Rock Your Confidence and Style with Vintage Chic

 

Self-expression in the form of embracing the latest social trends such as fashion and music often limits us from truly being unique and different. Hilken Mancini is the epitome of individuality through her life’s passion as a punk rocker, thrift shopper, co-founder of Punk Rock Aerobics, purveyor of vintage chic clothing, and founder of Girls Rock Campaign. She fronted the Boston-based rock band, Fuzzy, in the 1990’s and developed an interest in thrifting for great finds at affordable prices during her free time while on tour. With a collection of fashionable treasure troves combined with the need to earn some cash, an opportunity arose for her to sell some of her finds in a small area of a men’s only thrift store, Gumshoe, before becoming the owner of the entire store renamed 40 South. Getting dropped from her record label, she decided to create an anti-exercise class, Punk Rock Aerobics, which led her to become passionate about rock camp. With this interest, Hilken traveled to Oregon during the summers to teach girls music at a rock camp where it serendipitously led her to find her business partner and founder, Nora Allen-Wiles, of Girls Rock Campaign Boston.


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                  Hilken Mancini, Owner of 40 South and Founder of Girls Rock Campaign 

Today, you will find Hilken inspiring and embracing self-expression through fashion at her carefully edited vintage boutique and music through the Girls Rock Campaign Boston both of which are located at 40 South Street in Jamaica Plain. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming display of rusted metal security shield on the windows with a big number 40 above the door. Once you walk in, you will find a hidden gem of fashion forward to classic pieces. In the back room is where the magic takes place with Girls Rock Campaign.

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Want to learn how to rock some confidence and style? Venture to Jamaica Plain to unearth some vintage and modern clothing and accessories at an affordable price, while supporting an economical and ecological lifestyle. At the same time, check out how their kick-ass non-profit, Girls Rock Campaign, that “empowers girls to believe in themselves by providing a supportive community that fosters self-expression, confidence, and collaboration through musical education and performance.” If you never had a chance to express yourself musically, the same organization runs Ladies Rock Camp Boston. Learn more about what inspires Hilken below.

40 South
40 South Street
617-522-5066
www.fortysouthst.com

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What inspired you to open your store? 

I was in a band called Fuzzy in the early 1990’s and I toured a lot. When you’re in a band, you don’t have a lot of money. You would get $10 to $15 for dinner and free time to go thrifting. I became inspired with the idea of discovering new things.

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This specific store was a men’s only vintage store that was never opened. The owner was my next-door neighbor, Otto, who became my friend. Otto gave me an opportunity to put a rack of women’s stuff on the side and he showed me the way around the business. I would continue my discovery of stuff, clean them up, and put them on the rack. Eventually, the neighbor moved on to work with higher-end apparel.

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What do you like best about owning a store?

Being completely independent. I also love clothing. When I find a vintage Pendleton dress, I get a high and endorphins are released. I love connecting people with the stuff and this is fun. When I had an important concert, I wanted to connect with the audience with the pieces that I found. I do have an Etsy store, but I like to connect with people more.

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Where do you source your clothes? 

The sourcing of the business is the hardest part. All vintage stores such as Oona’s and Artifaktori have their own ways of finding their inventory. I go thrifting, hunting for things anywhere, including from people who passed away.

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What makes your store unique?

I think every vintage store is unique. It’s because it’s mine and I find it and I put it out there. It’s my taste, my style, and my eye. When you have a store, you order pocket books from manufacturers, and it is your style but you did not make the piece. I find one piece for the store. Every person who has a vintage store has their own uniqueness in the way they source and find their items.

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How do you balance everything as a business woman?

I make it work even with a boyfriend, dog, a business, and an organization. I don’t have kids and this is my baby. I made that decision. 40 South is my first born and Girls Rock is my second born. I’m obsessed with both my store and organization, and think about them all the time. If I were to have a kid, I would have to give up one of my babies.

What inspires you?

People. I like helping people and I want them to look and feel good. That’s why I’m not good with e-commerce given the disconnect. I have an Etsy store, but there’s no connection with my customers there. Similarly with online, someone can buy my piece and I wouldn’t know who they are. E-commerce is cool, but it is unhumane. Women like to be nurtured, and I help them get there through my store and camp. Not having kids is probably why I nurture them.

What would you advise other women? 

