March 6, 2013

What's Your Story?

Who doesn't love a great story? We know we do! And in today's retail environment, the significance of a story to your concept is more than crucial. It's all about the who, what, where, why and how of your brand. With the ability for consumers to get practically anything from around the world via the internet, they want to know they're buying something special. We are no longer limited to what brick and mortar stores in our local area offer, but an endless amount of online stores and plethora of products in the international marketplace. Our values are changing and preserving a sense of community, even online, remains key especially in the vast world of the internet.

photo via Culture Baby

Culture Baby is an online global children's boutique that not only sells clothes, toys and accessories for your favorite little ones, but celebrates cultural heritage from around the world. They strongly believe that children should know about the world they are living in and what better way than to wear and play in it? From Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and the USA these carefully selected products are made from an array of international entrepreneurs and designers. Culture Baby takes it even one step further by offering non-toxic and organic items as well as sustainable, ethical and fair-trade merchandise. We spoke about the importance of going global a few posts ago and we feel this brand is a major innovator in the international children's wear arena, especially since children love a good story even more than adults!

photo via The Sinclair

If you're in the Boston area in the near future, make sure to grab a bite at The Sinclair Kitchen. This music venue now doubles as a trendy restaurant to your pre-concert evening out and offers delightful eats under Chef Michael Schlow's expertise. The venue which is part of The Bowery Presents, is influenced by the likes of New York, California and New Orleans. With communal tables, a fantastic bar downstairs and a more traditional dining atmosphere upstairs, this spot tells the perfect story of food, drink and music.

video via Made by Hand

There's nothing more special than handmade products. Martinez Cigars, started in 1974, hand roll all their cigars at a factory right here in New York on 29th street. Not only was this craft passed down from father to son, but today it has become a neighbor meeting place for a fine cigar, friendly face and good story.

photo via Alkemie

Last week we stopped by the Designers & Agents international trade show to check out some of the most innovative emerging brands out there. One of the first ones to grab our attention was Alkemie, a socially and environmentally responsible jewelry brand brought to life by a lovely husband and wife duo who both come from former jewelry backgrounds. Their entire collection is handmade in LA and made of 100% reclaimed metals and sustainable and earth-friendly dyed leathers. So far they have been featured in editorials in Spanish Vogue, French Elle, Lucky, WWD and Spin Magazine, to name a few. Most of their pieces are priced under $200 and sold at one of our favorite shops, Treasure & Bond!

photo via Alkemie

While chatting with the couple, we couldn't take our eyes off of Ashley's really hip East West Musical Instruments jacket, deemed the back pack jacket so motorcyclists had an extra pocket while riding. But what's really interesting is Ashely's story about how he had to get it...About 15 years ago, he went to an East West collector in LA and in order to get the jacket he had to find another collectible East West jacket to trade it for, which took him over a year to do. East West Musical Instruments originally started by making instruments and then one day decided to make a fringed leather shirt, which quickly sold to the iconic Janis Joplin. From there it was fashion history and they expanded to make unique leather jackets, pants, shirts and bags that sold to the likes of Jerry Garcia, Robert Plant and Elvis Presley, among many other rock legends. How's that for some music history?

photo via Kempton & Co.

Looking for a new "it" bag? Kempton & Co just may be it! These one of a kind, technology friendly bags are made of vintage materials like linen and hemp. The Deceiver bag collection (our personal favorite) sparked from designer Fiona Kempton's idea to give her stylish handbags a built in protective sleeve for laptops. Some of her other versions are adorned with sewn in wallets, iPad holders and special compartments for your keys so you can now travel with ease. Their first shop is set to launch this Spring in Brooklyn and will feature custom work, monogramming on small leather goods and even some other brands, for men too, so stay tuned!

photo via Susan Woo

Based in New York with a focus on both luxury and sustainability, Susan Woo stands by the fact that "luxury equals thought and consideration." She uses natural and organic silks, wools and jersey blends, which she believes are synonymous with high quality and a modern way of living. To her, "fast fashion is buying a look" and "luxury fashion is story telling." If that's so, we definitely want to see the sequel to this story!

It's all about the stories we tell. Where does it all come from and how? We are more informed these days and with that we ask more questions. It's no longer just about the ending, but the entire process from concept to creation to the end user. Your story is your mark on the world. We all have a unique story to tell that makes us stand out from the rest, it just has to be told in the right way, at the right time. So, what's your story?

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