Mini Splurge: Spipo Designs

Jet Caviar Necklace, $105 at spipo.com

I love this necklace. Simple, decadent, unique and versatile. You could wear this with a cashmere sweater or a tank top with jeans- love that! It's a steal for $105, too.
Now, go buy it, you'll wear it with everything.


Submitting your work

Designers, businesses, PR people,
I love hearing from you, I do. But, to the right ---> I specifically ask you not to send me attachments unless you ask or if I request you email me something. From now on, if an email has attachments without prior notice or whatever, I'm just going to delete. I may decide to not showcase your work ever because of this.

Also, as a designer myself, I always wondered how you were supposed to approach a website or blog that you'd like to be mentioned on. I always thought being polite was the way to go.
Sending an email that says, "check out xxxx.com" without a please or thank you is NOT the way to go. It's rude. Deleted, you are. How about saying something like...
"Hey Kelly, I design xxx, this is my site: xxxx, and I would like you to check it out. Thank you (key phrase, here), xxx."

I've actually received emails with just a URL- well, guess what? You're not that special. I get TONS of emails daily, I need to know some details before I take time to actually check out one's website. Give them to me or I'm just going to delete emails like that from now on.

OH!!!!!!! One more thing, do NOT add me to your mailing list without asking me or without me signing up. This a bad sign to me and makes me wonder if you do this to your customers without permission- SPAM is bad, folks- super unprofessional.

To all of you who are super friendly, polite, and just overall delightful- I appreciate you appreciating IndependentLuxe and look forward to hearing from you.


Shipping Upgrade: Kelly Meeker Designs

Just a quick note to all Kelly Meeker Designs shoppers- if you've been holding out and still want to order something for someone for Christmas, there is hope! All orders over $100 placed before 3 P.M. December 20th will receive FREE UPS SECOND DAY AIR SHIPPING*. Choose UPS 2nd Day air as your shipping option when you checkout to take advantage of this sweet deal.
* This offer is NOT combinable with any other discounts.

Go shop at kellymeekerdesigns.com!


Handbags: Elezar

Handbags are nice. Functional and pretty.
Elezar brings you more- each handbag has a distinct design with interesting details and high quality construction.

Brown leather Morgan shoulder bag, $378. Green leather Highbury barrel bag, $338.

Launched in Fall 2005 by two childhood friends,
Elezar handbags are still very new and very much emerging.

Pearl Wine leather Morgan large shoulder bag, $558

The large Morgan shoulder bag is my favorite. It's substantial and obviously very well made. The zipper details add just the right amount of uniqueness without being overdone. I am also a fan of the rich pearl Wine color, although it's available in a few more hues, as well.

You'll love the bags at
Elezar, go check them out and
buy yourself one.


Beautiful Bracelets: Fuss Jewelry

When Wendy at Fuss Jewelry emailed me a week or two ago, I checked out her work immediately. What struck me right away was her bracelets- they are bold, unique, and gorgeous.

I love the controlled messiness of the wire that holds the overlapping stones in places. The contrast of the beads in this piece is beautiful and versatile. $75 at fussjewelry.com.

What I love of about this bracelet is it's easiness. It's fluid, smooth, and lustrous. There is a nice balance of elegance and edginess in this piece. $75 at fussjewelry.com.

I wanted to show everyone something else of Wendy's, as well. Though, I could go on and on about those bracelets- wish she had more to show! Anyhow... these earrings really make you stop and look, don't they? The brown and purple combo is always nice, but what I found particularly interesting was the combination of shapes. I am also a fan of the use of striped Agate in this pair of earrings, it adds interest to an already cool designs. $85 at fussjewelry.com


Fun Stuff: Indielicious Bazaar!

If you're in the area, go check out the fabulous filled Indielicious Holiday Bazaar.
Where: the Micro Museum ®, 123 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY.
When: December 17th, 2006 from 12p.m. to 5p.m.

If you go, let them know you found out about the event on INDEPENDENTluxe!


Two Space Studio

Niagara Dress
in Pearl, $117 at twospacestudio.com.
How cute is this dress? It's offered in some solids, but I thought I'd have a little fun and show off this print- wear it work, out to lunch, whatever. It's going to look great!

