Customized Shopping Tours – Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Last weekend’s customized shopping tours were very unique experiences.  (It was fun to create new routes and change things up a bit!)  I had two mothers book tours to take with their teenaged daugthers but they had some special requests as far as their daughters’ styles and interests. 

On Friday, the mother of the 12-year-old girl (they were visiting from California) requested that we visit some of the Teen Tour stores but also some boutiques a la the Chic Boutique Tour that were unique to New York.  So we picked them up in a towncar at their hotel and headed to Henri Bendel first since they had never been there.  I explained to them that even though they had shopped on Fifth Avenue, Bendel’s was a must-see since 1.)  it’s the holiday season and it’s decorated beautifully and 2.)  it changes weekly with the different designers they invite to showcase on the main floor.  They ended up purchasing some of Bendel’s signature holiday items (which make the perfect NON-tacky NYC souvenirs–really the ONLY NON-tacky NYC souvenirs!) 

After Bendel’s, we headed to the Juicy Couture Flagship Store.  Even though the gals have Juicy Couture in California, the daughter is such a huge fan that I recommended we visit this shop at least for a few minutes. 

From here we hopped back in the towncar and headed to East 12th Street in Greenwich Village.  We made a quick stop at Make-up Forever and since all the make-up artists were occupied, I did a quick demonstration of their products on the daughter.  A 12-year-old doesn’t really need much make-up, of course, but just  a little shimmer eye-shadow on her lids with a pale pink “pop of color” (nothing too drastic) followed by some clear, glittery gloss was the perfect palette. 

Our next planned stop was Owl’s Lab, but to my dismay they have closed their store!!! 🙁  They are exclusive to the online world right now and have a messenger service that can deliver ordered fashion right to your door.

Next up was Pia, although it was a stop geared more toward the mother.  It was a little too sophisticated for a pre-teen.  Same with Ibiza–a little too sophisticated, but nonetheless, still a very unique stop.

Since Owl’s Lab was eliminated, I added two other last-minute stops to the tour that I thought the gals would enjoy.  We hopped back into the towncar and it was off to LaGuardia Place to Helianthus and Purdy Girl.  They absolutely LOVED these boutiques and it didn’t hurt that both shops had HUGE sales going on!  They made a few fun and funky jewelry purchases at Helianthus where they had everything from miniature pig charm necklaces to elegant floral charm bracelets.  At Purdy Girl, they bought an adorable plaid peacoat for the tween and a chic cashmere sweater and scarf for the mother.  Afterall, everything in the store was 50% OFF!

At this point we were running out of time so we headed to the must-see TopShop.  This was a hit for both the mother and the daughter (although it was a little more funky than their preferred style.)  Nonetheless, they took a liking to some of their basic tees and their funky accessories. 

Before we parted ways, I gave them some suggestions for dinner in the area, which included a Little Italy favorite of mine–Umberto’s Clam House!  I also made a map of some other boutiques in the area that they might be interested in, including Jump and Keito (since the mother wanted to find shoes) and Olive & Bette’s (which I knew the teen would love.)

Saturday’s customized shopping tour (although planned for a Sweet 16 Birthday Party) also had some special requests.  It was a mother, daughter and her teenaged friend in a limo and they were looking for some unique, funky, vintage/vintage-inspired and consignment boutiques.  It was a very exciting itinerary to plan!

The tour began at City Bakery (where I recommended the gals have brunch since it was away from the bustle of their hotel in Times Square.)  (Sometimes the disadvantage to a luxury transportation tour can be sitting in traffic for half the tour–especially during this busy holiday season.  To avoid holiday traffic, I suggested we make the tour a downtown-only tour.) 

First stop after City Bakery was Irregular Choice.  The only store in the US is located in the heart of Soho/Nolita and it’s like a shoe carnival.  You will never find more unique shoes in your life!  They had a blast exploring the British-designed shoes, sneakers, boots and handbags.  They even had some unique clothing including t-shirts and raincoats. 

