Almost 200 friends and fans showed up on a rainy night at "Second Time Around", 823 W. Armitage, to congratulate Bravo's New York Housewife, Alex McCord, on her first venture into Chicago. The Moet Champagne flowed as the store filled with guests.....finally, the clouds broke and everyone spilled out onto the street. It was a happy mix of people with many finding some great buys at this upscale consignment store. Toni Canada found a hot pair of hiking/biker boots for her sister, Celeb TV and event co-host, Kelli Zink, was disappointed the Brian Atwood patent heels didn't fit and Rikki Ragland-Marver found a turquoise dress that we both had our hands on.... it was too small for me anyway. All in all, there was something for everyone.
The owners, Susan and Jeff Casler, were very pleased to be in Chicago and were already scouting more locations in Evanston. The concept started in Boston and now they have 19 stores, with this one being their first outside of the east coast. I asked Susan Casler how she came to use Alex as her spokesperson and her answer was surprising and a sign of the times. "I found her on Facebook", said Susan. "She had just been let go from her job at Victoria's Secret and I had been following her on the show. She won me over." After Susan saw a scene of Alex's closet on the show, she thought this woman needs to get to a consignment store! Alex also gave me some advice as a housewife wannabe, "Be as authentic as you can. That's what the audience relates to. Be prepared to give up control. And you also can't worry about what anyone thinks of you. They splice lines together that don't necessarily mean what you say. Sometimes you get a good 'cut' and sometimes you get a bad 'cut." I told her yeah but the money must make it all worthwhile, right? She said, "The money isn't as much as people think." I'd still be willing to give it a try!
A unique aspect of this consignment store is the fact that you can have your proceeds donated to your favorite charity. There is also a tracking system that alerts the consignor when your item sells. Co-hosts for the event were Celeb TV's Kelli Zink, Ryan Preuett and moi! Event sponsors were Michigan Avenue Magazine, Moet Champagne and Belvedere Black Raspberry. The Entertaining Company provided tasty hors d'oeuvres and the cameras were rolling: Lee Ann Trotter brought her NBC 5 camera, Catie Keough interviewed for 24/7 and Kelli Zink was there from Celeb TV.
The guest list included Heather Farley, 24/7 producer Jeff Conway, Scott Mclellan, Robbie Martin, Toni Canada, Bonnie and Chuck Gross, Kimberly Gleeson, Steve Stryker, Estrella Rosenberg, Sandy Stephen, Jaremy Lewno, Hadley Eblen, Christa Opsal, Rikki-Ragland Marver (who had done a slew of recent interviews since she had worked for the late Ted Kennedy), Cammie Bridges, Michelle Barone, Brenda Swauger, Patrick Plante, Chareen Goodman, Howie Green, Dina Lisser-Nanberg, Brenda Arelano, Frank Krug, Kim Pfeiffer, Jessica Zweig, Nico Rodriguez, Freida Lee Gaye, Lynne Bredfeldt, Rhonda Sanderson, Samantha Amato, Mich Mag's Dan Uslan, Marybeth Brandabur, CFO Howie Green, D.C. Crenshaw and Sandy Caspariello among others. Welcome to Chicago "Second Time Around!" J
24/7, @frontdoor, Alex McCord, Belvedere Black Raspberry, Bravo's NY Housewives, Catie Keogh, Celeb TV, consignment stores, Dan Uslan, Entertaining Company, Fashion, Jeff Casler, Jeff Conway, Kelli Zink. Ryan Preuett, Lee Ann Trotter, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Moet champagne, NBC, Second Time Around, Susan Casler