This post is sponsored by The Affordable Style Network, but written by Kat Griffin.
I had the pleasure to talk with Angie Stocklin, the founder and primary buyer for The Affordable Style Network. In 2005, she was a 28-year-old school psychologist when she started Sunglass Warehouse out of her home as a side project with her husband. Since then, she’s “taken a big swing” at it as a business, added a number of sites to their roster (including Inexpensive Watches, Handbag Heaven, Affordable Scarves, ABC Neckties, Reading Glasses Shopper, and Socks 4 Life), and has had a lot of fun doing it.
They choose their stock in a variety of ways. “We definitely buy some things based on touch and feel after seeing it at the shows,” Angie said. “We always try to pay attention to what’s pretty for next season, and we watch the runway shows and major fashion magazines. At the same time, we try to keep classic things in stock — they’re in style but not so trendy.”
While Angie notes that some of their products are “inspired by Valentino or Marc Jacobs, etc,” she wanted to stress that the bags are not knockoffs or replicas. “We don’t represent any of our bags to be the exact same style, quality, or size as the designer brand. Yes, you can tell that they’re inspired by a designer brand, but an actual knockoff will have a faux name on it, a similar lining, similar hardware, and so forth.”
Angie took me through some of her favorites (and her mother’s favorites, her sisters’ favorites, and more…)
|This pashmina is one of Angie’s and her mother’s favorites. “You can’t go wrong with it,” she says, noting that her mother has gifted them to all of her sisters, as well as several co-workers and ladies she knows from church. The pashmina is $11.01 and comes in dark purple, berry pink, sky blue, dark green, orange, light purple, and turquoise blue. Solid Colored Pashmina|
|Angie is personally rocking these vintage-looking sunglasses. “They’re a nice square oversized style,” she notes. Some of her other favorites include the #3660, which has “just a glimmer” of a cat-eye (pictured at very top), as well as her trusty aviators. The shades at left are $13.56, available in purple, black, brown, black tortoise, and brown tortoise at Sunglass Warehouse. SW Vintage Style #8939|
|“I always really like to direct people to our business card holders, also,” Angie says. “They’re perfect for credit cards, IDs, business cards — and you can just stick them in your back pocket and go.” The card holder is $8.46, and available in black, brown, purple, blue, and green. Cork Business Card Holder|
|Angie also points to the Ruby scarf as one of her favorites. “Our knits are really big, and this scarf is a big, warm scarf. It’s extra long, so you can loop it 3 or even 4 times around your neck. With the fringe at the bottom, it’s really pretty.” Some of her other favorites include a leopard print scarf (“leopard is hot, but it’s just a little bit of a print, so it isn’t so overwhelming,” Angie explains), as well as some of the infinity loop scarves. The cable scarf, pictured, is $25.46 and available in creamy ivory, olive green, and black. Ruby Cable Scarf|
|As for handbags, one of Angie’s favorites is this zipper clutch, which has a bit of a rock-and-roll vibe to it. It can be worn as a wristlet, also, and the numerous pockets make it great for organization. It’s $31.41 at Handbag Heaven. Anderson Zipper Clutch|