Friday, March 28, 2008

Green News

Green is now the buzzword when it comes to our lifestyle. We can buy organic denim, drink organic wine and buy jewelry out of recycled materials. Because we’ve become so familiar with ways to be green we’re constantly evolving what it means to be green and developing new ways to be green.

Take Make it Mine magazine. I have written about this publication before, and its focus is on how to customize pieces in your wardrobe like jewelry and clothing. Instead of discarding an old bracelet, for example, Make It Mine suggests revamping your bracelet into a new, hip style with just a few crafty items. They even suggest taking old costume jewelry and making wine charms out of it. In fact this magazine subtly pushes the green idea by taking old items and fashioning them into new, exciting pieces.

Speaking of making old into new, Green Wine Bottles takes, well, old wine bottles and makes them into fuctional art. Artist David Guilfoose makes vases, candlesticks, bells and lamps out an item that you or I discard when it’s finished. The beautiful pieces make it hard to imagine that vase was perhaps a Cabernet or Merlot. Check out their booth at the Going Green Expo on May 2–4.

Macy's is rolling out Organic Frango mints in honor of Earth Day on April 22. According to a company press release, "Each premium variety is rich in flavor, grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers, and made from more than ninety-five percent certified organic ingredients such as organic milk chocolate, organic cane sugar and organic vanilla."

New Shopping Content!

You can tell by our April cover that green is the word. So check out what we found in hot green goods.

Or be fashionable and carry your groceries in style.

Better yet, find out what " Hempen Goods is all about. Hint: it’s not what you think.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Brands to the Madison Market

Even though we’re not as big as say, Chicago, Madison retailers have their collective fingers on the pulse of what is HOT in the retail scene. And you know what? We can get a selection of the same trendy, fashion-forward brands that are found in bigger cities—right here.

Context and Bop, two of the city’s premier shopping destinations, have introduced some new brands to their stores.
Men’s clothier Context has started carrying shirting line Bureau. “Inspired by effortless American elegance, casual simplicity and overall refined style, Bureau is a new addition to American menswear … Inspired by the off-duty lifestyle of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, as well as the casually refined style of dress and mentality of the American youth in the early 1960s,” according to press materials. Co-owner Ryan Huber tells me that the shirts have been flying out of stock already and the quality of the shirt is tough to beat. Prices range from $141 for a white linen shirt to $253 for a captain’s jacket.
Context, 113 King St. 250-0113.

Bop’s got fresh new lines Twelfth St., Anlo Jeans, Tocca, Rich & Skinny and Brette Sandler. I’ve seen many of these lines featured in major fashion mags like Lucky. Check out Twelfth St.’s sassy cocktail dresses and drapey tops; Rich & Skinny’s shockingly bright denim and denim capris in colors like emerald green and fuschia; and Brette Sandler’s sexy swimwear.
Bop, 222 W. Gorham St. 255-2570.

Three Madison area retailers will be carrying this spring’s hottest bag: the Envirosax reusuable tote bag. Gatherings, Pop Deluxe and Iconi will all have this of-the-moment bag that was featured in a recent issue of InStyle. Waterproof and durable, I had the opportunity to feature one of the totes in our April issue. But what’s great is that these bags come in tons of cool designs and are super fashionable (and non gender specific, so guys can use them too).
Shoppers can buy single bags (prices range from $8.50–$9.95) and packs of five bags ($37.50 at Pop Deluxe).
Pop Deluxe, 310 State St. 256-1966.
Gatherings, 2134 Regent St. 236-9497.
Iconi, 534 W. Washington Ave. 441-0077.

On to something old that’s made new: Three Orange Doors has started carrying vintage china pendants. Fashioned out of vintage china (some is handpainted), these beautiful necklaces will certainly make a wardrobe statement. Owner Gail Paraskevas is very crafty and can even make a necklace from your own vintage china. She also does custom photo charms as well.
Three Orange Doors, 2789 Fitchrona Rd. 848-3336.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Store Gossip

Readers, I have a lot of new store news to share with you. I also want to thank you for turning to Madison Magazine for all of the latest in everything Madison and this blog for shopping and store information ☺. These pictures up top are ones I snapped of Anthology, a new store that opened on State Street (keep reading, below!) Keep reading and I promise I’ll keep dishing on the exciting retail news I hear and shops I see every week. On to our news!

New and Nifty
I was reading the Isthmus the other week and noticed an ad looking for a store manager for a Goodwill store slated to open this spring on State Street. This store bills itself “featuring current fashion and hottest clothing trends, opening in early spring.” This is good news, and really fits in with next month’s “green” issue and our Green Expo on May 2–4 at the Alliant Energy Center.
Goodwill stores epitomize a couple of green concepts: reusing perfectly wearable clothing, pretty jewelry and gently-used housewares; and providing help for people with disabilities and other disadvantages in south central Wisconsin who really need it. A socially responsible business and a dose of shopping mixed in? It’s worth checking out. (P.S.: Did you know you can bid on Goodwill items online? See for yourself!

