Interesting thought for the day…

Good Pre-Tax (US) day everyone!

Here’s an interesting thought for the day! Why have leather shoes gone up so much in price in just the past few years?  That Neoflex was $38.50 (MSRP) just a few years ago, and now it’s almost $40!

Well, you don’t have to look much further than your supermarket!  Noticed how much fresh beef has increased in price over the past few months?  Why?  (And no, it’s not just inflation at work).

According to major news sources, droughts (and other extreme weather) have pushed farmers to decrease the sizes of their herds.  Your first thought is probably “wait–what does weather and cattle have to do with each other?”.  It’s actually quite simple–everyone has to eat!  According to NPR:  “Because of the drought that has been battering much of Midwest cattle country for more than a year, there’s a smaller supply of hay and dense grasses. Ranchers are having a tough time finding feed, and when they do, it’s more expensive.” (NPR Why You’ll Be Paying More For Beef This Year).  

As a result, the law of supply and demand (remember your economics class?) takes over. What else goes up when the price of beef goes up? Leather.  Particularly, the past few weeks we have noticed an upward trend in beef/leather prices. The past few years, we (along with several manufacturers) were able to hold our prices down.  This year–we’ve already seen one price increase across the board on leather and really wouldn’t be surprised if we see another increase before the year is out.  Some companies, in an effort to keep prices down, now use pig leather instead of cow leather.

Now this doesn’t just affect your basic ballet shoes and jazz shoes–pointe shoes also have leather in them (in and on the soles).  Since it’s proportionally less material than the other shoes (although it’s thicker), we haven’t seen a huge increase in this…. yet.  Side note–pointe shoe prices typically increase more by the cost of labor and shipping than just about anything else.

Most likely, it will be a few years before we see any kind of reduction in the price of beef and leather.  Meaning those higher prices are here to stay unless we magically get more cattle overnight.  :-\

Have a great Monday all!

Also–definitely go read both the articles I used as references in this post.  They’re both well written and help to define the issue even further.

NPR article (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/06/13/190712366/why-you-ll-be-paying-more-for-beef-all-this-year) and the

LA Times article (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-beef-prices-20140406,0,2966247.story#axzz2yrWJi1rS)

 

So… New Webstore!

Hi Folks!

Wow!  Had forgotten what it means when time gets away from you!

 

Well since we last posted in December 2013, we have upgraded to a bigger and better webstore!  YAY!!!

What this means for you?  More products, easier experience, and better service from us (we won’t get orders buried somewhere!).  :-)

 

We’ll get back to the promised product updates and reviews shortly!  Maybe even this evening!

Weekly Preview for December 8, 2013

HI folks!

Since it’s more than a little treacherous outside (think white, wet, cold, and frozen…. all forms), I’m staying inside and getting stuff done today!  :-)

I think this week I (Kat) will talk about the modern shoes and “contemporary” shoes.

We’ll cover:

-Capezio’s Footundeez line

-Danshuz’s Neoprenes

-Bloch’s Soleil line

-Dance Paws line

-Motionwear’s Dance Soles

-Body Wrappers Papillion

Have a great one friends!

Pillows For Pointe Feet Care Set

Okay… this snow has gotten me off schedule–so I apologize for the delay in posts.  I am trying to get caught back up today while the kids nap. :-D

This post is all about Pillow’s lovely foot care set (yes–you can buy the items separately if you need to refill a single item).  This foot care set contains a foot scrub, a foot lotion, a foot talc, and a lip balm all packaged in one of their mesh mini-pillowcases.

Pillows Body Care Set

Pillows Body Care Set

The foot scrub is a 2.75oz bottle of feel-good-awesomeness!  This scrub contains crushed apricot (not sure if it’s the pulp or pit though.  Will need to follow up on that… but I *think* its both….) suspended in this lovely mix of jojoba oil and aloe vera.  It’s designed to reduce rough and dry skin.  Think exfoliation for your feet! $4 retail.

The foot lotion is also 2.75oz and feels “ahhh–mazing” on tired and achy feet.  It’s got that refreshingly-tingly peppermint and eucalyptus oils in it.  So…. gives you that Icy-Hot tingles without as much of the burn.  From personal experience–this stuff feels great on sore feet!!  Also a $4 retail.

The foot talc is great if you have sweaty feet or shoes that just *love* to soak up odor.  It’s a nice compliment to the scrub and lotion.  Especially useful in the summer when you’re trying to get stubborn shoes to go on and stay on.  Also useful for cutting down on the friction that’s generated when your feet get too sweaty in shoes.  Just a slight sprinkle is all you really need.  $3.50 at retail.

