Tuesday, September 23, 2008

LA.com Goodbye

Now this person/ customer was lovely! Big shout out and thank you! LA.Com is an excellant Los Angeles website that I love to check out!

Bye, Bye Brick Lane
Yes, it's understating the obvious to say that the economy is bad. Even businesses we consider to be shopping staples in certain neighborhoods are feeling the effects, as witnessed today at Brick Lane on Abbot Kinney. We swear we heard Big Ben toll as our disbelieving eyes spotted the We Quit! banner. Brick Lane is going out of business; its doors will remain open until September 28 and everything is for sale, practically down to the brick and mortar. Furniture, display cases, art and fixtures along with clothing and accessories from across the pond. Which brings us to this: Where will we go to find cutsie-mod goods by Orla Kiely, and woolly sweaters by Pringle of Scotland (though, when it comes to the latter, our eyes are generally bigger than our wallets), under one roof? Bloody hell!Items for women are already scarce, but duds for the dudes are still plentiful. Stop in, pick up some threads and pay your last respects. RIP Brick Lane. A day in the life, indeed. Brick Lane, 1132 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Hate Mail

This is a particular favorite of mine - someone who didn't want to post a negative comment on the YoVenice blog and get ripped apart by all the people who wrote back in my defense...so instead I got a personal email attack....

Do the Brits in the neighbourhood a favour..Don't open another store..Your clothes line was pretty shyte and SOOO overpriced.


My reply to said jerk was not something I plan to post - nor his name and email which I have - I will be the adult and rise above - but some people suck.

My favorite is the "Cheers" goodbye portion.

Cheers luvs

Friday, September 19, 2008

There is ALWAYS a critic

First off I want to thank my friends at YoVenice.com - THE blog to check on a daily basis if you are a Venice local - hands down. Keri has always been a huge supporter of all things Abbot Kinney and of my store - so the following write up was her trying to help me out and to alert the neighborhood to our closing and the sale.


And bookmark YOVENICE.COM to always be in the know about the happenings in your neighborhood. Be a concerned, knowledgeable and active member of your community!

Of course if you read the comments - you will see.....there is ALWAYS a critic. Of course I shouldn't take it personally. I mean really - someone who would rather see a 99cent store in my place not only lacks style, sophistication and class - but obviously cares little about the fate of Abbot Kinney and the business owners who are this person's neighbors. Maybe said critics would be happier with a 99cent store a Ross and a KFC on the street. I personally want the remaining independent business owners to have the chance to survive and thrive!

Thank GOD most other residents whether they were fans of my store or not - do not seem to share the same sentiment. If they did - Venice would be lost.

I am HAPPY I was a small part of what is going to be recorded as a intense time of growth and/or change in this community and am proud of the contributions I made. Some changes are good - some are not...but change is meant to be no matter what. As I am 8 days away from closing the doors on my dream I can accept that.

I guess I just still have issues accepting narrow minded judgemental people who have opinions and comments when they have never once in their lives attempted to achieve something and gone down in flames but could be proud of themselves for trying.

So here is the article and the link so you can see what ruffled my feathers.

Yo! Venice Write up complete with comments

Brick Lane is closing. :(
September 18th, 2008 by Keri ·

We are sad that Brick Lane is closing - Amanda has been a great supporter of the Abbot Kinney retail district, active in events (First Fridays!), and a great supporter of Yo! Venice! since we started this blog.
She wanted us to let our readers know about her going-out-of-business sale - which includes furniture and decor items from the store. (The phone booth has been sold already, btw.)
From now until September 28th, we have the opportunity to help a great store owner and ease the frustration of losing yet another small business to the ailing economy - stop in at Brick Lane and buy something!
Brick Lane1132 Abbot Kinney BlvdVenice CA

Cheers Luvs

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Last First Friday at Brick Lane

Well friends - I am sad to report that tomorrow evening - Friday September 5th is the Last first Friday on Abbot Kinney that Brick Lane will be participating in. We will be open until 10PM with lots of wine and beer and a last shopping chance for you all - with things marked from 25% off (Brand new fall arrivals) up to 90% off. Please come by and say goodbye if you can.

Our last day of business will be Sunday September 28th.

After that the doors will be closed. It has been a difficult and sad time as I start saying my goodbyes - but I am trying to take with me the good memories and focus on the positive things, such as the wonderful relationships I have made with my customers and neighbors these past (almost 4) years.

The past weeks have been challenging to say the least - but I thought I would share....


1. Oh my God - you are going out of Business? Does that mean you are moving or opening the store somewhere else?

No sadly. Generally Going out of Business does not mean re-opening to another location - this is it.

2. But WHY are you going out of business?

To put it simply - The Bush Economy

3.What are you going to do? What's next? Where will you work?

I have NO bloody idea - any suggestions or offers?

4. Is it 75% off the marked price? If not I will come back when you have marked things down more.....

No - this isn't the dollar store - it is price as marked - already 75% off and WELL below wholesale - so feel free to come back but I still won't give it away for free.

(and people wonder why I am going out of business)

And my FAVORITE - heard at LEAST 10 times plus a day for the past 4 weeks.....

5. Well you know what they say....Everything happens for a reason....

Really? Yeah....it's been mentioned once or twice...thanks. Of course I am open to anyone who has "The Reason" for me.

Please excuse the most obvious sarcastic and bitchy tone to the above - as I know that for the MOST part these comments come from a place of concern and love by my wonderful customers (with a few glaring exceptions that I will write about at a future time when it starts to finally become funny for me), I just get really exhausted explaining the situation 50 times a day and by the end of the day get - well sarcastic and bitchy to be honest. Apologies.

