After 47 years, Tres Mariposas to close

(By Nan Napier, Published in El Paso Inc., 10.23.2107)

They say that all good things must come to an end. Now Tres Mariposas, the store that has been such a part of my life and the lives of so many women here, is closing its doors after 47 years.

We are going out of business just one year shy of my own 40th anniversary at the store. But today’s dramatic changes in retailing, coupled with my desire to spend more time with my children, grandchildren and sisters, made this seem like a good time for a change.

It has been such a joy to be part of El Paso’s fashion scene and our local retail environment. Ever since I was a naive 24-year-old accounting graduate in 1978, I have enjoyed the chance to run a business built on customer service and quality. I loved seeing the company evolve, whether it was creating a Nicole Miller store inside Tres Mariposas in the 1990s or developing a fine jewelry department during this decade. We weren’t afraid of innovation in our business model, our floor plan or the designers we carried.

Having the privilege of helping women from El Paso, Juárez and throughout the region find their perfect outfits has been an honor. Special occasion dresses from Tres Mariposas have been part of so many weddings and other milestone family events. Presents from our store have made so many women happy – and that has made our staff happy beyond words.

Since we started our “everything must go” sale on Tuesday, hundreds of wonderful customers, both longtime and new, have come in to shop and talk about what the store has meant to them. For instance, it was great to hear longtime customer Sharon Kidd say that Tres Mariposas was “what kept us from having to shop out of town for so many years.”

It was good to see my friend Melissa O’Rourke drop by. She’s the owner of Charlotte’s Fine Furniture, another longtime store on Mesa Street that is closing. In August, Melissa launched their own final sale at the store that her mother founded 66 years ago. The times are changing, we all know.

Like our namesake butterfly, during the first three sale days, I felt like I was flitting between customers, clothing racks and cash registers – flying here and there just to try to keep up. Business owners who have closed companies probably understand the mix of emotions that come over you.

When I finally took a breath to look around, I thought about how great it was to see so many old and new friends in one place. I loved seeing friends visiting with one another. It was so exciting and rewarding to see that Tres served as their gathering place. Our vision has always included an environment where women – and the men who buy gifts for them – can enjoy relaxing and socializing, sometimes with a bottle of water, glass of wine, cookie or snack.

Even when shoppers came up to me to express their surprise and regret that Tres Mariposas was closing, their stories and their enthusiasm about the clothes and jewelry they’ve bought over the years were so gratifying. Of course, I know where some of that positive energy was coming from. There’s nothing like a good bargain to raise any woman’s spirit!DSC_0065

 

What to do about January: Stay home, stay warm

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The holidays are over. We are well into January, and it seems a lot of people are afflicted with the post-New Year doldrums. You know that January feeling: a bit dreary, cold, dark and sort of hung over from the December social swirl.

To get some advice on dealing with “the January Syndrome,” I did a little research. By far the best recommendation I found is to just eliminate January from the calendar, according to Eric Taylor, an editor at Papillon Times in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Of course, you can imagine what January must be like on the snowy plains of Nebraska. And we think we have it hard when the wind blows and a little frost appears on our windshields!

“Morale just seems to be near rock bottom in January,” Taylor says. “The stores aren’t busy because people are out of money and energy, I’m guessing workplace production isn’t on any record paces and people in general just seem to be to going through the motions, trying to make it through until better times await.”

It seems like every other month has something to offer in terms of a holiday or beautiful weather, but January brings nothing to the table. The best day of January is its first day, and then it’s all downhill from there.

Heck, they moved the Super Bowl to February. I guess the NFL realizes January is not a fun month. Even the pope isn’t coming to Juárez in January. He is waiting until February.

Granted, getting rid of an entire month is probably unrealistic. In lieu of that, I recommend you take charge of the remainder of January and make the best of it. Here are some tips for living it up this week.

• Have a small party at home. Who says you can’t have a party in January? Your friends are just waiting and wishing for a chance to get out and enjoy a little camaraderie. Don’t stress out over the menu. Pull out your easiest recipes.

