Monday, July 28, 2008

A (wo)man travels the world...

One of the coolest quotes ever: "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it" - George Moore.
It is spot-on how I feel every time I return home from any trip... even the most anticipated travels pale in comparison to the feeling of home.

That quote, among many others, are some of the great inspiration that you can add to your home, office, etc. with the AWESOME frames at Swagger from Magnolia Lane (pictured below)!
Aaaaand I just heard from Mandy that she's just received a HUGE shipment (ie: lotsof selection!) of new frames for those of you who are soon to be as addicted as I am. Naturally, that makes for a perfect Manic Monday blog special for 15% off these awesome frames today only (until 6pm) in the store! Just mention this blog and enjoy your well-deserved Monday retail therapy savings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Favorite Local Clothing Stores

It is Independent Retailer's Week so we wanted to name some of our favorite shops in the area! Today we decided to list some of our favorite clothing shops - the Swagger Girls love to make a fashion statement!
We love Nativa in downtown Apex! Nativa has only be open for a very short time but their cute (and inexpensive!) clothes are fabulous! They have designers we have not seen in other stores and the owners are so nice! The decor is pretty cute too- we love the black damask! I have already purchased a black lace "going out top" for a trip to Chicago for my sister's 30th birthday and a long cotton dress that I have worn once a week since I got it! Melissa loves her periwinkle top that she says is "structured with lots of pleats around the neck" - okay so I haven't seen it and I think her explanation was kind of weird but I can't wait to see it:)!Their address is:108 N Salem Street in Apex - The Peak of Good Living!
We also love Ciao Bella at the Arboretum off Harrison Ave in Cary. Again, the owners are great and provide excellent customer service. You can tell them what you are looking for and they will show you items that will look great on your body type! I love Trina Turk and 3 Dot both of which can be found at Ciao Bella! Rachel bought the most beautiful black and white dress their last year - it was truly stunning on her!Their address is:2055 Rnaissance Park Place in Cary
And last but DEFINITELY not least - Scout and Molly's at The Lassiter. Again - great customer service (this is obviously very important to us)! I buy a lot of my jeans here because they have a great selection of designers and sizes. They have realized that not everyone wears a size 28 - thank you ladies!!! They also recently opened WALK a Scout and Molly's Shoetique. Lisa - our marketing director extraordinaire - LOVES this place and says she finds stuff for all sorts of occasions! Their address is:4421-103B Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, 27609 and their web address is
Check back tomorrow when I list my favortie consignment stores in the area - this girl loves a bargain!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Double Deal for the Dog Days of Summer

According to my local weather station... it would appear that we are smack in the middle of the dog days of summer as we're heading toward a streak of high-temps this week. STELLAR. Don't get me wrong, I'll take the summer sunshine over rain in the winter ANY DAY, but I've been TRYING to go green by running my A/C as little as possible - I mean hello.... a girl just can't look good if she's covered in sweat.
Anyhoo... how about a DOUBLE blog special for today to revive everyone's spirits?!
1. For those of you who read Mandy's blog updates from Market last week... you won't be surprised to hear that she shopped her little heart out - and now it's time for you to shop! She went a little crazy for handbags (don't we all!), so for today only - until 6pm - you can save 15% in the store on the fresh from market handbags. Click on the picture below to see her blog post on a few of the great purses she picked out! Just tell the gang at Swagger you read it in the blog to take advantage of this special!
2. For those of you who can't make it by the store because you're actually sticking with that summer fitness resolution to hit the gym at least three days a week... NO WORRIES. Mandy has become a Lifetime Fitness addict since joining, too and hides her morning hair under one of her many monogrammed ballcaps . Since we all know it is impossible to have great looking hair at the gym, she's sharing her stylish disguise with blog readers for 15% off monogrammed ballcaps when ordered online! Use "gymhair15" as the online code for saving 15%!
PS - How's this for double duty?! Since this fall's handbags are going bigger and badder... guess what you can now use for you gym essentials that's wayyyyy cuter than a worn old gymbag

Retail Gossip!

I know you're all dying to know... so here's your scoop on Swagger's buzz this week:
Cary’s Swagger Gifts Celebrates “National Independent Retailers Week” by Saluting Local Independent Retailers