So these are the final weeks - please spread the word and come say goodbye. I WILL miss my customers very much...and will keep everyone posted on future endeavors - although don't hold your breath for me to open another store anytime soon unless we have a radical turn around in the economy.

I will say though - my natural sense of restlessness and quest for adventure is slowly creeping it's way back in......it may be time to pack my bags....and then who knows where I may end up?

Cheers Luvs



Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Talented Brick Lane Customer - Melissa Morgan

One day about a year ago a lovely family walked into my store on their way to dinner elsewhere on the Kinney. They were that type of family of people who were friendly, outgoing, personable with whom I had an instant connection to so I automatically and correctly ascertained that they must be East Coast people! After a lovely conversation and shopping experience where the whole family walked out each with (or wearing) a beautiful article of clothing from Pringle of Scotland (yes they have impeccable taste as well) I found myself thinking "I hope they come back"

Come back they did - and over the past year plus their beautiful daughter Melissa has continued to come in and shop, with friends, with mom and dad when they visit her here, has attended events and has - as the way with so many lovely people I have been fortunate to meet over the years - become someone I consider a friend.

Melissa is low key and un-assuming for a tall willowy beautiful girl and it did not really surprise me when she admitted she was in the entertainment industry. What did surprise me as my first assumption would have been that she was an actress - but no she told me, she was a singer. Not just a singer, a jazz singer no less! A jazz singer with a beautifully smooth rich voice that brings you back to a time of the past. A time of dark and smoky jazz clubs on Saturday nights where exquisitely dressed women and sharply dressed men clustered around small cloth covered tables sipping Manhattans and smoking cigarettes while watching a jazz diva on a small stage belting out tunes lamenting of love lost, exulting love found and of all things between.

One of Melissa's last shopping trips in here - we got her to try on a very sexy ISSA dress that draped perfectly and was the color of an Iris. Today she sent me the link to see the dress as she used it in a photo shoot. (We hope it makes her album cover but we will see!)

Just another wonderful and amazing experience on this long road for me - getting a chance to meet and befriend talented people and then to be able to celebrate with them their triumphs. Way to go Melissa!

To hear a few of her tracks you can check out her myspace page:


Personally I can't wait to hear more!

Cheers Luvs

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Amazing Photo Exhibition

My friend Deborah is having her debut photography exhibition at our friend Holly's store SALT on Friday August 15th.
Showcasing her stunning photographs from her trip to MALI.
African inspired music by her talented son DJ Benjamin LaBrave

Come on down and check it out!
Cheers luvs

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Healthy Irishman on iFood

Ok so you may think that food has nothing to do with Fashion - but I don't agree.

First of all eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do to accentuate your BEST accessories. Healthy eating / living helps create beautiful skin and hair, bright eyes and generally a happy disposition - and I think a smile is the best accessory we could ever have!! Not to mention eating healthy keeps our bodies looking great for the fashion we want to wear!

This post is about the Healthy IRISHMAN! Irish / English, ok ok not always the best of friends in history, but it is a new age and can't we all just get along? Here in Los Angeles they all do - so Irishman fits the U.K. thing in my book!!

Finally, this blog is for the most part about my life and the Healthy Irishman is a part of my close circle of friends, seeing as he married into it by sweeping my friend Christy of her Texan feet with his accent, tattoos and mad cooking skills. Thanks to him I eat healthier and healthier every day!

So - here is a video for you to enjoy of their blog featured on iFood.tv

If you haven't checked their blog out yet - you should! Great seasonal recipes! You can always find it here under Brilliant Blogs!

Cheers luvs



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Madeline Martin - Californication

As many of my friends know I don't watch a lot of television - I am more of a movie person. One of those people who will watch a favorite movie many many times over, however most of today's prime time "reality" TV leaves me cold. (Good thing I got out of the television business then I guess.)

I do have a few favorite shows that are set for season record on the good old DVR - most of them being on Showtime and HBO. Lately Showtime seems to weigh in heavier with my list of favorite shows - with Weeds and Californication being up there at the top.
Californication - a very interesting show I am quite hooked on. Why? Maybe because it is a rather realistic and amusing parody of the shallow and vacuous world that is Los Angeles and the entertainment industry? Perhaps it is due to the fact that I think David Duchovny its the cats pajamas and could not be a more perfect choice to play the self centered, self deprecating angst filled NY transplant writer, disillusioned by the world of Hollywood? Or is it that the majority of the show is shot and centered on and around my neighborhood of Venice California? Well most likely a total combination of them all and much more.

So at the beginning of shooting for this much anticipated new season, one afternoon a young petite brunette with a great sense of style and beautiful smile walked into my store on a day of shopping Abbot Kinney with her mother. As I am a huge fan of the show I did what anyone would do - didn't immediately recognize her! Embarrassing! I figured it out quite quickly though as her voice and her smile sparked recognition in me. Oh yeah and when I asked why they were visiting from NY, her mother told me that Madeline was working out here shooting a show for showtime. I have always been a bit slow in recognizing many of my Celebrity and Actor clientele upon first meeting, sometimes to VERY embarrassing results, but that is another story. Once it all clicked for me, it was such a pleasure to discover how down to earth and fun to talk to she and her lovely mother are. (Being an East coaster myself - I think it is due to the fact that they are New Yorkers and only come to LA when she has to work)

So over the past few months Madeline and her mother have become regular customers and neighborhood friends. I do my very best to quell my desire to beg her for details about the upcoming season so she can enjoy her shopping trips. Madeline at her young age has what I would consider a very keen sense of fashion and unique individual style unlike many of the LA "starlets" in her age bracket who strut the red carpet in various stages of undress. Personally I feel Madeline has an elegance, grace and style I only dreamed of having at her age. (And no I am not just saying that because she shops here!)