Next stop was the Young Designers Market in Nolita which is a unique shopper’s treasure trove!  You can find anything from jewelry made of geodes to never-before-seen slogan tees.  What’s great about YOUNG designers??  They’re trying to build their business so their prices are EXTREMELY reasonable!  The daughter purchased a beautiful purple dress with crocheted detail for just $40. 

Following the market (where they spent a good 40 minutes–you almost have to with over 50 vendors), we headed to one of the more contemporary stops on the tour–Necessary Clothing.  I knew they would love the prices and since they’re from New Jersey and they have a Joyce Leslie, this would make for a nice alternative.  The daughter ended up buying a couple cute holiday dresses while her friend purchased a cute pair of $7 earmuffs. 

The last stops on the tour were Eye Candy and Zachary’s Smile (both on Lafayette Street.)  They loved browsing Eye Candy for their unique, vintage accessories and they had even more fun in the “Bargain Basement” at Zachary’s Smile where the daughter found a cute holiday blouse for $5! 

Since the time with the limo was up, I walked them over to their final destination–Urban Outfitters–the perfect ending for a day of shopping for teens with vintage style.

If you’d like to take a Customized Shopping Tour in New York City, contact us at www.shop-nyctours.com!

Teen Fashion and Fun Tours Galore!

This past weekend was filled with Teen Fashion and Fun!  It started on Friday with 6 women (2 teens and 4 adults) from Michigan.  They were ready to shop, shop, shop.  They had booked the photo shoot for after the tour and due to time constraints we only had 3 hours to find the teens their outfits.  So we were definitely on a mission.

We began the tour at Makeup Forever in Greenwich Village, where Floriane (one of the amazing Makeup Forever sales reps) gave them mini-makeovers and they bought some really cool, brightly colored eye pencils.  They didn’t want to spend too much time there though.  (We already had appointments for them at Mac scheduled for post-tour/pre-photo shoot).  So we headed down the street to the first clothing and accessories boutique, Owl’s Lab.  The teens loved it, not only for the incredible fashion, but because of the fact that many of the pieces worn on Gossip Girl come from this fabulous boutique.  They bought some awesome clothes and accessories that were (OMG) very Serena and Jenny.  

Next stop was Rugby, which was actually requested by one of the teens.  Rugby was her absolute favorite and she bought a few darling-with-an-edge outfits that were very UES prep.  The other teen said she was more of a girly-girl so I walked her down the street to Ibiza where I knew she would find some sweet, feminine and bohemian dresses, skirts and blouses.

Following Greenwich Village, we headed to Soho.  By this time I had a great feel for each of the teens’ personal styles so I knew that we had to hit up TopShop.  This was a gold mine for both of them!  They found a great mix of edgy, funky fashion along with lacey, frilly and chic pieces.  While one of the teens found shoes galore, the other found her perfect outfits for the photo shoot.  

After TopShop, it was back in the limo and up to the Mac store on 22nd and Fifth Avenue for their makeovers.  While they were getting made-up by the Mac professionals, I headed to Magnolia Bakery (usually a stop on the tour but we ran out of time) and grabbed their cupcakes.  Once I got back to the Mac store and handed them their sweets they were ready to hop in a cab and head to the photo shoot on location in Chelsea with professional photographer, Caitlin Greer.

In addition to the above Teen Fashion and Fun experience, I also gave a tour on Saturday for a 16-year-old girl and her father.  They opted for the Subway/Walking Tour instead of the Limo Tour.  We began the tour on Upper Fifth Avenue, where we visited the usual including the Abercrombie & Fitch Flagship, Henri Bendel and Juicy Couture.  Then it was into the subway and we headed downtown to Soho, where the teen wanted to find some back-to-school shoes and dresses.  She found a cute pair of much-wanted gladiator sandals at David Z and as far as clothing, Joyce Leslie was definitely her favorite.  She found several outfits that she really liked and she was pleased (along with her father) to see the amazingly reasonable prices too.

