Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz, Review by Sarah Radford of Chic Gems, etc.

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, by Mike Michalowicz

With the insane economic climate we are having, I just wanted to drop you a quick note about the website I was profiled on last week. (You may remember my picture with the gems on one arm, the lemon in one hand and me wrapped in TP! If you did not see it yet, scroll back a few blog posts.)
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur has had a lot of updates, including info on how to navigate these tough times as a new or established entrepreneur.
Here's a little summary of the book...

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, aka TPE, helps first-time entrepreneurs develop the qualities and beliefs they need to recognize and cultivate in order to succeed in business, explaining how to cut through excuses and pursue the business that sets
their hearts afire.
In his book Michalowicz kicks standard entrepreneurial methodology to the curb, explaining why no one needs a business plan, angel financing, or an Ivy League education to launch a successful business. Each tell-it-like-is chapter is packed with advice straight from the trenches, interspersed with dozens of tips to help people launch and run their business on a beer and pizza budget.

So does the "TPE" method really work, you ask?
Mike Michalowicz started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford - a retirement village. With limited resources and no experience, he systematically grew a multi-million dollar technology business, sleeping in conference rooms to avoid hotel costs. After selling his first company, Mike launched a new business the very next day, and in less than three years, sold it to a Fortune 500. With his newest venture, Obsidian Launch, he fosters startup businesses with
his “get rich right” approach.
A graduate of Inc. & MIT’s “Birthing of Giants” Entrepreneurial Program, Mike received Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards multiple times. He is a recurring guest on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), and in the New York Times, Smart CEO Magazine, and other publications.

Drop Mike a line:
This great country was founded by the Entrepreneurial spirit...we will get through these tough times and come out on top, just watch! ~Sarah
All the very best,
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Monday, September 29, 2008

Check out Celebrity Skin Couture Air Tan-Sarah Radford of Chic Gems, etc. loves their tan and entrepreneurial story!

I had the pleasure of meeting Becky over 4 years ago when I was looking to transition into Pharmaceutical sales...we have been friends ever since! I wanted to share her story!~Sarah

Becky is from Indianapolis, went to college at Indiana University. She worked in sales for Sony Electronics and then Pharmaceutical sales. She quit her job to stay home with kids. She started the tanning business to offer herself a part time job while staying home with her kids. Heather Rice, her partner, grew up in the Chicago suburbs, also graduated from Indiana, where they met. Heather works full time in construction sales and wanted to start a business to grow her personal wealth and financial future.
Here's what Becky and Heather had to say about their business-the idea, the challenges, overcoming those challenges, and living the entrepreneurial dream!
~Celebrity Skin Couture Air Tan~
"We also, as super fair whities, wanted to offer our fellow pale peeps a safe, natural and flawless faux tan they could walk proud with. There are tons of options out there for self tanners, but few of them offer a natural color with meticulous attention to detail, particularly on hands a feet, common problem areas with faux tanning. We all know the importance of protecting ourselves from the harmful effects of too much sun, yet it is hard to resist the sun kissed look that makes us feel 10 pounds thinner and more attractive overall.Of course our biggest challenge is getting the word out there. Advertising is very expensive, and so far even the advertising we have employed hasn't resulted in huge returns. Our other challenge is striking that "part time" balance. It is difficult to manage any business part time. While motherhood is my "full time" job, I have to work hard to achieve a balance between my responsibilities at home and my desire to build our business. Heather also struggles with striking a balance between her full time job and her part time business. To overcome this challenge we try to meet regularly to discuss marketing ideas and strategies. We're focused more on grass roots marketing and partnering with salons, spas, med spas, etc to build our clientele. Another challenge of course is the economy. People are watching their pennies and not spending what they used to on luxury services. For this we are offering package rates, group rates, referral programs, etc. We feel if we can get customers to experience our product, they will tell their friends and come back for more."
"I can personally say that the tan I got from the ladies of Couture Air Tan blew away any other faux tan I have ever had. People asked me in February what island I had just returned from. If that is not the ultimate testimony, I am not sure what is?"

Becky 773-507-3559 Heather 773-562-9469

Visit Couture Air Tan Online!

All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for Professional Women

Friday, September 26, 2008

Story of Sarah Radford, Chic Gems, etc., featured today on the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur!

Here's an excerpt from my story on the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur today!