(Cary, NC) – Mandy Becker, owner of Swagger Gifts, has announced that the popular gift and accessories retail store, will celebrate National Independent Retailers Week by offering 20% off any one item for all local shoppers and fellow small business owners.
The event, which began on July 20th, 2008 and runs until July 26th, 2008 was designed by Profits+Plus for Small Business to “celebrate and promote those who own and manage the thousands of independent retail businesses around the world”, according to the website.
Swagger Gifts is participating in the event to raise awareness about the many inherent benefits of shopping locally and supporting the Triangle’s numerous small, independent retailers. “As a small business owner, I’m very aware of how shopping locally keeps hard-earned money within one’s own community,” says Becker, “and that’s hard to beat these days!” In addition to the revenue that stays predominately more local than when compared to big-box retailers with nationwide presence, local small businesses are incredibly active in local philanthropic and civic causes, continuing to give back in their own local communities.
As a special way of paying homage to other local independent retailers, Swagger will feature their staff members’ favorite recommendations for local shopping options in a host of categories every day this week on their blog at
Located in the heart of the Lochmere neighborhood in Cary, Swagger Gifts is located at 2425 Kildaire Farm Road and is open from 10am until 6pm, Monday through Friday, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturdays. Shoppers who cannot make it to the store, or who will be outside of the area, are encouraged to support their favorite Triangle-based retailers by shop online from at any time, from any location – continuing to invest purchases in their own community even when shopping online.
For more information about Swagger Gifts, please contact Mandy Kratus Becker at Swagger Gifts, 919-858-5884 or toll free at 877-792-4437 or visit the store online at Becker can also be reached via email at for additional comments or information.

About Swagger Gifts
Swagger Gifts, an upscale boutique with an eclectic flair, specializes in personalized gifts for everyone on your list - including yourself - has been in business for five years and has been voted the 'Best Gift Shop- by Cary Magazine readers. Having recently re-launched their web site, everything offered in their store, as well as great gift giving advice can be found online at – with new merchandise and features being added daily, including a blog authored by Mandy, her fabulous staff, and her customers in the blogging community!As if you needed another reason to read Swagger's blog on a daily basis (are we in your daily read feed yet?), we will be posting lots of our favorite local shopping recommendations this week... starting today! Be sure to email or link your friends if we recommend something that's just what they've been looking for!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"It's that kinda daaaaaaaaaaay"

I think every girl (whether you're a country music fan or not) should go download the tune "It's that kind of day" by Sarah Buxton. Right. This. Second. Here's an iTunes link to make it super simple to add to your iPod today!

"Stayed out about two hours too late,
And now it's hard gettin' out of this bed.
Man, my boyfriend was a pain in the butt last night,
Now he's an ache in my head.
Stubbed my toe on the dresser an'I guess,
It's too late to shower an' do my hair.

Yeah, throw a ball cap on;
Hell, half the day is gone.
And nothin' else could go wrong, whoa, oh.
Fifty bucks is all I got:
When times are tough, it's time to shop,
An' my credit card'll buy a lot, whoa, oh.
What's another bill to pay?
It's that kind of day.Hey, hey, hey, yeah!"

That girl suuuuure knows what she's talking about! I bet she'd enjoy Swagger's Thirsty Third Thursday blog specials, too.
Save 15% off anything alcohol related! Barware, glasses, cocktail napkins, mixology books, Sprayology party relief spray, and more! Since Swagger's gone green, just mention this blog special in the store to take advantage of this retail therapy session!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Market Watch July 08 - Day 6

Go Big or Go Home! I think that basically sums up the purses for the fall season! Everything is HUGE including the clutches! Which of course I love because if I can't put the kitchen sink in a handbag then I won't get it!:) We found a new handbag designer today and the purses were phenomenal!!! Here are a few pictures of some that I bought yesterday! If you like one let me know - because I only bought one of each - we can't have mulitple people in Cary with your fabulous bag now can we? Also, just to let you know , the fall handbags are similar to jewelry in that it is all about color! THE colors for handbags are Purple, Grey, Red and Navy! Here are some pics:
So I have lots more to tell you guys but since I had technical difficulties last night I couldn't write the blog until this morning and I need to get going for my LAST day of market! We have bought some many new fantastic lines I can't wait to share them with you guys! Keep checking the blog as I will let you know here when they start coming in!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Market Watch July 08 - Day 5

So we bought MORE jewelry today! I am a sucker for jewelry - I can't help it! We are going to have a Fall Jewelry and Purse Premiere in a couple weeks! THE colors for fall are going to be a blue aquaish color (can you picture that:)), purple, and grey. Gold is still Hot! If you still can't switch over from silver we have some great pieces for you - we bought a lot of jewelry that incorporated gold, silver, and copper all into one piece - so beautiful! I can't wait for you guys to see them! Also, it is the 50 year anniversary of the Peace Sign so it is going to be HUGE! We bought lots of peace sign jewelry so if you don't have some from the first time around you can get yours at Swagger!:)
The last thing we did today was meet the designer of the Lolita Wine and Martini glasses! She was so cute in her red cocktail dress drinking champagne - see the picture below! She desgined a new line of shot glasses which I just had to get! Of course we will update you here when they come in!
Only two more days of shopping - I can't wait till tomorrow to see what else we can find! But now I am going to bed because it is almost midnight and i am sooooo tired!
See you soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Market Watch July 08 -Day 4

