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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Etsy (14)


Cute-Ass Cake Toppers

Adore. Simply adore. From Better Off Wed via Etsy. Maybe a smidge pricey, but too freakin’ cute!






$25 I like the price on this one! Open-mouthed smile



So cute, right?


Groom Things

The involved groom is not a concept I’m familiar with. I mean, The Candyman definitely took part in the planning process, but for the most part, it was me. There were things he thought were super-important (the ceremony), very important (food) and not important at all (just about everything else). Personally, I wish we’d done something other than the standard tuxedo for him and the rest of the male bridal party. Not that they guys didn’t look great, but The Candyman’s tuxedo didn’t really fit him very well. I didn’t realize this factoid until a few months after we were married and we went suit shopping together. Boy howdy, that man can rock a suit. It made me a little sad that maybe he didn’t get to wear his bestest best like I did.

So here are a few things I’ve recently stumbled upon that I think are super-cool for your groom and perhaps groomsmen. Maybe your dad too!


Always + Forever Cufflinks via Bella Moda Co., $42. Discount if you buy 4 or more pairs!


Super cool iPhone/Wallet from Byrd & Belle, $28!


Belt buckles are a fabulous way for a guy to show his personality without calling it an “accessory.” I adore this Hunter S. Thompson one by bmused belt buckles by Arte, $20.  


This key chain? It says “I love you” in Morse code. How cool (and private and sneaky) is this! From C. Johannesen Studio, $22.


For the money clip kinda guy? Check out this Steampunk cool one from Compass Rose Design, $27.50.

I always have a hard time picking out stuff for the men in my life, but hitting up Cargoh.com and Etsy and searching under “guys” will help you find some interesting stuff! Do you have all the groom-goodies selected? What did you get for the Boy’s Team?


BHLDN Is A Rip Off. Literally.

OK. I thought I’d be fair. I thought I’d give them another chance. No more. I’ve seen too damn much. And it pains me because I LOVE Anthropologie. I kind of like Urban Outfitters because it’s a cheap version of Anthropologie and I have always adored the brand Free People. No more. I must boycott.

The parent company Urban Outfitters owns six retail brands: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Leifsdottir and BHLDN. Everyone has been all up in arms lately because there appears to be some, um, how shall I put this….uh…..RIPPING OFF of indie designers and artists by Urban Outfitters. 

Now, as a past product development guru, I get it. There are only so many ideas out there. You have to find inspiration somewhere. It’s called knocking off, creating a cheaper version of something that’s just a smidge different. Most times, it’s a top down effect, where someone like Forever 21 knocks off the latest Dior and sells it for $19.99. In my past product development world, you had to bet your job on the fact that what you were designing was NOT going to infringe upon the copyright of another artist, designer, company. Legally, you had to make sure that 33% or more of an item was artistically different if you were to openly knock something off. That can include color, shape, size, material, icons, etc. Once, a few years ago me and the company I worked for got hit with a law suit for knocking someone off.  I went through the roof because I knew it wasn’t true. I knew it. And I could prove it wasn’t true. And I did. But man, I’ll tell you what, I was shaking in my boots over the whole ordeal. What ended up happening was that a factory I worked with created icons I instructed them to make using another designer’s original work and not mine.  I had never even seen the original stuff before. The factory passed off the icons to me as an interpretation of my artwork. It’s all hair splitting and crazy when you get overseas factories involved, but in order to avoid any conflict at all, we pulled the item from sale and stopped working with that factory (p.s. this conflict took months to resolve). So, I can understand how things can slip through the cracks. I understand how maybe once – or even twice – you cross ideas, artwork, products. It happens.

But man, this is just too much. Too often. Too similar. And the bottom-up approach is so not cool. Instead of knocking off Dior, these product managers are hitting the streets and Etsy for creativity. And I’m not understanding how the fuck they continue to get away with it. Oh wait, yes I do. It’s much easier to rip off a small artist who doesn’t have a legal team than a prominent brand. That’s how they’re doing it.

Let’s review, shall we?


image    image

On the left is an original design from jewelry designer Lillian Crowe. March 2009

On the right is the piece from Urban Outfitters. November 2009



The white version was created by Crownfarmer in 2003.

The red version was created by Urban Outfitters in 2006.



Original t-shirt on the left created by Johnny Cupcakes Summer 2004.