"I always knew that one day I would own my own business. I started my company, Chic Gems, etc. jewelry, as a side project in 2002 while working as a top medical sales representative. I have always enjoyed fashion, beginning at a very early age. I enjoyed owning Chic Gems for the obvious reason of designing my own creations and I used my sales bonuses to finance the company - everything from jewelry bead stock to filing fees for the incorporation. I am thankful that I took life into my own hands when I did because in October of 2006 I was laid off from my sales job due to a company buy out. Chic Gems, etc. became full time from that moment on."

To read more and go to the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur site...CLICK HERE!
Here's a quick snap shot about Mike Michalowicz, founder of
A graduate of Inc. & MIT’s “Birthing of Giants” Entrepreneurial Program, Mike received Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards multiple times. He is a recurring guest on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), and in the New York Times, Smart CEO Magazine, and other publications.

All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Entrepreneurs that I Admire by Sarah Radford, Chic Gems, etc.

Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. In common understanding it is taken as describing a dynamic personality.

Richard Branson is one of my favorite entrepreneurs of all time!
I admire his strong sense of self and love for adventure. I have read almost all of his books and can honestly say that he has been a strong source of inspiration for me and my business.
As Helen Keller said, "Life is a daring adventure or nothing."
Branson's first successful business began at the age of 16, when he published a magazine called Student. When he was seventeen, he opened his first charity, the "Student Advisory Centre." He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in late 2007. With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s - as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Richard Branson is the 245th richest person according to Forbes' 2008 list of billionaires as he has an estimated net worth of approximately $2.8 billion USD.
Branson was knighted in 1999 for 'services to entrepreneurship'
and presented as a millennium icon.
"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them...from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it."
Richard Branson
Info and image courtesy of Wikipedia.org
My next week of blogs will highlight stories of Entrepreneurs.
You may ask~how many entrepreneurs have there been in the history of the world? Millions, certainly, probably even billions. These are the men and women who take capital -- their own or somebody else’s -- and use it to beget more capital. Some fail, some succeed, some excel.
Quote from MSNBC.com
During these times of economic turmoil, I think back to the founding of this Great Nation.
It's my favorite historical period, probably because it appeals to the entrepreneur in me. Not to go on a political tangent, but this country was founded by the entrepreneurial spirit. It is this risk taking attitude that has gotten us to where we are today. I would like to see people stop being so apathetic and take control of their lives...I did.
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman
Special from Chic Gems! Go online and get a FREE pair of earrings.
All you need to do is tell 10 friends about Chic Gems!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tres Chic Jewels-Chic Gems, etc. Featured in September 2008 Chicago Parent Magazine

Chic Gems, etc. Jewelry was featured in the September 2008
Chicago Parent Magazine!
Here's the article:
Trés chic jewels
You don't need diamonds to look fabulous, but having a little something flashy around your neck definitely makes your outfit sparkle. Next time you're looking for that oh-so-perfect necklace, bracelet or earrings, checkout Chicago-based Chic Gems, etc. With a passion for the latest in fashion, owner Sarah Radford takes pride in the design and craftsmanship of her pieces. "This season (the necklace trend) is going to be bigger," Radford says. "I love that look." The gem line's signature feature, flower and leaf toggles, are something Radford chose to help the company stand out. "I like to have things that are different," she says. Many of the necklaces, bracelets and earrings are made with Czechoslovakian crystals and glass from the Murano Glass Company, based in Venice, Italy. The collection also features semi-precious stones such as agate, jaspers, quartz and turquoise. On her blog, chicgemsetc.blogspot.com, Radford discusses her favorite fashion picks, the latest trends, upcoming events and the new pieces in her jewelry line. Most of Chic Gems, etc.'s pieces have been designed to wear year-round with reasonable price tags. Necklaces range from $49.95-$129.95, bracelets are$25.95-$65.95 and earrings are $25.95-$39.95. For more information, visit chicgemsetc.com.
Kate Pancero Assistant Editor/Weekend E-dition Editor
Chicago Parent 141 S. Oak Park Ave.Oak Park, IL 60302
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Check out Chicago Picks! Get the scoop on the City's hottest spots for shopping, dining, and more! See what Chicago Picks had to say about Chic Gems!

ChicagoPicks scoops the city's hottest spots (and best-loved secrets) for shopping, dining, drinking and pampering, delivered free every Friday to your email inbox! You don't know Chicago until you spend some time with the Picks. With our signature sense of humor and style, we introduce you to the newest boutiques and the hottest restaurants, with hangouts and must-have products to round out the mix. Plus we serve up the events you'll want to attend and the best sales in town. Click here to sign up at ChicagoPicks and join the fun!

