I also write for / Scriu si pentru

I also write for / Scriu si pentru

Revista Tango Romania

Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas from Value Village

Charlie Sheen, Nicki Minaj and the “Walking Dead” among easy DIY ideas for late costume planners

Approximately 20 percent* of all people planning to dress up for Halloween will wait until the last minute to choose their costume, according to the second annual Halloween Shopping Survey from Value Village, the global thrift retailer. But delaying until the last day doesn’t mean shoppers need to sacrifice having an amazing Halloween costume. Value Village and its network of in-store Costume Consultants today announced a list of the best last-minute costume ideas for 2011, along with do-it-yourself instructions for how to create them. Included on that list: Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men; colourful pop star Nicki Minaj; and apocalyptic zombies, inspired by AMC’s series The Walking Dead; among others.

“Just because you wait until the last minute to pick your Halloween costume doesn’t mean you have to settle for whatever pre-packaged costumes are left at that time,” said Meg Allan Cole, a DIY blogger and National Costume Consultant for Value Village. “Pop culture icons, news headlines and nostalgia are some of this year’s best inspiration for last-minute costumes, and it’s easy to recreate an iconic look when you combine secondhand items with new accessories.”

Also, data from the annual Value Village Halloween Shopping survey which reveals consumer trends include some interesting facts like:
A family of four expects to spend $300 celebrating Halloween this year.
Pet owners plan to spend more on costumes for their dogs ($59) than on costuming their kids ($32).

More than half (54 percent) of those planning to dress up this year say they will either combine new and secondhand items or make their costume by hand. With more than 270 stores across Canada and the U.S. and the largest selection of new and used costumes, accessories, makeup and home décor of any retailer, Value Village is the best retail destination for last-minute costumes. A Halloween “store within a store” at each Value Village location features new costumes starting at $9.99, wigs starting at $5.99 and new seasonal accessories as low as $1.99. Combined with aisles of gently worn merchandise at a fraction of the original price, shoppers are able to be resourceful and inventive in creating a completely unique costume that fits within any budget while standing out from the crowd.

Value Village stores also have certified Costume Consultants on-hand at every location that can help create perfect Halloween looks for the whole family on any budget – even if it’s an hour before the party. Additionally, every Thursday at 3 p.m. throughout October, every Value Village store holds a Halloween Costume Catwalk fashion show to highlight the week’s most popular costumes and provide tips and tricks for recreating the looks.


With their fingers on the pulse of pop culture inspiration, Value Village’s Costume Consultants have a keen understanding of the iconic costumes that Halloween shoppers want to bring to life this year. And with such a large percentage of people waiting until the last minute to create their costumes, many will need creative and flexible ideas that don’t require one particular item that may be in high demand. Following are Value Village Costume Consultants’ picks of the top last-minute costumes and “DIY” instructions for creating them using a combination of secondhand items and new Halloween merchandise.

Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men – Pair a vintage men’s bowling shirt with a pair of secondhand khaki cargo shorts. Then add accessories like a men’s black wig, prop cigar and “old-fashioned” cocktail glass. Winning!

Nicki Minaj – Go crazy with colour! Choose several brightly coloured or neon women’s separates, such as a full floral skirt, a paisley patterned top and fluorescent jacket. Then add candy-coloured pumps, pink bob wig and prop microphone, and you’ll have everyone’s “heartbeat runnin’ away.”

Walking Dead Zombies – One of the best and easiest costumes to create and personalize, just choose any combination of secondhand clothes that can be ripped – for men, a white dress shirt, slacks and a blazer; for women, a dress or skirt and blouse. You can also go with a theme – cheerleader, mailman, or even bride! Then just add blood and makeup to finish the un-dead look. For a zombie makeup tutorial, visit www.valuevillage.com.