I would tell girls and women not to compare themselves to anyone else. If you are looking to be like others and fit in, you have to remember that you have to be yourself and do it your own way.

How would you describe your store?

It is kind of trashy rock’n roll that has become classier throughout the years. Each piece is handpicked with a diverse collection of men and women’s clothing and accessories. My prices aren’t high because of that. I’m not a high-end vintage boutique. Since I come from a DIY and rock’n roll aesthetics, I will always find something and make it work with what I have.

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I have to keep the store fresh and up to style, and I’m always adding something new. Unlike unorganized thrift shops where clothes and household supplies were donated, I carefully curate, inspect, purchase, and clean the items before displaying the pieces in color-coded or styled specific sections of the store.

What is Girls Rock Campaign? 

I was doing punk rock aerobics in Portland, Oregon in 2000 at the original punk rock organization. While in Oregon, I met Nora, originally from Somerville, while smoking cigarettes, and we became smoking buds. Both Nora and I bonded. The second summer of the camp, we went out to lunch and said that someday we would do girls rock in Boston.  Several years passed and nothing ever unraveled from that conversation.  When I turned 40, my best friend, now Nora’s girlfriend, asked me now that I’m 40, where do I want to be. I said that I wished I could start a girl’s rock camp at which point I cried.  I told myself that I’m going to call that girl, Nora, and maybe she will move back to Boston and start a rock camp for girls with me. Both Nora and I were thinking of starting the camp, but we were scared to talk about it. On my 40th birthday, we did it.

IMG_4354                   Nora Allen-Wiles, Founder and Executive Director of Girls Rock Campaign

Boston’s Best Thrift Stores

Thrift shopping can be one of the most frustrating or one of the most rewarding experiences. It’s fun to go out on a lazy Saturday or Sunday and explore a thrift store looking through the never ending racks. Sometimes you find a special one-of-a-kind piece that makes the whole exploration worth it. The best part of thrift shopping is how much money you can save while finding fabulous pieces! With back to school around the corner (we’re sad too) head out to some of Boston’s best thrift stores. Save money, look fabulous, and support local!

artifaktori

Artifaktori
Artifaktori offers creative and rare vintage pieces that are normally difficult to scope out. The entire store is filled with clothing, accessories, and other treasures that have been hand picked to represent the store’s fun and hip vibe. Their store is known as a, “playground for creativity,” which it represents through the clothes from the 30’s through 80’s.

121 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 367-5854

22 College Ave
Somerville, MA 02114
(617) 776-3708
http://artifaktori.com/

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Second Time Around
If you are on the search for thrift finds from high end designers, Second Time Around is the place to go. They carry everything you need to create a great outfit, from racks of coats, skirts, shoes and cases full of jewelry. They have a large denim selection from brands like Lucky, True Religion, and J Brand. They also carry basics like plain T’s and tank tops. Be sure to check the racks in the back for the best deals on the items that have been in stock the longest! Because of their ever changing selection, stop in every season to pick up some unique pieces.

82 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 227-0049

176 Newbury Street
Boston, MA
(617) 247-3504

219 Newbury Street
Boston, MA
(617) 266-1113

324 Newbury Street
Boston, MA
(617) 236-2028

275 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA
(617) 232-5444

8 Eliot Street
Cambridge, Ma
(617) 491-7185

http://www.secondtimearound.net/

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Buffalo Exchange
If you head into Buffalo Exchange, be sure to make some room in your closet for your new finds, and bring your gently used clothes that you no longer wear with you for cash or a trade. Buffalo Exchange has a large selection of jeans, leather, basics, accessories, and even brand new merchandise. They pride themselves on the slogan that, “our clothing is by the community, for the community”. 80% of the clothes in the store are bought and sold by members of the local community, which helps minimize pollution and urban sprawl.

180 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA
(617) 779-7901

238 Elm Street
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
(617) 629-5383

http://www.buffaloexchange.com/

Frye Boots – Uncovering Great Finds at Your Local Store

We explored our hipster and bustling Harvard Square neighborhood for some great local finds.  Of course, we had to stop by one of our favorite local stores, The Tannery, only to find a wonderful collection of Frye boots on sale.  In addition to the boots, there are so many shoes and apparel ready to be rocked the remaining of this summer and this fall. Stop by The Tannery and uncover some treasures for your closet.