So recently I perused the Internet and found some images of her from 2 red carpet events where she is sporting some of her Brick Lane gear. She rocked the Silver dress by Pringle 1815 Scotland for the Californication DVD release party, and her most recent red carpet industry event she is carrying a stunning Black Patent Leather clutch purse by Anya Hindmarch.

Hello! Did I not tell you she has style? I must admit I am quite impressed with and a bit jealous of those shoes! Yes I just admitted that I am jealous of a young woman 20 years my junior for her superior taste in shoes! All I can say is Madeline Martin is a girl to watch! Fashionable and a stellar actress, I think and hope we will be seeing quite a bit more of her talents in years to come.

Best of luck in the new Season Madeline! Keep rocking the fashion! Brick Lane will always be a big fan of you!

Check out Californication on Showtime when season 2 airs this fall, and if you haven't seen season 1 - I suggest you play catch-up, ESPECIALLY if you live here in Los Angeles or Venice.

Cheers Luvs

S-Factor Event at Brick Lane

The LA Newsletter for S-Factor posted this about our upcoming event:

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT At The Venice "First Friday" Event
S Factor will be a part of Venice's "First Friday" Event, Friday, August 1st, 6pm 10pm! "First Friday" is an extended shopping hours street fair on Abbott Kinney Blvd in Venice the first Friday of every summer month. Come see us at "S" woman, Amanda Dugan's store Brick Lane, for her annual summer blow out sale. Men's and women's clothing and accessories will be 30% to 75% off. S Factor women get 15% off full price merchandise on this night and all year round!

What a cool event we have planned! If you have ever wondered what exactly S-Factor is all about, now is the time to check it out. We will be giving away FREE INTRO CLASSES as gift with purchase that evening. There will be amazing S Ambassadors on hand to answer any questions and tell you more about this amazing workout that is a favorite with celebrities and regular woman a like. You can even get a little demonstration and try out some of the signature moves that make this one of the most unique exercise classes out there!

Come down August 1st 6PM - 10PM for an evening of pure S!
Hope to see you there
Cheers Luvs

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's that time again! I can't believe it - while it still feels like summer is stretched out before us - in the world of fashion it is time for Fall arrivals so that means:
30% - 75% OFF
Clothing for men and Women
50% off Purses
by Anya Hindmarch, Billy Bag and Orla Kiely
Come down soon before it all gets snatched up!
Cheers luvs

Surf Goddess Retreat - Bali

I have been home and back to work for almost a month now, the glow of the vacation high has sadly faded and all I have left is the pictures and my day dreams of the beautiful Bali water. I wanted to share a little bit about the vacation I so enjoyed last month at Surf Goddess Retreats. Surf Goddess Retreats is located in Bali and getting to Bali is no easy feat from Los Angeles! Of course I DID say I needed to get away from my life for a spell and going half way around the world was about as far as I could get. The flight from LAX was 16 1/2 Hours to Singapore, then a layover at Singapore Airport, definitely one of the coolest airports in the world to have time to kill in! Then 2 1/2 hours to Denespar. At this point my friend Dawn and I, bleary eyed and dazed from a day plus of travel were greeted by a driver with a sign who was dispatched to bring us to the retreat! Easy as that we exited the airport into the bright sunshine, were whisked away and found ourselves driving through an amazingly colorful, tropical and foreign land.

We were the first guests to arrive at the villa and were greeted by Chelsea, the retreat founder and owner. She was so warm and hospitable - showing us around the beautiful villa compound we were to call home for the next 8 days. Afterwards I immediately jumped into the pool right outside our bedroom door took a deep breath and knew I had made the right decision to come here!

The first evening we met our other retreat companions who came from San Francisco, Maine, Tokyo and Scotland. Then we sat down for what was easily one of the most amazing meals I had eaten in a long while. Of course - every single evening we were treated to an incredible and diverse array of dishes that were fresh and healthy. The food was so phenomenal we became quite spoiled and I wish they had a cook book - although we did get to eat some things that I don't think you can find quite so easily here in the states. One of my favorites at breakfast was this odd looking thing called "Jack Fruit" that tasted like bubblegum! Sounds crazy but was amazing!

The next day we began our surf lessons with the great crew at Rip Curl Surf School where we spent a few hours every day for the rest of the week. The water was warm and most importantly shark free! One other girl and I had a bit more experience so we got to have our own instructor the first day and then the second day our Surf Leader Melinda worked with us. They really catered to every ones unique skills. After that the rest of the girls had mastered standing and paddling so we all spent the rest of the next week together. The instructors were great and I don't know how they do it all day, I mean it is a rough job being out in the sun and surf teaching class after class of women huh! :-)

The school has photographers on hand to take pictures of the lessons so at the end of the week you can purchase a disc with your surfing photos. Thanks to that I was able to show my friends and family my surfing moves as well as a few of my spectacular falls and wipe-outs!

I am not really quite sure why I kept doing this whole "Airplane Arm" thing. One of the things about the photos is you could see what you looked like and what mistakes you you were making.

I just thought I would put this one in to show how graceful I am at falling. Yeah right!

In addition to surfing everyday - we also got private yoga at our villa. Quite a different and wonderful experience to enjoy yoga on a patio outside your bedroom door, overlooking your pool and garden while hearing the sounds of birds and other wild life all around you. Our instructor Susan was wonderful and patient with those of us who were not as adept. I am happy to say that through her I have re-discovered yoga and have been committed to practicing it daily since my return and am really feeling the benefits both physically and mentally. Thanks Susan!