If you need an idea, I recommend the tortilla soup mix from fourth-generation El Pasoan Anne Mitchell’s line of So El Paso products available at her Stanton Street store in Kern Place or online at www.soelpaso.com.

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Then wow your guests with an attention-grabbing winter drink that they won’t forget, like the El Paso Country Club Gully Washer. Randy Hambrick, the club aquatics director and sometimes bartender, gave me the recipe one evening. It’s delicious.

Tres Mariposas staff member Sarai Tave is ready to entertain at home in BCBG jumpsuit.

Tres Mariposas staff member Sarai Tave is ready to entertain at home in BCBG jumpsuit.

• Hit the stores for January sales. There is no better time to find a bargain. In France, they have huge January sales – some people plan their trips to Paris to coincide with the big discounts. But by the time you throw in airfare, upscale hotels and fancy meals, you’re not saving much!

Sale Shopper

Stay in El Paso and enjoy the chance to snap up two seasons at one time. Pick up wintry fashions for February and next year and also brighten your closet and look ahead with pretty spring styles. January is an excellent month for buying jewelry and accessories also. Retailers want to replenish their stock from the holidays and are ready to move out the merchandise with some tempting prices.

• Get comfy by the fireplace. The soft angora sweater or cozy wrap that you received for Christmas – or bought at a January sale – was made for evenings like this. Don’t just schlep around the house in your sweat pants. Why shelve your new shawl or stash your new cashmere? Enjoy your new clothes. Make being cozy at home a luxury experience.

Cuddle up with a new sweater or throw.

Cuddle up with a new sweater or throw.

Treat yourself in January. Before you know it, you’ll look forward to January, rather than dreading it!

The Mother of Invention: El Pasoan creates fashion line

We have all had the experience of wanting or needing something that seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world to find. We go looking. Nowhere to be found. And we say to ourselves, “I can’t believe no one’s making that. Crazy.”

Most of us let it go at that.

Amy Robison Graham, daughter of well-known El Paso business leaders and philanthropists Kirk and Judy Robison, didn’t let it go at that.

Designer: Amy Robison Graham

Designer: Amy Robison Graham

Amy is an energetic, vivacious, get-it-done kind of girl. After over 20 years in high-level sales and marketing roles for major corporations, this Dallas resident and mother of four decided to pursue her own business that reflects her love of fashion.

Amy told me that even though there are a million t-shirts out there on the market, she was frustrated at not being able to find the perfect t-shirt. All she wanted was a good quality t-shirt that was both flattering and comfortable. How hard could that be? When she checked around, she wasn’t the only woman with this frustration.

Left to right: Kirk Robison (Amy's Father), Amy Robison Graham,  John Graham (Amy's Husband)

Left to right: Kirk Robison (Amy’s Father), Amy Robison Graham, John Graham (Amy’s Husband)

Amy and Mother, Judy Robison

Amy and Mother, Judy Robison

So Amy started researching women’s clothing, fabric, fit and comfort, particularly with the ideal t-shirt in mind. Her work has paid off: this fall she launched a great line of t-shirts under the name of Southcott Threads, named in honor of her mother-in-law’s maiden name.

She didn’t just set out to make a great t-shirt for women just like her. After exhaustive research, Amy selected four fit models who had four distinct body shapes. She then experimented with the most flattering style for each shape. I love how she names the shapes with different cuts of diamonds: Emerald (slender and busty), Oval (curvy and voluptuous), Trillion (narrow shoulders and bigger booties), and Asscher (small frame and well-proportioned).

On Amy’s spring 2016 style sheet, you can tell which of the 16 t-shirt styles was designed for which body shape by the accompanying symbol for that type of diamond. For instance, an emerald appears next to a pretty v-neck and a sleeveless open neck tank and the triangular shaped diamond is next to an A-line scoop-neck. Sizes come in 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Finding the right fabric was critical. After much exploration she selected a fabric of environmentally friendly bamboo with cotton and a touch of spandex. The result is a line of luxury t-shirts that fit well, are comfortable, not clingy, not see-through, and made from great quality fabric. And the neutral colors – white, black, grey, navy, and tan – are just what we all need in our wardrobes.