Urban Outfitters contacted Johnny Cupcakes for a sample of this shirt for possible placement in stores, which would be an amazing financial gain for a small company. The samples were never returned, yet the version on the right was released January 2006 by Urban Outfitters. No orders were placed with Johnny Cupcakes. *ahem*




Then there’s this item via Urban Outfitters. The direct link no longer shows the picture, only the verbiage.

Please compare that to this:


Via Etsy seller Tru.Che and her United/World of Love line, May 2011. Check her blog post about it here.

Need another?


Elizabeth Dye/The English Dept. on the left, 2010.

BHLDN on the right, 2011. 

And what’s crazy and weird is that I just wrote about this myself a few weeks ago. Check it out:

image  image

The chair on the left is my design from my last job, June 2010.

The chair on the right is in Anthropologie now, May 2011. 

In my original post, I wrote it off to a similar factory issue I outlined above, but now I’m thinking we got ripped off. Lame.

What really chaps my ass is that the people who work for these companies go through a rigorous interview process (I know, I’ve applied with them in the past only to be laughed out the door) and are required to have incredible portfolios and fine arts educations, etc. And they don’t even pay very well! So I’m asking myself why these “artists” can’t come up with their own stuff! Why aren’t they crediting and/or buying reproduction rights from the original artists? That would not only be the right thing to do, but it would also stimulate our economy, support the arts in general and turn themselves into a powerhouse company. Don’t you think that if Urban Outfitters had product “casting calls” on places like Etsy and Cargoh that they’d actually be offered these products versus having to steal them? The cost would be minimal and the return would be so worth it. Sometimes companies can be so dumb.

While I’m not a heavy-duty shopper of the Urban Outfitter brands in general, I certainly won’t be seeking them out any time soon. There are way too many amazing, local and domestic designers out there who can fulfill my needs. What about you? How do you feel about this?


Push-Up Bra Reduces Planet Size

Oh my. Oh my, my, my.

You know how sometimes there are things in the world that are so good you just can't stand it? There are some key elements in my life that I feel that way about. The Candyman is first on the list. He's truly a keeper. I caught him eyeing me seductively the other day and when I asked what was "up" he responded with, "I am so fucking lucky. My WIFE is so fucking hot." While this particular string of statements might be lacking a bit of the finesse of his usual romantic, sweet nothings, I've got to admit it's cool to hear my husband wax less than poetic on my particular level of hotness. Yeah, I'll take that all day long.

There are others things too, that totally blow my skirt. I'm sure I'm not the only one to cry when someone wins an Olympic event/American Idol, sees a father cry during a father/daughter dance or at those really sentimental coffee commercials from the 1980's. At least I hope I'm not the only one who cries at that crap. 

I felt much the same when I was introduced to Lina G's in Morro Bay, California. Just looking in the window, I felt my heart race and I got that weird, tight feeling in my sinuses when my eyes start to well right before I cry. Seriously. I couldn't wait to get in the place.

I was out and about with my aunt, who we call Sister (don't ask, it's a Southern thing). She took me by Lina G's. Sadly, Lina's was closed but we made plans to come back a few days later. From the onslaught of my emotional overload, I knew one day in there would simply NOT be enough. The following morning, I dragged my MOH (we call each other Cousin because that's what we are) there and spent over 2 hours simply looking and trying to decide what I would buy and how much I would allow myself to spend. I started talking with Lina and I quickly realized, as she dragged me into her back room to show me additional goodies, that she is insane. NOBODY keeps this kind of inventory of stuff unless they are insane. I quickly told her so and she whole-heartedly agreed! Insane to the core. But you know what? That crazy lady (and I am kidding) has got some kick-ass stuff. Stuff that just makes my little heart sing with joy.



Appliques, trims and lace....OH MY!

Beaded vintage ribbons and endless drawers of embroidery pieces and buttons.

Vintage French silk ribbon, bridal laces - all tucked in the most amazing little boxes and crates and drawers. It's like a vintage Style Me Pretty photo shoot vomited all over the place. I kid you not.

See that roll there on the left? That's vintage gold. Yes, that's right. Vintage woven gold mesh. Um ,yes please.

