Archive for June, 2011

HGTV Designer Vern Yip Debuts Home Collection On HSN

June 15, 2011

Interior designer and HGTV host Vern Yip is partnering with HSN to launch Vern Yip Home.

“This exclusive collection of home decor reflects the distinctive style that has made Vern a household name in home design,” the HSN hype machine says. “Considered one of the most respected home make-over authorities in the country, Vern currently serves as a designer on HGTV.

Here’s the canned quote from Yip.

“Balancing work and family life has inspired me to continue my quest to create easy solutions for everyday problems,” he said. “Together with HSN, my goal is to simplify the challenges of the home space while bringing to life its personality and embracing functionality.”

The HSN exclusive Vern Yip Home collection will feature his signature, unique design Lotus and Medallion (a symbol of his family’s history and design aesthetic) available on a bedding line. The collection will also include furniture, window treatments, rugs, lighting and decor items.

“Vern is amazing to work with,” HSN senior vice president of merchandising Nancy Caplan said. “The combination of his sensibility, style, and exceptional designs are qualities that HSN customers will fall in love with. At HSN, we are excited to provide the viewer a unique opportunity to connect with Vern on an intimate level and learn home design tips from a recognized expert.”

Also, as part of HSN’s 34th birthday festivities, HSN is launching a sweepstakes contest today that includes two round-trip airline tickets to St. Petersburg, a two-night stay at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, a personal home-design consultation from Vern Yip and a $5,000 room makeover.

Yip will debut his new home collection and announce the sweepstakes winner on HSN on July 26.

Yip is an award-winning architectural and interior designer who gained national acclaim for his expertise in transforming homes and restaurants in his private design practice and on prime-time television which began with TLC’s iconic, ground breaking design series “Trading Spaces.”

He runs his own design company in Atlanta – Vern Yip Designs/ – and offers design tips while keeping consumer value in mind.

Vern awards included the 2003 Distinguished Southerner Award from Southern Living magazine; 2000 Southeast Designer of the Year; 1999 Best New Restaurant for Fusebox restaurant in Atlanta; and 1999 Best New Night Club for DeuxPlex Bistro and Night Club in Atlanta.

HSN Jean Queen Diane Gilman Tells ‘Mature’ Women Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

June 14, 2011

Don’t miss HSN jean queen Diane Gilman’s musings on women over 50.

Gilman blogged for The Huffington Post Monday, “How I Transformed My Life After 50,” and we learned a ton about her we never knew.

Gilman talks about the women who buy her forgiving jeans, the “Boomer Consumers,” who shop on HSN. We knew that Gilman had designed clothes for rockers like Jimi Hendrix when she was younger. We did not know that she had been her husband’s caregiver for seven years until he passed away from cancer.

Faced with the prospect of having into the dating game again, Gilman decided she was not going to go gentle into that good night.

In her blog she lists “Five Easy Ways to Shift Your Thinking from Aging to Ageless.” We won’t go thruogh them all, Gilman’s blog tells it best, but the first one is to makes a list. That involved making a list of what she didn’t like about herself and another list of “all things feminine” she wanted to achieve.

Jeanne Bice, The QVC Quacker Factory Queen, Lived A Plus-Sized Life And Made Us Believe

June 13, 2011

We were at a baby shower Sunday afternoon in South Jersey when BFF Ann called to tell us the news that QVC Quacker Factory queen Jeanne Bice had died of uterine cancer.

Ann had read Joanie-B’s post on our blog tipping us off to the sad news. Thanks for the info Joanie.

Bice, who would have celebrated her 72nd birthday July 20, passed away Friday. We had not been aware of it, but last month Bice announced she had cancer during one of her QVC appearances. She had been scheduled to appear on QVC today, Sunday, our kid sister Karen’s birthday.

Jeanne, we do believe

Bice was a jumbo-sized woman, and proud of it. She always wore a headband around her forehead, like Jane Fonda in the 70s, as if she was about to take an aerobics class.

Bice was the target of jabs by the media — this blog included — and show’s like E!’s “Talk Soup” because of her QVC clothes line and her army of rabid fans.

Her garments were typically strewn with sequins, or arrayed with scenes from Christmas or Halloween or Easter. We thought them often gaudy, but we often heard her fans — her “quackers” — like teachers call in and thank her for the clothes, which the kids they taught loved.

