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