Denver Post Past Columns

April 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Denver Post Articles

Barb Tobias is a fabulous columnist for The Denver Post. Check in monthly for a link to Barb’s Column, called…Thrift Talk Diva.

How to purge – and price – your garage-sale items – June 2013

How to price garage-sale items is the biggest challenge for most novice merchants. The key in determining pricing is to fairly assess the quality and condition of resale merchandise. PURGE. Start collecting your merchandise to sell by cleaning out attics, basements and closets. Pull out everything that hasn’t been used in the past year. (Chances are they won’t be used next year either.) Click to read more.

The Art of Garage Sale Bargaining – April 2013

People repeatedly ask where I shop to find such fabulous finds. The answer is … everywhere. Smart shopping is not whether you can find extraordinary things at local garage sales; rather it is a question of how and when you buy. Click to read more.

forsalePenny-Pinching Potpurri: Thrifty Tips – February 2013

With the economy still sluggishly creeping along, more and more smart shoppers are making frugal decisions that meet their budgets. Here are 11 thrifty tactics.

Shop thrift. The resale industry is booming, and for a good reason. People are dressing in frugal chic and decorating their homes with secondhand finds. Over the years, upgrading, as your budget will allow, can allow you to amass many cherished treasures. Hunt around for gently used or unique items at estate and garage sales, auctions and thrift stores. Each venue offers a distinctive adventure and you just might find that the “hunt” is an exciting quest versus the banality of purchasing new. Additionally, there is the environmentally responsible aspect of rescuing or repurposing used treasures. The thrill of the hunt and the art of recognizing a good deal come with time, but the rewards can be great. Click to read more.

Repurpose, Recycle, Paint, Purge: A Home Mini-Makeover for 2013 – January 2013

While 2013 is still fresh, it’s a good time to look around the house and see what needs doing. Homeowners can spiff up their dwellings while watching their budgets. Making better financial decisions while keeping an eye on our buying habits allows us to produce less waste and a live a richer life. Click to read more.

The Happy Marriage of Thrifting and Recycling – December 2012

Thrift stores and recycling go hand-in-hand. But consumers are often unaware that they can recycle a lot more than paper, glass and plastic. Here are three lesser-known recycling agencies that work alongside the thrift store industry. Click to read more.

These Thrift Shops Champion Community Outreach – October 2012

The community programs that benefit from most thrift stores may not be foremost in the minds of bargain-hunting shoppers.

Like many people, my early motivation to try “thrifting” was purely for the thrill of the hunt and the joy of snatching up fabulous items for a fraction of their original retail price. Click to read more.

DSC01243Lessons From a Three-Stop Thrift Crawl – September 2012

Fifty women gathered in the parking lot of the ARC Thrift Store in Green Mountain in August for my first hosted Thrift Crawl.

I’d like to say that philanthropy and the desire to recycle and go green spawned this idea. But it actually came to me last year after my HOA complained, ad nauseam, about the cars and merriment surrounding my annual garage sale. Click to read more.

A Vendors Take on the Mile High Flea Market – August 2012

HENDERSON — Enthralled by the grandeur of Mile High Flea Market, I took the four-day challenge.

As a shopper and as a vendor, I visited this sprawling bazaar, farmers market and antiques fair northeast of Denver on a consecutive Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click to read more.

diva saleIf You’re Selling Toys, Say So … and Other Garage Sale Success Tips – July 2012

A hot marketing campaign can mean the difference between a busy, lucrative yard sale or garage sale and an exhausting event that reaps scant profits.

Granted, many elements go into holding a successful garage sale: the purge, the sorting and the set-up, to name a few. But the pre-sale chore that many people pay too little attention to is effective promotion. Click to read more.

3 Entrepreneurs Make an Art out of Collecting, Recycling and Plant Sales – June 2012

Selling secondhand or recycled items isn’t a novel idea. But here are three Denver entrepreneurs who have added a new twist to the resale game. Click to read more.

forsaleThrift-Store and Garage-Sale Tips Prepare You for Big Finds – May 2012

Years ago, I thrift shopped with complete abandon. Little thought was given to equipment, packing material or how I would get my new-to-me treasures home.

Today, as yard sale, garage sale and outdoor market season ramps up, I plan, and I turn my vehicle into a well-stocked “thrift-mobile.” Click to read more.

