Cash in Your Closet

I posted awhile back about my engagement and how I would be saving money over the next several months for my wedding dress. The task was a little daunting at first, despite rolling in the dough from my high-paying public school paycheck. My plan of attack was multi-faceted. I would offer discounts in my Etsy shop to promote sales, I would cut back on my Starbucks affair, and I would take on a rather sizable project I had been planning on tackling for awhile… cleaning out my closet.

At first I didn’t know how lucrative that last idea would be. If I don’t want to wear it anymore, who would? I tend to wear my clothes until they are on their last leg… or sleeve. I have one J.Crew shirt in particular that I wear at least once a week that should probably be retired to the pajama drawer. That said, I was skeptical that any item in my closet would fetch even a handful of pennies. But, I went to work anyway. Pulling literally everything out of my closet, my goal was to be perfectly honest with myself. Will I ever wear this again?

The result? More space in my closet, less room in my wallet! It feels amazing.

Think this is worth a shot? Here are some tips:

  • Set a goal. It helps if this goal is more than “a new car!” I find that generalized or overly simple goals like this lead to failure and self loathing. The idea here is to motivate yourself to stick with the plan, not to punish yourself if you decide you really do want to keep that dress you wore on your anniversary. Instead, your goal should be more along the lines of: “In three months I want to have a down payment for a car… in cash,” OR “I want to make 50% of my car payment every month from supplemental income. Months one and two are in my closet.” That way you avoid sobbing over your Vanilla Soy Latte thinking I bought this coffee and now I can’t have a new car. That’s just not healthy. It helps to have specifics, numbers, and a timeline. My goal was the idea of not having to pull out the credit card when I purchase my dress. Weddings are expensive and stressful enough already, I didn’t want the guilt of my beautiful dress weighing on my mind as I walked down the aisle.
  • Break out the champagne. Okay, this may sound silly. But I had no less than 3 mimosas the night I cleaned out my closet. I listened to Taylor Swift and sipped my favorite beverage as I asked myself, When was the last time I wore this? and Is this really me? It kept the mood light and my spirits up. Make this task a party for one!
  • I do mean a party for one. If you think having your best friend there for moral support will help you stay objective, then by all means invite her over. Just try not to give her everything you are getting rid of… unless she wants to pay you for it. There is no harm in donating a few items to the well being of your friendship, but if she walks out the door with everything you throw out, you won’t have anything to sell. Sad. Also, please don’t try this with your significant other present. First of all, they may catch on to that shoe obsession you’ve been hiding throughout your relationship. More importantly, everything you try on will “look great.” Let’s face it, when it comes to that special someone, nothing could ever make you look fat and you look just as good in those American Eagle “flares” as you did in high school. In short, this is a task best done solo.
  • Think about the wardrobe you want. Sure, you’re saving for something in particular. But that doesn’t mean you need to walk around naked. And you shouldn’t. Ever. Keep the items you love, and the ones that are necessary. Then, think about replacing some of the items. Think: Do I even like these three button down shirts I wear maybe twice a year? Or would I be better off with one really nice shirt for important meetings or interviews?
  • Consider about the big picture. I had a Kate Spade bag in the back of my closet that I adored. Problem was, in the few years I’d had it, I could count on one hand how many times I’d used it. I wanted to keep it. It was Kate Spade, after all. But when I looked at the big picture, I realized that the purse I rarely used or even thought of was going to help me pay for the most important article of clothing I would ever purchase. Mimosa in hand, I put the bag up on eBay and it sold for $100. Not bad.
  • Find the best place to showcase your items. Personally, I use eBay. It is fairly hassle free and there is a lot in place to protect you from scams and shipping hassles. One thing you want to keep in mind is how much you are willing to pay for a commission. Yeah, I know, it kind of sucks (for lack of a better term- my 6th graders would gasp). They are your items, you are the one doing the work to sell them, you should keep all the money, right? Well, unless you are ready to stand out in your driveway garage sale style, or you have the smarts to build your own website, link to PayPal, and advertise to gain site traffic, you really aren’t doing all of the work. The commission is worth it. Do pay attention to the percentage some sites take though. I found one that seemed like a great option… until I realized that they take 20%. Point is, do your research. You may love eBay like I do (it is unusually thrilling to watch active bidding on your items) or you may like the more personal aspect of going into a local consignment shop.
  • Finally, be reasonable. There is a difference between “gently used” and “worn out.” No one wants to spend money on jeans that have holes in all the wrong places, or that white t-shirt with the disgusting pit stains. Those items belong in the dumpster, or -if it’s a sentimental piece- in the back of you closet in a box. Some things are better off being donated to Goodwill. Like faded t-shirts from big-box stores, or low price items that you don’t have enough of to sell as part of a lot. Similarly, you need to price things fairly. Yes, you may have paid $150 for that cashmere sweater five years ago. And sure, maybe you have only worn it three times. But it is still technically “used,” not to mention that it may also be outdated. The important thing to keep in mind here is that at this point, any money you make off that sweater is going to feel like profit. So price it to sell, not to get your money back.

