Mark Your Calendars for this Fall’s Edition of The Ivy Market

     The Ivy Market returns next week, October 9th and 10th, at the University of Richmond’s Jepson Alumni Center.

     It looks like a couple of new vendors have been added to the line-up of unique boutiques.  Collard Greens is an eco-friendly but preppy mostly men’s clothing line.

I wonder if anyone on my shopping list would love this pig bowtie as much as I do?

     Lindsay Cowles is one of my favorite local artists.

A St. Catherine’s graduate, Lindsay is always such a delight to talk to whenever I see her showing her captivating work.   Dubbed a “Design Genius” by popular design blog Sadie + Stella, Lindsay and her nature-inspired oils will be a wonderful addition to The Ivy Market.

     I am also looking forward to seeing some of my favorite vendors’ latest offerings.

Lori Daniel Rowland‘s new wrap bracelets with rhinestone button closures look fabulous.  The Ivy Market is definitely the place to update your look with some new accessories.

     With donations being accepted at the door for ASK, The Ivy Market provides the perfect combination:  great shopping for an even greater cause.  Make plans to put on your cute shoes, and get your holiday shopping started next Tuesday and Wednesday.


Simplest Christmas Bauble Ever

     About the only Christmas decorations that I have put up so far this year are the ones on my ears.  I get more compliments on my Christmas ball earrings.  They come in any color that you can find at your local Christmas decoration retailer.

     They really are the easiest thing to make ever.  The hardest part is fighting the crowds at the local craft ( Ben Franklin or Michael’s for me) to find the earring loops.  I do pay a bit extra for the sterling.

In addition to the balls and loops, you will need a small pair of needle-nose pliers to open up the loop.

          Insert your favorite little ball ornament.  Tighten the loop and voilá. 

You can have a pair to match every outfit for under $2.  Plus they are the perfect gift for the tweeners in your life.

     At least I am decorated for the holidays.

All photos by Avad Fan.


“atlantic embroidery Works” for Me, plus an Amy Butler Trunk Show

I am crazy for monograms.  Maybe it’s my font fetish, or maybe it’s just a Southern thing.  Either way all of my bath towels have monograms, and I love to give gifts that are personalized with a unique monogram design.  Monograms never go out of style, and the creative possibilities with monogramming are endless.

Dorm curtains in Lilly Pulitzer's "Jungle Orchid"

towel proof

Monograms can be very practical, especially when someone is heading to communal living at college.  Before my daughter headed off this fall, she was supplied with a small arsenal of freshly monogrammed towels color-coordinated with her dorm room bedding.  Once we picked the towels at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I headed straight to atlantic embroidery Works (yes, the spelling is right) for the personalization.

If my memory serves me correctly (and now that it is close to the half-century mark, it may be a little off), I first encountered aeW several years ago after I purchased a custom-designed monogram that the new business had contributed to a silent auction.  Little did I know that this purchase would be the the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

When I first walked into aeW and began looking at its impressive array of fonts (check the selection out here), I felt just like a kid in a candy shop.  The choices really were overwhelming, but aeW’s delightful designer, Niky Davis, walked me through the custom process step-by-step.  We analyzed each letter to be used in the monogram, and I told her what I liked and didn’t like about each of the letters in many different font styles.  Then Niky hit the books.  After much digging and designing, she devised the perfect monogram to fit our tudor-style home.  Now every time I need to personalize household towels or bedding, I just bring the items to Niky, and all we have to do is choose the color thread and the size.

      I still get to play with all of the fonts that aeW showcases when I am choosing personalization for gifts.  Niky and owner, Craig Mayhew, also make it easy when I am not sure what to give.  Their store is full of great home and personal items that can easily be monogrammed, and the price on their items includes the monogramming.

