Thursday, December 11, 2008

Somebody Stop Me:)

Hello to all {three} readers- hah! Someday this blog will be worldwide... Hopes and dreams, right?

The purpose of this blog post is to let you all know that I am out of control. No- just kidding...kinda. I keep wanting to branch out into different avenues, accessories, lines, ETC!! And as you can see, I have already gotten into the bracelets and earrings- necklaces are next. I was under the impression that necklaces would be in competition with my scarves, so I didn't get any in yet. However, I have noticed on celebrities, and a very dear friend who sports my scarves all the time (ahem- Rachel!) that loooong necklaces work great with scarves! Pendants and "Y" necklaces especially. More inventory, here I come! I will hopefully have some great necklaces at the sale at {Deidra's} on the 19th.

What is after that?? I bet you can guess...HANDBAGS!! I know handbag parties are really taking off, and I do want to make sure I stick with the novelty of selling scarves, however... Let's say a lady finds a beautiful scarf she has to have and I happen to have a coordinating handbag? That is one happy, put together gal. Now, the research must begin- if anyone has opinions on the type of handbag I should find, please let me know! I of course have a few in mind... not surprised, are ya?

I would like to end by sharing a few pictures from the last sale we held, at Rockwoods in Otsego. The atmosphere was excellent- smooth, jazzy Christmas music, lights, and a wonderful hostess- my lovely sister Danielle, who manages the place. If I didn't make any sales, it would have just been wonderful to be in her presence, playing with scarves, and chatting it up. As it turns out, God *smiled* on the day and I got all that, plus ladies who came in to purchase. Most were buying gifts- and a lot commented on the prices- I have tried to keep them in "gift giving range". Thanks for noticing.

Merry Christmas- may the true gift of Christmas- Jesus- be evident in all you do this season.

Clutches galore!

Look at the pretty scarves, all in a row...

Hats, earrings, bracelets...

Stylin' scarves

Lovely atmosphere!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I am Back! Here's What's New...

First I must apologize for the delay in blog number four, but I believe I had a good reason! The end of pregnancy, and the birth of our third child, Crew, who was born on November 11th. We are so blessed!! And I feel so great now, so don't count on me missing any more blogs anytime soon!!

So now, on with the blog!!

I first would like to say I am so grateful the first two Ali J Boutique scarf sales went well- thanks to so many wonderful ladies who came, chatted, shopped, and left LuLu Bean's coffee house with a little gold bag in hand. I can't say how much it means to me that this business is being blessed and that so many opportunities are opening up for it!!

So what is new?? Well now...hats, wallets, bracelets, and earrings, that is what!! I have found some beautiful earring/bracelet sets to compliment the scarves. Big, cool earrings for the funky, fun side of you, as well as conservative sets. And the hats? Oh, I am so pleased- very cute knit beanies! Lastly, the wallets are the latest flat clutch style- very classy.

I have my very first home show coming up on December 6th, thanks to the wonderful Diane Minke, who will hostess the show. She has already been so instrumental with new ideas and supportive of Ali J Boutique. Thank you, Diane! I am looking forward to it!!!

Now it has come to my attention that my website could use more style, pictures, etc. So if it is different every time you check it out, that is just me findin' my groove;) Also it will probably be me that you see modeling my wares, not because I want to be the model (I still kinda cringe) but because I am the person always here! It would be hard to ask someone to be that available to me when I get inventory in so sporadically. And Emri won't sit still long enough;)

I have also been asked numerous times if ladies (who can't make it to my sales) can stop by my house to see my accessories, and now I can confidently say, "yes!" Although the sales are best- the atmosphere is wonderful- this is also possible now since my wonderful hubby made me an office in our home with a beautiful wood display for my scarves. If this is the case for anyone, contact me and I will have the door open for you.

The last thing I wanted to highlight in this blog is the lovely idea my hubby had for doing gift baskets for the holidays. With the addition of more accessories to my boutique, it is possible to make great matching sets:
A scarf, earrings, and bracelet basket
A scarf, earrings, and wallet basket,
A scarf, hat, and wallet basket
A scarf, hat, earrings, bracelet, and wallet basket!!
And the cool part is that I will be offering a percentage off since they are in a package deal. I will have them available at my next sale, so think about what your mom, sister, boss, girlfriend, etc. would like for Christmas and I am sure I can help you out with that;)

It is nice to be back! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Scarf Style: Home Edition

Hello there! Wow- week three already! I plan to continue on the "scarf topic" for a few more weeks, as I have heard and seen sooo many great ideas for scarves recently. I thank everyone for giving me suggestions and for being so open with ideas that will really boost my business. I would name drop here, but you know who you are, you lovely ladies in my life!!!!

