Friday, June 25, 2010

A customer's 5 week adventure with Finders Keepers!

A customer wrote me a letter about her 5 week "adventure" with Finders Keepers Furnishings and Boutique. I'll let her tell it from here:

My husband Richard and I had lived in Decatur for more than 20 years. We loved our home on Pinecrest and had many happy memories of our time there. However, as with many people our age, we began to think of downsizing and simplifying our lifestyle. Therefore, it was not a surprise when one evening at dinner we began a discussion regarding moving back to our condo near Emory University. The decision to sell our home and move was made that evening! However, the five weeks that followed our decision were filled with many unexpected surprises and events.

Week One
A move to the condo would be a major downsizing on my part. My first task was to determine which articles of clothing and accessories I would move from my home's attic storage space and three closets. At the condo I would have one small walk-in closet. The downsize seemed overwhelming--for help I went to Finders Keepers Boutique...
Finders Keepers Boutique to the Rescue!!
The boutique staff offers a wonderful service for a small fee. A staff member comes to your home and she helps you evaluate your wardrobe piece by piece. I made an appointment and me, Julia and I, worked through one apparel season at a time. We divided my clothing, handbags, shoes, etc., into several different collections -- clothing for me to keep, items for their boutique, clothing for the main store in Avondale Estates, and items to be donated to charity.

Once Julia had removed the clothing and had left my house I felt a great sense of joy. I recognized the advantage of working with a clothing specialist and felt confident regarding the apparel that remained for my use. A great sense of accomplishment swept over me. I realized one of the major downsizing chores was completed. I really would be moving.

This was the week Rick had the first of two successful surgeries at Emory University Hospital. Finders Keepers Furnishings held a series of Saturday morning Workshops in March and April. One of the Saturday seminars led by a local realtor was entitled "Staging your House to Sell." I knew there must be some tricks of the trade to ready a house for the real estate market. I decided to attend the seminar -- I had a house to sell. What better way to get started than attending a free program, presented by a certified staging realtor? Also, parking at the Furnishings store is always easy. The event would be hassle free for me.

The store's staff offered cheerful greetings and breakfast snacks to get the seminar off to a great start that morning. Our speaker was wonderful -- knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and willing to remain and answer questions at the conclusion of her presentation. Armed with my seminar handouts I asked if she would be available to drop by my house for a quick walk through and to make specific suggestions for staging my house. If there were some items I needed to update our house, I knew I could depend on the inventory of Finders Keepers Furnishings. The seminar had taught me that many of my personal pictures, etc. needed to go into hiding when the house was being shown.

Week Two
The seminar speaker really impressed my husband when she came over for the staging walk through. We asked her for sales representation and decided to list the house with her. Our realtor brought the other members of her sales team to see our house. One of the Realtors commented he was going to sell our house that weekend.

Week Three
Several Realtors stopped by to look at the house, and for the first time a realtor showed our house to a potential buyer. The next day that couple made a second visit to our house. The following day they submitted their contract for the purchase of our home. Negotiations followed, and terms were agreed upon. A closing date was set for the end of the month. (This allowed about 20 days for me to complete the downsizing process and move out of my house!) An "Under Contract" sign went up in our front yard. So much stuff, so little time...
Finders Keepers Furnishings to the Rescue!!
The staff of the Finders Keepers Furnishings store offers their customers a selection service. For a small fee they will come to your home and help you select items to keep when downsizing, selling your home, or remodeling. They will also make item selections to go into their store for consignment sales. Their furniture store was a great place for me to sell linens, rugs, and furniture that I couldn't use in my condo. They also helped me select items for donation to a local charity.

My realtor helped my find someone to conduct garage sales at the house. Downsizing was now in full swing. Friends helped me start packing. Movers were selected and a move date was scheduled.

Week Four
We moved into the condo. Rick had the second of two surgeries at Emory University Hospital. Unpacking continued in the condo was done as time and energy allowed. Rick continued to recover from surgery and helped unpack when he could.

Week Five
We closed on the sale of the house. Rick's health continued to improve with each passing day. Rick set up his office and was officially "back in business." I named our condo "The Hutch." Our space is small but cozy. Everything I moved has a place in our new home, but there are some furniture items I need to purchase for the condo. New porch furniture and a new headboard, to name a couple of items.

Beyond Week Five

S-o-o-o where is my car taking me several times a week? Why Finders Keepers Furnishings, of course! I am finding great accent piece to spice up "The Hutch" and give my older items a fresh feel in their new spaces. One of these days I am going to walk into Finders Keepers and there will be the perfect headboard and porch furniture for our condo.

