Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Day in the Life: Lauren Zima

It’s time for another Meet-Our-Staff Monday!

Meet: Lauren Zima
Position with THE NINES: Owner

What are your 3 biggest accomplishments in life?:
“1. My boys.
2. Receiving a patent for a product I invented for women. &
3. Serving in the Army”

What’s your favorite part about owning THE NINES?: “I love when we do our “Pay-It-Forward” makeovers! The emails we receive for the amazing nominated people in our community leaves my staff and me in tears. When the makeover winner shows up, we have so much fun pampering that deserving woman for an hour.

“Have you always loved fashion?: “Yes! Growing up I would steal clothes out of all of my family members’ closets. Even my Stepdad’s argyle socks weren’t safe from me. I saved my allowance for a year in 8th grade and ordered fuchsia glitter Dr. Marten’s from Europe. I’ve always been obsessed with shoes. Growing up my Mom called me Amelda [Marcos].

Favorite place to eat in Detroit Lakes?:  “Brew Ale & Eats DL

What do you like to do in your spare time [in the off chance that you have it]?:
“I am a ping pong and Scrabble junkie!’ 

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Self Love

We’ve all had those thoughts when looking in the mirror: “I wish my arms were more toned. Why does my hair look like this? Are those crow’s feet?!”

Things that are part of our body and history have left us feeling inadequate, unloved, and not our best when they should leave us feeling proud, beautiful, and strong.

Stretch marks are the sign of growth or motherhood, lines and wrinkles are signs of wisdom and laughs from over the years, and scars show that we have survived what we thought at that time was unsurvivable.

While we are only human and see flaws in ourselves, here at THE NINES, we see each and every one of you ladies for who you are: strong, fabulous, and beautiful, inside and out.

Although we are taking this stance from a boutique’s viewpoint, we are still real women that struggle with the same self love and body image issues every other woman deals with. But what makes our job so special is that we meet new women every day that take our breath away on what real beauty is and how we perceive it.

Our passion for fashion goes beyond a materialist craving. Read below to hear the story of Lauren and what inspired her to create THE NINES.

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“We are so hard on ourselves when we look in the mirror.

I remember after having my youngest son, I struggled to get my baby weight off. I almost couldn’t look in the mirror and not just because I was at my highest weight. But I felt inadequate for many other reasons and I remember thinking someday I will be thinner, I will have a better job and I will be able to look in the mirror again and see someone I was proud of. But for now I’m not happy with what I see in the mirror.

I was really down and my husband told me I should go shopping to lift my spirits. Doing what all Moms do, I tried to put my kids and family first and I told my husband that we couldn’t afford to be buying me clothes I will have to give away in 6 months when I hopefully take the weight off. He told me he wasn’t taking no for an answer so off I went to shop. At first I was a little depressed while thumbing through the racks since I was looking at much larger sizes than what I normally wear but I tried on clothes anyway. I ended up putting together 3 outfits and I treated myself to a really awesome pair of shoes.

The next morning when I was getting ready for work I put on my new outfit, new shoes and I curled my hair. I looked in the mirror and I broke down and cried. Tears of joy were streaming down my face because it was the first time I felt beautiful in years. I felt important and confident again. I wasn’t at my goal weight, I wasn’t doing well financially, many things in life could have been better at the time but I felt like I was back! The fun loving spunky go getter of a woman was back!

My life drastically changed after that day. The day I treated myself to the outfits and started loving myself again everything in my life changed for the better. I think I just needed to be reminded that I matter and I’m worth it.  I was promoted at work, my relationship with my husband was stronger than ever, I was offered a new job and only a year and a half after that day I opened THE NINES. 

So you can say I’m pretty passionate about fashion. It’s what’s on the inside that counts but it’s kind of amazing what you attract into your life when you start dressing like the rockstar you were created to be and when you remind yourself how truly important you are. My hope is that if you’re not already taking great care of yourself and loving yourself that you start.

It’s time to fall in love with you all over again today, not in a few months when you’re at your goal weight, when you graduate college, when you have the right job, or when you meet the right person. No excuses, you are a masterpiece and deserve to be celebrated. Love that person you see in the mirror and start reminding yourself daily of all the great things you add to this world. Don’t forget to treat yourself and remind yourself of how important you truly are.

Remember, if you need help finding that outfit or just need some words of encouragement my staff and I are here to help you six days a week!”

 

Lauren pictured here with her family visiting the Grand Canyon this past month.

