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Splurge vs. Save Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide + Gift Cards Giveaway!

July 22, 2016

In Honor of Design

 

I always hold out on purchases till the really good sales come around. Since the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the public today, I wanted to share which items I think are worth the buy (if you can get them before they sell out – holy toledo), and which are worth the splurge or save. This is the sale that is actually a season ahead so instead of summer items you can actually get jazzed about the cooler temps around the corner. If I am being honest with myself, they are way further around the corner here in Atlanta than I’d like, but let’s pretend.

boots and handbags

 

From top to bottom:
Save – Over the knee bootsCutout booties
Splurge – Booties
Splurge – Leather and Suede Crossbody
Save – Structured Dome Satchel
Save – Street Leather Bucket Bag
Splurge – Black Saddle Bag
 

I have learned that three pairs of cheap boots won’t last half as long as one good pair of well made ones. There are so many good options for a steal right now! As far as handbags go, I don’t pay as much attention to the quality if it is just a trendy color or style, but if it’s one you will use for life, it may be worth paying a little more for one that will last. (If I can keep it away from little sticky fingers and spilled juice cups!) Couldn’t resist this weekender though!

 
jeans and jackets
 
From top to bottom:
Save – Faux Leather Moto Jacket
Splurge – Leather Moto Jacket
Splurge – Quilted Jacket
Save – Faux Leather Vest
Splurge – Frayed Ankle Skinny Jean
Save – ‘Chelsea’ Destroyed Skinny Jean

Denim is another great category to hit up during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. All of my favorite brands are on sale (that last forever and ever), as well as jackets and coats in every price range. Above are a few favorites that are not sold out yet that would work as really good staples for Autumn. I managed to snag the last of this lapel coat I know will be an every day friend.

Hope this round up is helpful! I included some of my top picks for tops and sweaters that are almost all under $50 as well:

 

GIVEAWAY! Last, but not least, we are giving away THREE one hundred dollar gift cards to Nordstrom just as a thank you to all of you readers who come and support this blog every day. I am truly so thankful for you! Enter via rafflecopter below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. In case you missed, another reader appreciation giveaway here.

 *Photo by Chelsey Heidorn for IHOD

pregnancy style

Transitional Style Pieces with Trunk Club

July 20, 2016

striped dress - suede booties (Topshop dress, Rag & Bone booties, Clare V. Handbag)

 

topshop dress | pregnancy style

 
pregnancy style
 

A few weeks ago I received my first ever Trunk Club Women box on the front door step. Audible squeals were heard over every item inside. I have never gotten to work with a stylist before, and this experience proved that I certainly have been missing out. Since I only online shop these days, I am usually gambling with sizes and quality. Often times, I just don’t have the time to sit down and browse for just the right dress or look for that upcoming occasion.

 

white and grey white on white
 
white and silver

(Paige denim jeans, Rag & Bone jacket, Karen Walker Sunnies, Sarto Sandals)

 

I was paired with the sweetest stylist Amanda, who asked me some personal style questions and got all of my sizes over the phone. I was hoping she could help me find some pieces that would work well now during pregnancy as well as after. A trunk club stylist selects pieces based on your preferences, and finds options from a good variety of brands in varying price points. I was so impressed with the items Amanda chose for me. She sent both maternity and non-maternity items that could work with my sizes, and they interchanged really well.

summer style
(Madewell Dress, Karen Walker Sunnies)

 
SO thankful for the hours of time she saved me from looking for options during this busy time of my life, and for making me feel like a million bucks in the process. I love that instead of being a subscription service, you can just request a box as often as you need or for any occasion you need help with. I also love that you just mail back any pieces you won’t be using or weren’t a good fit.
 
bed layout
 
transitional style pieces
 
I’m looking forward to using Trunk Club for my continued post-baby style needs, as that is a time when it is as tough to get time to shop as it is to find pieces that you feel beautiful in. What a difference a good outfit can make during that transition time. Now deciding on which items to keep is a whole other battle.

