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!