Have you got expensive taste but can't afford the bill?

I am a shopper.  I always have enjoyed shopping, and finding a great deal.  I’m not cheap, and I don’t like “cheap”, but I seem to have a knack of knowing the market and knowing when and where to shop. 

My friends have told me for years that others would benefit from a High/Low blog, which is finding something that is expensive at a better price, a cheaper version but still great quality.  Today I’m going to show you some of the best finds I’ve made, how I did that and how you can too!

I think the first time I really understood this was while I was shopping for a friend’s wedding.  They were getting married on a yacht in Miami and I wanted to look my finest.  I was amongst some very fashionable friends.  This was the era of bodycon dresses and I was not going to be seen wearing a knock off version of a Herve Leger bodycon dress. I spent hours online and finally ended with this gorgeous Papaya coloured Herve dress that I still have to this day and paid only $400 for when they going rate was closer to $1200.  EBay has always been my friend (I’ll give you an eBay lesson another time). The dress had been worn before and I had to have it tailored since I am not a model that is 5”10, but all in all it was just shy $450 after the shipping and handling and tailor job.  Now I wear it with a jean jacket on a date night and have worn it to a couple of weddings since.

 The Vancouver Crew at Miami Wedding

 (Jennifer, Jennifer, Marina (me), the Beautiful Bride Angela, Lisa and Melissa)

My next great find was after I moved back to Alberta and purchased an acreage.  Wanting to really make my house my home, I started to decorate.  I love Winners and Home Sense and rarely do I shop elsewhere.  In Vancouver I fell in love with the interior design store The Cross https://thecrossdesign.com  the store has always been an inspiration but I can usually only afford accents from there.  I never leave The Cross empty handed. I initially fell in love with wallpaper by the Designer’s Guild; it was a lime green ombre and would have cost almost $3000 to complete my feature wall.  Instead I hired a painter locally Victor Perilli, who not only is meticulous, he’s also my father.  I paid $75 for a sample of the wallpaper and had the colours matched and for the price of paint ($200) I got my ombre wall. If you’ve got the time to research and the ability to use resources you have at your fingertips it makes these project a lot easier.

 My living room and feature wall above, the Designers Guild ombre wall below

 (My feature wall above, Designers Guild wallpaper below)

In the same month I had been doing a lot of shopping at my local Restore – Habitat for Humanity https://www.hfh.org/restore/

This is a store that people donate to, similar to a Value Village, except it is all home building supplies and home décor.  If you’re looking for marble on a budget, this is your go to store.  Again, if you have the time, there is constant flow of new and used  materials coming and going.  I happened to be in the market for a new chandelier for my dining room.  I found this beauty for a whopping $55 and literally the same week went into a lighting store http://www.luxlighting.ca and there it was the EXACT same one for $600. The one on the left is in my home; the one on the right was in the lighting store.  Lux has a great selection, and I totally fluked on this great deal, but shows you that if you take time you CAN and WILL save money.  

 Lux Light

(My light on the left, the one from Lux on the right)

Simons...oh my LOVE for that store is immeasurable. www.simons.ca You have to get comfortable and get to know Simons to fully appreciate this store.  Because it is large and they have so much selection I've heard that people are intimidated by it.  Find your section, the area where the clothing is calling your name and stick with that spot.  If you go there consistently once a week or even biweekly, you will find your deal! I bought this beautiful Free People tank for my sister in law last year for $9.99! Three months later I was shopping inside Nordstrom in Calgary http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/canada-department-stores and saw the same tank, in the same size for $85. I don't generally buy on impulse.  I take my time, ensure I love it, I don't want to spend my hard earned money when I can find it significantly cheaper elsewhere. Back to Simons, everything goes on super sale there. If you want it and can't afford it, wait. 

The last one and most recent one which I didn’t even clue into until after we purchased these for the store!

The Freya bootie has been a huge success.  I had no idea these were inspired by the Free People Royale Flat https://www.freepeople.com/shop/royale-flat/?c=shoes

These are stunning booties that sell for $240-290.  (These are 100% leather)

Our versions come in khaki or beige and sell for $105 (Leather insole, man made upper and wooden heel) https://www.prairiecouture.ca/products/freya-flat

See? I sometimes don’t even realize I’m doing it! I want to continue providing my customers with quality products at affordable prices that are on trend and will last you through multiple washes and wears. I want you to be able to know that if you find a product that you like on our website that this is the last place you will look, knowing that we will have it at the best price available.

Please continue to follow us on our journey, next week we will go pick up our trailer and start the renovation.  We have only given ourselves 6 weeks to gut and renovate the trailer before our first show. Long winter has meant a trailer frozen into the ground.

Now the real work begins!

Marina

 

 


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