Since I started working in fashion, I’ve been to Market in NYC about eight times, and never has a trip been quite as impactful as the trip I just had with my mother for my new store. Behind-the-scenes fashion is always a couple seasons forward, so this trip was spent seeing trends and lines for Summer/Spring 2016. When I arrived on Friday night, I immediately went to rest at my hotel in anticipation of the busy days ahead.

Day 1 - Saturday we started at the Coterie, which hosts dozens of contemporary vendors under one roof. My wishlist was far too long to complete in one day since I hadn’t shopped any of those lines before. A true fresh start! I was able to experiment with each brand I discovered, with every vendor more excitement than the other.

I noticed a definite trend of boho/70s flair for SS16, with high-waisted flare legged denim and off-the-shoulder ruffle tops dominating the racks. The exaggerated bell bottoms and bohemian silhouettes felt so luxurious and dramatic! The common fabric amongst all the designers was a pretty eyelet white cotton— so light and sweet for Spring. Chanel’s fringe tweed look is everywhere— shoes, handbags, jackets, even dresses. Sheer lace and elegant pastels in a range of ivories, lilacs, mints and yellows were everywhere, and tassels galore!

Day 2- A day of discovering and conquering, I visited shops like Isabel Marant, Sass and Bide, Kirna Zabete, Zimmerman, Scoop, Tommorowland and others for inspiration for my new store.The look and feel of the boutiques are aesthetically so similar to my own tastes, so I studied as many details as possible to infuse my own ideas on what El Paso is missing in a quality clothing boutique.

After a day of browsing, my mom and I dined at the cutest restaurant, where we chatted for hours. Feeling adventurous, we decided at the last minute to treat ourselves to Lion King on Broadway before returning to our hotel to rest up for day 3.

Day 3 - This day was spent taking in appointment after appointment, and although there was a lot to do and I felt physically tired, I’m always excited to learn new things. I loved seeing all the beautiful prints, Spring knits, and festive party dresses.— I can’t wait for Spring to arrive and we are barely in September! I wrapped up the day with an appointment with a notable designer whose line I’m thrilled to say we will carry exclusively! I won’t reveal who now, but never in my wildest dreams did I think such a high profile and beloved designer would be featured in my store! You will all be so proud to see the clothes hanging in El Paso racks—stay tuned for more details on this one.

Finally, we finished our day at Eataly, where we wined and dined, indulging in some exotic cheeses, wine, pasta and pizza. And of course, dessert and coffee to celebrate a another successful day at Market.

Day 4 - My favorite day! I’m keeping the lines under wraps for now (I promise it’s worth the wait), but let’s just say that El Paso will soon be home to a clothing boutique with an eclectic mix of well-known and emerging designers. I spent all day at Cheslea Market, an underground market jam packed with incredibly unique finds, and left more inspired than ever. I am thrilled by the prospect of what’s to come, and hope you are, too. Let the adventures begin!

- Logo purple

It’s a common misconception that being a fashionista comes with a hefty price tag. While I am all about good deals, I’ll admit that bargain hunting and vintage shopping isn’t my favorite pastime, but I don’t mind hunting online for designer looks for less.

And although I wish I could afford all the major designer trends, I’m the first to admit that sometimes I cheat and buy an inexpensive iteration of a particular trend, especially when I know it may only be around for a season or two.

Given my new business venture, I am on a strict budget and I will have to cut out the luxury shopping and shop smarter, without losing my stylish edge. Lately I have been on the hunt for unique new lines and designers for my store I couldn’t help but to notice how many inexpensive versions of the same Fall trends there are! To my happy surprise, I came across several brands in the same vain as the higher end lines, but much more affordable.

On my search for designers, I found that Topshop, Zara and H and M replicate high end designers especially well. I giddily purchased two amazing items on Zara. The dress cost me $29.90 (As pictured above) the original version by Thakoon can be found on Intermix for $520. The second look (As seen on Tres _Gal Instagram) is a gorgeous white silk blouse that is even prettier in person, also from Zara. The top I scored looks exactly like my friend’s Jason Wu’s version that can be found at Neiman Marcus for $1295. The best part is, they are just as fabulous at a better price! Designer looks without the designer price tags! What a concept.

I do love quality and the luxury of high end things, but there is nothing wrong with mixing and matching. After all, a true fashionista knows how to rock things with any label.

- Logo purple

Dear readers,

You may have noticed things have been quiet around here for some time. I haven’t forgotten about my beloved blog, or become less excited about it or you. The reason that I’ve not updated is because honestly, my future at Tres Mariposas was a bit uncertain as I considered new opportunities. Now, after a bit of perspective, head clearing and planning, it’s with bittersweet feelings that I share with you why I’ve decided to leave Tres Mariposas and well, spread my own wings.

After five fulfilling years working as a buyer/apparel manager at Tres Mariposas, I submitted my resignation a little over a week ago. I leave with a heart full of gratitude and respect for Nan, Tres’ owner, who gave me the chance to join their team with no retail experience. I truly became who I am today because of my time there, I developed my fashion and retail skills, and business savvy in that store. I credit many client relationships and friends, my knowledge of brands, fabrics and the buying process to my time with Tres. Not only did I become a true high-end retail expert, but I matured personally, my character developed exponentially, and I truly appreciate the way in which the store and everyone I met have changed me. However, after five years, I’ve been feeling a pull for a greater challenge, but didn’t know exactly what this meant for my career.

After several late night heart to hearts with my husband, we decided the time is right for me to take a professional risk. My time has come to a close with Tres Mariposas and I would welcome a new adventure. Recently while driving, I was listening to a podcast by Joel Osteen, who delivered a lecture called, “Freedom from Bad Thoughts.” I could have sworn he wrote the speech just for me. He spoke about the idea that my best days are ahead of me, and that there are seeds planted within each aspiration you have.