     This week, aeW is hosting a special trunk show of Amy Butler gifts for yourself or others.  Starting with a Girls’ Night Out from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12th, you can see over 80 pieces of the Amy Butler travel and fashion line just waiting for aeW personalization.  These bright, colorful pieces have been brightening the aeW’s showroom located upstairs at the Village Shopping Center (7027 Three Chopt Road, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23226) for over a year, and I’ve been looking for the right occasion to buy one.  With the new styles colors in the Amy Butler catalog, I think that I have identified the perfect recipient (or two).  Bonus:  as part of the trunk show, all Amy Butler items purchased at aeW Wednesday night will be 15% off, and Thursday through Saturday they will be 10% off.

I can’t think of a better reason to stop by aeW, visit Niky and knock out some of my birthday and holiday gift-buyingHope I’ll see you there.


Missoni Fever Hits Richmond

     After a beautiful morning of golf, I got to Target with my playing partners yesterday around 1:00 p.m.  On the way over I remembered that it was launch day at Target for the unique clothing, accessories and household designs of the venerable Italian fashion house, Missoni.  By the time we walked through the Libbie Place doors, the stylish stock was completely picked over.

     An hour later, the Forest Hill store had even less left.  Trying to score anything on-line is just as hard.  In fact Target has such an on-line demand, I have had to wait in line to get on its website, which apparently crashed at some point from the demand.  The real gems are sold out and unlikely to be restocked anywhere according to the Chicago Tribune.

     I can’t believe that I managed to cobble together this melamine service for 8.  It will be so fun to use this fall and will add a very modern touch to my black and white kitchen.  I’ve got a couple of special occasions in mind.

      Yes, Target did a lot to hype this launch and got the blog world abuzz.  The public responded, though, because Target delivered great design at affordable prices.  That’s what this Avad Fan is always seeking, and I appear to have a lot of company.  Retailers, take note.  The economy can use this kind of fever.


Stony Point is My Fashion Park

     I love visiting Stony Point Fashion Park.  Though not far from our home, the trip across the James River to get there feels like an adventure for a West Ender.  Having survived its opening on that infamous September day in 2003 when Hurricane Isabelle roared through Richmond leaving a path of destruction in her wake, Stony Point has remained an inviting open-air experience that still seems to be thriving despite the churlish economy.  I am always eager to go hunting for fabulous finds throughout this ever-evolving pedestrian setting filled mostly with stores and restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else in Richmond.

     My schedule usually only allows for quick dashes over to Stony Point to pick up make-up at Saks Fifth Avenue or grab the latest athletic gear for my son at Dick’s, which is housed in one of the most beautiful sporting goods stores that you could ever imagine (it was originally built as a Galyan’s).  With all of the graduation planning and other end-of-school year activities, I have not had a chance to spend any time at Stony Point this beautiful spring.  I hadn’t even realized this until an out-of-town friend began raving about the great variety of new merchandise, as well as sale items, that she had found in Anthropologie when she visited with her daughters the other week.

Hyacinth Afternoon Shift

     Piqued by her recommendation, I managed to squeeze in a bit of time before graduation to venture across the river to see if anything at Anthropologie might work for me.  I really wanted something wonderful to wear for our Graduation Celebration.  While Anthropologie’s latest designs are always intriguing, they are often hit or miss for women of a certain age (and body shape) like me.

     I could not have been more delighted as I walked through the store.  By the time I had completed a full tour, I had a large dressing room full of fun clothes to try.  Amazingly, several items actually worked, and I had a tough decision between two dresses for the party.  I finally selected this lady-like yet modern one thinking that I will be able to use it a lot more than the filmier other choice.

     While Anthropologie now seems to be everywhere, I still love the feeling of walking out of its old loft-like stores with something new and a little offbeat.  Ever since I walked into its Soho flagship before the brand had spread throughout the country, its retro yet fresh styling has appealed to me.  When Anthropologie arrived in little ol’ Richmond for Stony Point’s opening, I felt as though we had won the lottery.  My friends in Atlanta didn’t even have an Anthropologie store.

     Walking out of Anthropologie last week with my new dress, along with two new shirts, I was feeling fine.  Then I glanced across the way, and what did I see?  Look what little ol’ Richmond is getting next.

Tiffany & Co.'s first Richmond area store is opening in the fall.

