Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Work Outfit - Tuesday.

I have been quiet over the last few days, so I have been trying to put my time to good use.....
I have been in touch with my Web people to give them the finishing pieces for the shop website, cleverly (I think) I started to sort out styles for charity and other for the summer sale, and this morning I gave the shop some care and attention!! I washed the inside of the windows, stripped the display area and washed it all down, hoovered everywhere and washed the skirting boards!
I feel so good for not just sitting reading and writing blogs!!!

Today's outfit does not really suit the work that I have been doing, but as I am ever hopeful that better weather is on the way, I though that this outfit may be out of circulation for a while.

Today's outfit consists of:

Grey jersey dress - Forever 21
Grey tights - Tesco
Black patent jewel ballet flats - Nine West
Star Necklace - Plume

Monday, 28 April 2008

Work Outfit - Monday.

My outfit today is very dull, but I am tired and this is comfortable!

Today's outfit consists of:

Wide leg jeans - American Eagle
White long sleeved t-shirt - Forever 21
Blue and white smock style top - Vila
Blue patent ballet flats - Primark

My weekend was very busy but I had a fantastic time. On Saturday we were at a family meal (my boyfriend's family not mine). It was very nice and great to catch up with everyone. It was a 2 hour drive in each direction, which took a lot out of us, so me, my boyfriend, his sister and her husband treated ourselves to a Chinese meal and a nice bottle of wine!

Sunday was a lovely sunny and warm day here, so after the usual chores of laundry and food shopping, we spent the rest of the day in the garden. We were tackling the weeds that are taking over, mowing the grass, filling the bird feeders and planting some nice shrubs. A very sound sleep was had by all, after all of the fresh air!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Work Outfit - Friday.

I have tomorrow (a Saturday) off!! I am very excited, Saturday off and retail are not words that are often used together!! I have spent so much of this week planning my outfit for Saturday that I almost forgot all about Friday.

Today's outfit consists of:

Mink knitted dress - Blend She
Brown leggings - Oasis
Brown knee high flat boots - Faith
Brown wooden bead jewellery - Plume

I got a new range delivered to the shop this week and I am very, very happy with it. It is funky and looks like fun pieces to wear. I have treated myself to this top to wear with my boot cut jeans (for Saturday) and a gorgeous knee length tan/oatmeal mix cardigan (it is beautiful, honestly).

I also plan to wear my new gladiator sandals, my feet are all nice and bright after my mini pedicure. Now I just need to pray for no rain!!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Work Outfit - Thursday.

Oh well another wet day (and I thought spring had finally sprung?) so another day that the winter items are still in circulation!!

Today's outfit consists of:

Wide leg jeans - American Eagle
Grey Merino wool v-neck jumper - S'nob
White ribbed tank - Tesco
Black bead necklace - H&M
Silver star necklace - Plume

This evening we are heading round to have dinner with my boyfriend's sister and her family. I will not have to change, my jeans are perfect for crawling on the floor with a 1 year old!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Work Outfit - Wednesday.

I woke this morning to rain hitting off the window, I did not sleep very well last night and I did not feel like getting up this morning. So, I have gone for a comfortable option clothes wise.

Today's outfit consists of:

Grey and Coral dip-dye dress - Vila
Grey Leggings - Vila
Silver ballet flats - New Look

I decided to give myself a mini pedicure this morning. The rain was keeping customers away, and I want to wear my new gladiator sandals at the weekend......
I feel brighter already!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Work Outfit - Tuesday.

I am now dressing more spring like! April is nearly over and I am sure if I think positively the temperatures with increase?!
I have pictured my jacket today, I love this little jacket but I do not wear it often as it is cropped and most tops hang out the bottom!! I just got over that today as it is such a cute spring addition.

Today's outfit consists of:

Straight leg jeans - Vila
White loose sleeve blouse - Vila
White lace trim cami - Primark
Boots - Topshop
Cropped jacket - Missy in Love (TK Maxx)

I'm annoyed!

Today I am annoyed and a little irritable this is due to a new supplier that I have. All last week a member of the sales team hounded me for payment (there was issues with my bank transferring the funds into a Spanish bank account). The new account has now been paid for more than a week and I still have not had even a sniff of the lovely new styles!!