80’s Movie Nostalgia – Get the Halloween party conversation started with a costume throwback to the 1980s. For a Top Gun Maverick costume, embellish a vintage leather bomber jacket with homemade “patches,” printed from your computer on cardstock. Pair the jacket with a white t-shirt, aviators and dog tags, and you’ll be partying in the “danger zone.” Or, transform into “Teen Wolf” by layering a brown faux fur jacket underneath a yellow basketball jersey or tank top. Then complete the classic costume with werewolf “gloves,” brown makeup and prosthetic ears and nose.

Bridesmaids – This year’s blockbuster comedy is also a perfect group Halloween costume. Choose one secondhand wedding dress and a variety of gaudy secondhand bridesmaid dresses for your group of friends. Make simple bouquets out of silk flowers to carry along, and be sure to sing Wilson Philips’ Hold On throughout your Halloween festivities!

For more last-minute inspiration, Do It Yourself costume and décor instructions and makeup tutorials, visit www.valuevillage.com. Shoppers can also become a part of the Value Village social community this season by visiting Facebook.com/ValueVillage or @SaversVVillage on Twitter. Additionally, from now through November 11, 2011, members of Value Village’s Facebook community can submit a photo of themselves, their child or their pet in Halloween costumes for a chance to win up to $500 in Value Village Shopping Vouchers**.
To locate the nearest Value Village store, please visit valuevillage.com. There are currently 13 Value Village stores in Great Toronto Area, the newest of which was opened in Mississauga this month.

*Methodology Note: The Value Village Halloween Shopping Survey was conducted by Kelton Research during the summer of 2011 and polled 1,068 nationally representative consumers aged 18 and older – Bellevue, Washington, October 2011.

**Visit Facebook.com/ValueVillage for official rules.


Value Village, a Savers, Inc. brand, is a privately held for-profit global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling secondhand merchandise, Value Village benefits local nonprofit organizations, gives consumers a smart way to shop, and saves millions of pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers, Inc. has paid more than $1 billion to its nonprofit partners over the last 10 years, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports vital community programs and services. The company operates more than 270 locations and has nearly 15,000 employees in Canada, the United States and Australia. For more information, please visit www.valuevillage.com.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Interview with Dale Debusschere, the Manager of the New Value Village Store Opened in Mississauga This Month

Victoria West: How and when did you get involved in the Value Village business?

Dale Debusschere: In late 1993, early 1994, while working as a factory rep for an automotive supply company in Calgary, I met the store manager and district manager at a Value Village store near my company’s warehouse. Over the next few months I became convinced that Value Village was the type of company I’d like to join and have been with Value Village since March, 1994.

VW: Why did you choose Mississauga for a new Value Village location in GTA?

DD: Toronto overall is a really important market for Value Village. We have fantastic nonprofit partners, and we have tremendously supportive shoppers. In general, though, when looking at new markets, we typically look at certain geographical areas where both Value Village and our nonprofit partners can be successful in serving local communities. Our other Mississauga store is doing very well, and we feel that the community can support and will love having a second store in the area.

VW: Did the sales go as you expected on these first days since you opened the new store to the public? Or was it lower or higher than your expectations?

DD: We were really proud of our opening weekend, and the response from local shoppers exceeded our expectations. There was definitely excitement in the community leading into our grand opening weekend!

VW: The new fall-winter fashion season has just begun and everybody is shopping for a new fall wardrobe. How does Value Village stand out among traditional retailers (i.e. malls, outlets) to attract customers and keep them, aside from the low prices?

DD: Some of the latest fall-winter trends for 2011 are perfect for thrift shopping, and we love to help our shoppers take the in-season looks and make them their own – for a fraction of the cost to buy new. We even post a guide to seasonal trends on our website at http://valuevillage.com/Fashion-Trends.aspx. Some of the ones we’ve observed right now are animal print, faux fur, timeless plaid, and deep jewel tones.

VW: For some of the fashion consumers the label name is also important. What does Value Village have to offer in terms of designer merchandise?

DD: One of the best parts about shopping at Value Village is the thrill of the hunt. Whenever someone shops at our store, they can count on finding a hidden gem whether it’s a designer vintage coat, or a designer blouse with the price tag still attached. We have more than 100,000 items on our sales floor, with 5,000 new pieces added daily – so every time you visit you will find something new and unique!

