Monday, February 9, 2009

Fashion MIA on M.I.A. at the Grammys…

All the respect in the world goes out to M.I.A. for getting out there on her Due Date to perform at the Grammys! Most of us know what a fully-cooked belly feels like walking from the bedroom to the kitchen. I can’t imagine what it feels like to bounce and hip hop around on a stage in front of millions of people! So big props to her for a performance very well done. BUT….what in the world was she wearing???? I kid you not, I thought she was in costume as Toad from the Mario Nintendo games (see image). The polka dots on her belly, derriere, and each of her breasts did not look good. Does she not have a stylist? Move over Bjork....M.I.A. is here.

M.I.A. and Toad

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dressed in a suit, my business plan in hand…

So today’s entry doesn’t have anything to do with clothes or pregnancy. It’s a valuable read to those of you thinking about starting your own business and needing to obtain and secure a SBA (Small Business Administration) loan.

Today I was delightfully surprised to see a very special person walk through my store’s doors. I didn’t recognize her at first because her hair color was different and for goodness sake, it’s been 7 years since I've seen her last! It was Jessica, my SBA loan officer for my very first Pickles store in Dallas. I know this doesn’t sound too exhilarating but she really IS one of the reasons Pickles is here today. I was always dressed in a suit, my business plan in hand, and sometimes my infant with me, as I went to all the big banks asking, begging, for a business loan. You know which banks I’m talking about…BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc. And one by one, I got rejected by each of those banks because I wasn’t able to check “YES” to one of their 5 criteria. I soon realized that I was just another business plan at each of these big banks. I had no choice but to broaden my search for moolah. I decided to try some smaller neighborhood banks and banks that were in the business of lending for small businesses. Heck, I didn’t have anything to lose and by this time, my skin had gotten really thick.

Dressed in a suit, my business plan in hand, and sometimes my infant in tow, I planned on hitting all 3 banks in one day but ended up rescheduling the latter 2 because the first one actually took more than 20 minutes! Each of these smaller banks had people who actually wanted to talk to me about my business plan and what my vision was for Pickles. And as a direct result of this face time, I was able to ooze my enthusiasm and passion for my business. These 3 interviews were by far the most intriguing to me, and apparently to them too because 2 of the 3 banks offered me SBA lending. Jessica was the first of the 3 smaller bank loan officers I met. She was also the first woman…that might not mean anything but I can’t help but to think she “understood” the need for a maternity store like Pickles in Dallas. She genuinely seemed interested and instantly sold on my concept. I found out today that she fought for my SBA loan and Pickles. I am so grateful to her because I really felt my dream slipping away with every funding rejection. So, remember to SELL your concept, SELL your business plan, and SELL yourself!! It goes further than you can imagine AND I promise, someone will listen and believe!

3 Things...

So, I live and breathe fashion…  I never miss a People StyleWatch issue or InStyle or UsWeekly… Ok, so the last one really isn’t about fashion, but I somehow figure out a way to get that one in.  I think in all the years of reading those mags, I have realized that there are 3 things that never go out of style…they just lay dormant for short periods or chill on the DL one season. What are those three things? 1) Animal prints. Right now, the key in wearing animal prints to do it subtly. Never wear it top to bottom, especially not pregnant, and watch the silouettes. An animal print all over on a pregnant mommy can make you look like that animal!  2) Metallics. Metal tones like silver, gold and bronze OR colorful metallics like pink, lavendar, and blue are consistently trendy and in style! Metallic handbags, shoes, eyes, belts, and even lame-esque dresses are always in these mags! I personally LOVE metallics because it makes whatever skin near that metallic glow. And the last thing that never goes out of style is the strapless bodice. The one-shoulder is making a huge comeback this Spring but it along with the spaghetti strap neckline and the halter will always be in the passenger seat next to the strapless because the strapless undoubtedly flatters the biggest array of body types. Big boobies, no boobies, broad shouldered, narrowed shouldered, great arms, not-so-toned arms…it doesn’t matter. The strapless top, dress, whatever is worth a try. So many of our mommies think they cant wear it, but then end up loving it.