Footnote of the downsized wardrobe at the hutch. There hasn't been a single time I have stepped into my closet that I could not find the perfect outfit! Truth to tell, I am inventing new "outfits" - what fun! I have purchased one great jacket from the Boutique since I moved. Did it fill a hole in my wardrobe? NO, but it was just so cute I couldn't walk away and leave it in the store.

Special thanks to the staffs in all three Finders Keepers stores. You have all been major players in my move. You were there with professional services, good humor, and a "we can do this, let's get it done," attitude. You were all the UNDAUNTABLES!"

Will I forget your kindness during these past weeks? NO

Am I a customer for life? YES!

A Date with Nature

I gather such inspiration from my surroundings. There's a steady hum in our environment: a crescendo of energy downtown as the people pulse up and down the streets like tens of thousands of heart beats; the silent roar of the wind as it tosses branches and brambles about with its mischievous, invisible grin. Our concrete jungle and the splashes of green we're graced with are equally as alive...

On Meghann:
Vest: J Jill $25
Dress: MNG $24
Belt: $7
Shoes: Prada $120
Earrings: $13
Hair Clip: $4.50
Clutch: Clarita $30

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A man in need found some friends indeed!

Rare is the sight of a man in Finders Keepers Boutique. (Well, there was this one time that a guy came in who was a huge emo-fan and merrily fit into a pair of size 4 red skinny jeans from H&M that I couldn't get above my knee - but I digress.) So when Ben stepped into Boutique with a pair of pants, some suspenders, and a mission, he got way more attention than he bargained for. "I wanted to wear these suspenders with these pants when I go out tonight. But I don't know how to attach them." He said. Silly Ben! His contemporary corduroys didn't have the inside buttons that fasten the suspenders in place. But don't you worry Ben; we're consignment chicks! We live to improvise. Ben, I hope your night was a success, and I hope that you had as much fun as we did!

Meet Ben!

Stephanie and Sandra come up with ideas

Boutique girls getting it done!

Stephanie and Ben celebrate the success!

Ben models the get-up. He had to step into them fireman-style, but no one else will ever know!

Stephanie and Ben were unknowingly at the same restaurant that morning watching a World Cup soccer game. Ben: you and Stephanie should spend some time together. She's one of the sweetest, most fun-loving people I've ever known. And y'all practically sparkled together. I'm just saying...

Monday, June 21, 2010

And the winner is...

Thank you so much for every one's participation in our first-ever giveaway! I am so excited about how many people voted, and I loved reading what style means to different people. My favorite aspect of the whole process was how friendly and willing each of our contestants were when we interrupted their evening for a picture and a few questions. And most of all, I *love* to be inspired.

Our winner: Bren! (center)
Bren's popularity was immediately evident - even at the Jezebel event. Stephanie and I were interviewing another contestant, who said: "I really appreciate you picking me, but have you seen the woman in the purple hat? She's incredible. It wouldn't be a contest without her." She wasn't kidding! Her look was brilliant and gutsy, and she truly was the fashionista of the evening. Once voting opened, Bren gained the support of many other bloggers, online stylists, and of course, Finders Keepers Boutique! Congratulations, Bren!

Our editor's choice: Charlotte!
Charlotte's fantabulous dress was the stand-out piece of the evening. The tailored cut and conservative lines were a serious departure in this sea of strapless attire. And the bow *swoon* need I say more?

We asked: Define style. We loved: William!
"Style is the ability to shine without glare." Brilliant, succinct, and artsy. William, I don't know what you're going to do with this lovely red clutch, but I just had to pick your definition!

Winners: please email us with your contact info and to let us know whether you'd like your prize shipped to you or picked up in the store. Thanks again! (

Girls of Summer

Girls are summer's true butterflies. Our oft-shrouded skin is like new wings as our shoulders peek out of strappy dresses and limbs bask in the joy of sunlight (sunscreen, ladies - a tan lasts a week, but the wear and tear is forever). I imagine most think the cover of the night is what triggers the voice of the inner vixen we all feel, it's whispered breath a curious temptation. But I would challenge that is in fact the sun that stirs at our taxed, quelled femininity.

