Tag Archives: fashion

New boutique brings boho-chic to Scottsdale

5 two 3 opened its doors in November to its first-ever retail store in the heart of bustling Old Town Scottsdale, Ariz. Located at the southwest corner of Goldwater Boulevard and Fifth Avenue.  The boho inspired boutique offers handmade, free-spirited women’s clothing and yoga headbands in a myriad of vibrant prints and comfortable fabrics.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the buzzing Scottsdale shopping and fashion scene,” said 5 two 3 co-founder Brittany Garcia. “We believe our clothing and accessory line brings something fun and totally different to the community.”

5 two 3 offers everything from stylish sweatpants, faux fur vests and groovy bell bottoms dubbed “peace pants,” to rompers, vintage t-shirts and yoga headbands. Shoppers can expect to see patterns and fabrics change seasonally. “Our brand is unlike anything you’ll see at the mall. You won’t find the girl next to you in yoga wearing anything like it.”

All items are handcrafted in Phoenix using American made fabric sourced from California. In addition, patrons can feel good about their purchase because the local business donates 5.23 percent of proceeds from each item sold to organizations benefiting women entrepreneurs in developing companies who have their own apparel companies.

Garcia and co-founder Karah Eaton founded 5 two 3, named after the May 23 birthday they share, in January 2013 while working together at a yoga studio in Phoenix. The duo launched the brand modestly with a simple line of yoga headbands they sewed by hand with a thread and needle in their apartments. Today, in addition to the newly opened brick and mortar locale, limited quantities of 5 two 3 apparel and yoga headbands can be found at all Kaleidoscope Juice, Madison Improvement Club and True Hot Yoga locations, and at Pepper Boutique.

5 two 3 is located at 6957 E. Fifth Ave. in Scottsdale. The boutique is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call (480) 946-0856 or visit www.5two3.com.

Jennica E. Maes | aMaes photography

Alcoholic’s recovery sparks Arizona fashion line

Stephen and Nick Polando were in a parking garage on Mill Avenue one night in 2009. They decided to race each other, displaying their competitiveness as brothers. Nick, the younger of the two at 22 years old, won the race. Stephen, 25, was devastated and immediately blamed it on his struggles with alcoholism.

“It hits you hard when you start losing athletic activities to your younger brother. I was always dominant,” said Stephen.

Nick realized how much alcohol was affecting Stephen’s life, but turned a blind eye until that night in the parking garage.

“I had him by the shoulders and I was like, ‘Look, dude. You’re 25. What are you doing? Seriously, what are you doing?’” Nick recalled. “I couldn’t fathom the idea of having a 25-year-old brother who was an alcoholic.”

Both of them knew Stephen needed something to occupy his time and help him on the road through recovery. That’s when a simple idea turned into a life-changer.

Mike Spangenberg, Stephen’s roommate and boss at the time, was heavily into fashion. Stephen says that Spangenberg’s favorite activity growing up was back-to-school shopping. He loved it. So when Stephen was inspired with an idea to make an Arizona-themed clothing line, Spangenberg was all ears.

“Me and Mike, since we were 16, had Cardinals season tickets together … I know he is so passionate about Arizona. I’m passionate about Arizona. I knew Nick was even more passionate than I was,” said Stephen.

Stephen came up with the name StateFortyEight and they looked to Nick, the artist in the group, to make the logo. After those essential pieces were put together, however, things weren’t so easy for the three entrepreneurs.

“We went through six really, really painful months of disagreeing about all kinds of stuff about how we’re going to run this company,” Stephen said.

The close bond that the three have with each other allows them to compromise and get through any disagreements that they may encounter.

“All three of us are very different. We still have very different minds … it always allows us to show very different perspectives,” Nick said.

One of the first hurdles they had to work through was when Spangenberg began spreading the word about the shirts to anyone that would listen before they even discussed what the marketing strategy was going to be.

“My vision of the whole thing going down was we were going to get the shirts and then talk about how we were going to distribute them and market them and all that kind of stuff, but apparently Mike had been telling everybody that he knew,” said Nick.

Not one of the three business partners regret Spangenberg’s actions. In fact, they continue to believe his fast pace is a great quality to bring to the business.

“My natural instinct is pushing and getting the most out of everybody, including myself,” Spangenberg said.

Although there are personality conflicts, one thing they all have in common is being alumnus of Chandler High School. In fact, one of the original StateFortyEight shirts featured the school colors of royal blue and white. The connection runs deep and attracted the attention of fellow Chandler High alum and 2013 Miss Arizona Jennifer Smestad, who models for the company.

“It’s just an awesome company. We did a photo shoot at the Grand Canyon and some other cool Arizona landmarks … I love that they make a state that a lot of people view as old and boring actually new and cool,” said Smestad.

During his Chandler High days, Spangenberg was in a marketing club called DECA. He continues to help the club any way he can and is still in touch with the program’s instructor, Kim Frahm.

“Mike is such a great guy and has shared his new-found marketing and business experience with the kids here at Chandler DECA. It is so awesome to see former students take what they learn in here and be successful with it in the real world,” Frahm proudly said.

StateFortyEight has taken off and the brand has produced a line of popular products for those who love the Grand Canyon State. It was not an easy journey to get the business where it is now, but the group takes immense pride in how far it has gotten them in their personal lives.

“Four years ago, I couldn’t stop drinking vodka. Now people talk to me like I’m a freakin’ celebrity,” Stephen said with a satisfactory grin.

The Limited: Scandal Inspired Collection

Lights, Camera, Fashion!

