The Year of Shop Local: #Roc.

HAPPY

SHOP LOCAL

NEW YEAR

{ Better late than never. And better to put it out there at some point, than nothing at all. That’s what I say for this New Year. And I’m so happy to begin blogging in this new year with a poppin’ shop local weekend I had in the Park Ave + East End neighborhoods. }

* * *

Can you guys feel that?? It’s energy! The energy of this year, 2015, is incredible, + the best thing we can do? Lap-it-up unabashedly, in all it’s glory. Absorb it like rays of sunshine, and let the beauty of this year embody + embolden us all.

do you guys know what this means??!

It means you can get out there + become the essential fabric of this very city–the very things and people, sites and sounds–that you love. It’s true! And now, I’m going to prove this to you by sharing the bomb ass Sunday that I had.

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Lines at Scratch Bake Shop Grand Opening Party on Park Ave!

{ not so }
lazy Sunday

Sunday is slightly less-than-1/2 of the entire weekend, and in the history of my life … , the least productive less-than-1/2. So. I get super stoked when the errands I begin running around 3pm on this lazy day yield fantastic + fruitful results. { It’s the greatest! } Here’s what I did:

  1. Peppermint. #ShopPeppermint. #ShopLocal. Tanvi’s doing a reno + so what better way to kick-off a 1 week shut-down than to throw a 30% off everything { including sale items!} sale???! Why does this rock?
    • Bumpin’ scene. So many fun people in-and-out of the store. I feel like I make new friends every time I go.
    • Chillest vibe. And even when it’s quiet, shop keepers ranging from Tanvi { owner }, Emma { part time model }, + Cooper { shop dog } keep the greatest company.
    • Crazy deals. I bought a slammin’ gold sexy little dress { originally $54 } for $18!! That’s how incredible this sale was. And even when there is no sale, you can find artisan + boutique rings + earrings for like $12. Friends. I love.
  2. Scratch Bakeshop. #ToughCookies. Owners, bakers, designers, and creators Kate + Molly are some tough-ass-cookies. And, incredibly, they bake some deliciously delicate + strong, gluten free + vegan { ! }, culinary confections. Their Grand Opening Party! this Sunday was super sweet:
    • Meet The Owners. The coolest part about Rochester is its capacity for owners + artisans + creators to mingle with the general public. It quite figuratively is a match-baked-in-heaven for we, the public, to meet { what I consider to be } our idols; + for they, to feel our gratitude.
    • Feel The Hype. #Hypebooth. I got to meet Marisa Barnard of Hypebooth! You guys. Do you not understand. This is the woman behind the curtain. This is the woman who brings the hype to every kickin’ get together in this city with her portable photobooth + on-site printing. { This is the woman who’s helping to make my 30th the absolute most fun. } It’s such an honor to meet the people we know through Social Media + to actually have some real social interaction. Word.
    • Feel The Love. In meeting Kate + Molly, we got to reconnect over a common bond that we { and many other Shop Local Loves … } have. And that is … Cass McCrory of Capra Strategy!! My former boss + forever mentor — Congrats to you on the new addition to your most beautiful family Cass. And thanks for uniting our Shop Local Fam. ♥
  3. Hart’s Local Grocers. #IHeartHarts. I once described this grocery store as a combination of Wegman’s + Trader Joe’s + The Public Market. Because it is that, + so much more. Why does Hart’s have my heart?
    • Drive + Park. It’s super close by. Just a jaunt down East Ave. And they have a huge parking lot that’s way easier to navigate than any of the other aforementioned markets’.
    • Under Budget. The past 2 weeks, I’ve done my full week’s grocery shopping. Both times: under budget. Guy – look for the sales. Hart’s is stocked with only the best, so the sale items you find will also be the best. <3
    • Hi Friends. Crucial — it lacks the Wegman’s factor of running into every single person you never want to see like a blasted high school reunion. Which is clutch. At the same time, I run into the very people I love to see. { Like Amy Riposo of Rochester A-List, who I saw this Sunday! } And even when you run into no one at all, the staff at Hart’s make you feel like family. So jump on the tree, guys, + find what is great.
  4. Jenny Sanzo. #NoMoreLies. Did you see news channel 10 WHEC this Sunday evening?? Gratefully, I was at my parents’ { who have a TV }, and so I did see it. And I saw my very beautiful friend discussing the campaign she’s started to empower healthier body images. Why this #Rocs:
    • Full Disclosure. Jenny is so real in this campaign + so ready to bare all so that we feel comfortable with all of ourselves. I cannot explain to you how much this means, save to say you probably feel the same.
    • Take Action. You can get involved in so many ways. Pick the one that’s most comfortable for you! Check out Jenny’s Campaign Page, scroll to the bottom, + find your options here.
    • Love Yourself. If I provide full disclosure on myself–and I will–I very intimately relate to this issue that Jenny so bravely voices. Since 7th grade I rigorously counted calories + measured my food. My sophomore year of college I developed an eating disorder. I’m doing so well now, + that’s because–no matter where we are in life + how we live–we must learn to unconditionally love ourselves. It’s the most natural medicine we know.

