Trimmer Tales: Carlos

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Aside from our long history as a New York City specialty store and our massive selection of trims, there is something that we at M&J Trimming are proud to be known for: exceptional customer service. In honor of our amazing employees, we would like to introduce a new series of blog posts called Trimmer Tales, which highlights the people who make this company so special. Our first Trimmer Tale will feature Carlos, whose story proves that if you work hard, you will get where you need to be.

Carlos Helping Guest with Trim | M& J Trimming

Carlos started out in maintenance, and was occasionally asked to help out on the floor when the flood of lunchtime customers came in. Noticing his creativity and ease with the guests, the Cohen brothers decided to use his knack for DIY at the monthly crafting seminars. Carlos soon became a hit! Now he’s a seasoned member of the floor who is a celeb-favorite, helping stars like Miss Tina Knowles, Paris Hilton, and Sarah Jessica Parker. He’s even made a head piece for Cher to wear!

Cher in Carlos's Design | M&J Trimming

Carlos with Melissa McCarthey | M&J Trimming

Carlos with Guest | M&J Trimming

Carlos with Celebrity Guest | M&J Trimming

Carlos with Paris Hilton | M&J Trimming

He notes that his favorite thing about M&J Trimming is working with the Cohen family. He attributes his success to the tremendous opportunity that they had given him. He also learned a lot about selling by watching Mr. J in action. The fact that the store has such an amazing selection of unique and hard-to-find items makes it easy to sell. “It’s like a candy store,” Carlos says, “We have so much variety!”

Carlos Helping Guest with Swarovski Rhinestones | M& J Trimming

Carlos’s favorite way to DIY? Embellishing. He loves taking plain items and making them into his own. And his number one tip for those who want to get into the DIY game? He says you should make something using not commonly found materials. The more unique your materials, the more it reflects YOUR personal style.

Carlos's first DIY project | M&J Trimming

Applique Hoodie | M&J Trimming

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Interested in seeing Carlos in action? On November 14th, M&J Trimming is hosting its first Project DIY Workshop. Attendees will be walked through three projects by Carlos, and Project DIY designer, Michelle Levy. Space is limited, so sign up today by clicking here!

Best Dressed: Super Hero Costume Round Up

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The wait is finally over. New York Comic Con is here! That’s right ladies and gentlemen. It’s time for pop culture costumes to make their way onto the streets of NYC! Out of every genre covered at the convention, we love the superhero look. Here are some of the most stylish crime-fighting costumes we’ve seen!

Batman The Dark Knight Christian Bale

There have been many incarnations of the outfit worn by the “Caped Crusader”. Some cool, and some kind of embarrassing. (Not even George Clooney could pull off the costume in Batman and Robin.) The best had to be the one worn by Christian Bale in the Dark Knight. It was tough, durable, and looked like something a crime fighter would wear.

Mystique X-men Costume

On the first X-Men film it took eight to nine hours to get Rebecca Romijn into her Mystique costume. Why? The whole look is created using prosthetics and makeup, not actual clothing.  Fortunately by the second film they got it down to JUST five to six hours. The wait was well worth it because her makeup turned out AMAZING.

The Amazing Spider Man

Not only does Peter Parker have Spidey Sense, he also has fashion sense in The Amazing Spiderman. The costume is true to the comic books, and looks totally sleek. If he swung through the streets, the most fashionable New Yorkers wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. If they were used to seeing superheroes swing through the streets, that is.

Captain America Costume

Many modern men wouldn’t feel comfortable in a pair of superhero tights. Luckily, Captain America got to wear an American staple instead. Blue jeans! The embroidered stars, full helmet and colorful shield keep the look bold and superhero-esque.

Batman Poison Ivy

Our favorite comic book hero costume is actually donned by a villain! Despite the tough break the good guys got in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, Poison Ivy’s outfits were amazing! This fiery redhead was no stranger to embellishments, and the look is easy to replicate with some of our floral appliques.

Looking for some more superhero inspiration before you head to New York Comic Con this weekend? Take a look at our Marvel Comic Book inspiration page! We can’t promise you’ll be able to fly or fight crime with our trim, but we guarantee you’ll be the most stylish superhero at the convention!

Top 5: Gatsby-Inspired DIYs

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Even though it’s been months since Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby came out, we can’t stop obsessing over the fashions and accessories of the Roaring 20’s. Here are a few DIYs that will be perfect for your next flapper costume, but we love them so much that we might just wear them to our next party!
DIY Gatsby Bracelet

This adorable bracelet from Jolie Jouel captures the fringe of flapper dresses perfectly! The combination of the white and blue gems is refreshing, and the bracelet is so dainty that it won’t overwhelm your wrist. It would look beautiful with a white eyelet dress!

Pearl-Applique-Bracelet

This M&J DIY bracelet was inspired by Daisy Buchanan’s beautiful jewelry. This piece would be the perfect addition to any authentic flapper Halloween costume! The best part? All of the items you need to make it can be found at M&J Trimming, even the floral applique!

