Monday, January 30, 2012 - Your Cure for Buyer's Remorse

You know that gorgeous Phillip Lim dress you bought for your friend’s wedding that only got worn
once before you, ehem, outgrew it?  Or what about that new leather jacket that’s been hanging in your closet with the price tags on for a year? Well now there’s a place to get back some of the cash you poured into your previous purchases. is a new start up by a pair of twins (sound familiar?) who want it to be the “eBay meets Facebook” of New York and beyond.

I spoke with Laura Boring, a good friend and the Head of Marketing of to learn more about the business.

 How in the world did you end up going from finance to a start up? 

It really was by chance. I am a 2nd year MBA at Vanderbilt and worked this past summer at a real estate company for my summer internship. The original plan was to pursue a career in a similar field after graduation.  However, this fall I was talking to my classmate and friend Adam Albright after class one day about his new company, I was immediately intrigued by the concept and by how much potential it could have. He mentioned that they were looking for marketing help, and I immediately volunteered. Since I would be joining as an intern, I think he looked over the minor detail that I have very little marketing experience. A few days later, I was promoted to Head of Marketing. Things move much faster at a start-up than in the corporate world!

Wow, no kidding! But that's great. What's it like working with all men? Finance and Real Estate are both pretty male-dominated industries, so working with all men isn’t anything new for me.  I couldn’t ask for a better team. Everyone likes to joke around, but we also work really hard. Having men and women on the team is really helpful from a marketing perspective, because’s benefits are so unique to each user.  If you tell women that you can rent drills and power washers on our site, most of them just roll their eyes. But when you mention that you can rent designer cocktail dresses or list your old bridesmaid dresses, their eyes immediately light up! The guys tend to trust my opinion when it comes to marketing ideas for wedding rentals and clothing, and I look to them for more details on extreme sports equipment and car accessories.  It just works.

What do you do day to day to market and promote the site? How is it different than your previous work experiences?

On a day to day basis, my primary goal is to encourage natural conversations about our company and to get people active on  the site. Marketing for is somewhat complicated, because what we are marketing is not something like shampoo, which has a well understood benefit. We have to first get people comfortable with the concept of renting and lending items to strangers and then get them on board with using our site. For this reason, word of mouth marketing is huge. It is very different hearing the story of how your neighbor just made $400 renting out his specialty camera lens on rather than just seeing our company logo on a billboard. We recently implemented a refer-a-friend program that gives you rental credit for every friend you bring to the site. pulls in Facebook so you can easily invite your existing contacts. Forming partnerships with local affinity groups, such as hiking and kayak groups is another recent initiative. These groups are great because they typically need outdoor stuff to participate in group activities, or they have stuff and are willing to rent it out to others. Most of our marketing efforts have been focused around social media by using Facebook ads and pages, blogs, and twitter. We use social media because the majority of our target customers use social media.

What I am doing now is completely different than what I was doing while working in finance for a large corporation. At, if I have a new idea I can actually implement it. Chris and Robert Jaeger, the CEO and COO, realize that we are in a completely new space and are open to trying new marketing ideas. If something doesn’t work, we try something else. It is also very rewarding to see the fruits of your labor. We had a blog post in the Village Voice, and a few days later we had the most site hits we’ve ever had in a single day. Instant gratification!

Explain how it works - renting or looking to rent. 
You can always browse the site, but you have to create an account in order to rent or lend items. Creating an account is free and really quick if you select the Facebook log-in option. To list an item, simply upload a photo and set your item’s availability, security deposit, and price. For the price, we recommend listing at 10% of the retail value but certainly use other similar items on the site as a guide. You will receive an email request when someone wants to rent your item. You then have the ability to accept, negotiate, or decline the offer. If you accept, you confirm the pickup details and meet to exchange the item. When the item is returned, verify that your item is in its original condition and close the exchange over text message. It’s really easy! Renting out an item is just as simple. But here is a tip: most users don’t know this, but you can actually negotiate your rental price. We created a video to help explain the entire rental process. 

