Sunday, June 15, 2008

I love L.A.

It is almost ironic, that I left for New York with a blog about customer service, and all the things I love about LA, as it has never been as poignant before how much I prefer to live here. I had a wonderful time in New York. If you follow my Twitter updates (on the right side of the page), you will see a short summary of my moods and experiences, while I was there. It was busy, lively, people running around, shopping, making money and tourists all over the place encompassing the 13 million+ people that are on that tiny island on a daily basis.

But more than ever before, I encountered the NYC hospitality of rudeness. It didn't help, that New York was experiencing one of their worst heat waves and as an LA girl, I'm not used to 95 degrees plus 5000% humidity. So, I was required to spend most my time in stores to appreciate the air conditioners. Most store associates were rude, not helpful, or reluctant to be so, with the exception of one. However, the sales that were in progress made up for it. Of course I spent every penny I had. I am a professional shopper!

Most people believe, that whether you shop in LA or NYC, all stores are the same. Especially chain retail stores. But in reality, it's all about timing and selection. Bloomingdales, for example, in NYC is 4 times the size than their LA branches. So chances of you finding more selection in NYC, are 4 times as high.

During sale season, I have had more luck in New York at the following stores:

Macy's: Hands down, has one of the most amazing sales, but beware of the mob of people. It can get crowded and you will have to wait a long time for your requests, unless you snatch a sales associate.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Yes ladies, Saks Fifth Avenue has an amazing sale and offer extra incentives during sale season to sign up to be a card member. My sales associate, offered me an additional 43% off EVERYTHING on sale in the store (without any conditions), if I opened a card, and no tax if my items were shipped out of state. Of course, I obliged!

Finally, here is my personal piece of news for shopping. I met with a distributor and am proud to announce that I will start selling Lalique pieces at 35% and higher discounts on .

Coming soon: Adding Lenox and Villeroy and Boch to inventory. As of now, they are only available on special order.

Now back to fun and entertainment in NYC: In terms of restaurants, I must recommend "Buddakan". It's an Asian Fusion restaurant, decently priced with amazing food. It's actually the location of shooting for one of the "Sex In The City" movie scenes.

All in all, I must say, it was a nice trip. We had great food, went to great nightclubs and a beautiful rooftop bar. Plus, it was a girls trip-which comes with an extra high dose of laughter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Big Apple

I'm taking off to city that never sleeps for a week! I love going to New York and it has become an annual tradition. I love the people, Central Park, and everything that differentiates it from Los Angeles, funny enough. Whenever I am there, I am jolted with energy. I cannot wait to share all my fun experiences and shopping finds.
I must admit, by the end of every trip to NYC, I realize the many reasons I love Los Angeles.
During my trip I won't be able to update my blog, but I will surely be shopping! I will be back on June 10th.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Customer Service is not history!

On Memorial day, I decided to make Creme Brulee for my Sex in the City brunch! Basically my closest friends came over for lunch with a hot dish of gossip served on the side. I began preparing the creme brulee the night before, and everything went so well until the next day, as I was preparing the finishing touches, my blow torch dies! My Williams & Sonoma blow torch dies!!!!!

I have used it a handful of times before and was so baffled. On top of being surprised, I was so upset, that my creme brulee won't be complete. I mean, we all love the sugar crust on top. Regardless, I ended up having to put a strawberry garnish (my friend's idea to the rescue!) and serve them without the sugar crust.

I went to Williams and Sonoma to return the blow torch. As soon as I described my problem, the sales associate attempted to figure out the problem for the next 10 minutes. He then showed another associate the problem. They told me shortly after, that there seems to be a leak and that they would gladly replace it for me. They were so sweet about it! I had no receipt, no box and I didn't even have to ask them! They brought me a new, upgraded and more expensive blow torch, apologized for the inconvenience and I was on my way!

I have had so many negative experiences lately with customer service, that this just blew me away. It is so nice to know there is a store that appreciates the customer. With that, I would like to encourage all of you to go visit Williams & Sonoma this week-one of the few stores that still offer true customer service!

I was going to post a coupon, but the Williams & Sonoma's summer sale started last week!


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