Comfort is important. We all like to look good, too. Those are just a couple of reasons why Two Space Studio is being featured today.

Not only do they deliver comfort and style, but you'll find the clothing is different from your run of the mill basics. They are supple, with unique details that will make you stand out in a crowd.

Tether Dress
in red, $170 at twospacestudio.com
Really unique- the elasticized sleeve is a nice detail, for when you want to push your sleeves up and the ties at the neck can work in a few ways, too. This
dress would be great for a day you're going to the beach for the and then dinner afterword. It's comfortable, not too casual, and versatile- you can definitely
dress this up or down.

Chalet top
in green, $98 at twospacestudio.com.
A long sleeve shirt is essential for any climate. This one is exquisite. I love the longer length combined with the perfectly draped cowl neck and raglan sleeves. It looks
incredibly comfortable and I want one right now.


Sale Spotlight: Kelly Meeker Designs

Who doesn't like a sale? Head on over to Kelly Meeker Designs to take advantage of that 20% off now through December 15th, 2006 with the code holiday06.

Go get some sparkle!


Product Review: Scuba Bath Shop

Ok, so I think the products that Christy of Scuba Bath Shop sent in are my new favorites. I don't have one complaint or one nitpick or anything. ^.^

I received a basic cardboard box in the mail and was excited, of course. I love trying new things and reviewing them for my readers.
I opened the package up and was hit with beautiful fragrance with notes of flowers and coconut and citrus. WOW. It was amazing and I couldn't wait ot dig through the rafia that covered up the products to see what was inside.

Scuba Bath Shop Goodies

Inside there was body scrub, lotion, lip balm, and this cool scrubby pouch filled with sweet smelling coconut goodness.

Scuba Bath Shop Keywest Lime Lip Balm, $6

The first thing I tried was the Key West Lime lip balm. I don't think I've ever used a lip balm that went on so smoothly. It smells so refreshing and feels awesome on your lips. My favorite thing about this lip balm is that you don't have to reapply six thousand times a day to see and feel benefits- once this awesome stuff absorbs, your lips just feel silky smooth and totally moisturized with out any residue or sign that you had to use something to make you lips look & feel so fabulous. How cool is that?

Scuba Bath Shop White Palm Cocoa Cream, $10

My hands get wicked dry in the winter. The cold, dry air and my skin do not mix well- I need a moisturizer that does what it's supposed to do and I found it. The
white palm cocoa cream at Scuba Bath shops works remarkably well- you don't have to use much at all, which is a bonus, as well. The lotion smells amazing, it is fresh and creamy, and kind of sweet. I love it. The white palm cocoa cream absorbs ultra quickly, so I don't have to stand around freezing to death in my apartment while waiting for my moisturizer to absorb. It takes like a minute, seriously. That is really fast!

What I used next time I showered was the Kiwi Sugar Body Scrub.

Kiwi Sugar Body Scrub, $10

Whoa! It's awesome!
It exfoliates beautifully. It smells amazing. It feels awesome. Everything about it is, dare I say, perfect. Never have I used a body scrub that does it all well- when I opened it up I saw a beautiful, thick formula that smelled like cocoa and sugar, it was inviting to say the least. When I started to scrub, gently I might add, my body felt more smooth and soft then it has ever felt before. When I rinsed off what was left, my skin was so awesome! I swear, my complexion was even better- it's amazing stuff. When it dries, which is just about as fast as the lotion, your skin is thanking you repeatedly for being so good to it.

The last thing I tried from sanibel shower sackScuba Bath Shop was the sanibel shower sack. What is this, you ask? The sanibel shower sack is a burlap bag filled with cleansing goodness to exfoliate your body and make you look & feel amazing. It comes in several scents, which is nice, as well. I got the sanibel shower sack casa de coco and it's delightful. That kind of rhymed... You get 6 in a box when you order for just $18!

Sanibel Shower Sack, 6 for just $18 at scubabathshop.com.

If you've been looking for new body goodies, I really think you should check out the products at scubabathshop.com. Everything was awesome and I plan to shop there in the future, for sure.


Fab Find: Rockett St George

Not too long ago Jane sent me an email introducing me to a new place to shop called Rockett St George.

