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. }

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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. }

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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: VOA Thrift Stores – Upstate New York.

VOA

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA UPSTATE NEW YORK

THRIFT STORES

Break The Cycle of Poverty

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER

WHO: VOA Upstate New York.  Serving: 6,000+ people plus throughout Upstate New York.

WHAT: Over 100 years old! Non-profit. Serves our community and sells some wicked good duds, home wares, shoes + accessories, and more.

WHERE: Flagship Store: Lave Ave (near downtown). 10+ Store Locations throughout Rochester. Shop Online.

WHEN: Founded in Rochester, 1901.

WHY:  Because why not. You should become passionate about VOA. See my list below. To really get it, watch this video:

Rise Out of Poverty, Move Toward Self-Reliance, Reach Toward Full Potential

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Crop Top / Vintage / Wrap Dress / Fashion Jacket – All on my MUST list. All found at VOA.

1. Incredible Deals. 

  • Everyday Low Prices: Recently Dropped Prices on Most Popular Clothing Items! (Prices exclude better brands. … But trust me, those are inexpensive too.)
  1. $.99 Sunday’s + Monday’s
  2. $1.99 Regular Tanks + Tees

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    Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash out! Earn + Redeem Points.

  3. $3.99 Regular Tops
  4. $4.99 Regular Shorts
  5. $5.99 Regular Bottoms
  • Sales: Change Daily.
  • SUPER SATURDAYS – Everything is 50%. Go THIS SATURDAY, 6/28!!
  • Rewards Card: Ongoing. VOA Rewards Card gives you points (turns into real $$) on each
    purchase you make. Can be used on sale items!

2. Excellent Selection.

  • Brand Names
  • High Quality
  • Unique Finds
  • Women’s Wear
  • Men’s Wear
  • Office Wear (not including Working Wardrobe)
  • Casual
  • Going Out
  • Lounging

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    Neatly organized + some brand new ones to select from! Like those boots on the end.

  • Junior’s
  • Children’s
  • Children’s Books
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Home Wares
  • Furniture
  • Seasonal Attire

3. Convenient.

  1. Batavia
  2. Brockport

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    Spotted! 2 dresses I donated to VOA. Patterned halter from HM Toronto + black lace from Target.

  3. Canandaigua
  4. Culver Road
  5. Elmira
  6. Endwell
  7. Fairport
  8. Lake Ave Store  
  9. Lake Ave Outlet
  10. Palmyra
  11. Warsaw
  12. Webster
  • Parking is Accessible
  • Changing Rooms
  • Vending Machines at Lake Ave!

4. Arranged Like Retail Stores.  

  • Thoughtful Layout

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    Formal Wear. Prom dresses + gowns. … I should really donate mine. Also seems like a great place for old Bridesmaid’s dresses.

  • Clothing Organized by Color / Size / Style
  • Clearly Marked Sections + Sizes
  • Enough Cash Registers

5. Specialty Selections. 

  • Formal Gowns
  1. Wedding
  2. Prom
  3. First Communion
  • Vintage

“We’re here to serve each other. We change lives. We restore hope and dignity. We put others first.”

~JoAnne Ryan, President + CEO (taken from Agency Video)

Thrifting will always have a special place in my heart. From suits to blouses to slacks and shoes to bags: I gave my mom the hardest time, while growing up, for never buying anything new. For never being like the other moms. But she was right. She scraped together just enough change to buy me McDonald’s fries {we have her to thank for this infatuation} and paid for my older brother’s and my grade school tuition. She, a newly graduated full-time engineering UR student, and full-time mom with a new baby boy in the crib, interviewed for jobs out of university. She taught me value. She taught me style. She taught me what it means to be proud of what I have, who I am,  and my community. She taught me to do what I do, whether it is popular or not. She taught me all of this. And she taught me it through thrift shopping.

My aunt, as well. Aunt Katy, my mama’s older sister, is an antique dealer and thrift shopping maverick. With just 1 scan of the perimeter, Aunt Katy knows exactly what’s treasure and exactly what’s … not. Aunt Katy’s taught me, not just the value of a dollar, but also, the value of a flea market, the value of a garage sale, the value of an estate sale, the value of a church sale, and the value of the people behind them. Shopping is fun. Fashion feels good. But thrift shopping, the values and the culture and the people behind thrift shopping, is immortal.

When we thrift shop, yes: we give immortal lives to the things no one wants. More, we give immortality to the spirit surrounding our communities. This is why I thrift shop.

I thrift at VOA because they support and empower our community.

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VOA CHILDREN’S CENTER

Last Thursday I shopped with Marketing & Media Director, Megan, at the 214 Lake Ave. location, centrally located between Lake Ontario and Downtown. Passersby cannot miss the neatly blocked tan building with familiar red, white, and blue sign that flags down shoppers, outside of this Upstate New York VOA Flagship store. Convenient parking flanks both sides of the Retail Center.

When I finished devouring aisle after aisle of shorts, denim, blouses, tanks, dresses {I even ran into a few of my own that I donated!}, Megan was kind enough to take me next door to the VOA Children’s Center.

My jaw never closed.  A bright jungle gym set-up donated by Top’s. The Universal Preschool that is associated with RCSD. Beautiful, jubilant children, pre-school aged and up, who attentively listened to aids and harmoniously played together, both inside and out. Brightly painted, mural-ed walls. Classrooms fully equipped with sitting spaces, learning areas, bathrooms, books. A full dental center in partnership with RGH. Even more medical services, including Telemed equipment to web conference with doctors as needed.

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Dental Room in partner with RGH at the VOA Children’s Center.

 

My eyes squeezed in tears. Seeing these happy, healthy children and the facilities imparted to teachers and aides to keep these children happy + healthy. These are the programs that improve our world. Programs like these, with the research and altruism and partnership and innovation and heart, are what change our world.

I am so proud that the VOA Children’s Center serves 280 children, between 6 weeks old to 12 years old, 98% of whom live in the most impoverished parts of Rochester. I am so proud we have VOA to serve a number of populations and communities in this exact same manner.

SHOP LOCAL

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If you didn’t want to shop before {and who doesn’t want to shop}, you want to shop now. {Or this Saturday, 6/28 at SUPER SATURDAY.} Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash-out. I promise, the reward to both you + to our community is not just worth it. It’s immortal.

Thank you to Megan + to VOA for hosting me this past Thursday! See you guys soon.

#shoplocal

#donate

#giveback

#breakthecycleofpoverty

#VOA

XO.