The last item in the set is a lip balm.  The lip balm is a very smooth, wax based balm that just glides on your lips.  Great for those rehearsals where you’re breathing hard (and working hard) and your lips get really dry because of it.  $3.50 retail.

If you get the set–those 4 items come packaged in one of pillows “mini-case”.  It’s a mini-mesh bag that holds all four items.  This is perfect for throwing in as a stocking stuffer or simply not getting lost in your dance bag!  The mesh case means you can take it in with you to shower (if you chose to shower at your studio or such) and then it just lets everything air dry.  We’ve known a few folks who take out the lip balm and talc and end up putting in travel sizes of their favorite shampoo and soap.  So now all they take in is this little bag, change of clothes, and a towel.  Seriously–would be great for a trip or at a competition.  The whole set retails at $15.

If you’d like to purchase them—please visit us in our store or in our webstore here.

Please note—while we do our best, we do not always have in-stock all items offered, but can easily order those that we do not have.

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Thank you for reading our blog! We are a small business (a mom-and-pop store) and would like to remind you to support small businesses!

Please leave your comments and questions below (hit “leave a reply”).  If you found this blog interesting, helpful, useful, or just plain cool—please consider sharing with your friends and sign up for our email newsletter!  I promise—we don’t spam nor do we sell/give/distribute your information to anyone else.  We don’t want that either!

Ten ways to prepare for an ice or snow storm in Arkansas…

Hi Folks…

Today’s second post isn’t going to be about dance stuff at all.  Let’s face it–when there’s wet, wintry, and white stuff comin’ down outside (and you’re in Arkansas)… it seems that there are certain precautions one must take!

SO here are my top ten things you just know will happen:

1.  You go buy bread, eggs, and milk.  Even if you just bought some yesterday.  Yes–Wal-Mart will be nuts.

2.  Same thing goes for alcohol if you’re an imbiber.  

3.  You accept that every big box mart that sells non-perishable provisions will most likely sell out of things like ice scrapers, ice melt, sleds or similar (trays, Rubbermaid tops, etc), snow shovels, and sometimes generators.

4.  If ice is coming–you fully expect to lose power, cable, and (possibly) sanity for 3-7 days.  And yes–you still remember the last storm that you were without power for more than 24 hours.  If it’s just snow–then you just want to jump up and down for joy because you just *know* that everything will probably close, but you’ll still have power.

5.  You expect your Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and iTunes accounts to take a beating.  If you’re with small children–the suggestion lists are most likely filled with very kid-friendly-but-headache-inducing suggestions.  Otherwise–you’re happy to sit and enjoy!

6.  You expect EVERYTHING to come to a stand-still once you’ve got 1/2″ of white stuff on the ground.  Doesn’t matter if its snow, ice, freezing rain, or some combination of the above.  Especially since you know in Arkansas–we typically get ice UNDER the snow!

7.  You just *know* that it is entirely possible for Tuesday to be 70*+ and then for it to be well below freezing less than 24 hours later.  And you also know that it usually means ice and snow.  Lots of it.

8.  You have trouble finding snow-appropriate clothing (like snow pants, snow boots, waterproof mittens, etc).  Both in the store and in your own closet.  Once you do find them–they’re either too small, too large, have holes, or some other issue–but you don’t care because there’s freakin’ snow outside!

9.  You “like” every single picture you can find on Facebook of snow covered yards from your friends.  Because–darn it–this white stuff doesn’t happen annually! Plus–you can like the pictures with your favorite drink (coffee, alcohol, tea, soda, etc) in your hand… in the comfort of pajamas and a warm spot on the couch.

10.  You know that in two weeks or less–every one will have forgotten about the snow, and will go back to talking about how the Razorbacks are doing.  Or how hot summer will be.

Stay warm my friends!

Hair Stuff…

Hi Folks!

Well–it’s Wednesday and we’re supposed to get a heckuva snow and ice storm starting tomorrow.  Good thing I have a laptop and have plenty of stuff to write about!

Today’s topic is going to be your basic hair stuff since we covered the sparkly stuff yesterday.  SO—we’re going to talk hair pins, bobby pins, snap clips, hair nets, hair elastics, donuts, and fake buns.  We sell Bunheads products in our store, so we will mostly focus on their offerings.  And once we figure out how to do a good YouTube video–we’ll do a spot featuring bun making One-Oh-One with these products.

