Here's a fun trivia fact for all of my new readers: I used to do more product reviews back in the day (okay, last year...).
I was never a "review blogger" per se, but I did enjoy sharing fun new finds through my Themed Weekend series. (And I still think product reviews by bloggers can be extremely useful because they tend to be thorough & personal - and they often come from a trusted source).
I have to say, though: I am so glad I made the transition from productville...to simply blogging the "everyday extraordinary" of my life. It's meant more engagement (thanks for your comments, ya'll!), closer friendships, and better content on my blog.
All that being said, the PR company for CAbi [Carol Anderson By Invitation] recently asked me if I wanted to sample some clothing from their Fall 2010 Collection. I took a look at the website, picked my jaw off the ground, and said, "Yes, please!" The collection is sophisticated, without being stuffy...modern, without being juvenile.
Apparently, Carol Anderson used to be a designer for Nordstrom, but now exclusively designs for CAbi. The pieces are upscale and trendy, while still retaining classic sensibilities.
Here's the catch: you can't buy CAbi online or in stores. The collection is exclusively sold through house parties that bring women together for fashion & fun. To find a Consultant near you, check the CAbi website.
If you're interested in the career side of things, there's a website specifically for that. Essentially, you sell clothes to your friends - and receive a commission.
Here's a sample of the Fall collection:
Do you ever attend (or host) "house parties" for products? Do you enjoy them? What do you think about the CAbi collection?
I'm going to cabi party tonight.. And thinking of just checking out the items not not buying anything.maybe on the second party. Will I still going or just stay at home? Pls help
I just attended my first Cabi party last night and I fell in love with several items of clothing, although they are pretty pricey. I got lucky and was able to purchase a coat from last year (the same pink coat you have on in your photo) at half price. Now that made me happy! I booked a party for next month so I can get some deals on the clothes and it seems that is the way to go.
I just went to a CAbi party over the weekend and saw the Spring 2011 collection. Loved it, Bought two things, and I know the person that hosted the party, and since she got to pick 11 items for her sales, she gave me the option of getting a 3 item for half off, which I did. :) I am very pleased with CAbi clothes. I can say that after I made my purchase and spent well over what I usually do on clothes (200+) I didn't find myself feeling upset that I spent to much, rather happy and excited I did something for myself, and actually spent money on good quality stuff instead of clothes, which I have nothing against, that easily fall apart. I say splurge. Not often, but 1-2 a year on CAbi, it's worth it,
I know this review is late. :)
I have been to 2 CAbi parties. I like the clothes - they seem to be made well and of good quality fabrics.
However, I really think the CAbi clothes are WAY OVER PRICED. I mean come on $79.00 for basically a tee shirt material blouse. That's probably out of the price range of most working women. Especially if they have a family.
I purchased a skirt a the first party and a blouse at the second party. If the prices had been more reasonable, I would have been able to buy more.
I found this site because I was looking to see if any CAbi reps might be selling off their fall 2010 samples.
I have the same sort of figure and as a mother of 5 do not want to look like I am wearing my teenage daughter's clothes! CAbi is perfect! I wish I could afford to own everything they make. I am considering becoming a consultant for that reason!
Hi Ladies! I am an new CAbi consultant just this season, and am having lots of fun doing it, and making money too. I really appreciate all the feedback about CAbi and the in-home experience. I am going to think about a way to introduce some of you who are adverse to the in-home party concept to the clothes. Also, I'm wondering if Jessica is going to become a consultant too? We are having CAbi Corner events tonight and tomorrow in Atlanta... maybe there's one in your area.
Stephanie, I'm looking forward to following your blog. It's funny that everyone thinks the Cinema Top is a "hoodie", pictured above... it is actually a "memory fabric" collar that you can shape as dramatic or sleek as you wish! Fun stuff. Thanks for all of your input!
