Friday, January 22, 2016

A Day in The Life of a Design Student

We are going to start doing a blog series about one of our interns who is off to design school in Ohio. We have asked her to share with us what she learns and what is like to be a design student. Rachael is an intern who has been with us for a couple of years now and even spent last year in England studying design school! We are so excited for her to share with us her experiences.

A Day in The Life of a Design Student 

Hey, Everyone! I am so excited to get this chance to share my life with you!
So right now, I am working on trying to find a place to study since I have gotten my schedule! I am an incoming second semester Sophmore. I will be taking Fashion Fundamentals, that will focus on Fashion careers (even though I know what I want to do :) ). Then also Fashion Fabric on textiles and the differences in quality and types of fabrics. Plus, I am taking Fashion Drawing 2 (self-explanatory) and I am also taking a draping class! It is a class that will most likely be my favorite, since who doesn't love fabric and the way it moves on the body and off of the body. EEEEEEKKKK!!! I am so excited! I am also taking a class on Ancient to Medieval Art History! Personally, I love Ancient to Medieval time periods. Not only because of the art but cultures around the world were so curious and bizarre compared to today. In fact, why do you think I recommended our first #FairyTaleWednesday be Joan of Arc? A character who not only defied gender roles of the time but also defied society in every aspect.
It has been such a crazy week getting ready I flew out on January 11th. Spending a day in airports and finally getting in at 8pm. I spent a few days checking out places and finally moved into a place close to school and with 2 awesome girls. Now, it is my first week of classes and its amazing how much work, money, and effort come into this major. First, having to buy all of the books before class which is over 300 dollars. I mean and you can't just buy those from the school bookstore since that is the most expensive place to get them. Then, making sure you have all of the supplies that you should have as a student regardless. I already spent 90 dollars on Fashion Illustration supplies. And, I still need more. I mean you would think tuition would cover these costs. At least in my draping class most of the supplies are covered by the class cost. Fashion Designing, in my opinion, is one of the most expensive majors that you can study. Often schools don't cover the cost of fabric, notions, etc. The list for supplies is often hundreds of dollars and that is without your 15 textbooks that you need (which I am not exaggerating, I need 15 books for 15 credits of classes!) Even though it is expensive it is still so much fun to get to do what I love! Next time, I will make sure to have pictures of what I am working on!
See you guys next time! And let's all continue having an amazing Year!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

We all love finding that one restaurant that we could go to again and again and again. That one restaurant that just feels like home the minute you walk in. Our great country has so many hidden gems and we outline the top 10 restaurants that the Lu Raquel Team, loves to love!!!

10. Les Montage - Portland, Oregon: This "quirky hideaway" as it is often referred to, boasts some of the cities best creole-cuisine. The banquet style seating means you're almost required to come out of your little bubble and chit-chat with the other patrons. The almost comedic wait staff and good-looking cooks are just icing on the cake for this fun, hip, and family friendly establishment. Open late on weekends until 4 am - this is a must stop if you are looking for an incredibly delicious place to get your after-the-bar grub on. Tip: Try the mac and cheese and frog legs!

9. Great Wall Chinese Restaurant - San José, California: Just a typical run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant? Not unless your local Chinese restaurant loves their regulars so much that they send them Christmas gifts every year! A business that still values family, loyalty, great customer service... not to mention they have the best Chinese food in the area to boot! Tip: Try the shrimp friend rice and War wonton soup! You will thank us so much for tipping you off to this place, you may even feel like sending us a Christmas gift! was worth a try!

8. Quartino Italian Cuisine- Chicago, Illinois: Chicago is known for its incredible cuisine. We can't get enough of the authentic Italian cuisine, in a hip, friendly environment. Top-notch food, top-notch environment, top-notch service! No wonder this place is always buzzing. Oh, did we mention their wine list is to die for? If you haven't visited this place, go. Go now...seriously NOW! Tip: Stracci di Grano Arso - Best pasta on the menu. Heck, it might be the best pasta on any menu, the history of menus.

7. Twilight 7 - Bellevue, Washington: If spicy Szechuan is your thing, and we mean seriously spicy, this is your "go to" place when visiting the beautiful state of Washington. The food is so good. So, so good! Did we mention it has private karaoke suites? Yeah, that's a thing. If you are looking for a seriously fun night out, in a funky decorated joint, with seriously spicy and authentic Szechuan go here! Tip: The spicy fish is a must have. Be ready with something to drink to ease the pain, but try it!

6. The Pig - Winnemucca, Nevada: If you are looking for some serious BBQ, this all-American barbeque joint is a must! Best barbeque in Nevada and some ridiculously delish curly fries. If you like a little heat, dip those yummy, perfectly curled and perfectly fried potatoes in some of their spicy fry sauce. Mind. Blown. Tip: Curly fries and spicy fry sauce....and really anything on the menu.

