Candy Pants Winners!

I loved reading all the comments on serafina for the Candy Pants Giveaway.  The stories behind the women and their issues with the availability of petite clothes made it worthwhile for me to happily giveaway the Candy Pants.  And in this Giveaway, serafina contacted me and said that it was too difficult to make one decision- so two pairs got shipped out yesterday.  Courtney from Antioch, CA and Kim from Alberta Canada were the lucky winners!   Congratulations!  You can log on to http://www.serafinablog.com to see the all the comments.   

One common thread that I saw in the comments was how different the pants are.    Being different and standing out among the crowd has always been inherent to me and my tastes and I hope to follow this through in the design of the petite label.   The Candy Pants was one that I felt I wanted to push the envelope a bit and do something that your not going to find in your basic petite section of the department store.  

Providing a petite clothing line that’s trendsetting and unique is at the forefront of the design process.  So taking risks and venturing out a bit is going to be part of the deal.   I see a lot sites providing tips on the do’s and don’ts of dressing a petite body.   But quite frankly, I’ve always carried the philosophy that if you understand your body and keep in mind tasteful decisions, a petite woman shouldn’t feel restricted with all the guidelines- if it makes you feel good and sexy and alive, than wear it with confidence and style.   Perhaps it’s a puritanical mind set that has been with us for a handful of centuries that has gotten our underpants in a wad that we’ve nearly lost our creativity in dressing ourselves.   

With that being said however, I do realize that it is hard to find styles that match a woman’s tastes especially if she is the type to venture out and try new fashion trends before they reach the masses.   So does it come in petite sizing?  Most likely not.

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Candy Pants Giveaway!

It’s not everyday that you get a chance to win a pair of contemporary designer pants.  Serafinablog.com is giving away a pair of the Candy Pants!   They are unique and adorable.  They are a great fit too.  Very similar to a Banana Republic fit.  Not too roomy in the hips like Ann Taylor.  You can check out the giveaway on http://www.serafinablog.com.

candy pants petite

candy pants petite

The pants are going to be great all year round from fall to next spring.  The colors of these pants are very neutral and it’s going to be like nothing you can find in the malls and nothing in boutiques since they don’t cater to petite women.  I have received lots of good feedback from the women who have worn these pants. So GO sign yourself up to win!!!!!!!

For more details about the pants, go to Balzac’s website: http://www.balzacclothing.com

Just Another Day in the Life of Lynn Colclough

So it’s been kind of strange seeing myself on the commercials.  Tomorrow, Friday Aug. 29th will be the day that I will appear on the new reality show called Who Are You Wearing? from TLC.  I think its been pretty exciting for my two girls who are also on the commercial along with my husband sporting a Celtics cap and making a fluffer nutter sandwich on cable TV.    You can read the details of the interview on http://serafinablog.com/petitefashion/.  

I mentioned to Cynthia (who has a great petite blog as well called Shorty Stories http://blog.shorty-stories.com/) that this year has been a year of experiences and experiments.  I think the beauty of being on your own and going after your dreams is that you can try new things and conduct life experiments at your own cost (and not worry whether you’re going to get fired or not).  Having people to support me on my journeys has made the experiments a lot less discomforting.  Getting out of one’s comfort zone is quite discomforting for many people right?  Isn’t that why they call it a “zone”,  a nice protected invisible space that’s as comforting as your mother’s bosoms when you were a wee bit of a bugger?  But eventually we have to stop sucking our thumbs and do some growing up I suppose.

So I told myself at the beginning of the year that I have to try and do something new at least weekly.  I want to do it daily but I forget or get distracted and don’t want to be too demanding on myself.  

So reflecting on this past week as I dissolve this comfort zone bubble of mine…

I took a turbo kick boxing class for the first time.  I’m a bit clumsy and uncoordinated when it comes to these things.  I’m a regular at my gym.  I like my routine of wieghts and then hitting the bike or treadmill, nothing unexpected.  So getting out of my comfort zone and breaking into this 9:15am Saturday class of regular TKB enthusiasts was a bit intimidating.  So no broken ankles and just a bit sore the next day which actually felt kind of good.