Lauren pictured here with her family visiting the Grand Canyon this past month.

 

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When you look good, you feel good, you do good. It’s beyond the designer labels, trends, and prices tags, but more about the outcome and overall feeling of self worth.

What Sets THE NINES Apart

You’ve heard it in malls, boutiques, and department stores before. “You need this.” as a sales associate is forcing a heinous sweater in your dressing room that you would never pick out in a million years. You think to yourself, “Why is the person so pushy?”

Or, you’re faced with the sad racks of clothes that were created for paper dolls or body types that just don’t match yours. The dimensions are all wrong or your size is tucked away in a little corner like the store is ashamed to carry it.

The worst is when the sales associate’s help and feedback is nowhere to be found or helpful when really needed. They are rude and short with you when finally located and of no assistance to you.

So, you climb back into your car, defeated from the day’s fruitless gathering.  Quite frankly, you’re feeling a little self-conscious and down.

Here at THE NINES, we pride ourselves on the fact that we carry sizes for all body types, we are not a sales-driven team, so our opinion is honest and genuine, and the team we have is strengthened from its diverse members.

We figured it’s great to show how we are set apart from other stores, but why not hear it from Lauren herself?

1.) We celebrate every woman’s sense of style: “Many stores are geared for a specific woman. At THE NINES, I created this store to be able to help and style every woman who walks through the door. If a business woman walks in, I want to help her find outfits for work. If a college student needs casual outfits, I’ve got her covered. If a curvy woman is looking for trending clothes that flatter her, we can help. Whether you have a very simple style or you love cutting edge fashion, you can find it here. No matter your budget or craving for big name designer brands, we have Hudson Jeans or Steve Madden Shoes just to name a few!”

2.) Our goal is to help you make great outfits, not to make a sale: “Making someone feel great is better than any amount of money in my book.  That’s why we tell our customers if they have a great pair of shoes at home and need the perfect dress to bring your shoes into our store so we can help them make the perfect outfit. Or, vice versa. If you find yourself with the perfect dress and you just need to accessorize, bring your dress into the store so we can help you put the icing on your outfit.”

3.) “Knowing how hard it can be to shop when I’m pressed for time, I hired some of the friendliest and most helpful personal shoppers to help not only give my customers honest feedback in the dressing room but help you put together outfits that you may not have put together yourself. My staff and I are truly here to serve you and help you have a great time while you shop! A diverse, down-to-earth group of women of all ages whose goal is to get you looking and feeling your best.”

 

Personal Shopper, Uni, works with a customer to find her best and most flattering fit in a dress.

Personal Shopper, Uni, works with a customer to find her best and most flattering fit in a dress.

 

THE NINES is an experience and we want to be sure that every woman is celebrated by making her feel her absolute best.

Break the Rules!

Many times in life we are told to do this, don’t do that, listen to the rules, and don’t even think about stepping out of boundaries. But, where is the fun in that?

Fashion was conceived on the idea of expression and creativity and holding that back should not only be considered a crime, but a travesty. It has been said before that it’s okay to bend the rules, but here at The NINES, we want to encourage you to straight up break them. Wearing stripes with spots? Thumbs up from us. Floral and checkered prints? We’ll vouch for you 100%.

The other thing about fashion is people know but don’t like to repeat this too often: it’s okay to have a bad outfit. Because the thing is, you’re still trying. You’re trying trends, silhouettes, textures, experimenting with something that is going to come off at the end of the day. That’s what sets fashion apart from so many other vices.

 

Black + Brown? Not a worry, you totally can pair this duo together for a natural, relaxed look!

Black + Brown? Not a worry, you totally can pair this duo together for a natural, relaxed look!

 

Coloring your hair may result in a “bad hair day” for weeks and a tattoo may not turn out how it looked in your mind before committing. Pulling a fashion faux-pas will and never has hurt anyone. (Despite what some tabloids have to say.)

We often see women come into the store that may be hesitant or nervous to try new styles, and that’s okay. But what we love so much about our job is that we have the resources and ways to help women try something new, no matter how unsure they are about it.

 

Horizontal stripes are nothing to fret about! In fact, they often times prove to be more flattering!

Horizontal stripes are nothing to fret about! In fact, they often times prove to be more flattering!

 

Fashion, getting dressed, and making new outfit creations is such a fun way to experiment with your personal taste and style that once you start, it becomes a fun challenge.