College-Fashion-gatsby-brooch-diy

If headbands make you feel fussy, try College Fashion’s re-purposed hair brooch on for size!

Great_Gatsby_Fringe_Dress

This incredible fringe dress tutorial from Cup of Tea is not for the novice crafter. It does take some skill with the sewing machine. If you’re feeling brave, give it a go! You’ll end up with an amazing dress. Interested in creating some different color combinations? At M&J we have fringe trim in every color imaginable!

Gatsby_Hanging_Crystal_Headband

This wouldn’t be a Great Gatsby DIY Roundup without at least ONE headband tutorial. The headpiece is an iconic component of the flapper style! This one from Buzzfeed is simply charming, and the way the rhinestone trim dangles adds a romantic touch. Do you love this look too? Check out our great selection of rhinestone trim and beaded appliques if you want to recreate it!

Now you can totally see why we love The Great Gatsby right? Everything about Jay Gatsby’s parties was glamorous and over the top! And can we just spend a minute gushing over the amazing amount of rhinestones in that movie? If you’re looking for more splendidly sparkly embellishments, visit our Great Gatsby Inspiration Page!

Inspiration: The Great Gatsby

When we think of The Great Gatsby, we imagine the decadence and splendor of Jay Gatsby’s parties. If you’re in the business of trim and embellishments, you probably love tiny details. And if you haven’t been able to tell, we really, REALLY do.  Especially ones that sparkle! Here are some images that got us completely inspired for our next DIY.

Pastel Vintage Flapper DressesThese beautiful pastel dresses are so detailed. Look that the pearl embellishments on the mint green dress, and the beading on the lace of the pink dress!

Great Gatsby Whiskey Bar

These bottles are a work of art! The etched glass is so detailed, and the amber whiskey really highlights the contrast.

Clara Bow It Girl

The ultimate flapper had to be Clara Bow. She was the “It” girl of the 1920s, a silent-film siren, and an enduring fashion icon. Check out that sultry stare!

Black and Gold Bead Fringe Dress

This beautiful black dress from ModCloth hits all the right jazz notes. We love the art deco design created by the trim and beading.

Gatsby Bridal Headpiece | M&J Trimming

Our Bridal department was tasked with tracking down a headband inspired by the one worn by Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby. This one by Bernie of New York exceeded expectations! We were blown away by the serious shine of this headpiece.

While we hope you enjoyed our inspiration roundup, you can never have enough sparkle! Visit our Great Gatsby Inspiration Page to see more trim befitting the most fabulous flapper!

Halloween Home Decor DIY Round Up

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Halloween is one of our favorite times to craft. Not only do we love creating costumes, we also ADORE making home decor. Halloween gives us the opportunity to get super creepy with our style, and dust and cobwebs finally have their moment to shine in our homes! Right? Maybe that’s just us. Here are a few of our favorite Halloween DIYs to transform your happy home into  a haunted mansion!

Potent Poisons 

Arsenic and Old Lace Labels

Country Living created these terrifying labels for your questionable libations. You can download the stickers on their website, and watch to see which of your guests dare to drink.

The Bat Shade

Martha Stewart Bat Lamp Shades

Some of these paper bats are glued to the shade, while others are hung from a thread to give the appearance of floating. Who would think that turning the lights ON could send a shiver down your spine?

The Raven

Better Homes and Gardens Feathered Wreath Craft

These feathered wreaths from Better Homes & Gardens are perfectly Poe-etic. We love the long, dramatic ribbons which almost trail the ground. If you’re looking for a similar style check out our selection of satin ribbons and feathers!

Shadowy Figures

Cheesecloth Spirit Sculptures

Martha Stewart deserves the title of “Queen of Halloween”. These cheesecloth spirits are simple to make, and will terrify passersby.  Imagine seeing these specters lurking in the hallway of your house!

Lights and Frights

Halloween Marquee Letters from Lolly Jane

These marquee letters from Lolly Jane are so crafty! Can you believe they’re made using just cardboard letters, paint, and string lights? This DIY would look great even if it weren’t Halloween! Imagine your name lit up in lights! That’s why everyone goes into show business right?

We hope you enjoyed our DIY Halloween Home Decor Roundup, and it inspired you to get crafty! If you need some more Halloween inspiration to start creating creepy-chic home decor, visit the Trick or Trims section of our website!

We’ve Been Featured in Teen Vogue

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The October 2013 Issue of Teen Vogue is also known as The Young Hollywood Issue. This issue highlights all of the up and coming stars alongside their accomplishments.  It feels great to be featured in such a powerful issue, especially with one of our most universal trims: satin ribbon.
Teen Vogue Oct 2013 Cover
You can find our satin ribbon tied to Morgan Saylor’s braids on pg 107 of the Teen Vogue October Issue

Teen Vogue Oct 2013 page 107
We love how young and fresh this look is! To steal Morgan Saylor’s hairstyle, tie a our 95MM French Double Faced Satin Ribbon at the end of your braids.