Frye Boots

Treasures at Our Local Bookstore – Brookline Booksmith

While most people love the idea of “love local” and enjoy the vibrant communities that they live in, they do not necessarily equate their spending to supporting local stores that make their very neighborhoods vibrant. Often times, we find it easier to click a few buttons online than going to the store to make a purchase. Or we may find things cheaper online than at our local stores. There are actually great items (almost hidden treasures) at very reasonable prices at our neighborhood stores.  We decided to spend a few hours at our local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, in Coolidge Corner to discover and share wonderful finds that we love with you.

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The Brookline Booksmith opened in 1961 with the slogan, “Dedicated to the fine art of browsing.” They have stayed true to that slogan ever since with people of all ages browsing the tables and shelves of books and unique items that you wouldn’t expect to find at a local bookstore.  Brookline Booksmith has everything you need to get through your summer reading list and to stock up on new gear for the school year!

You can find all of 2012’s Bestsellers in hardcover and paperback at the Booksmith.  While some online commerce sites like Amazon may have better prices, it’s clear that not by any striking difference (see table below). What really counts is the impact that any number of these books may have directly on the community. Rather than buying The Imperfectionists from Amazon for $12.29 (not including shipping), you can spend a few extra dollars and support the Booksmith. No one wants to see a local bookstore go out of business, especially when it’s the place to hangout and discover cool things.  Without supporting these local stores, even if there’s a slight price differential, our neighborhoods would not be the same. Imagine walking down Coolidge Corner and not seeing the Brookline Booksmith.

2012’s Bestsellers Price at Brookline Booksmith Price on Amazon
1. The Hunger Games 10.99 5.64
2. Fifty Shades of Grey 15.95 8.19
3. Catching Fire 12.99 10.28
4. Mockingjay 17.99 10.97
5. Bossypants 7.99 8.09
6. The Happiness Project 14.99 11.98
7. Fifty Shades Darker 15.99 8.19
8. The Imperfectionists 15 12.29
9. The Tiger’s Wife 15 12.02
10. This is How You Lose Her 26.95 18.78
11. Fifty Shades Freed 15.95 8.19
12. Game of Thrones 9.99 10.8
13. I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar 9.99 8.83
14. State of Wonder 15.99 12.46
15. Go the F*** to Sleep 14.99 9.64
16. The Night Circus 15 11.49
17. Managing Oneself 8.95 8.5
18. The Sense of an Ending 14.95 11.61
19. Tinkers (author is coming soon!)  14.95 10.11
20. You Are Here 14 11.39
21. A Clash of Kings 8.99 9.22
22. Cloud Atlas 15 12.74
23. Gone Girl 25 12.84
24. The Housekeeper and the Professor 15 11.67
25. In the Garden of Beasts 16 12.33

Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 566-6660
http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/

During our exploration at the Booksmith, we uncovered some hidden treasures from Piccadilly Essential Notebooks to hardcover classics. Check out our finds below.

 

Bargain Books at Better Prices than Online

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Art Supplies for the Van Gogh in You

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Decorating with Letters

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Keeping Organized with Recycled Bags

Pencil and change purses from $5 to $5.95

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Great Classics on Sale

Beautiful hard cover classics like Wuthering Heights for only $4.99

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Fun and Colorful School Supplies

Lily Pulitzer iPad 2 case for $32
Lap desks for $26

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Floral Notebooks 

Printed decomposition notebooks for $4.95 to $8.95

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Cute Journals and Notebooks 

Scripts notebooks from $3.99 to $7.99 in all colors and sizes

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Maps to Explore the World from Your Room

Maps for dorm room or study lounge for $25

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Eco-Friendly Lunch Bags 

Lunch boxes from $18 to $28

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Coffee on-the-go

Travel mugs for the early mornings for $13

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Moleskine Planners

Moleskine planners are great to keep track of your social and academic schedule.  The Booksmith carries various calendars, colors, and sizes.

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Explore the basement!

Be sure to check out the basement for used books!

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Boston Sidewalk Sales

Looking for a great way to find some new pieces without emptying your wallet? Head to these summer sidewalk sales and check out the great finds and prices! Watch for more to come this fall as you transition your way back to cold weather gear.  Follow Savione on Twitter @mysavione to stay up to date on all city happenings.