Bunheads Hairpins

Bunheads Hairpins

Bunheads’ hair pins aren’t like the ones you get in the aisle of your favorite box mart.  These sturdy and strong hairpins are simply fabulous!  Bunheads claim that one of their pins typically replaces several “normal” pins seems to be true (haven’t heard anyone tell us otherwise).  These pins are great for all types of hair and aren’t flimsy or easily bent. They do come pre-bent with a wave in the middle to help hold hair well.  By far and above–our favorite and go-to hair item.  They come in short (2″), medium (2.5″), and long lengths (3″) in blonde, brown, and black. The medium length works best across the board, with the smaller pins working great for shorter or very fine hair.  The large pins work great if you have a lot of hair or it’s very thick.  Speaking from experience–these pins work great on my 3 year old (and it usually only takes 3-4 pins to make a full bun with her).  Retails for $7.30 per dozen (12 pins per tube).

Bunheads Bobby Pins

Bunheads Bobby Pins

Bunheads makes bobby pins that also blend in with your hair and help with buns.  Think of the hairpins as the major anchors for your bun, while the bobby pins are the minor (but still needed) anchors.  These pins are great at subtly holding back bangs and strays without gel or hairspray.  25 pins per card, and available in blonde, light brown (which also works great for auburn and red hair since they’re definitely red toned), medium/dark brown, and black.  $2.70 per card.

Bunheads Snap Clips

Bunheads Snap Clips

Snap Clips… oh the awesomeness of these!  Now–snap clips are good for lots of things and definitely cross over with bobby pins here at holding back hair.  Since they’re bigger–they can usually hold more hair back than a bobby pin, but they’re also more noticeable.  Bunheads makes them in 4 colors if you need them to blend in with your hair (think gymnastics meets, dance competitions and performances, etc).  However–if you just need them for every day use–here’s a hint–check out your local craft store or the craft aisle in your favorite big-box-mart.  In the quilting and sewing area–you’ll want to look for either quilt clips or binding/hem clips.   Usually you can get 30, un-coated (read: silver color) clips for about $5.  Sometimes online you can find higher quantities.  Anyways–clips usually measure about 1/2″ wide x 1 3/4″ long.  Bunheads makes them in blonde, light brown (also with the reddish tone), medium brown, and black.  Bunheads’ retail at $2.70 for a card of 6 clips.

Bunheads Hairnets Package

Bunheads Hairnets Package

Bunheads also makes hairnets.  These are like those old Goody brand ones that you used to be able to find everywhere (the 3 to a package, ultra fine, invisible nets that it seems no one carries now).  Yes–these really do blend in with hair and help keep frizzies way down.  There are 3 nets per package and yes–they do come in AUBURN!!!  If in doubt on color–its best to go darker since your eyes don’t typically pick up as easily on darker colors than lighter ones.  Blonde, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Black, and Auburn are the color offerings here.  One size net.  Retails at $2.70 per package.

Bunheads Hair Elastics in Blonde

Bunheads Hair Elastics in Blonde

One thing that is absolutely, bar-none, essential for every dancer to have it a good supply of sturdy hair elastics.  Ones that give, but not too much.  Ones that stretch so they’re gentle on your hair, but not ones that remain stretched out.  Oh–and no irritating fastener on them either.  I must say–after using a single package of Bunheads’ elastics (for both me and my three year old), I’m really LOVING them.   I used to have long hair and got it cut short last summer, and used to go through lots and lots of elastics.  They’d only end up lasting me about a week.  Until these.  The Bunheads ones stretch but retain most of their original shape and size.  They’re glued on the ends (no metal fastener) and are also dyed to match hair colors.  Yup you guessed the color options–blonde, light brown (also with a red tone), medium brown, and black.  They’re now my go-to elastics for both me and my daughter (and we’re STILL on the first package–6 months+ now of use)!  $1.70 for 6 of them.

Bunheads Bun Builder

Bunheads Bun Builder

Ahhh…. donuts.  Officially they’re called “Bun Builders”, but we all know them by either “donuts” or “sock buns”.  These nylon mesh poofs help to add volume and uniformity to your bun.  You make a pony tail, slip this over the end, pull the hair through, and arrange the hair around the builder (fastening with your preference of fasteners–elastics, pins, etc).  Bunheads makes two sizes–a regular and a junior.  The regular is about 3″(ish) in diameter, with the junior roughly a 1/2″ smaller.  Only three color options here–blonde, brown, and black.

