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Fashanthropists: Tess Loo


Posted by Tyler Butler of "Giving in Style"

Posted originally on Giving in Style's blog. Tyler Butler's Giving in Style showcases the convergence of fashion and philanthropy.

Tess Loo is the infectious creative force behind the My Sister's Closet (MSC) brand. Her sunny disposition and focus on positivity are evident in her work and in the way in which she herself dresses. At her core she is an artist and she expresses herself through many different mediums. Tess has taken the MSC brand and elevated its cool quotient through her visual window displays, imaginative fashion shows and her undeniable eye for exceptional finds at unheard of prices. She sets trends rather than following them. And her influence extends well beyond the MSC stores and advances the visibility and sophistication of many important causes. Tess's personal brand is based on the concept of love and sharing and she is often compared to being a ray of sunshine in what can be an otherwise cloudy world. Plus, MSC is the official fashion partner for Giving In Style - keeping fresh, current, designer looks popping up at every special occasion thanks to their many boutique locations. Learn more about Tess Loo...


How do you describe what you do:

I describe myself and what I do in several different ways, first as a designer. The definition I like for designer describes what I do on a daily basis. If I am given a problem the needs to be solved, I design a solution. I am also a designer in a different way. I design, create and execute store visuals 7-8 times per year for our stores in Arizona and California. My visuals are creative, bright and fashion forward capturing the latest trends, colors and styles. My designs feature styles and fashion I create such as my Have a Very Gucci Holiday displays, where I crafted Gucci-esque fashions for our 43 mannequins.

Multi-media artist. At our stores we consign fashion for women and men and home. There are times I have the opportunity to work with local TV stations to talk about these topics. I will do segments on what to wear to an event. I just did a segment on what to wear to Barrett Jackson. We also completely change The Closet and Well Suited inventory, twice a year and I do segments discussing our amazing deals and steals and what to look to wear for the upcoming season. I have spent time talking about home décor and offering creative ideas for gift-wrap and DIY projects. My former home in PV has been featured on Cool Homes and the AZ Republic. Decorating my living space is something I have always enjoyed doing. In my early 30's when I lived in Colorado I was featured in Better Homes and Gardens living in zany loft I painted from floor to ceiling. As a multi-media artist I also used to write a column for So Scottsdale called "What the Frock". Today I write a newsletter for MSC. Personally I write a blog where I express life.

Fashion Stylist?. Naturally I talk, breathe and live fashion. I was born with a handbag on my tiny arm and fashion is something that I naturally love. How we dress is a way of expression. It is a sign of self-respect to put our best foot forward always. At our stores I help clients select the best looks for their lifestyle, I have dressed local TV and radio personalities and I will assist anyone that asks for advice on what or what not to wear. We have done social media contests where the winner gets to send an afternoon with me selecting new looks. This is my favorite thing to do. Helping a person find their inner-beauty and express externally it with their clothing.

What is the mission for your giving:

Giving back to my community through my creativity and fashion is something I have always done and believed in. In my past in Colorado I owned a high-end women's boutique called LuLu and I gave back to various organizations in my hometown. On many occasions I was producing fashion events that always involved a non-profit. I supported The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center and my ex-husband and I created a fundraiser for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo that is still profitable today.

How do you give back to society through your business:

At My Sister's closet we give back to society in so many ways. First of all we are recycling quality products to extend their life. In our society of instant gratification and mass-produced low quality clothing, it's key to buy and recycle quality wearables with hopes of less waste heaping up our massive waste landfills. A beautiful designer handbag has decades of life being passed from one fashionista to another.

In 2017 we started a campaign to end the use of single use plastic. We installed water vessel refilling stations in our stores and eliminated our use of plastic shopping bags. We are amping up this campaign and doing our best to stop the use of single use plastic before the plastic waste takes over the oceans and landfills.

My sisters donates hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to a handful of charitable causes. Ann and I have co-chaired several large galas in the valley that have raised close to a million dollars each. We have chaired the Fresh Start Women's Organization Gala, The Phoenix Art Museum party, (WARHOL) and now Compassion with Fashion 2018. We have also produced the fashion show for AHS for 4 years and I have headed up the décor committee for Compassion with Fashion in 2012. As an extreme creative I always go into these projects with a mission to do my absolute best to make each event unique. For Fresh Start, I used the working name The Best Gala Ever and changed the energy of the event. For the PAM we had the party in the parking lot and created a warehouse environment complete with go-go dancers and a graffiti'd storage container entrance.

