Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Wizard of Blake & Brady

Much like the Wizard of Oz, there's someone here who has been hiding behind the curtain helping run this crazy fashion sideshow know as Blake & Brady. Our Wizard isn't an old balding man with a raspy voice however, and it certainly isn't a man. Her name happens to be Sissa and you may have seen us mention her in previous blog posts. She's blond, vivacious, and bubbly, and we love her to pieces. Perhaps we're biased, but we have a feeling that if you knew her personally, you'd feel the same way.

Since the beginning of Blake & Brady, Sissa has worked behind the scenes with her co-owner and husband Chris. However, just last week Sissa made a huge change in her life. She quit her job of 9+ years in pharmaceutical sales to work full time at Blake & Brady. She's come out from behind the curtain to work at the store and help out with her quickly growing boutique. With the new upstairs expansion opening soon, she has much to do.

Because Sissa is taking on a much bigger role with the boutique (ya know, other than just being the owner, since that's no big deal right?), we thought it was time we introduce her to y'all, our growing clients turned friends.We sat down with Sissa today to find out her deepest darkest secrets for y'all. Like the fact that she accidentally locked herself out of her hotel room once in just her underwear, and the fact that she kissed George Clooney once in a bar, before he was super famous. Okay okay okay, that last fact totally isn't true, but wouldn't you be so jealous if it was!?

You're not from Anderson (which is the home of Blake & Brady), right? 
Nope, I was raised in Alabama and Georgia but somehow fate or destiny brought me to the wonderful city of Anderson.

So, How did you actually end up here?
Let me try and make a long story short (Us girls say that and then it ends up being a long story because we just can't bear to leave out all the fun details! but I'll try my best to keep it short). Like I mentioned, I'm from Mobile, Alabama where I was born and mostly raised. It's a place I love and will always call home. When I was a sophomore in high school my mom and step dad, with me in tow, moved to Marietta, Georgia because of my stepdad's new job. After high school I ended up at University of Georgia where I was a cheerleader. Yep, I was one of those peppy girls with the big smiles at all times, hard to believe huh? *laughs*
Many years later, when I was almost 30 years old I was invited to attend a UGA game (I believe they were playing Tennessee). At this game, I was unknowingly set up with a man my age whose name was Chris. We hit things off but I wasn't quite sold on him yet. He was a bit of a nice guy, and we all know us girls like the bad boys. Eventually though, after about a year, Chris won me over. Fast forward to a few months or a year later. Chris helped me pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales. The job he found me just so happened to be in Anderson, South Carolina, where Chris was from. Eventually we settled into Anderson, together, got hitched, had a couple baby girls, and here we are today, loving every bit about our life together in the Electric City!

That's quite the love story! Now, why on Earth did you decide to open up a clothing boutique? 
Well it was more Chris's doing than mine although I may have sparked the very intriguing idea. I've been enthralled by fashion my whole life but never dreamed I'd one day own my very own boutique. It all started with a simple conversation with Chris about how it would be great to open a franchise of a boutique we loved in Alabama, here in Anderson. Then we decided that it may be better to just open up our own unique boutique. We noticed that downtown Anderson had a need for a boutique for all to enjoy shopping at. From there, we decided to take the plunge. With a lot of hard work done by Chris, and my female touches, Blake & Brady became a reality about 3 years ago.

What are you most looking forward to with the future of Blake & Brady?
All the growth potential, most definitely! It is just incredible how much growth our store has experienced in the past year and it can only get better from here. We are shipping product to people all over the nation and even Canada! We hope Blake & Brady continues on this successful path so that one day our daughters, Blakely and Brady, can work at the store and maybe take over. How great would that be?!

Will y'all have an online store any time soon?
We'd like to have one eventually, yes. But for right now, we don't see a need for one. Facebook has been an incredible utility for us. Most of our sales come from fans of our page on there. For those of you who don't know, when we receive new items from UPS we immediately unpack them, price them and hang them up, and take a picture of them. We then email this picture out to our FastTrack Email List informing everyone about our new arrivals and letting them know when we'll post pictures of each new item individually on our Facebook page. About an hour or two after the email goes out, we post pictures as we just explained, of one of our employees wearing the new stuff we got, in a photo album on our page. Our friends can then comment under each picture to order or they can call us at the store. It's such a great system for us and it's fun to see all the enthusiasm that our friends exude when commenting on photos. We love to make our girls (and guys) happy!

How would you define your personal style?
I try and make sure I look fun and fashionable but comfort is also very important to me. I'm not quite a spring chicken anymore although I try my hardest to turn back time! I like flowy tops and dresses, that hide all my problem areas but accentuate my favorite parts. I feel those 'fun and flowy' tops match who I am as a person. I like to dress age and style appropriate. Many of the clothes I personally pick out for the store are chosen for women who are no longer in their 20's. Women who want to look cute and flirty, but appropriate. If I had the choice, I'd wear heels every day every where. But because I've had knee surgery, my poor leg just can't handle the heels so I tend to stick to flats these days.

What would you say is your biggest Fashion 'oops!'?
Funny you ask that. Just a year or two ago, while attending a Clemson football game, I decided to wear those pasty bra things. Ya know, they're not quite a bra but not just a sticker, but they do the trick. Well, the game was very hot and I ended up sweating in the wrong place. Needless to say my pasties (is that even the right word?) lost their stickyness and fell off into the blousy part of my top. How embarrassing! I ended up having to pull the suckers out of my shirt and hide them under the bleachers at the stadium. They were a great surprise for whoever cleans up after the games! Sorry about that! My advice to you, don't wear pasty bra things if you're going to be sweating or getting wet in any way, bad idea! Good heavens, i can't believe I just told you that story.

Which Celeb's style do you love?
Jennifer Aniston comes to mind. I couldn't pull off her style but I love it regardless. She's got that sleek yet conservative look going on. Without trying to be sexy, she just 'is' and that's rare in women these days. I also love Carrie Underwood's and Anne Hathaway's style. They dress conservative yet fun and classy all at the same time. I've yet to see an outfit on Carrie that didn't absolutely flatter her figure. She always look so perfectly put together.

What new fashion trend do you love and what can you live without?
I just love love love white jeans! Whether they're skinny, cropped, or bootleg, I love them. I think we should throw away the 'no white after labor day' rule. White is timeless and perfect for so many occasions. On another note, I'm not a big fan of parachute pants. They've been trying to make a come back for the past year and I'm just not jumping on that bandwagon. MC Hammer can keep his pants.

Give us some Fun Facts to finish up...
Many people don't know that we carry men's denim in our store. Men, once you go designer jeans, you'll never go back, that's a promise. Ladies, buy a pair for your man and see how quickly he falls in love.
What else, hmmm... I love to play tennis. When I'm not working or doing activities with my girls, I am playing tennis. It's my outlet and a great way to stay in shape of course.

Well there you have it y'all... everything you've ever wanted to know, or didn't want to know, about Mrs. Sissa Sullivan. Our Wizard of Blake & Brady.

Want to see Sissa in action? Here she is talking about her wonderful boutique and giving more information about the new 'Loft at Blake & Brady'!  It took a while to get Sissa to sit down in front of the camera but once she gave in she did a great job! If the video doesn't work for any reason, Click Here for a larger version of the video if it will not expand below.

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