Bunheads Allegro Fake Bun

Bunheads Allegro Fake Bun

Finally–let’s talk fake buns.  These are buns for those of us with short hair that need to wear a bun for a performance, quick change, etc.  We don’t want no stinkin’ measly bun when everyone else has these glorious and beautifully made hair buns on stage!!  That’s where the Bunheads Allegro bun steps in.  Even better–it already comes “pre-netted” and contained.  You just put it over your measly bun or ponytail and voila!  Insta-bun!  :-)  Also only in three colors–blonde, brown, and black.  But hey–$14 and instant problem solver!

 

If you’d like to purchase any of the products mentioned here—please visit us in our store or in our webstore here.

Please note—we do not always have in-stock items in all colors offered, but can easily order those that we do not have.

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Thank you for reading our blog! We are a small business (a mom-and-pop store) and would like to remind you to support small businesses!

Please leave your comments and questions below.  If you found this blog interesting, helpful, useful, or just plain cool—please consider sharing with your friends and sign up for our email newsletter!  I promise—we don’t spam nor do we sell/give/distribute your information to anyone else.  We don’t want that either!

 

Bunheads Sparkly Stuff

Okay… who out there doesn’t LOVE sparkle?!  Definitely not us or my three-year old!  Bunheads has come out with some super cute sparkle hair accessories (that would also make some cute stocking stuffers or little “just because” gifts)!  We’re talking sparkle hairnets, bobby pins, hair clips, bun bracelets, headbands, and it’s just soo exciting!

Bunheads BH427 Metallic Hairnets

Bunheads BH427 Metallic Hairnets

Bunheads’ metallic hairnets are perfect for just that little bit of sparkle.  Kat thinks that these really would be great for liturgical dances, “snow” from the Nutcracker, or just a little bit of extra fun for class.  And at only $5.50 per package, it’s a pretty good deal for a quick and cheap hair accessory (especially since they come 2 per package).

Bunheads BH4000 Glitter Bobby Pins

Bunheads BH4000 Glitter Bobby Pins

Bunheads BH4001 Rhinestone Pins

Bunheads BH4001 Rhinestone Pins

Bunheads’ sparkle bobby pins are steel bobby pins that have one side covered in glitter.  The normal “bumpy” side of the bobby pin is actually a spiral twist that is covered in glitter on these.  You have a choice of either hot pink glitter, pink glitter, or silver glitter since there are 12 pins on each card (4 of each color).  Bunheads also makes a rhinestone bobby pin that adds plenty of sparkle and shine.  The glass rhinestones do catch light very well!  Only downside we see–only 4 pins per card. $7 for the rhinestone pins and $6 for the glitter.

Bunheads BH4002 Clip

Bunheads BH4002 Clip

Bunheads also has a new decorative hairclip!  This clip is beautiful but really doesn’t feel sturdy enough to hold a bun all by-its-self!  It’s about 6″ (ish) inches long and has 20 glass stones embedded in the center of the top of the clip.  It’s only $5 so it’s not a bad deal for a little bit of dressy sparkle!

BH480 Bun Bracelet by Bunheads

BH480 Bun Bracelet by Bunheads

Bunheads also has a mostly functional item called a bun-bracelet.  You just twist your hair up into a bun, and twist this clockwise to “screw” the bun into place.  I say it’s mostly functional because if your hair is either super thick or super-fine, it works, but doesn’t always hold up to multiple pirouettes.  It doesn’t have any sparkle and comes in black and safari (a fun twist on leopard and tortoiseshell).  $6 retail price.

I’m not going to write a lot about Bunheads’ headbands–not because they’re not good but because these are a “fashion” item and new styles are released about every three months.  The photos below are of the ones that just finished their run.  They usually run between $8 and $15 at retail.

BH4003

BH4003

BH4004 Headband

BH4004 Headband

If you’d like to purchase them—please visit us in our store or in our webstore here.

Please note—we do not always have in-stock items in all colors offered, but can easily order those that we do not have.

==========================================================

Thank you for reading our blog! We are a small business (a mom-and-pop store) and would like to remind you to support small businesses!

Please leave your comments and questions below.  If you found this blog interesting, helpful, useful, or just plain cool—please consider sharing with your friends and sign up for our email newsletter!  I promise—we don’t spam nor do we sell/give/distribute your information to anyone else.  We don’t want that either!