See what greatness transpires from just 1 fraction of a Shop Local weekend??

{ You meet + become acquainted with incredibly creative + inspiring people. }

{ You begin to write your own stories as well. }

* * * 

That’s what this New Year is all about. Writing our own stories. Breaking the rules. Getting out there. Not worrying about a damned thing. I promise, friends, the outlook is great.

#shoplocal

#eatlocal

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: Gifts for Friends { And for You! }

{ Give great gifts. And make them look great! Gift box from Sweet Poison Cupcake. }

SAVE MONEY

one for you

SHOP LOCAL

{ one for me, too. }

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD

#shoplocalroc

{ Between sales, festivals + shows, dope merch, and increased exposure to quality stores + boutiques … shopping local for the holidays is hard! … On your conscience. When shopping local, I say: grab 1 for your family or friend + (at least) 1 for you, too. With these 3 spots – you can. }

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Bath + Body – from The Alternative Fair!

{ Compliments of Shandi Rine. }

Pssst. Did you know there’s a secret to buying the best gifts? It’s the Won’t-Buy-It-For-Myself factor. And it’s powerful! Check it:

  • Ever see something while shopping for yourself + think – YES. But you never buy it.
  • Even better, you say – That’d be a perfect gift for me! { You know you have. }

The It Factor. That’s exactly what these boutiques + artisan have and are. The pieces + items that your family + friends always want, but never buy. Think about it:

  • You find a $20 necklace but don’t want to shell-out the fancy cocktail money? You say – Maybe next time.
  • You gravitate toward seasonal accessories + think – I love it! But what if I don’t wear it next year?
  • What about the piece that enhances your surroundings? – It’s not something I need, you say.

ssshh:
this is what makes a gift giver great!

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#ShopLocal. Cardigan – Peppermint. Tank – Second Storie. Jewelry – Fahsye, The Knotty Owl, Erica Bello.

The It Factor is the Won’t-Buy-It-For-Myself factor. And that’s what makes a gift giver great! When you can identify that 1 gift a friend really loves, but would never buy herself – buy it. Trickiest thing? Not buying one for yourself, too!

fear not!
guilt-free shopping

At these 3 #ShopLocal spots in #Roc – you will find It factor gifts. Great thing? They’re so affordable … you buy something for you, too! { Guilt. Free. }

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Prismatic Gardens by Sigriet Ferrer.

Gifts for Friends { And for You! }

Prismatic GardensOwned by Sigriet Ferrer. Sold at Peppermint, pop-up shops, + online at Etsy!

WHY I LOVE

  • I kill plants. { Eek! } These are EASY to care for.
  • I’m bad at decorating. { Yikes. } These are GORGEOUS.
  • I dig the vibe. { Yes. } Prismatic Gardens says – “A natural synergy within elements.”