You're right about the Cinema Top, Beth! I pulled it up around my head to add "interest" to the photo, but...I wouldn't actually wear it like that around town. ;)
Hmmm...I'm kind of late on the comments but on the off-chance that anyone reads this, here's my opinion. I've been to 4 CAbi parties now. I'd never heard of them until my younger sister told me about them. She called me RAVING about the clothes, and she never raves about anything. Finally, I went to a party. Incredible..on both ends...the amazing clothing and the higher-than-I -was-used-to-paying prices. That being said, the clothing is completely awesome. I'm a seamstress, and I used to work for Laura Ashley, so I know good garments. CAbi clothing is superior in construction, excellent in design, shows high attention to detail, features a wealth of delightful fabric choices, (many of which are washable) and over-all, has styles that appeal to woman between the ages of 16-85. I'm not kidding. I had a party at my house and a mom brought her 16 year old, who could not decide between 11 of the Fall 2010 tops and about 17 of the pants. The oldest lady was 79...she purchased a blouse, jacket, and cardi and traveled to Italy with them. She wore them the whole time and raved about how they washed and wore. They simply meet the needs of a huge range of people. And once you really LOOK for quality, you will see that their prices are actually lower than garments comparable in quality etc. I'm even contemplating becoming a CAbi Consultant. I recommend these garments and the company. And yes...the pink coat is adorable on you, Steph, but especially the hoodie!! And just so you know, I found YOU, looking for negatives on CAbi clothing. Wanna know what? That kind of thing is hard to find! Thanks!!
I also appreciate how versatile CAbi clothing is! I have an hourglass figure and often have a rough time finding clothing that flatters my shape without looking too sexy...but CAbi clothes are an exception. They're modern and classy at the same time.
CAbi has great items and lasting clothing as well. I can get a few pieces to enhance my wardrobe and keep adding to it year to year. The pieces last and are timeless enough that I wear for years! I look at it as a fun night out with friends and if I shop, I shop and I don't, I don't!Consultants are no pressure, just come and have fun! The nice thing about CAbi too is that its a different type of business model than direct sales and the income potential is really good. Like any business, you have to work it to be successful, but a good business plan, which CAbi has you do, works! Like a good friend says, plan your work and work your plan!
wow, the clothes are fantastic. I've tried several direct marketing companies and dare say, I can't do anymore. I've spent way more than I have ever made :)
I have never been to a house party for clothes. Candles, kitchen stuff, yes, but not clothes. These are REALLY cute, LOVE the coat!!!
I LOVE THAT COAT! Not to shout but it's very cute and you look adorable in it! It's a winner!
Thank you! I like it a lot too. The fit is fantastic (and the pink is so feminine - a nice deviation from the more traditional "black winter coat").
My older sisters host parties allllll the time. I go, but I never buy anything! I just go to hang out with my sisters! One sister recently started doing Medifast and has been trying to get me to host a medifast party. As someone who has never ever struggled with weight, I think it would be pretty ridiculous of me to host a party for a weight loss product I've never tried.... and absolutely don't support anyway!
With that said, I only go to those parties if one of my sisters is hosting, because they know I don't want to buy the stuff, I just want to hang out!
The stuff looks cute, but I wouldn't host a party for them, just because I'm cheap and only shop clearance racks and consignment stores. :)
I just figured out how to post comments on here again...pregnancy does that kind of thing to me. Anyway, It's so funny that you posted about CAbi because that same day I was invited to a home party and had never heard of them before. Thanks for the inside scoop! I'm a huge fan of home parties for the shear fact that I love getting together with people and it's a wonderful excuse to do that! I've been a hostess for jewelry, cookware, and makeup and have gotten wonderful products for a reduced price but never seem to buy from the parties otherwise unless it's deeply discounted.
CAbi clothing follows a similar price point to Chico's and/or Coldwater Creek but you'll find the quality and fabric of a much higher quality than both. The extreme value in the clothing line is your ability to mix and match with prior seasons of CAbi items and you will find that they last.....forever. I have been to shows that have spanned 7 seasons and if I could, I would only buy CAbi because of the value, quality and fashion forward styling. I'm sorry to see that so many will totally dismiss the opportunity because they would not attend an in home shopping experience. It really is fun and there is not one consultant for CAbi that will pressure you into a purchase, the catch phrase is, "Don't buy it unless you LOVE IT." Give it a try, you won't be disappointed and, here's the best part, you will receive compliments when you least expect them. Honest!
