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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Link Love (18)


BHLDN Is A Rip Off. Literally.

OK. I thought I’d be fair. I thought I’d give them another chance. No more. I’ve seen too damn much. And it pains me because I LOVE Anthropologie. I kind of like Urban Outfitters because it’s a cheap version of Anthropologie and I have always adored the brand Free People. No more. I must boycott.

The parent company Urban Outfitters owns six retail brands: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Leifsdottir and BHLDN. Everyone has been all up in arms lately because there appears to be some, um, how shall I put this….uh…..RIPPING OFF of indie designers and artists by Urban Outfitters. 

Now, as a past product development guru, I get it. There are only so many ideas out there. You have to find inspiration somewhere. It’s called knocking off, creating a cheaper version of something that’s just a smidge different. Most times, it’s a top down effect, where someone like Forever 21 knocks off the latest Dior and sells it for $19.99. In my past product development world, you had to bet your job on the fact that what you were designing was NOT going to infringe upon the copyright of another artist, designer, company. Legally, you had to make sure that 33% or more of an item was artistically different if you were to openly knock something off. That can include color, shape, size, material, icons, etc. Once, a few years ago me and the company I worked for got hit with a law suit for knocking someone off.  I went through the roof because I knew it wasn’t true. I knew it. And I could prove it wasn’t true. And I did. But man, I’ll tell you what, I was shaking in my boots over the whole ordeal. What ended up happening was that a factory I worked with created icons I instructed them to make using another designer’s original work and not mine.  I had never even seen the original stuff before. The factory passed off the icons to me as an interpretation of my artwork. It’s all hair splitting and crazy when you get overseas factories involved, but in order to avoid any conflict at all, we pulled the item from sale and stopped working with that factory (p.s. this conflict took months to resolve). So, I can understand how things can slip through the cracks. I understand how maybe once – or even twice – you cross ideas, artwork, products. It happens.

But man, this is just too much. Too often. Too similar. And the bottom-up approach is so not cool. Instead of knocking off Dior, these product managers are hitting the streets and Etsy for creativity. And I’m not understanding how the fuck they continue to get away with it. Oh wait, yes I do. It’s much easier to rip off a small artist who doesn’t have a legal team than a prominent brand. That’s how they’re doing it.

Let’s review, shall we?


image    image

On the left is an original design from jewelry designer Lillian Crowe. March 2009

On the right is the piece from Urban Outfitters. November 2009



The white version was created by Crownfarmer in 2003.

The red version was created by Urban Outfitters in 2006.



Original t-shirt on the left created by Johnny Cupcakes Summer 2004.

Urban Outfitters contacted Johnny Cupcakes for a sample of this shirt for possible placement in stores, which would be an amazing financial gain for a small company. The samples were never returned, yet the version on the right was released January 2006 by Urban Outfitters. No orders were placed with Johnny Cupcakes. *ahem*




Then there’s this item via Urban Outfitters. The direct link no longer shows the picture, only the verbiage.

Please compare that to this:


Via Etsy seller Tru.Che and her United/World of Love line, May 2011. Check her blog post about it here.

Need another?


Elizabeth Dye/The English Dept. on the left, 2010.

BHLDN on the right, 2011. 

And what’s crazy and weird is that I just wrote about this myself a few weeks ago. Check it out:

image  image

The chair on the left is my design from my last job, June 2010.

The chair on the right is in Anthropologie now, May 2011. 

In my original post, I wrote it off to a similar factory issue I outlined above, but now I’m thinking we got ripped off. Lame.

What really chaps my ass is that the people who work for these companies go through a rigorous interview process (I know, I’ve applied with them in the past only to be laughed out the door) and are required to have incredible portfolios and fine arts educations, etc. And they don’t even pay very well! So I’m asking myself why these “artists” can’t come up with their own stuff! Why aren’t they crediting and/or buying reproduction rights from the original artists? That would not only be the right thing to do, but it would also stimulate our economy, support the arts in general and turn themselves into a powerhouse company. Don’t you think that if Urban Outfitters had product “casting calls” on places like Etsy and Cargoh that they’d actually be offered these products versus having to steal them? The cost would be minimal and the return would be so worth it. Sometimes companies can be so dumb.