So we knew today was going to be a good day when we got the most primo spot at the Marta Station!! Normally we have to park on the top level but as we pulled in this morning a car on the bottom floor third space in was leaving - now what are the chances of that?! We knew it was going to be our lucky day! And it was! First we got to meet the genius behind the Our Name is Mud products - Lorrie Veasey. Swagger has been carrying Our Name is Mud products since they started selling wholesale back in 2003 - I pride myself that we were one of their first customers!:) Lorrie writes a blog too so we were talking a little about that which made me feel so tech savvy and hip that we were both so up on the cool new trend - okay so it isn't so new and millions of people do it - but not in the gift industry so let me feel cool - okay!:) Anyway, her blog is pretty darn funny as I guessed it would be because her products are some of the wittiest and funniest in the market place.! She was the person who brought us the Alcohol = Fun wine stopper we featured in an earlier blog (click here to see it). You can check out Lorrie's blog at Here is a picture of us looking so cute in front of her new products!

Lots of other fun stuff happened and we bought AMAZING new items for the store as well as added some new lines for our website - yeah! Some of my favorite things we bought today were tiaras, boas, and funky sunglasses! They will hopefully be in the store by the beginning of August. Don't be surprised if you see me wearing the sunglasses out in public and I'm sure I'll have a tiara on in the store - you know I LOVE a tiara!

Ta Ta for Now! Mandy

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Market Watch July 08 - Day 3

Today we found some really great collegiate gifts! One of my favorites was this grill cover! I would have been in the photo but I the sample was a UGA grill cover and I went to Georgia Tech so there was NOOOO way that was going to happen! I forced my mom to be in it but I think she dislikes them as much as I do!:)
On of my other favorite gifts was a really cool coozie that was magnetic so you could stick it to the side of your car when you are tailgating - now that is a great idea! The salesman said you can even stick it to the side of your lawn mower - now you might be a redneck if.....:) I will let you guys know when we actually get this stuff in the store!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Market Watch July 08 - Day 2

Okay - so we are already tired and it is only the 2nd day - how is that? I guess I am getting old! Nothing like 6 years ago when we started - it is amazing what turning 30 will do to your body:) For example, see these stairs
I used to walk up them every morning from the Marta into Market. Now I look at the young whippersnappers who do this and just shake my head and think "How do they have the energy to do that?". I now save my energy for the shopping! I didn't even have the energy to drink a glass of wine tonight - and that is TIRED! So I am headed to bed - HBT as my husband would say (horizontal by ten). I'll check back in with you tomorrow!
Cheers! Mandy

Monday, July 7, 2008

First Day of Market

Purses and jewelry and tights - oh my!
Hey Everybody! My mom and I headed down to Atlanta yesterday so we could shop shop shop! Today we ended up with two of the cutest suitcases I have ever seen, 3 garbage sized bags of jewelry, 3 garbage sized bags of purses, and a bag of THE most awesome tights! I bought two pairs a month ago to see if I liked them enough to carry them at Swagger and I LOVE them! They are one size fits all (they look like a size 2 but fit me perfectly and the lady who sold them to me was pregnant and could still wear hers!), they don't ride up, they don't slip down, and they come in the perfect colors for fall and summer! Need I say more? They will be at the store when I get back from market next Wednesday! Here are a couple pictures of us shopping! Stay tuned- we still have 7 days to go!

And you thought it was hard to make a decision at Swagger! We shopped at about 10 different stores that all looked like this! (That is all jewelry in the back!)
So this is what we ended up with. Doesn't look like much, but keep in mind that the white bags are filled with necklaces, bracelets, and earrings!

Double Deal to Make Up for it Being a Monday...

Boo to Monday mornings after a long holiday weekend. I'm sure if you're anything like me, you imagined that the weekend would just be carefree and relaxing and naturally, it was anything but. Oh sure, it was more fun than should ever be packed into 3 days, but Mondays weren't exactly made for recoveries either.
So to make up for the agony we're all feeling right now (and to have a little fun while the boss is away at market this week) - the girls at Swagger have decided to double up on the blog deals today since a: it's the first Monday of the month (which means MONOGRAM MONDAY!) and b: because they can.
The first deal of the day goes out to all the monogramming-addicts out there (a group that I may or may not belong to...): 15% off canvas totes. SWEET. (One of my old faithful beach bags actually had a mini-disaster this weekend involving a bottle of tanning oil... this was well-timed for me.) Just use the code "canvas15" to snag 15% off at check-out! Here, I've already done the store searching for you for all of the canvas totes there are to choose from. This offer does expire at midnight tonight to hurry up and order yours now!
The second, of which I'm also a big fan because I never know just what I'm going to want on any given visit to Swagger, is 15% off any one item in the store or online all week! HOT DANG! Now that's a 4th of July sale that I'll gladly wait until the 7th of July for! Use the code "market15" to shop online or just reference this blog if you're in the store.
Ok, whew, that's a lot. But hey, too much of a good thing - is a good thing.