Bice was also resfreshingly frank about life. We remember her saying that on-air that she didn’t have a pot to piss in when her husband died. She built a clothing business Quacker Factory, and was always upbeat and inspirational.

She often told QVC viewers to “believe in miracles.” That struck a cord with us. We have little signs and rocks in our house that have the word written “believe” on them. Our ex, a college professor, mocked us about the “believe” affirmations. Cynics like him will always feel superior to the rest of the world — and be miserable themselves. He thought having faith was folly.

We’d rather stand with people like Jeanne, who also often said that she believed people have guardian angels. Again, so do we.

Jeanne was from Wisconsin, and we have a number of good friends in that freezing state. That was another strike in her favor.

QVC had a brief eulogy about Jeanne on its website.

“We are saddened by the news of Jeanne Bice’s passing,” wrote Doug Howe, QVC executive vice president merchandising, planning and sales. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time. Since first appearing on QVC in 1995 Jeanne has been one of our most beloved personalities. Her passion and spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”

Posters on Facebook and have been speculating about the future of Quacker Factory without Jeanne. We are sure she has management in place that run the company, and the plus-sized model Angel Smedley often appeared on the air in her place. Angel, appropriately enough, could be the company’s news spokeswoman.

The QVC hosts voiced their sorrow about her passing.

“She was candid, she was hilarious, and she was always, always, Always kind and respectful to everyone at the Q,” host Rick Domeier wrote on Facebook. “With love to you and your family Jeanne…”

Host Lisa Robertson posted on Facebook, “I was just informed that Jeanne Bice has passed away.I am without words. I had no idea her condition was that serious. I can not express the loss that I feel. She was a ray of light in the world. I was her biggest fan and she made me want to be a better person. If someone were to compare me to her,I could not think of higher praise. She was a treasure.”

Even ex-QVC host Patti Reilly, now transplanted to LA, posted this heartfelt message.

“Weeping & aching I longed to honor your passing. i longed to honor your life. searching everywhere, I found only one answer: honor myself. become all that I am. and carry you inside that beauty.”,” she wrote. “I love and adore you Jeanne. You have been a blessing in my life. I hope they have rhinestones in Heaven. Sparkle away, my beautiful friend!”

And the Quacker Factory website had this tribute:

Jeanne Bice loved life. From her childhood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-taking care of her baby brother Dick, all through her married years to her adoring Butch in Ripon, Wisconsin, raising her beloved Tim and Lee, Jeanne was surrounded by love. Everyone loved to be at Jeanne’s house. That’s where the party was-everyday.

Life was perfect, until that day when Butch suddenly died and left her with her two children, and decisions to make.

As she later wrote about it, she pulled herself up by her bra straps and started over. Again and again. She discovered that Happy wasn’t a destination in life. ‘Happy comes from the choices we make and the way we think on life’s journey.’

Jeanne chose to love. She loved what she did-creating Quacker Factory clothes, with ‘sparkle and shine’. Clothes that made people Happy.

From QVC, with love

She loved QVC. Everything about it. She loved the people: the executives who ran it, and the production people who worked so hard to make every show perfect. She loved the famous stars who appeared there, and had to pinch herself when others considered her one.

She loved the hosts of her shows, her buyers and all the people who worked with her and for her to make Quacker Factory clothes a reality.

But most of all-above everything else – Jeanne loved the Quackers. ‘They come as customers, they stay as friends,’ she said over and over. Because that was how she felt. ‘I owe everything I have to these women who believe in me.’

Jeanne loved the stories they told her. On the cruises, at live-audience shows, or on phone calls during the shows. She would sit and listen. She could relate to them. She knew the power of friends to help each other, support each other.

It never mattered who you were. Rich, famous, powerful or not-it didn’t matter. Successful or struggling, size 4 or 44 – it never mattered. She loved who you were inside. She had time for everyone.

In college Jeanne studied to become a teacher. She’d laugh when she’d tell the story of practice-teaching and discovered that kids had their own ideas about how to do things. She said she gave up teaching, but that’s really not true.

Her most important lesson was that Jeanne Bice taught the world how to laugh and smile. She taught us how to look at the good side of things. She taught us to Dream. She taught us to Believe. She taught us to love ourselves; who we are, just as we are.