On Friday I sent an email to the girl on the sales team (who had hounded me for a week) asking her for a tracking number for the package. On Monday she eventually replied, very unhelpfully. She informed me that "shipping was nothing to do with her".
I then emailed the shipping team only to be told that the order had been sent and would be with me when it was with me! How helpful??!!

What has made me most annoyed is that now that i have paid in full, they are not bothered in anyway about my account or my order.
I am currently selling bits and bobs on Ebay and I make sure that I post out the item within 24 hours (maximum) of the funds clearing in my account. I always take the time to forward the buyer the tracking number to help them track when the package will be with them.

I do hope that my order arrives tomorrow to save me ranting on again!

Monday, 21 April 2008

A new week!

I feel so positive about the week ahead! Last week was excellent trade wise, and I cannot wait to build on that!
Today is another bright sunny day and it is getting milder (a day at a time). I have my afternoon off to enjoy today and I have just had an email from a new supplier to say that my first order was shipped at the end of last week and should (fingers crossed) be with me today.

So, my plans for this week are:

Re-merchandise the shop to make way for the new range.
Have the shop door open where possible.
Up my healthy eating and exercise plan.
While eating the healthy lunch read "The meaning of sunglasses".
Start to plan my summer themed window display.

Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed that I have another busy week!

Work Outfit - Monday.

Today is the day that my mum (very kindly) gives me an afternoon off. This is the reason for the casual look. I am meeting a friend for lunch and then I have a few errands to do, before heading to the gym (summer holiday is looming).

Today's outfit consists of:

Dark wash skinny jeans - Vila
White 3/4 sleeve t-shirt - Cherokee (Tesco)
Cream short sleeve cable knit cardigan - Forever 21
Leopard print ballet flats - Primark

Saturday, 19 April 2008

i am.....

The boutique that I speak of is called " i am.....".
It is my baby, I love everything about it, as I have mentioned I spent a lot of time trying to get the colour scheme and the overall look of the place just right!

I am currently in a little bit of a slow patch (there is a very big horse race meeting on today, the sun is shining and everyone but me is away for a day of nice dresses and champagne!!) so I decided to read through my own blog......
I am so glad that I did as I noticed a comment from Allie of My wardrobe today!!!!! Firstly I can not believe that Allie (who writes the most amazing blog and inspired me to blog myself) commented on my little blog!!! I also realised that, as Allie pointed out, the light green font was hard to read so I have changed it.

Anyway, the following are some pictures of my little boutique! I would love to hear any comments.

This is the frontage of my boutique. I love the colour and the simplicity!

Inside the main body of the shop and a glipse of the lovely display window!

The fitting room, you can just see my gorgeous vintage chair!!

The counter, where I lovingly wrap every single purchase!! The counter is a 1950's display counter made for a mens outfitter. I love it!

Finally, my beautiful Bird of Paradise flowers that my boyfriend's mum carried on a 5 hour flight from Tenerfife for me!!

Work Outfit - Saturday.

I woke up to beautiful sunshine streaming through the bedroom window this moring and felt it was time to lighten things up a bit! It is still cold outside so some of the winter staples are a must for a little longer!

My outfit today consists of:

White silk racer-back tunic - S'nob
Charcoal skinny rib cardigan - S'nob
Black leggings - Vila
Cream knee high boots - River Island

Friday, 18 April 2008

Work Outfit Friday.

After the most un-inspired outfit week of my fashion life, I feel that today I am back on track!
Today's outfit consists of:

Black wide leg trousers - Vila
Black 3/4 sleeve blouse - H&M
Pale blue and white silk scarf - Tie rack
Cream leather belt - H&M
Black patent T-bar wedges - Barrat

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Lack Of Inspiration!

I have not posted for a few days now, this has been because I have been busy in the shop. I have had a few new styles delivered and the lovely spring weather has had local people out and about walking - therefore more people through my doors!

I am very, very pleased that the shop is getting busy and that customers have confidence in me and what I am selling. The other reason for my happiness about my lack of posts is my total lack of outfit inspiration lately!
I still try to plan my week on a Sunday night and revise the options as the week goes on. But this last week I have been so, so stuck. I think the in between weather is playing a large part! It is nice and bright most days, but it is still cool and there is a need for a warm coat!

I plan to head home this evening and have a good old look at all that my wardrobe contains and hopefully have an outfit worthy of a post tomorrow!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Work Outfit - Saturday.