What could be a better way to introduce a new line of t-shirts to El Paso than a t-party? Whether you remember Amy from her years growing up here or you have also longed for a t-shirt that looks good and fits well, stop by Tres Mariposas on Tuesday, November 10, between 10:00am and 5:00pm – and have a cup of tea at our t-party!

Westside stores and boutiques opening at The Fountains at Farah

Tres Mariposas at The Fountains

Today’s retail climate is exciting, fast-changing, energizing, and sometimes challenging. Part of the challenge is that shoppers have so many choices. They can shop online or shop when they travel out of town. They can shop at brick and mortar stores, where they can choose among big-box discount stores, national department stores, or stores that are locally owned.

I don’t have to tell you which choice your friendly El Paso retailers hope you pick!

To keep the customers coming in, experimentation has become the lifeblood of small business. People have often asked me how I learned the retail business because I certainly had no retail training or experience when I started running my own store more than 30 years ago. The answer: trial and error and experimentation. Try something new; see if it works. Repeat.

An experiment in the works

A couple of months ago, I brought in a new staff member – a savvy former Farah executive — to build on our success in women’s apparel, fine jewelry, and shoes. He suggested we open a “pop-up store” on the Eastside at The Fountains at Farah.

I told him that was a really dumb idea, and left it at that.

However, the notion wouldn’t leave the back of my mind. And other staff kept telling me they liked the idea.

As you may know “pop-up shops” are temporary retail spaces that began as a trend in urban settings such as Tokyo, London, and New York City. Pop-up stores can sell anything from art to fashion to tech gadgets. These short-term stores have generated a lot of excitement and can be really creative and engaging.

But I can be really stubborn. For the last two years I have told my friend John Folmer of RJL Real Estate Consultants in El Paso, the leasing agent for Paul Foster’s Fountains retail concept, there would be no way I would ever consider having a store at The Fountains.

In fact, my husband had already told John that if I ever tried to open a second store, we would probably no longer be married because I would end up too busy too stressed!

Well, guess what: Tres Mariposas is opening a pop-up store November 1 at The Fountains at Farah. And so far my marriage is intact!

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The Fountains welcomes locals

And guess what else: other Westside boutiques apparently like the idea, too. I hear that Ella Blu, J Luxe, and Ruby Lola have committed to temporary or permanent stores at The Fountains. You’re going to have an irresistible treasure trove of beautiful, interesting local shops all in one fun shopping center.

The Fountains has been unusual in its pursuit of local specialty shops to add spice to its mix. Why do you think that is? Three guesses!

Yes, the correct answer is owner Paul Foster, the community-minded Western Refining business leader who is behind the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Foster-Stevens Basketball Complex at UTEP, and the Chihuahuas baseball team partnership, to name a few of his projects.

From the outset, since even before the shopping center opened two years ago this month, Paul has pressed for local specialty store involvement and buy-in, to supplement the roster of national retailers. I now agree: what a great idea.

Soon Border-area shopping enthusiasts will have even more choices. So as the holiday season approaches, you can shop Westside stores, shop Eastside stores — just please remember to shop local stores!

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Celebrating 45 years of trends: Best of fall 2015

Fringe crossbody bag- - Photos by Eduardo MunozLast week, Tres Mariposas celebrated 45 years of fashion, friendship and fun with a Fashion’s Night Out fundraising party. We loved seeing old friends and making new ones. The guests enjoyed shopping – and we enjoyed sharing a portion of the proceeds for each purchase with the FEMAP Foundation for all the good works they do in our community on both sides of the border.

For the party, we wanted to tell this season’s style story with models wearing some of the top current trends. But first we wanted to focus on which trends seemed to be most appealing and most likely to stick around a while. Here’s what I would say are this fall’s best trends:

Ponchos with panache

Ponchos with panache

Ponchos, ruins and capes – all these wraps are practical and instantly impart a trendy, fashionable look. Variations are endless and perfect for any occasion – casual and sporty to throw over denim, detailed with fringe or fashion accents, fun furs for socializing or bold prints. Ponchos are easy layering, instant chic and great for any body type. Choose your favorite for mixing and matching with your essentials.