Denver Secondhand Store Molly’s Closet Know Its Pluses – April 2012

Thanks to that annoying midlife weight gain, shopping can become a wearisome proposition for women with widening girths. Most second hand shops cater to younger, slighter women. Sure, I was that svelte gal once. As a fashion model walking the American runways in my 20’s, I weighted 127 pounds and stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. I kept that shape until my mid-40’s, when I hit the proverbial hormonal roller coaster, and a size 16. Click to read more.

Barb's Photos 1561Best Spots to Hunt for Seconhand Treasures – March 2012

Most of us have less cash to burn these days, so buying other folks’ castoffs is a great way to save a few bucks.

The Internet, specialty shops, bookstores and going-out-of-business sales carry drastically reduced items that are especially good for occasional needs or events. Here are some of my go-to bargain hunting sites and stops. Click to read more.

As the economy spiraled downward and Americans tightened their belts, secondhand shops made a move onto Main Street.

Thrift shopping tends to increase during hard economic times, according to a recent Brigham Young University study. So it follows that secondhand shops are now among the fastest-growing outlets in the retail world, according to the Association of Resale Professionals. That trade group says the number of thrift stores has grown 7 percent a year over the past two years, with sales climbing 12 percent a year. Click to read more.

Just a Little Love Affair with Thrift

August 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

I am the queen of the unwanted; a collector of “orphans.” The truth is … I simply love to thrift!  Over the years I’ve embraced the flawed, snatched up rejects others snootily passed over, delighted in the blemished and greedily coveted any object that is defined or distinctive.

Like metal to magnets, garage sales, consignment shops and thrift stores continue to lure me into their murky depths. And, on any given day I can be found contentedly combing through the shelves and musty boxes within each hallowed hall of frugality.

Spotting décor that is unique or unusual is not only my delight, but has become my specialty …my signature talent. Dramatic objects that ooze style or demanded attention make me blubber with affection. I’ve learned to ignore defects and concentrate on simply spotting the potential within each item. And, to my everlasting amazement, I even relish fixing broken legs, repairing antique frames or mending holes in tattered throws.

Discovering that a peeling piece of furniture can be transformed with a brisk sanding or a new color is next to decadent. Oil stains have become my best buddies allowing me to renew battered furnishings with a swipe of a color-stained cloth.  I’ve learned what products take off rust, what spray transforms mirrors into bright reflectors, and what oils thirsty furnishings crave.

When considering a piece worthy of purchase, I ask myself, “What can I do with this interesting piece?  How would it look in a different color?  What would it cost to repair?”

In the final analysis, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am a hopeless thrift-aholic. I’ve even perfected the art of forgiving myself for repeatedly falling in love with the latest trashy temptress. Despite my flawed journey, I’ve learned how to live fabulously … yet frugally.  And, I’ve turned my frumpy house into a fabulous home.


Barb Tobias is a professional speaker and inspiring coach who renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of transforming trash into treasure, this savvy mistress of thrift shares her secrets to finding deals, repurposing before tossing, reconstructing the tattered and renewing things others view as passé in her recent release…Tossed & Found; Where Frugal is Chic. Her “tell all” book is not simply a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.

Come on … Celebrities Holding Garage Sales?

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

What do Barb Tobias (The “Thrift Talk” Diva), Tori Spelling and Carol Burnett have in common?

We all have yard sales!  Yes, it is true.  Six degrees of separation be damned!  I’m in good stead.

I was stunned to learn, after reading numerous reports on People.com, Omg.com, and Thefrisky.com, that real celebrities were raising serious money through holding all types of sales; garage sales, tag sales, yard sales, porch sales, divorce sales, downsizing sales, moving sales…and are now moving into the corridors of high-rise apartment buildings where city dwellers are holding “lobby sales”.   And, here I thought that this Thrift Talking Diva had the corner on making good money at my fancy Diva Sales.

Yikes! Little did I know that I was going up against the likes of Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson. I’d been snookered and outclassed.  And, I would have to imagine that my stuff was probably pretty paltry in comparison to their stuff.