On Wednesday I was in downtown LA visiting my contractors.  I decided to make small talk to a stranger on the elevator whose replies were directed at his shoes actually, and I think he couldn’t run away fast enough after we got to ground floor.  Oh, and that same Wednesday, I brought some Vietnamese eggrolls to the parking guy who is always curious of my look and wonders where I come from (hopefully not space).  So I think that he experienced something new that day too.

I think tomorrow as I watch myself on cable TV, that will be an experience.  Perhaps a bit embarrassing since I don’t know what will be edited and presented to the reality TV junkies of the world.  But I feel that I can’t grow spiritually without taking these risks and putting myself out there for other opportunities to come forth from it.  So I’ve resolved myself to having fun while doing it.  Fun, now that’s comforting.

Made Proudly in USA – at least for now…

My family and I took a trip to Maine.  Never been there before but, to us, it was a distant state that seemed just as exotic as a small country in Southeast Asia.  Being from California you can just about travel this entire state for days before having to cross over state lines.  So Maine was one of those states that held some mystery that we decided to explore it this summer.  It was a trip that we have already blocked off mentally in next year’s calendar to revisit.

I love our country and our visit to Maine made me appreciate the uniqueness and individualism within our states even more.  Aside from the sweet local lobster and clam shacks so distinctive to Maine, we shopped in downtown Portland where there were these stickers adhered to the shops’ windows that encouraged locals and visitors alike to support the local merchants and manufacturers.  To me, these stickers created an atmosphere of pride and self esteem for this state.  People questioned where their food came from, they looked inside tags and labels before making their purchases.  The visitors and merchants talked up their ‘local consciousness’.   There was a postcard from a clothing manufacturer that promoted their clothing by saying, hey people, we make our clothes just a few miles from Portland and with a Maine address no less, not Canada, not over seas.  They survive and thrive on their local businesses from the fishing to the retail merchants, to the coffee houses.  It was as American as I can ever imagine it to be.  

My view of Maine may be a bit nolstalgic and limited in scope but nevertheless, it was an image and experience that I perceived having spent short of two weeks there.  Granted, Maine isn’t known for being a leader in the world of fashion.  Having my clothes made in Los Angeles is something that I feel very proud to claim as part of the intrinsic value of the clothing that I offer.  Being in Southern California like many other large cities, we have so many wonderful cultures and transplants from other countries that add to local flavors and scents.  Perhaps all of this individualism lends to the fashion trends that eventually end up in mainstream America.  So does a product such as clothing that’s made locally matter in the larger cities? Does anyone care really?  Because the price to a consumer is obviously a big deal when the product gets costed out to the retail level.  Then being Made in USA may not be worth it to her.  

Like growing cities, there comes a time in the growth of an apparel company that it has to look elsewhere for its manufacturing needs.  Even now with Balzac being manufacturered in L.A, there is this big “So What” in this patriotism of mine that is a bit cynical.  So what if your clothes are made in Los Angeles, so what if you are proud to hire people locally, so what!  So what… is the price for this dress?  The price to support our own economy, our own people, Americans.  The price to have a petite line because we are literally overlooked when it comes to our needs for fashion.   

As I constantly examine every clothing label to see where their clothing is made, it’s a rare gem when a shirt claims made in the USA.  Running a business in California is expensive.  So when you look at just the cost of minimum wage here in California (versus pennies an hour overseas) and the cost it takes to make a blouse and sell it at a price worth paying for it’s not a hard decision just at this basic level to decide to do business across the Pacific.  With competition being so fierce especially in the clothing industry, apparel production in the United States seems to be a dinosaur of its day.   So what?  So, what they say in real estate are the three most important features of property is “location, location, location.”  In this case where the apparel industry is concerned, these three features won’t likely be sharing the same address.  Until the time comes, my label will continue saying Made Proudly in USA.

Angels Are Alive

I used to remember growing up, just feeling completely without support and love.  My mother passed away when I barely turned six years old, so getting a warm hug or tender kiss was not something that I experienced growing up after the age of six.  I have to say that receiving love and support in my life now is not lacking in any way.  I am so thankful for my friends and family for the support and encouragement that they have given me.  Recent new friends that I have been blessed to meet like Sheryl, Julia, and Lisa are a few on earth that I can honestly say with my heart are true angels. 