 {a screenshot of the homepage}

Ok, this actually sounds really, really awesome. When will it expand to other cities? We launched the site in August in Nashville. In December, we opened up the site in Chicago and New York City. Here is a secret that we haven’t shared yet – we are actually open everywhere now! Our inventory is still building in cities across the US, but users can start renting and lending from any city.

What can we not rent or ask to rent on the site? Anyone tried to rent something ridiculous or funny? 
 Obviously anything illegal is not allowed on the site. Someone put a rental request for a girlfriend the other day , so we definitely had to take that one down! (Ed Note: Awesome) We do have a pretty cool Jagerator in NYC– it’s a lighted three bottle Jagermeister tap machine with a cooling feature. We also have an old school  smoke machine. Those items are both great for parties! Overall, our top rental categories are outdoor goods, electronics, power tools, and surprisingly cocktail dresses. With our site, you can essentially become your own “Rent The Runway” and finally get money renting out the bridesmaid dress you’ll never wear again.

Let's talk cash - or transactions, rather. How do you get paid and know it's safe?  Security is the feature that sets our site apart from the competition. All of our payments are handled online by credit card, and a security deposit protects your item in case there is damage. Another feature we have in place is that payment for your item is not released until you actually meet up and see the item. The payment is triggered via text message. For example, say you are renting a bike from a guy on the Lower East Side. If you meet up and the bike is not in the condition described, then you don’t release the payment and the transaction is cancelled. The text message confirmation works when you return an item as well. If you are returning a canoe, the original owner will receive a text asking about the items condition. As long as everything looks good, the lender closes the transaction via text and the security deposit is released. We do everything we can to ensure both parties are protected during the transaction.

What's something you'd want to rent personally from the site? I would love to rent some outdoor stuff. I really like to go kayaking, but I don’t go often enough and certainly don’t have the storage space to justify buying a kayak! It would also be great to rent a really nice camera to take for a weekend trip. Cocktail dresses are pretty high on my rental list as well! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Skulls for Everyone!

Skulls are not a new motif, but they’re still a favorite. A skull something can add a little bit of edge to almost anything, at every price point. Most of these are fantasy purchases. Which is your favorite?


Rhinestone Clear skull WEB

3” rhinestone skull, Patricia Field, $920


Skull With Mandible

neon candle, DL & Co, $90 each

SKULL NOTEBOOK  * My personal notebook of choice*

skull notebook, Assouline, $90


Ayers Skull & Bones DOF Set - Ralph Lauren Home Barware -

tumblers set, Ralph Lauren, $295



studs, Ioselliani, $1092


Ileana Makri Skull 18-karat rose gold and ruby necklace

necklace, Ileana Makri, $850


Markus Lupfer Skull sequined merino wool sweater

knit, Markus Lupfer, $465


leather wallet, Lucien Pellat Finet $495


Pink/Red Woven Britannia Skull Box Clutch

minaudiere, Alexander McQueen, $1995



velvet slipper, Stubbs and Wootton, $395

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Super Made Up Awesome Chili

Yeah, what the title says. Pinterest shot of chili since flash photography makes everything look bad ( I should rent a real camera!). I got a new Dutch oven and substituted a bunch of ingredients since I don’t need a huge bottle of oregano, chili powder, etc, and went to town. I must say it was delicious! Oh, and healthy…reduced sodium, reduced fat.

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1.5 lbs ground turkey

1 28oz can tomatoes in adobo, reduced sodium

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 bottle beer (I used what was in the fridge – Heineken)

1 14oz can of chicken stock ( I used Swanson)

1 packet taco seasoning ( I used Old El Paso)

1 can prepared Mexican chili beans ( I used Old El Paso)

1 onion

2 tea crushed garlic ( I used two pop out frozen bits of Trader Joe’s garlic)

any additional veggies wanted – great way to sneak them in. I added peppers.