In the Rubber Duck Principle, Jeanne wrote this about Angels:

‘Sometimes we feel that we are all alone, as life brings us challenges to overcome and hardships to bear. But when we least expect it, help can appear. It may be a kind word from a stranger or a phone call at just the right time, and suddenly we are surrounded by the loving grace of God. Miracles happen everyday because angels are everywhere.’

Today, June 10, 2011, Jeanne joined the Angels who will make miracles happen forever.

God Bless Jeanne Bice. May she rest in Peace.

If you would like to make a memorial in Jeanne’s name, we suggest: ‘Feed the Children’, This was Jeanne’s favorite charity.

Jeanne, please be one of our angels now.

Mineral Makeup Pioneer On QVC Leslie Blodgett Is Profiled By The Times

June 13, 2011

Leslie Blodgett, one of QVC host Lisa Robertson’s BFFs and the head of the Bare Escentual’s makeup line, had a huge write-up in The Sunday New York Times today.

The story, headlined “Move Over, Estee Lauder,” ran in the Sunday Styles section of the paper.

The story credits Blodgett with creating a revolution in cosmetics with her mineral-powder makeup. A lot of the story is about Blodgett’s partnership with QVC. We are also told tidbits like the fact that Blodgett’s stay-at-home husband bought her an early 20th anniversary ring — a huge diamond surrounded by sapphires and emeralds — from Tiffany.

“On QVC, Ms. Blodgett’s appearances have the trance-inducing sensuality of a Dionysian ritual,” The Times wrote.

We are also told that Blodgett, who last year sold her company to Shiseido for $1 billion, last summer “rolled across the East Coast,” in Lady Gaga’s tour bus no less, as part of a 10-city tour to preach the gospel of Bare Escentuals, or Bare Minerals, whichever name you prefer, according to The Times.

There is also a quote from Robertson, who the Times inexplicably described as a “Loretta Young lookalike,” in the story.

“I would never have tried the stuff [Bare Minerals} if it weren’t part of my job,” Robertson sold The Times. “I wore full-on hard-core liquid foundation, like everybody else, my whole life. I thought: ‘Minerals? What? Don’t even go there.’ The first tine I tried it, I didn’t think it was working. I wondered, Emperor’s New Clothes?”

Eventually, Robinson swallowed the Kool Aid.

There are other tasty QVC info, like the fact that Blodgett sometimes sells $1.4 million of product an hour on QVC.

All in all, the profile is worth a read.

Hottie Mario Lopez To Debut His New Cookbook As QVC Broadcasts Live From Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic

June 13, 2011

QVC, and its kitchen meister David Venerable, will be doing a show from the Food & Festival in Aspen for the first time. But we’re much more interested in Mario Lopez, who left quite an impression on us with his stint on FX’s “Nip/Tuck.” He donned a bustier and heels in one episode.

Kicking off at noon on June 19, the special three-hour “In The Kitchen with David” broadcast is scheduled to feature a variety of culinary “must-haves” as well as special guests, including author and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich and “Extra!” host Lopez, who will be debuting his new cookbook “Extra Lean Family.”

FOOD & WINE Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin is also scheduled to join the broadcast to offer the much-anticipated FOOD & WINE “Best of the Best” cookbook and bonus Cocktail Guide 2011, more than three months before it hits stores.

“I am so excited to be attending the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen,” Venable said in a canned statement. “I will be surrounded by all the culinary greats and I cannot wait to translate the tips, tricks, and techniques I learn back to the QVC customer.”

In addition to the “In The Kitchen with David” broadcast, QVC will have a significant presence at the Food & Wine Classic with an interactive “QVC Experience” tent.

Located at the entrance to the Grand Tasting Tents, the “QVC Experience” will feature a display of cooking and dining products that are available at the home shopping network; an Internet café for online shopping; a blind wine tasting challenge that will allow visitors to post photos and results of the tasting onto their favorite social media site with DELL tablets; an interactive kiosk showcasing QVC’s iPad app and “In the Kitchen with David” app for iPhones and much more.