So I went back the next day with Sister armed with a wad of cash (a 20% discount if you paid that way) and TruLu Couture ideas rushing through my brain. I proceeded to spend the better part of three hours picking and choosing, pulling out my hair and gnashing my teeth in frustration over the fact that I am indeed, not a millionaire. As I started to wrap up my purchases, I noticed another woman going to town on her purchases. She was scooping up laces and trim like nobody's business. And trust me folks, this stuff  is not cheap. No sir. So me and the crazy purchasing lady started talking. She knows Cousin from their Mommy & Me classes from nearly 8 years ago. And guess what? I already knew her and her talent. She's an Etsy goddess. Her name is Kat and she makes these ridiculously insane headpieces, most notably worn by Courtney Love.


So we were all chatting it up, Sister talking with Kat about Cousin and their respective kids. Kat and I talking shop. Then it comes up that I worked at Frederick's of Hollywood back in the 90's. Lina worked directly for Mr. Mellinger (Frederick Mellinger, inventor of the push-up bra and owner of the company until he died in 1990) in the early 1980's. And suddenly the planet becomes teeny tiny as I stand there with total strangers who are all kind of connected in a strange, remote and interesting collision of worlds. Sister says to me, "Aren't you glad you did The Really Cool Thing?" And I swear, my eyes well up, my sinuses get that stuffy, strange feeling and I take a breath before I answer, "Yes. Yes, I am."  

Lina G. does not have a website, but she does sell a minute portion of her incredible collection on eBay. Her shop is located at 468 Morro Bay Blvd, Morro Bay, CA 93441. Phone 805.772.7759

Check out Kat's Esty shop Liaison for super cool stuff.


Etsy Food? 

Would you or wouldn't you? Buy food from Etsy, that is? I may have just fallen off the turnip truck on this one, because who searches for FOOD on Etsy? I mean, it was always Weddings/Accessories/Shrugs for me. But I noted an item for sale on my home page that gave me pause to consider. And then more. And more. And it all looks soooo good. I totally have the munchies right now and it's only 8:20 am. 

So did you know that there's a Plants and Edibles section on Etsy? And that you can then search "weddings" under that and presto - gifts for bridesmaids, family members, edible favors (my fave), stocking stuffers, you name it! I'm all over it like white on rice, y'all. Check out all these super-yummy looking (and sounding) food finds!

These cute little macaroons are $2.00 each and come unassembled. I think I spent less on my cookie/recipe favors, maybe $1.75 or so? But I spent countless hours putting together boxes, printing and cutting recipes, thank you hang tags, tying ribbons, and oh yeah - BAKING 2 days before the wedding (self-imposed stress). This might be the easier route if you aren't a DIY-inclined kinda bride. Check them out on Etsy shop Sparkles Kitchen.

I'll betcha you could customize these cuties from Cukor, made with organic sugar. You get 8 dozen (that's 76 for those who hate math), for only $10.50. Yes, they are small (1/2" across), but how many would you need per person? Three? Four? Five? Totally affordable.

 What about teeny tiny jams or jellies? Wrap with twine or ribbon and voila - favors are now ticked off the To Do List. Pricing is decent: 25-75 jars= $1.90 ea., 75-150 jars= $1.80 ea. and 150-200+ = $1.70 ea. Check out these flavors from OrangeMamaMade. Color-coordinate with food! 

Apple Butter
Orange-Pineapple Jam
Strawberry-Pineapple Jam
Jalapeno Jelly
Peach Jam
Blueberry Lime Jam
Blackberry Jam
Strawberry Blueberry Jam
Fire Roasted Salsa
Green Tomatillo Salsa
Pomegranate Jelly
Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
Kiwi Jam
Black Grape Jelly

And I'm saving the best for last...Homemade Marshmallows! Totally want these. These are little more pricey - $6.00 and I think you get 6 of them. Maybe these are a purchase just for you? Or me. Whichever. Check out all their goodies (so many more) on their Etsy shop Whimsy and Spice

Several of these shops listed their ingredients and that they were certified and organic and all that. I would simply say "Buyer Beware" when approaching these sellers, as with everything on Etsy. If you're wary, maybe choose another seller you feel more comfortable with. Remember ladies, cheaper doesn't mean better. Even though your wallet might be happy, your tummy could retaliate. I couldn't find anything on Etsy that supports the safety of their food items, but then again I didn't look very hard (I still need another cuppajoe). If you find it, lemme know. 

All that being said, I'm all about these marshmallows and now have a screaming desire to try to make my own. Excuse me while I go Google marshmallow recipes....

So what about you? You OK with food on Etsy? Are you dying for macaroons now? Do tell.