Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Theadora - The Place to Shop!

Collaborative Interview Project with Susan Michener Spracher and Heather Mompean

Hello there Moms!!! I am super excited to introduce you to a wonderful shop (and owner) located in Lincoln Center in the Central Valley's city of Stockton. Please give a big shout out for Theadora Boutique located at 270 Lincoln Center, Stockton, CA 95207.

Before I share out details of the store, I want to introduce to you the woman that has paired her love for fashion and style with her business savvy to bring women a custom boutique that offers the opportunity to look and feel gorgeous.

The first thing you notice about Erica West, owner of Theadora Boutique, is the twinkle in her blue eyes and big smile. After a warm welcome we begin to work our way to her office for an interview, but not before she is stopped by a customer who must have her opinion on what to wear to an upcoming, big, posh event. Erica breezily makes suggestions, sets her customer at ease and demonstrates perfectly that she is definitely in the right business.

Starting in the fashion business as a teenager; Erica worked her way through several chain clothing stores while pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising. When she began to think about having a family, she took a 7 year detour from fashion to teach third grade.

A business opportunity for her family brought her to Stockton and eventually led her to working at the then Theadora Lingerie. Erica became a partner in the business that sold only exclusive lingerie. Now Erica is the sole proprietor and has taken Theadora to new heights.

In November of last year, she moved the store from 600 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. and added apparel, loungewear, jewelry and gifts. A gutsy move in this economy, but one that is paying off!

Erica's recipe for success is offering items at a variety of price points without sacrificing style, allowing customers to change up their wardrobes often with unique fashion brands and without breaking the bank. The store's interior, more robust than ever, is a feast for the eyes, where an innocent shopping trip could easily and happily get out of control.

Everything is there; fashionable clothes, accessories - scarves, belts, shoes, off-the-hook jewelry and of course, lingerie. Very sexy, cute, fun, soft, silky, must have lingerie.

Aside from the gorgeous clothing, you can easily find a gift among great candles, lotions and perfumes, too! Erica carefully selects inventory based on trends, customer, employee and friends' input and by following sales figures of what's moving and what isn't. She's smart like that. And while the stores inventory is suited to women, Erica knows the value of making a comfy place for kids and men, too. There is an area for children decked out with toys and a small desk and a comfy chair and ottoman for men to relax while enjoying a personal fashion show featuring their very own lady love.

Erica not only puts effort into making her customers happy, but she works for the greater good of the community by participating in events held outside of the store by participating in the annual Children's Home Garden Fair and Lambda Theta Phi events. She also supports Breast Cancer Awareness every October by donating 10% of bra sales to the cause.

Being a single mom adds another layer of challenge to owning and managing a retail business. Erica says she's does it with the help of family (her Mom does the books), a great staff, a lot of juggling and working when her little boy is sleeping.

So now you can see why I love Theadora! I was already hooked with the inventory, but knowing more about the owner makes me even more eager to shop local! Thank you Erica! It was a pleasure meeting you - and that gorgeous leather handbag you had on display!

And now for something exciting! We have an opportunity to entice you to shop local at Theadora! Erica is kindly offering a $75 Gift Certificate to one lucky reader! You heard it - A GIVEAWAY!!!!

For your chance to win you simply need to accomplish 4 easy steps:
  1. Go "like" Mom About the Town on Facebook (or tell us you already do) and leave a comment on the page
  2. Go “like” Moomp Photography on Facebook (or tell us you already do) and leave a comment on the page
  3. Go "like" Theadora on Facebook (or tell us you already do) and leave a comment on the page
  4. Come on back to the Mom About The Town blog and tell us about your latest fashion purchase, your favorite accessory, or just say hi!
It's that easy 1) like 2) like 3) like 4) comment - and you are entered for a chance to win $75 - AND a fancy dancy (man, do I want it) bracelet from Theadora! 

Winner will be announced on Theadora Thursday, October 6th at 10am right here on the Mom About the Town blog!

** To comment simply click on the link below that lists how many comments we have received to date - a pop-up window will appear.  Remember, if you use "Anonymous" add a name at the end of your comment so we can identify you if you have won!

