Jan 30, 2012

Seattle's Crowning Glory: Mane Blow Dry Bar

Earlier this month Mane Blow Dry Bar sauntered in to take it's place among the top players in Seattle's growing blow dry bar market. Located Downtown in the Grand Hyatt, Mane is on a mission to give guests the great hair day they've been dreaming about while providing a fun and relaxing experience that rivals big city blow dry bars in New York and L.A.
The experience starts with a few moments to unwind in the lounge while sipping on a complimentary beverage and leafing through fashion magazines. Guests can choose sparkling water, hot tea, or even a signature Mane Mocktail: Fever-Tree on the rocks with a squirt of lime. (It tastes just like Gin & Tonic!) After being summoned to the shampoo bar the stylist wraps my shoulders and neck in a warm towel and uses organic Argon oil to gently massage my scalp while the hair is dry, and then continues for an additional 5 minutes to massage the scalp while the hair is wet. You'll feel completely relaxed as you drift into a state of zen with your feet propped up on the footrest and the stress of the day melting away. Following the massage the stylist will shampoo and condition the hair exclusively using Neuma, a line of organic beauty products. Then it's off to the "mane event"- the blow dry and style session.

Guests can choose from 5 "Mane Looks": the "Au Natural" an everyday style with a little bit of oompf, the "Wave to your Fans" (the most popular), the "Up Down Diva" (a half-up style), the "Straight to the Point" (pin straight including a finish with a flat iron), and the "Va Va Voom" (major curl paired with extreme volume). I opt for the "Au Natural" because I like when stylists work their magic armed with only a blow dryer and a traditional round brush.

The style philosophy at Mane is to achieve volume through a quality blow dry instead of trying to work volume back into the hair with product later. This is the key to getting the maximum number of days possible out of a professional blow out and it's the technique that sets Mane apart from other blow dry bars in the city. "We focus on achieving root lift from the drying process," says Co-Owner Kate Winquist.

Mane blow outs are $35 and in 45 minutes (or less) you'll emerge feeling relaxed and rejuvenated with a fabulous head of hair. Beauty addicts will also want to check out Mane's great menu of add-on's including the MANE touch, a 10-minute scalp massage for $10, the MANE Tame, a deep conditioning treatment for $20, and even the MANE makeover, the glam treatment for lips and eyes for only $20, or the full face for $35.

A great blow dry and style needs to last so we asked MANE co-owner Kate Winquist to share some of her fave tips on extending the life of a great blow dry.

# 1 - Try Neuma's Style Extender- This product is sold at MANE and works to extend style by refreshing hair between washing without leaving product build-up and flakes behind. Mist Neuma's Style Extender on the roots of dry hair, give it a quick blast of heat from your hair dryer and style as usual. The product works to cleanse the scalp and soak up oil at the roots to give users an additional 1-2 days of wear without the need for a wash.

# 2- Use a Silk Scarf at Night- Wrap hair in a silk scarf before you go to sleep. Silk diminishes the scalp's natural production of oils and can extend a blowout an extra day or two.

#3- Make sure to Clean your Brush- Extending the life of your blow out at home can sometimes be as simple as cleaning your usual brush to avoid adding extra oil and product into the hair.

#4- Pack an Umbrella- "I'm surprised by how few women in Seattle use an umbrella," says Kate, "If it's raining outside, hair needs to be protected or the rain will wash away any beautiful blowout." No umbrella? No problem. Mane also sells retro-rain hats for just such an occasion.

# 5- Wear a Shower Cap- Speaking of ruining a great blow dry with water. Your morning shower can be your blow out's worst enemy if you don't protect your hair from getting wet. Wrap your hair in a loose bun on top of your head and cover with a shower cap before getting in to avoid a frizzy style meltdown.

717 Pine St.
Seattle, WA 98101
On Twitter @ManeBlowDryBar

Jan 13, 2012

Zumiez Wraps Another Epic 100k Event

This year's annual Zumiez 100k event was another epic adventure destined to be featured in retail record books. The sales kid who won the top prize for selling over $600,000 worth of merchandise in 2011 walked (or rather, rode) away with a pimped out Dodge Charger and over $150k worth of prizes and swag. Lil Wayne made a guest appearance to announce the launch of his new clothing line Truck Fit and celebs including Rob Dyrdek, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Geoff Rowley and Screech from Saved by the Bell were all in the house to congratulate the Zumiez team on another great year of phenomenal sales.

Zumiez employees who sold over $100k in the past year received the all-expense paid trip to Key Stone, Colorado as a "Thank You" for their dedication and hard work. This year's 100k theme was the "Mall Olympics" set in the pinnacle era of mall culture: 1988-1992. Zumiez employees showed up in full 80's and 90's costumes repping their regions and districts as is customary for this event. The scene was a mix of extreme outfits inspired by The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Saved by the Bell, Motley Crüe and tacky infomercials that made the rounds in the early 90's.

Highlights from the 100k Award ceremony held on Tuesday evening included a pair of baby white Bengal tiger cubs, music by electronic artist Skrillex, 80's pop artist Tiffany performing her hit single "I think we're alone now", a pretty legit Mr. T look-alike and music by an 80's hair metal cover band.

The top salesman of the year was Isaiah Beltran of store 010 in Santa Clara, California. Selling just shy of $700k he set a new sales record for the company and was lavishly rewarded with prizes including an all expense paid trip to board with professional industry snowboarders, a visit to Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory (as seen on MTV), a tour of Neffs headquarters in Los Angeles, a custom snowboard, signed original artwork presented by Obey's Shephard Fairey, and a surprise "Thank You" on stage from rapper Lil Wayne. But of course, the biggest surprise for the 22-year old sales kid came when he was awarded a 2012 black Dodge Charger fully customized by KR3W.