I agree with you 100%. After going to my first CAbi party in Fall '09 I have become hooked. I really don't buy anything else anymore. Yes, it can be somewhat pricey, but if you become a hostess you are invited to the consultant's inventory sale where you can purchase items for 50% off. That's how I've built my wardrobe. I love the way you can mix and match from past seasons and come up with great, stylish outfits. I can honestly say i never tire of these clothes. And on another note, I don't get these women who say their time is so precious blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry, but to get a break from children, everyday stresses, have some wine and good snacks and look at fabulous clothes
with other women....how delightful!
I love the black hoodie on you! Super cute! I've been to some fun, let's have a laugh and a glass of wine, house parties and I've been to some uptight, awkward, please spend loads of money house parties. I think it's all about how it's done.
Good point! The "fun level" of these kind of parties depends a lot on who is hosting, who is invited, and how the party is structured.
I agree with the above comments. You do look like a model! And the hoodie is hip and yet comfy looking, too. But I also don't go to these type of product parties. There is always a pressure to buy just to support the friend who invited you and inevitably the products are over-priced. I thought the Cabi products looked a little pricey, although I suspect they are very well made. But good for you for getting samples to review!
So that's where you got that super cute pink coat. So chic!
No parties for me. I hate making people feel like they have "one more thing" they need to do.
I've never had a jewelry/clothing/tupperware party, but I go to them now and then. Those clothes look super cute!
Generally I dislike house parties. Most of the time the stuff is completely overpriced and unless they have a super unique product it can be found elsewhere. Also, I don't think I would ever buy clothes that I couldn't try on (no, I don't buy clothes online unless I've owned them before) and I doubt they would have their whole collection in every size with them.
I went to a CAbi party once because my MIL wanted someone to go with her. I loved the clothes that I saw but unfortunately it was too much out of my budget. But if they offered to send me free stuff I wouldn't turn it down either. Good for you!
My sister in law works for cabi corporate which is why I get such cute free clothes!
I didn't realize it was CAbi! Now it makes sense...you always look super glamorous.
i have noticed that you have started shying away from product reviews/giveaways (which i miss btw b/c i knew that the products would really be useful or well liked at my house, b/c you didn't just accept any review) but i also love just reading about your life!
i HATE "house parties" - i always feel obligated to buy something and because we live on such a strict budget, it's just not possible - i don't want a bunch of jewelry that really isn't my style, or cooking gear that i could get at a fraction of the price someplace else, etc -- that's just my 2 cents though.....
I agree, that first picture of you is GORGEOUS! I love how that hoodie twists in the front! I only go to the home parties when I know I like what they are selling, and I have money to spend. Otherwise, I feel disrespectful coming, eating all the food, taking up the time, KNOWING I'm not going to buy anything.
However, I have found that network marketing companies offer some of the highest quality, most awesome products. The companies aren't spending money on brick and morter store fronts, and advertising, and so the money goes into the product (research, development, quality).
Also, I know that a lot of SAHM's support or add to their family finances this way, and I'm all about supporting that! So if I have something I NEED (whether it be clothes, or tupperware, or cookware, or makeup, or skincare, or cleaning supplies, or ahem, sex related items..) I try and find a friend that is selling it first. I just think it's awesome that I can get what I need (at a great quality), and help support my friends.
Cabi's line is gorgeous! SO glad you got to review it, what a nice surprise. :) Also, I loved/love your reviews... you are the best reviewer out there. On the flip side, I love getting to know you more through your day to day life type of content. :)
I love the way you think about this, Carrington! It's such a good thing to support other moms in their business efforts!
I don't usually attend these types of parties either. I like the benefit of the consultant helping you create outfits at the CAbi party, even though I think it would lead me to spend a little more. I know several people who wear CAbi clothes and they always look terrific. That pink jacket is great on you!!!
The clothes look beautiful, but no I do not attend those types of house parties. They are time-consuming, and my time is too precious. I never enjoy even the "social" side to these parties, as it often feels forced and unnatural. Also, there is a lot of pressure to buy, even though the deals are never that great, and I am a bargain shopper. I have yet to see a product sold from these types of parties that isn't way marked up. I can usually find much more high quality products at a MUCH lower price doing my own shopping. That said, I do like the pieces you are modeling. They look great on you!