“The Business Fashionista” is AZ Big Media’s fashion blog for the business-minded. It examines the dos, don’ts and musts of the modern fashionista who wants to stay in step with the latest trends in the workplace.

Strong, sexy, bold, smart and a killer wardrobe. That describes many leading female characters on television. Audiences of shows like “Scandal,” to “The Good Wife” and “House Of Cards,” are becoming obsessed with these female characters’ outfits. Not only do these ladies have a strong personality, but so do their clothes.

With the rising popularity of women taking over what was once only a “man’s job,” it’s a no-brainer that they need to dress the part, too. Hollywood took notice of this movement by giving viewers what they wanted: women who were not housewives and surely didn’t dress like them. “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, went from a White House communications director to having her own crisis management firm. “House of Cards’” Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, is a lobbyist, manages an environmental nonprofit organization and is a wife of one of the most powerful men on the Hill.

All these female characters have two things women want: authority and attention. These ladies are not doormats, but rather the embodiment of a business fashionista. You can’t have authority without looking the part. You’re also less likely to get anyone to notice you with just a plain outfit.

So the work outfit “do” of the week, straight from “Scandal,” is “be a gladiator in a suit!” The closest you can get to living the crazy, dramatic and fulfilling lives that these women show on TV is to copy what they wear and how they wear it. If you feel inspired at this point but soon come to realize that you have no idea how to dress like your favorite character, don’t worry.

Fashion retail stores like The Limited anticipated this. That’s why The Limited might have just struck gold with their collection inspired by “Scandal.” Many women can’t seem to get enough of Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope, so why not create a collection based on her signature style?

This collection and many similar ones are showing women that you don’t have to dress like a man to do man’s job. Neutral, rich colors, structured, sharp lines and a hint of skin exposure sum up the elements of Hollywood’s business fashionistas’ outfits.

If you pay close attention to these powerful ladies on your screen, you’ll notice that their dress or blazer doesn’t compromise who they are. The idea behind The Limited’s “Scandal” inspired collection according to Kerry Washington is for women to be both sexy and smart and not have to choose.

Why should you have to choose between being fashionable and being functional at the office? If there is anything that women have proved countless times throughout the generations, is that women can get the job done while maintaining their appearance.

So please….

  • DO trade your simple black blazer for this double breasted jacket
The Limited

The Limited

  • DO try this cape, and watch the reactions you get.
The Limited

The Limited

  • DO experiment with a different dress shape
The Limited

The Limited

  • DOwear your outfit with confidence

Knoodle Brings ‘What Not to Wear’ to Workplace

Many consider business fashion a cookie-cutter style wasteland rife with bland polo shirts and pencil skirts. However, renowned creative agency knoodle is giving office couture a makeover by helping companies navigate the minefield of fashion faux pas with its newly announced menu of image management and personal styling services.

To provide the most dramatic and effective client fashion transformations, knoodle has retained the talents of style guru Cathy Harrelson. Harrelson rose to fame in Beverly Hills, styling celebrities, TV personalities, movie stars and studio executives.

The fun “knoodle style” process begins with a tour through a client’s existing wardrobe to address their style questions and educate them on what cuts, colors and brands will work best for them. With this knowledge in hand, clients then graduate to knoodle’s shopping boot camp where Harrelson provides real-world style advice and expert guidance during trips to a local fashion mall.

“Image management goes beyond just picking out a few clothing items for someone,” said Harrelson. “I give them the education and confidence needed to develop a polished look for them and their brand.”

Knoodle recently applied its personal styling services to its own team, with Harrelson reinventing the style of each employee, closet by closet. To glamorize their office wardrobes, knoodle took the team for an afternoon of shopping with Harrelson and gave every member a $100 style allowance.

“After consulting and shopping with Cathy, my employees had an instant boost in confidence and were excited to show off their new fashion skills in the office,” said knoodle CEO Rosaria Cain. “This self-empowerment and the benefit of a good first impression to our new clients is a priceless achievement.”


Scottsdale-based PCA SKIN Recognized as Exporter of The Year

PCA SKIN, a leading clinical skin care company in the development of professional chemical peels and advanced daily care products for more than 20 years, has been selected as the national recipient of the ThinkGlobal Inc., 2013 Exporter of the Year Awards in the health and beauty/fashion category. The Exporter of the Year Award recognizes the export success of small to medium-sized businesses that account for 97 percent of the American export community.

PCA SKIN was selected by ThinkGlobal based on outperforming others in the total number of documented export deals completed in 2011, total percentage increase in sales in 2011 compared to 2010, and exports as percentage of total sales. In fact, PCA SKIN has experienced significant international growth, entering China, Russia, Greece and Australia in recent years, with exponential international revenue growth last year.

“It is a great honor for PCA SKIN to be recognized for success in exporting, as we are driven to provide the best skin health options in now more than 80 countries,” said Jamie True, PCA SKIN International Business Development Director. “We look forward to continued domestic and global growth, underscoring the importance of world-class products and care through our licensed skin health professionals.”

ThinkGlobal Inc., the publisher of Commercial News USA, the official export promotion magazine of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is honoring Exporter of the Year Award winners in 13 industry categories. PCA SKIN, along with the other winners, will be recognized at a special program in Washington, D.C. this March 2013.

PCA SKIN is recognized for its innovations in skin health, and is a trusted global leader in the development of gentle, yet highly effective professional treatments and daily care products, partnering with physicians to provide a proven process combining aesthetics and science for healthy, beautiful skin that begins at the cellular level.

For more information about PCA SKIN, visit www.pcaskin.com or call 877.PCA.SKIN.