15 years ago I was invited to a luncheon, in Milwaukee….at the Pfister Hotel. The Pfister is generally regarded as the best hotel in town ….especially at that time. The funny thing was that I didn’t know the people that invited me….or who else was going. I had never heard of the company, at that time we were called elana. And for some reason I accepted the invitation and went to the event. Curious to see what it was all about.
My Dad had just died the week or two before the luncheon. He had been sick for a very long time and it was somewhat of a relief, actually, that he was finally going to Rest In Peace. I am the oldest of 4 children and I wanted to talk about my Dad at his funeral. I had decided that long before he died. But when it finally happened I had a really big problem! I had nothing to WEAR!! I tried to find something ‘altar appropriate’….and it wasn’t as easy as it sounds!! You see I have a difficult body type to fit and the choices were, generally, terrible. I found ‘something’ that was fine, but the important thing was that I had had the experience! I knew what it was like to want/need something nice to wear and I couldn’t FIND ANYTHING !!
Imagine my surprise when I returned home from the funeral to find an invitation to come to a luncheon to be introduced to Designer Fashion Beginning at size 12?!? I was anxious to know more!
I was so taken by the idea….by the people I met that day….and the idea that what every woman wants is to have clothes in her closet that take her to where she goes! I had never thought of my clothes that way before. These people had a new product that catered to women like me.
You see, the fact is
*the average American woman wears size 16 and above, 67% of American women wear size 14-24.
*she has places to go and things to do….and generally is very Good at what she does
*the baby boomers are aging, their body types are changing. Suddenly, nothing fits.
This sounds like a wonderful opportunity!! I’m in!! I think I can do this!! I think I can contribute to the success of a company like this. I know women who will want to know about what this is all about….and I really getting to know the people encouraging me to join them! I felt like there was a train going by, with a great team of people urging me to jump on board their train and help them improve their product and to introduce what we knew about to others.
Well, as you can guess, I said YES!! And I’m so glad that I did!!! I am just home from the DONCASTER 2016 Fashion and Business Conference. I am happy and proud to say that I have made a difference!! I have met women from all over the country, young women, more mature women…some of whom have been in this business 25, 35, 45….& up….and some that are brand new!! As our world has changed in the last 15 years, so has my business…and the company, too. But the one thing that has not changed….we LOVE our business! We LOVE our clients!! We LOVE how we feel when we wear our new clothes…..and really all we want to do is to keep on keeping on!!
The new clothes are gorgeous! I know you will want to see them as soon as I get them in January…..especially if I haven’t seen you in awhile!! Come see me and together we will keep making a difference.
If you would like to know more about the Doncaster Opportunity let me know! Or….go to DONCASTER.COM. They will be able to help you!
I think you will be glad you did!
Regularly, around this time of year, every year….
I ask my clients this question. When was the last time you bought a new coat?! And regularly the response is….I don’t need a new coat! I have a closet full of coats!! Exactly!!! That is why you probably need a new coat! And it is especially true this year. This is the year of the Coat. Your top coat is the garment that sets the tone for your whole look! Recently I have actually wanted to wear a jacket/coat. I have a new coat for this year. It is the thing that helps me to push my look out of my comfort zone…it prompts me to try something new. And generally, that is such a great feeling! It puts a bounce in my step every time! I don’t understand why we buy lovely, new clothes and then we go and cover up with a tired, old coat!? Why do we do that? I see it in the grocery store, the mall, just about anywhere and everywhere I go … all winter long. When I see the lady across a crowded mall in that big old coat, hanging down to her ankles, (and she is trying her best to navigate the escalator!) and with big old shoulders, with great big epaulets….I think, Oh Dear! She has had that coat a LONG time!! I know …. because I had a coat like that when my children were babies!! And they are in their late 30’s!! Come on Ladies, let’s get with the program! We can do better than this!
Around this time is when the client says to me….Oh, I can’t part with that coat!! I love to walk the dog in the bitter cold Wisconsin winter!! All right. All right! But don’t wear that coat any place else…once the sun comes up it must be back in the closet!