Saturday is usually my busiest day in the shop (not been the case so far today) so I like to dress up or make an extra effort with what I wear. I have got my fabulous new shoes on today and I feel amazing!

Today's outfit consists of:

Satin printed dress - Vila
Black cropped cardigan - Primark
Black patterned tights - Tesco
Black patent shoes - Christian Louboutin
Charm bracelet - Thomas Sabo

Friday, 11 April 2008

Work Outfit - Friday

Thankfully I planned my outfit last night as I was very unorganised this morning. I met a friend last night and had a little too much wine!!
Today's outfit consists of:

Grey and black striped dress - Forever 21
Black long-sleeved t-shirt - Primark
Black patterned tights - Tesco
Black knee high boots - Nine West
Necklaces - H&M and Plume


I have, until recently, always been a bit doubtful of Ebay. You hear of the horror stories of people bidding for a designer handbag and not realising they are bidding on a picture of a designer handbag!
My boyfriend is a huge fan of both buying and selling on Ebay and after 2 years he has managed to convert me.

The change started with a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (brand new and unworn) that I won for £230. They were dispatched within 24 hours of the auction ending and I had them the following day. They, to me, are a true bargain!!

So, I have decided to try my hand at selling on Ebay. I was at a loss as what to do with the bits and bobs that I do not sell. I do not like only one of a style hanging on the rails so I remove them. My boyfriend suggested that I try selling them on eBay.
I did and my first two garments have sold!! It is so exciting watching your item, being watched, bid on and generally wanted by someone else.

I even enjoyed my little trip to the post office this morning to post off my packages to their new owners. Wish me luck for my future Ebay sales!!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Work Outfit Thursday.

The weather is gradually improving, but the rain was back this morning so I put away my open toe shoes and got out my boots!

Today's outfit consists of:

Brown Jersey tunic - Topshop
Brown Leggings - Oasis
Brown flat knee high boots - Faith
Brown wooden bead jewellery - Plume

I am sorry that I do not have a post or a pic for Wednesday's outfit. I was very casual as I was doing some much needed cleaning. I was also very busy with customers and got no chance to take a photo yesterday.
My outfit was straightleg jeans from Vila, cream long sleeved t-shirt from Topshop and cream cardigan with orange detailing from Vila.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Work Outfits - Monday & Tuesday.

Monday I was only working in the morning and I was walking to and from work so comfort was key. My outfit consisted of:

Boyfriend fit Jeans - ASOS
Grey ribbed t-shirt - American Eagle
Cream jersey cardigan - American Eagle
Blue patent ballet flats - Primark

For the short time that I was in work on Monday I was very busy. I took delivery of 5 new styles, which meant that I went home with some new additions to my wardrobe!! A lovely perk of the job!!

Tuesdays outfit consists of:

Cream bib detailed tunic - Vila
Ribbed cotton leggings - Vila
Cream micro-fibre cami - Primark
Cream and black ballet flats - New Look

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Push To Open!!

The town that I have my shop in has a reputation of very over priced boutiques. I spotted a gap in the market and opened, what I feel is a reasonably priced fashion boutique. My customers get a nice personal service, they get garments that are something a little different from the high street offerings, they get a nice designer look paper carrier bag, they get each garment individually wrapped in tissue paper....
All of the trimmings that you would expect from a boutique, but, without the expected price tag.

Customers that have shopped with me before know this, I have advertised and stated all of this, I ask all of my customers to pass on the word if they are happy with their purchase.
But still every day I have to wipe nose prints off my windows and door!!!

For some reason their are a lot of people who like to press their noses against my door and windows, yet never fancy just pushing the door open and coming in for a browse.
I have to be honest that I did tire of the cleaning rather quickly, so anything that I was displaying in the window I put large price tag on.
Still I have the nose marks...

I then wondered if maybe I was not seen and therefore the shop looked closed, so I gave the people peering in a wave. I think they thought I was being cheeky, I was not but i can see why some scuttled off.
There are days when I just want to scream "I am open, just push the door".
I always manage to restrain myself.

Well, spring is now here and the days are slowly but surely getting milder, so I am able to have the door open for short periods. I will update if this makes any difference.

Work Outfit - Saturday.