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • They want plants. { But won’t buy them. }
  • THEY COME WITH DINOSAURS! { Enchanting + one-of-a-kind. }
  • It’s not another bamboo plant. { Be original. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • They’re flipping adorable. { Look at those little buds. }
  • Sir Rocha SaysYou can hang rings on them! { Double-duty. }
  • LOW MAINTENANCE. { Mine doesn’t even ever have to be watered! }
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My Collection. Box + Cupcake ring are handmade!

Sweet Poison CupcakeOwned by Tempest Paige. Handmade goods! Store at Village Gate + Etsy.

WHY I LOVE

  • I love sweets { but can’t always eat them } … and these are sweets you wear!
  • I’m way into shades. { Who isn’t? } Every shape, size, + color.
  • I only wear color { wait for it } in my accessories – SPC got color.

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • Everything is kawaii! { It’s super freakin’ cute. }
  • HANDMADE. { An entire table of handmade accessories! }
  • You know that statement purse?? { Sweet Poison Cupcake has them. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • Need a lil’ edge? { Try on a dress or a T. }
  • BRIGHT LIPSTICK. { KleanColor – have some fun! }
  • Bling. { Pizzas, French Fries, Keys + Lockets … oh my. }
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Roll On bracelets are Fair Trade + support women.

PeppermintOwned by designer Tanvi Asher. Peppermint Line. Local + artisan jewelry and accessories. 

WHY I LOVE

  • Down the street. { Ya’ heard. } I could live there.
  • Peppermint Line { True Boutique } designed by Tanvi + made in NYC.
  • Features local artisans { Truth } from Rochester, across the US, + around the world.

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • JEWELRY. { Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets – for under $20. }
  • ROC Items. { Magnets, Ornaments, Necklaces, Rings, Bracelets, Earrings. }
  • Scarves, purses, gloves. { Every last thing a woman’s heart desires. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • Shop with a Cause. { Fair Trade bracelets support working women. }
  • THERE’S A SHOE ROOM. { With insane good–well-priced–shoes. The walls are sunshine yellow. }
  • Affordable Quality. { Even the super nice things. }
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#ROC the Holiday like these guys.

{ Prismatic Gardens Facebook. To see the one I bought: Check It. }

#roc the holiday

Who’s buying 1 for a friend + another 1 for you?? This Girl! … And I bet you will too. { Go for the It factor. } ♥.

#shoplocalroc.

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: Shop With a Cause – Black Friday + Small Business Saturday

{ Boutique Juniper near Miami University, Ohio. Shop Local discount cards – year ’round! }

SHOP

black friday

WITH A

small business saturday

CAUSE

{ Tricky thing about traveling the week of Thanksgiving is … you get around to doing things later than you would like. (Like writing this post!) Great thing about traveling for Thanksgiving?? You get to see all of the other cities + towns that rally for #ShopLocal. }

#shoplocalroc

This week is not about shopping. It’s about giving thanks. The beautiful thing about #ShopLocal is it affords the ability to shop + to give thanks to your:

  • local merchants
  • economy
  • community
  • culture

Should you feel inspired to shop this weekend, shop with a cause. And give thanks to those merchants who improve our neighborhoods + lifestyles. 

consumerism as activism

#PROTIP: Like your favorite merchants + stores on Facebook!

  1. Like on Facebook
  2. Regularly see updates on deals + sales at all your favorite shops
  3. Many stores don’t announce Black Friday + Small Business Saturday deals until last minute!

BLACK FRIDAY + SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Check out these deals to see how our merchants give thanks to us:

VINTAGE

AARON’S ALLEYDiscounted products, raffles, + prizes Saturday

FAR OUT VINTAGEAll Items – 50% off Friday

TREASURE TROVE VINTAGE – BOGO 50% off Friday + Saturday

BOUTIQUE

BEBE MILLS – 20% off with donation to Brockport Food Shelf Saturday + more!

