April 2008 Archives

whispering.women_small2.jpgI gave the introduction to this a long time ago - if you missed it, go read Marketing (ya dayum self) 101: the intro.

I alluded to discussing my volunteer work in more detail - again, I'll recount my volunteer project in another post. I really wanted to share some things I learned the other day as part of one of my volunteer activities for Dress for Success.

As part of a professional women's group seminar, Cheryl Scales, of DSG Solutions Group and Magnificent Women shared her presentation on "The Power of Personal Branding". Her background's in corporate marketing – she was an Associate Director at Proctor and Gamble & Marketing Director at Delta Air Lines, Princeton Grad, etc. But now she does motivational speaking, has been on ABC's American Inventor, she's a Personal Branding Guru, proponent of entrepreneurship etc – see her website at http://www.cherylscales.com/.

Her presentation focused on creating your personal brand, and using it in whichever environment/forum you choose (corporate to climb the ladder, or entrepreneurship to start/promote your business).

So – I wanted to share the key points I got out of her presentation, as well as from Tarona and Dina of DonationNation08 (blogged about them on Monday). Their keypoints:

  • Create a personal board:: that's from Tarona & Dina. The personal board is your own "board of directors" – as simple as a group of friends that you share your ideas/vision with, who helps motivate you, keep you on task, inspire you with ideas, or provide networking opportunities – they provide "governance" over you reaching the positive goals you set in your life – whether it's career, life, job, start-up business, educational – or relationships with your husband and children. The idea is to check-in regularly, and to follow/follow-up on the things that you really identify as important.

  • Creating your own brand statement:: this is your PERSONAL ELEVATOR PITCH. That's from Cheryl – and it's the "Overview" section of your resume that you submit everytime you meet someone/anyone. And it's about the pitch that gets you where you ultimately want to be – not where you are right now, or where you've been previously. Her example was from P&G, when she was a field marketing rep, and she met Ed Artzt (former P&G CEO) at their equivalent of management conference. She said her pitch was "Hi, my name is Cheryl Scales – and I wanted to shake my hand and introduce myself and just tell you up front that very soon you're going to know me very well." Four years later, he introduced her at their management conference, as the leading global sales representative for P&G. And he remembered that conversation.

  • Promoting your personal brand:: As I mentioned – I really like the blogging-videotaping-distributing your own press releases ideas from Tarona & Dina. The tie-in's from Cheryl, and that's to register your name – your god-given government name, the one you'll use to promote your business, etc – as a website, and use that as a promotional tool. It can be as simple as creating 1-2 pages, that's your bio, or whatever you're doing right now, or what you'd like to do, etc. Or, blog about whatever's important to you. The important thing is that when your 15 minutes of fame comes along, whether you're famous or infamous – your bio is already there. You've already created a certain amount of "buzz" – you've already put out the "image" that you want to project to the world. And I've learned via blogging – you'll get the most obscure visitors – and some surprises. I've gotten emails from some people I'm a real fan of, like – Trisha R. Thomas, the author of 'Nappily Ever After', and Lynne D. Johnson (who is my mentor & namesake, even though I don't think I've ever told her that *blushes*). I've also gotten tons of page hits off of crazy topics like Buffie the Body, Brian Nichols and political topics. The point is....that site will gain interest, with little effort on your part.

  • Staying true to your personal brand & vision:: I'm so guilty of this one – and it's so important. To truly identify with who you want to be, or what you want to do – you have to stop identifying with your immediacy. Which means – I'm the owner/developer/designer or New Saga, LLC and http://www.sagaciously.net – and NOT a web developer for theCorporateGig, Inc. Which means, only the New Saga, LLC business cards EVER get distributed, I only TALK about New Saga, LLC, and only promote those things which help me make New Saga (and me) more money. Nothing comes before that. EVER.

  • Volunteering/Networking for fun & profit & non-profit:: I honestly joined DFS so I could ultimately pledge Delta, and that was so I could get a new corporate gig. HONESTLY. But you know, when people talk about God "ordering their steps" – that's my testimony. He really does it when I least expect it. I exchanged cards with quite a few people this weekend during my volunteer activities – the ones mentioned above, along with some other folks I met at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, etc. Now – even if NOTHING ELSE COMES OF THAT EXCHANGE – I can honestly say I already got more out of joining DFS than I've put in. I can't wait until the next event.