Charity or Charities of choice:

My charities of choice are The Arizona Humane Society, of course and The Fresh Start Women's Organization. Both have a very special place in my heart. I believe in helping those without a voice.

Why have you supported these causes:

I support the AHS because I was raised with Ann as my sister. She taught me the beauty in helping a homeless animal in need. Ann and I have traveled many places together and where ever we have been in the world she is always rescuing an animal. How could I not help her and them? Our pets give us so much love. The least we can do is keep them safe and healthy.

Fresh Start Women's Organization holds a very special place in my heart. When Ann and I chaired their gala I photographed over 100 women walking through the doors at FS. I met them, hugged them, listened to their stories and cried with them. I understand because I too have been them. I know what abuse feels like. I am a survivor. We need a big voice against emotional, verbal and physical abuse. I am a big cheerleader for women that have the courage to ask for help and are brave to start fresh through all adversities.

Favorite business based on their giving efforts and why:

I like fashionable companies that give back. I am a big fan of H and M, Madewell, Lorna Jane and others that recycle the clothes you bring back to them. There's so much waste in the world. I believe in recycling as a form of giving back to Mother Earth. H and M also gave school supplies to refugees this holiday season. Pura Vida gives artisans full time jobs and gives back to over 190 charities.

Who influenced your spirit of giving and how:

My spirit of giving has been influenced by several people in my life. Growing up and as a young woman, I was associated with families of philanthropy and I learned why and how to give back. I am an empath so I naturally can feel compassion for others and always want to help. To me giving back is natural. As I mentioned above Ann has influenced my love for animals and nature. These days as a single woman with a daughter at University, I cannot write a large check but I can be there with my creativity to give what I can. We all can give back and help others.....

How do you believe fashion can aid philanthropy:

Fashion is a way of communicating and carrying a message. At this year's Golden Globes all the actress's wore black and both men and women had lapel pins with the Times Up message. A popular trend for the past few years that is gaining momentum is "sloganeering", the trend of wearing your message on a tee, handbag, belt straps, etc. Dior, Gucci and other popular fashion houses have been doing this for years. It's really just a sophisticated version of the message tee of the past. We can dress our bodies to communicate a stand we are taking for or against a cause. H and M, Madewell and other companies have their recycling programs where you bring in old clothes and they recycle them to new denims, blouses and more. And of course there is the fashion show that always brings in a crowd and can raise money for philanthropy.

What is your biggest philanthropic accomplishment:

True philanthropy requires creativity, a positive mindset and is no longer about writing a $10,000 check. There was a time in my life my ex-husband could write a very large check, I could have made a decision to sit back and do nothing but let him give money. I never did that. I always said I would give back just as much if not more by using my creativity. I designed logos, invitations, ballrooms, table décor and any element that needed to be created. I knew that if an event had a strong visual appeal it would bring in more guests and more money. I give back to our community and to the world any way I'm able. To me the meaning of life and love is giving and receiving and it is through the helping of others we heal ourselves. My biggest philanthropic accomplishment is yet to be achieved. I hope to help women that have lost their voice by sharing my voice and story?stay tuned. I do think this is the year of the woman.

Favorite philanthropic quote:

"To move forward one must give back." - Oprah Winfrey




Spring Unveiling with My Sister's Closet


Posted by Guest Blogger Mandy Holmes

It's almost Spring time which is totally bizarre since let's be honest, my Christmas tree is still up, but with temperatures in the high 70's and sunshine everyday I'm not complaining. With the gorgeous weather comes gorgeous clothing so I've teamed up with my friends at My Sisters Closet (pretty much the only place I shop for clothing!) to share a few of my favorite colorful outfits for Spring.


Dolace & Gabbana Floral pencil skirt $99.95
Ted Baker Scarf $34.9
Equipment blouse- $59.95
Jo Jo Cat purple butterfly pumps $14.95




Kate Spade blue cuff- $24.95
Kate Spade Gold white bangle- $19.95
Kate Spade red white script cuff - $15
J Crew Orange bangle- $14.95
Jay Godfrey Red dress- $79.95
Cameo Pearl Pumps $12.50




Jo Jo Cat purple butterfly pumps $14.95
Laundry Shelli Segal Dress $24.95
J Crew shocking pink necklace $14.95
Kate Spade purple necklace $14.95




Rainbow cat butterfly shoes yellow $14.95
Sportmax Skirt- $49.95
Frame Striped blouse- $39.95



Moschino Cheap & Chic Floral Skirt $59.95
Moschino Cheap & Chic Floral Jacket $69.95
Foree Multi strand pearl necklace $145



Jamaro Maxi dress $14.95
Blue Wing Heels $12.50



The Real Housewife of Scottsdale Mandy Holmes Shops MSC For The Holidays


Posted by Guest Blogger Mandy Holmes

Fall is my very favorite time to get dressed, as it allows for everything I love: texture, prints, pops of color, and layers. This season I've teamed up with my favorite consignment boutique in town, My Sister's Closet to share a few of my favorite holiday finds.