From me to you,
Mom About the Town!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food and Friendship

Thank you Mom About the Town for inviting me to guest post! My name's Gina, the author of the blog Gina-DearGina - a blog about everything. A blog about anything. It can be quilting, grandbabies, grief, goodness, and everything in between. It's just me, unplugged.

Today's random (and very important) topic is about the combination of food and friendship.

If any of you Mom’s out there have never been part of a Girls Night Out (GNO) group, I strongly urge you to find one and scoot on in, take your place! Be it Bunko, Scrapping, Stitching, Quilting, Cooking, or a trip out to storm a theatre together, it’s a therapeutic must.

Teams of shrinks pale in comparison to what a group of your Besties can accomplish one night a week. Nurturing these Besties may cost you as much, but the return on your investment is far greater, in my humble opinion. Lets call it a once a week spiritual lift. No Botox needed.

Every wise hubby also knows the importance of these necessary occasions. Besides, a night out with the Besties means that the hubby is off the hook for important questions in life like, “Do you think I’ve gained a few pounds?”

I know that on one designated night a week I can hurl these kinds of questions to my Besties and get an honest guilt free answer! And let's face it, Hubs secretly need their own guilt free night for scratching, grunting, football-ing or whatever it is that they do.

All that is needed to have a great time on a GNO is a goodie or two! I know you thought I’d say a smile right? Nope. Sometimes, we just aren’t wearing one. Although likely by evenings end, you will be! At least that's been true for me. But no matter if the evening will be nursing fears or giving cheers, a little tasty treat always starts the night off on a good note! My name is Gina and I’m a snacker.

Oh, and one of my favorite snacks to be had is most definitely Bruschetta. Bruschetta and a glass of wine. Don’t forget the music either. And the wine. And the Bruschetta. All very valuable components to a great GNO.

And speaking of Tasty Bruschetta, here is one of my favorite recipes for the yummy goodness!

Arrabiata Bruschetta

The necessities:
8 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ( ½ of a lemon)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp finely minced fresh oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 baguettes, cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 cloves garlic, cut in half

In a bowl, mix all ingredients except bread and whole garlic cloves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, unrefrigerated, 3 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F. Toast bread on a baking sheet. Just a bit golden.

While HOT, rub cut side of garlic on each slice generously; top with tomato mixture.

Place artistically on some fancy dish or squish as many as you can on a dixie plate - either way - get it out to the Besties and watch them smile. And eat. And lick their fingers. And enjoy.

Besties and Bruschetta - that, my friends, is what life is all about.

Oh, and the kids. They are pretty darn cool too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Retail Therapy...Cheaper than Psychotherapy

Guest Blog Post by: Susan Michener Spracher

I'm here to talk to you about something VERY important! Like "wear your seatbelt" important!

There's always an occasion for retail therapy. Celebrating...a new job, a new date, baby's baptism or first birthday; anything your child is doing, really. Or it's a cure for the blues...lost your job or your mate, feeling funky or unappreciated for all you do for others. There's nothing like the feeling of finding the perfect outfit, shoes, jewelry, belt, purse, nail polish or lip gloss to put a smile on your face and make the world seem like a better place.

For a lot of us that are currently economically challenged, retail therapy sessions can be fewer and far between. But they don't need to become non-existent.

I was reminded of this recently when I stumbled upon a sale for jewelry. I realized how long it had been since I had purchased ANYTHING for myself. I had been sticking to the austerity program, keeping my head down and my eyes on the list; buying only the necessities.

The necessities on this particular shopping trip were school clothes for my daughter. But as we walked past a sale table, a sparkly object caught me eye. It was a cool ring with lots of rhinestones. I tried it on and it fit! I put it back and started to walk away to carry on with the business at hand. But I was drawn back to it and noticed there were some earrings too! My mind was already scolding me that this was not what I came for and it just wasn't in the budget. But like a little ray of sunshine, I noticed there was a sale sign...a big discount. I could have it all for only $15...YIPEE! Come to Mama!!

We shouldn't underestimate the power of retail therapy or forget that we all deserve a present, some joy...even if we have to give it to ourselves. It is important to put ourselves at the top of the list more often!

What was the last "joy" item you found on sale?