Boutique Girls: Meghann and Heather (styled by Carrie)

On Meghann:
Dress: J Crew $37
Shoes: Guess $18
Bangles: $12 - $15 a piece
Belt: $5
Hat: Tracy Watts $28
Scarf: $6
Handbag: $22

On Heather:
Dress: Missoni $330
Top: Ellen Tracy $69
Shoes: Yellowbox $22
Sunglasses: Prada $138

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Accessories Sale Friday ONLY

Hey Y'all! Casey here. I've been working at the other stores this week, so when I came into Boutique today I was *stunned* at the AMAZING shoes and handbags that have arrived in the past few days. Chloe, YSL, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Cole Haan, Coach, Juicy, Bally, Tods, Christian Louboutin, and more. I had to take a few pictures just to entice you in case you were on the fence about making Finders Keepers Boutique a stop in your day tomorrow. Remember, all accesssories are 25% OFF from 4pm-8pm this Friday (tomorrow!) ONLY!

That's one heckuva case! Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Lambertson, Tiffany, and more!

Three beautiful Bottega Veneta Handbags

Blueberry Chloe Handbag *yummy!*

So many shoes... so many opportunities!

Pretty in Pink - Coach and Longchamp handbags!

Nothing makes quite as much of a statement as a killer pair of heels

YSL's signature handbag

Devil May Care

Layering is haphazardly artistic... it's like a 14 year old boy who works and works and works to get his hair that perfect kind of messy: like he didn't care or try at all. And sometimes it is as effortless as it looks. Comfy, easy layers make me feel intune with something larger than myself - perhaps because if I spend less time getting ready then I've likely gotten more sleep.

p.s. giveaway contest on the post before this! super cute alfanai, leather, cranberry-red fold-over clutch is the prize for the winner... please check it out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jezebel's Most Eligible... and Most Fashionable! (And our first giveaway contest!)

When Jezebel Magazine extended an invitation to Finders Keepers Boutique for their Most Eligible Atlantans party, we jumped at the opportunity to take a gander at some Atlanta's trend-setters. And of course we wanted to give you a peek too. And then we had an idea: why don't we let you decide which bachelorette is also your favorite fashionista? So we scoured the packed venue (the recently-renovated Gold Room) for ensembles that stood out from the (very full) crowd. These 8 stylish southern bells took risks, and they paid off big time. So we wanna know what you think! In the comments for this post, list the name of who you think put together the night's winning look and why. The style that receives the most votes wins a $50 gift certificate good at any of our three stores! The best part: YOU can win too! In your comment, give us your definition of style. Yes, it's vague, but that's all part of the fun! The Boutique Staff will decide on the best definition, and the winner will receive the cranberry-red Alfani leather clutch pictured in this blog post! Votes and definitions will be tallied until June 20th, and we will announce both winners on June 21st. We can't wait to see what you have to say! I've also included other pictures from Jezebel's extravagant event, which included a live, up-close-and-personal performance by Sara Bareilles. She was incredible - by the way - and getting her newest album is definitely on my to-do list.

Contestant #1: Jana

Stephanie spotted her in line for the *delicious* complimentary appetizers. "OMG - look at that belt!" The bold-colored maxi dress is a personal wardrobe favorite of mine. And Jana had cinched in the waist with a glittery, metallic belt. Her effortless, feminine look scored high with us! 
She wears: BCBG
She shops: Bloomingdales
She can't live without: A great clutch

Contestant #2: Bren
Bren is one cool chick. Just take her ensemble, for example. The harem pants are from Monaco, she's rocking L.A.M.B shoes, a Teri Jon jacket, CB Herrera jewelry, and a vintage church hat. The combination of eras, material, and glam are a symphony of styles that blend beautifully into a pitch-perfect sound.
She wears: worldwide apparel (mentioned above)
She shops: Loehmanns, vintage, consignment, and especially when she travels
She can't live without: her 5 inch stilettos or her mother's jewelry

Contestant #3 Charlotte

What a doll! This dress is such a statement and she knew it! She kept it simple with minimal jewelry and nude heels so that the dress could take center stage. The uber-chic simplicity was a total knock-out look. p.s. *LOVE* the bow detail!
She wears: Neiman Marcus
She shops: Old Navy to Neimans and everything in between
She can't live without: her Patagonia 

Contestant #4 G.G.