Starting with this whimsical dress from Diesel ($34.95) - it is truly a showstopper! The material moves with every step you take and with the cut and neckline details, doesn't require many accessories. I love the mint green hue and forgiving shape (since we all know I LOVE holiday cookies) and the leather snap neck embellishment adds a bit of an edge. Think nice list meets naughty list. I paired this dress with a crystal bracelet ($39.95) in the fine jewelry section of My Sisters Closet.


Adding a pop of color is always a good idea, especially red during the holidays. I adore these wide leg red pants by Leifsdottir ($24.95) with a patterned top like this Joie brand houndstooth ($34.95) blouse. These pants still had the original tag attached and retailed for over $125! A bargain and style? Can't beat that! With the help of Maggie at My Sisters Closet, we paired a just-the-right-size cross body Marc Jacobs metallic blue bag ($89.95) to complete the look.


With the AZ temperatures dipping into the 50's at night, I was on a mission for a stylish but functional jacket and the fact that velvet is HOT this season, the gals at My Sisters Closet and I thought this was the perfect combo. The faux fur coat from Betsy Johnson ($29.95) and cocoa colored velvet dress from Rachel Roy ($24.95) combine to create the coziest look that with a shoe and jewelry change is versatile enough for the office or that after work holiday get together. In this case, the necklace adds just the right pop of sparkle.



Speaking of mixing textures, I will thrilled to find this sparkly little number from Dress the Population (on sale for $19) and combine it with a leather biker jacket ($55) to create a little rockstar vibe. If you're looking for a New Years option, this could be it. Rock and roll meets glam if you ask me.


One of my favorite parts of shopping at My Sister's Closet is when you find an expected piece that feels like it was designed just for you and the cost is less than your morning Starbucks. That's exactly what happened when I picked up this Michael Kors fur lined sweater poncho ($12.50). Not only did it fit like a glove, the price was incredible. Full disclosure, I purchased this sweater right away but they have others very similar you can get your hands on! It looks adorable with a pair of comfy boyfriend jeans like these by Vince ($49.95)


The key to dressing for an Arizona winter is layering. Not only is this grey sweater dress from James Perse ($24.95) SO comfortable, it's the perfect piece to pile on a print jacket or vest like this one by Angel of the North ($14.95) and a cute bag like this versatile black and white satchel from Marc Jacobs ($245.00)



If this next outfit doesn't scream "holidays" I don't know what does. The sangria hued cozy wool blend coat ($395.00) puts the "burrrrr" in Burberry and is the perfect outerwear option for days the temps dip below 70. I paired it over a Haute Hippie forest green dress ($35.00) for an unexpected play on traditional Christmas colors. The green accent ring ($14.95) is all this outfit needs!


Mixing patterns and prints is something I love to do but I get it, it can be totally scary! My rule for mixing is go with what feels comfortable, it doesn't have to match but it will definitely make sense. I try to stick with 2 patterns and a few textures if I'm feeling extra wild. Speaking of wild, these cheetah print pants ($24.00) and the textured Tory Burch ruffle ivory top ($39.95) are the ideal match for a cropped jacket such as this one with gold thread details from Amanda Uprichard ($24.00).


I hope you have a fun and fashionable holiday season- Be sure to make it a December to remember by stopping my the My Sister's Closet location nearest to you!


Visit Mandy's blog for more here: therealhousewifeofscottsdale.com



California Stores Donated 1.5 Million Dollars in Clothing Donations to Rancho Coastal Humane Society


Posted by My Sister's Closet

RCHS

Dear Ann,

There's no way that we can express in a letter how much My Sister's Closet and Well Suited have done to help support Rancho Coastal Humane Society's programs for people and animals. 

Over the past six years, clothing donations to us from My Sister's Closet and Well Suited exceed $1.5 million and provided more than $600,000 in revenue to the shelter through our thrift shop. 

