Author Archives: solsak

Mobilenista Guide to Travel: Survive the Airport

By: Marci, Creative Director

Vacation time finally!! After some serious grinding for the past ummm.. two years I figured it was time to get away.…far..far away to a magical place called “not my apartment”.  Don’t get me wrong I am all about the “stay-cation”and have taken a few “me”days here and there, but this one is long overdue.  So as I prepped for my trip (Spain and Portugal, for anyone who is curious) it was obvious the CBCT was gonna be my travel companion for both surviving the airport and the cobblestone streets.  So here it is, the NUMBER ONE travel tip ever,

Be prepared.  Look I was.  Here is what you need:

travel gear

  • Change of clothes.  Sometimes turbulence wins and airplanes have to make emergency landings leading to looonnnnggg flight delays (Yes, this happened).
  • Obviously bring toiletries (those aren’t that much fun to take pictures of).
  • Moisturizer.  Airplane air makes my skin hurt.  Literally.
  • Scarf.  Airplane air is also freezing.
  • Money.  Don’t get ripped off by those airport currency exchange places.
  • Phone.  Wifi is everywhere.  Its magical.
  • Passport. Self explanatory.
  • Excederine.  Because you will need it.  Trust me.
  • Book.  For when your electronics die.
  • Heels.  For stepping off the plane and pretending paparazzi are waiting to snap your pic.

cbct travel

What are some of your travel faves?? Tell us in the comments. :)

What’s all the Rave about the Color Blocked Canvas??

It’s been a week since an exclusive number of customers became the very first in the country to receive their Color-Blocked Canvas Totes and here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received so far:

 Just In: My new Color Blocked Canvas Tote. Here is my ultimate summer accessory!

“Hey! My wife really liked your bag. Thanks!” – TW

“My mom loves the bag! She was so delighted.” – RH

“Amen to those sold out bags!!! Loving mine. They will be gone before you know it!” – LT

So what’s all the rave about? Several things:

1)    It’s made with a separate compartment for your heels or flats! Ladies, enough said! :)

2)    It’s versatile- when you’re not carrying your shoes and need more space, there is a zipper at the base of the bag that will allow additional room.

3)    It can be worn like a cross body messenger

4)    It’s cute and original 😉


We have the best customers ever. We thank you for your unsolicited feedback and we appreciate the support!  Do you have any comments or questions regarding the CBCT? We’d love to hear from you!  :)

Mobilenista Guide to City Chic: Style, Attitude, and Confidence: A short list.

By: Marci, Creative Director, SOLSAK @ GALLERY PLACE

1. State of mind: Express yourself. Be confident. Dress how you want to dress. Do what you wanna do. Make lemons into lemonade!

pix1    pix3.png.jpg   pix2.png


2. Shades are a must. Shades can make you look cool

pix4.png.jpg pix5      OR Scary.








And both can come in handy.


3. Always be prepared…cabs may not always be available.

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4. Headphones : The phone/headphone combo is also a perfect cover for eavesdropping (entertainment) and people watching (more entertainment).

pix9    pix10  pix11


5. Options: Make sure you always have them. 😉


Tell us about your style, attitude and what gives you confidence!


How to Purchase the Right Heels and Live to Tell About it!

shoe battle

I recently read a tweet by a Mobilenista named Lauren who was doing house work while breaking-in what appeared to be brand new pair of Christian Louboutins in preparation for a wedding. I remarked that they looked great but I hoped that her feet didn’t hurt too much.  Check out her reply below:

lauren Lauren @_________________

@GalleryPlaceDes Oh my feet were in pain haha. The things women do to look pretty!

Let’s face it. At one time or another most of us have been guilty of sacrificing of our feet for the sake of looking fabulous!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wearing heels but at the same time, I’m all about preserving my toes and feet for as long as possible.

So here are my top five ways to consciously purchase and/or wear heels:

5. Don’t purchase based on appearance only

This will get you every time! For this reason I never purchase heels online unless I’m very familiar with the brand. If I see something that catches my eye, I’ll do the research, make the trip to the store, take my time and try it on.  It may sound like a lot, but hey my dawgs are worth it!