    Ok, I'm off to talk to my "personal board". Handle yours.

And this is a surprise?

I may be the dissenting voice in the Black Blogosphere, but not only am I not surprised and not disappointed - I can honestly say I expected this a couple of weeks ago.

I know a lot of people think Obama left Rev. Wright out to dry. Eh. They're grown, they're both in familiar waters, and they both have very different agendas. But this - this is politics.

We know Billary wouldn't just leave their friend hanging - they'd make his plane crash, yanno?

I may be jaded, but I'm trying to keep the bigger goal in mind. In my circle of colleagues, coworkers, friends, church members and listening audiences (Steve Harvey, Michael Baisden, Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and other talk radio listeners) - we agree with Wright....but what Rev. Wright said is Wright's (and a whole lotta other folks') battle. Obama has his own battle at the forefront now...and that is as it should be.

As Don Frederick of the LA Times said: "Obama really had no choice but to take this step.....And, more importantly, to what degree will the Wright controversy, given Obama's link to him, undercut his presidential bid?"

I hope this allows the campaign and conversations regarding the campaign, to return to the issues, and what's important for this country. The jaded in me has other thoughts....and I'm refusing to entertain them right now.

Sorry for being MIA - I've been busy volunteering. I'll tell you more about the organizations I volunteer with in another post.

But I did want to shout out Tarona L. Lee and Dina R. D'Alessandro from DonationNation08: http://donationnation08.blogspot.com/

They stopped by Dress for Success Atlanta, one of the organizations I volunteer with, to learn a lil bit about what we do, and share their story. It was their first stop in their tour of volunteer organizations across the US, and they had such a neat idea about their tour, that I wanted to share it. Their mission:

Our mission is to gather and document information from people across the United States who are donating their time to help and create local organizations in their community as well as the people who reap the benefits. By volunteering our assistance to non-profit organizations, interviewing the employees and recipients, and offering random acts of kindness, we intend to gain a complete understanding of the charitable efforts taking place throughout the United States of America.

This is just cool IMHO, because a lot of organizations need all the word-of-mouth they can get, and it gives the nation a chance to see what a lot of organizations do, and their community impact. I'm looking forward to pics and video ;)

obama-clinton-cropped-small.jpgor what should be more aptly subtitled: "Time to Call Off the Dogs".

The article can be found here: Low Road to Victory. Excerpt below:

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

my thoughts:: the thought has occurred to me repeatedly in the last few weeks, that if Clinton wins the Democratic Nomination - I'd rather throw away my vote by abstaining, or voting for an independent candidate, than support what's going on in the Democratic party right now. However, I definitely don't want to inadvertently support McCain in the process. But as the article states, I'm tired of the negativity, and unhappy about the direction the campaign has taken in the last few weeks.

The bright shining light of hope that seemed to color the campaign late in 2007 and early 2008 has turned into mudslinging, and everyone's getting dirty. It's time to clean things up, and stop providing fuel for the Republican general election fire.

belt_tighten_large.jpgI noticed it a couple of weeks ago, when some hot coffee I was carrying back to my desk burned my hand.

As I continued pulling the cup out of the coffee machine, while I looked around for a lid...
my coworker glibly responded:: they're all gone, and I don't think the vendor's coming back for a coupla days. I did the same thing. The cups are smaller.
me: wha?

coworker:: You burned your hand, right? Yeah - I did the same thing. They replaced the large cups with a cup slightly smaller, I guess to save money. Problem is - they didn't reset the machine - so it's dispensing the same amount of coffee.

So I looked, and yes - the cup is about 2oz. smaller - so that the coffee spilled over. By the time the vendor came in with the lids, the machine was properly reset, and our 16 oz cup is now 14. Nice.

this isn't how it begins:: but this is how we begin to notice the inevitable tightening belt. With smaller cup sizes, and a lack of free feminine hygiene products in our bathrooms. And removal of the lotion dispensers in our fitness center. And smaller, thinner napkins and toilet paper in our restrooms. Yes, I know those are all wonderfully expensive amenities that I shouldn't necessarily expect. But these are all signs, of a much bigger, more pervasive economic reality. Companies are going to cut costs by any means necessary.