We spotted this ensemble early on. The bold, don't-you-dare-look-away color combined with the easy-going fabric made for a perfect dress for the evening. A funky, edgy, structured statement necklace was the perfect compliment, and her use of white and black accessories was timeless and daring all at the same time. (And if I could pull off her hair, I would totally try!)
She wears: a gift from Mom!
She shops: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and consignment!
She can't live without: a great silver necklace 

Contestant #5 Pamela
I am a sucker for sequins. (I'm like a moth to a light when it comes to shiny objects.) The deep scoop cut in the sequined neckline is a formidable opponent for potential accessories. The black and gunmetal multi-strand necklace was the perfect balance for the dress, and her lace-up booties had enough structure to stand up to this high-power look.
She wears: French Connection
She shops: Finders Keepers (thanks!) and Loehmann's
She can't live without: "hot, sexy shoes"

Contestant #6 Kristy

Kristy's retro, checked choice stood out from the sea of dresses. But the bright colors weren't the main reason this look was so eye-catching. The fit of this dress was perfect, like it was made for her. Vintage clothing is often tailored in a splendid way that has become harder to find with newer merchandise. The ankle strap detail on the shoes spoke well to the timelessness of the look.
She wears: a locally purchased vintage dress
She shops: bebe and Guess
She can't live without: her favorite pair of Meks jeans

Contestant #7 Tammy
Tammy's chic, all black ensemble took a step outside of the box with the combination of textures and sheen. Many people have a hard time with all black: "I have to make sure the blacks match," they say. Heck no, you don't! The simple jewelry choices let the variety of fabrics and shades work harmoniously together, and her sleek hair style was the perfect icing on the cake. The coolest thing about Tammy was Tammy: she's a weapons buyer for law enforcement and the military. "I don't know how to shoot at all," she said.
She wears: bebe and Express
She shops: "Everywhere! But since I'm a buyer I refuse to pay full retail price for anything," she said. Sales and discount stores are her personal favorites.
She can't live without: platform heels

Contestant #8 Shawntay
Shawntay's grape, peep-toe booties were the shoes of the night! And we loved that she combined them with a lighter purple dress. The structured, I-get-my-way footwear gave a little punch of power to the silky, sweet frock. By keeping the earrings simple and dawning a statement, bejeweled ring, this fashionista achieved perfect balance between three pieces that all adore the spotlight (and we adore them right back!)
She wears: Marshalls - this girl is a bargain hunter!
She shops: Marshalls and other discounted designer stores
She can't live without: her favorite pair of Arden B. jeans

Don't forget to vote for your favorite look in our comments! And leave/email contact information so we can let you know if you're chosen as the winner! Posted below are more pictures from the Jezebel event as well as a picture of the Alfani clutch that you can enter to win!

Yes - we were this close to the stage

 Sara Bareilles was incredible!

Enter to win this leather Alfani clutch! Vote for your favorite contestant and answer this little question in your comment: what is style?

Stephanie posed for a quick picture!

The Gold Room enjoyed a packed house for the Jezebel Event!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i *heart* details

If ever there was a Boutique Girl who, above all else, treasured the value of a detail, she would be Ivana. This attention to the little things couldn't have been more true than the day she topped wide-leg trousers with a fitted vintage t-shirt of Audrey Hepburn. The detail part: Ivana had replicated her hairstyle after Audrey's coif in the image down to the black cloth headband. She'd even mimicked the pearl studs. The look was perfection. As she zipped around Boutique in her usual way, customers literally stopped mid conversation to admire her ensemble.

My favorite detail: buttons. Either big, funky, statement buttons or high-quality, well-organized rows of buttons. I liken it to a manicured Pecan orchard (I drive by such a place on the way to my parents' lake house and I find that I always hold my breath as I stare down the perfect rows of grass and grandeur) or a random sunflower or day lily - a bright, random splash of color that seems so reckless that it almost dares anyone to tell it not to grow there.

Boutique Girl: Ivana (styled by Casey)  
On Ivana:
Jacket: Robert Louis $79
Blouse: 172 Grams $26
Dress: Ella Moss $34
Skirt: Missoni $83
Wedges: Michael Kors $47

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blog Lovin!

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black and white and pink all over

What's black and white and "red" all over? That joke always confused me when I was little, mostly because I immediately ran to the Sunday paper on my parents' kitchen table and scanned each page for any red writing to no avail. Of course until I saw the pledge of allegiance written out in my 9th grade history text book I also thought "for which it stands" was all one word: forwitchitstanz... some magical, patriotic, secret password. I hope you'll keep that little admission between us, but I digress.

My mother says that it's all about perception - "your perception is your reality," she says. To my eight-year old self, when I heard "black and white and red all over" I envisioned thousands of smart words leaping in red and black print from an omniscient, white paper. But that perceived reality impacts every facet of our lives. In Boutique we always ask a customer: "how do you feel in it?" - How does it make you perceive your reality?

Boutique Girl: Carter (styled by Ivana)
On Carter
Skirt: Karen Kane $26
Top: BCBG $11
Jacket: Lux $24
Wedges: Antonio Melani $43
Handbag: Gucci $475
Necklace: $26