Hello New York!

This post will be short, I've got to finish washing and pack my bags, it's time for me to jet off to New York for a week of scouring several trade shows to see what's new and fabulous and what I think my customers will love.

Not only is this a buying trip, which is very much business, but it also affords me the opportunity to connect with other store owners, many of whom I can call friends. We will meet after the shows, dine, and hash it out, what's going right, what's going wrong, sharing stories after stories!

I've heard many many times, "Mel, that has to be so much fun, I'll trade my job with you any day". Well, whereas there is some fun, trust me, it is work work work work work. Imagine trying to get in the heads of your customers, hoping that you're making just the right choice, that they will be eager to purchase what you've chosen. Then, there's the math, OMGoodness, the math! There is budget, or what we in the retail world call it, our OTB, otherwise known as our open-to-buy plan. It can be really hard to stick to a plan, imagine, I can only spend so much on dresses, but I'm seeing so many I love!

This market is for Fall/Winter, 2019. I'm excited that my friend, fellow store owner/designer, and travel partner, TAKARA's clothing line will be represented at Studio Atelier, a highly attended show by buyers from around the globe! It's great seeing her dream become a reality, I'm so excited and know without a doubt, buyers will definitely bring her collection into their stores!

TakaraOne of TAKARA'S fall/winter pieces being represented at Studio Atelier. So fab, recycled water bottle fleece!


I will be sharing pictures on Instagram along the way, often showing some of the things I'm finding. I thrive off of your comments, it's a big help, so please, follow Essential Elements Chicago on Instagram and Facebook and by all means, comment, comment, comment.

Below are some pix from my New York shopping trips, can't wait to take another bite out of that BIG APPLE!

Love ya!


London designer, Jianhui and I.


Designer of Australian line, Banana Blue.


My girl, Cindy, show model for Croatian line, LINK.


Jianhui is one of the nicest people on the planet!


Ductch jewelry designer, Annemieke Broenink and me!


German designer, Melanie of Studio Gampe, and me, Melanie!


Meet Ogi, one-half of the design team for LINK of Croatia!


Designer and world traveler, Jane Mohr of Dress to Kill.


My friend, Sandy Lew, owner of Sandy Lew in Seattle.


My trips were perfect when my fabulous mom was with me! Her mobility is limited due to the need for a knee replacement, but once it's done, I can't wait to have her by my side again, everyone in NY loves her!


Sitting in my hotel room high above Times Square reflecting and thanking my Heavenly Father for the blessings, honor, and privilege of loving what I do.


Phenomenal Croatian designer, Igor Dorbranic and me trying one of his fabulous pieces on!

The one and only Israeli designer, Kedem Sasson and me! He loved that I was wearing one of his dresses- I love it too!


One of my favorite people, former store owner Brenda Welch, she has since retired and boy do I miss her!


You know the line, now you know the face, Mariam Heydari of Heydari Designs, Washington, DC.


My Team Leader, Gwen striking a pose at Studio Atelier!


Artem, half of the NY77 design team!


Elizabeth, owner of Clad-In, TAKARA, Takara Designs, Igor Dorbranic, Val, manager at Clad-In, and moi! I've long admired Clad-In from afar, meeting Elizabeth was amazing, we've since became buds.


Gwen, multi-line rep, Dvora, and me at Studio Atelier.


Jianhui really is one of my favorite people, I'm wearing his layered LOVE necklaces, all we need is love!


Enjoying the Studio Atelier rooftop cocktail networking party. Filled with buyers, designers, sales reps, it's always a wonderful time!


Last, but certainly not least, Hager Alembik, the mastermind behind our #1 line, Alembika!

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