Leather, suede, fur

Fur VestReal or faux furs and leathers starred on almost every designer’s fall runway. You will see this trend in a statement piece, such as a knockout jacket, or a design detail on a handbag. These days, designers are mixing fabrics and leathers for interesting textural combinations in a lot of great pants, blouses and jackets. By the way, leather or “pleather” leggings are a must.

Fringe

Fringe crossbody bagFringeSwinging and swaying from every possible surface, tasseled trims offer an alternative route into this season’s retro mood. Women can’t get enough of fringe and tassels. This embellishment offers a great vibe – part hippie and part luxury – and adorns everything from handbags, shoes and boots to skirts, dresses, vests, you name it. Fringe communicates fun, channeling a rock star, the bohemian life, Vegas showgirls or Wild West chic.

The mini bag

Mimn bagGood things come in small packages. Vogue calls it the “mini-me movement.” Virtually everyone from Fendi to Tory Burch has this latest must-have. Micro purses are perfect for social occasions where you just need your phone, credit card and keys. No one needs to be a pack mule with a heavy oversized bag all the time. These bags are fun and flirty and downright adorable.

Boots

Over-the-knee boots, called OTKs, are making the ultimate style statement. Close on their heels are knee-high boots, booties, chunky rugged boots, platforms, and low-heeled flat boots and wedge styles. Some are downright works of art, with laser-cut patterns, fringe, delicate lace-up designs and feminine high heels.

In vest

Not the discreet underpinning of the past, the vest takes center stage for fall as the ideal piece in long and lean silhouettes. Call it a long vest, call it a gilet, call it a sleeveless jacket – whatever you call it, the menswear-inspired piece is the ideal item to add to your wardrobe for transitioning to fall. It will work well into the season, especially in that fickle early fall weather when it’s not quite hot, not quite sweater weather. It’s polished enough to take you into an important meeting at work and cool enough to wear over a summer dress for after-work cocktails.

Cross body bag

mini bag2Both chic and practical, long-strapped bags are making a major comeback this season. Not only is this style functional, theft-resistant and hands-free, it looks super chic slung across an equally stylish outfit. You’ll see a variety of bags worn across the body, including mini bags, satchels, messenger bags or the classic clutch.

What’s great about this fall’s trends is their versatility. These are styles that look good on any age and body type. Look for them on your next shopping trip and be ready to rock these new styles!

UTEP Football and Arkansas Family Roots

UTEP v. ArkansasI don’t tell just everyone that I grew up in Arkansas. After all, I am supposed to be a fashion icon, not a hillbilly with a country drawl and a hankering for moonshine!

Nevertheless, I was born in Arkansas, have lots of family history in Arkansas, and moved to El Paso when I was 12.

While I don’t remember my first Arkansas football game, I’m pretty sure my dad took me when I was just an infant. My dad, granddad, aunts, uncles and sister are all University of Arkansas graduates. I learned early to “call the hogs,” which is an obnoxious cheer for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Long story short, my hubby, Dr. Sam Paredes, is a big UTEP fan. He “claims” – although this may be a little self-serving – that he likes to choose a UTEP football opponent venue each year that will be a good place for me to visit.

This year he decided it would be good for me to connect with my Arkansas heritage, so we went to the season opener against the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville used to be a small college town. Now it is a key part of the Northwest Arkansas corridor, which includes Bentonville, Rogers and other towns. Northwest Arkansas doubled in population between the 1990 and 2010!

Growth has been driven by Fortune 500 corporations: Walmart Stores, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Tyson Foods, as well as over 1,300 suppliers and vendors drawn to the region by these giant businesses. The region has also seen significant investment in amenities, including the fantastic Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, built by Alice Walton, one of Sam Walton’s children.

Accompanying the UTEP football team to an out-of-town game is exciting. It is mind-boggling just how much preparation goes into each trip.

We know the coaches and players practice, strategize and work hard toward winning each game, but few people know just how much work it takes to plan transportation, lodging, meals, training facilities, medical support, media opportunities, equipment transport and more. Whew!

