Braden Richter is the CEO of LuxeYard, a new flash sale site for luxury home furnishings and decor offered at up to 70 percent off retail (I already have visions of me buying furniture in my pajamas), and acting merchandise director of Jaxon International. What’s unique here is that LuxeYard members have the ability to push product prices down for featured Group Buy items and can request things that they want to purchase at a discounted price via Concierge Buying.
Through February 29, 2012, they are offering my lovely readers an additional 10% discount. Just use the code luxe4ags.
What is the first gift you remember receiving? The first gift I actually remember receiving was a set of Lincoln Logs that my dad brought home. I was only four, but remember it like it was yesterday and I have no idea why.
What are some favorite gifts you’ve received over the years? I was given a framed negative of a very well-known Muhammad Ali photograph that I will always cherish. My dad of the year trophies are pretty cool although I’d never be so bold as to suggest that I’m the best dad in the world. Also my wife detail planned an amazing trip for my son and I that meant a lot.
Favorite gifts to give others? Having owned a furniture factory for the past 17 years I have been in the unique position to gift furniture. Nothing says thank you, get well soon or I love you more than a three piece sectional.
Do you have a go-to store or website for gifts? Tiffany’s seams to make people happy, the blue box never fails. Jaxon Home in LA and ABC Carpet & Home in New York are great stores to browse and inspire. That said, LuxeYard will be my new go to spot.
Favorite charity? Any charity that helps children in any way.
After a routine exam and then further testing, my friend Danielle was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which just blew my mind since she is one of the healthiest people I know. She has been known to go for 15 mile hikes, is an established yoga instructor and her biggest vice is probably a Diet Coke once in awhile. But as we know, life is not always fair, and sometimes these things happen. I know she will be fine, but it’s still scary, confusing and as cliche as it sounds, truly makes you realize that life can change in an instant. In a few days my friend Danielle will start radiation and then be in total isolation for days.
Danielle and I have bonded on many things over the years, from our love of Bill Maher to watching Kathy Griffin at the Laugh Factory back in the day. She designed the Kids of Kilimanjaro book as a donation to my family’s charity and was one of the first to visit me while I was at UCLA doing my stem cell donation five years ago. Plain a simple she’s a good friend who treats people well. She’s also an incredibly talented artist (see above) and I’m proud to have two of her pieces hanging in our home.
I decided to send her a little package of Maher’s new book and the first season of Bored to Death to try to keep her entertained during this difficult time. I will be thinking of her and sending lots of positive thoughts. Danielle is not my first friend to face cancer at a young age and I find that no one knows what to say, feel or do in these situations. I always try to just listen and if I can distract someone with gossip or humor I will. If you have experience with this, as a patient or friend, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
When I was young I used to braid my hair (and my sister’s) all the time. I could do a few different styles and remember my childhood best friend doing a fishtail braid on me that I loved. I never mastered that one myself, but this tutorial from Cupcakes and Cashmere is super easy. I think it’s a chic look for a gallery opening or a fun party.
And don’t miss these fantastic (and downloadable) tutorials for wedding hair from BHLDN (they can be for anytime not just weddings!)
In 2004, I was working on a shopping guide book, Where to Wear 2005: The Insider’s Guide to Los Angeles Shopping. I probably talked to 200 retailers during this time and one of them was Doris Raymond, who was about to open the now iconic The Way We Wore on La Brea. We stayed in touch, became friends and now we even work together (I help out with the store’s blog.) Her shop, which has fans in everyone from Angelina Jolie to Dita Von Teese, is a treasure trove of vintage clothing and accessories. I love everything I’ve ever bought there.
What is the first gift you can remember receiving? The birth of my brother David.
What are some of the favorite gifts you’ve been given over the years? Great books that inspire.
Favorite gifts you like to give others? Strong visual pieces of costume jewelry, one and a half hour massages or spa treats.
What’s your go-to resource for buying gifts? AbeBooks for great out-of-print fashion books.
What’s your favorite non-profit? Make-A-Wish.
Now that our guests have received them I wanted to share the cover of our invitation (the reverse side is super cute too, but I’ll keep that private until after the wedding.) The amazing artwork was done by Maryland-based illustrator Ellisa DiRenzo, who is one of my best friend’s sisters. She is incredible and was able to capture our likeness (and our venue’s) incredibly well considering she’s never met Tim and hasn’t been to the hotel.
I always assumed I would do a traditional engraved invitation with plenty of calligraphy, but when we decided that we were going to try to make all elements of the wedding personal, it seemed like we could be more playful with the invitation and go for color and whimsy. I asked Ellisa to add the oranges because I am from Orange County and Tim is from Florida (and I am obsessed with the scent of orange blossoms that surrounds the Viceroy.)
The illustration also incorporates the hotel’s iconic porcelain dog statues, beautiful bougainvillea and the dreamy Regency Courtyard where we will be married. I’m just thrilled with the result. And no that’s not my actual dress! I’m not giving that up until our wedding day.
Barbra Horowitz is an experienced stylist who offers clients in-home and Skype styling services and fantastic tips on how to sell your clothing and work with what you already have. Since it’s a New Year I wanted to get Barbra’s expert advice on shopping tips and tricks.
Holiday shopping is over so does that mean we should be on a buying hiatus? January is all about clearing out and making way for new whether it’s in your closet or your favorite Barneys. The savings on great flat Miu Miu boots or Prada gold vintage casing handbags from the runway is now! Let the stores clearing out the old to bring in the new be your shopping schedule. Inventory also hits the stores in January and just like your closet what you don’t want they don’t either. Be there to take it off their hands at super sleuth savings. Wear for a few seasons then put on the auction block. Shop to Sell. Just like me.
How do you know when to buy or keep something in your closet? If you shop, only buy on sale or resale. You are utilizing your wardrobe as an investment. It’s not what you buy it’s how much you pay for it. Buy-Wear-Sell-Repeat. Buying at full price and holding on too long will have you looking at your closet each season wondering what happened. “If it’s not on sale it’s not on you” needs to be your mantra to make this equation work. Purging for dollars in your very own closet is one of the greenest things you can do for you and your wallet.
What are some easy tricks women can do to look their best this year? Think about getting dressed in the dark. Try it next time you face your wardrobe with a “what now” feeling. Take items from different categories of your life (e.g. evening-weekend-workout and pair all together.) Style is about one part of your outfit that is left of center, meaning wrong, at least in your own mind. Shoot for a full size combo of it’s so wrong it’s right. Strive for a “care don’t care” (but of course you care) outfit. I promise if you get out of your head and keep perfect as a goal for everything else in life you will have solved your wardrobe dilemma. Let go, get creative and don’t crutch on jeans and heels for every single solitary outfit.