Recently, I was invited to attend the Spring Style Mixer for Downeast Basics, a clothing store at the Irvine Spectrum. The mixer gathered together a select group of bloggers for an evening of shopping. I had never visited the shop but I had friends who were raving about the place so I checked it out. Social media shopping mixers are always neat because looking at women’s fashion and shopping amongst friends is always fun.
Shelby of ocmomblog.com and I with Kara Noel of elislids.com photobombing in the background.
DownEast was founded in 1991, and is a privately held company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a lot like other fast-fashion stores with affordable clothing, that offer a mix of trendy items and clasic staples. According to a DownEast Basics representative, their ideal customer is “any woman who appreciates boutique style designs but wants it on a bargain basement budget!”
Kara Noel and I try out some hair accessories.
Of course, bargain prices don’t mean poor quality. In fact, I was impressed by the quality of the clothing. I was told that they get in new styles on a monthly basis to keep their inventory fresh. They have some basic items that I thought were awesome (Hello, wonder t-shirt line – it’s got spandex much like spanx, a friend to women like me who need the extra help, if you know what I mean.)
Wonder Tees and more at DownEast Basics in Irvine
Swimsuit for DownEast Basics Spring 2013 Collection. Photo courtesy of DownEast Basics.
Finally, you gotta love a store that connects with its customers via social media. Let me say, DE is all over it. They are on www.facebook.com/DownEastBasics, www.twitter.com/DownEastBasics, Pinterest: @DownEastBasics and Instagram: @DownEastBasics. You can also shop online at DownEast Basics online.
They are holding a Spring Styles Contest on Pinterest that ends on March 5th. One lucky winner will win a $500 shopping spree.
I am a self-confessed non-shopper. I can only shop with a purpose – need a black shirt? I’ll head for the black shirts. So it was a pleasant surprise when I was invited to two shopping events recently. I may not find comfort in retail therapy but I appreciate fashion and a good bargain.
The first event I attended was the preview for the Nordstrom Rack at the Outlets in Orange. It turned out to be a social media gathering with friends, bloggers and fashionistas. Thumping DJ music set the mood, complete with hors d’ouevres and drinks. I wrote about it on Storify. http://storify.com/marciemarketing/nordstrom-rack-orange-rocks
The second event I attended was a pre-grand opening event at the new Stein Mart in The Market Place, Irvine. One of the cool things about the event was that there was a charity angle! Tickets to the pre-grand opening were sold at $5 each. Guests received a $5 coupon as well as 20% off any item during the event. (At Stein Mart, that goes a long way!) All proceeds from the ticket sales benefited these local charities: Families Forward, Woman Sage, United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County and Goodwill of Orange County.
What these two events had in common were music and refreshments! Could this be the next trend in shopping? Having a party atmosphere, start-up money to get you shopping (because you know you will always spend MORE ), and friends to hang out with definitely made shopping for this non-shopper, a truly fun experience worth repeating.