In the middle of the week we took a day off from our surf lessons and Susan accompanied us to the town of Ubud. For anyone who has read the book, Eat, Pray, Love - the town of Ubud is featured in the last part of the book, and the people the author encountered and be-friended are real, including Wyan , the woman who owns Traditional Balinese Healing Center.
Our first stop was to the sacred Money Forrest. An amazing place with more monkeys then you can imagine just living among the trees - hanging out with tourists and getting fed and generally Monkey-ing around. (Oh yes terrible pun I know)

This "little" guy was the official greeter as we entered

Just chatting with my new friend about his days in the Monkey Forrest.

A family with a newborn Monkey.

As it turns out - the day we traveled to Ubud was an "Auspicious Day" in the calender for doing all kinds of ceremonies. During the drive Susan educated us on the religion and culture in Bali. Balinese give multiple offerings to the Gods every day. There are shrines and temples everywhere the eye can see as this is a very spiritual culture. The rest of the day we were able to peruse an open air market, have a delicious lunch and then visit Wyan at her Traditional Balinese Healing Center. This is her daughter (also featured in the book) Tutti and her pet rabbit.

The drive home we passed some of the beautiful rice fields that Bali is known for.

The rest of the week was spent doing more surfing and yoga, spending time with and getting to know all the amazing women on the trip, more exploration of this beautiful island and of course more spa treatments!

The end of the retreat and saying goodbye to our new friends was sad - but of course in today's digital age - we are all already connected through Facebook. Chelsea has also set up a Surf Goddess network for us to all be able to stay in touch with our new surf goddess friends. I can't say enough good things about the retreat. The accommodations are top notch, beautiful, safe and comfortable. The food - no matter how much of an appetite you have worked up there is more then enough delicious food to go around. Included in the retreat was a decadent several hour long spa treatment on our first day as well as a Life coaching session which was an eye opener for me. All in all it was an incredible experience in every way.

Dawn and I stayed a few extra days to continue with the rigorous routine of spa treatments, beach, sun, surf and eating. After which we had our last evening of sunset cocktails and prepared for the long journey home.

So for anyone who has ever dreamed of a surf adventure or a trip to Bali, I suggest you check out Surf Goddess Retreats!

Cheers Luvs


Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Anya Hindmarch

I can hardly keep up with the press hits the company sends me. Now even friends of mine have started taking to ripping pages out of magazines when they see celebrities with Anya Hindmarch Bags! (Thank you girls) The fact that they can now spot them even when not credited is a testament to their fashion eyes - or that they read US Weekly and magazines like that much more then I do!

(The color on this photo is so off - don't know why - the bag is actually a beautiful gold-ish basket.)

Cheers Luvs



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's time for MUCH LOVE!

What could be a better feeling then adopting or rescuing an animal and giving them a home? As the owner of 2 animals who were abandoned (as a puppy and a kitten no less) I have to tell you they were the best impulsive decisions I have ever made! Yes - even the cat - which I had NO desire for and was against the idea until I held him. Anyone who has a rescued pet will tell you that the love and adoration they bestow upon you is the best kind of unconditional love in existence! Somehow they know you saved them from a fate of death.

Much Love Animal Rescue is my favorite animal organization out there! Not just because they are local, or many of the volunteers are friends and customers of mine - but because the organization of Much Love Animal Rescue is a 100% nonprofit, no-kill organization dedicated to reducing overpopulation, abuse and neglect of domestic animals. Much Love is run entirely by like-minded professionals who volunteer their time and resources to help save the lives of these animals. Since 2000, they have successfully placed over 2,000 animals in loving homes!!

So why do these busy professional animal lovers with limited free time do it?

Sadly, 12 million animals are euthanized each year in the United States.

That is 1 million a month!!

1,388 animals an hour!!

Much Love works tirelessly to decrease this statistic. Run completely by volunteer staff and supported by animal loving celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Katie Heigl, Tea Leoni and Patrick Dempsey to name a few, they host adoptions and events all over the West Side of Los Angeles and Bricklane is very excited to host an adoption event here in the front yard this Friday July 11th from 6:30Pm - 10PM.

This is the "First Friday" of July (due to the holiday falling on last Friday). Bricklane will have Much Love organization here on site with information, merchandise and some wonderful animals searching for their new home and owner to love! Even if you are not in the market for an animal right now - please take a moment to stop by and learn more about this organization and what we can all do to help them continue to save animals from death all over Los Angeles!

I personally became acquainted with Much Love in a rather odd way that I like to think of as fate. I opened my store on March 17th 2005. Less then a month later on April 12th I had the heart wrenching job of taking my 13 1/2 year old Labrador Ben to the vet for the last time. He had a massive tumour, had suffered minor strokes and his quality of life went from wonderful to terrible in a matter of weeks. Not able to watch him suffer I knew it was time to be put to sleep. Ben was my family dog who was shipped out to me via US Airways back when he was 7. He had lived a good long life split between coasts and was a favorite of many of my friends. Let's just say I was not the only one who cried when he passed.

Not even 2 weeks later, a volunteer of Much Love, and East Coast transplant / new Venice resident was walking a dog he was fostering around the neighborhood and ran into my friend Christy. The resemblance of this beautiful Labrador was so uncanny to my Ben, it made her cry while she demanded that he walk to the other end of Abbot Kinney to my store and introduce the dog to me. When Joe walked up with Daisy - I burst into tears and wanted to take her home! Fortunately, her loving demeanor, as well as the insistence of everyone he met who knew my Ben made the decision for him quite simple and Daisy is now one of our local Venice "Dogtown" dogs, in a loving home!