The Zumiez 100k event also served as a platform for MTV's Rob Dyrdek to announce that he would be buying back Alien Workshop from Burton Snowboards who bought the skate brand nearly 4 years ago.

Congrats to Zumiez for producing such an amazing event unlike anything in the industry to recognize the people who who make it happen: the sales people on the floor who work hard to live the culture and sell the brand. For more info on Zumiez please visit www.zumiez.com. You can also follow Zumiez on Twitter @Zumiez.


Zumiez is a Washington-based retailer with over 400+ stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. The first Zumiez store made it's debut in 1978 in the Northgate Mall and since then the company has grown to become one of the leading action sports retailers in the country specializing in apparel, footwear and hardgoods for skate and snow. Company goals for 2012 include driving comp store sales, adding new stores at a rate of 8-10% per year (domestically), continuing to drive e-commerce sales, and focusing on growth initiatives.

Jan 12, 2012

Seattle FGI gets Back to Business

Last night Seattle's Chapter of Fashion Group International conducted it's official voting process to appoint several new members to the Board of Directors. The slate included Jaclyn Reiner of 24 Seven to take the position of Social Media Director, Julia Ryan of The Art Institute of Seattle for the Programming role, and Jan Klier of All Klier Photography for the position of Regional Director.

Over the past year while serving as Regional Director I've had the opportunity to work along side a very special group of industry professionals including Mayna Sgaramella of Closet Fly, Theresa Olson of the UW Retail Management Program, Danielle Bortone-Holt of Brick House Photography and Jan Klier of All Klier Photography. These individuals shared my vision for putting Seattle FGI back on the map by streamlining operations in an effort to get back to the business of fashion. They worked countless hours to help execute the initiatives set forth by the group and continue to remain dedicated to the mission of the organization.

In addition to the volunteer hours worked by the Board of Directors, the progress made in the past year would not have been possible without the leadership of a strong team of advisors to the board including Vivian Miller-Rahl, Pat Nugent and Rose Dennis. They each spent valuable time working with the board to help strategize ways to move the group forward. They were also the ones working behind the scenes to open doors, make introductions and bring back seasoned members of the Fashion industry who had been part of FGI in the past.

During the past year FGI brought back the monthly Members-Only Newsletter featuring Member Spotlights, exclusive discounts and fashion news. We also added a second edition of the newsletter that goes out to a general public featuring FGI events, member news and fashion industry stories that are relevant to the Seattle market. For the first time in many years we also brought back the Olive J. Smith scholarship fund to students participating in the UW Fashion Certificate program. Another big development for Seattle's FGI chapter was renewing our commitment to support the YWCA's Dress for Success Program by helping to sponsor the 9th Annual Closet Treasures sale.

Our biggest accomplishment in 2011 was bringing back business programming that was relevant to the Seattle fashion industry. In addition to the semi-annual trend events, programming highlights for the year included a special Retail & E-Commerce event featuring Bag, Borrow or Steal, Eddie Bauer, Indochino and Zeitgeist Research. We also hosted an intimate Members-Only event featuring the President of Supima Cotton, Jesse Curlee and secured a special FGI meet & greet with Diane Von Furstenberg at the Bellevue Nordstrom store.

Our best event of the year was the Made in the USA event which was held at The Bravern and focused on local and domestic manufacturing resources. Participating companies included ITC Accessories, Portland Garment Factory, Unique Textiles, Emerald Sport Sewing, and Luxe Riot. With over 50+ industry professionals in attendance that event was arguably one of our best, most targeted programs of the year and continues to attract the attention of fashion professionals seeking manufacturing resources.

It's been an honor serving as the Regional Director for Seattle's Chapter of Fashion Group International. I've enjoyed working with such a great fashion industry-focused non-profit organization and I look forward to seeing what the newly appointed Board of Directors has in store for 2012! Thanks for the memories!

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For more information on FGI please visit fgi.org. Follow Seattle FGI on Twitter @Seattlefgi. For questions on membership or other general inquiries please email Seattlefgi@gmail.com.

Jan 10, 2012

Zumiez Kicks off Annual 100k Event

Last night Zumiez kicked off it's annual 100k event in Key Stone, Colorado. The Everett, Washington based retailer flew more than 1100+ store employees and over 50+ members of the home office staff to snowboard and celebrate another great year of strong sales. Employees who sold over $100,000 in the past year received the all-expense paid trip as a reward for their hard work. A welcome party was held for attendees last night and was followed by a day of snowboarding (today). The 2 day event will conclude this evening with the Grand Finale/ Awards ceremony that will no doubt include special guest appearances and lavish prizes from many of the action sports brands carried by the retailer. Stay tuned! More details (and pics) to follow.

Jan 6, 2012

Pantone Kicks off Color of the Year Campaign

Seattle Fashion Group member and Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman is everywhere these days. Just weeks after launching her new book Pantone: The 20th Century in Color she unveiled the 2012 Pantone color of the year: Tangerine Tango. Yesterday a Q&A with the color guru was even featured in The New York Times. In the interview Leatrice describes this year's spirited reddish-orange color as exactly what we need to "recharge and move forward.”

The Color of the Year buzz will continue this spring when Pantone partners with Sephora to debut a limited-edition make-up line. Scheduled to launch in April of 2012 the line will include color of lips, cheeks, eyes and nails. Price points will range from $18-80.

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color book was even featured in Oprah's Holiday Gift guide. Congrats Leatrice! You've got a best-seller on your hands! The book is available now in select retailers and online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Craving more color? Check out the Spring 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report.