4. Walk it out!

It’s usually not enough just to try a shoe on. For me, if I’ve made the trip, I also have to be willing to walk it out.  By this I mean not only trying the shoe on, but also keeping it on while walking around the store.  Hey, the way I see it, retailers like DSW have ample room for me to take a few laps prior to taking that box the finish line.

3. Don’t ignore the signs

This step goes hand in hand with #5 because when women see something we really want we can be MASTERS of denial.  When trying on heels, regardless of how great they look, or how many compliments you may get in the store, if you feel the slightest bit of discomfort… Don’t do it! Step away from the light Carol-Ann!! Be honest with yourself and your feet and just let those shoes go! J

2. Do not seek a second opinion

When trying on uncomfortable heels, unless the second opinion is advice on why not to buy the shoes, don’t take it. You and I both know that if they hurt the first five minutes you have them on in the store, chances are you will probably get only about 30 min wear-time out of them (max) in real life.


If all else fails, in the event you totally ignore everything I just wrote, know that you can always depend on us!  Wear those painful heels with pride, knowing that your trusty flats are right by your side.

What are some of the things you take into consideration before purchasing heels?  We’d love to hear from you!

Some things you should know, that I know, about the DC Metro

By: Marci, Creative Director, SOLSAK @ GALLERY PLACE


Since Metro is my primary form of transportation I thought I would pass along some general words of wisdom, observations, and warnings.

  1. Stand on the right, walk on the left.  I have places to go and people to see!
  2. Always help out a tourist.  Have you heard of K-A-R-M-A?  That’s right, this is the easiest way to earn bonus points at life.
  3. If you sit in the aisle seat and do not get up for your neighbor, expect to get your head knocked off as your fellow commuter (I) exit from the seat.  I mean really? Negative points.
  4. WMATA has this awesome thing called auto-reload and it works.
  5. If Obama’s face is on your metro card expect lots of friendly conversation from people who actually think they are Obama.
  6. If you ask where the subway is you might actually end up at a Subway deciding between a foot-long or a 6-inch (I want to apologize to those Swedish tourists from last week…ooops).  Just say metro, that’s why the signs have an “M” (also you are not in New York).
  7. The metro doors don’t operate like elevator doors… Like they really, really……..really don’t.  Test at your own risk.  It can get brutal.
  8. Gallery Place is the best.  Duh.
  9. The metro operator with the voice, you know the one that gives “safety tips”, the one that reminds large groups of people that all doors lead to the same platform and not some magical Willy Wonka land where car 6 opens up to a room full of Umpalumpas and car 7 drops you off at the Chocolate River… he is the best!  Triple points if you know his name.
  10. It’s a great place for brainstorming and ideas.  Cue the applause and say hellooo to SOLSAK @ GALLERY PLACE.

Do you ride the train in your city? Tell us about it in the comments. 😉


How to Bring a Good Idea to Life?

classic pose

Last week you had the opportunity to meet Marci, the Creative Director of #teamSOLSAK. How’d you like the poem?! :p

This week I’d like to answer a question that I’m often asked:  “How do you bring a good idea to life?”

I think many of us come up with great ideas on a regular basis whether we’d like to admit it or not. I know for me I had a laundry list of ideas that I’d ponder from time to time only to get frustrated when I read about some big-time company launching MY idea, or some teen prodigy defying the odds to create and market MY idea.  Phhsssshh! How dare them!

The truth is MY ideas were just conceptions or images that existed not only in my head, but obviously in the heads of those who were brave enough to take action.  Until I was willing to make a move, my frustration was completely unwarranted because essentially all I was doing was dreaming and not moving.

So, how do you bring a good idea to life? Well, I’ll speak from my experience in launching this particular “good idea” SOLSAK @ GALLERY PLACE.  Here are my 7 Must Haves:


1)      A fixated mind– I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. You have to become so fixated with this concept that it’s all you think about, so much so you’re willing to marry it! Ha!  Seriously, you have to be so enthralled with your idea until you’re absolutely determined to do whatever it takes to bring it to fruition. Do you have a made up mind?