Much Love Animal Rescue will ALWAYS be my animal rescue organization of choice, and I am happy to get to help them in any way I can!

I hope you can stop by!

Cheers Luvs

Friday, June 27, 2008

George Clooney and Potential Actors Strike

A pressing concern of many Angeleno's these days, besides rising gas costs and falling house values is the possibility of another strike that would in effect take the entertainment industry to a grinding halt......yet again!

I don't work in the entertainment industry - but my business only survives because of my regular customers - and a good portion of them - well over half - are employed in one way or another by it. Not to mention countless close friends and neighbors all of whom were unemployed during the 100 day writer's strike. That strike effected so many people in my neighborhood, and frankly most of the small businesses in this area are still trying to recover from it economically - so with the possible Actors strike set to begin at the expiration of the contracts this Monday, I sit here in fear and trepidation we will see a repeat of what we went through this fall, and personally I can tell you many small businesses in this area (myself included) would have trouble surviving another.

I will preface this reprint of the Associated Press article of the statement made by George Clooney with - I do not know all the issues on the table for sure - but I am very impressed with Clooney at standing up and calling out his fellow actors - pleading for everyone to get along for the sake of the thousands of people the strike would negatively impact. George - just one more reason why I adore you!

By RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer Fri Jun 27, 9:27 AM ET
LOS ANGELES - George Clooney just wants actors to get along instead of choosing between sparring unions
In a two-page letter released Thursday, Clooney adopted a neutral stance in the dispute between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

"What we can't do is pit artist against artist," he wrote.
AFTRA has already reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios. SAG wants AFTRA members to vote against the deal, saying its approval will handcuff SAG at the bargaining table.

Both unions' current contracts are set to expire Monday, leaving Hollywood on edge about a possible replay of the 100-day writers strike that ended in February. Results of the AFTRA vote are expected July 8.

Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and others have joined hundreds of actors in signing an online petition urging actors to ratify the AFTRA pact.
Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen and Holly Hunter have endorsed a SAG ad calling for AFTRA to return to the negotiating table to get a better deal.

Clooney called the fight counterproductive.

"Because the one thing you can be sure of is that stories about Jack Nicholson vs. Tom Hanks only strengthens the negotiating power" of the studios, he said.

Clooney also called on higher-paid actors to chip in a greater share of union dues and for 10 A-listers — "people that the studio heads don't often say 'no' to," he suggested, listing only Nicholson and Hanks by name — to sit down with studio heads once a year to "adjust the pay for actors."

SAG deputy executive director Pamm Fair called Clooney's letter valuable input. AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers declined comment.
Cheers George!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Travels and Vacation Time

Ok, first off I apologize for the 2 month break in updating the blog here - but during the "down season" which is the lull between fashion buying seasons and when all the new merchandise is coming in and getting press and stirring excitement - it's that time in the fashion world where things settle down to a slow crawl with very little exciting or newsworthy to report. It is a bit equivalent to the calm before the next storm.

So with that said - we will take a short deviation in mostly fashion and retail based blog entries, and instead speak about travel - most specificlly MY TRAVEL.

Over the years in business here (going on 4) I have watched other people in my world (designers, showroom reps, industry execs etc) use this time to go on "Holiday" as the Brits say. For years I just sat and stewed in jealousy every time an auto response to an email would return with the "Out of Office, On Holiday until..." notification and think to myself..."Why don't they say what they really mean....I'm off having a fabulous time so Piss Off and don't bother me with work you Tosser", and go about my business. That is however....until now.

I have been trying to recover for the past week from a glorious 2 week break - my first in many years if you didn't pick up on that - and am now a complete convert to the European way of Holiday Thinking - that Holidays are a necessity and that the American "work ethic" of working ourselves into total exhaustion and using the very little vacation time doled out to us small piece-meal ways or when complete mental breakdown has ensued - in the form of "Mental health" days. The Europeans have it right - work hard, ok, now take off for a bit will you and come back tanned, relaxed and a wee bit happier.

So I FINALLY did just that - and the reason I have had to "recover" is I found it quite difficult to get back into my real world after having such a wonderful vacation. 12 days just wasn't enough and I had a total moment where I was sadly packing my case for the return home when I started trying to figure out how exactly to stay on longer - as in forever! Obviously when one goes on a vacation and starts entertaining serious thoughts such as "I wonder who I could enlist to bring my dog over here for me" and " I wonder exactly how much trouble I could get in for bribing a customs official to extend my visa"...well obviously the vacation was very much needed and it is pretty obvious that 3 plus years should not pass before the next one!

Owning a small business is supposed to give you the pleasure of your own time, not having to answer to anyone else, being able to create your own vacation rules...etc. Well anyone who owns a small business knows - that you have far less free time, the last person to get paid is now you and as for vacation? Well there is NEVER a good time to leave - which may not be true but certainly FEELS true!

SO at the urging of friends and family I finally decided to jump on a plane and get away - far away. About as far away as I possibly could. And where did I go, you ask on the edge of your seat? Well I'll tell you - I flew to Indonesia and more specifically Bali!

Surfing and Yoga and Sun and Relaxation at the Surf Goddess Retreat. AMAZING! To read more about my trip to Bali and learn more about the retreat - stay tuned for the next post!