Some days you will be plenty warm enough with a beautiful, pebble knit capelet. Maybe a ginger fur trimmed vest…with a ginger wrap? Maybe a mixed media black vest? Or maybe a new tweed coat? Or my favorite, the jacquard jacket with a funky underpinning for good measure…the funkier the better for this coat! And, maybe, depending on where you live, the reversible wool animal print/multi print will be just enough….to take you from the garage to the office.
How can you tell if you should keep this coat? Or that one? Try the FFF test! How does it Feel when you touch it? Does it feel good on your skin? Does it make you smile at the thought of wearing it? Does it Flatter you, and your physique? Is it modern and contemporary? Are you prompted to think…Hmmm….How will I wear this? Where will I wear it?? And, last but not least…does it Function the way you want it to? Will it take you to the places you want to go!?
Think about it! Take a quick glance in the mirror as you are walking out the door….what do you think?? Is your look Fine? That’s Great!
Have a Great Day!
I saw the most attractive woman tonight on my way home from the city.
We have the most beautiful lakefront here in Milwaukee. It has been a long day, so I came home by the lake. I was going along with the crowd, not really paying much attention to what was going on around me…on this GORGEOUS, FALL DAY…down by the beach!!
All of a sudden I noticed this woman jogging/walking/taking her daily constitutional walk…you could just tell! She was stunning! I don’t know her…at all! She was a big, tall, black woman…maybe 6′ tall. Her hair was black and shiny, pulled back and she had the most beautiful look on her face. She was plugged into her tunes and completely enjoying her moment! She was a big woman. She had a curvy shape, bigger breasts and full round hips….but she didn’t “jiggle” anywhere! It was so amazing! I guess one reason I found her looks to be so alluring is that she didn’t fit the “usual” definition of beautiful. And yet I was just mesmerized by her demeanor. She seemed so happy! So strong and confident! I wish I had had the opportunity to meet this woman.
I decided I just HAD to write about her, because she made me think about how do we actually define what is beautiful? Alluring?? Captivating?? What is the elusive thing that we call beauty. Take a minute out of your busy day and think about it. I’m guessing, like me this afternoon, when you really think about it, it will probably include characteristics that might surprise you. Confidence, strength…physical size and general coordination. In this case, this afternoon, it was NOT about what the lady was wearing….or….what she wasn’t wearing! It was all about everything else…..and it was fascinating!
Think about it. What do you find attractive….watch the people living their lives around you. Is there something that stands out?? Something that you might notice…and find attractive? In a new way??
Think about it! I think you will be glad you did!
Trunk show Shopping?
If the answer is NO, and even if the answer is YES, there are a few things you should know about the Trunk Show Shopping business model.
There are 3 prominent trunks show companies, Doncaster, Carlisle/Etcetera, and Worth/WorthWear. Doncaster was established in 1931 so you know the business has been around for a while! When I started in the business I really didn’t know anything about the business because I really had not ever shopped this way before. I learned how to make the best use of my Fashion $$$ from my clients!
There are 2 essential elements to Trunk Show Shopping. One, is that you spend more money at one time, generally early in the season…. and the other is that you will work closely with a consultant to make smart choices that will work for You!
My first client, Linda, was delighted with the Doncaster choices when I was the beginner. She was a thoughtful, careful shopper….and we picked out 2 complete looks for her….which came to about 15 pieces of clothing. I was surprised at the bill and thought for sure she would change her mind when I told her the total price. She picked a couple of looks of a basic jacket, pants and skirt, basic underpinning (blouse), novelty blouse, novelty pants….and probably a novelty jacket….and a variety of accessories. She was so excited about her choices!! She assured me that this was a great purchase for her, because these clothes all worked together, she could wear them everywhere she was going. They were classic, updated looks that will make all the clothes in her closet feel like new again! She explained to me then that she had been shopping this way for awhile….and she was convinced that even though she takes a big hit to her bank account once, 4 times per year….she doesn’t waste a lot of time and money wandering around the mall looking for Clothes! Serious Clothes…..clothes to wear hard….and to wear often! Clothes that will take her to all the places she goes….which is a lot of places! She explained, I get so much more for my money by buying looks instead of pieces. When you shop early in the season you can really wear your clothes often, so when the next major season opens, you will be ready for some new clothes!
