Could You Be More Extravagant...yup if you are a celeb !

Could You Be More Extravagant...yup if you are a celeb !

Names and Brands sell ! Watch the celebs making clothes and selling stuff. If you love them you will love some of the gorgeous lines of clothing they have.
Worth a look ! Look at Gwen Stefani. The singer has added timepieces to her popular L.A.M.B. clothing line. “It was time to do something a little more luxurious,” says Stefani. Like clockwork... she delivered a posh-yet-edgy collection. The black enamel bangle watch retails for $475.
Celebrity Clothing Lines
Will.i.amThough he’s known for being a member of hip hop group Black Eyed Peas, has a background in design: he actually attended FIDM. His collection of offbeat suits is just as unique as his music. Shop I.Am clothing.

Justin Timberlake
Timberlack enlisted the help of best friend Trace Alaya to start label William Rast. Named after the duos’ grandfathers’ names, William Rast includes vintage-inspired sportswear for both men and women.
Victoria Beckham (a.k.a Posh Spice)
Beckham started out by designing a small line of jeans with denim label Rock & Republic, then unveiled her full collection, called VB, for Harvey Nichols and Harrods. She will be designing a handbag collection for Samantha Thavasa.
Gwen Stefani
The No Doubt singer's clothing line, L.A.M.B. debuted in Spring 2004 with handbags and accessories. Her line now consists of clothes designed after the singer's personal style.

Mariah Carey
It's not surprising that this diva has started her own underwear line, Mariah Kiss Kiss, that is to debut later this year. Each item will be available for women of all sizes.

The House of Dereon, Beyonce's new line, will follow it's own trademark, "Couture. Kick. Soul" Her mother, Tina Knowles (who designs her red carpet attire) will help in the designing of this new line.
I love her new song - Irreplaceable

Boy George
Famous for his own fashion statements, Boy George former lead singer of Culture Club, launched his new fashion line, B-rude during New York Fashion Week.
Lenny Kravitz
Still in production, Kravitz has teamed up with former Gucci designer, Tom Ford, to design an upscale fashion line. The clothes are slated to only be sold at top boutiques in London.
With the help of denim label Rogan, U2's frontman has launched his stylishly-earthy clothing line, Edun . Each product is made completely of organic materials.
So go ahead and indulge in your own fashion sense !
Happy Holidays !

Shirley Fraiser is one of the Gift Basket industry's leading voices

Shirley Fraiser is one of the Gift Basket industry's leading voices. She is an author and Professional Speaker. She has written 2 wonderful books one is How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, Third Edition (Home-Based Business Series) , which I have used a lot when I started my busines a few years ago.

The other one is The Gift Basket Design Book: Everything You Need to Know to Create Beautiful, Professional-Looking Gift Baskets for All Occasions and has hundreds of detailed step-by-step photos that illustrate basket-building techniques. I liked that one too.

I have learnt a lot from her and even met her at Cherie Reagor's Gift Basket Convention a few years ago. I saw her on Flickr the other day. She is a smart lady and has a very pleasant personality.

Her new Solo Marketing website has a lot of tips for marketing your business.

The ABCs of Management Gift-Giving - staff gifts can help retain employees

This a real unique way to look at Gift Giving !

Read, Enjoy & Follow !


The holidays are here and you'd like to show your appreciation to your staff. But you can't spend a lot of money. What can you do? Choosing a gift can be a headache--and an opportunity. We believe there's a wide array of gift ideas that any manager in any department of any organization can use to send a special, and important, message.

First, ask what you want your gift to do. Encourage? Open up some opportunities? Just say thanks? Your gift can double as a personalized retention strategy aimed at those employees you truly want to keep on your team.

Here are two gift-giving rules to keep in mind:

Rule 1. If your employees expect it, it might not be viewed as a gift. You may think that the annual bonus (often given at this time of year) is ample reward and recognition for work well done. Your employees may see it differently. In many organizations, bonuses--and even such perks as cell phones and health-club memberships--are no longer seen as special by employees, particularly those who have come to expect them. If that's the case, you'll have to get creative to find rewards that work.

Rule 2. Gifts need to match employees' needs and wants. Yes, different strokes for different folks. Don't guess at what your employees want. Ask them. Usually their requests aren't too difficult to grant and almost always are less than what you might have imagined. Think about yourself. What could your boss do that would really show how much he or she values you? It may be a small thing after all.

The ABC gift catalogue

To spark your creative thinking, we've created a list of gifts based on our research on the reasons talented people stay in organizations. You can use these ideas or let them be catalysts for your own. But do remember to customize them to fit your employees. You can also use the list to create a gift menu or catalogue from which people can select the gifts they want.

Gift A: Private time with you. "A" for ask. An employee can select a lunch date and even the restaurant. It can be a time for you to get to know your staff better and tell them how important they are to you and the team. You might ask questions such as
* What can I do to keep you on my team?
* What part of your work do you find most enjoyable?
* What might make your work life easier?
* What can I do to be more supportive or help you be even more effective?

Gift B: Long-awaited request, done! Think hard about an employee who has asked you for something that you've put on your to-do list and there it sat. Stop passing the buck. Surprise that employee and just do it!

Gift C: Frank talk about the future. Offer to have a career conversation with an employee. Hold it in a quiet, private place--off-site if possible. Try any or all of the following questions to get the conversation started:
* What part of your current job do you enjoy doing the most? Least?
* Which one of your talents haven't I used yet?
* What different jobs do you see yourself doing in the future?

Gift D: Representing the company. "D" for dignity. Give employees the chance to attend an outside conference or seminar designed especially for their affinity group.