You’ll always see some die-hard UTEP football fans accompanying the team to away games. It is heart-warming to see the passion and dedication, no matter win or lose, of players, staff and fans.

It was so fun to see the police escorts meeting the team plane at the airport. We boarded team buses and we felt like big celebrities as police cleared traffic, red lights flashing, and led us to town!

After we arrived Friday afternoon, Sammy and I walked the campus. A University of Arkansas tradition is that every graduate’s name is etched into a concrete sidewalk that winds around campus.

I had fun finding the names of my grandfather and his sisters in front of Old Main in the graduating classes of 1917 to 1922. The next generation of family graduates came in the 1940s, and the most recent was in 1981. It was like a treasure hunt!

Who knows where we might watch UTEP in the future, but I loved this trip – even if our Miners didn’t win!

Designer Trina Turk: Cool and on Trend

Having a long relationship with a design house can pay off with extra benefits, like the surprise we received recently from Trina Turk, that iconic lifestyle brand that’s perfect for our region.
The designer’s collections have been successful at Tres Mariposas for many years and we were thrilled when they sent us a delightful bonus addition to regular shipment: a fun package of popular pieces from their pre-fall collection.

We’re holding a special two-week Trina Turk trunk show where you can buy these limited bonus items on the spot. Women love the fresh Trina Turk look, which celebrates cool and casual “California modernism,” as Trina calls it.
Founded in 1995 by Trina and her husband, Jonathan Skow, a stylist who became an expert photographer, the company has a consistent appeal that hasn’t changed in 20 years. Trina Turk’s success involves the best of classic American design, yet staying on trend.

I thought about why Trina Turk has been successful at Tres Mariposas for a sustained period of time, and here are a few reasons:

Trina Turk’s fuchsia lace skirt

Trina Turk’s fuchsia lace skirt

• Color. Trina Turk’s line consistently includes bright colors. El Paso women always want color. When we’re shopping the fashion markets, finding enough color is always a challenge and Trina Turk offers great options.

Zigzag print dress

Zigzag print dress

• Prints. Women in El Paso and Juárez seem to want clothing that is interesting, energizing and visually engaging. That means that many women find solid color apparel a bit lackluster. Vibrant patterns are part of Trina’s DNA.

Fuchsia romper

Fuchsia romper

• Youthful styling that fits. It’s easy to find youthful-looking apparel. But youthful-looking outfits that look good on a normal body? That’s another story. Trina gets it right. Her fit is relaxed and works for a women of a wide age range.

Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about Trina. I find it interesting that Trina’s mom taught her how to sew when she was 11. Her mother was a creative seamstress who showed her how to modify a pattern and make it her own style.
“In the old days of home sewing, you basically bought a pattern and made the style as it was pictured,” Trina recalls on her website. “But my mother showed me how you could change the style. That lit a light bulb in my head.” The idea led Trina to launch her namesake brand in her apartment’s spare bedroom in 1995.

Amazingly, Trina has been successful for 20 years – but she didn’t start off with a business plan or manufacturing experience. Sometimes it seems that so many young women – including every other job applicant who comes into Tres – aspire to be successful fashion designers. Most have no idea what it really takes.

“A challenge I faced was naiveté: not really knowing what I was getting myself into,” Trina Turk says. “I never did a business plan and had I done one, I would have scared myself out of starting, because the idea of starting an apparel company from the ground up is a daunting proposition. But I was on a mission to do it so I thought ‘I’ll just do this!’”

To help the Trina Turk look come alive for this column, Eduardo Munoz, who does our social media photography, did his magic. Eduardo has a “day job” at BMW of El Paso, but he’s also a very talented photographer. With the rise of social media, many retailers post to Facebook, Instagram and so forth. This has created a new cottage industry and given a platform to many amazing photographic artists. I am really appreciative of Eduardo’s talent.