5. Dmitri's - Ridgefield Connecticut: This modest restaurant may not look like much from the street, but when you sit down, you feel like you just got home from a long semester away at college. The authentic, no fuss, Greek fare is comfort food to the max. The family run establishment not only boasts some of the best Greek cuisine, but they don't limit you. Hungry for an amazing omelette for breakfast? Sure, they'll do that. How about Tex-Mex? Come on in! Their menu is only limited by your imagination. They treat their locals and visitors alike as family and go above and beyond for their community. We will support this establishment every day of the week and twice on Sunday's! Since their menu states they are open 8 days a week, the twice on Sunday thing actually works! Tip: Get their salmon couscous. Or their lemon soup. Or their Gyro. Or their chicken souvlaki...or, or, or....we can't pick just one!

4. Bardenay - Coeur d' Alene, Idaho: This fun restaurant is always high energy! Fantastic food, an incredible bar and just a really cool vibe. It's loud so a great place to take children when the normal Applebee's night out just isn't going to cut it. It's also a watering hole for the after work, young, hip, professionals in the area. This restaurant that can accommodate both ends of the spectrum from singles to families with kids and they do it flawlessly! Did we mention the food is on point? Tip: Ahi Tuna sandwich, or the Canlis Caesar salad with Salmon. Order it with their Basil Bloody Mary or the Huckleberry mojito. OMG. Party. In. My. Mouth.

3.Peter Luger - Brooklyn, New York: Incredible steak , it is so good that you have to call to make a reservation, like a bazillion weeks in advance. OK, maybe just a few days but it's that good. They serve everything à la carte and it's a bit pricey, but if you are going to the Big Apple, splurge a little and enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth steak. Did I mention the USDA prime beef is hand chosen daily and aged in their very own age box? From there it goes straight to the grill and onto your plate. Splurge! Enjoy New York the way it is supposed be be eating at Peter Luger's. Your wallet may come out a bit lighter, but your mouth will thank you.

2. Cattlemen's Steakhouse - El Paso, Texas: Pretty much everyone and their mother has named this the best steakhouse IN THE COUNTRY. Let me say that the country! Pretty much, we agree!!! Located on Indian Hills Ranch in El Paso Texas, not only is the food incredible, you're literally eating dinner on a ranch. You can also sit at a table and dine while coyotes roam about. Coyotes people! Does it get much cooler than that? Great drinks, great steak, and absolutely incredible scenery. That's what we call a jackpot. Did we mention it was voted the "Manliest" restaurant in America by Men's Health Magazine? Yeah, we'll just leave it there and drop the mic.

1. Capones - Coeur d' Alene (Hayden) Idaho: We're Idaho people, so of course we are going to make the number 1 on our list a local joint. You don't get more local or Coeur d' Alene than Capones. Featured on Diners, Drive In's and Dives, if you haven't been there we just won't consider you a real Idahoan. It's a birthright, people! Their homemade pizza, cooked in a traditional brick oven, can't be beat. Chicago and New York - Eat your heart out. This is how pizza was intended to taste! Tip: Any pizza on the menu, but we are very particular about the Heart blocker. It's full of meat and cheese...and more meat...and more meat. The obvious pairing with anything on the menu is their fat garlic fries. Don't ask any questions, just order them.

Friday, January 8, 2016

What to Buy

What to Buy

This is the age old question in retail. Naturally you want to buy what sells and avoid purchasing what does not. Buying can be tricky. It is important to stay up to date with the latest trends. More specifically it is important to know what is trending in your area. For example, in Idaho, brides typically go for more classic and traditional wedding dresses whereas brides in big cities typically go for the latest more fashionable trends. It is important to spend time looking at stores that sell online and see what’s trending across the board in your area.

With wedding dresses it is important to consider that most brides are going to want to change a neckline, a backline and/or the sleeves. As a buyer you are going to want to consider partnering with a designer that is going to meet those needs. Furthermore, customizations are going to build up your price point and generate more revenue for you. It is also important to take into account that, when selling couture, specific measurements for a bride typically can add added costs. It is important to consider a designer that will not charge extra for a custom fitted dress.

Naturally there is a degree of trial and error when you are first opening a store. Know that it is going to take some learning to begin to develop a sense with what is going to work. Sometimes it is important to take a risk and see if something will sell. Sometimes it is important to trust your gut and not make a purchase that you think will flop. The important thing is continual adaptation. Eventually, as buyer, you will begin to cultivate a sense of what will work and what will not.

If, as a store, you are working to create your own line, it is important to consider current and future bridal trends. Staying ahead of the curve can be a great asset. When creating a line with new ideas it is important to consider a designer that will offer you an insurance policy: having unlimited customizations and being able to create a one of a kind dress for those particular brides. For these reasons we recommend partnering with a designer that will meet all of these needs. If a bride likes the top of one dress and hates the bottom being able to change the bottom for her is a huge asset and one that can be of great value.

At Lu Raquel we learn from our previous collections about what sells and what does not. Sometimes we get a sixth sense about what will work before it hits the floor. We always tell our partners, you know what your brides will love! As a retailer you have to trust yourself and your experience as a buyer.

At Lu Raquel we offer all of the above mentioned services. We are dedicated to your success and do what no other designer can or will do to ensure that the needs of your brides are met.

We hope this information has been helpful and we wish you all the success in the world. At Lu Raquel we are dedicated to our partners’ success and we offer support to our retailers in any way that we can.