Sure, I’ve yakked for years about the benefits of holding tag sales and purging homes of unwanted and unloved things.  And, I’m still a strong advocate for the yearly cleanse (because it’s the only cleanse that’s capable of making a fast buck).  But, I was still having trouble wrapping my arms around celebrities hawking their junk … like the rest of us.

I kept asking myself, “Why would outrageously wealthy superstars hold yard sales?” So, I started doing a little celebrity snooping, and, voila, Diva Detective was born.  True, most stars hold sales through auction houses, but a few, such as Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson actually worked their own sales, albeit with professional and agent assistance. Many of them do it for charity; however, Tori actually pocketed the cash.

Star Willie Aames sold off his belongings at his suburban Kansas City home.  Apparently dozens showed up while Aames bargained with treasure-hunters and even signed autographs. Hundreds of people stood in line to snap up movie memorabilia, taxidermy, antiques, artwork, furniture, and even his piano. And, the shocker…his production crews were even there to film a television documentary.

A cable network recently shot a pilot for the project, titled “Celebrity Garage Sale,” staring actress Illeana Douglas.  Apparently the hook is that Douglas is on a mission to help her famous friends get rid of their unwanted junk by holding, you guessed it, a garage sale. They’ve brought in Tom Arnold to mix it up because his  garage sale is said to have raised $5,000 for Camp del Corazon, a summer camp for children with heart disease.

Scott Baio’s sale raised funds as well as awareness for mandatory newborn screening in all fifty states after his daughter tested positive for GA1, a metabolic disorder.  Fortunately, she is fine, after it was discovered that her results were a false positive.

Teri Hatcher raised $20,000 for her favorite charities through an invite-only, fifty-dollar entrance fee, yard sale and served Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee to her customers!

And, Pamela Anderson was reported have sold one of her homes with all of the contents with the proceeds going to PETA.

Now here’s one that shook the fibers of my “divaness”. Supermodel Erin Wasson held a garage sale  selling off pieces from her personal wardrobe … the likes of  Balenciaga and YSL. Now, rumor has it that these rags sold for under $100.  Where was I when all this was happening?  According to Erin she was attempting to “edit down my wardrobe and be very Japanese, where you have one rolling rack…I love the idea of being super edited.” Awww…

So what’s the difference between their yard sales and mine?  So okay, the autograph signings are probably a draw. I’ll give them that.  And, maybe their furnishings are a tad more elegant.  And then there are the gowns, and posters and the jewels.  Hmmm…

An Interview with the “Thrift Diva”

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Press Room

 

What inspired you to write your book?

The idea behind my book, Tossed & Found, came as direct result of a sliding economy and corporate cut backs.  After managing a sales team in the Midwest and Western United States for years, my team and I suddenly found ourselves … jobless.  With few options available in an market spiraling out of control, I knew I had to reinvent myself – again.  The inspiration for writing a thrift memoire came during my regrouping stage.  I visualized a book that not only talked about my tumultuous life, but also showcased the shift to thrift that was occurring across our nation.

What was the hardest part about completing your book?  

Two thing actually; learning all the parts to the entire process; from writing the book to getting it published.  And, and the edits … the seemingly endless edits.  

Well, there’s actually a third item I had difficulty with … letting go!  After countless edits, I learned that my book would never be perfect; there would always be mistakes or a better way of saying something … a sentence or paragraph that could be written differently.  And, there would continue to be a lurking temptation to do another rewrite – or two.  At some point an author needs to let it go – give birth – push it out into the world.  

Did you learn any lessons in the book creation process, if so what where they?

 Having been a first-time author, I learned many, many lessons, the most important of which … staying on task, committing to writing every day, surrounding oneself with mentors, becoming a storyteller, and showing the reader versus telling the reader. 

Did you enlist support in getting your book done?

Yes I did.  Right out of the shoot I hired a coach. Although he was supportive and directive with my goals I quickly realized I needed to enlist the help of coaches that lived and breathed writing and publishing.  I regrouped and hired a book coaching team the literally took my book from limp to alive!   

What tips or advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Authorship is a lonely and complex process.  However, a fledgling author does not have to attempt the process alone.  There is an abundance of writers groups and a wealth of seminars and publishing gurus that can help writers sift through the glut of information and options. 

If you self-published, what made you self-publish?