VW: Do you shop at Value Village? If yes, can you give us a few examples of some of your favorite finds?

DD: Yes, I love shopping at Value Village! Being size XLT, I rarely find my “style” of clothing in a traditional retail store because my size selection is quite limited. Big and tall stores typically have a great selection of professional, but the casual styles rarely appeal to me. With Value Village’s wide selection of styles, I know it’s just a matter of time before I’ll find the perfect item. I do have to admit that after nearly 18 years, closet space has become an issue for me. I don’t seem to be able to part with (donate) my finds as quickly as I buy.

VW: Do you encourage your friends and family to thrift shop at Value Village? If yes, are they willing to, or have they already become Value Village customers?

DD: Yes, my family and friends shop at Value Village. I talk about all of the interesting things I find at work so much that it’s inspired them to shop at Value Village even more! My friends are especially shopping at Value Village now because of Halloween right around the corner. One of my friends is going to be a zombie and he found everything he needed for his costume at Value Village for under $15! Another of my friends is planning to be Black Swan for Halloween. She found a corset, a tutu, ballet slippers, and gloves for less than $20 – she mixed new accessories and gently used items for this great costume.

VW: Are there any plans for Value Village to open new stores in other GTA locations in the future? And in Canada?

DD: We have a few more stores opening in Canada this year with one in Orillia, ON, and another in Yorkton, SK next month. But next year is also going to be a busy year with quite a few new stores opening in the U.S. and Canada, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bayview Village Mall in Toronto

In anii petrecuti in Toronto am cam facut shopping peste tot – mall-uri, buticuri reprezentative din centru, evenimente de reduceri de tip warehouse sales. Dar o locatie de shopping pe care am omis-o in toti acesti ani este un mall din nordul orasului, Bayview Village, situat la intersectia Sheppard & Bayview. Nu stiu cum se facu, dar in 5 ani de cand locuiesc la Toronto nu am venit niciodata aici pentru shopping. Asa ca in acest weekend m-am hotarat sa compensez acest lucru, si am iesit la o scurta tura de shopping la Bayview Village Mall. Nu intentionam sa cheltui prea multi bani la aceasta tura de cumparaturi; mai degraba vroiam sa simt pulsul acestei locatii, iar cat priveste cumparaturile propriu-zise, vroiam doar “a little something” care sa-mi inveseleasca weekendul.

Nici macar nu eram familiara cu magazinele din incinta acestui mall, si vizita a fost cu atat mai interesanta, aceasta fiind o ocazie sa descopar magazine noi. Ei bine, la fata locului am constatat ca mall-ul Bayview Village este ceva mai diferit decat celelalte mall-uri din oras cu care eram obisnuita pana acum. La Bayview Village sunt magazine “private”, si nu francize ca in alte mall-uri. Brandurile si magazinele pe care le-am descoperit la BV nu se gasesc si in alta parte in Toronto. Andrews, Basler, Bengiamini Fur, Betty Barclay, Brian Bailey, Chadwicks, Crisca, Honey, Janan Boutique, Judith & Charles, Laurel, Lemor, Lole, Luisa Cerano si multe altele erau nume total necunoscute pentru mine pana acum. Singurele francize pe care le-am vazut la Bayview Village erau Banana Republic, Gap, Roots, Browns (incaltaminte), Chapters (librarie). Nici urma de popularele francize de care sunt pline toate celelalte mall-uri din oras cum ar fi H&M, Guess, Mexx, Aldo, Zara, Mango, etc. De asemenea, aici nu sunt buticuri ale brandurilor canadiene (tot din categoria francizelor) cum ar fi Le Chateau, Suzy Shier, Dynamite, Smart Set.

