A Passion For Fashion- Marcello Recommends: FlirtyFinds.com

shoppers

Chic, comfortable and affordable couture at FlirtyFinds.com

I had no idea how popular Big Buddha’s were until I interviewed Jamie Hoff and Beth Roy; former executives at Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co. respectively.   Truth be told, I had no idea that a Big Buddha was actually a handbag.

Being blessed with a stylistic je ne sais quoi is just one of the many reasons why Jamie and Beth own and operate a successful fashion-forward enterprise called Flirty Finds; a Bergen County, NJ based online company that offers chic couture, accessories and style advice to internet savvy tweens and women all over the country.

What sets the Flirty duo apart from all of the retailers and department stores is their expert ability to sift through the abundance of fashion fails being offered out there and hand-pick what is going to make you look great, feel good and not break the bank; a true fashionista trifecta.

So, if you can’t get to Milan, New York City, Tokyo, Rome or Paris anytime soon and you want to see what you should be wearing this season; just grab your credit card and visit flirtyfinds.com from the comfort of your own home.

FF owners, Beth Roy and Jamie Hoff

Flirty owners, Beth Roy and Jamie Hoff

*I asked Beth to share some of Flirty’s thoughts on e-commerce, life balance, customer service, fashion trends and what they’ve been up to lately; this is what she had to say…

How has your business changed since its inception?

“We came to this business partnership after 20 years of friendship, and had many years of business experience between us. When we launched our website almost 2 years ago, we were both brand new at e-commerce, and we have learned so much from the experience.  From the technology, to the marketing to buying and selling our products – we’ve been able to fine-tune our focus and strategies based on what works and what our customers want. We’ve evolved from a website with an email list basically consisting of our friends and family, to a strong, developing brand — we were even mentioned in People Stylewatch this month.”

Do you have any tips for other moms who are raising a family and running a business?

“The biggest challenge we’ve encountered has been not letting the business and our laptops intrude on our family lives too much. We love what we do so much, that if we could, I fear we would both work on the business around the clock. We both chose when we had kids to be home for them, and this business allows us to do that.  The challenge is limiting our work time so that our families remain the top priority.  Finding that balance is a challenge that we both work on every day.”

What is the hottest product for this season?

A Big Buddha Bag, The "Bella"

A Big Buddha Bag, The "Bella"

The Big Buddha bag (the “bella” bag in blue) and it has been our hottest seller to date.  Bags and accessories in sorbet colors such as aqua, pink and yellow are the hot trends for spring.”

Are there any trends that you see on the horizon?

“Women are learning how to stretch their clothing budgets by buying the basic foundations, and using accessories to liven up and add interest to their looks.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a look that is fresh, trendy and polished.”

What was the best business advice you ever got?

‘We both agree that the best advice we ever received was to do something you like and you will be successful.  Also, always stay focused on the customer and find ways to make their life easier.  Oh, and of course, the customer is always right.”

Who inspires you?

“Jamie is inspired by her husband, Mark and author/speaker Joel Osteen who both give great advice on controlling your own destiny.  I’m inspired by my girlfriends, including Jamie, many of whom are mom entrepreneurs too, and who provide endless support, inspiration and ideas.”

What are you reading?

“I’m reading Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk.  A great book on leveraging the power of the social media to build your brand.  Jamie is currently reading The Help, one of my favorites.”

invi

The IsABelt

Which product has made your personal life easier?

“One of our products, the IsABelt, (an invisible belt) is one of those products that is so simple, yet so effective. Jamie loves her iphone and the Keurig Coffee Maker is one of my favorite inventions of all time.”

What are you listening to?

“I’m a political junkie so it’s talk radio for me and Jamie is a fan of the The Black Eyed Peas.”

What are you watching?

Parenthood & Modern Family; the two best shows to come around in a long time.”

What are you surfing?

“Budget Fashionista, YouLookFab, Momgenerations and  StyleBakery.”

*Thank you for your time ladies, I wish you continued success and all of the health and happiness that life has to offer.

I Got A Feeling: Isabella & Jay Get Married at The Manor

isabella-and-jay-2If you are looking for “the perfect place to get married,” the New York Times will point you in the direction of West Orange, NJ.  One of their top recommendations is The Manor, a picturesque estate that boasts formal gardens, timeless decor and classic elegance.

Without dating myself too harshly, my senior prom was held there when the Father of the Bride movie premiered on VHS.   If you haven’t seen it yet and need a sanity break from planning your wedding reception and a few laughs, rent it asap  (on DVD or On-demand of course).

Isabella and Jay had a gorgeous fall day for their wedding.  The grounds of the Manor looked exquisite as the guests arrived for the ceremony.  We worked with Reverend Mitchell, whose humor and polish created personalized and entertaining nuptials for everyone in attendance.  As always, we provided professional audio support including lapel microphones so the guests who were  seated more than two rows back could enjoy all of the special vows, musical selections and heart-warming moments.

the-manor2After an impressive cocktail hour in the Manor’s atrium, family and friends entered the ballroom to await Isabella and Jay’s grand entrance.  They were tapping their toes and snapping their fingers to the sounds of Michael Buble, Spiral Staircase, Michael McDonald, The Beatles, Michael Franti and Stevie Wonder.   After the bridal party was introduced with customized audio clips and pre-programmed lighting effects, Isabella and Jay came into a personalized edit of Paradise City, by Guns and Roses, which brought the energy of the room up to the next level.

Isabella and Jay chose Stuck on You by Lionel Ritchie for their wedding song, Daughter by Loudon Wainwright for the father-daughter dance and Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd for the mother-son dance.    One of the dance floor highlights was watching Isabella’s family doing a seven minute Hora before the main course was served.  I felt like I was doing a Bat Mitzvah; the guests were loving it.

After the cake cutting, which Isabella chose the 2nd verse of Your In My Heart by Rod Stewart to be played in the background, family and friends returned to the atrium to enjoy the Manor’s Viennese stations.

isabella-jay-13For the last dance, we played a crowd favorite to get all of the remaining guests back onto the dance floor.  It was I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. Isabella and Jay sang and danced along with their family and friends to end the night with everyone cheering for the brand-new Mr. and Mrs. McMahon.

It’s always a pleasure collaborating with the Manor.   Marwan Jurri, the maitre d’ and Jim Levinsky, the banquet manager, extended their hospitality throughout the evening and were instrumental in orchestrating a smooth reception.

Special thanks to Rich Janniello, from Ciro Photography, who shared his fantastic photos for this blog entry.  This was the first time we had the opportunity to team up.  Based on his professionalism, I hope we get to collaborate again soon.  Rich was always in the right place at the right time in an un-obtrusive manner.  We also had nice chat before the ceremony about why he always had three different cameras ready to go.  Rich explained why the right lens for the right moment is crucial and why having back-up equipment is paramount.   That’s the kind of event professional a bride and groom want to work with if they value peace of mind.

Encore Gallery:

isabella-and-jay-horaisabella-and-jay-the-ringsisabella-jay-l-o-v-e

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