Coolidge Corner Sidewalk Sale
Coolidge Corner- Brookline, MA
July 27- 28, 2013
10 AM – 4 PM
Including: Arcade Optical, Brookline Booksmith, Cause to Paws, Eureka! Puzzles, Fire Opal,
Magic Beans, Mattei Gallery, Mint Julep, Muddy River Gallery, PriKidz, Simons Shoes,The Studio,
The Pear Tree, and Tiny Hanger
For more information visithttp://www.coolidgecorner.info/

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Old Fashioned Sidewalk Sale
Downtown Newburyport- Newburyport, MA
August 1- 3, 2013
9 AM – 9 PM
Including: Alpine Shop, Beach Plum Too, Buttermilk Baking Company, Clay’s, Denise’s Flower Shop,
Dingo Creative, Essencia Beauty Lounge, French Lessons Boutique, Ganesh Imports,
Headlines Boutique, Ireland on the Square, Ivy Lane, J.L. Coombs, Number One Sponge Company,
Partridge in a Pear Tree, Pawsitively Best Friends, Port Candle, Richdale, Roca’s, Sweetheaven Studio,
The Black Dog, and The Dragon’s Nest
For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/k9rbdo8

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Xylem’s Sidewalk Sale
Kendall Square- 287 Third Street, Cambridge, MA
July 23- 28, 2013
10 AM- 7 PM
Including: Fun gifts, toys, knick knacks, books, kitchen tools, clothing,
stationary, home decor, and accessories
For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/lvbqzcp

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Shop Local for Summer Savings

Whether you are in Paris or state-side, many of your favorite local stores are having amazing summer sales.  If you happen to be so lucky to live in or visit Paris this time of year, the summer sales begin Wednesday, June 26th and end Tuesday, July 30th. In the US, the sales are happening right now until Labor Day.

Here are some sample sales in the Boston area to put you in the summer savings mood. Check out your favorite stores for more information.

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Mint Julep Sale

Vintage Sale July 9 2013

Greet the Snow in Style — Patagonia Sale!

If you’re in New England, you’ve heard the forecast for a huge Nor’Easter this weekend!  Although the snow may stunt your weekend plans, the aftermath is sure to bring great conditions for the skiers, snowboarders, sledders, and outdoors-women in all of us.  What better way to greet the snow than with some great new gear from Patagonia?

From now until February 19th, Patagonia is marking all of its gear from the Fall/Early Winter season down…slashing prices by up to 60%!  Now’s a great time to buy that down jacket you’ve been eyeing, or even an extra warm vest or scarf to supplement your outerwear selection.

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Not sure where to start?  Here are some of our favorite pieces on sale now on the Patagonia website…

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Have a happy, snowy weekend!

Blog We Love: The Budget Fashionista!

This week we were honored to be reviewed by a savvy style blog we follow and enjoy — The Budget Fashionista, also known by their readers as TBF.  Fashionista Kathryn Finney founded TBF blog in 2003, from a love of style, and a lack of cash. Over the last ten years, TBF has been featured in over 600 media outlets, including the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, CNN, E!/Style, and Fox News, and has been profiled in The New York Times, USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, and InStyle.

tbf Why is TBF so special?

Amidst thousands of style blogs out there, TBF stands out as a voice for real girls who want to look fabulous, and still be able to pay their bills.  The writers realize that between expensive high end fashion, and discount store shopping there lies a wide middle ground, and many of today’s women are part of this landscape.

 

How to browse the site:

If you’re exploring TBF blog for the first time, you’ll find there are many topic areas and categories of posts to choose from, including top stories, deals, advice, style guides and beauty.  If you know what you’re interested in , it’s easy to navigate the blog through the header bar and the search option!  Not sure where to look?  Here’s some top posts from various categories to get you started:

How to find their deals, anytime, anywhere:
You can explore TBF’s site on your computer or on your mobile phone.  Interested in quickly browsing their best steals and deals?  You can also follow TBF’s feed on Unclipt to easily stay up to date on their savvy deals!  Sound good?  Here’s a sample of some of the great TBF finds on Unclipt right now:
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Modcloth Panel Moderator Dress in Plus Size, $15.99
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ALDO Rittman clutch, $39.99
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Stairway to Chic Bodycon Dress, $17.99
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Keds Champion Originals, $19.99

Happy shopping, fashionistas!

 

 

 

 

Neiman Marcus for Target 70% off sale!