They’ve got one on famous shopping boulevard the Champs-Elysées in Paris and in tourist attraction Times Square in Manhattan and now—West Towne Mall in Madison. Sephora, the mega beauty retailer, is opening a store in summer 2008 at West Towne Mall. That’s right, we can get our beauty fix with a mind-boggling array of makeup, face care, hair care, fragrance and more. Two hundred and fifty brands including Christian Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Benefit, DuWop, Smashbox, Tarte and one of one of my favorites, the Sephora private label, will be there. If you’ve ever been to a Sephora store, the layout is open and spacious, the look sleek and best of all, prices are good (i.e. not overpriced) for these hot brands.

With warmer weather comes outdoor activities. (Okay, well it’s supposed to get warmer soon). Although I usually write about local retail, I thought I’d mention Gander Mountain is opening a new retail location at 6199 Metro Dr. This megastore (90,000 square feet to be exact!) will feature outdoor products, on-site gunsmith, marine services and repair, an archery lane, full service archery shop and more, according to a company press release.

Greenway Station’s newly opened Bath & Body Works still has that new-store smell. More than likely though, it’s all of the delicious scents they tempt the nose with. One of Bath & Body Works' exciting lines is a skin-care line by dermatologist Patricia Wexler. I always see Wexler cited in beauty magazines like Allure and she’s a dermatologist to the stars among her many other accomplishments. Wexler's line range from $17.50–$150. Look for the new store next to the Sharper Image on Main Street.

Aching for another home interior/home accessories shop to open up? Iconi will be opening up on West Washington Ave. next to Indocara. Formerly Jen Holien-Brewster’s vintage/consignment shop Epoch (see photo right; more on that later), owner Coni Marotz will carry Slip custom order lamps, Covet furniture, Envirosax reusable shopping bags, Bliss Living bedding and accessories (“it’s just just yummy,” she notes) and Eastern Accents home goods. Marotz’s lines will be unique to the Madison market.
Plus check out her array of vintage/revamped furniture and accessories like reupholstered furniture, vintage barware/glassware and artwork.
“It’s a real eclectic mix of products. I’m really trying to have a lot of reclaimed goods/things that are redone. It’s vintage furniture mixed in with the new and it really shows people how you can mix products together and reuse them so they’re not thrown out.”
I’m very excited for this shop and look forward to getting in as soon as possible!
Look for Iconi to open next week.
Iconi, 534 W. Washington Ave. 441-0077.

Changes ...
Speaking of Epoch, owner Jen Holien-Brewster (right) moved out of her West Washington Ave. space (see above) and is moving into Little Luxuries’ old space at 214 State St. The store is slated to open May 1.

Little Luxuries moved next door to Fanny Garver Gallery at 230 State St. The airy and open space boasts clear shelving, serene blue and green walls and the same great merchandise the shop has always carried. “Our lease was up and we found out this space was available,” says owner Janice Durand. “I had a store here years ago. Now we have more room and shelf space. We totally remodeled it and we wanted a new look.”

The two hundred block of State Street has yet another change: Anthology will be opening this weekend at 218 State St. in the former Twee & Luliloo space (see photos, above). Owner Sachi Komai tells me: “Anthology will be a paper and craft boutique with art supplies, craft kits, workshops and demonstrations. We will also feature a ‘Made in Madison’ section, picking up many of the crafters that The Glitter Workshop carried.” (See below about The Glitter Workshop).
Anthology’s concept sounds really neat: Komai will host weekly “Craft Lunches,” where customers can drop in from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and pay $5–$7 to make cards, collages, buttons, et cetera. She’s also looking into hosting kids’ parties and will have workshops on embroidery, decoupage, Polaroid transfer and much more.
Epoch, 214 State St.
Little Luxuries, 230 State St. 255-7372.
Anthology, 218 State St.

Event News
Check out the HospiceCare Thrift Store Fashion Show Luncheon. I went to this event last year and was very impressed with the cute outfits the thrift store employees coordinated. The money goes to a great cause and attendees get to see a fashion show! I mean, that beats my lunch hour every day, agreed?
Learn about the HospiceCare Thrift Store and check out the cool stuff the store gets in.
Thursday, April 10, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Holiday Inn-West, 1109 Fourier Dr. $35/person. HospiceCare Thrift Store, 122 Junction Rd. 833-4556.

“Back to Basics” event at PREP Cosmetics
Pamper yourself and head over to PREP for a professional makeup application by one of Napoleon Perdis’ makeup artists. Napoleon Perdis cosmetics and skin care is regularly featured in top beauty magazines and TV shows. Plus, the winner of Australia’s Next Top model is the face of the makeup line. Who doesn’t love the American version, America’s Next Top Model, with Miss Tyra?!
PREP Cosmetics, 553 State St. 442-3366.

Indocara is having a March Madness sale and some items are up to sixty percent off. Check it out!
Indocara, 540 W. Washington Ave. 251-7711. "" target="new">

The Glitter Workshop at 920 E. Johnson St.

Pink Panties at 449 State St.

Mary Parker of daffodil parker told me recently that she and business partner Erin Daffodil Hickey are going to focus exclusively on their floral business and close down the retail part of the business. Customers can still get in touch with Hickey and Parker if they’re interested in florals.
daffodil parker, 502 W. Main St. 663-2100.