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field trip: we visit our factory in Chicago

26 Mar

This past weekend, we took a little trip out to Chicago to visit our factory.  It is where our DU private label is produced.  Sean has been working with this factory for years and years, with Wrath Arcane, and has spent much time there, but I have never yet had the chance to see where ‘the magic happens!”.

It was pretty cool to see where and how it all comes together.  This is Sean’s profession, but I don’t know much about it, so I am glad I finally got to do this.

xoxo

danielle

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speaking of walking in a park: NYC’s THE HIGH LINE

8 Mar

This is the High Line during it’s years of use.  (To mostly passengers between 1934 – 1960’s).  And Below are some images of what the High Line turned into after it’s last use (carrying a few frozen chickens in 1980).  Not to say it was not beautiful in it’s own romantic sort of way, but certainly not safe or functional.  (these images by Joel Sternfeld by way of The High Line.org website.)

In 1999 two guys who lived in the neighborhood of the High Line, started Friends of the High Line and their efforts to save the tracks and have them re-purposed as a pedestrian park were underway.  It didn’t happen over night but in 2006 the project was underway, led by world class firm JAMES CORNER FIELD OPERATIONS. 

Check out this video that much better explains this amazing project below:

ATTN: CLEVELANDERS:  Take note as FIELD OPERATIONS is the same firm that was commissioned to re-imagine our own PUBLIC SQUARE!  We too can have a world class park! Check out the PROJECTS section of their website then click on Cleveland’s Public Square.  Now look at the images below of the High Line today and take note of the billions of dollars worth of development that has been spurred on around this park as a direct result of this project.   We too could see the same kind of positive impacts, from a functional, beautiful, world class make over of our city’s center.

Below are images taken from the High Line.org’s website:

Below is a pic of the DU buying assistant, Jen Allanson and the RS buying assistant, Jennie Doran while on a recent trip to NYC and (of course) the High Line.

Anyhow, I just love the High Line and want so badly to be able to walk to Public Square on my lunch break and have the same sort of experience.  And I can’t help but think of all the amazing potential projects, businesses, buildings etc that would pop up around it.

xoxoxo

danielle

NYC part 2: play

24 Feb

Each time I come to NYC I get a little bit better at knowing my way around.  Yet each time, I think to myself, ‘this is the best brain exercise!” because it is not quite instinctive and I have to always take a beat and think about where I am and where I am headed.  Wes and I were meeting up after work one day and he was walking to meet me in Chelsea and we realized we were walking towards each other on the same street just a few blocks away and he said to me “I’ll be on the North side of the street” and I was like…”um, without Lake Erie I don’t know where North is!”.

I am there about 6-8 times a year between work and seeing my bff who resides there.  But it was THIS trip that I felt that things really started to ‘click’ for my sense of direction.  I have to admit, the GREATEST GRID exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, which my mom and I visited over this past weekend, really helped my understanding of how to navigate this city.

Turns out that while downtown seems to have been exempted to some degree from the grid plan of 1811, Manhattan is made up (mostly) of a series of North South Avenues (1-12) and East West Streets (1-155) (with a few distinctive and notable streets that are the exception to this -Madison, Lexington, Broadway also i suppose the addition of the alphabet streets of the lower east side).

Anyhow, this is notable because it makes it very easy to understand where you are in relation to where you are going and you can start to gauge the distance, which will determine if foot, train or cab would be the best form of transportation.  For awhile now, my understanding of the geographic relationship between neighborhoods has significantly improved my confidence in getting around, but I should have started with learning what the grid was here.  In fact, it is similar to Cleveland’s own grid in a few ways as we have numbered roadways running North South (4th st., 6th st., 9th st., etc) and east west streets cutting across them (st.Clair, Superior, Euclid, Prospect etc.).

I’m still going to have to calibrate my brain upon my next arrival to the big apple, but each time, it gets a whole lot easier, and a lot more fun subsequently.

Above is an image of the survey done of each of the avenues.  The exhibit is really cool because it shows how until the elevation of each road had been leveled out ( a HUGE issue and undertaking ). On one side of the street there would be rocky ledges right up to the street, which the city paid to level, and on the other side huge craters.  The city would pay for the streets to be brought to the correct elevation but required land owners to either excavate or fill in their own lands to get to the proper level.  It was really fascinating.

Below is a video I found on youtube of the exhibit.  Pretty cool.  Visit the museum’s website here.

xoxoxo

danielle

NYC part 1: work.