Thanks to My Sister's Closet and Well Suited, the animals in Rancho Coastal Humane Society's pet adoption program receive the best care possible. Children are learning lessons in humanity. Senior citizens and their pets stay together because of the food they receive from the RCHS Pet Food Bank. Pet Assisted Therapy dogs visit extended care facilities and struggling students with the gift of "fur therapy." Victims of domestic violence are able to escape with their lives thanks to the safety net of the RCHS Animal Safehouse Program.

All of this thanks to the generosity of My Sister's Closet and Well Suited. 

For those who have no voice, Thank You!

 

Jim Silveira, President/CEO

 



My Sister's Closet Holiday Style: The Traveling Little Black Dress


Posted by My Sister's Closet

This holiday season My Sister's Closet is showing how everyone's holiday staple - the LBD (Little Black Dress), can take you from a trip to the grocery store to a fabulous holiday party. It's one dress, five ways - the perfect way to be ready for any occasion this busy holiday season. This Blaque Label black dress, only $34.95 at My Sister's Closet, will take you anywhere.

Running Around Town

With the holiday season comes tons of shopping - from picking up groceries for a delicious meal to buying presents for your family, and of course stopping by My Sister's Closet for some amazing designer fashion finds.

Style it with an adorable knit sweater, like this Yaya Aflalo sweater for only $14.95, to stay warm in the mornings. Pair it with these comfortable Yohji Yamamoto red shoes for $195.00 (retailed for $400) that won't slow down a woman on the run and this STM cross body bag for $14.95 to hold all of your shopping lists and daily necessities.

Working Through the Day

For a busy career woman, this take on the LBD is great for the office or even if your job takes you away from your desk. In the mad rush to tie up loose ends before the end of the year and of course the excitement of time off for the holidays, this outfit is perfect for any woman on the go.

Layer a collared blouse, like this white Elizabeth and James top for $44.95, under your classic LBD to give it a more structured feel. Top it with a whimsical tie, like this Penguin tie for $14.95, to show off some personality and throw on a cute jacket, like this one from Babette for $99.95 (retailed for $495), to take off the chill from the winter weather. And for accessories? These Gucci black shoes for $145.00 (retailed for $550) keep the outfit comfortable, but classic. And off-set this classic look with a bright statement bag, like this Reed Krakoff handbag for $795.00 (retailed for $1,700).

Racing to the Holidays

Have Thanksgiving dinner with your family? Brunch on Christmas morning? A holiday get-together with friends? Holiday celebrations always provide a great reason to dress-up and show off your style.

Pull in the traditional holiday red to spice up an outfit that can easily take you from picking up a list minute gift to racing straight to a family gathering.

This great Moschino plaid jacket, only $44.95, is a great addition to your LBD and instantly makes the outfit perfect for the holidays, and show off your waist by adding a cute belt, like this Moschino one for $34.95.

Finish off the look with this beautiful red and black Love Moschino handbag for $99.95 (retailed for $1,000) and these Miu Miu pumps for $79.95 (retailed for $750).

Meeting Up with the Girls

Thanks to Arizona's warmer winter weather going sleeveless for the holidays isn't out of the question. For a night out with your girls keep it chic and monochromatic.

A great way to dress for fall in Arizona, this sleeveless turtleneck top by Malo for $44.95 adds a wintery edge to your LBD. Nip in your waist and accessorize all at the same time with this Ralph Lauren belt for $17.50. Add this beautiful Daniele Alessandrini handbag for $49.95 and Jeffrey Campbell booties for $39.95 to finish the look.

Don't forget the jewelry! Put on a cute cuff and a bowtie, like the ones pictured for only $14.95 and $12.50 to be the envy of all of your friends at happy hour.

Party Time

Office parties, Christmas gatherings, New Year's - tis the season for parties!

Let the jewelry do the taking with this party look. Dress up your LBD with a statement necklace like these BeBe strands of pearls for $44.95 and add a fun cocktail ring like this one by KJL for $59.95.

Bring a small bag that holds only the essentials - lipstick, wallet and keys, like this one by Beverly Feldman for $34.95 and slip into a pair of strappy, patent shoes like these Ralph Lauren heels for $125.00.

Shop all of these looks and more at My Sister's Closet. It's the perfect place to find gifts for friends and loved ones with something for everyone at My Sister's Closet, Well Suited and My Sister's Attic. Don't forget to pick up a few things for yourself too!



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