Now, everyone has different luck when it comes to selling used items. Many variables go into determining if an item will sell and what it will sell for. You may have great success the first time you list something! You may also have to reprice and re-list an item several times before it comes across the screen of the right buyer. So don’t get discouraged, keep that big picture in mind.

I have honestly had a blast raising money for my wedding dress. Hopefully you will be able to take these tips and turn them into cash!

Advertisements

Have You Tried These? You should.

Seriously.

These elastic hair ties are awesome. They won’t damage or break your hair, they won’t leave that horrible crease that just screams “ponytail!” They are basically magic.

Image

Okay, maybe not magic. Exactly. But they are as close as a hair tie can get.

These things are quite popular lately. You can find them at your local gym, your yoga studio, even at trendy retail stores. Thing is, as awesome as they are, they can be really expensive. I’m not kidding. One particularly popular retail chain is selling them for over $2 a piece! A piece!

If you’re like me, you probably consider that to be a little ridiculous. I mean, they are really cute and everything, but they are hair ties after all. How many of these do you lose on a regular basis? Mine, no matter how hard I try to keep them hidden, inevitably become cat toys. So spending over $2 for one seems a little excessive to me.

That said, I’m excited to say that I am now offering these fantastic little accessories in my Etsy shop

Image

Here, you can purchase the ties for much lower prices. Don’t spend two bucks at the gym just because you forgot your boring old elastic band at home. Plan ahead! In my shop, you can currently purchase the ties in various color themes and three different quantities:

6 for $5.00, 13 for $10.00, and 27 for $20.00

Less than a dollar each. Even better? The more you buy, the cheaper they are!

So head on over and get some for yourself!

Happy Shopping!

Be Your Own Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I understand some of you out there may not be a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’re spending the day alone, or you’re on a diet and can’t stand to be around all the sugar and sweets, or maybe you simply hate the color pink. Well, I’m not going to gasp and tell you you’re crazy or chase you around like an overly cheery Cupid with a bow and arrow. However, I will say this one thing…

You’re looking at it all wrong.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. It isn’t all about pink hearts and candy necklaces. Think of it more as a mini-vacation from reality. This is how I prefer to think of most holidays. Like Halloween. And St. Patrick’s Day. And my birthday. And most Fridays…

So even if you’re stuck at work all day, try to remember that you are also on your mini-vacation. Should you eat that extra piece of chocolate? Yeah! It’s Valentine’s Day! Should you buy that gorgeous purse you’ve had your eye on since Christmas? Why not? It’s Valentines Day! Should you really order another pink martini? Or three? Of course!

It’s Valentine’s Day!

So even if you think you’re not spending the day with anyone special, you are! You’re spending the day with you! And don’t you deserve to be spoiled this Valentine’s Day? I think so. Be your own Valentine.

That said, I hope you all have a wonderful day. Smile. Embrace the pink hearts and candy necklaces. And don’t count your calories. Seriously.

Savannah Renée

 

P.S.

Just in case you’re looking to spoil yourself with some sparkle today, you can enjoy 10% off your entire purchase in my Etsy shop with the coupon code BeMyValentine. To quote my favorite show… Treat yo’self!

My Scarf Obsession

I love scarves.

And though I love them, I don’t believe I wear them quite often enough. My coworker, Courtney, wears these beautiful scarves nearly every day and it has awaken me to the idea that I have been neglecting mine.

Today I am wearing one given to me for Christmas by my fiancé, Alec. It is a sheer, sequin embellished scarf from Target (they have a pretty amazing selection of fashionable scarves there year-round… I love Target). I adore this scarf. Also, Alec is a great listener because I’m pretty sure I swooned over this scarf for weeks before Christmas, refusing to buy it for myself as I was adhering to my strict “no gifts for self after Thanksgiving” rule. So, as you can imagine, Christmas morning I was a happy girl.

You know another great place to find some lovely scarves? Etsy. Granted, Etsy is a great place to find pretty much anything vintage or handmade these days. I could, and have, spent many hours at a time on Etsy, just wandering around from shop to shop. In recent years, I have done a large amount of my Christmas shopping on the site as well. So easy.