Please help us spread the word -- tell a friend about The Picks in their City!
And don't forget your accessories!
Here is what Chicago Picks had to say about Chic Gems, etc. Jewelry!
Smart Women Finish First
It sounds a little weird to admit this, but we check out what other girls are wearing. Don't get us wrong, but we love checking out hot fashion on smartly dressed women. A well-put together woman projects class, confidence and strength. And ya know what? Some of that can be bought.
Beginning with the right accessories, like those by local Chicagoan jewelry designer Sarah Radford's line of Chic Gems. Gorgeous stones, classic designs.
From Chicago Picks March 7, 2008
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chic Gems, etc. is participating in "Designs for Count Me In" from SHEFINDS-20% of Sales from Our Pearl Necklace will be Donated!

Check out Count Me In!

Chic Gems, etc. is pleased to support Count Me In!

Count Me In promotes the growth of women owned businesses and is the leading national not for profit provider of online business loans, resources, and community for women entrepreneurs. Beginning in September and continuing through Jan 1st, SheFinds will feature original accessories by independent designers. A portion of each sale will go to Count Me In. With each purchase, you are contributing to the development of women in business.
Chic Gems, etc. is pleased to donate 20% of all sales of our Pearl Necklaces.
Choose from Lilac, Smoke, Oyster, and Bronze.

From now until January 1, 2009 you can shop
Chic Gems, etc. Jewelry to support Count Me In.

All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Julie Watson Style-As seen in InStyle Makeover Fall 2008 Edition

More about JulieWatsonStyle
After spending 14 years developing collections for some of the country's largest retailers, Julie was inspired to share her professional background with women who need help maximizing their wardrobes.
Julie Watson Style provides a unique consulting service: an industry expert who creates clarity in your closet and brings focus to your shopping by teaching you how to apply the fundamentals of apparel merchandising directly to your wardrobe.
"You'll find that when your clothes are an expression of who you are, getting dressed in the morning is effortless."
Julie has been seen live on ABC7 and In the Loop with IVillage
Check out:
"Julie, just wanted to say a quick thanks. Yesterday was amazing. I actually feel like I have an entirely new wardrobe! And I didn't realize that throwing away those clothes with the tags on would actually feel good...no guilt! I cannot thank you enough!"
Kathy Hart, Eric & Kathy Show 101.9fm THE MIX
Contact Julie:
Of course, no perfect outfit is complete without the perfect accessories!
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Check out clothing designs by Anna Fong-the winner of the 2007 AOL Latino Fashionista

Anna FongCollection
Guatemalan-Chinese Fashion Designer Anna Fong’s talent, creativity and name is quickly becoming a sensation in celebrity circles and is among the young rising stars of new designers destined for international stardom. Borrowing from her unique heritage Anna is bringing fresh new concepts in the world of fashion that exudes traditional elegance and sophistication with a flare for the international contemporary design that speak uniqueness in a woman’s style. After working in New York at Chaps Ralph Lauren licensee design house, where she gained professional experience in the fashion industry, Fong decided to return to Chicago to pursue her own business.The winner of the 2007 AOL Latino Fashionista, in New York City Anna has dazzled the fashion world with her creations on international stages such as Chicago’s World Fashion Focus representing China (October 2007), Featured Designer at Latino fashion Week (November 2007), Model Shoot for Latina Magazine with Si TV (Los Angeles March 2008), Internationally featured in People en Español Magazine (November 2007), among other prestigious events.This young Fashion Designer from Chicago was first introduced to Fashion at the age of five, making clothes for her dolls. In High School she was enrolled in a fashion design summer course while completing her work- study at Gallery 37. She continued with her fashion studies at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois completing her BA in liberal Arts with a major in Fashion Design. Anna Fong has dressed celebrities such as Kimora Lee Simmons, Christina Brondo, Nadine Velazquez, Former Miss Universe- Dayanara Torres, comedienne Vanessa Fraction, Ellie Rodriguez, news reporter Tsi Tsi Ki Felix, and radio personanility Bionce Foxx. Her designs have appeared on television on E! Entertainment, Style Network, Si TV, Univision, Escandalo TV, WGN news, ABC news and in fashion Magazines such as People en Español, Splendor, Red Eye, Clutch, Chicago Sun Times, Vibra Latina, Extra, Ndigo. Her designs have paraded across high fashion red carpet events such as Alma Awards, Maxim’s 100 Hottest, and Latino Film Festival.
Anna Fong recently opened her own self-named design studio in Chicago designing for the marketplace as well as custom designs for a legion of private clientele.
Fong is gearing up to launch her new collection for upcoming Fall and Spring 2008 season. The line will have separates and dresses available for both ready wear and couture design. This line will exude the glamour, sensuality, sophistication and “chic-ness” that a woman embodies.
Studio: 1932 S. Halsted St. Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60651
Every fashionista needs the perfect accessories!
Check out what Chic Gems, etc. has to offer!
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Girl's Night Out Shopping Party at C Salon-Shop Chic Gems, etc., Evlove Intimates, and Lucky Day Boutique. Raffle proceeds to benefit PAVE.