Magic Love Ring, £160.00

When I clicked on the link to rockettstgeorge.co.uk, I found a bunch of cool, modern stuff- from home furnishings, to accessories, to clothing, there is a bit of everything. And all of it is striking- there is nothing boring about the offerings at Rockett St George.

Jill Green Silver Screen Clutch, £48.00

I had a really hard time deciding what to feature. The accessories were easy, it popped out at me immediately. The home furnishings and furniture were what really threw me- everything is so cool and unique, how could one choose and feel like they were showcasing all that this shop had to offer? One really could not. That's why you need to go check everything out. You'll be impressed.

Susan Bradley's Black Creep Shelf, £95.00

Lucky for those of us in the states and other countries, they ship internationallky. They also accept Paypal and I know how many of you are going to love that! Go shop!


Killer Find: Unchaste

I like accessories. Belts, wallets, bags, etc. You know what I'm talking about. What I especially like is when I find some that really stand out. Another bonus, when they are from an emerging company that caters to boys. Well, men, but I like calling them boys.

belt designed by I Love Dust, £70

Unchaste is a really small business run by to guys from London. Sam and Ben run the show, making things in limited quantities- another bonus of shopping with
emerging designers, nothing is mass produced and the chances of running into someone wearing the same thing you are is super slim. IndependentLuxe loves that.

belt designed by Six Black Roses, £70 - belt designed by Root Down, £70

At Unchaste, you'll be hit with the most
unique printed belts you've ever seen. Bold graphic designs that will be noticed from across the street, maybe from the end of a city block. That is how stunning the
belts at Unchaste are.

The Bride, leather wallet, £55

Lucky for the guys in your life that like fashion, Unchaste also offers
bad ass wallets. Above is my favorite. Designed by Marc Crane of
marcsbrain.com, The Bride is bold, mysterious, and eerie. I like that unusual combination.
Just £55.

Go buy something, please.
Sam and Ben deserve it and so do you.


Cool Find: Studio Numen

Every now and then I come across jewelry that totally wows me. I am not a person that needs something to be completely over the top wearable art (that's not actually wearable), it just has to be gorgeous. The jewelry by designer Margot di Cono does just that- it wows me. Every piece is as striking as the last with it's beautiful materials and organic styling.

Studio Numen has perfected the art of wearable art. The colors and textures combined with the organic shapes & top notch jewels makes this art that is truly wearable.

Unfortunately for serious jewelry shoppers, we can't shop online for Margot's gorgeous work. However, we can admire it. And, if we're lucky we can purchase it at a few galleries with a high taste level.
Current galleries include:
Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA.
Aaron Faber Gallery in New York, NY.

If you're looking to feel inspired, or just looking for something gorgeous to buy, check out Studio Numen and visit those galleries if you are nearby.


Product Review: Sweet As You Please soy candles

Once again it's that time of year where it's crisp enough to cuddle up on the couch with some tea or hot cocoa next to a fireplace... or, if you live in an apartment like myself, next to some candles since the whole fireplace in an apartment is against the law here (BS, I know!).

A week or two ago I received two candles from
Sweet As You Please.
They came packaged in pretty silver organze pouches.

Sweet As You Please is a small women owned business that creates deliciously scented soy candles in a few forms. What I mean by that is, you get your votives, your candles in a glass jar, and in my case, candles in a travel tin for travelling- I like the idea of using them on a candlelit picnic (now that sounds sweet). Oh, you can also get custom candles- neat, eh?

Blackberry Sage and Ruby Reds travel tin candles at
sweeetasyouplease.com. 2 oz. $3.50, 4 oz. $6.50.

One is a 4oz. travel tin and the other is a 2oz. travel tin. They are adorable. They look lovely inside and they are scented to match.
I have in my possession a 2oz travel candle in Blackberry Sage which has a really pleasant spicy, yet sweet blueberry pie thing going on. I smell this and I want to bake up a storm and get festive.
The other candle I have is Ruby Reds, which is sweet and fruity- perfect for lighting up next to your tub and relaxing.

The candles burn a beautiful big flame and the scent fills the room without being too much- thankfully it's not like walking into Yankee... wear you almost get knocked out. You know what I'm talking about. Sweet As You Please has found the perfect balance of scented without be overpowering.