Sunset in front of Ku De Ta - Legian Beach - Bali, Indonesia


Well the sun has been creeping out - the temperature has been rising and people are feeling the buzz...the buzz of early season SALES!

Everywhere you look it seems you can find early season Sales and Specials and Brick Lane is on board!

Offering specials to help beat the heat come down for steep discounts of summer frocks and duds!

Also ABBOT KINNEY FIRST FRIDAY in July has been moved to FRIDAY JULY 11th due to the holiday falling on Friday and stores being closed.

FRIDAY July 11th - Brick Lane will be co-hosting an adoption event with MUCH LOVE DOG RESCUE! Check back soon for more details.

We also have something REALLY special in the works for August First Friday - so stay tuned!

Head down to Abbot Kinney either pre or post beach visit, check out what is happening and stop in for great Summer Savings!

Cheers Luvs

Monday, April 14, 2008

Anya Hindmarch and New York Times Style

It's getting harder and harder to keep up with the amount of press she is receiving but here is another hit - in the Sunday New York Times Style section

Brick Lane currently has one in this color and one left in carmel and gold! Get yours while they last!

Cheers luvs

Brick Lane gets Blogged

This in an awesome fashion blog and Brick Lane got a really cool mention.....read on

Mission: Cuff Links
April 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm · Filed under Chic Agents, Jenn Kennedy
Chic agent Jenn Kennedy reports …
They say, “The devil is in the details” and fashion is no exception. A belt or bracelet choice speaks volumes to personal style. It’s the subtle decisions around accessories that can make an outfit — on both men and women, an item I’ve always loved is cufflinks.
Tateossian “Football” cufflinks $150 at bricklaneuk.com.

I recently came across a Venice, California store that offers a host of hard to find cufflinks and other accessories from the UK. These enamel and rohdium plated Tateossian pair are fun for the soccer or football (as they call it in the UK) enthusiast. One side features a soccer ball and the other end is a detailed silver football cleat. They are the perfect gift for the football fan in your life!
Awesome! Thanks Jen!
Cheers Luvs

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Brick Lane - Best Specialty Boutique on Abbot Kinney

Thanks GenLux Magazine! Make sure to come check out Abbot Kinney this Spring!
Cheers Luvs

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Genesis : Sarajevo Benefit

I wanted to take a moment to let people know about the amazing organization my friend and dance instructor Amy Danielson has created called Genesis : Sarajevo.

Genesis : Sarajevo has the mission to spread dance and artistic opportunities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and eventually to other war-torn countries. Their purpose is to empower young artists and unify different cultures and religions through dance and arts education.

Genesis : Sarajevo is having a dance theatre benefit where you can be entertained during and evening of dance performance, learn more about and support this amazing organization!

Wednesday April 23rd 2008

Doors Open at 8PM performance begins at 9PM

6555 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90028

Amy travels several weeks a year to personally run this program and teach the children herself. She is actively out there trying to make a difference in these young girls lives - one dance at a time. It is truly an incredible organization / undertaking and is worth checking out!!

For more information you can check out the Genesis : Sarajevo website and you can RSVP to genesissarajevo@gmail.com.

Cheers Luvs


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Abbot Kinney First Friday's

Yes it is that time again - when Abbot Kinney stays open late to play host to neighbors, customers and visitors.

Friday April 4th Brick Lane will be open until 10PM serving cocktails and kicking off a SPECIAL APRIL PROMOTION that you do NOT want to miss!

The Brick Lane website has new additions and more are on the way and the store is stocked full of Fred Perry, Anya Hindmarch, Ted Baker, Duffer of St. George, Edun, Orla Kiley and more!

We hope to see you soon on the boulevard!

Cheers Luvs

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Brick Lane

Yes today - the day of "Kiss me I'm Irish" and green beer is also the birthday if your favorite little British clothing source!

Today Brick Lane turns 3 years old and to celebrate I am working late this evening to have new stock in the store photographed so that this week we can upload new merchandise on the online boutique for everyone!

In honor of St. Patricks Day - this weekend I was fortnate enough to be able to attend a cooking exhibition in Culver City of The Healthy Irishman! Wait - Irish food = healthy, you say? Can it be so? I kid you not my friends it is true and possible - so check out the Healthy Irishman's blog (which is always linked on our site under Blogs We Love) for great recipes and fun Irish fare!

So go out and have a cocktail in celebration of St. Patty's and if you think of it - toast Brick Lane for turning 3 today!

"Pionta Guinness, le do thoil" - A Pint of Guinness Please

Cheers Luvs


Sexuality Cufflinks in Angeleno Magazine

Angeleno Magazine March edition - the one with the HOT Ryan Phillippe smoldering on the cover has a pair of cufflinks featured in the RADAR NOW section that we stock at Brick Lane in store and on the website.

Tateossian is a quality high end line of jewelry, watches and cufflinks for men and this is one of our favorite pairs! Sadly we were not given credit for it - oh well. You can still get these great sexuality cufflinks from us though at Brick Lane!

Check out the online shop in a few days to purchase these fun cufflinks!

Cheers Luvs,

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Be Green and in Fashion

It's in fashion to be green.....

Did you know that worldwide it is estimated that 500 billion plastic bags are used and discarded!!!

Single use plastic bags made of HDPE remain in the environment for up to approx 1000 years. Over 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles are killed by plastic rubbish every year.

Scary thoughts huh? So why not carry a packable tote around with you so you can say NO to plastic bags for small items as you run about your day?

Billy Bag is another company making these fun and fashionable lightweight packable Eco-totes to throw in your purse, gym bag, car, bike basket - you name it! Small pouches that un-zip to these fresh and fun cotton print re-usable totes!