Now, on with the blog...
One of these great ideas came from my mom-in-love, Bev, who suggested using scarves all around the house as table settings, runners, on top of dressers or hanging from mirrors or lamps. What a wonderful concept! I have shopped for runners, etc. before and I thought them kind of expensive. My mom, Linda, the amazing seamstress she is, has been so generous in making me lovely runners, curtains, etc. But now that I am doing this business, I can afford to switch it up much more often, just using the scarves I already own!!

One thing I thought may seem strange is to grab that scarf that has been gracing your table for a week and put it on before you run out the door. But, why not?? It looks completely different when scrunched and tied around your lovely neck. You just happen to be smarter than the gal who buys both- hey we all know that feeling of pride when you figure out how to look great and pay less than most everyone else (hello 75% off clearance sales!!).

So I will end the talking here and let you see for yourself the lovely arrangements you can make with your scarf being the inspiration for the look:

A Silvery dinner for two. Using the Silver Accordian Pashmina and the Silver Fishnet Metallic Scarf.

Share a Valentine's Day inspired dinner anytime! Using the Pink and Silver Houndstooth Pashmina.

Greens, oranges, browns. What a beautiful contrast to this table setting. Using the Brown and Rust Accordian Pashmina and the Green Ombre Pashmina.

Basic and classy. Using the Green Ombre Pashmina alone.

Two tones of orange and brown, a perfect fall combination!
Using the Brown and Orange Bubble Print Pashmina and the Brown and Rust Accordian Pashmina.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Lovely Pashmina!

First of all- a special "thanks" to Rachel for becoming my first "follower"! How wonderful to have a fan of my business on my blog;) And tomorrow is my first sale... enter the butterflies! A bit of excitement, a bit of nervousness, but I guess that's how I know I am doing something out of my zone!!

Okay, on with the blog...

What exactly is a Pashmina?? I hadn't heard of this type of scarf until my sister came back from a trip to New York a wiser and more fashionable woman. So are we a bit behind here in Minnesota? Umm, sorry to do this, but Yah, You Betcha!! But you know what?? That will work out just fine for me- gives me a few months to catch on!

So let's start with the wiki definition of a Pashmina:

refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it.[1][2] The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm (= "wool").[2] This wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas. The wool has been used for thousands of years to make high-quality shawls that also bear the same name.

So I get out of that... cashmere, goat, and shawl... so basically it is a very soft cashmere shawl that happens to be made from the wool of goats. Most of us are familiar with cashmere, and that is exactly what I thought when I felt my Pashmina for the first time. Pure pashmina is a rather gauzy, open material, so you won't find any shawls made of 100% pashmina. Most often, it is blended with silks, with 70% pashmina, 30% silk. I have also seen some 50% pashmina, 50% silk blends.

Now, I have found that the word 'Pashmina' is also thrown around to describe a longer, wider scarf which isn't necessarily made of the cashmere wool. This is where it is important to know whether what you are buying is the real deal or an imitation. Not that the imitation can't be really soft and nice, but you don't want to be paying for the real thing if you aren't receiving it.

Today is definitely a Pashmina day. Tie it on and face that weather with style!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Ideal Accessory: The Scarf!

Hello there! Alison here (aka Ali J). Since this is my first blog post, I should tell you a bit about myself and my family. I am a stay at home wife and mom- and I loooove my job. I really love fashion, style, etc. and have always dreamed of a way for me to express this interest while still being at home and raising my family. So, here it is!! With the help of some lovely friends from church, and the support of my family, I have started up this little business. You can read more about it, and my intentions for growth in the future, at

On with the blog!! Since it was my interest in scarves and pashmina that got the sales part of Ali J Boutique going, I thought I would start out by blogging about these lovely accessories.

I find there is no better way to add a bit of class than to tie on a bit of color or texture with a scarf. You can have a whole closet of neutral clothes (black, brown, navy) and a bunch of scarves and people will think you have an immense closet. People's eyes are drawn to them!

I used to think scarves were just for the more mature generation (smile) or for a woman glamming it up for the night, but with the many styles out there right now, that just isn't the case! Add to it the numerous ways to tie them, and you can have your very own signature look that is age-appropriate and just plain stylin'.

Scarves also never go out of style! While the type or way to tie may change, when you invest in a scarf, you can count on being able to wear it for a long time. Sometimes stores push them as the 'thing' of the moment, which they are doing this season, but that doesn't take away from their longevity. Places like Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap have them right now (to name drop a bit;). Gap has even named them the "Must Have #4" of the season. They may be a bit more expensive however. Besides my own preference for them, this is another reason I have them in inventory- to get them out to you friends at a reasonable price!

You have seen me use the word 'Pashmina' and oh- how I love them-so soft, so lovely! Sorry to tease, but I will have to expand on the types of scarves in a future blog. So please check back for future explanation!

So find that perfect scarf for you- tie it on how you like it- and be confident that the bit of class you were looking for is evident when you walk out your door! And I am here to assist in any way I can;)

~Ali J

Tying on a bright colored scarf can add so much to a basic outfit! It doesn't hurt that her purse is so cute too! Thanks, Jess!