When you work with a consultant you will likely establish a close relationship with her. She begins to know you….actually a lot about you! A good consultant will know her stuff! She will know what the trends for the season are going to be, even though they might be new to you….and her, sometimes! She will get to know a lot about you because she will know what you like….where you are going, what kinds of places…..she will know about your business and what your needs are for your daily routine….where you are going for vacation….who is getting married, and where….and what’s happening with your family! And because she knows those things about you and your life, she will be able to guide you to making smart choices for your wardrobe. Most women want clothes that are classic and well made, but have a touch of novelty….maybe newer color choices (for Fall 2016 think Pine & Wine!) She wants clothes that fit in her comfort zone, but have a modern twist also. That’s where the consultant is worth every penny! She will guide you in the right direction. And if she doesn’t….maybe it’s time to look at a different line!
Generally speaking, if you limit your sale shopping jaunts, and stick to the tried and true looks you choose with your consultant you will find that your Doncaster clothes are worth it! They will be your Go To looks that take you to the places you go to, and you will be so glad that you have them! Don’t beat yourself up about the price! Realize that you get what you pay for, and what you really want are beautiful clothes that take you everywhere you go….looking and feeling like a million $$$.
What we both want is to make it easy for you to Get Up. Dress Up. & Show Up…..and look like a woman who knows what she is talking about! That, my friend, is worth a lot!
Try it! I bet you will like it!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
…..but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold!
I was driving around town this morning and had the radio on. They were talking about time….and the different meanings of time. How we are pressed for time today, in the 21st century, and we have to make time to see the people that are important to us and to do the things that are important to us.
And then there is the conversation about Time….where did it go!?! How is it possible that so much time as passed us by?!? It was while they were talking about “where does the time go” that the conversation got really interesting. The son was trying to convince his Dad to invite a new friend out to dinner. Dad replied….oh no, I can’t! I don’t have time! The son said Dad, why not ask her for tomorrow night? I don’t have the time he said…again. And the son said Of course you do….again!
It turns out that the son was talking about ask a friend to dinner…make a new friend. The Dad was reluctant to try to make a new friend because he felt he didn’t have enough time left in his lifetime to develop a friendship like those he already has….and cherishes so deeply.He felt that his old friends that hold a special place in his heart/life were irreplaceable and he would be tossing them aside if he chose to develop new friends along the way. And I thought…..that’s true! As we age we become so much more attached to the old friends….those friends that you have had for years! Those friends that you have had for years, even if you haven’t seen, or spoken to them, in years! They hold a very special place in our hearts and we should cherish them dearly.
But that doesn’t mean that we should continue to reach out to people that we meet, people that we think we might like to know better. Our lives will be so much richer if we continue to add new people to our ever growing roster of friends.
One of the really good things about my job as a fashion consultant is that I meet new people all the time! And sometimes, I have reason to renew my old, cherished friendships too. I LOVE that! I love to introduce them to each other! They love to meet each other…..and we all learn new things about one another. You might remember me talking about reconnecting with some wonderful old friends earlier this summer?
It was such fun to connect some of the new people in my life with some of my dear friends that I known had for decades….literally decades! If you have a dear friend that you hold close to your heart, call her! Make the time to reconnect with her. Share with her what you are doing now. Introduce her to the people you see now….the things you do now. And on the other hand, take a minute, make it a point, to reach out to the woman across the way that seems interesting to you. Ask her for coffee. Find out more about her. I am sure she will want to know more about you! After all, think of it this way, why wouldn’t she want to know more about you!?! And before you know it you will have a healthy roster of friendships….of all sorts! That will make your life more interesting….and I imagine…..hers also!