Just one more reason to love Stony Point Fashion Park and keep coming back!


Conversation Starter: JPG Ltd. Jewelry

     Have you ever worn a piece of jewelry that actually has strangers stopping you in the airport to ask about it?  What about one that has jaded salesgirls in boutiques drooling?  Any item that can have that effect on people is remarkable indeed and most unique.

     My current piece falling into that category is the large ARLO in sterling silver by JPG Ltd

Named for a beautiful little girl here in Richmond, mine is nestled on a necklace of silver nuggets that really makes the pendant stand out.  The coral design is 3″ wide and 3 1/4″ long giving it a remarkable presence that really catches peoples’ eyes.

     JPG Ltd. is Janet Porcher Gregg, a creative type of the first order.  Currently living in a charming cottage on the Battery in Charleston, Janet previously worked for the likes of Charlotte Moss in New York.  Interior design, floral design, jewelry design:  Janet’s talent and style are impressive and have made me an Avad Fan.  Take a look at her home featured through Cottage Living on myhomeideas.com.  She clearly has a knack for creating stunning settings.

JPG Ltd. 2011 Collection

     Janet’s jewelry collection consists of a wide variety of statement pieces.  She sells her pieces at trunk shows throughout the country, as well as on her website.  I have had the opportunity to see these pieces at trunk shows held as fundraisers for the World Pediatric Project  (formerly the International Children’s Hospital) based here in Richmond. 

     My most recent purchase was this long necklace (doubled here) made of cut quartz.  I love the feel of the natural quartz, which is beautifully separated by gold beads.  It was just what I needed to update my look.

     You know that you have found a winner when you put on a piece of jewelry, and it makes you feel good.  It’s cache goes up even further when your friends compliment it.  When total strangers strike up a conversation about your fabulous necklace, you know that you have hit the jackpot.  Janet Gregg’s designs do so every time.

1st and 3rd pics by Avad Fan.


Liza Byrd Sets Up Shop at 5807!

     I was so excited to stumble upon the new Liza Byrd Boutique space in the Shops at 5807 yesterday.  For years, I have been an Avad Fan and customer of Liza Byrd’s unique and fabulous novelty clothes, gifts and occasional home goods.  She regularly participates in the annual fundraising marketplaces around town like St. Catherine’s Daisy Days and St. Christopher’s Fall Festival, but now, with a permanent site, I can find her upbeat pieces whenever I get the whim.

     The new shop, which just opened yesterday, is filled with ladies and children’s clothing all ready to take you through the summer.  While you can view a lot of Liza Byrd’s products on her website, seeing them in person does make a difference. 

Zandy’s Zinnia Ruffle Top

This tunic, for example, is just beautiful to behold in person.  Being able to touch and feel is the reason that consumers will always want bricks and mortar shops, especially when it comes to unique goods like Liza Byrd’s. 

     I just couldn’t resist this fun piece. 

Pic by Avad Fan

Made of a lightweight jersey, it will be perfect for summer evenings and take me into fall.  Anne, one of the owners of 5807, commented that it was ready-made for a margarita party.  Sounds like a great idea once the rains stop.

    

     The Shops at 5807 are truly one of the best places to find uncommon goods in all of Richmond.  It is really one big store with lots of individually stocked and decorated boutiques.  Anne and Leigh, the sisters/owners, have assembled a wonderfully eclectic mix of vendors, and their selection and variety of wares is always evolving. 

     Next in is the Hampton House, an institution in their bright green building at the corner of Grove and Libbie since 1971.  As described recently in the Business section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the owners are downsizing their collection of antiques, fine gifts and china.  Set-up takes place over the weekend, and I can’t wait to see how they reinterpret their gorgeous inventory in this vibrant yet significantly smaller space.

     I always feel so welcome walking into the Shops at 5807 and filled with anticipation at what I will find.  With Liza Byrd and the other great vendors, anyone who loves to shop will feel like they’ve found mecca at 5807 Patterson Avenue.  Once you experience shopping like this, you’ll be an Avad Fan, too.