After the tour, her father sent me an e-mail with this message:

“Thank you very much for the help with shopping with my daughter yesterday!  She was thrilled with the whole trip to NYC and the shopping was the highlight for her. We also did well back home – my wife was surprisingly impressed with my daughter’s purchases…”

If you’d like to book a Teen Fashion and Fun Tour or Teen Fashion and Fun Tour with a Fashion Photo Shoot, please visit www.shop-nyctours.com/tours for more information.  I look forward to shopping with you!

Chic Boutique Tour – Bachelorette Party!

Saturday’s tour was the first Chic Boutique Tour that I’ve given in a while. My Vintage Boutique and Teen Fashion and Fun Tours have been more popular, probably because of the state of the economy. The Chic Boutique Tour definitely visits boutiques with higher overall price points than the other tours, but you can still find select items that don’t cost a fortune, and window shopping is always welcome too.

The group was a lot of fun. There were two women from Reno, Nevada and then, of course, the bachelorette party, from Pittsburgh, PA. Due to the size of the group, we took a limo, which always puts a smile on women’s faces–especially when it’s a surprise.

First stop was in Greenwich Village at Make-up Forever. The bride-to-be got some advice from the sales associates (who are all professional make-up artists) about how to do her makeup for the big day. A couple other ladies in her party made some purchases too, while the ladies from Reno visited an art gallery across the street.

Around the corner on University Place was Pia, where all of the ladies took a look at the beautiful handbags. Bruce, the owner, was friendly, as always. They all loved the store but the price range wasn’t in their budget. So I suggested, since it was a bachelorette party, that they head across the street to La Petit Coquette to take a look at the cute, feminine and funky lingerie selection. The ladies from Reno showed a strong interest in gift shops and housewares stores so I pointed them in the direction of William Wayne & Company. In the last 15 minutes of our stop in Greenwich Village, both groups ended up in Ibiza, which they all seemed to take a strong liking too. They were all pretty amazed with their beautiful collection of jewelry, their cool hats and their funky handbags.

After Greenwich Village, it was back to the limo and off to Soho. Since I had a good feel for the group by this point, I decided to take them to the west side of Soho rather than the east side, since the boutiques in that area are more unique than commercial but still reasonable in pricing. They visited Laurel Canyon Vintage (one of the ladies in the bachelorette party wanted to see their cowboy boot collection after viewing the video), Chelsea Girl Couture (one of the ladies from Reno was interested in the Moon Bags after viewing the video), The Hat Shoppe, Lunessa and DKNY to name a few. The ladies from Reno also visited Clio (a housewares store.) This was a perfect area for the combination of groups since there is such a wide range of boutiques. There was definitely something for everyone.

After Soho, we got back in the limo and they each enjoyed a glass of champagne as we headed over to the West Village/Meatpacking District. Next stop was Darling, which is one of my personal favorites. Darling is awesome because they have a range of contemporary fashion, vintage fashion, vintage-inspired fashion and of course, a lovely dress collection on the lower level. They also have some amazing accessories like broaches, earrings, necklaces, belts, and hats to name a few. Darling carries some select handbags and shoes and some scented candles and oils for the home, which gives the entire store the most pleasant smell.

Everyone enjoyed this store but since the bachelorette party was taking more time than the other women, I suggested they head over to the next block where they could visit Mxyplyzyk, which is one of the coolest gift shops in the city. I also suggested that they visit Tea & Sympathy across the street where they could find some great gifts as well. I would normally suggest The Bathroom too but it turns out that they’re Greenwich Avenue store closed. Times are definitely tough.

The West Village/Meatpacking was our last stop and after some successful purchases, the limo picked us up and dropped off each group at their requested location (another advantage of having a small group), which they really appreciated, considering it was raining like crazy all day.

If you’d like to do something special in NYC for your bride-to-be, visit www.shop-nyctours.com and book one of our tours. Both public and private groups tours are available. Hope to shop with you soon!