Launching my speaking career determined that I self-published. My book was my calling-card, so to speak.  After dipping my toes into the publishing arena, I realized that traditional publishing would take me many more months to get my book out than I was willing to sacrifice.    Additionally, I felt that it was judicious to retain all the rights to my creation. 

If you had to do your book all over again, would you?

 Writing Tossed & Found was a wondrous adventure; it was cathartic, revitalizing, wearisome, creative, exasperating, nerve-wracking, euphoric, tedious, liberating, frustrating and inspiring. And yes, I would so do it again … to feel the euphoria of holding my creation in my hand for the first time, the delight in doing a reading to that first audience, and the appreciation expressed by those inspired to reinvent their lives or lifestyles.

Are you writing or planning to write an additional book(s)?

Yes, I have a Diva sequel planned; Decorating like a Diva … On the Cheap. 

But, there is another book begging to be published.  I was a dog trainer for 20 years.  I envision a book of dog stories; true-life adventures of the many dogs and situations I’ve stumbled upon during my tenure with dogs … from antics on fashion runways to heroic deeds of brave dogs and their owners. 

What else would you like to share about you or your book?

The title Tossed & Found is really a double entandre.   My book chronicles the journey of trash to treasure, contrasting those that toss things out versus those that find unloved items and turn them into beautiful furnishings or fabulous wardrobes.

And, it is also about my life … my journey.  I believe my path parallels the journey of many people that find themselves tossed out of relationships, jobs or life.  I also suppose that life throws us curve balls to teach us great lessons.  So, it’s not whether we get tossed around, living a meaningful life is about what we do when it happens … whether we find ourselves again. 

How can people find out more about your book?

Tossed & Found is available at local bookstores, on Amazon or by visiting www.ThriftTalkDiva.com.

 

 

Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, is an author, speaker, coach and the entertaining mistress of thrift. This radio and TV personality renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of turning trash into treasure, Barb shares her secrets for finding deals, repurposing before tossing and reconstructing the tattered in her new release, Tossed & Found.  Her “tell all” book is not only a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.

Christmas in the Mountains … a Pictorial Memory

December 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs

                                 After receiving a call from a local television to put together a thrift segment, every room in my home was decorated to the hilt.  After all that attention to creating a holiday wonderland, we desided to take advantage of the decorated house and throw a serious holiday party. . . After all, it just seemed like the perfect excuse!  

Festive balls

Decorating art

Candles all aglow

 

Memories were bountiful  … and, here are just a few of the highlights. 

Fabulous fashionistas; Jill, Dixie, Patrica, Michele, Vicki

At least five feisty divas braved the mountain roads and drove in from Boulder and Fort Collins to celebrate the holidays with us.  Here Jill, Dixie, Patrica Michele and Vicki smashing in their holiday splendor, decked the halls with their Divaness.   

Tara Becker, founder of the Elle Women’s Group, poses with hostess Barb. 

Diva Tara and Diva Barb

 
Barb and the amazing Book Shepherds; Katherine & Judith. Barb gives two big Diva hugs to Katherine Carol and Judith Briles. Without these mavens of the book publishing world, her book, Tossed & Found, would still be in the writing phase!

Katherine Carol and Barb

Patti, Barb, and Lynn

Then the group gathered for the traditional gift swap.  The thrifty exchanges this year were things that had been recycled, repurposed, restored or regifted.

Ladies in red …. Debbie Polkhorn, travel specialist extraordinaire, shares a Yule drink with Linda.

Pretty in Red Debbie and Linda

Kristin is one of the first to open her gift…chosen for the beautiful wrapping.  Meanwhile Patrica Belanger watches someone attempting a sticky-finger maneuver with Kristin’s very cool M&M hotrod…too cute!

Stealing the gift - Patrica, Kristin and unknown hand

Even Barb and Stephen got in on the act! Once opened, the gift revealed an amazing set of Cinnamon scented candles. 

 

 

Barb and Kai testing the soup.

The soup was hot and ready to warm the soul.  Well, we thought we would have snow with freezing temperatures.  So, we figured that a steaming bowl of homemade bean soup would warm the innards of the frostiest guests.  Hmmmm, the sun shone and the solar effect in the mountains pushed the thermometer to 65 degrees!  What the hay?  We enjoyed the soup anyway. Here festive Kai helps Barb dish it out.