Don't get it twisted. I work for a very large multinational company, that has been in the Fortune 500, longer than the Fortune 500 has actually existed. And while the profits decline for the top US companies in the Fortune 500 list, $10-Trillion dollars is nothing to sneeze at. These companies are making money hand over foot. And yes, fuel prices are killing mid size companies, who either have to pass those costs on to consumer - or bear them and face financial insolvency. But big a$$ companies like mine keep reserves, and invest in fuel futures, and foreign currencies - to offset fuel price fluctuations. So the problem isn't just that fuel prices are rising, and the problem won't be resolved if fuel prices drop.

I told y'all a long time ago:

Greed isn't just good. Greed is inevitable

Global economic growth is predicted to slow (what with the cost of capital)...but it's not decreasing. It's decelerating. And there's a definitive shift away from the declining US dollar, to more attractive markets and currencies (emerging economies, anyone). So large multinationals are doing what they gotta do, to ensure that shareholder value is preserved. What is it about again class?

Profit.

Net Income (Profits) = Sales - Cost of Goods/Services. Simple math....if you decrease the cost of goods/services, you can increase profits. EVEN IF SALES DECREASE, you can still increase/maintain profits by cutting costs MORE than the sales decrease.

Hence my lil a$$ cup o' joe. And the missing tampons. And some marginally necessary positions at my organization not being refilled. And contractors being laid off. And changes to my company's retirement plan. And increases in my out-of-pocket health care costs.

fire sale:: I'm having a yard sale at my house, within the next few weeks. Whatever is at my house that I'm not currently using will either be in my front yard, or on eBay. Expect a whole lotta wonderfully cheap, new/slightly used plus size fashions, Nine West/Via Spiga shoes, decor from Pier 1, Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Target, and random stuff (manual treadmill, other fitness equipment, and lots of random "stuff" that needs to go). I need to simplify - and replenish my savings account. F*ck an economic stimulus package. Stakes is high.

The lil a$$ cup o' joe isn't the big problem here, it's a symptom of a much bigger problem. What happens when my job becomes one of those marginally necessary positions?

I added a new category - Economics - because there's some things going on in this country, and the world, that are scaring me. This is just the writing on the wall.

tata_landrover.jpgThe full story is here, but I'm including the relevant portion below:

After spending billions of dollars on Jaguar and Land Rover, Ford Motor Co. gave up on the storied British automakers Wednesday and unloaded them to India's Tata Motors Ltd. for a mere third of the original purchase price.

The deal is another sign of the growing economic muscle of India and something of an economic role reversal, with two icons of British industrial might expanding the global reach of a premier conglomerate in the former British colony.

Ford nets about $1.7 billion, a far cry from what it paid for the properties -- $2.5 billion for Jaguar in 1989 and $2.7 billion for Land Rover in 2000. Counting losses and product development, analysts figure Ford spent more than $10 billion on the brands.

Those acquisitions, like General Motors' purchase of Saab and Chrysler's entanglement with Mitsubishi, came when cash was rolling in at the U.S. automakers as drivers snapped up cars and pricey pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

But Ford's fortunes have changed, with slumping U.S. sales and billions in losses. The fire-sale price comes as the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker concentrates on its main brands.

Now let me say this, first off - I'm not an economist, and I'm not going to front here like I'll become one. I could do a detailed financial analysis of this deal, and provide you with some historical information about Tata Motors - but you have Google & Wikipedia for that. Suffice it to say that Tata Motors is part of a much larger Indian multinational conglomerate - the Tata Group, and they've been doing big things, for years. This IMHO is just a sign that US economic dominance is slipping, as the BRIC's (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are positioned to fully take advantage of our economic woes, and move from "developing" status, into major economic powerhouse. They've been "creeping on the come up" for the last, say 20 years. Now - time to cash in.

Hmph...I've been sorta easing by a lot of the things I've learned about the global economy in the last 2-3 years - focused outside this space (B-school, for the MBA) but lightly brushing over them. Time to tie some things up, and bring them home.

Meanwhile, you may want to go back and check out some old posts I put in the category of Economics.....it may show you where I'm headed.

I wrote a while ago about the ongoing divorcing of North Fulton municipalities from greater Fulton County, here in metro Atlanta. Since then, we've had a crop of new cities appear: Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs...and I believe that there's still some discussion about how to address this in South Fulton.