These fun, fashionable and environment friendly bags are available at our shop Brick Lane in Venice, CA and will soon be available to buy in our on-line boutique.

Get yours today and feel good about a purchase that will help minimize your impact on the environment (and it doesn't hurt that you'll look fashionable as well!)

Cheers Luvs

Monday, March 3, 2008

Jodie Kidd at Brick Lane

Today we had a segment of the UK Show Fashion Avenue shot here at Brick Lane. They are doing a whole show on Abbot Kinney - which is lovely as I have been informed it will begin airing in the US this year!

The beautiful model Jodie Kidd is the host of Fashion Avenue and her celebrity co-host is model Lydia Hearst (of the Hearst Family)

They told me that so far my shop was their favorite - the bit of British Fashion made them feel quite at home - enough to shop quite a bit themselves.

I must say that dealing with "celebrities" is not always as much fun as it would seem - but these 2 ladies were so incredibly warm, down-to-earth and pleasant to work with (and I am not just saying that because they loved my shop so). It was a delight to have them in the shop and I can't wait to get the DVD of the show when it is complete!

Lydia Hearst, Me, and Jodie Kidd

Brick Lane Anniversary Party with Ted Baker

Photography by: J. Varsalona

Ted Baker Party Take 2

Photography by: J. Varsalona

Ted Baker Party Take 3

Photography by: J. Varsalona

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ted Baker Tea Party

I can hardly believe it - but my 3 year anniversary is right around the corner - less then 2 weeks away. Tonight - the amazing crew at Ted Baker is hosting my anniversary party here at Brick Lane and I couldn't be more thrilled.

I have a moment of quiet - like the lull before the storm - where I have finally finished steaming, cleaning and merchandising the store - and the party staff/crew will be here in an hour. I can't wait to post pictures of the event for you all to see.

Thanks to the Ted Baker crew and my AMAZING friend Deborah Raguse from Bear-Buca Entertainment this should be one hell of a party.

We have sponsorship from Bombay Sapphire, Newcastle Brown Ale and FRED water! Beautiful flowers by Fiore Culture as well as DJ Lady Sha spinning groovy music to put us all in the mood. I can't wait!

So check back in a few days for photos from the big event if you were unable to join us here in Venice - and a BIG THANK YOU to Ted Baker, Bombay Sapphire, Newcastle and FRED!

Cheers luvs


Monday, February 18, 2008

Anya Hindmarch Press

Photobucket Album

With so many press hits I thought it best to share them with you in a slideshow. Beautiful coverage of her stunning bags for 2008!

Cheers luvs

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Off to London and Travel Tips

Just a quick update that I am headed to London tomorrow for Fashion Week and will be posting pictures of the shows and events I attend. I am only slotted for 2 catwalk shows this go-around. Quick trip and tight schedule to see all my vendors as well as check out a new trade show, but I will post pictures of what I am seeing!

So, on my last trip to NYC 2 weeks ago my wallet fell out of my purse in the back of a cab - every traveler’s nightmare! In this day and age of heightened security - flying without ID can be problematic to say the least. Luckily I have a few habits I picked up years ago when I started international travel as a part of my business that made the trying event more manageable - so I thought I would share them.

1. Empty your wallet before you go. There is no need for your membership cards and every credit card you normally carry around with you. Those are the things that are the most annoying to remember and replace. Only take what is needed.

2. Make color photo copies of your Drivers License, Passport (if applicable) and every credit card you plan to take with you - front and back. Take one of these copies with you and leave one at home with someone who you can contact to fax them to you if necessary. I actually never take the copies with me to NYC, but always do for international travel. The other copy I leave at my office and everyone who works for me knows where to find them.

3. If you are traveling internationally, look up where the US embassy is in relation to the city/country you will be in and then write that fax number down on the copies that you leave at home/with someone you trust.

Because I do this, I was able to have Jordan fax the copy of my drivers license to me. That combined with a police report in the city I lost my wallet was what enabled me to board my flight home. The police report is mandatory in a situation like that and you must file immediately - as you generally have to come back the next day to pick it up. Without it - you will most likely not be able to board your flight. Even with it - be prepared to be a "low level security threat" and expect to get searched rather thoroughly. Having the copy of your license is not mandatory on all airlines - but I was told "un-officially" that having it made my whole check-in smoother.

If you don't have your credit cards registered with a service, or you are not an American Express card holder, having the copies means you have the number to call and your account number handy to cancel the cards you know were in your wallet, as opposed to trying to remember what you had and trying to figure out how to get a hold of the companies. This happened to me on a bank holiday day and as a regular person I could not get through to anyone. So I decided American Express would be my next call - and low and behold they contacted every single card/bank within an hour or 2 and gave me directions to go to the American Express World Financial headquarters in Manhattan the next day to pick up a temporary card. Where I was it was faster then having them overnight it to me.

So I thought my little drama was a good reason to share these tips with everyone I know who travels. Things happen, wallets get lost and stolen and when you are not in your own city - it is ten times worse! SO a little prevention can help make an unfortunate event like this something you can easily deal with.
Safe travels!

Cheers luvs

Monday, January 28, 2008

Brick Lane is launching EDUN

I am very excited to announce that this season Brick Lane will be launcing with the Men's collection of EDUN.

For those of you unfamiliar with the line EDUN is a socially conscious clothing company created by Ali Hewson and Bono with New York clothing designer Rogan Gregory. Two years in the planning before its launch in spring 2005, the company aims to bring the issue of sustainable employment to the world of catwalks and high fashion. This is conscious consumerism, with a radical and crucially stylish twist.