Anyway, I was wandering around the shops this morning and added a few pretty things to my favorites list:


Here’s a lovely, ruffly number. It is from SenasShop and has the fantastic price of only $19.90.

Love it.


This hand painted beauty is from TeresaMare… in Greece! Isn’t it stunning?


I am in love with this color. Actually, it would almost perfectly match the walls in our living room.

This one is from JANNYSGIRL.


This one is actually text from Les Mis! Amazing, right? There are lots of similarly fantastic items in the storiarts shop.

And finally, I want this one so bad. What is it about Chevrons that does this to me?

This one is from MegansMenagerie.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed checking out these great scarves! Are you a scarf person? Describe your favorite one to me or share a link in the comments to your current obsession!

On a side note, I may not sell scarves, but I have other pretty items to adorn your neck! Check them out in my shop on Etsy and use the coupon code BLOG5 for 5% your purchase!

Happy Shopping!

I Love a Good Sale

Yesterday, I dragged the fiancé to Lynchburg for a sample sale at the J.Crew warehouse. This is what I have to say about that:

O… M… G…

And I don’t even consider that term to be part of my vocabulary. But honestly, there are no other words to describe it as accurately. Just “omg.”

First of all, it was packed. And I do mean packed. There were hundreds of people digging through what must have been at least 1,000 boxes (I kid you not) for incredibly discounted merchandise. You are literally handed a garbage bag when you walk through the door… Yes, a garbage bag. They also give you a price list. The list breaks down the prices for different items by type, material, etc. And the prices… let’s just say that they really could not have been lower. They then release you into the warehouse where you participate in a mad dash for coveted shoes, dresses, bags, jewelry, etc. and fill your garbage bag to your heart’s desire. Now, picture what could probably be a scene that was cut from The Hunger Games. No joke. It was crazy.

I wish I could to tell you that I came home last night, emptied my closet, and filled it with an entirely new wardrobe (I wish), but that was not my purpose in attending yesterday’s sale. Maybe next time.

What was I doing there, you ask?

Well, I was on the hunt for something very specific: bridesmaids’ dresses. And boy, did I find them! I now have plenty of dresses for my girls to try on and choose from. The best part: I was able to get a variety of fabrics and styles, so each girl will get exactly what she wants! No poofy shoulders or giant bows on the butt! I am so happy I was able to do this for the girls who will be standing with me on the happiest day of my life. But okay, I lied… Want to know what really was the best part? The dresses were $15.

I know. You are in shock. I was too. Fifteen bucks a piece for J.Crew bridesmaid dresses??? You can take a look at the J.Crew website if you really want to know how crazy that is. We’re talking a $200+ price difference there.

So, in summary, if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these fabulous free-for-alls, DO IT! It is quite the experience. However, do keep a few things in mind:

  • The lines will be as crazy long as the prices are low.
  • There are NO dressing rooms and absolutely NO returns.
  • You may be told not to sort your items while you shop and that once an item is in your bag, it stays there!
  • You will find fantastic deals but you will work for them. This is an all-day sort of affair and you will be exhausted by the end of it. It gets super hot when you are looking through the boxes, so dress accordingly.
  • Items are sorted by basic function. Most of the time. This means that bottoms (pants, skirts, shorts) are in one general area, tops are in another, dresses in yet another, and so on. Aside from that, everything is just kind of thrown together regardless of style, size, or color. Searching for something specific? You may be there awhile. Found this great dress in a size 2 but you need it in a size 4? Keep lookin’ sister! It may be ten boxes and half an hour away…

Bottom line? It was fun. I highly recommend it. After all, who doesn’t love a good sale?

 

Speaking of sales…

For a limited time, use the coupon code BLOG5 for 5% off your purchase in my shop. I had such a great time yesterday, I wanted to share the love a bit 🙂

Happy shopping!

Contest!

I’m in a good mood lately. Better than good. Fantastic.

Maybe it’s all the wedding talk, maybe it’s the mimosas, maybe it’s this gorgeous ring on my hand…

Either way, it’s really made me want to share my happiness! And what better way to spread the joy than with an awesome give-away contest?!

So this weekend, between now and Monday morning at 11:00, these beauties are up for grabs!

DSC_0068

These gorgeous earrings feature two, intricately wire-wrapped stones in a stunning pink hue. These earrings are beautiful, long dangles and measure approximately 2″ in length. They were featured in the Savannah Renée shop on Etsy for $24 but between now and Monday, you have a chance to get them for FREE, FREE, FREE! Sound like a good deal? I think so, too.