Meanwhile, back at Fulton County - commercial property reassessments! To the tune of *drumroll please*:
$18 billion dollars!!!

Many should expect to get notices with values two or three times what's on the books for 2007. And increases of that magnitude mean the possibility of massive tax increases later this year.

You can read the full story here: Revaluations show hikes in Fulton commercial properties

What does this really mean? That if you own commercial property in Fulton County - the median increase is 44%. That's the MEDIAN. And for some properties (click the picture for an Interactive Map):



thebeautiful_tax.jpg


  • The Beautiful:: 168% valuation increase
  • Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter:: 200% valuation increase
  • Clarion Hotel Atlanta:: 44% valuation increase

Along with wondering how The Beautiful will be able to pay their taxes later this year (based on this new valuation) - I'm also wondering if the new municipalities will want/get a piece of THAT TAX PIE, hm?

As THE Inkognegro so eloquently pointed out about the discussion of race relations between Kevin Powell, Professor Greg Carr - PhD from Howard University, Kriss Turner - screenwriter of Something New, Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, and radio talk show host Tom Joyner and Brian Williams (MSNBC moderator) after the airing of "Meeting David Wilson" on NBC:

...and waited for that singular moment that inevitably arises where you see it all devolve into a squandered opportunity. I saw many candidates, but one particular moment took the cake.
A conversation ensued where each individual took their issues to a personal place and inevitably fell into a bunch of wolf tickets snuffed out by the unyielding march of the profit driven media.

Ultimately, if anything has been learned as we settle into the 21st Century, the media is what it is and it does what it does.

What it is, is a tool of the market. An enterprise. Despite the railings of ANYONE who says differently, it has only one master and one goal.

Profit.


Please don't ever get it twisted....no matter how important, how poignant, how relevant a media-controlled moment in these discussions might be....unless you have a chance of trumping the media's power by running the country....you will be interrupted by the ever present commercial break.

And as I commented on the Inkognegro's blog - just because a mainstream media outlet attempts to justify their legitimacy as a news outlet by sharing these "news stories' - doesn't mean I buy into it. I'm tempted to agree with Professor Greg Carr of Howard University (and Warren Ballentine for that matter) - who understand that we (the proverbial US black folks) don't expect much from the "euro-stream" media. And I (being an MBA) understand that profit rules.

But I & I (as a conscious thinking person), even as I don't expect much, know that I have to demand much more. Yes, Inkog is right - it (the media) does what it does - we just need to scream louder when we see it's BS.

Frankly, I've been a hopeful romantic for years. A love-conquers-all, fanatic of Eros style love romantic. In the past, I've been a big believer in the idea that opposites attract, and that "chemistry" is some undefinable "X" factor that just happens.

Then I grew up, and learned that all of that is BS. Love is a choice, and we choose who to love.

Ok, okay - yes, the milkman can marry the lawyer - that's not what I'm talking about. I guess I need to define what I think equally yoked means.

yoked.jpgwhat doesn't equally yoked mean?:: most discussions about being equally yoked that I've come across or have been involved in, reference religious beliefs and Christianity. They reference 2 Corinthians 6:14, which follows:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

I can't speak to the theological implications (me being a card-carrying member of Bedside Baptist and all), but I can understand the logic, even if I don't agree with it. If you're a holy-rolling bible-thumper, chance are you will have major issues with an atheist. If you're strict Muslim, you're probably gonna have issues with a Jainist.

But this assumes that religious beliefs are the deal-breaker, and I don't necessarily agree with that. In love, as in life, everyone has priorities. Religion may not be #1 on that list. But what is on that list? And what is #1 on that list? How do you decide? I just find the religious definition restrictive, since it doesn't address priorities.

older_couple.jpgmorals, values and cultural mores - oh my?!:: Opposites attract? Hm...it's easy to look at an artist and a scientist and think they're diametrically opposed. She's creative, he's analytical; she's free-spirited, and he's anal-retentive. Stereotypically. But is that accurate? Is that even important?

I took an African-American studies class a while ago, and it helped me examine what's important in building a healthy relationship. One of the principles we discussed was looking beyond the superficial reasons people typically get together, such as appearance, money, sexual attraction, and shared religious practices (ooooooo!). The idea was to focus on things that were more deeply ingrained in our personalities, that influence the life decisions we make: our morals, our values, our cultural mores and character traits.