I personally like when you do product reviews, because I know that I am getting a real point of view. In fact, I have gone on your sight before looking for particular product reviews from the past when I am debating on what to get. I have never heard of Cabi clothing before, but now I have. :)
Thank you so much for saying that, Olivia! It's so helpful to hear what my readers enjoy and find useful.
As you know, I haven't given up on product reviews altogether. I've just cut back on them significantly to improve my content and narrow my blog's focus.
Actually, I'll give you a little "sneak peek" into the next week or two: I have another themed series coming up - with giveaways! Yay.
I just saw that my blog address in the box has been autofilling incorrectly. That stresses me out.
Oh! I did notice that once and I forgot to tell you (so sorry). I'm glad it's all fixed now.
I LOVE the hoodie in the top picture! It's gorgeous!
I try to not host house parties like that... Everyone feels pressured to buy, and I don't want people to think that I'm only inviting them to make a purchase.
(I'm the same way). In fact, I've never hosted a product party before.
That said, I DO like to support other moms in their business ventures. I'm still trying to figure out how to best do that when I really don't have a need for another product...
As a mom with one of those business ventures, we always love referrals! Even if you're not in the market for our particular item at the time, when a friend is looking for a great "whatever", think of those entrepeneurial moms with their own businesses!
And I try really hard to make everyone feel non-pressured and I think it's okay to go to a party, see the product, and decide you're not interested or not interested right now.
You are a beautiful model for their clothes! I have never heard of CAbi clothes, but I normally don't spend a lot on clothes and based on other comments, it seems like they're pricey. What are the price ranges? I do love the pink coat and the gray trousers though.
I would say that the prices are comparable to Nordstrom (I'm more of a Nordstrom Rack girl myself). ;)
The Speckle Trousers are $98 and the Madison Avenue Coat is $178. Most pieces fall in the $80-$130 range.
First off...you look STUNNING in the first picture. Well, in the second one too, but I already said that on a different post! You are beautiful...and not just because God gave you a beautiful face, but because your love and joy for Him and others just shines through your eyes and smile!
I have never bought and CAbi clothings...a bit pricey...but it is SO nice. Two years ago, one of my closest friends lost their house in a fire and a few CAbi consultants in the area donated quite a bit of clothing for her. It was so great! I always have such a hard time shopping. I know what type of clothing I would *like* to wear, but my budget and my shape don't often allow it...ugh. I think I just need a personal shopper...any takers? :)
Nini, you give the best compliments!
CAbi actually has a big philanthropic side: The Heart of CAbi Foundation (established in 2006).
The foundation gives clothing, financial support, and volunteer efforts to women in poverty and/or in disaster situations: http://www.cabionline.com/Fall2010/index.asp#/Foundation/. THAT is something I can get behind 100%!
I usually stay away from those type of parties. I use to go to be nice and to see if I was interested in the product. But then when I didn't buy there was pressure from the hosts or the gal selling it. If I am going to buy something, I really need to love it. Not just so a friend can get $50 worth of free clothes, candles, jewelry, etc..... Plus I would rather be at home with my family. :0)
I can relate. I almost always turn down invitations to "product parties." My spare time is limited and I'd much rather go for a walk/run or out to breakfast with one or two close friends than go to a party of strangers where the purpose is to buy/sell.
That being said, I'm generally not a big "party person" - sales or not. I prefer intimate get-togethers with friends where weightier conversations can occur and authenticity reigns.
You go girl! I never say no to good free stuff. Those are some great threads and modes too. It's so hard to find good modest clothes these days. I also like Down East Basics for cute modest clothing.
I attended a house party for cabi a few years ago. I thought the idea was fantastic but the clothes were a bit on the pricey side...I purchased a few pieces but always thought I could find something similar on sale somewhere else. The great thing about Cabi is that they put outfits together for you which is very helpful...The fall collection does look cute and I love the outfits you have selected to place on the blog.