So what do you have to do to get in on this contest?

It’s easy, really!

All you have to do is follow these three, simple steps!

  1. Comment on this post. Nothing special required, write whatever you feel like writing!
  2. Follow this blog! Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Follow!”
  3. “Like” the Savannah Renée page on Facebook.

See, easy!

Monday morning the contest will end, I will check to make sure you all have been good and followed the steps, then I will draw the winner… the old fashioned way, from a hat! I will notify the winner and get shipping info to send you your prize!

Now, get to commenting, following, and liking!

Ready… set… GO!

New Creations

The First June Listings

If you haven’t been to the Savannah Renée shop on Etsy recently, you’ve missed out on witnessing the arrival of some exciting new pieces! But don’t worry, there is still time to check them out! Along with the renewal of several older listings, there have been four brand new additions to the Savannah Renée jewelry collection so far this June… with many more to come! Yes, the shop is about to see a cascade of pearls, crystals, chains, and ribbon… and even the premier of a whole new collection: Bridal Jewelry!

But before we get too excited about things to come, let’s take a look at these four new pieces, shall we?

Introducing… Rainbow Rock Candy, Kailua, Peridona, and last but certainly not least Elegance, With Wings

Rainbow Rock Candy Earrings

Kailua Earrings

Peridona Bracelet

Elegance, With Wings Necklace

Simply click on the image to visit an item’s page in the Savannah Renée Etsy shop for more pictures and information or to purchase!

Looks like June is off to a good start and believe me, the best is yet to come!

Happy Shopping!

Love,

Savannah Renée

On Sale Now

 

 

All Earrings!

 

 

 

That’s right, I’m having another sale! This time, every pair of earrings in the Savannah Renée Etsy shop has been marked down. The savings vary from pair to pair, so you really have to check out the sale for yourself to understand the incredible deals I’m offering! Below are some examples of what you will find in the shop today.

 

 Delicious Autumn ~ Originally $18 ~ Now $15 Rule Number 76 ~ Originally $12 ~ Now $10 Welcome Spring ~ Originally $10 ~ Now $8 The Gossip ~ Originally $12 ~ Now $10 Sophie and Olivia ~ Originally $20 ~ Now $15 Splendor ~ Originally $20 ~ Now $15 Just click on a picture to visit the item in the shop for more information, pictures, and to purchase!

In addition to this incredibly HUGE sale, I’m also running another exciting promotion! Right now, when you spend $50 or more in the Savannah Renée Etsy shop, I will create a surprise gift just for you! And this is in addition to the free gift I send out with every item! The surprise item you receive will have a value of at least $18 and will be made to match an item in your order! To learn more about this special promotion, visit my shop here, and read the shop announcement! 

Both the earring sale and the special gift promotion will end soon, so be sure to place your orders today!

Happy Shopping!

Love,

Savannah Renée

Don’t Forget!

Sign Up For An Etsy Account!

 

That’s right, I want you to become a fellow Etsian! 

Why should you sign up? Well, for one – it makes shopping on Etsy so much easier! Once you have signed up, you create a profile, add items and sellers to your Favorites section, chat in the forums and much more! Plus, you need an Etsy account to make a purchase, so why not be ahead of the game?

Another good reason to sign up for an Etsy account is to open your very own Etsy shop! Have a creative streak and want to put your talents out there for all to see (and buy!)? Then create a seller’s account on Etsy!

So head over to Etsy and register!!! Click here to go straight to the registration page! If you want to list me as a referrer, my username is SavannahRenee. After you are done registering, head on over to my shop and say hello!

Happy Shopping/Selling!

Love,

Savannah Renée

Other Recent Work

A Couple Custom Pieces

The other things I have been working on recently are custom pieces. I recently completed another custom eyeglass chain which will go up today as my first Savannah Renée Etsy shop custom listing! Here is a preview of the item!

Custom Listing

Another project I completed recently was actually one for myself! You know, I have to keep something every once in awhile! Actually, this item I made for myself as a sort-of test item. There isn’t anything like this in the Savannah Renée Etsy shop yet, but there should be soon! Introducing my first cocktail ring!

Cocktail Ring

This ring is extra large and extra shiny! Made with an adjustable silver plated ring base and 6mm Swarovski Crystals. I will be keeping this particular ring for myself, but you should expect to see rings in this same style in my shop soon!

Comments, as always, are more than welcome!

Happy Shopping!

Love,

Savannah Renée