So, don’t forget…..Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold. I know you will be glad you did!
We are all busy, but we really aren’t that busy….are we?!
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dress or look that you bought this Spring/Summer 2016? Have you worn it? Have you worn it enough!?!
If you are a regular reader of BBDStyle you will know that I have already shown the Doncaster Fall 2016 Collection here in Milwaukee. Which means, that I have already started wearing Fall. Here it is mid-August and there are some Spring/Summer things in my closet that have become favorites! I have been wearing them a lot….and am comfortable and relaxed wearing them because they aren’t new anymore. But there are a few things that I haven’t worn enough…yet! I will make it a point to wear some of those this week!
Yesterday I got up and put on one of the looks I have been meaning to wear for the longest time, but for whatever reason I haven’t actually worn it much at all! You might say I went shopping in my closet! I separated the skirt and jacket, and just wore the skirt with another t-shirt…and voila!…I have a new look!! Just in time!! It’s about to be Fall 2016….for real! I can wear the new Spring/Summer looks that I know I will find in the closet for awhile still. After all, it is still August! When you buy new things from me I like to remind you to “Wear it in good health….and wear it often!” This is an example of what I mean by that…..the more we wear the clothes we have, the better we feel about wearing them.
I was wearing a new Fall blouse the other day and commented to a client of mine that I didn’t like the white camisole under it…..next time, I will know better….and choose a nude or charcoal underpinning. It wasn’t Awful…not a faux pas or anything….it’s just that I prefer the look of a color other than white. I wouldn’t know that I felt that way if I didn’t wear it that way and decide I didn’t like it after all.
I am going to take this opportunity to remind you to go shopping in your closet…this next week! Wear those clothes that you haven’t had a chance to wear yet….make them favorites…it’s not too late! I think you will be glad that you did! Then, when I get the collection back in October, you will be ready for some new looks! Ready to try some New Looks. I’m sure of it! Fall Fashion 2016 is bold and different from what we already have. Come see what’s new….and be ready to try some new things!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
if Nothing Changes!
I have just finished selling Doncaster Fall 2016 here in Milwaukee. Now that we are settling into a little bit slower pace, and lamenting the fact that summer days will be a thing of the past way too soon, this is a great time to think about your look for Fall 2016. Have you been thinking about a new look? Trying something a little bit different than what you….and your friends….are used to? This is a great time to start that journey.
Take a few minutes to peruse the July and August magazines on the shelves now. I think you will be surprised at the bold, new looks that we are seeing this season. We are seeing Wine, a pretty burgundy red color…..Pine, a rich dark, forest green…..which is being shown with a blushing pink…..Ginger & Pumpkin are a fun and classic take on the fall classics. It’s a must have for you if you went to Princeton….or a school whose colors involve Orange! I think these colors are a really nice alternative to Black….from head to toe! The usual cold weather staple that we tend to go to. I am not suggesting that you get rid of your Black favorites….but I am suggesting that you at least look at some of the beautiful new colors that are available now.
This is a good time to think about mixing up some smaller prints, and some bolder stripes, or plaid. Just think about it for now…and consider if you might be able to think of something different. The Doncaster Collection for Fall 2016 is a very different look from what it has been, which was too jarring for some clients that I have had for a while. But it is a reflection of what there is out there in the market place….in the world of Fashion. So, do yourself a favor and think about how you might modify your look this season. You might be surprised at what you might decide to try! Be Bold! But start by just thinking about it!
Nothing Changes…if Nothing Changes.
For now, just think about it!
I had the nicest thing happen to me this morning!
I had a phone call this morning from a fellow we have known for a while now. Lately, he has been hunting me down, as we have been playing phone tag for awhile now…a few days, I think. It seems that he recently met a woman that he thought might like to work with me and know about Doncaster! He proceeded to tell me how he met this lady…she is a friend of friends, they had gone to dinner together with mutual friends. Apparently, she is a beautiful woman, with a fuller figure and she is new to town and was lamenting that she can’t find anywhere to SHOP! So Randy said…I have just the solution for you!