Enjoy a girl's night out at C Salon with a complementary consultation. C Salon is a high-end fashion-forward salon with offers such as color, cut, and extensions.
To add to the evening, you will be able to shop Chic Gems, etc.'s latest jewelry collection and have the opportunity to create your own lingerie with Jenny Dombroski, designer of Evlove. Lucky Day Boutique will be featuring stylish, thin aluminum wallets from Europe and the Cavius 4-in-1 personal protector. Guests will enjoy 10% off all of the collections. Sugar Bliss cupcakes, light appetizers, and champagne will be served throughout the evening. There will be a raffle to benefit P.A.V.E. (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment). Joining us will be a special guest speaker, Angela Rose, from P.A.V.E. Enter to win great products. Please RSVP to C Salon by September 16 at info@csalon.com.
Preview the collections:
All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Fashionistas Guide to the City Life-Check out Poor Little Rich Girls

PoorLittleRichGirls.com (PLRG) is Chicago's newest online lifestyle mag for Chicago women with High Style & Modest Budgets! Check it out today for tips, tricks and special deals to help you life the good life in Chicago on a budget.

PLRG has everything a girl living in the Windy City needs, the latest hot spots, fashion trends, budgeting your finances....like how to save money on a fabulous blow out instead of spending a fortune!

Tonight, PLRG is celebrating their official launch party at 8pm at Moxie! Be prepared to have fun with PLRG signature cocktails, DJ "Risky Bizness", prizes, and raffles!

From my experience, the launch party for the website last night at Soire was very chic with a great turnout and I really enjoyed the special martinis! I had the chance to meet Noelle, Lacey, and Eryn and they are phenomonal stylish women! I think their website fills a niche for the fashionable Chicago gals on a budget.

All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VMA Fashion...A Total Miss??

You be the judge...
Sunday's VMA Awards were anything but fashionable.
Here are a few of our favorite disasters.

We love her song, but that's about it. Katy Perry's bathing suit belongs on a beach, not on the red carpet. This is her signature style, but maybe it's time to hire a stylist.

Halloween is still 2 months away Christina! Her choice of a spiderweb inspired gown is anything but flattering. We want the old Hollywood Christina back!

Rat tail, fishnets, thigh high boots? Sounds like a dominatrix to us. Rihanna's performance of "Disturbia" was great, but the outfit was just disturbing.

Finally, we found 3 people that looked great!

Our favorite Gossip Boy, Chace Crawford, and Hills star Lauren Conrad looked like the dream couple presenting at the VMA's. Just one more reason to be jealous of Lauren.

Wow! Britney looked phenomenal starting out the show. This was our favorite of her 2 dresses of the night. She was classy and sexy, let's hope we keep seeing her looking this good.

All the very best!
Sarah Radford
Chic Gems, etc.
Designer Jewelry for the Professional Woman

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Fashion Icons

With new casts members and old, the scandal, and the fashion......
be sure not to miss it!

The New Girl
Annie Wilson

This is the girl next door. Her usual style is very casual with denim and a fun, flirty top but with the pressures of fitting in she is seen sporting this gorgeous blue dress.

The Queen Bee
Naomi Clark

She would max out her credit cards at Barney's!

It is clear her favorite past time is shopping.

Sexy dresses and sassy jewelry is her fashion flair!

Miss Independent

This girl struts her own unique style and looks fabulous!

This fall season is all about layering and she exemplifies it, with a scarf, shirt, and dress.