We’ve posted before about the Neiman Marcus collection for Target, and how excited we were for its release!  Discounted designer pieces from Marc Jacobs, Tracy Reese, Jason Wu and more made perfect holiday gifts, and we even bought some items for ourselves.  If you found the prices to be a little steep (some definitely were!) or didn’t find time to shop the collection for yourself, you’re in luck!  As part of Target’s post-Holiday sale, the entire collection is now 70% off!  Of course, not everything is still available, but many of our favorites are.

Here are our top picks  (PS — these are all available in store AND online):

Marc Jacobs Scarf

$20.99, was $69.99

With an exquisitely lightweight blend of wool and cashmere, this Marc Jacobs scarf completes luxe looks in any season. Metallic trim gives it day or night versatility and the fringe border adds a regal touch admirers have come to expect.

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Proenza Schouler Sweatshirt

$8.99, was $29.99

Proenza Schouler prove that basics don’t have to be a bore. This loose loop, French terry sweatshirt features a ribbed ballet scoop neckline and long raglan sleeves. An original abstract graphic makes this luxury sweatshirt feel like wearable art.

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Lela Rose Top

$20.99, was $69.99

Polished and uniquely flattering, this Lela Rose top features floral guipure lace in a contemporary design. The sleeveless top has an elegant scoop neckline with a button and loop keyhole back. All the details come together to create a refined look of casual luxury.

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Robert Rodriquez Top

$23.99, was $79.99

Lavish two-tone ruffles create eye catching motion on this sophisticated Robert Rodriguez top. The cascading ruffles with scalloped lace are a luxurious detail. This sleeveless top is made of layered georgette and chiffon and has an elegant, yet comfortable nipped-in waist and fringed hem to compliment the feminine silhouette.

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Thom Browne Women’s Blazer

$38.99, was $129.99

Thom Browne updates the tailored blazer for women with this nautically-themed, navy, wool blazer. Distinctive design details include Thom Browne’s signature red, white and blue striped back neck tab, fresh white grosgrain trim, narrow, notched lapels, dual vents, front pockets, princess seams and golden anchor buttons. Inside is his signature striped lining, along with three pockets.

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Carolina Herrera Travel Bags

$11.99, was $39.99

Three bold, new prints adorn this Carolina Herrera travel cosmetic bag set. The three bags feature colorful elephants, poodles and tango couples. Each chic bag comes in a different size with a zip top and brass Carolina Herrera logo pull to ensure you always travel in style.

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Tracy Reese Blouse

$23.99, was $79.99

Tracy Reese delivers her signature elaborate patterns, bold colors and intricate embellishments in this damask sequined blouse. The exuberant look of the two-tone color block impresses without imposing. The scoop neck and dolman sleeves add the perfect feminine statement to any look.

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Lela Rose Dress

$29.99, was $99.99

Lela Rose transforms the dress into a canvas in this whimsical watercolor print dress. Silk and cotton fabric shapes to your curves in fluid movements and flattering gatherings, like the twisted bust detail. The high-low skirt is gathered at the waist and comes with a skinny leather belt for effortless elegance.

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What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

Happy New Year’s Eve!  It’s the last day of the year, and before heading out to NYE parties, many of us will be making our resolutions for the coming year!

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Although each of us have different goals and hopes for the new year, there are several resolutions that are the most popular year after year according to USA.gov:

  • Drink Less Alcohol
  • Eat Healthy Food
  • Get a Better Education
  • Get a Better Job
  • Get Fit
  • Lose Weight
  • Manage Debt
  • Manage Stress
  • Quit Smoking
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  • Save Money
  • Take a Trip
  • Volunteer to Help Others

This is quite a list, but the good news is, our new and improved app, Unclipt, can help you achieve some of these resolutions —

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  1. Eat Healthy Food & Lose Weight – With our Organic Food and Grocery feeds, you can find great deals on healthy and organic foods, so you can eat right while saving money.
  2. Manage Debt & Save Money – Unclipt helps you organize your own coupon and deal finds and find more savings, so you can shop smarter
  3. Manage Stress – Savvy shopping doesn’t have to be a hassle!  By following our curated feeds, you can find deals that interest you, without sifting through irrelevant offers.

We hope each of you download our Unclipt app if you haven’t already as part of your New Year’s Resolutions!  It will help you save money and maintain your lifestyle and budget with ease in 2013!

–The Savvy Staff