FAHSYESpecial Deals Black Friday + Savings and Give Aways Small Business Saturday

PEPPERMINT – Insane deals { Like them on Facebook } – watch to find out

#PROTIP: Donate items for Verona Street Animal Society

  1. Christmas for Critters bin at Peppermint
  2. Another Christmas for Critters bin at Fahsye!
  3. See all locations here

ANIMALS

LOLLYPOP FARMSBlack Friday Adoption Deals – Friday Only! { these guys are too cute }

VERONA STREET ANIMAL SOCIETY – 50% off ALL Puppies + Kittens!!! Friday

ONLINE

CARRIE GEORGE LEATHER – Not 100% sure on the deals – But these handmade in Roc leather bags are a deal!

CHLOE + ISABELUp to 40% off Estate Vintage Classics through Sunday

#PROTIP: Check out American Express Shop Small Campaign

  1. Use your AmEx on Small Business Saturday
  2. At participating vendors
  3. And receive up to $30 back for every $10 that you spend!
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Peppermint Line cardi from Peppermint. GO. You’ll thank me.

Best

#PROTIP: of all??

Remember to #shoplocalroc + snap a photo of your Shop Local buys for entry to win great prizes from your favorite local merchants!!

#shopsmall

#shoplocalroc

#givethanks

#HAPPYTHANKSGIVING

XO.

Fashion Denial Spiral: Fight The Polar Vortex.

{ What up Polar Vortex. My name is Barbara Ellen. }

THE

fall

POLAR

rochester, ny

VORTEX

{ All of these things are taboo here in snow-central, Lake Ontario, upstate Rochester, NY. And yet all are incredibly palpable + anything anyone can ever talk about. … Lucky for me, I ♥ winter! (I do.) However. I do not ♥ when my fall fashion is disrupted by seasons that try + steal the spot-light before another season has ended. }

Whether you’re a season stubborn fashionista like me OR a weather despising winter wonder-nope (unlike me) … I have some tips + tricks for you. 

be a snow bunny 

with a fall coat

{literally}

  • Winter blues got you down … and it’s technically not even winter yet?
  • Hanging onto fall like the gold + orange + red leaves on the trees??

No need to let Polar Vortex dictate your fall fashion sense. { No need to let anyone or anything dictate your fashion sense. } Below is an info-fashion-graphic to show what I did to lay claim on the fall that is still here + that I still love!

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Yeah. We’re calling this an: infographic.

This is how you thwart winter + delay dragging out all of your winter clothes until you say when. (Read – locks on your car door freeze.)

Fashion Denial Spiral

Tips + Tricks

  1. Snow Coat – Trade it in for a super thick heavy sweater or a supped up fall jacket you already have out + about. { Canadian accent. }
  2. Winter Scarf – I love them. But it’s just not their time. Get extra miles from the pashy that { let’s be honest } you probably already wear every single season of the year, including summer.
  3. Snow Boots – No.  No need until there’s accumulation on the ground or unless you’re still addicted to Uggs. { Come on. } Warm-up the fall riding + combat boots with a super cute + super thick sock. Promise you feel cozy + cute + not controlled by winter weather.

where can you shop for all of these??

Great question! Here are my top picks.

  1. Super Thick Heavy Sweater – Vintage + Thrift! I purchased this one while thrifting with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage. In fact, TTV has one in brown { I do believe }. I’ve also seen a ton of great items at Far Out Vintage on Monroe Ave. My top 3 are:
  2. Winter Pashy – Boutiques! Fahsye in the North Winton hood on Blossom + Winton along with Peppermint in the Park Ave hood on Park + Meigs are both known for their incredible selection of beautiful, classic, and unique scarves. Before you go anywhere else, I highly recommend both of these spots.
  3. Riding + Combat Boots – This place has a shoe room, so. Peppermint has to be the spot. With selections raging from knee-high riding boots to calf-level combat boots to fashionable + durable ankle booties … the question isn’t – Will I find something? – it’s – How do I choose just one?? Thing is, with prices generally always below $40 … you can buy more than 1! Love how that works.

insider tip

Each of the above stores + boutiques have prices comparable to–often lower than–your favorite store that … inconveniently doesn’t rhyme with any words { Co-Targe-ugh }.