2)      Check your motives– Why do you want to launch this idea, book, app, or business in the first place? Is it to get rich? Or is it truly to help, improve or add value to the lives of others? Being compensated for your work is a great thing, but research shows that if money is your primary motivator, you’re more likely to fizzle out sooner

3)      Calculate the risk– Are you willing to count the costs knowing that sacrifices which will impact your quality of life (or the lives of those close to you) will have to be made?

4)      Work– This is one four letter word that many of us tend to shy away from. We live in a society that glorifies the trappings of success, yet spends little time promoting the sacrifices and labor required to bring about the success. Are you willing to do the research, take the class(es), keep late hours, isolate yourself, create the plan, wake up early, and make follow up calls?  Are you really willing to do the work?

5)      Willingness to learn from mistakes– Mistakes are inevitable. It seems like the more involved you get in the project, the greater the consequences. But let’s face it, mistakes are a part of life.  Please don’t let them deter you. Are you willing to learn from your mistakes and move on?

6)      Endurance- Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business, app, book, etc.  Short-cuts usually cause delays. Are you committed to buckling down and enjoying the ride? Because chances are it’s going to be a long one.  Get ready!

7)      Prayer– I can only speak for myself in saying that I could never accomplish any of this in my own strength.  Therefore I choose to rely completely on the God’s guidance and every day I dare to believe Him!


Would love to hear from you.  Answer the questions posed above. Now, are you ready to bring your good idea to life? :)



Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I’m giving myself one hour to produce this gem. That’s right I’m practically live blogging! First thing is first.  Introductions.  My name is Marcia but I have aliases, Marce, Marsh, Marci, Martian, and sometimes Chris, but that’s a long story.  Georgette ((also an alias) (also you’ll meet her next week)) and I are on a quest for world domination.  Plan of attack: Infiltrate the lives of women everywhere!  How??  Inventing the most versatile, functional, cute, and totally awesome line of bags ever with top secret compartments for your heels or flats.  I like to pretend I’m Clark Kent, but instead of glasses, I’m magically transformed into a superhero by changing my shoes.


Inspired by the nuances of city living (running for the last train/bus of the night) and everyday problems (keeping dog feces away from your lunch) an idea was born.  Create a handbag with an inconspicuous and separate shoe compartment for your heels or flats for women on the go, the Mobilenista (get it!!).  Some have called it the “spare pair solution”, germaphobes everywhere have called us “heroes”, and the Huffington Post (style section) thinks we’re “geniuses”… for real ( ) .  We’re just providing options.


I’d like to close with a poem:



There’s a shoe, sticking out my bag.

Heels or flats, you’ll look rad

It’s never a big drag.

Day to night

Flight to flight, you will be so glad.

No more worries, you have options

Your feet will not be sad.

An idea born

From a simple problem, that extra pair of shoes.

Big or small, you can do it all

You never have to choose.


Creative Director- #teamsolsak


*Special thx to Dr. Seuss







How to keep $131.00 in your pocket on February 14th… Real Love.


Doesn’t it seem like every couple of months a consumer holiday rolls around compelling us to spend money as a way of demonstrating our love and affection for those we care about? In fact an article in Forbes magazine highlighted a report which estimates that the average American will spend about $131.00 on candy, cards and gifts this Valentine season. Wow! Well, the truth is, real love shouldn’t be measure in dollars. As such, here are seven ways to show those around you just how much you care about them the other 364 days of the year.

1) Call just because– In our technologically driven world it seems as though phone calls are quickly becoming a medium of the past. However, some people still appreciate when those they care about actually pick up the phone every once in a while, not because they need something, but simply to say, “Hi, I was thinking about you.”

2) Make random acts of kindness contagious– A recent study showed that a sizeable sample of the US population reports feeling more stress over the last five years than ever before… whether this be the case or not, the truth is we really don’t know what the people around us are going through behind closed doors. Whenever possible look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else, even strangers! Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the parking lot stall; pay for the meal behind you in the fast food drive through, or even offer to babysit a friend or family member’s child. The possibilities are endless.

3) Spend time with others– In our work-driven, results oriented world it’s often difficult to make time for those around us. However isn’t it interesting that when someone passes away, we will rearrange our schedule , travel and do whatever it takes to make sure we have an opportunity to pay our final respects? Let’s maximize the time spent with others while they are around to appreciate it.

