Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New look.....different ways to wear your accessories....

Online shop for ManoBello
Transform your wardrobe. Have fun, save that cash for something else.....

This is two of the elegant and very classic Leather Rose belts at Mano Bello, from the Flowers Collection.....Morphed into Couture goddess level funkiness....wrapped and worn as a harness, ascot or bib. A really feminine fashion restraint!
 Here again...the same two belts, wrapped & layered, coiled around as a lush bib, or decadent necklace edging it's way towards "scarf".
Love......not war! 
A morphed bandolier. Much better to arm yourself with roses.....

A single belt wrapped into an edgy halter......Any of these would carry any plain button down shirt, tee or fitted wool blazer to heights teetering on haute!

I am going to ask the StyleBubble girl to a friendly challenge of "styling with accessories"....let's see if she responds!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm working on photos to show the different ways to wear what could otherwise be an intensely classic leather belt.

Not only a belt, but a harness, a sash across the body diagonally, a choker, even a necklace with lots of leather ribbons to play with and intertwine. I think I could use the help of Style Bubble!
Although I am no expert, nor want to be, on designing leather accessories for bondage purposes....I do like the harness look with the belt, over a tee or a wool jacket.

I love versatility in wardrobe pieces...I love finding creative ways to mix things up and morph the intended purpose of a piece into something else that ends up quirky, funky, fun and stylish.
Shown with Chan Luu Cashmere dress, Rozae Nichols lace skirt, Der Dau riding boots & fingerless gloves, wool tights & thigh high stockings borrowed from J Crew.
Red Rose Ribbon Leather Belt     
Online shop for Mano Bello belts

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My target market.....

I've been getting sound business advice from specialized professionals in the fields of Photography, Business, Marketing & Advertising. I've leapt inside the web for hours, absorbing free information and tips from various resources.
I've learned that the "way to go" as far as becoming a successful Fashion Designer is actually pretty well laid out, with plans, strategies, predictable outcomes and how to reach them. Although not easy...it is possible and actually probable IF you have a great product AND you don't get discouraged and give up!
I have never been one to conform to "the way to go" in any part of my life. All of those "black sheep" cliches apply to me.
Just the other day, my trainer asked me why (and that everyone else wondered, too), WHY on earth do I keep my Thoroughbred's mane long? Ha! (I thought). My mare is in training for Dressage. There are strict rules and guidelines regarding manes, tack, dress, etc., if you seriously want to "make it" in that arena (pardon the pun).
Well, I said.....because it's beautiful AND I like it. It is, and I do. That simple.
I have always questioned everything and more often than not, have come up with different answers than the accepted ones. Not that I'm smarter, just a bit braver, maybe, and maybe a bit rebellious....? 
 Secretariat's great great granddaughter...."Jewel of the Cat".....(Storm Cat foal)

So, I need to reach my target market. Then, I need to seduce them with beautiful models, probably something sexy, maybe something edgy.....creating an image that the consumer will further along in their own imagination and fall in love....with my product. Then I will be successful and my products will be in high demand!
Sadly (to me) that's probably true. 
I won't go that way. I don't like what it says, what it portrays, how it teaches the public to be sheep.....herded and told what is good and what is not.

I happen to love my designs. Why else would I make them? Sometimes I won't sell one, because I just have to have it for myself. 
So, then all I have to do is find other women out there that are like me!
The funny part is that I do not like shopping, I do not like being told what's in and what's not, I happen to like keeping my cashmere sweaters year after year and my wool slacks and jeans year after year. I love finest quality textiles, don't mind paying for them....and they laaaassst. Classic styles, I find timeless...like Audrey Hepburn....and today, Rene Russo. Update the quality classics with the right accessories! 
I find myself,even, being seduced by some of the J Crew catalogs of late. They have the most beautiful models and photographs...I can't help but love cover to cover......but, I go no further, since they have all of their products manufactured in China. There's always an ethical element involved for me. I think.
So, I am adopting a slogan for my new shop. "Keep the wardrobe......transform it with the right accessories". It's better on the environment, on our wallets and on the battle to remain "in" which changes from week to week.
Take that black turtleneck and that dark gray pencil skirt to heights challenging today's fashion, with a beautiful leather bustle.....or a feminine trio of red roses at your waist.
Because YOU like it. Because it's fine quality. Because it's NOT available at Nordstrom's or Saks.

Designer or Business woman?

More Mano Bello Leather Couture Bustle belts
This is my joy.....CREATING  my designs...............
Although I love what I do, and I can't imagine NOT doing it, I need my skill to supply financial sustainability in order to keep doing it....If you take that a bit further, it just keeps going around in a never-ending circle!
Rearing it's scary & ugly head

(to creative people, anyway), comes the process of marketing and promoting to the world.
The need to be seen, to be a presence in the world of fashion, to be acknowledged as a real Designer. All necessary in order to sell my creations.