So, this season, when you want some lovely scented candles that aren't traditional beeswax, go for soy candles at Sweet As You Please. Not only because they're long burning and scented perfectly, but you can get custom candles that are truly perfect for you.


Sale Alert: Grace Ann Studios

Grace Ann Studios is an INDEPEDENTluxe favorite and IL has great news. Grace Ann Studios is having it's first ever annual sale. The sale is TWO days only, Saturday and Sunday: November 4th and 5th.

What's in it for you? Stationery. Cards. Sets. From Birthdays to Thank You cards to Invitations. There is something to fit an upcoming occassion.
Cards will be marked up to 50% off, people! GO BUY SOME!


Product Review: Kazam Body Care Foot Scrubbies

Kazam Natural Body Care is an itsy bitsy company that creates all natural body care products- soaps, lotions, massage oils, even hair care, and more.
Marjorie, the owner & creator of all things Kazam sent in her Peppermint Foot Scrubbies bar a little while ago and it is delightful.
I waited a little while to put up this review because the Kazam website was getting a revamp and is now better than ever.

Peppermint Foot Scrubbies bar, available at kazambodycare.com for $6.

Anyway. I love it. It's a light and refreshing, easy to rinse light exfoliate, and it smells good.
What I really love about it is the scent- let's face it, when we buy all natural, it usually smells all natural shortly after using it; this is not the case with the Kazam Peppermint Foot Scrubbies bar! The scent is exhilirating without burning your nose like many minty body goods do, it also has this subtle coconut sweetness behind it that compliments and softens the mint perfectly. The result is a unique scent that almost anyone would appreciate it. I know your feet will.
The bar leaves your feet smelling sweet and feeling like satin.

Check out kazambodycare.com for this exfoliate for your feet and everything else body care.


Splurgeworthy: Renée Davide Handbags

Handbags. When I was younger, I never saw the point- they were a burden and what in the world would I put in them, anyway?

Swoop Tote in black, $585 at renéedavide.com

This isn't really the case any longer. I like bags, I have a thing for them now. When I see handbags like the ones offered at Reneé Davide, I am reminded of why they are so essential to every day style, and importantly, the function of handbags. They carry what you need every day. Your lip gloss, keys, wallet, business cards, etc. Then there are larger bags that can carry that additional water bottle (thankfully!), and the kind I would like most right now- the kind you can use as an overnight bag.

Reneé Davide has designed every type of bag mentioned here and has done it with an exquisite taste level and craftsmanship to match.

Sunday Satchel in cherry, $420 at renéedavide.com

Museum Tote (aka, just the kind of overnight bag one would need) in caramel, $520 at renéedavide.com

Each bag is crafted with beautiful leather and subtle, yet impactful detail- just great design. Each bag is versatile and timeless, but with a novel twist that gives them personality that many handbags lack. There's just something about them. Check them out and give yourself the splurge you deserve at renéedavide.com


Furniture Find: Dean Pulver

I am, generally speaking, a big fan of modern furniture. On occassion, though, more rustic & classic pieces strike me. Something about Dean Pulver's handcrafted furniture did just that. The rich colors, interesting textures, and innovative designs stand out.

My Tall Friend, dyed Walnut chair: $2800; I Pray: hall table, constructed of Lacewood and dyed Walnut: $1400; Mirrored Cabinet, Padauk and dyed Walnut: $6000

To see more unique furniture created by Dean Pulver visit deanpulver.com.


Le Train Bleu is having a sale!

One of INDEPENDENTluxe's favorite spots to shop is having a sale. A big 30% off sale (Rebecca Taylor excluded). Just enter moving in the code section to get your 30% off and buy a lot, because Le Train Bleu rocks.


Cutest Find So Far: Plueys!

We've been getting hit every few days with a bit of rain in Connecticut for the past week or so, so it's seems super appropriate to post about the cutest find ever: plueys.com.

Plueys was created by a lovely young lady that wanted cute, functional boots to wear in the rain so she didn't have to ruin her stilettos and other hot shoes. She has definitely created what she set out to with a line of rubber boots that are colorful and fun, as well as functional.