My outfit today consists of:

White full sleeved dress - Vila
White cami (not seen) - Primark
Black high gloss footless tights - H&M
Black patent T-bar wedges - Barrats
Black waist belt - New Look
Charm bracelet - Thomas Sabo

Friday, 4 April 2008

Work Outfit Friday.

My outfit for today consists of the following:

Oversized V-neck jumper - Vila
Beige cami (not seen) - Topshop
Skinny Jeans - Vila
Tan Peep-toe wedges - Dune
Wooden Bead Jewellery - Plume

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Thursday Work Outfit.

The days are getting longer and the weather is, at long last, starting to get spring like.
So today's work outfit is:

Black, white and Yellow satin tunic - Primark
Black long sleeved t-shirt - Primark
High gloss footless tights - H&M
Black patent & jewel ballet flats - Nine West

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Work outfit Wednesday

Today's outfit consists of:

White full sleeve blouse - Vila
White micro-fibre cami - Primark
Straight leg Jeans - Vila
Necklace - Molten
Charm Bracelet - Thomas Sabo
Boots - Topshop

The Returns Policy.

This is an issue that annoys me greatly. Being a small business I have had to enforce rather a strict returns policy, it states that unsuitable goods can be returned within 14 days of purchase, with tags still attached and original receipt for an exchange or credit note. Any goods proven to be faulty qualify for a refund.

I have, over the last 6 months, had arguments with customers about the policy, one customer threatened to report me to trading standards (thankfully I had them check out my policy before displaying it) and I have had one or two customers not buy from me because of it.

Earlier today a semi-regular customer came in and had a browse about. She spotted a few things that she liked and placed them on the counter. As I was wrapping them up she asked would she get a refund if she got them home and they did not fit. I politely pointed out that I had a fitting room where she could try them. She could not be bothered to take all of her things off she informed me.

For some reason this lady has some sort of hold over me. I have no idea why, I do not know her, I have never offended her, but in a funny way I always look to please her.
So, I ended up agreeing that if the garments did not suit I would give her a refund???
I am still pretty baffled as to why I did this.

At the same time I am currently fighting with one of my suppliers to get credit for goods that I received that were not fit to sell.
Why is it that returns cause problems to all involved?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Town V City.

I was on a stock buying trip yesterday for Autumn lines. For this I have to go to Manchester, as this is where the agent is for the north of England and Scotland.
The appointment went very smoothly and quickly and I was left with a few hours to wander around the shops.

I had not been to many shops when I noticed how busy it was. At first I put it down to the fact that it was lunch time and people must have popped out to run some errands! However, it did not get any quieter.

This got me to thinking about location. My shop has a fantastic location (I spent a lot of time finding the perfect place to open up). But, I have days where I maybe only have a handful of customers per day. There is no way this would be the case if I was in the city centre. But then I would almost definitely be crippled by rent, rates and the general wear and tear that all of the foot traffic!

I would love for my shop to have a steady stream of customers throughout the day everyday.
But, I want them to be coming into make a sale because they loved the garment that they purchased last week or month, or because they have heard such fabulous tales about my shop. I do not want it to be one of the never ending seas of shops that people trudge in and out of for something to do. They walk with no purpose, they are there just so that they are not at home!

Cities are very nice and I love the hustle and bustle but, for now, I am happy being a small boutique in a small town with customers that seek me, my shop and my brands out!

Work Outfit - Tuesday

I was out of the shop yesterday on a buying trip for Autumn. I was not near a full length mirror, so I have no photo. However I was dressed very casually. I had on my Vila dark wash skinny jeans, a cream micro-fibre Cami, a chiffon sleeveless blouse with cream beading, Leopard print cardigan and my brown flat knee high boots. I finished it off with an oatmeal pashmina and a beige/light brown cropped swing coat form Gap.

Saturday I was at work and i was so, so busy that I did not get a chance to take a photo of my outfit. I have now been trying to remember what I did wear and I can not remember. We went out on Saturday night with friends for dinner and drinks ( i changed very quickly and we left almost straight away) on Sunday we slept late and had a lazy day. I was out all day yesterday and i have not done the washing, so when I do I should manage to piece together what I had on!

Today my outfit is:
Black long sleeved knitted dress - H&M
Black Cami (not seen) - Primark
Teal tights - Primark
Teal and green chiffon scarf - Tie Rack
Black round toe wedges - Faith