It is time to water that seed and grow it into something real: I’m overjoyed to share that I’ve decided to open my own clothing boutique.

That’s right! I’m finally on the path to realizing my lifelong desire of owning my own boutique. Opportunities have aligned in my favor, the right people have started coming into my life, and everything seems to be in place. My husband, Abel, has given me the courage to pursue my dream and although I could have stayed at Tres Mariposas for years to come, safely and securely, I have decided to take a leap of faith that I hope will push me into my true destiny.

My store (name to be revealed soon!) will be opening in 2016. My mom and I are flying to market in New York City next week, and I have never been more excited (or more scared!) about what the future holds. I invite you to join me on this new adventure and continue reading along as plans unfold for the grand opening.

Stay tuned, friends, there’s much more to come!

- Logo purple

I consider myself very blessed to hold my dream job, especially at 24. As buyer and stylist for one of the most enduring and well-known high end boutiques in El Paso, I’m often asked how I began doing what I do. I’m happy to share my journey, which I’m proud to say is rooted in hard work and refusing to take “no” for an answer.

I first walked into Tres Mariposas in 2008. I had just graduated high school and was newly married. Living in El Paso, I had often driven by the store without knowing what it really was. Around Christmas, I visited and was greeted at the door by owner, Nan Napier, who offered me a holiday macaroon. What a welcomed, but unexpected touch!
I was mesmerized by the energy of the store, the customers and salespeople bustling around with gorgeous clothing draped over their arms. The featured brands were those I had coveted while flipping through fashion magazines, and my purchase was carefully wrapped in designer paper. That initial visit left a major impression on me that I never forgot.

Fast forward to months later, when I landed my first-ever job at Forever 21. Although I appreciated the retail experience, I craved a different environment. My interest was piqued when I came across an online job posting for a sales position at a “high end store,” and I applied immediately. I was thrilled to receive a reply from Nan at Tres Mariposas!

At my interview with Nan, I remember feeling so excited to see the salespeople handling and moving merchandise, and I felt the same inspired energy I felt during my first shopping trip to the store. Despite my earnestness, Nan was upfront about her concerns since I was so young, with such limited experience. Nan’s standards are high, and for good reason. She’s been in the business for more than three decades and knows the industry inside and out, with Tres Mariposas’ reputation on her shoulders. I was crushed, but didn’t let her feedback deter me. I let her know I’d do anything in the store (honestly, I would have cleaned the floors if that’s what it took!) , I just wanted to be a part of their team. She agreed to introduce me to her top sales person , Monica Armendariz, to get her take.

I gushed to Monica about my passion for the store, and revealed that I’d even work for free to have the opportunity to prove myself. She seemed impressed and convinced Nan to offer me a three month internship to learn the ropes. Monica quickly took me under her wing and I got a taste of each role and responsibility in every department. It didn’t take long for me to learn that behind the beautiful, elegant storefront, everyone worked hard to perfect every detail. The sales strategies and techniques were all new to me—it was nothing short of retail boot camp! There were a few times I considered giving up, but they were fleeting thoughts since this was my first exposure to a “real” job. I learned everything from the importance of washing glasses, to creating client relationships from Monica, who had worked at Tres for 35 years. Days were long and a few times, ended in tears, but I can attribute my attention to detail, my product knowledge and styling technique, to those early memories.

At my 90 day review in April 2009, I was hired as a salesperson, a day that would change my life. The first couple years were difficult, and packed with lessons, as I struggled to build a clientele of my own alongside a staff that had been working for decades. When the contemporary buyer at the time left the store, I saw it as my opportunity to step in and lend my perspective on younger, fresher lines. But, they hired another buyer who was slated to attend Market in New York City. Undeterred, I begged Nan to take me along, too.Despite her reservations, Nan agreed to take me along after my husband encouraged me to pay my own way, and join the team for experience. It would be my first and most memorable trip to New York. I still remember the blanket of snow that covered the city when we arrived.

We traveled to the Coterie at the Javits Center, where I was overcome with excitement and wonder. As a lifetime fashion fiend, I vividly remember seeing Sarah Jessica Parker, who was launching Halston Heritage. I had never before been in a space with so many fashionable and like-minded people, I was in awe watching the stylists, editors and buyers breeze down the halls, eyeing the racks. I couldn’t help but feel intimidated, but I offered my input anyway.

Months later, the new contemporary buyer moved on from Tres, and I felt that my time has finally come. Nan was still unconvinced. She cited my lack of experience and flat out denied me the role. Frustrated but determined, I suggested another internship, this time focused strictly on buying. She reluctantly agreed. It was then that I became the “contemporary champion,” advocating for an expanded inventory of youthful and accessible lines. I spearheaded the focus on the section, handling it like it was my “mini” store until I proved its value.

A year later I was finally a buyer, and now, I buy for four departments at Tres and help co-buy for the others. I am always striving for the next growth opportunity within Tres Mariposas because I believe in my heart that when you really want something and set your mind to it, and you can accomplish anything. Through hard work and willingness to learn, improve and change, the world truly sits at your designer shoes.

- Logo purple

Red
White
Dav 3924
Tres

In honor this year’s Fourth of July, I was inspired to incorporate some unexpected color into my outfit. Eschewing the traditional red, white and blue, I stayed true to my signature black in a playful (and all-American) gingham pattern. Meanwhile, my bright red heels wink at the festive day.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend!

Shoes: Valentino
Bottoms: Elizabeth and James
Top: Bailey 44
Sunnies: Ray Ban

- Logo purple