Barbara Drake! Doncaster!
I know she will be able to help you!
So we took a minute to talk about my business. Although we have known each other for a few years, at least, we had not had the opportunity to talk about the specifics of my business. Yes…we have all sizes (0 – 24), or sometimes referred to as Petites, Misses, Womens. Yes…the look of the collection is nice clothes, that take most women to at least most of the places they want to go. Yes…some people think the clothes are expensive, and that means that the average price is about $195/piece….and that includes scarves to leather jackets. The average price per pant is about $295, per jacket is probably about $395 and the average price per dress is about $350….yes, some pieces are more than some others…but generally we have clothes that we just WEAR!
Barbara, he said you always look nice!! (How nice!) Well, I almost always wear Doncaster…and because of that I always wear make up and jewelry, and try my best for a good hair day! I try to make it a point to look in the mirror before I go out the door. I’m going for FINE. I just want to look FINE. I have issues, like everyone else does……or worse! But if I feel I look FINE. everything seems to go ok. It’s easier for me to take care of business….pay attention to doing things right the first time. I wear looks that go from the gym, to lunch with friends, to an appointment of some sort….and home (or out!) to dinner with my husband. I want and NEED clothes that will take me to all those places….with out having to change clothes all day long! I expect my clothes to look Fine. all day long and perform for me! And I expect them to be comfortable enough to wear all day long. Because I expect great performance from my wardrobe, I don’t expect to get it for nothing. I suppose if I had no where to go and nothing to do I might be more interested in wearing the cheapest thing I can find…but I don’t. The quality of my life is more important to me….at least at this point in my life….and so is the quality of my clothes.
Not to mention how nice it is to have a gentlemen friend shower me with compliments on any old Saturday morning! And refer new clients my way also.
Doncaster Fall 2016 Showtime! in Milwaukee
July 20 – 23 @ Woman’s Club of Milwaukee
July 27-30 @ Home
It’s May, and I HAVE HAD IT WITH THE COLD WEATHER! But, anyway, I have made the commitment to wear SPRING! Just because….it’s supposed to be SPRING…on the calendar at least!
Last week was Mother’s Day. I had a great day with my husband and our daughter at the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin. It was beautiful…and delicious! But this year I was reminded that for lots of us Mother’s Day is a very emotional time. Some of us are mothers and grandmothers, some of us aren’t. We all have Mothers and Mothers in Law….maybe she is still with us, but maybe she isn’t. We all are daughters, maybe aunts, sisters, girl friends…some of our friendships are silver, the others gold. After all…..
Clothes aren’t going to change the world.
It’s the women who wear them that will!
Let’s appreciate our women friends….and their accomplishments! We need each other!
Interested in the Doncaster Fall 2016 Preview?
At Home…. Wednesday – Saturday…5/18 – 21
Please be sure to Comment and Share your thoughts about style and fashion!!
The birds are everywhere! They are so busy! There is a new nest in the wreath at the front door. All of a sudden! The daffodils are in full bloom. The crocuses, the woodland flowers….they are beautiful! And the magnolia tree is about to bloom! Finally!!
Do you like to wear knits, but find them too itchy and uncomfortable on sensitive skin? Spring is a great time to buy knits. I have a lot of clients that like to wear knits, but can’t tolerate the itchy side effects of the wool in the yarn. This sweater that I am wearing here is also available in black dots. I LOVE these sweaters! And already have worn them a lot!
This season stripes (all kinds of stripes, horizontal, vertical, sideways….) and circles (big circles, tiny pin dots and everything in between) are seriously in the very important trend category! Make sure you have some in your closet! If you don’t, Call Me! 🙂
Doncaster Spring/Summer 2016 Collection
Petites, Misses, Womens