My husband has been amazing and his business approach is invaluable.  He seems to set aside the emotions and helps me focus.   Another angel.

My sisters are so different from one another but the one thing that we did growing up in our home was to take care of each other and give each other the love that was lacking from our parents, at least from my perspective.  As dysfunctional as our parents were, we managed to cook for one another and look out for each other.  I wouldn’t trade in my sisters for a new set even if give the opportunity.  I donned my second daughter’s middle name after one sister,Katie, and interestingly enough, she looks just like Katie as a little girl.  But the reason to naming her after Katie speaks more than words that I can put down on this blog. 

My friends that were at the launch party were all angels in my small house in Orange County.  Many of them that came weren’t petite but they were there for me, friends from book club and business groups.  Two of my friends Patti and Kim whose lives are just as busy with work and family made the time to offer their support and advice, and have been angels from the day that we became friends.  

In a world that can be mean and ugly, there is also a stronger force that I have chosen to surround myself with as we all can.  There are angels here on earth and they are truly superhuman.  Their love and support that surrounds me has kept all the demons in disguise away from truly hurting me.  Down any path, there lies road blocks and boulders that may get in the way but as long as there’s angels around, I know that I will make it along the path safely.  I thank you for everything.    

 

 

 

 

30 ft Level

My former VP of Marketing always used to say, let’s look at this from a 30 ft level.  Meaning, step back and not look at it on a detailed perspective.   My husband put it best today.  He said, how can a buyer or sales person in a clothing store who is 5’9″ understand what the fashion problems are of a woman who is 5’2″?  She buys or sells to the customer based on her point of view.   

So I went into a store today in Huntington Beach, CA and had an appointment to talk to the new store owner about how to attracting customers that are petite.  The conversation didn’t even go further then a couple of sentences from me about how it’s difficult for a petite woman to find clothes more so then ever.  Department stores are slimming down, etc, etc.  They said that a petite woman doesn’t have problems with the fit and size of their pants.  All they have to do is hem them, designers keep tailors in business, they said.  What do you do about dresses? I asked them. They wouldn’t sell any of their petite women long dresses, it would completely overwhelm their bodies.   They would push the short dresses on them because that’s what they should be wearing.  Oh, and women would never wear anything like polka dot pants because the American woman wears basic stuff like plain sold pants and jeans- that’s what you should be designing.  Certainly not a petite woman could ever wear pants with a pattern, and never polka dots!   It belongs with the Japanese girls who are bolder in their way of dress, they said.

So this conversation went on for about 45 minutes.  As you can see, it wasn’t a pleasant meeting.  I walked away questioning myself for a while.  Do I not have a problem like most other petite women in the US about clothes?  Maybe I don’t have any problems finding clothes and perhaps all other petite women like me don’t have problems either.  Perhaps this is all self created, self inflicted pain, and we petite women gave the problem unnecessary life and energy.  Am I completely out there, disconnected from the “real’ world?  Perhaps it’s me? Do I dress a bit out there for the average mother and nievely believe that other women actually want something different?  Do petite women truly want another pair of black pants or white dress but they just want to buy it at a new store?What’s an American women supposed to dress like?  Is this why there’s a gaping whole in fashion for petite women.  Do fashions only belong on the runway and in Japan or Western Europe?

My time at the store could have been a typical bully scene.  You know the one, where all the kids give the bully their lunch money because that’s what they do every day and they feel there is no other alternative.  The bully just stands there outside as the kids walk single file to drop their lunch money into his open hand.

Then the one new kid comes along and questions the entire situation when the bully sticks his hand out waiting for the money.  The new kid has just disrupted the flow and everyone else watching thinks she/he is crazy to question why things have been done like this, just give him the money and walk away their probably thinking.  The store owner says she’s been doing this for 20 years, and she can only think of one petite woman who shops in her store and she doesn’t buy petite clothes, certainly not polka dot pants!  She is tiny, probably weighs 98 lbs.  So she fits in our size 0 or P.  Hmmm, what about the average American woman who is 5’4” and 163 lbs?  I don’t think those 0 pants are going to zip up.  