The model, Keri Smithers, is another talented young person. Keri works almost behind the scenes as an assistant in the Tres Mariposas fine jewelry department. She has also been a great model for our social media photography, another new role prompted by digital marketing. She is slender, sweet, unpretentious – and an natural fashion model. If we take a photo of five models in the same outfit, photographs of Keri will invariably look the best. She is not a traditional “glamour girl,” but it’s as if she has a secret magic. I’m also really appreciative of Keri and her talent.

Here are some of Eduardo’s pictures of Keri in typical Trina Turk styles, including “the romper,” basically a jumpsuit that’s short instead of full-length, and lace that’s young and hip. As you know, prints have their own fashion cycles, and zigzags are in. These prints can be bold and bright – it just takes the right attitude to wear this on-trend look!

Fashion, Engery, Success: El Pasoan Keeli Jernigan

Keeli JerniganMany of you know El Pasoan Keeli Jernigan, president and CEO of global logistics company Trans-Expedite.

Keeli is remarkable, and I don’t use that word lightly. She is a bundle of positive energy! I see her as super intelligent and efficient, with a great get-it-done attitude.

I have noticed that the very most successful people I’ve ever met have two things in common: They respond with a “yes” to almost any idea or project and they are givers.

Keeli says yes first and figures out how later. She is a busy, busy person who finds creative ways to give to the community.

And by the way, this amazing woman is also beautiful and oh, so fashionable!

Left to Right: Brandi Brown, Mark and Keeli Jernigan

Left to Right: Brandi Brown, Mark and Keeli Jernigan

At Tres Mariposas we had a lot of fun with Keeli recently, thanks to an exciting challenge she gave us. Here’s the back story:

Experienced in the freight transportation industry, Keeli and her husband Mark founded Trans-Expedite in 2001. Trans-Expedite, now having grown to over $60 million in annual revenue, is a single-source logistics solution that helps companies of every description protect their assets, reduce operational costs and solve strategic supply-chain problems with customized services.

This includes warehousing, inventory management, domestic and international distribution, customs brokerage, white glove services and trade show services.

Under Jernigan’s leadership, Trans-Expedite became the first indirect air carrier in the El Paso market to meet congressionally mandated screening measures and qualify as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility.Local and national level leadership and involvement are Keeli’s style. Her company has been recognized by the Women Presidents’ Organization as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Women-Led Businesses in North America five times in the last eight years.

In 2013, she was recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a “WBE Star.” So it is not surprising that she has been a strong force in Women’s Business Enterprise or that Trans-Expedite was a major sponsor of the council’s recent national conference and business fair in Austin.

Keeli at WBENC Gala

Keeli at WBENC Gala

As an integral part of this conference, Keeli knew she would frequently be on stage at the June 23-25 event. She introduced key speakers and took part in a variety of seminars, forums, evening events and a tribute dinner and awards ceremony.

Keeli wanted to look great while in the public eye. As she has done before, Keeli challenged us to the fun of helping her prepare nearly a week-long wardrobe.

This is a fashion retailer’s dream come true: a gorgeous woman who looks great in any and everything! Keeli needed to look professional, yet never boring. Oh, and one more thing to add to the wardrobe planning: Keeli would be wearing custom cowboy boots each day for the Texas-themed conference!

We made it a team effort to suggest amazing travel-friendly pieces for Keeli’s trip. Her style leans toward jewel tones, solid colors, femininity and body-conscious yet still professional looks, so we had a direction to go in.

Go-to designers are Herve Leger, famous for body sculpting dresses, and La Petite Robe, a Milan designer who uses a proprietary innovative, eco-friendly stretch fabric.

Left to Right: Ceci Mulvihill, Keeli Jernigan, Brandi Brown

Left to Right: Ceci Mulvihill, Keeli Jernigan, Brandi Brown

As you can see from the photos, Keeli looked amazing. El Pasoans Ceci Mulvihill and Brandi Brown of RMPersonnel also participated in the conference. Thanks to Brandi for serving as photographer. We are so proud of all of El Paso’s dedicated women leaders and are so glad to see their work recognized beyond our community

Clothing for a Cause and the YWCA’s 22nd Annual Luncheon

It’s hard to believe how the annual YWCA fundraising luncheon, one of the most successful benefit events on the border, has grown since 1994. This special event on each spring’s social calendar is 22 years old this year!