Am intrat in cateva din magazine, unde am constatat ca preturile erau destul de mari, mai mari decat mi-am propus sa cheltui la aceasta tura de shopping. Am intrat si la Browns, magazin de incaltaminte, unde se vand pantofi de lux – Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman. M-am uitat la colectia Manolo Blahnic din magazin, si am constatat ca are aceleasi preturi ca la Holt Renfrew, cel mai luxos mall din Toronto unde se vinde high fashion, varianta canadiana a lui Saks Fifth Avenue din New York. Something Blue Satin Pump (pantofii albastri pe care Carrie Bradshaw i-a purtat in primul film Sex and the City) erau $998, D’Orsay erau $715, Mary Jane erau $645.

Am mai remarcat si alt lucru – unele magazine de incaltaminte si accesorii de la BV, inclusiv Browns mentionat mai sus, vand genti care imita modelul Hermes Birkin. Va este familiar acest model, nu-i asa?

La Bayview Village gasesti genti care seamana cu aceasta. Nu mi se pare o idee stralucita sa copiezi modelul unei genti celebre si sa o vinzi in magazine, dar uite ca orice este posibil.

Am facut cumparaturi la Banana Republic, de unde mi-am luat doua bluze (una neagra si una coral) – my little something. Le voi purta saptamana viitoare. Mai vroiam sa merg si la libraria Chapters, sa vad ce carti noi gasesc, dar am uitat de timp – fiind sambata, mall-ul se inchidea la 6pm, si inca eram la Banana Republic la ora inchiderii, asa ca la librarie nu am mai ajuns, poate cu alta ocazie.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Value Village Opens a New Store in Mississauga

Value Village grand opening offers exciting secondhand shopping experience and a new store to house Community Donation Centre benefiting the Canadian Diabetes Association

October 6, 2011 – Value Village, the international chain with more than 270 locations across Canada, the U.S. and Australia, opens its second store in Mississauga. The new store offers great deals on thousands of unique items while benefiting its nonprofit partner, the Canadian Diabetes Association. The grand opening of its Mississauga location kicked off on Thursday, October 6, with an 8:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Value Village executives and representatives from the Canadian Diabetes Association.

“We’re excited to open our second store in Mississauga,” said Dale Debusschere, the new store manager. “This will be the 13th Value Village in the Toronto area, and we can’t wait to see our fantastic customers come out and discover the great finds we’ll offer. We’re also thrilled to expand our longstanding partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association, which began in 1985.”

Carrying everything from men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, to housewares, electronics and furniture, each Value Village stocks more than 5,000 new items daily and has over 100,000 unique items on the sales floor at any given time, ensuring customers continuously find a refreshed assortment of quality, value goods. At 31,885-square feet, the location will also house a Community Donation Centre, providing a convenient place for residents to drop off their reusable clothing and household goods free of charge. Value Village pays the Canadian Diabetes Association for every donated item, turning otherwise unused goods into sustainable revenue that supports their programs and services in the local community.

The new store comes in conjunction with the ever increasing thrift shopping trend, which is one of the fastest growing retail segments. Lifestyle, economy and social trends have contributed to the growth, including the popularity of do-it-yourself projects, renewed interest in vintage clothing, and importantly, environmentally and budget-conscientious consumers. Last year alone, Value Village and its nonprofit partners kept more than 500 million pounds of unused goods from ending up in landfills.

Special grand opening activities will begin Thursday, October 6 and continue through Saturday, October 8, including the chance to win one of five $100 Value Village gift certificates. The Mississauga store and Community Donation Centre, located in the former Price Chopper space at 70 Bristol Road E., Mississauga, Ontario, will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information, customers may contact the store directly at (905) 361-1190 or visit http://valuevillage.com/.

About Value Village

Value Village, a Savers, Inc. brand, is a privately held for-profit global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling secondhand merchandise, Value Village benefits local nonprofit organizations, gives consumers a smart way to shop, and saves millions of pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers, Inc. has paid more than $1 billion to its nonprofit partners over the last 10 years, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports vital community programs and services. The company operates more than 270 locations and has nearly 15,000 employees in Canada, the United States and Australia. For more information or to find a store near you, please visit http://valuevillage.com/.