23 Feb

This past week I flew back out to NYC for another work related buying trip (and if i’m telling the truth there was also a lot of personal shopping too!).  Typically the trade show’s are so exhausting, short of a little dinner, or perhaps a little shopping or a show, it’s a lot less play and a lot more work than it was in the days of owning just a tiny little boutique.

This time was a bit more special however, because I headed to NYC the weekend before my trade show along with my mother and BFF so that we could shop for a wedding dress for my upcoming nuptials.  In the days before work and in the evenings of my work week, I filled every moment with the best NYC had to offer this time around and soaked up every minute of it.  Wes (my fiance) even showed up the last couple days to make being away from home (and him) a lot easier!

On Monday, our assistant buyer, Jen from Dredgers Union and Jennie from my other store, ROOM SERVICE and I set out to the shows and secured some VERY EXCITING and cozy products for Fall 2012.  I’d like to show you pics of everything we bought, but that will have to wait for a little while longer.

In the meantime however, I’ll share some pics of the shows themselves.  We attend 5 shows in this 3 day period and they run the gamut from highly curated & small venues to HUGE venues with seemingly everything under the sun under their giant roofs.  I always wish I had a pedometer on me when I am there, because I swear we must walk 10-15 miles a day while at these shows!

(ABOVE) The Starret Lehigh building in Chelsea is one of my favorites for its mass and beautifully rounded leaded window panes.  Just beautiful.  Inside this building in a few giant empty studios is one of the shows I attend.  It is a smaller, curated collection of goods. Then, up the street is another building of studios, housing more curated shows.

Below is the view from the Starret Lehigh and below that are a few interior images of the smaller shows.

Below is the very imposing JAVITZ CONVENTION CENTER.  To say it is huge would be a staggering understatement.  We walk it in it’s entirety.  It takes days, of course.

it is very difficult to capture it’s interior scale, but it is long aisle after long aisle of visual and mental stimulus.  When you leave this building your brain will hurt as badly as your feet and legs.

Fortunately, our buying assistant can also double as a model, making some buying choices much clearer and easier to make.  (coat on jen arriving fall 2012 – skirts shown below that will be arriving NEXT MONTH!).

coming up soon will be a few more posts on this particular trip to NYC.

xoxoxo

danielle

Final Clue for Hunt in the 216!

25 Nov

Here it is…  The final clue for the first ever DU Hunt in the 216!

In the heart of downtown this time I will stay,
On this glorious, victorious, final clue day.
To a street formerly known as Sheriff I will go,
And find a place that sells a “crush”, and the stuff we call Joe.

Then I’m gonna book it to DU and win!

Remember, the first person to relay the message on the puzzle pieces wins $100 gift card, and gets to name a piece from the DU S12 line, and get that piece in his or her size when the line is released.  No phone calls, you must be here in person to win…

Also, anyone that comes in with the completed message after the winner gets 20% their entire purchase at the DU today!

The city of Cleveland was also kind enough to offer free metered parking downtown today in honor of the release of today’s final clue!

Good luck and Happy Hunting!!!

Hunt in the 216 Clue #3

21 Nov

Here is the third clue for the epic saga that has become Hunt in the 216!

From the heart of downtown a bit South I would travel,
To trees and grass where nearby clues would unravel.
This open air space in honor of old Abe,
Has as its neighbor a beanery in its shade.

Be the first person to know what all 4 puzzle pieces say and share that with a member of the DU staff to win!  Be kind to your fellow competitors…  If you find the last puzzle piece in any location, just write down its message and leave it for the next person.  Or maybe not.  Depends on how bad you want to win.  Haha.

The final clue will be released on Friday morning at 10am.  Something tells me there is going to be a “foot race”.

Good Luck!

DU Hunt in the 216 Clue #2

17 Nov

Here the second clue for the DU Hunt in the 216:

From the heart of downtown East I must go,
To see an independent moving picture show.
Next to the theater stands an Irishman’s bar,
within it a cigarette machine, to the back but not far.

We’re also sweetening the pot by adding to the grand prize.  In addition to a $100 gift card to the Dredgers Union, the winner will also get to name a style from the upcoming DU Spring 12 line, and get a free piece in his or her size!

Remember, to win you must be the first person to know what all four of the puzzle pieces are, and then relay that information to a member of the DU staff.  The next clue will be released on Monday at 11am.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!