4) Say nice things– There’s nothing worse than being around a complaining sour puss whether at home or at work. Express gratitude more often, let those around you hear that you appreciate them whenever you have an opportunity, and really mean it. 😉

5) Serve those less fortunate– No matter how bad we think we may have it, I guarantee there is someone in proximity who is worse off. This being the case, choose to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, visit a local shelter, or run a race for a worthy cause. Being of service not only helps those around us, but it also helps us to keep our “issues” in perspective.

6) Make or purchase small tokens of appreciation– Purchasing someone’s favorite dish/dessert, or surprising a co-worker with a latte or giving someone a card just because are also excellent ways to express one’s love and appreciation.

7) Laugh more– There have been claims that children laugh more than 300 times a day whereas adults laugh less than 20 times a day. Laughter is a great stress reliever and a good way to bond with others. Don’t take yourself or life so seriously. Lighten up laugh and look for ways to put a smile on the face of others.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with expressing appreciation for others on February 14th, however when we’re consistent in showing love throughout the year, this eliminates unnecessary pressure to spend money (we may not have) on any particular day!

What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment.

As always, let’s be social! IG – @solsakgalleryplace , Twitter: @galleryplacedes

Beauty Queens, Kilts and Knickers… Oh My!


New York City may host its annual Fashion week during this time of year, but for fashion lovers in DC, Maryland and Virginia who care NOT to brave the wintry highways you’re in luck too! I have two words for you— Crystal Couture–the area’s premier fashion show and high-end retail pop-up sale held in Crystal City.

This year we were honored to be one of the 45+ area small businesses selected to vend at this event and last night was our first of four nights. We had a blast! Paul Mitchell-Tyson’s Corner was on hand giving five minute mini makeovers; fashion stylist Kara Allen was accessible for fashion advice and consultation, DJ Danni Starr kept the party going with some of our all time favorite music mixes, and the fashion shows held throughout the evening were simply incredible. Hey, it’s not every day that you get to see men in the US sporting kilts and knickers! To top things off we were honored when Miss DC decided to pay the SOLSAK @ GALLERY PLACE table a visit and before the night was over we spotted her carrying her heels in her hand…BOOM! She gracefully admitted that she could definitely use one of our bags… hmmm, we may have to make that happen. :p In the meantime we’re excited to see how this evening’s festivities will compare to last night’s.

If you’re in the area, feel free to come by, parking and admission are FREE. See the link for details

Can’t make it tonight? Be sure to follow us on IG and Twitter as we will be posting and commenting live!

IG – @solsakgalleryplace , Twitter: @galleryplacedes

Mobilenista Book of the Month


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the second month of 2014. Whoop, whoop!

Question for you: Has anything changed? Or are you still doing the same ol’ things yet expecting a different outcome? Well, if you are trying to save a dime, then I have the book for you!

By now we know that we can’t take an old mindset into a new year and expect different results.

That said, if you’re a Mobilenista looking for a way to get control of your finances and potentially live a debt free life then let me direct your attention to today’s Book of the Month:

The Power to Prosper by Washington Post Columnist Michelle Singletary

Why I recommend this book?

  • Michelle introduces the concept of a 21 day financial fast; during this time you cannot purchase anything that isn’t considered a necessity. This means no eating out, no going to the movies, no trips to the mall, no Starbucks, No SHOES, etc.
  • Day by day she examines your current mindset about money, how it was developed over the course of time and how it may be preventing you from living a financially independent life
  • She offers real life testimonials of people who applied the principles shared only to become completely debt free

What makes this book different?

  • It’s easy to read and although the topic of finances can be very dry and sometimes downright BORING Michelle is very candid and comical and keeps you engaged throughout the entire book
  • She uses moral convictions as foundational truths to being successful
  • It’s recommended that you read this book with a friend who can help keep you accountable

What character qualities does this book develop?

  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • Patience

Well, there you have it . If you’re looking for change in 2014 in the area of your finances, I totally recommend this book. In fact one of my closest friends read the book and was able to retire almost $80,000 in credit card debt by applying the principles and today is completely debt free.

Thinking about checking it out? If so, let me know!


Let’s be social : IG – @solsakgalleryplace , Twitter: @galleryplacedes FB: /galleryplacedesigns