Granted, having the photos would be great, but what if they aren’t there in time? How about sketches?”

Ohhh…right…I could put on my big girl panties and frickin’ FIGURE IT OUT.  What a crazy idea!

Yesterday I went to Stitch to discuss packaging.  While I was we there we also talked about the web site and guess what?  They’d come across a fashion illustrator recently.  Of course, they though of me since I wrote a whole blog post on how I was obsessed with Ruben Toledo.

Since I wrote about how much I loved fashion illustration would THINK I would have THOUGHT of that MYSELF.  However, that’s one of the great things about hashing all my issues out in this open forum.  I can count on a little help from my friends.

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