Using Organic materials is another plus in the EDUN fashion line - and one of the things that interested me in bringing the line into Brick Lane.

Here is a little clip in People magazine about their organic denim.

So come into the store - or check the online shop soon as EDUN is due into Brick Lane within the next few weeks!

Cheers luvs



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Brick Lane on Store Adore

So we recently got a notice about a new adorable website that is dedicated to featuring interesting boutiques and online shopping sites in a few major cities in the US.

Brick Lane was chosen to be on the site and we couldn't be more thrilled! The site is Store Adore and is a great resource for finding interesting boutiques in New York, LA, Boston and Washington D.C - with more cities being added soon.

Here is the adorable write up I received:

The Brits are coming! The Brits are coming! To Brick Lane, that is. With a Union Flag front and center and a bright red phone booth outside that could have been plucked right off of Carnaby Street, it’s pretty clear that this shop is an homage to all things Cool Britannia. Stroll through the charming cottage-like store and browse a medley of imports from across the Pond. You’ll find treasures from brands you’ve heard of (handsome Pringle of Scotland sweaters, printed Orla Kiely handbags and bold Issa jersey dresses) and ones you will surely fancy (like John Smedley knit tops and sharp Union Jack wallets). Owner (and Philadelphia native) Amanda Dugan may have grown up a Yankee, but her love of all things English (from the countryside to the clothing) would make her the perfect royal subject. She opened her shop as a way to bring innovative British labels to stateside fans. Righto, Amanda. We envy your shopping trips.

The funniest part is that I don't remember which interview this was - as recently I have been interviewed for print and TV quit a few times. YEA!

So go on the Store Adore site and check it out, and if you are one of our customers, I would be so grateful if you would rate us or review us!

Cheers luvs,

Buckler in the News

ENK, IMG Fashion Week Debuts
Jan. 21, 2008
NEW YORK — The men’s fashion week envisioned by IMG and ENK International is up and running. Four young designers are staging shows at the runway space created by the two influential companies, which are attempting to organize an enduring week dedicated to men’s fashion, held simultaneously with The Collective, Blue, Project and Capsule trade shows. At presstime, Conference of Birds and Distilled were scheduled to show last night, Jan. 20, and Yoko Devereaux and Buckler by Andrew Buckler are slated to show this evening, Jan. 21. “We understood that designers don’t exactly love to be the forerunners of change, and everyone wants to see what this is going to be like. So I think these designers deserve extra props for being the trailblazers of something bigger to come next season,” said Kelly Cutrone, founder of the People’s Revolution showroom and PR agency, which is consulting on the initiative and has been instrumental in organizing these fledgling shows. The show space created by ENK International and IMG is situated on Pier 92, behind ENK’s Blue show. It seats about 240 people and has a 70-foot runway, making the location similar in size to the Salon venue inside IMG’s Bryant Park tents, where New York Fashion Week is centered. Conference of Birds and Distilled are neophytes to the New York runway, Yoko Devereaux has not shown in recent seasons, but Buckler is abandoning his traditional New York Fashion Week slot. “It’s a bit of a pioneering move but I’m excited by it,” said Buckler, who sells his label to about 75 wholesale accounts, including Rolo in San Francisco, Brick Lane in L.A. and David Lawrence in Seattle.

Anya Hindmarch and Ellen page

We're not big gamblers but we think it's a safe bet that if the Oscars red carpet takes place, nominee Ellen Page will be toting an Anya Hindmarch clutch. The Juno star toted Hindmarch's black patent Louisa clutch to the 7th Annual Hollywood Life Breakthrough of the Year Awards and a Juno screening in New York. Then she opted for a red Maud to hold at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards gala.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brick Lane on Your LA

News Flash:
Today we had a little segment filmed in the store for Your LA on NBC on Saturday Mornings at 6AM.
I don't expect anyone to be up that early to watch it when it airs - so we will post a clip on the blog when it hits their website.
Cheers Luvs,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Anya Hindmarch yet again in Glamour

I know I risk of sounding like a total fashion suck-up as I realize I post about Anya more then anyone else - but it's hard not to - she is EVERYWHERE in the press these days. The London fashions worlds very own purse darling - here is a preview of her newest collection as featured in Glamour UK- soon to be available at Brick Lane.

I know they are pricey - but the quality, detail and luxury in these bags actually in my humble opinion - makes them worth every dollar. In fact I have seen more expensive bags that looked tacky or were shoddily made - and Anya bags are very high quality! Maybe that is why so many celebs are coveting these bags and why everyone at London Fashion week had them. Let's just say there is NO way I am going to London Fashion Week without one of my own this time - except they are almost sold out at my store! Damn you would think I would grab one right? Well it's hard - all the Anya Fans beat me to them and buy them before I can justify taking it off my shelf and denying someone else the pleasure of owning one. :-)
I leave to start buying in a few weeks and can't wait to see the Fall 08 collection. I don't know what I am more excited about - getting the Spring/Summer collection in the shop in a few weeks or being one of the first to see the Autumn/Winter collection! Maybe this time I will take pictures so my fashionista readers can get a sneak peak!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Abbot Kinney is in Vogue!


Abbot Kinney got some Vogue love this month. Sadly Brick Lane was not mentioned - but we are thrilled for our neighbors who were! If you live in LA and haven't strolled and shopped the boulevard lately - what are you waiting for? Clearance Sales, new shops, galleries and restaurants galore! Brick Lane is having our semi-annual SALE of 40% - 75% off! Come down and visit us soon before everything is gone!

Cheers Luvs,