Selling out with luxury
It's the beginning of the year, which means you've probably made a few resolutions. If your goal for 2010 is to keep your house a little cleaner and clutter-free, get rid of your under-used luxury goods with the help of Luxe Life Auctions, 744 N. Clark St., Chicago. Run by a management team of Chicago moms, the stylish drop-off auction house appraises and sells items ranging from couture bags to antiques for a minimal fee.
After visiting other drop-off places, Luxe Life's president, Lisa Ackerman, noticed the poor quality and low selling points and decided to offer a chic, modern outlet to resell luxury brands. If anonymity is a concern, you're covered, Luxe Life auctions never reveal sellers. Luxe Life's minimum commission is $15.99, and they won't sell anything under $50. Standard commission for items that sell for $1,000 is 35 percent. If your item doesn't sell the first time, Luxe Life will re-list your goods a second round for free.
"Competitive businesses want 50 percent, so I think that people who are used to going to regular consignment stores don't realize there are other opportunities out there," says Ackerman. "When you put your items online on Ebay, you open your items up to the whole world."
For more information, call (312) 235-2552 or visit www.LuxeLifeAuctions.com.
Note cards written in karma
You're one stylish mama who knows how to make her mark. Share your classic ways through the power of the pen and fabulous note cards from Kamal-Art on Paper, www.onkamal.com. Whether you're sending a thank you note, get well wishes or a catch-up note, the company's chic stationary shines with vivid colors on eco-friendly materials. The simple images, including the peacock multicolored and sky textile, are letter pressed with hand-mixed inks on cotton paper. Cards retail from $5 for single cards to $24 for a six pack.
Peacefully green in the new year
Begin your year harmoniously with organic and recycled wearable goods from green 3, www.green3apparel.com, a Wisconsin-based, family-owned company. The line's signature collection features organic tees, pants and onesies featuring a "Peaceful" logo, which is the perfect outlook for your new year.
The line's eco-friendly focus spans throughout the collection with scarves made from recycled tees ($25), pillows and throws made with recycled materials ($55, $70) and re-engineered tote bags made from suit pants ($65). The line's signature items range from $32 for short sleeves to $50 for pants.
For more information or to order, call (920) 235-1288 or visit the Web site.
Marché français, c'est magnifique
You don't have to travel across the pond to find a European indoor market when you can visit the Chicago French Market in the West Loop.
The newly opened year-round market offers a wide variety of organic produce, small-batch goods and the perfect snacks from local artesians, farmers and purveyors in the MetraMarket at the Ogilvie Transportation Center, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago.
With 25 vendors and room to grow, the market offers a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat, wine for an upcoming meal or the perfect gift. For foodies who are into the 100 percent organic raw vegan food, a visit to RAW might hit the spot. If sweets are more appealing, stop by Canady Le Chocolatier (pictured) for artisan chocolate bon bons, truffles and ganache.
But the market isn't filled exclusively with edible goods. Meander into Abbey Brown Soap Artisan for hand-made olive oil soaps and bath products or Les Fleurs for European floral arrangements, orchids and potted plants.
The Chicago French Market is open Monday-Saturday. For hours and more information, call (312) 575-0360 or visit chicagofrenchmarket.com.
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