P.S. They have five clubhouses, located in Chicago, New York, LA, Dallas and DC if you are lucky enough to live near one! Otherwise, there is the online service trunk service to women throughout the continental US.  You have 10 days to try everything on. Shipping is always free both ways, and you’ll only pay for items you keep. Pretty savvy, huh?

 

Thank you Trunk Club for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

foldover-backpack/clutch

Starting a business. Part 1 – Ideation (+ Giveaway)

July 18, 2016

foldover-backpack/clutch 

Hello IHOD readers! My name is Amina Belouizdad, I’m one of the Co-Founders of Bartaile. I’m excited to share some of the lessons we have learned while building Bartaile, a modern travel bag brand. We started Bartaile for all those #goingplaces, whether you’re looking to further your career, see the world, or just do more. So, please, feel free to email me at amina@bartaile.com – happy to get on a call or share some thoughts and be helpful however I can. We’re all in this together. 

Let’s start by dispelling some myths:

1) You need to have money before you start a business.

2) You have to love taking risks.

3) You have to be a subject matter expert.

4) You have to do it all yourself.

None of these are true! But they can be, if you let them stand in your way. I will tell you that both Felicia (my business partner) and I cannot say we had any of the above. And we turned out just fine! There really are no universal truths when it comes to starting a business – there are no rules and no right or wrong way. In my opinion, this is a better time than ever to just go out and do it. There is an incredible amount of resources available now both offline and online.

With that in mind, here is what I’ve learned….

bartaile backbacks

 

So you have an idea?

You’ll know when you’ve found it; usually because you can’t get it out of your head, and it just makes so much sense to you. It might be a problem you’ve experienced directly or one that you’ve witnessed through someone else. If this is you then congratulations! You’ve been bit by the entrepreneurial bug. She’s persistent, tenacious, and speaks with the honeyed voice of a jazz club singer. She’s hard to shut down! The most important thing you can do is try to figure out whether this idea is worth pursuing.

This takes some pragmatism. It takes being able to approach your idea unemotionally, with a forensic eye. The questions you want to answer as quickly and cheaply as possible can really be boiled down to four:

1. How much does it cost for me to make my product or service? 
If it’s a product, create a prototype immediately. It can be just a minimum viable product — a simple, easy-to-make version of your product. If you’re crafty you can make it yourself, or if you’re not (like me!) you can just go to a manufacturer. Most manufacturers are very open to working on a developing a new product. The key here is to gain an understanding of the materials, pricing and costs. And to start thinking about ways to improve quality or design. Of course, if your idea entails a service, then it’s easier! A little bit of research will go a long way in terms of understanding the costs.

2.  Who is my target market?
One of the best ways to identify and understand your target market is through surveys and focus groups. Surveys are great because people tend to be more honest in front of a screen. Focus groups are great because you can gather feedback through body language, facial expressions and can really drill into certain aspects.

I love Survey Monkey for surveys. And this article has some great focus group tips.

3. How much is my target market willing to pay for my product or service?
Now, a lot of people try to answer this question with the same surveys and focus groups above. However, I think the only way to truly test how much people are willing to pay for a given product/service … is to have them pay for it! Hosting a pre-sale or pre-order is a great way to do this. An even better way is to host a Kickstarter. This also allows you to test your supply chain and production.

You can test different prices at different times and see how people react — however, for integrity, I recommend you then retroactively reimburse the difference for any people that paid more than others. This is an experiment that your first customers shouldn’t have to pay for.

4. Does this all work for me, my lifestyle and my goals?
This is probably the most important part! And I don’t think we talk about it enough — in business, as in life, different people want different things. Some want purpose, some money, and others want to just be able to work from home in their underwear.

There’s really no right answer here, but questions 1-3 should help inform the context in which you answer the final question – is this for you? Is this consistent with your personal goals? Are you ready for the road ahead?

Bartaile backpack giveaway
 

I hope this helps many of you budding entrepreneurs! We want to share one of our Bartaile bags with you today so we are giving away the Loden Bartaile Backpack! Enter below via Rafflecopter. 

amina

– Amina
Co-Founder, Bartaile

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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