An example: I have a friend who's in an industry that demands that he be very social. Networking is key to his business, so he interacts with a lot of people, and a lot of those people happen to be female. It's not necessarily part of his moral fiber, but it is part of the industry he chose to be in, so he does it - and does it very well. For a time, he was involved with a woman who was insecure. Very insecure. So much so that his job became a topic of ongoing arguments. He didn't have to be so social....he didn't have to allegedly flirt with every woman he meets at work. I had to have a heart-to-heart with him, and tell him - she's not the chick that's going to help you get where you're trying to go, no matter how much you love other things about her. They just weren't equally yoked.

The point here is that this is very subjective, and completely defined by the individuals involved. His job was important to him, and the socializing was a part of who he was. Her insecurities were diametrically opposed to this. So in this case - opposites repel. They broke up for other reasons, but IMHO - they just weren't on the same page.

equally yoked:: So...you have to really know "who you are", and what's important to you - in order to find someone that you want to spend time with. Your morals, your values, the cultural mores/norms that influence you and the way you live - all make up your personality. These, IMHO, are what's important, and what cannot conflict in a relationship. An ambitious person won't mesh well with someone who lacks ambition. Someone who's compassionate won't connect with someone who's aloof. This is what it means to be equally yoked. It doesn't guarantee a conflict-free relationship - I don't think such a thing exists. But these are things that are deal-breakers, so when we're making our list - these are the things that should be at the top.

naked.jpgmy "list"::I've had the opportunity to interact with some really interesting men. Educated and street-educated, intelligent, honest, culturally aware - as well as followers of pop culture. And I've engaged in really interesting conversations that have ranged from music and the merits of a pop-music Amerie vs. a neo-soul Erykah Badu, to furniture design and where to find a good Eames chair, to Friedman, Stiglitz and whether most economic theorists have their head up their a$$. I like hanging out with people who think Will Ferrell is hilarious, but can also laugh at Dave Chappelle as well as Steve Carrell & Romany Malco. Or Adult Swim. Who choose to vote for Obama because of his platform on issues, not just because he's black and they're not feeling Hilary. Who think that owning their own business is vital to long-term wealth building, and won't rely on government bail-outs (that are few and far between) but will wholeheartedly exploit every possible government subsidy and program that exists to help them start and run their own businesses. And who feel a solid set of foreign and trade policies are as important to the US coming out of our recession as domestic economic policies.

You see, I understand what's important to me. My list includes intelligence, ambition, open-mindedness, a strong sense of self (confidence/self-assurance), witty, fashionable, a passion for learning, culturally aware, sensual, spiritual, financially "making moves", social, politically knowledgeable and possessing not only a vision that includes both L-T and S-T goals, but also has a real plan to get them from point A to point B (and beyond). Oh, and possesses a passport. ;)

Does that make me elitist? Maybe - but it neither negates my parents' working class with no HS diplomas backgrounds, nor my 3 degrees. A college education (from a pedigreed school) isn't a deal-breaker, but snarky comments regarding my education is - since my education is important to me.

Does this sound like a rant? It partially is - after a less-than-amicable encounter with a potential dater that I wasn't feeling, and a nastygram from a few other brothas telling me that I'm way too "picky" or that I, like a lot of other "black women" am a "bitch, who thinks that they're as good as white women, but in reality is just a nigger".

If me declaring what I want in a potential mate is my being a "bitch" then so be it - I'll be that. I know who I am, and what I'm worth, and subsequently am not willing to settle for anything less than someone deserving of a woman as special as me. And if my declaration somehow emasculates you, or incenses you to the point that you feel the overwhelming need to denigrate me - then we're definitely not equally yoked.

starry.jpg

random weirdness

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

So, has the cost of fuel prices driven this person mad, or is it the microwave frequencies coming from your cellphone?:

IMAG0032.jpg
Click on the pic above to see the full size picture.

Ok, yes - cellphones while driving annoy me as well. But there's no way I'd buy a black minivan and cover it completely with the neon-scribbled ramblings of my outraged mind. The movie "23" definitely comes to mind...

If you can't see the words: it's the Torture Games of their Cell Phones and Navigation Systems that are killing Our Children 24/7. They're also torturing our kids with cyberdildonics and cybersex.