Double Chain Pendant Necklace DIY

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This Italian Pendant gives off a rich sophistication. We love how the natural essence of the stone works well with the antique chain. We felt that doubling the chain adding a very modern polish to the otherwise simple DIY.

SUPPLIES:

2 ½” Acrylic Pendant
6MM Metal Link Chain
7.5MM Jumprings-Gold
Closure
Pliers

DSC_0360STEPS
Cut your chain in half using your pliers.

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Bend each chain in half once more.

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Add a jump ring to the 2 ½” Acrylic Pendant. Be sure to open your jump ring in a North to South direction.

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Attach the middle portion of your chain to the jump ring prior to closing it. Repeat this step for the opposite side as well.

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Your necklace will look like the below image at this point.

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Connect each of the outer chains with a jump ring.

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Attach a clasp to one end of the chain.

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There you have it! Your doubled chain necklace!

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Designer Spotlight: Michelle Levy

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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Michelle Levy, Lead Designer Project DIY

We caught up with Project DIY’s lead designer, Michelle Levy, to find out about her favorite trims at M&J this season. In addition to her trimming faves, she gave us great tips on personal style and DIYs we should try. 

Designer Spotlight

Does your personal style influence your jewelry aesthetic? (As I’m asking this question she’s rocking amazing patterned pants, to die for jewelry and killer purple streaks within her tousled dark hair.)
My personal style definitely influences my jewelry aesthetic.  I love to be a chameleon—some days I am dark and edgy and other days I’m more trendy and bright.  I love using mixed metals that can be played up or down depending on my outfits, as well as having a few big statement pieces for getting all decked out.

Where do you find inspiration?
Where do I not?! Sometimes the colors in my salad inspire me to create. I always keep my eyes and ears open.

What trends are you most excited for Fall?
For Fall 2013, I am super excited about all the menswear styles that are coming in for women. Masculine fabrics like pinstripes, tailored styles, bowties and more squared-off silhouettes. I love how fresh it feels, especially when paired with statement-making accessories.

How has working at M&J influenced your jewelry making style?
Working at M&J has influenced what types of materials I am drawn to. I come from a jewelry background, and so I’ve learned a lot here about textile trims, embellishments and cords. I like finding ways to include them into my designs.

What materials do you prefer working with?
I prefer using metals, such as brass and sterling silver, as the basis for my designs. I always like my jewelry to have a strong and sturdy foundation. Once that is set, I can embellish with the daintiest of charms and not worry about the quality and durability of the piece.

What products are your go-to fall favorites?
Anything suede or leather. I also love trims with grommets and rivets for fall.

If you could only buy one product from M&J what would it be?
I would buy a gift certificate. Trick answer.

What are you coveting for fall?
Year after year, I covet a Burberry shearling moto jacket. It will be mine, one day!!

Do you have any fashion don’ts?
My biggest fashion ‘don’t’ is to be fearful. Oftentimes people lack the confidence to explore fashion and accessories. Try something new! It’s important to go with your instincts and express yourself.   Another key tip is that not everything has to match… have fun with your fashion.

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Four Ways: Chainette Fringe Sweater DIY

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Staying warm and chic during fashion week has never looked better. Our latest 4 Ways to Embellish feature will show off the best ways to impress everyone with your little black sweater. Bring out your inner diva by adding a bold fringe to your shoulder sleeves. This simple transformations will have every style photographer looking your way.

SUPPLIES
Black Sweater
E-6000 Glue
Scissors
50MM Chainette Fringe with chain

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STEPS
Lay your 50MM Chainette Fringe with chain trim on the smallest part of your sleeve. You can either wrap the trim around or focus on one side.
If you’re only highlighting one side, cut the strip from one end to the other.
If you want to have fringe on the front and backside, wrap the trim around the sleeve. 
Cut the trim at the desired location.

DSC_0044Continue doing this until you have completed your entire sleeve.
This will allow you to lay our the 50MM Chainette Fringe with chain trim in the desired location.

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Using E-6000, glue the trim down on each tier.DSC_0048

Apply a small amount of pressure. DSC_0049

How chic is this look?DSC_5301

Four Ways: Embellished Neckline Sweater DIY

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Turn up the glam factor by embellishing the collar of your sweater with beaded appliqués.

SUPPLIES
55 x 55MM Hot-Fix R.S. Motif
E-6000
Sweater- Ours was from H&M

STEPS
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Apply a small amount of glue on the back of your 55 x 55MM Hot-Fix R.S. Motif.
HINT: We placed a piece of oak tag in between our sweater ensuring that the glue would not go through the other end of the sweater.DSC_5114Apply a small amount of pressure on the 55 x 55MM Hot-Fix R.S. Motif making sure the glue has set in.

DSC_5117Continue this technique for each of your 55 x 55MM Hot-Fix R.S. Motifs. We outlined the neck, but experiment with your pattern.

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This neckline was worthy of a ballerina bun. DSC_5280