For Garnish:

reduced fat (not fat-free) sharp cheddar

reduced fat (not fat-free) sour cream

green onions

baked Tostitos


Dice onion and heat in 2 tb olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add any other vegetables and cook down a few more minutes. Add turkey and cook until brown, using the back of the spoon to break up the meat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, chicken stock, taco seasoning and bring to a boil. Knock the heat back and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the prepared Mexican chili beans and cook about 10 minutes longer until beans are warmed. Serve with reduced fat cheddar, reduced fat sour cream, green onions, and crushed baked Tostitos.

Sh*t Fashion Girls Say

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know, everyone's seen everything. This is #whitegirlproblems #citygirlproblems #allergygirl problems all over again...but this is just too priceless. My favorite is, "She's such a Maxxinista." Die!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guys: Dress Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size


I had to repost this from Put This On, a great blog about basically how not to dress like an idiot. Repeat offenders, please read. I’m talking to you, first year analyst with the ill-fitting suit. 

Yes, that’s a manponcho.

From Put This On:

Below are twenty-five pieces of vital information that every man over 14 in the Western world should know. Every man. No excuses. Seriously. Seriously.

  1. Unbutton the bottom button of your jacket. It’s not intended to be buttoned.
  2. Same goes for your vest.
  3. Remove the tags on the sleeves of your jacket before you wear it.
  4. Jackets sometimes come with white basting thread on their shoulders or holding closed their vents. Remove this thread before wearing the jacket.
  5. Jacket pockets are intended to be opened. Use a small scissor or seam ripper.
  6. More than three jacket buttons is never appropriate for anything.
  7. On a three-button coat, buttoning the top button is optional, and some lapels are rolled so as to make the top button ornamental. In other words: if buttoning the top button seems wrong, it is.
  8. Brown shoes, brown belt. Black shoes, black belt.
  9. Belt or suspenders. Never belt and suspenders.
  10. Your jacket sleeve should be short enough to show some shirt cuff - about half an inch. 
  11. Your pants should end at your shoes without puddling. A slight or half break means that there is one modest inflection point in the front crease. If your pants break both front and back or if they break on the sides, they’re too long.
  12. Your coat should follow and flatter the lines of your upper body, not pool around them. You should be able to slip a hand in to get to your inside breast pocket, but if the jacket’s closed and you can pound your heart with your fist, it’s too big.
  13. When you buy a suit or sportcoat, it should be altered to fit by a tailor. This will cost between $25 and $100.
  14. Your tie should reach your belt line - it shouldn’t end above your belt or below it.
  15. Your tie knot should have a dimple.
  16. Only wear a tie if you’re also wearing a suit or sportcoat (or, very casually, a sweater). Shirt, tie and no jacket is the wedding uniform of a nine-year-old.
  17. The only men who should wear black suits during the day are priests, undertakers, secret agents, funerals attendees and yokels.
  18. Cell phone holsters are horrible.
  19. So are square-toed shoes.
  20. Never wear visible socks with shorts.
  21. Or any socks with sandals.
  22. If your shirt is tucked in, you should be wearing a belt (or suspenders, if you’re wearing a jacket as well, or your trousers should have side adjusters and no belt loops).
  23. Flip flops are great for the pool and the beach and not great for anything else. (Some say this is a matter of taste. We agree. If you have any taste, you will only wear flip-flops at the beach or pool.)
  24. Long ties are not appropriate with a tuxedo.  (Ed note: Ties and vests are disgusting. No girl likes it. Bowties, please. You know who you are.)
  25. Never wear polyester outside of the gym or theme parties.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wish List Week of Jan 23

Wishing, wanting, hoping, sharing.


