A Leave of Absence

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Blogging is hard – it requires a lot of time and dedication. Most people assume bloggers have extra time on their hands. The truth is we don’t. We have full-time jobs, families, hobbies, and distractions just like the rest of the world.

In 2011, I started this blog. I went out to local consignment shops to hunt for high-end designer bargains. Most of the time I would visit stores on weekends, and blog throughout the week. I never did it for money. I truly loved going out and doing this – I felt like in that moment nothing else mattered. No one understood why I continued to blog despite not making any money from it. But I had a gut feeling about it. I knew that if I followed what I loved, the money would then in-turn follow me.

And so it did. After developing relationships with some of the shop owners, they asked me to manage their social media presence. I started a freelance social media management service. It was a great feeling knowing that this blog had opened so many doors for me, a new career actually. Through this blog, I gained the relationships and experience that would propel me forward to the next chapter of my life.

As some of you know, running your own business means you are constantly hustling for your next paycheck. Around 2012, I needed something more stable. I ended up securing full-time employment as a Social Media Manager. When I started that job, not only was I in charge of multiple social media accounts, I was in charge of three blogs. So the thought of maintaining my own blog at that time was completely overwhelming. I decided to take a blog-cation, that would then turn into more like a leave of absence.

Almost two years later, I sit here with a tremendous void. I have achieved professional success through my social media marketing career, and I am pretty happy where I am, but something is missing. That something is personal expression through my blog.

During my leave of absence, I learned to be true to myself, to do things that empower me, that honor me, and that truly serve my purpose. We always hear things like, “be yourself” or “be you”. But if you don’t know who you are, how are you supposed to do that?

Well, it’s taken me a while to get a better idea of who I am and what my purpose is. I believe that my purpose and who I am continues to reveal itself moment by moment. And that’s part of the fun, part of the journey. So I am here, back in this blog – this digital space that I call my own. This time around I plan on sharing more of me. Sharing the things I love. Sharing personal experiences and sharing things I hope other people find valuable, helpful, or at the very least entertaining.

But enough of about me. Tell me about you. Have you learned who you are? Do you know your purpose? What are you doing each day to propel you towards it?

Refined Link: FashionPhile

Ok so I have just discovered the most amazing site ever, FashionPhile! Simply put this site is handbag heaven. Not only do they stock the most amazing handbags from the best luxury designers, but they also buy bags from customers and allow you to put bags on layaway.

Having the layaway option is just brilliant. There are times I find a bag I love and by the time I am prepared to make the purchase, the bag has been grabbed by someone else.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces on the site.

Celine Trapeze Bag

Balenciaga Fleur Bag

Chanel Bag Moscow Collection

Bottega Veneta

Alexander Wang

I was very impressed with their selection. They also carry accessories, shoes and miscellaneous items like this Louis Vuitton globe.

They also have two store locations: one in Beverly Hills and another in San Francisco.  With something for everyone, at every price point it is no wonder bag addicts like me will rejoice when they discover this site.

Check out FashionPhile and let me know if you are as obsessed as I am.

Ps. this isn’t a sponsored post – I just simply love it.

Refined Find: Mini Noe Bag

How cute is this? I must say this is my first time finding a mini Louis Vuitton Noe bag. I found this bag during my visit to Consigned Couture. This is just too precious to part with. Don’t be mad at me, but I convinced the owner of the store, Liz to keep it and add it to her personal collection.

Obviously, I had to share this super cute bag with you. Isn’t this just the cutest thing ever?

Refined Find: Vintage MCM Bag

I have a soft spot for MCM. I am not going to reveal how old I am, but let’s just say it totally reminds me of the 80′s. I also have a soft spot for vintage bags – if you have been reading this blog – then you know “soft spot” is an understatement.

Wearing vintage really adds a touch of individuality to any look. A handbag is a perfect way to add a vintage touch without overdoing it.

This bag in particular caught my eye right away. I love the size, perfect for my iPad and other shatskis. It was priced for less than $100 – so I had to have it. Can you blame me?

Refined Find: Yves Saint Laurent Sandals

Hey everyone, I am happy to be back blogging about my favorite past-time – consignment shopping.  I am also happy to report that the local consignment shops did not take break from curating great merchandise while I was gone. So let’s dive in, shall we?

How adorable are these Yves Saint Laurent rubber sandals? They completely caught my eye right away. Perfect for these hot summer days. Best part – they are priced at $75. I didn’t pick them up for myself because I ended up finding another item I will share with you later in the week.

These YSL sandals are currently available at Dina C’s Fab & Funky Consignment Boutique.

Refined Announcement

I have returned from vacation to a new job that I absolutely love. However, it has affected the amount of time I can spend visiting stores on a weekly basis. I will be taking some time off from blogging to get accustomed to my new routine and will return to posting soon.

Please fill out the subscription form on the right to receive an email when the blog goes live. Thank you for understanding and for your support.

7 Reasons To Shop Consignment

1. Consignment shops today are a lot different. Most stores are no longer filled with old merchandise no one would be caught wearing or using. Some of the stores I visit are so beautiful, you’d never guess the merchandise was previously owned. Most stores carry a wide selection of quality pieces in great condition. Some items have never been used and still have tags on them.

2. You will find amazing designer pieces at the fraction of their retail value. This was  what started it all for me. It’s all about owning a quality item, in great condition for less.

3. You’ll find unique pieces no one else has. I never know what I will find in a consignment shop or where an item may originate from. Whether it’s a statement necklace or a vintage handbag, you just never know.

4. Vintage, vintage, vintage! Most stores have a vintage section. Some of these pieces are consigned by vintage collectors, older consignors or family members of someone who no longer has use for the item.

5. Perfect for special events. Black tie events and weddings often put us in a tizzy. Most women just don’t have gowns or dresses that are appropriate for a special occasion  laying around. Who wants to spend a ton of money on something we will probably just wear once? Not me.

6. It’s the green thing to do. Shopping consignment it’s one of the most efficient ways to recycle clothing, accessories and even furniture. As a consignor, you earn money and as a shopper, you save money.

7. Everybody’s doing it. Consignment has gotten a big boost lately and it no longer holds the stigma it used to. With the popularity of TV show like House of Consignment and Fashion Hunters, consignment shopping has actually become pretty chic.

If you never have shopped consignment here are some helpful tips. If you have, then I am sure you know what I’m talking about.