While I’m not a heavy-duty shopper of the Urban Outfitter brands in general, I certainly won’t be seeking them out any time soon. There are way too many amazing, local and domestic designers out there who can fulfill my needs. What about you? How do you feel about this?


Gratitude and Go-Tos. 

First and foremost, I want to thank a crap-ton of people who have been posting and tweeting the heck out of our little contest these last 2 weeks! We're super-excited to post the finalists on Monday and get started on the voting! WOOT!

Many thanks to: The Broke-Ass Bride, Snippet & Ink, Ashley's Bride Guide, Big Spoon + Little Spoon, My Hands Made It  and of course to Dulce Photography for blogging the contest (and if I've missed you somehow in this list, my thanks to you too!). Thanks to everyone who tweeted and retweeted and shared on Facebook and all that stuff. You've still got the weekend to enter, so don't delay!  Go here and read how to enter!

So until Monday, enjoy some Friday Fun below:

It's amazing the fun you can have with The Candyman and a pair of $.59 googooly eyes.

Stuff from the interwebs....

Check out these amazing photos from Ghana.

I want a tree stump table too!

Cute little DIY Valentine's Day pillow!

You, you and you? Um, please get the fuck out of there.

It's kinda pricey, but I've been lurking here.

You don't REALLY need to know French to decipher this laundry list of Girl's Night Out must haves.

LOVE her table numbers! DIY madness at it's finest.

This is just so gross.

Dude, it's paper!

I went to school with the giant black swan.

And how great would it be to come home to this?

Happy Weekend, Y'all!


Chic 'n Cheap Holiday Gift Guide!


Many moons ago when The Thirty-Something Bride was an itty-bitty baby blog, I had like 3 followers. One was my mom. One was a friend. One was the author of another itty-bitty baby blog called Chic n' Cheap Living. I am more than proud to say that I was her FIRST follower! WOOT! Well now she has a kick-ass style blog and has all sort of give-aways and awesome eye-candy.

Anyway, girlfriend planned her NYC wedding in like 3 months and then had another wedding overseas. Then she moved from NYC to London and then Singapore or something like that. I can't keep up with her globetrotting ass.  We started communicating offline as she was making her own veil as well and we were putting our brains together on Alencon lace resources. We've been cyber-buds ever since. 

Well CnC contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd like to be a part of her Holiday Gift Giving Guide. And I said, "Um, yes please." It really was a lot of fun to do. Here's The Thirty-Something Bride's Holiday Wish List: 


Workroom Wishlist 

Since we moved to a new city (that has an Ikea!), a new house (where I get a sewing/work room!), I wanted organization on the cheap (since moving is expensive!). I already have the Moses Swivel Chair from the Atlanta Ikea last year, so I'm basing my look around a simple $40 chair! Sewing rooms need to be monochromatic in my opinion - too much fuss makes it messy/disorganized. I want it to be sleek, sharp and easy to find but without being too sterile. So, I'm mixing black and white with a few natural woven storage pieces and warm lighting. The room I've chosen in the house has tons of natural light, so the look should be just fine. Hoping Santa has a BIG sack!


1. Floor mirror with black leather frame, Cymax.com, $256
2. Grandrich Torchiere and Reading Lamp, Overstock.com, $39.99
3. Rolling Storage, West Elm, $299
4. Double Handled Modern Basket, West Elm, $59
5. Allamala Wall Basket, Ikea, $19.99
6. Vikra Amon/Vika Annefors Work Table, Ikea, $128.50
7. Glossy Black Pail, Bucket-Outlet.com, $3.85
8. Set of 2 Lidded Baskets, West Elm, $69
9. Moses Swivel Chair, Ikea, $39.99

So head on over to Chic 'n Cheap for fun holiday gift boards. Go here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. So have you guys even started your holiday shopping? I am disgustingly behind. I generally have a self-imposed rule: never ever ever, under any circumstances, enter a mall after December 1. Do you have any quirky holiday shopping rules or traditions? Do tell. 





