The key to Zazzle.com?s success isn?t a 3,000-strong stock of T-shirts, phone cases, and accessories?it?s the fact that customers can express themselves on products before they're printed and shipped, generally within 24 hours. The website?s user-friendly design interface allows customers to affix their favorite pictures to messenger bags, scrawl personalized messages on coffee mugs, or insert their favorite movie character into family portraits. Zazzle.com also showcases designs from creative customers around the globe and big names such as Disney, Marvel, and The Who. Each product is made to order and bears a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Authenticity is key at E-Collectique Runway Boutique, where every previously owned dress, necklace, and satin pump is marked with a verified designer or vintage label. Pristine white walls surround high-fashion women’s wares that range from items from current lines to vintage pieces that date back more than a century. Shoppers can peruse clothing and accessories from couture designers such as Balenciaga, Chanel, and Gucci, as well as ready-to-wear styles from makers such as American Apparel and Ralph Lauren.
Owner Anna Zuckerman's late husband opened Sydney b. A Children's Boutique to make a mark on the world with "Sydney", their daughter's name, on it. Today, Anna and her staff keep the boutique stocked with hard-to-find, high-quality children's clothes from brands such as Zutano and Deux par Deux. They travel to New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and elsewhere to keep the shop filled with dresses, tutus, and charm bracelets, and there are plenty of toys, outfits for boys, and baby gifts as well. The team has a rule of thumb that customers shouldn't be able to find anything in the shop at a big-box store—they exclusively seek out unique finds that are well worth the expense.
As customers admire rows of Primigi shoes or Hello Kitty–themed goodies, tykes can watch kid-friendly shows or assemble puzzles. The staff also offers ear piercing to help little ladies pair their couture finds with a pair of pearls or their grandmother's heirloom gauges.
Run by a sartorially savvy mother-and-daughter team, Posh embellishes exteriors with pulchritudinous body ornaments and understated accessories, boasting a wide array of both bejeweled and dejeweled beautifiers. Get a dangly pair of earrings to complement outfits or hypnotize stray cats ($8–$35), or treat yourself to a necklace or bracelet befitting black-tie nights at the monster-truck rally ($10–$100). Handbags and clutches store accoutrements in style ($20–$100). Additional items, such as sunglasses, scarves, and shoes, range from trendily chic to timelessly sophisticated. The store itself embodies elegance, its exposed brick walls, pastel hues, and sleek circular tables establishing a chic atmosphere in which to inspect trendy outfit ornaments.
Jewelry Works specializes in distinctive pieces made both on location and by outside artists such as Wisconsin silversmith Tim Miller, who knows how to fetch the eye and accentuate the limbs. Surrounded by the friendly shops at the Cedar Creek Settlement, shoppers can accentuate a full day of arts-and-crafts shopping with the perfect ring or pair of earrings ($5–$15), a neck-defining necklace ($10–$50), or a specialty pendant to complement an heirloom chain kept in the secret jewelry box back home ($20–$100).
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.