I certainly do not think that everyone will have an appeal for my clothes.  Yet I do wonder why can’t there be variety in our appearance?  Is being petite allowing other people to push us into a box that we’ve all come to live with all too long?  I see some of the blogs out there where they have suggestions on how a petite woman should dress and some of them are good tips.  But is this so stifling that it has a taller person pushing their own projection of who we should be too?   Where’s the uniqueness and individualism in all this?  Shouldn’t we wear what we want to wear and not what we should wear?  I was certainly talking to the wrong people and in the wrong store.   I wasn’t ready for the idealism (from a non petite person) of what a petite woman should wear or not wear.   Are we not allowed to decide for ourselves what we should wear based on how we feel and who we are truly.  Isn’t this where the clothes helps to reflect your sense of self?  

Are there any petite women out there who want clothes that’s made for them in mind?  Or is the aggravation and frustration that I hear and see about daily on blogs and in daily conversation just that- simply complaints and gripes.   And is it that we don’t really want to fight the big bully and change this situation but instead, we just want to have something to complain about- like an aching back or the price of gas?   Do we still want to continue giving away our money to the bully and then go huddle in our corner and complain about our situation?  Isn’t anyone tired yet of the tan khakis and black pant?  Does anyone want a fresh perspective?  

 

 

BalzacClothing.com Offers Trendy Women’s Petite Clothing

The BalzacClothing.com debut collection for the Spring/Summer 2008, features fashionable petite women’s clothing for the working woman who wants stylish social clothing for activities outside of work.

Orange County, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2008 — The newly launched site of BalzacClothing.com fulfills the need of petite women to have trendy, fashionable clothing without compromise. Its debut collection for Spring/Summer 2008, features fashionable petite women’s clothing for the working woman who wants stylish social clothing for activities outside of work. The styles of this collection were designed to make a petite woman feel sexy and comfortable at the same time.

balzac clothing

 

 

 We strive to push a bit beyond the basic and hope to enhance the petite woman’s wardrobe. We believe that the petite woman should have many options for any occasion. So whether you’re a size 0 or 10, the petite woman should be able to express her special style without sacrificing fit, or creativity. Our style of clothes is yours to represent the best of you and how you want to be seen 

Interestingly enough, 40 percent of American women are 5’4″ or less in height. Yet, the clothing manufacturers have neglected the petite clothing market. Many department stores have either eliminated their petite department or their petite presence seems to lack variety and a contemporary approach to style. Even the upscale boutiques do not carry women’s petite clothing. Balzac Clothing hopes to bridge that gap and provide contemporary petite women’s clothing. 

Balzac Clothing is the brain child of Orange County, California designer Lynn Colclough. As a petite woman herself, she knows what a struggle it is to find well fitting clothing for not just the short woman, but a petite woman who has curves. Especially after she had her two children, Colclough realized if she wanted women’s sexy petite clothing, she needed to make it herself, just like she did years ago as a teenager.

Colclough started her design career in high school by making her own clothes. She used to go through the clothing racks at thrift stores and buy large items, then open them up and draw her own patterns on them. Her outfits were one-of-a-kind and fitted to perfection. From this passion for quality and style for the petite woman came the idea of Balzac Clothing.

“We strive to push a bit beyond the basic and hope to enhance the petite woman’s wardrobe. We believe that the petite woman should have many options for any occasion. So whether you’re a size 0 or 10, the petite woman should be able to express her special style without sacrificing fit, or creativity. Our style of clothes is yours to represent the best of you and how you want to be seen,” said Colclough.

Balzac Clothing’s goal is to become a leading brand of contemporary fashion for petite women worldwide. Future plans for expansion include a petite maternity and active wear line for petite women. The company also plans to be in clothing boutiques in the United States and around the world.

About Balzac Clothing:
Located in Orange County, California, Balzac Clothing features contemporary clothing designed to fit real petite women who are as unique as the clothing they choose to wear.

The company believes in returning its share of successes back into our world. Part of the company’s profits is donated to various charities within the United States and internationally.

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http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/06/prweb1034024.htm