Friday Funday


 Because everyone wants to feel like a Rock Star. Photo Source: C'est Moi!

I got to resign my hand splint yesterday, but I still have these contraptions on my fingers, so I'm still officially gimpy. And honestly, I think my right hand has effing had it. On my way home from Charlotte a few weeks ago, I dropped an entire Grande Skinny Hazelnut Latte all over the floor of my car because my right hand simply is refusing to cooperate. The other night Mr. I've-Had-Enough-Of-Playing -The-Dominant-Hand dropped a spoon on a newly filled bowl of Mexican sea-salt, sending it everywhere. Today the same smarty-pants hand dropped another FULL Coke Zero all over the inside of the car I just had detailed because it reaked of old latte.


I just eased my pain with a mini box of Nerds. Mmmmm.....Nerds. They were Cherry, in case you were wondering.

Tonight my wonderful friend Alecia is throwing me a little farewell Happy Hour Thing. I'm so excited to just go hang out with some my friends and some cocktails. I'm SURE the less dominant hand will have no problem clutching onto one of those....at least I'm hoping he won't (why is my less dominant hand apparently male?).

So in honor of Friday afternoon (you are clearly blowing off early) here are some tasty tid-bits from around the interwebs..

Oh, why not? It makes perfect sense to me.

If you haven't seen this yet, make sure you do.

Bunting. It's everywhere.

But GOD, she's good.

Not so sure about these.

My friend Collins wondered how he had missed this. Me too. *This might just be way too much for y'all not heavy into 80's love.*

Check out this "venue!"

Happy Inside.

Have a great weekend y'all!


Things to Come...

To avoid becoming a newlywed cliché, I’ve decided to hit the gym a little harder than I have been as of late.  I used to go in the mornings all the time, but when The Candyman moved in with me, I started going in the evenings because we like being lazy together in the a.m. It’s just nice to snuggle up and hit snooze a bazillion times and have coffee with my guy. However, I’ve been lazy in the evenings too – just so tired and stressed from the day that I can barely drag myself home to make dinner, much less work out!

So I’ve decided that I need to start going back in the mornings. Not every morning, but I have got to get back into some sort of routine. My life may turn upside-down when we move to North Carolina.

There’s a woman I used to see there most mornings. Her name is Beth and I totally blame her for anything and everything related to this blog. It’s true. I remember getting ready with her in the locker room when she was planning her wedding. I asked very few questions because, well – I didn’t care. Not that I didn‘t think her getting married was fabulous or that I wasn’t happy for her, I just didn’t care about weddings. Remember, this current obsession is relatively new.

So about a year after her wedding, The Candyman and I got engaged and I was lost. So lost. I was freaking out, struggling and depending on The Martha and The Knot. Not good. I was starting to look at photographers and again, was freaking out. I ran into Beth one evening at the YMCA, a rarity for her. I basically accosted her and demanded to know everything she could tell me about her wedding and who she used – all while she’s puffing her way through a workout on the elliptical. Poor girl was just trying to get her workout on and she ends up with a crazy bride all neurotic in her face.

She tells me who some of her vendors were and she mentions that she was featured on Ashley’s Bride Guide. And I’m all, “What’s that?” And she’s all, “You haven’t heard of ABG? What about Snippet and Ink? What about Style Me Pretty? You need to get on-line!” And I’m thinking to myself, “What the hell is this lady talking about, that’s ALL I’m doing these days, is trying to find stuff on-line!” I was just looking in ALL the wrong places.

It can happen when you’re an idiot bride like I was.

If you need someone to blame for all this, you can blame Beth.

So I see Beth and totally accuse her for my blogging craziness and I find out SHE’S got a blog too! And really, who doesn’t these days, right? It’s a foodie blog, so go check out Eat. Drink. Smile. And update yourself on the local eateries as well as Beth’s travel foodie love.