Tres Mariposas has long been a supporter of the YWCA and particularly a donor to the organization’s Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center for homeless women and their children.

In addition to collecting gently used clothing for women to wear to the workplace, we often take on a specific challenge. For every piece of clothing we receive, we donate $1 to the center toward our goal.

In 2011, we raised enough money for the center to purchase a new water heater; in 2013, the funds went toward a significant upgrade in the center’s security system; and last year, we helped the center purchase activity uniforms for all the children taking part in Scouts, sports and other after-school groups requiring uniforms.

This year we have a whole wish list from the center and we’re striving to collect 1,000 items of clothing to donate and match with $1 per item to go toward easels, paint, brushes for art therapy for adults and children; exercise videos; transportation and registration fees for kids to take part in outside activities; and much more.

Our goal is to collect your gently used clothing and accessories over the next few weeks and then donate a check from Tres Mariposas for $1,000 before the luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at Abraham Chavez Theatre.

The speaker promises to be another excellent choice, especially for our area. Amanda Wirtz, who served in the U.S. Navy in Iraq and Yugoslavia, is a former Ms. Veteran America and a passionate public health advocate. Currently she is partnering with Final Salute, Inc., an organization working on behalf of the more than 55,000 homeless female veterans and their children – sadly, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States.

If you’re thinking this to yourself – it’s such a hassle to go through my clothes and see what I can part with – I know you can do it. We all have items we never wear any more and it always feels good to clean out your closet and at the same time, give clothes away to someone who has not had the good fortune that we’ve enjoyed. Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:

• If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Also, if it doesn’t fit you well, it is time for it to go. Instead of hanging on to your “skinny jeans” until you lose a few pounds, donate them.

• Try organizing your closet by color and hang similar types of clothing together, such as skirts, pants, jackets and blouses in those color groups. If you find you have, for instance, five navy blue tops and you really only prefer two of them, you will see quickly where you have duplication.

• You need to switch out your winter clothes for your spring and summer clothes anyway, so this is the perfect time to sort and scout out for clothing to donate. Even if your closet is huge enough to accommodate four seasons, it’s good to revisit and rearrange to put aside the wools and heavy fabrics and move into the cottons and silks.

While you organize and summerize your closet, think about what you can donate. Tres Mariposas, located at 5857 N. Mesa, is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day but Sunday. And buy your tickets now for the April 23 YWCA Luncheon. Visit www.ywcaelpaso.org. See you there!

TMClothingforaCause

Holiday Chic

Tres Mariposas hosted a Pro Musica holiday event Wednesday evening.  Gorgeous models gave the event plenty of glamour.  Holiday parties range from casual open houses to black tie events.  Don’t let your guard down!  Be good to yourself.  Go the extra mile in hair, makeup, and special attire to honor the season, your hosts and the event.  Make your “casual” luxurious, fashionable and 2014.

Fur vests are a fabulous way to create a luxe casual look.

Fur vests are a fabulous way to create a luxe casual look.

Update your cozy cashmere sweater wardrobe to include asymmetrical tunics that are nothing like those old classics you’ve got stashed away from years past.

Update your cozy cashmere sweater wardrobe to include asymmetrical tunics that are nothing like those old classics you’ve got stashed away from years past.

Red never fails to bring a festive feeling.  But go with something new and different such as this asymmetrical blazer of finely knitted in sonar wool.

Red never fails to bring a festive feeling. But go with something new and different such as this asymmetrical blazer of finely knitted in sonar wool.

Your wrap is a statement.  Make it a strong one.  Nothing is better than a fabulous cashmere cape with fox trim.

Your wrap is a statement. Make it a strong one. Nothing is better than a fabulous cashmere cape with fox trim.

Be the most stylish thing next to the Christmas tree with leather skinny pants, uber-cool boots and a silk bomber jacket.

Be the most stylish thing next to the Christmas tree with leather skinny pants, uber-cool boots and a silk bomber jacket.