Daunting, scary and most of all, keeping me from actually designing and creating.....this task is.
I would love for someone to be all of these things for me. Be my photographer, model, director, promoter, spokesperson, marketer......  create my press kit!
Am I dreaming?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Models & Fashion on Etsy

Here's a compilation of things I love on Etsy composed into a Treasury list, which is somewhat like viewing a magazine page with all of my loved things on 1 page.....available at 1 place!
I am busy designing and creating my new line of Leather Belts which will be ruffled and somewhat like a bustle.
They are coming out beautifully and I should be launching them along with photos to my etsy shop by week's end.
In the meantime, here is a new necklace design featured recently in my "Flowers Collection".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mano Bello designs now in limited production

Here in fabulous and luxurious goatskin. Unmatchable softness and texture. Rare in red. I have found that finding the right skins for the "Flowers Collection" is a difficult and time consuming task. Going overseas is a must for quality and color. I am getting ready to incorporate a "Volume" for limited productions of my leather wrap obi belts as a result. Each belt will be numbered and available in limited quantities.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Italian Vogue, etc

Here is a link for Italian fashion publications. I always find Italian Vogue more interesting than the USA publication.    http://www.made-in-italy.com/fashion/publications/index.htm

and here a link to vote for who wears the leather better!

More leather:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Photography Advice for emerging designers

I am inviting critiques and comments on different photography themes for portraying merchandise using the best marketing options.......photos are utmost in importance! Don't be shy....leave your thought and comments!

Ruffled Leather Shoulder Bag
shop here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leather Flowers Collection

Leather Wrap Belthttp://manobello.com
Finally...SUCCESS with uploading !

I am searching for other interesting Fashion Blogs to provide links. I have added a couple today on the right hand column of this blog. I just love the diverse path of emerging designers and escaping the "rut" of being told what to do by the media & the celebrities. Like "sheep", made to feel that unless you follow , you are out of the pack.....alone....un-chic. I strongly disagree...I think it takes courage and confidence to "go your own way", make your own judgments, decide what YOU like and go with it! For me, there is nothing better than a unique fashion piece, whether it be a jacket, boots or an accessory! I love what's different and unique!

Leather Obi Belt

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being featured on Etsy

Until I figure out why I can't upload photos to my blog right now.....I will at least provide some entertainment for your eyes by providing links to colorful "Treasuries" featured on Etsy. These are handpicked items researched and chosen by designers with a theme...usually a color theme. It's a nice way to see some beautiful creations from a handful of designers at one time. Also an honor to be one of the chosen!
Enjoy the view!
More treasuries here: Featuring Mano Bello

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wish it were a vacation!

I don't consider myself a "techie" and I often go to my 14 year old son for help with my computer glitches. Being on online retailer and that being my only "store" rather than a physical one in the dimension where gravity exists, I HAVE to learn techie stuff in order to operate.
Keeps me young, so I've heard....learning, that is.
I can change my printer.....no problem. Can someone explain to me how in the process of installing my new printer, I blew out my router? It was a perfectly operating router before my new printer install. It was even one of those super duper powerful & expensive ones. It did not like the printer, I guess!
Anyway...2 weeks ensued with shipping delays on the new router...and I had no internet except when I could convince my son to let me share his computer so I could continue to place food on the table.
Unfortunately, my blogging took the fall along with the router......
In the mean time, I had a lot more time to work on designs and came up with my Leather Flower Obi belts.
Trouble is, I like them so much, I don't want to sell them!   Where to see obi belts

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time flies.


Has it really been that long since I was HERE? I guess I must have been having fun....no, really, I've been working......and worrying, probably too much!

I'm not complaining about the work. The worry....that's another story. I am a worrier, I am my own worst critic, I do make mountains out of molehills, and yes, I do think everything is worse than it usually is. I do have to exert myself sometimes relentlessly to see the positives beyond the dark forests of doubts that seem to grow like crazy weeds in my brain.

Where is the drawn line between "not giving up" and "it's not meant to be"? How do I know when destiny has something else in mind, or the universe is just testing how much I really want something? I tend to personalize all events and occurrences, which can be a heavy load at times when they are not what I expected, anticipated or wanted.

Struggling as an independent designer and single Mom, I wonder if I will ever get to a place where I can say "I've made it". I keep hoping and I keep working. I'm not giving up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today's PROMO SPECIALS at Mano Bello


I would love to see someone get to take advantage of this lovely pairing of bracelet cuff & necklace in chamois colored deerskin. These are both beautiful items and are marked down substantially for a promotional sale introduction to Mano Bello!