So now that we know who to blame (because it certainly can’t be me), I figured I’d make today’s post as a more personal update. There are several uber-cool things coming up this week (sneak peak below) but I keep getting questions about things to come and I’m getting tired of explaining it over and over again so I’ll just share the whole shebang here:

  • Most of you know that the day-job will be kaput at the end of October. That is still the case.
  • We have sold our house and will be closing on September 3rd.
  • The Candyman will be going to Charlotte, North Carolina, to start a law firm with a few other lawyers. He’ll be leaving as soon as we finish loading up the trailer with all our stuff.
  • I’ll be staying in Nashville, living with a friend until the end of October and then I’ll join The Candyman in Charlotte.
  • All our stuff will be in storage until we find a place to live!
  • Packing sucks.
  • I will be looking for employment in the Charlotte area (Anyone need an excellent home décor product development manager? I just happen to know someone…..).
  • The blog will continue. It might even take the lead for a while as a response to the question, “So, what do you do for a living?”
  • TruLu Couture will continue, only better. Promise. More time = better stuff.
  • I’ll continue to share the Nashville love. I’ll just extend that love to Charlotte folks too. You know they want some.
  • Yes, it’s all very scary. I’m terrified. The Candyman is terrified. But we’re also giddy with excitement.
  • The way that karma and fate have been working in what seems to be our favor, it’s kinda hard NOT to take the reins and create the life we want versus letting life happen to us.
  • Did I mention that packing sucks?  No, really. Like it totally blows.

So that’s the gist of all that’s happening with The Thirty-Something Bride. It’s crazy, but fun. There are also some highly annoying issues that I’d like to point out:

  • I really wish that the new owner had waited to forward her mail. HEY LADY, you don’t own it YET! I make no promises as to keeping track of your mail, as well as my own.
  • You cannot forward mail FROM a PO Box TO somewhere. Did you know that? I didn’t. This makes a temporary living situation a real fucking pain in the ass regarding mail. Please don’t send me anything if you don’t freakin’ have to.
  • When in the hell did I accumulate so many “services” that require canceling?
  • Since when did CARDBOARD become so expensive? Dude, you want to charge me $4.96 for a BOX? What a fucking racket. I know what business I need to be in. The box business.
  • And when did I get all this STUFF? No, seriously. When did this happen? And why do I have such a freakish attachment to it? Do I really need to keep the running shoes I ran my first marathon in? YES! YES, I DO! And the tin foil blanket thingy they give you afterwards? And the newspaper that lists where I placed? And the empty champagne bottle I chugged with my parents and cousin afterwards? YES! YES, I DO! Now, take every significant life experience and multiply that by stuff and you have a shitload of stuff.
  • HEY NEIGHBORS! Yeah, you. You know, you total douche bags who have been parking in front of our house for like, I don’t know, 2 or 3 years now? Yes, YOU. You, who refused to park in your own driveway? Next weekend you’d better move your damn car or we’ll have the truck driver just go all Monster Truck on your POS Honda with your handicap sticker. And it’s totally clear that you are not, in fact, handicapped. Unless you are retarded, and this could very well be the case.
  • And since when does bending over to put things in a box tun me into an an old effin' lady? Seriously. I'm not even lifting anything. That job belongs to The Candyman. However, I've got a pinched sciatica that hurts like a bitch. God, I hate packing. Have I mentioned that yet?

Whew, OK. Now that’s out of my system, here’s a little taste of things to come this week:


 This is a picture (by Jonathon Campbell, natch) of a painting of thistle. It will all makes sense tomorrow, I promise. And you'll need to participate in this one. So make sure you check things out on Tuesday. There are all sorts of people involved and it's for an amazing cause and oh, I just can't WAIT to post! Oh, this has something to do with that field trip I took. Remember?

And later in the week....

Get ready to have your ass kicked by the most AH-mazing Unfake Wedding I think I've ever come across. For reals.