Barry and Shanda

Amazing filmmaker and friend Barry Bortnick celebrates the holidays with his darling wife Shanda. 

Frank and Carmen grabbed a bite before heading to the gift exchange.

The gift exchange begins

Friends and neighbors gathered to wish each other cheer for the season. The partiers basked in the season of camaraderie.

Awww, neighbors, Karen and Michael, snuggle close during the gift exchange.

Karen and Michael get cozy

FORT COLLINS DIVA TOUR

October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

The Diva Tour heads to Fort Collins, Colorado. Simply Beautiful Consignment Presents … An Evening with the Thrift Diva!

From Farm girl to fashion model to frugal fashionista, Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, has audiences on the edge of their seats with her entertaining and timely presentation …

Frugal Fashions and Decorating Secrets
Have you run out of money or at a loss for new ideas for your home or wardrobe? Enjoy an engaging evening of networking, refreshments, an autographed copy of Barb’s newest release, Tossed & Found and a lively presentation from world-class speaker, author and entertainer Barb Tobias.

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Simply Beautiful Consignment
426 S. Link Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80524
970-691-5645

$20 pre-registration or $25 at the door
To pre-register visit Simply Beautiful Consignment
Or call:  1-877 711 DIVA (3482)
Or: Send $20 via paypal to BarbTobias@ThriftTalkDiva.com – Comment: Simply Beautiful Event

Simply Beautiful Consignment
Edie Barton
424-426 South Link Lane
Tuesday-Saturday 11-5:30, Sundays by appointment
970-691-5645

For more of Barb’s upcoming events, please click here.

An Interview with the Diva of Thrift

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

Q.  Why do you refer to yourself as a Diva?

 A.  I struggled to come up with a title for myself . . . a name that would reflect my journey to the top of the proverbial pile so to speak.  When considering strong, self-actualizing words for women, the English language provides few choices. 

Was I going to call myself a Princess? Well, we’ve all pounded that word into the ground. And, I really didn’t want to defend my title against all the little, fluffy, cutesy dogs named Princess.  

Perhaps calling myself a master of my trade would work. Naw, that term was obviously reserved for men. 

Okay, so how about mistress of my trade?  Well, that one is sure to make the tabloids, and not an image I wanted to portray.  Plus, the word no longer carries (if it ever did) the element of accomplishment that typified someone who has walked the bumpy road to success.

A Queen?  Now, there is a moniker that negates the thought of achievement brought about by hard, creative work.  The term typically refers to a birthright not accomplishment.

Alas, there remained . . .  the Diva.  Strong, accomplished, talented.  That could work.  Of course, I knew that there would be those that would scoff at such a self-proclaiming title, but I would ask.  What word has this culture cultivated to capture the strength, the magic, of talented, smart, resilient women? 

Thus, another Diva was born . . . The Thrift Diva

 

 

Q.  What exactly is Thrift?

 A.  Thrift or thrifting, as it is often called, is the act of purchasing secondhand items at a fraction of their original cost.         

 

                                                                  

 Check out my FAB 99 cent 60’s swing coat . . . 

  

 

 Q.  Don’t most people regard the act of thrifting as a rather seedy, back-alley type of activity? 

A. They used to, but times are changing. With the downturn of the economy thrift has stepped out of the closet . . . so to speak.  Many people furnish their entire homes in fabulous but frugal secondhand finds.  I have.  I just talked to a fellow thriftier that furnished her 3,800 square foot home with used bargains . . . for $8,000 . . . and it looks fabulous.

Others build their wardrobes from posh designer fashions they rescue from thrift stores, garage sales and auctions.

Q.  I find the phrase Thrift Diva to be somewhat of an oxymoron.  Isn’t thrift the polar opposite of being a Diva? 

A.  That is actually one of the reasons I began calling myself The Thrift Talk Diva.  My mission is to take thrift out of the gutter. To show people how to decorate or dress using recycled products.  Think of it.  No packaging, no shipping costs, no advertising.  Not only is thrift socially responsible, but we can all live in wonderfully appointed environments at little to no cost.

 And . . . The Thrift Diva can show them how to do it.

 Q.  Why are you the expert on thrift?

A.    I have been shopping America’s thrifty by-ways and high-ways for 30 years, I have outfitted my home and myself in fashionable thrift bargains, and I have taught countless Divettes how to create fabulous interiors for little to no cost. 

