Thursday, April 17, 2014
Well, it’s Friday, and there are lots of opportunities for shopping. Here are a few to check out: Tonight is First Fridays. And, along with art, there are special shopping happenings. Starting this month, Urban Dwellers is hosting a First Friday event from 5 to 7 p.m. There’ll be snacks and wine while you shop, plus shoppers will get a special coupon.

Also tonight, Clementine and Ashby are hosting a First Fridays pop-up from 6 to 9 p.m. at 16 W. Broad St. (next door to Max’s). There’ll be clothing and accessories for men and women, plus locally made jewelry.

In Carytown, Need Supply Co. is hosting the latest in its "Meet the Maker" series with designer Clare Vivier, who will be in the store from 7 to 9 p.m. Stop by to meet her, check out an exclusive Need x Clare Vivier clutch, and sample some customer cocktails provided by Saison.

Tomorrow is the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing at Hardywood. Shop more than 50 crafters, both from Richmond and across the nation, while you sip a beer — this means you can probably even drag your husband or boyfriend along.

Also tomorrow, the shops near Acacia Midtown are having a Midtown Sidewalk Sale. Acacia will have some glassware and such for sale, along with a wine tasting from noon to 1 p.m. and crab cake sandwiches to-go from 11:30 to 1 (or until they sell out). Neghbors Bohland and Graham, The Clothes Rack, Re-Cycles and U-Fab will also be participating.

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Gandzee offers seasonal collections for boys and girls.
Like many busy moms, Jen Nomberg struggled with finding the perfect wardrobe for her two kids. For a few years, a cousin gave her bins of hand-me-down clothes that were color-coordinated and seasonal, but eventually that stopped. “I was always trying to get my kids ready for the upcoming seasons, and I just didn’t have the right pieces and parts,” she says.

She figured other moms probably had similar problems, and started Gandzee about a year ago. Nomberg now goes to markets and selects collections for boys and girls for each season. The collections of eight, six or four pieces are chosen from a variety of clothing lines to mix, match and coordinate without any hassle (pieces can also be purchased separately). “The looks go from top-to-bottom and are meant to be interchanged,” she says. “Kids are like little adults — they like to feel unique and express themselves.” The clothes Nomberg selects are also play-proof. In order to make it into a collection, a piece of clothing must be stylish, comfortable and durable.

Gandzee is primarily sold online, but for a week starting on Saturday, the brand will be holding a pop-up shop at Short Pump Town Center next to Build-a-Bear. “People can really see how everything goes together,” Nomberg says.

And, if you head out to Short Pump for some kid-friendly shopping over the weekend, drop by the grand reopening of Buttons & Bows, which is taking place Saturday and Sunday. New owner Amanda Ayers is ready to welcome Richmond, and is hosting all kinds of events. There’ll be pictures with the Easter Bunny from 2 to 4 p.m. both days, and you can make an appointment with silhouette artist Lilli Wills on Saturday if you call the store. Shop all weekend, and pick an egg at the checkout for a chance to save up to 50 percent off your purchase. Plus, if you bring one non-perishable food item to donate to FeedMore, you’re guaranteed at least 20 percent off your purchase.

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Need Supply Co. is moving out old inventory and making room for summer — meaning it's your chance to score big on hipster-chic styles. Today through Wednesday at midnight, shoppers will get get an extra 30 percent off all sale items in-store and online with the code EXTRA30.

"Our sale section is chock full of gems," says spokeswoman Molly Szkotak.

I did a quick scan and caught some great deals from local jewelrs giantLION and Maslo Jewelry, as well as some dangerously tempting shoe discounts. Shop early, because the best items and most common sizes will go fast.
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Today marks four years of Monkee’s presence in Short Pump, and the shop is throwing a celebration — sounds like a perfect time to stop in and scope their new spring merchandise. There’ll be sweets while you shop, plus you’ll get 20 percent off one spring item. Makeup artist Lou Stevens Glam Squad will also be on-site all day, providing 15-minute hair and makeup makeovers. All participants will also be entered to win a $25 store gift certificate. Since it’s actually warming up this weekend, this sounds like a great opportunity to pick up a new look and wear it when you go out on the town.
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Students from Amelia High School show off their dresses.
The Cinderella Dreams Project that gives prom dresses to local teens in need took place last weekend and was a huge success — this year the dress shop opened with more than 1,700 dresses and served more than 500 girls, says Yvonne Patnaude of the Midlothian Junior Women's Club, which hosts the event.

But the dress-shopping fun isn't quite done. After the lucky girls shopped the sale, there are still dresses and jewelry left for treasure hunters, and the chance to shop them is tonight (Thursday) from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cinderella Dreams shop in Westchester Commons. All the dresses that are left will be on sale for $10, and all the proceeds will be used to grow and expand the 2015 Cinderella Dreams Project. There are casual, vintage, formal, and, of course, little black dresses ripe for the picking, plus jewelry. Go check it out!
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