Gift E: Professional growth. Let employees choose from a list of potential projects, assignments, or tasks that could enrich their work.

Gift F: Recognizing family. Give employees a prepaid phone card (international for those with distant loved ones), or offer to have someone design a family Website and include a one-year subscription for email. Or give a free pass for X number of days or hours off to attend children's school programs or sports activities.

Or ask employees how they would like to honor family. An employee might want to bring a family member or pet to work one day, have a group work event that includes family, or invite you or have you invite his or her family to dinner.

Gift G: The next move. Offer to brainstorm alternative career possibilities, offsite if possible. Try to help the employee leverage options to reach his or her goals. Use the LEVERR framework: lateral, enrichment, vertical, exploratory, realignment (moving down to move into something else), or relocation (yes, ouch, but do talk about it).

Gift H: Interview participation. Let an employee participate in the hiring process for a new manager one level or more above.

Gift I: Professional interests. Give a free one-year subscription to an employee's favorite business magazine and have it sent to his or her home. Satisfy employees' need for information.

Gift J: Submit to pruning. This can be a tough gift to give. Nevertheless, ask the employee whom you never agree with, is least like you, to engage in some straight talk about how you might work together better. Yes, offer this to the employee who probably thinks you're a jerk. Listen carefully, and don't defend yourself. Then take a step towards changing at least one behavior.

Gift K: A unique perk for fun. Give an employee a "Kicks Coupon" that entitles him or her to spend up to X amount of money on a way to take a break or have some fun at work. It could involve the entire team. Or offer a menu of low cost possibilities and let employees choose.

For example,
* an afternoon off to see a movie
* ordered-in pizza and a rented video during lunch
* a golf coach to give a lesson.
Or is one of your staff a sports nut? An opera fan? A theater buff? Give tickets to see a favorite team, diva, or playwright. That's bound to rate higher than the holiday turkey and shows you care about employees as individuals.

Gift L: A priceless introduction. Ask the employee for the name of someone in the organization that he or she would like to meet, chat with, and learn more about. Provide an introduction, and encourage the employee to decide on, how he or she would like to spend the time. You not only show your appreciation, but you also create a link within the organization.

Gift M: A personal trainer session. Consider a gift certificate for an employee to have lunch with you or another mentor of his or her choice for the purpose of being coached.

Gift N: Three wishes. Think about a key employee that you don't want to lose. Run the numbers on the cost of replacing that employee. Now compute the cost of offering that employee some "stay here" incentives, other than money, and base the incentives on what you know about that person. Pick three incentives you'd be willing to offer and set a date to chat.

Gift O: A new door. Brainstorm an opportunity hit list with an employee about growing, learning, and stretching in some new way. Another opportunity could be seeing and learning about another part of the business. Prioritize the list and then open a door!
Gift P: Blending work and passion.

Have a "Passion Breakfast" for all employees, a team, or one-on-one. Ask, What do you love to do? At work? Outside of work? Brainstorm and commit to helping them build more of what they love into their workday.

Gift Q: An exception to the rules. Give a "Bend the Rules" pass that involves and encourages going against the status quo. Bend as much as you can when employees make their requests. Show you're willing to question rules.

Gift R: Genie in a bottle. Ask an employee to write down six ways he or she would like to be rewarded. Anything goes. The only rule is that half of the ideas have to be low cost or no cost.
Gift S: Feeling at home at work. Offer a shopping spree to a local office supply store for items to personalize one's space; no staplers or paper clips.

Gift T: Listening to the truth. Talk about gift giving. This one--the truth--is powerful. We know of one division head who gave each employee $50, said to choose a restaurant and take their managers out to lunch for some straight talk and honest feedback about performance and development needs.

Gift U: A chance to download. Give 12 coupons for listening time--one for each month, in which an employee can talk about anything for 20 minutes. Your job isn't to understand, just listen.

Gift V: Honoring values. Over a cappuccino, glass of wine, or cup of tea, try asking one of your employees any of these questions:
* What do you think makes a perfect day at work?

* Looking back, what has satisfied you the most?
* What does the word success mean to you?
Take notes, and read them back to the employee. What did you both learn about his or her values? How can you put that information to use?

Gift W: A day of health. Have a limousine pick up an employee for a full day at a spa. Give gift coupons for Tai Chi, yoga, or golf lessons. You get the idea. Encourage wellness.

Gift X: Playtime. Give a fun-loving Gen Xer or anyone a series of "Get out and Play" cards they can redeem at their discretion--to leave work early to go to a movie, shop, or play Frisbee.

Gift Y: The starring role, for once.
Give an employee the chance to lead a project you've been hoarding for yourself. (You know which one!) Offer the spotlight, yield, coach when necessary. What did you and the employee learn?

Gift Z: A promise to repeat the gift. If this kind of gift giving works, offer to do it again--before next December. Now you've reached the gift-giving zenith.

Doesn't it feel great when you give a gift that is right on target? You get a double reward: the return on your investment of time, energy, and (little) money is the promise of building a more productive and fulfilling workplace. And you do it while increasing your own team's commitment and loyalty (yes, employee loyalty does still exist).

Happy Holidays.

Written By Beverly L. Kaye

Beverly Kaye & Associates,

Sherman Oaks, California

Typing made easy for texting ! Smart Idea !

Yes, I hate to text, it just takes too long. I could be done with it and more with just a simple call. But there are times when I just want to send a message...ok sometimes a long one ! So Here is a neat idea....a roll out FABRIC KEY PAD with Bluetooth technology. It can be rolled up to take with you anywhere! It also opens up to a standard-size keyboard.

So you can hook it up to you PDA and go crazy typing away !

Ha ! What a neat idea !