Q.  Am I right to assume that thrift shopping is becoming more in vogue with the downturn of the economy?

 A.  Although the art of thrifting has been around for years, it is definitely in vogue . . . it is the new black. 

Q.  Why does it matter?

A.  There are several factors that make this frugal trend a hot topic:

  • The economy is in the dumper but people do not want to give up their lifestyles . . . and they don’t need to.  What they need to discover is a cheaper means to accomplish their goals, whether it is outfitting their families or decorating their homes.  
  • Women are hard-wired to nest, to create richly appointed, comfortable homes.  Fashioning a home is the primer creative outlet for most women. It started when hides, caves and timbers were crudely fashioned into habitats.  These abodes were adorned with drawings, beads, animal relics and other adornments.  
  • It is fun.  The thrill of the hunt is as alluring in the halls of thrift as it is in the fields of prey. 

 Q.  Do you consider the Art of Thrifting to be a business or hobby?

A. My fascination with garage sales, flea markets, antique and consignments shops started out as a hobby.  I was a single mom on a tight budget and was thrilled at the thought of decorating my home at little to no cost. It wasn’t until years later and the change in perception that I actually turned my passion into a coaching and speaking business with the launch of my book Tossed and Found.

 Q.  Was thrift hunting an accepted activity 30 year ago?

 A.  Absolutely not.  As a matter of fact I write about going to garage sales, incognito.  I used to carry a pair of sunglasses and a scrunchy hat in my car to use whenever I stopped at a yard sale or thrift shop.  At the time I was a fashion model and I was doing a lot of radio and television appearances.  Back then my Divaness had not yet fully blossomed and I would have sooner died than been spotted with my head in a dumpster or in the back of some grubby barn searching for my holy grail. 

Q.  What is the best find you ever found?

A.  I will share my most cherished possession because I feel that worth is not measured by the actual price that is paid, but the value that it holds for the huntress.    

In the infancy of my thrifting addiction, I stopped by a fairly seedy sale hesitating as to whether to even go in. I did a quick scope of the interior of the garage and made the decision to leave when I spotted a dust covered picture propped behind some old boxes.  Its back was facing me and I could only see the old and tattered frame.  Turning it around and wiping the dust off the glass I was enchanted by the yellowed but fetching picture. 

A turn of the century Diva peered out through her mask at a costume ball.  I knew that I had to have her.  Hesitantly I asked the proprietress of this fine establishment how much she wanted.  Her tired reply asked for a mere $5.00.  I knew that day, as I walked my treasure to the car, that I was hooked.  I am a thrift-a-holic. 

Q.  When and why did you begin writing?

A.  I have actually written for years, but I never brought any of my projects to fruition.  It wasn’t until I lost my corporate position several years ago that I had the unfettered opportunity to follow my dreams.  One day in had a serious talk with myself and threw the question out to the universe, “What course should I follow now?”  The answer came back like a bolt of lightning…”Write a book about your passion.”  Hence, the birth of Tossed and Found.    

Q.  Is there a bigger message beneath the clutter (so to speak) of Tossed and Found?

A.    Definitely.  I want to reach women and deliver this message:  No matter how humble your dreams, no matter what your circumstances, you can reach that goal.  You are powerful…own it.  You are creative…embrace it.  You are a Diva.

Q.  Are experiences based on the events in your own life?

A.  Absolutely.  I talk about the experiences I have had on the road, on television and radio, on the runway and in business.  I relate some of the amazing adventures I have had like having a gun pulled on us during a garage sale, finding true treasures for pennies, and decorating my home in thrift . . . at no cost. 

 Q.  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A.  Yes.  I am writing my second book entitled Tossed and Turned. Whereas Tossed and Found is about finding and buying secondhand treasures, Tossed and Turned is about decorating with frugal finds.  It shows, step by step how to turn a ‘noplace’ into a ‘showplace’ at little to no cost.

 

                                                                                    

 

Modeling Picture from the 80’s . . . Was I ever that skinny?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The emerging Diva

Cinderella, Your Dress is Calling!

January 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Fashion

For some of us, our insatiable Diva curiosities find us scrambling to get a peek at the gowns worn by celebrities during the awards season.