I don't know about you, but I'm about to get me some-o-dem cyberdildonic thingies. Sounds intriguing.

Walk for Autism

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Click the pic for more details.
autism_walk.gif

I'd like to take a moment for altruism, and a (slightly selfish, yet) good cause. The 2008 Walk For Autism is coming up in less than two weeks, and I'm soliciting for donations, walkers and anyone/anything else that would like to help out:
Date:
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Location:
Atlantic Station
171 17th Street
Atlanta, GA 30363

Time:
Registration opens: 6:30 a.m
Resource Fair opens: 6:30 a.m
Opening Ceremonies: 7:30 a.m.
Walk kicks off: 8:00 a.m.
Resource Fair closes: 12:00 p.m.

To donate, or sign up as a walker, or team member --> go to the team page: Walk For Autism

Autism effects 1 in 150 children: Every 20 minutes, another family will hear those 4 words. Their lives will never be normal.

Farin's road has been long and challenging, and I'm forever grateful for the support that our family and our MARDS family has provided.

Please donate to this extremely worthy cause!

Well, that's not actually true, is it? Because I've actually been obsessed with Bottega Venetta for a couple of years now. The first time I really eyeballed their Spring 2006 collection, I was intrigued. Tobacco brown paired with gray? For Spring? It was so anti-spring, yet bold that I was lusting for one of his chocolatey confections. But it was a passive lust, one of those "oh, I'll never be able to pull it off, but it's cute" affections. Me, thinking: "If only I were skinny, I could pull off one of those waspy white gauze sundresses, or the gray shorts with chocolate brown leather jacket looks". I sighed audibly and moved on.

bv_dress2.jpgUntil Spring 2007. Tomas Maier reeled me in fully, with a complete study in neutrals, that ran so completely against all the colors other houses were showing, that I forgot I was supposed to want a Crayola 8 pack from April through September. I wanted Khaki, Ecru, Stone, pastel Peach, Blush, Nude, pastel Gray and every subtle shade between. Click the pic for a view of the whole Bottega Venetta Spring 2007 collection, and thanks to Style.com for being an invaluable resource for all my fashion research.

And even almost 2 years since I originally saw this dress, I still think this is the banging-est (yes, that IS now a word) dress I've seen in 7-8 years. I still love this dress.


So with Spring 2008, I knew they'd break me off with a new dress that I HAD to have. I wasn't disappointed.

bv_dress1.jpgThis is my perfect spring obsession.

I love the Chemise. The line, the structure, the form fitted-ness that is ultimately forgiving, and the neutral pallette this creates. It's the perfect "base" on which I can build an extensive (trust me, E.X.T.E.N.S.I.V.E.) spring-summer wardrobe. Now this color isn't my fave (I like cooler neutrals, preferably Stone with some serious gray undertones) but I'd rock the HELL outta this dress, with my dangerous curves (junk in da trunk) and all. Click the pic for a view of the whole Bottega Veneta Spring 2008 collection.

I'm picturing it solo, with the gladiator sandals I posted previously, a nice chunky wooden beaded necklace and a substantial dark brown leather bag (like this Loeffler Randall for Target I just bought). Or paired with a safari jacket, and some killer Snakeskin pumps in Ecru, and a pale Hermes scarf. Or maybe as a jumper, with a gray, beige and stone animal print shirt, and some funky peep-toe Mary Janes. But beyond that, the silhouette extends to varying the neckline and giving it a collar, and it's a whole new dress. Or substituting the skirt with some straight-leg pants. Or maybe an A-line skirt. Adding sleeves. Changing the color. The perfect base is now a whole new wardrobe.

And this is why I like Bottega Venetta so much, because the pieces work well alone, together, and with the rest of your existing wardrobe. It's not just the design, but the versatility that I'm obsessed wtih. And I love that they can take a basic piece, in a neutral tone, and execute it so simply, yet divinely. Take their whole collection in it's entirety - see the one-off colors below. Like, just adding a slight change in tone, a lil blush, a splash of peach...which are barely one-shade off the base - and you have this whole new outfit, that works so well with all the other piece. i love the one-off looks:

bv_collection1.jpg


bv_collection2.jpg
I'm so completely infatuated. Too bad it doesn't come in my size. But my sewing machine still works....lol.