Sunday, December 13, 2009

Have you missed me?

Hello lovelies!

I am terribly sorry that I haven't been active lately. Life has been more than a little crazy and I find myself having difficulty scheduling in "semi-important" things, such as....oh, say...sleeping and eating.

For those of you who don't know (which is probably most of you, since I rarely talk about anything personal) I work full-time and go to school at night. The semester is ending and finals are in progress...bleh. I may have bitten off more than I could chew this semester, but I hate the idea of taking four years to finish what could be done in two. You see, I don't have my Bachelor's degree yet. As per the norm, I started college right after high school and did fairly well at first. However, by my second year I began to flounder and lose direction. Finally, after a few personal incidents, I decided to "take a break", much to the consternation of my loved ones.

Fast-forward a few years and now I am a 26 year old sophomore student at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. For any of you in the NY metro area who are thinking about going back to school, I would definitely recommend checking out their website. They offer on-campus and online classes in a range of fields (I'm an International Business major), and have both degree and non-degree programs. So far, all of my professors have been great. The school is very sensitive to the plight of the working adult, and my classes contain students of all ages and backgrounds. It is a very supportive learning environment and I feel lucky to be able to complete my degree here. If you're interested and have any questions, feel free to send me a message!

So, if all goes well and I don't have a mini-breakdown by next week, I should be back to the normal blogging schedule (and then some) very soon.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Astoria Merchant of the Week: krisTEES

Hello Lovelies!

It's (finally) time for the second installment of AMOTW! This week's merchant is none other than local fashion boutique, krisTEES, located on 23rd Avenue at 24th Street and owned by Astoria's own Kristie Foster-Chapman.

krisTEES has been in Astoria for just over three years now and it is loved by both life-long Astoria residents and more recent transplants (like yours truly). I've wandered in a few times and have always encountered friendly, knowledgeable service and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Kristie stocks her store with unique items, encompassing both modern and vintage inspirations, created by herself and a myriad of other local designers. She takes the time to work with her customers, making sure that they are fully satisfied with the quality and fit of their purchases. She is also great about maintaining constant communication, alerting her clientele via email of new collections and special promotions.

One such email caught my attention earlier this week. It advertised a special event called Shine 2009 and it promised to be a great night...

Well, I attended the event this evening and it totally delivered! Shine 2009 was fantastic, featuring not only brand new items for the holiday season, but also providing a venue for local artists and lesser-known designers.

The first thing that caught my eye, before even entering the store, was the elegant and graceful dancing of Hitomi Nozawa, a local singer and dancer. Her movements in the whimsical "Where The Wild Things Are" window display were eye-catching and delightfully unexpected, especially on the quiet, residential street on which krisTEES resides.

Upon entering, I was greeted with warm smiles from all sides and offered some much-needed refreshment. One of the shop attendants, and then Kristie herself, came over to me to walk me through the different displays and introduce me to the designers. Everyone was so friendly and happy to answer any questions I had. I fell in love with a particular coat by Mel en Stel, who may not have been present but was well-represented on the clothing racks. If I am not broke after my holiday shopping, you can bet I will be back to purchase it!

I also met two fantastic bag designers who make everything by hand. Anastasia of ASTRID took me through her creative process, describing how she thought of the unique designs of her handbags which combine fashion and function. I was a particular fan of the Sugi, a small versatile clutch. Her designs are available in an array of great colors (I'm partial to the purple)and provide a funky twist on stylish classics. Stop in at krisTEES to view color swatches in order to customize your very own!

I promised myself that I would only shop for other people. Ha! Those good intentions flew right out the window when I saw the handbags of the second designer, Pamela Kay. All of her creations are one of a kind and absolutely gorgeous. Most of you know that I love all things vintage and vintage inspired, and these purses are no exception. Just check out the little beauty that I treated myself to!

In addition to all of these incredible finds, I was also fortunate to view the work of Asami Hotta. She is an Astoria-based artist who uses antique jewelry to create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. She does not have a website up yet, but trust me when I say that her work is beautiful. If you're interested, I would suggest stopping in at krisTEES or sending Asami an email.

If you didn't get a chance to attend Shine 2009, there will be another event on December 15th at the Brick Cafe (31st Avenue). Pamela Kay and Asami Hotta will be there, and once I hear further information I will be sure to share. I definitely recommend stopping in to check out some of these beautiful items!

All in all, krisTEES is a fabulous and unique Astoria staple for the fashion-conscious. I look forward to attending more events and seeing what other terrific products Kristie has to offer!

24-01 23rd Avenue
Astoria, NY 11105
T: (718) 204-5031
Store Hours:
Wednesday-Saturday, 12:00PM - 8:00PM
Sunday, 12:00PM - 6:00PM