Barb modeling a thrift dress from the 70's (Modeling portfolio, 1980)

So, check this out. You can rent one for a night or even own a designer gown that was worn by a star on the red carpet.

Although those gorgeous frocks are usually rented by the stars and are extremely expensive, the designers often auction them off after they have been returned.

So if you’ve spied a dress you simply must have, like Taylor Swift’s 2009 Grammy Gown, then keep checking auction sites such as  www.clothesoffourback.org, www.donatemydress.org or www.celebrity2nds.com.   You may just be able to own that gown . . . albeit at a high price.  The good news is that all of your costs go to charity.

But as a frugal Diva I must issue a word of caution.  The auction prices are hefty and you may watch your favorite gown propel beyond your reach for ever more.

However, if the starting bid price of that coveted Vera Wang gown, which you would almost kill for, is off the charts, don’t lose heart.  That dress can be yours for an evening in a price range more favorable to your pocketbook.  Visit sites such as One Night Affair, Light in the Box, and My Celebrity Dress to find your favorite gown, stun your friends with your Diva fashion sense, and smile radiantly because you can still afford groceries the week after the party.

I Love Bargain Hunting at Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

January 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Decorating, Fashion, Garage Sales, Recycling

Below is an email that I received from a very excited client. We are working to transform her somewhat worn home into a chic and stylish habitat.

Just last garage sale season, Jo learned how to shop using a newly frugal but creative eye. She quickly learned to spot the potential treasures beneath the tarnish. Prepare Jo Garage Sale

After holding a garage sale of her own, we spent a few fun and productive weekends looking for bargain furnishings to replace the items we literally hauled out of her house and sold on the spot.   Remember the old addage; One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure? (Okay, so it is close enough.)

Jo was very hesitant at the beginning of our project.  She was skeptical of finding quality items at local thrift venues.  Now, she is an ardent believer and often ventures out on her own to find her bargains. She has learned that imagination and resourcefulness are key factors in finding the right deals.

Hi Barb,

I just made the best buy of the day… a love seat – FREE, courtesy of Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because the library is closing for good.

I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pull a love seat from the back room and pushed it onto the sale floor.

I was the first to look at it, then another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it.  Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales person let me have it. Can you believe that?

I felt like  I just gave myself a big ole’ Christmas present. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s beginning to feel more like home every time I add something.

Oh, and I picked up a fabulous lamp Goodwill for $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount!  Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.

I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to next garage sale season!  I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert!  This is fun and it is not costing me any more money because I am using the funds that I made when we held my garage sale.

Thank you so much . . . and, Happy New Year!
To your success,
Jo Guerra

www.YourMarketingGal.com
Denver Entrepreneurs LinkedIn Group

What is Divawear?

December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs, Fashion

What is Divawear?

Divawear is clothing that makes you feel wonderful, special.  It carries a certain flourish, a unique style. It is about combining styles and creating your own special image; a personal and unique signature.  Most people don’t think about the fact that they are, indeed, telegraphing to everyone they meet who they are and what they think of themselves.

And, Divawear is fun!  The great news for women is that we aren’t relegated to being monochromatic. We don’t have to dress in suits in varying shades black, grey or blue.  We are peacocks!  Celebrate it!  Live it!  Choose it!

I have been shopping with my girlfriends countless times.  Invariably they will pull something off a rack, hold it up, and with complete conviction say, “Barb, this is so you.”  What they are saying is that I have created my signature look, a style that represents me; my attitude and significance .

The gang - western party 117 copy (2)

My Michigan Divafriends are glorious. . . they are very Diva, and have the zest for life that is magnetic.

The night before my wedding we decked ourselves out in our best Diva westernwear.  Needless to say, they even outshined the bride.

This group of gals are spirited, talented and have hung together through twenty years of marriage, divorce, business startups and business failures…all of which cemented our friendships and fortified our personal mettle.

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And, Divawear doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  I was shopping at my favorite DAV store on a recent 99 cent day and ran across this fabulous 50’s coat.  I snatched that baby up in a hurry, and just in time for the holidays.  My husband took a picture of me before we went out.  Hmmm….so glam.

My personal dress message announces, “I am wonderful. Come hang with me. Get to know me.  I am fun. I am playful. I am successful. I am a Diva.

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