Image of Glitter Tart Server

$18, Leifshop



$125 each, Rilleau Leather


*this is composed of the entire Great Gatsby text! So chic! 34” x 24” – great artwork

$40, Novelposters


$165, Oughton Limited

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cool Collars

Collars are in. Prep lives on. Here’s a genius idea from A Pair & A Spare on how to make your own faux-dickie (oxymoron?). This would be a lot less bulky for under knits and I might have to pillage some second hand stores for shirts that might be hideous in full but brilliant in collar.



She secures hers with a hook and eye instead of trying to leave on the single top button


I have about 10 shirts I don’t like wearing anymore (or are too small, there, I said it) and this would be awesome. Button up!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Eating My Way through the East Village: St Marks Edition

For years I avoided the East Village like the plague – too many people, too many choices, too far. Now that I live here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am super lucky to have an East Village building with a laundry room, dishwasher, and central heating and air so I count my real estate blessings every day. I can walk to almost anywhere and surprise – the East Village has amazing restaurants. Welcome to my list of recently discovered neighborhood eats. Perhaps your favorite is on here! If not, comment and let me know what yours is so I can try it!
Sticky buns bring back good childhood memories of monkey bread and the Pilsbury Dough Boy. And that ubiquitous Cinnabon that I used to walk by holding my nose. Jane’s buns are hot, sticky, gooey, and, well, sexy. I wanted to try the Old Fashion (like the drink, get it!) with Bourbon, sugar, bitters, vanilla, and…pecans. I was crushed, pun intended. However, Jane’s friend working the counter gave me a fresh one right off the baking sheet without pecans. And it was delicious. While I don’t find myself craving sticky buns, the option is there. They’re open late, too (midnight on weekends!), should day drinking find you on St. Marks hankering for something sweet.
image from Yelper Lucille C
Jane’s Sweet Buns, 102 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A

I am ashamed to say that I lived next to one of the best bahn mi sandwich places in all of New York for two years and never once tried one. Saigon, I’ll remember you fondly for your smiling faces and coconut waters only. The tiny shop, literally the size of my bedroom, was always packed. I read how great they were, but once I went in there I always got intimidated and ran out with Gatorade and Pocky. So walking down St Marks the other day I stopped in front of Xe May. The signage and restaurant was colorful, clean, and new, so I decided to give it a whirl.
image via Yelper Athena C

Schiesse, y’all, it’s GOOD. It’s quite possibly a perfect sandwich, with fluffy white bread (you can choose wheat), carrots, daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, and my choice of lemon grass chicken and mild chili mayo. I had to wait about 5 minutes for my sandwich which is made to order (by an older Vietnamese lady), so I struck up a conversation with the guy at the counter. He was so helpful and nice and offered for me to try the pate that I’m still kind of scared of in the original sandwich. I liked being able to customize my order, the $8 lunch deal (chips, huge sandwich, and drink), the fact that I could pay with a card on an iPhone, and the kick ass Lychee Green Iced Tea. I don’t have a picture of that because I drank it all before I got home, a whole block and a half away. Go there. Seriously. Go. PS they have bahn mi tacos too. And salads. And summer rolls.
Xe May Sandwich Shop, 96 St Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A

New dessert joint in the neighborhood? I’m ON IT. I have been waiting for Puddin’ by Clio to open for about two months. Urban Daddy, Thrillist, and the whole gang wrote it up and I immediately went running down St Marks to find it still under construction. I stalked them on Twitter. I walked by the shop. And then finally two weeks ago they opened….and ran out of pudding in 40 minutes. Working with only a small kitchen, they make the pudding in batches which are available around 4pm. I waited until 5pm once to walk down there and the butterscotch was already sold out. Today I actually got there at 5 til 4pm and  6 people were before me. They start serving pudding 4pm til late, but I imagine if you get there past 5:30 your choices are severely limited. The butterscotch has a great scotch finish to it, but the sleeper hit is the vanilla. Vanilla + butterscotch, I nearly swooned – love at first bite.  This is going to be an expensive habit financially and calorically, but that’s what spin is for, right?
image by Yelper Jamie K
image by Yelper Madhav T
Puddin’ by Clio 102 St Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A
The reason for lack of my own images is that I ate everything before I could get back to my camera! Block and a half, people. Block and a half.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 – Year of the Home Office Space