Not only does Plueys offer these boots for women, but children can get in on the fun, as well. Plueys also offers umbrellas and each pair of boots comes with a boot bag at no additional cost (well, unless you want more than one, then they're just a dollar more a piece).

Go buy a pair for yourself for $55, and some for the children in your life (if you have any) for $21.


Cool Find: ZAUM Handbags

Bags should be fun and functional, and the handbags at ZAUM are just that. They are bold and unique and unlike anything I've seen around. Cool, eh? That's why ZAUM is an INDEPENDENTluxe Cool Find today.

The totes are from the ZAUM collection called Il Cubo and start a mere $30! The messenger bag from the Avia collection with the cool swirve detail is $150. And the most adorable little purse on their site from the Tetra Piccola collection is just $20.

The bags at ZAUM are also vegetarian friendly and affordable. Two very good things.


the Happily Handmade Giveaway is awesome.

Well, it is.
The Happily Handmade Giveaway is probably what you guessed it was- a place where you can win handmade goods in a big gift basket. Actually, there are a bunch of gift baskets, which means there are a lot of winners and the good news is you could be one of them.
Just go to the indie shop sponsors websites, join their mailing list, and be entered. It's pretty simple, yeah? See the Happily Handmade Giveaway for more details and a list of participating designers & boutiques.


Beautiful Find: Brian Sage

I like art. Actually, I love art. I'm the art kid- I was the one that kept to myself in school and took on as many independent studies in art as possible. I graduated early from high school to work on my portfolio and started a business where I design and create jewelry, as well as websites and tons of other creative stuff in between.
Art is my life, really. It's a constant thing- it's always around and it's always inspiring.

So, this cute guy moved into my apartment building and come to find out: he's an artist (yes!). An oil painter, an American impressionist. His work is stunning.
The colors, his distinct style, and the way he captures light is absolutely beautiful. He deserves recognition and tons of sales now- we wouldn't want him to be a starving artist would we?

Here's a small taste of what's to come if you click on this link:

Two Sails

Beacon Hill

Koi and Heron

Oil paintings for viewing and purchasing available at sageartworks.com


Cool Find : Coma&Cotton

So, I found this amazing site for men. Yes, you read correctly: MEN.
However, for some reason when I try to capture images from the site, it gives me trouble. So, instead, you're going to have to settle for a link and trust that I'm sending you to a site filled with unique, wearable clothing that your guy or you will dig.
The colors and textures on each piece of clothing are truly art that you can wear and not feel embarassed by- because, let's face it, that wearable art usually isn't wearable by anyone that can see, if you know what I'm saying.

There are t-shirts, button ups, and blazers for men. There's stuff for girls, too. A little bit of both and very cool find. Check their stuff out at comaandcotton.com


Product Review: Becky Oh! Designs

I opened a cardboard box addressed to me, inside I saw bright green tissue paper.
Carefully, I unwrap what's inside: a nice protective plastic bag with a pretty bag inside. A wristlet by the very talented Becky Oh! Designs.
Another minor detail that I really appreciated was that the bag had a plastic bubble inside to give it shape- I don't know, I thought it was a really nice touch. I was like, oh I can fit that much in it? :)

As I've emphasized in the past, I normally do not like bags made of fabric. The boring designs and poor sewing are a huge turn-off for me. They remind me of high school home ec and horrible everything was that the people made.
Luckily, every once in a great, great while, a bag comes around that reminds me just how awesome fabric bags can be.

This awesome wristlet from Becky Oh's new Apropos collection is stunning.
Not only is the combination of colors beautiful and obviously very carefully chosen, but the craftswomanship is outstanding. This is not a word I use. My standards are very high (have you seen my wire wrapping skills?), I don't settle for curvy lines and gathered thread. Or pleats in the fabric where there are surely not supposed to be. You will not find those flaws in the bags created by Becky Oh!
They are crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Becky Oh! sets a new standard for handmade bags made from fabric- they should all be so perfect. Other designers should aspire to have their skill be 50% as good as Becky Oh!.

These unique handmade wristlets start at a mere $20, this one was $35- underpriced, if you ask me.

Oh, I should and want to mention that each handbag is a one of a kind piece. However, Becky let me know that if she has fabric left (say, like the fabric in this bag), she is willing to make another. How awesome is she? Go buy one and thank me later.