#polarvortex

#shoplocal

#roc

XO.

Give {biscuits} + Get {$10}: Peppermint Fundraiser for Verona Street Animal Society!

{ Rescue Dog/Shop Keeper/Tanvi Pup Cooper sniffing some treats I brought by Peppermint! psst – he has the best hair. }

PEPPERMINT

{get $10}

GIVE + GET

{give dog treats}

VERONA STREET ANIMAL SOCIETY

{ I am extremely passionate about all of the causes represented here. Yesterday, I donated dog biscuits to Peppermint, who will donate to Verona Street Animal Society, + today I have to tell you all about it. So you can do it too! 4 Days left – You have until Sunday, 11/9. }

our furry friends need treats!

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Penny + Rocky.

♥ CAUSES

  1. Dogs + @vsas_ras – This society, the shelter, it’s volunteers, + the animals who they serve are a saint. Our pitty-pup Ms. MoneyPenny is a Verona Street dog! She’s a rescue who was a stray found wandering the turf of the Public Market in the freezing cold as just an itty bitty with a huge gash of a scare on her back. (Our other dog, Rocky, is from Lollypop.) My dad works across the street from Verona Street so it made sense we adopted from here.
  2. Fashion + @shoppeppermint – Affordable + Boutique. Trendy + Classic. International + Local. What more is there to say about Peppermint on the corner of Park + Meigs?? … Well actually, a lot. {See Below.}
  3. Shopping + #shoplocal Barbara Ellen Shops Local. ‘Nough said.
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$4 when you bring in doggy treats.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

  1. Buy your favorite dog treats
  2. Walk or drive to Peppermint
  3. Donate dog treats inside of Peppermint
  4. Get $10!
  5. Shop now + get $10 off your purchase OR Shop later + receive $10 as a gift certificate
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$8 when you bring in doggy treats!!

$10 full dollars is bank!
Unless you plan on spending over $50, it beats 20% off any day

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<$20 when you bring in doggy treats! {Burr. It’s getting cold.}

HERE’S HOW IT REALLY WORKS

Interested in something for you, gifts for another, or getting an early start on the holiday shopping?? Peppermint is your spot.

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$12 … when you bring in doggy treats.

  1. Unique. Quality. No one is going to have the jewelry, accessories, scarves, shoes, + clothing that Peppermint offers. Partially because much of the clothing Tanvi sells comes from her own Peppermint line that she designs! And almost all of the jewelry is locally made or handcrafted locally in other regions of the world.
  2. 1 For Me. 2 For You. Peppermint has everything you want, + an innumerable selection of jewelry, clothing styles, + accessories for your: best friend, mom, girlfriend, aunt, sister, grandmother. They even have letter press cards! And if I’m being really honest … it typically goes – 1 for you. 2 for me.
  3. Affordable. Selection. It’s absurd. Bracelets typically range form $12-16. Necklaces, $14-24. Rochester jewelry at $24. Blouses around $22+. I even found a cardigan wrap for $24!! What’s this mean for you???
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$12 with doggy treats!! {It’s true.}

you do the math

With prices this low + a deal this fabulous, your purchase can be as low as:

  • $2 for bracelets + earrings
  • $12 or $14 for beautiful blouses
  • $14 for rocking #ROC jewelry
  • $26 for solid boots
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$26 with doggy treats. {Must see new shoe room!}

HERE’S THE PLAN

  1. Buy some dog treats.
  2. Head to Peppermint before close on Sunday 11/9.
  3. Donate something good to the people + animals at VSAS.
  4. And get your shop on!
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$14 with doggy treats! {I bought it!}

{ and tell me what you bought! }

#shoplocal

#shoppeppermint

#vsas

XO.