So, I’ve been away for quite a while. And you may have noticed the volume of blog posts went down in 2011. While I do only try to post on relevant, valuable topics now instead of trying to “keep up”, 2011 was a tough year, y’all. I did a very scary thing and quit a job that wasn’t working for me and began freelancing. While having all the extra time to blog seems logical, a body in motion stays in motion, right? Some days, especially this summer working and having the time of my life back at the magazine, were jam-packed with work, events, and ideas. Others, not so much. So my resolution for 2012  ( other than to lose those pesky last 10 lbs…and to be healthy…and to be grateful…) is to be back on this blog, busy dispersing little slices of lifestyle. I resolve to provide more content. Many of you know I do not blog to gain financially but rather to share my point of view and start dialogues with you, my lovely readers. Every share, site visit, and comment means so much to me personally. So here’s to doing more in 2012, starting first with getting my workspace together. No more working on my laptop on my actual lap in front of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Enjoy the pointers I’ve researched for pulling it together and share any you might have! I’m going to try and make the tips a habit by the end of the month.


Ways to Keep Your Workspace Out of Your Lifespace

DECLUTTER. I am a packrat. Major. I keep things for sentimentality, because I’ll use them “someday,” and in conjunction with other things, i.e. I needed this candle because I have two others and three makes a pretty trio. Try keeping your immediate work surface as clean as possible. I have a very small desk which usually functions as a dumping ground for papers and clothes. Now, all that’s on it is a small container of pens, a coaster, and a tiny light.

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START THE DAY LIKE YOU WOULD AT AN OFFICE. My best friend who works from home gave me this tip – she gets up, dresses in real clothes, puts on a little makeup, and sits down at her desk. Shocker – she gets a full day’s work done, but if she needs to leave for groceries or the gym or a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day she can.

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THE TV. What’s on during the day, anyway? I can tell you – a lot of crap. If I start watching Live with Kelly, all of a sudden I want to watch The View and then it’s time for Bravo catch-up and then the news and you can see how I all of a sudden have spent 5 hours in front of the TV before prime time even starts. Pinned Image

ORGANIZE. While I love doodads and such, try to keep your decluttered space organized. I have a little “office supplies” basket where I put my address stamps, checkbook, nice writing pens, post-it notes, and the like so that it’s all contained neatly.Then I have a separate filing basket with important documents, tear sheets, and business cards. What do you actually really need? Take everything else and put it somewhere else.

KEEP FOOD IN YOUR HOUSE. New Yorkers, I know this is hard. But the less trips you have to leave the house for breakfast, lunch, snack, pudding, lobster rolls, the better. I am going to allow myself one 30 minute break for lunch (and maybe an episode of Modern Family) and then get back to it.

KEEP IN TOUCH. Being at home is a lonely business. Sometimes I go 8, 9, 10 hours without human contact which can be beyond depressing. Many might disagree with me, but I turn to gchat. By being online all day I can have the same little chats with my friends as I would when I was at work (shhh) or instead of the little chats I’d have in person with co-workers. Something is better than nothing, especially for super social people like myself, and people also like myself who have a boyfriend who I am calling at work only if I’m dead. I try to make plans several times a week with friends to replace the events I would have been attending, and I that way I have something to look forward to. And won’t be the one breaking the plans!

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KEEP YOURSELF HAPPY. The one awesome upside to being at home is that I get to listen to music as loud as I want, which I couldn’t do unless I played DJ in the fashion closet. And I was only in there for 10-15 minutes at a time. Golden Oldies help me move it along, so I put on Pandora and hunker down. I also love to have flowers around, so now I do!

What do you do when you work from home? Let me know – I need all the help I can get!

My Dream Office (today):

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