“We are thrilled to launch the first ever In the Kitchen with David remote from one of the culinary industry’s most premier events,” John Kelly, QVC vice president of merchandising, said in his canned statement. “Not only does the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen give us the opportunity to introduce our brand to potential new shoppers, but it also allows us to bring our viewers inside this phenomenal festival.”

HSN Partners With ‘Look Good…Feel Better’ Charity For Cancer Patients

June 9, 2011

HSN Cares, HSN’s charitable campaign, has partnered with Look Good…Feel Better, a free, non-medical, brand-neutral, national public service program that helps women with cancer manage their treatment and recovery with renewed spirit and greater confidence.

Through the program, volunteer beauty professionals teach cancer patients easy and effective techniques to help manage appearance side effects of their treatment.

In partnership with Look Good…Feel Better, HSN will host three on-air events in June featuring 10 beauty brands and will donate $5 for every product sold to the Personal Care Products Council Foundation to benefit the Look Good…Feel Better program. In addition, HSN customers will have the opportunity to support the event through individual contributions on

The beauty brands participating in the three charitable beauty events to benefit Look Good…Feel Better include: Clean, Fusion Beauty, Ready To Wear, and Stila on June 9; Elizabeth Arden, Benefit Cosmetics, and YBF on June 16; and Couture Color, Elysee Cosmetics, and Korres on June 23.

The contributions of HSN and the participating beauty brands will help support Look Good…Feel Better’s nationwide, free services, including group workshops in thousands of locations across the country; one-on-one consultations; self-help materials; and an interactive website.

The program is open to all women with cancer who are receiving any form of treatment. Each year, 50,000 women participate in more than 14,500 group workshops, and since the program began, 750,000 women have been helped.

There is also a program and comprehensive website for teens with cancer, and information and a website for men with cancer.

HSN Releases Details Of Jennifer Lopez’s July 2 Appearance To Hawk Her New Perfume

June 9, 2011

We’ve reported this already, but HSN put out the official press release Thursday about Jennifer Lopez debuting her new perfume on the home shopping network.

The festivities will be July 2, with the exclusive launch of Love & Light Fragrance.

Throughout the day, “Lopez will share with viewers personal stories about her inspiration behind building a global beauty brand, the development of her latest fragrance, her momentous career and her life,” the release said.

There is also a sweepstakes where HSN customers can get to meet her.

“HSN’s Love & Light sweepstakes offers fans the opportunity to win a private meet-and-greet with Jennifer Lopez at the HSN set on July 2,” the home shopping network said. “Sweepstakes entries will be accepted via HSN’s Facebook page and at now through June 14.”

The prize package will also include:

Airfare for a winner and guest

Two nights at the historic Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL

$500 spending cash

An assortment of Love & Light products from HSN, valued at $300

Five Second Prizes of a Coty fragrance valued at $50 each will also be awarded.

HSN Vendor And Chef Todd English Is Like Homemade Bread, Tasty And Hot, In Times’ Photo

June 7, 2011

We’re behind on our blogging, as usual, so we just around to doing this item for all you fans of celebrity chef Todd English, the womanizing seller of poltically correct pots on HSN.

The New York Times a week ago ran a profile of English, which included some hunky photos of him lifting weights. The story, headlined “The Chef in Motion,” also cited the many times that The New York Post has skewered English, ever since he allegedly left his bride at the alter and, most recently, when Boston magazine attacked the restaurateur.

Celebrity chef Todd English being interviewed

The Times said that English is the owner or consultant for 23 restaurants and two cruise ships. He has opened many successful eateries, and had a lot of flops, as well.

The profile’s jump has a timeline of English’s many ventures, and some choice quotes regarding, and from, English.

Chef Jasper White said, “There’s something about Todd that people take as arrogant, for some reason. Is it his look? But he’s not arrogant. He’s a down-to-earth sweet man.”

And The Times quoted English as saying, “Unfortunately, when things go wrong I’m the guy who takes the brunt of it…Look, it’s uncalled for. If I were molesting babies, I get it. But I’m not. I’m a guy with a dream trying to make it all happen.”

Since our WordPress is apparently screwed up forever, here is a link to the story.

ShopNBC Appoints QVC Veteran Nathan Martin Vice President Of Fulfillment

June 6, 2011

ShopNBC Monday named Nathan Martin, a logistics veteran of 17 years, vice president of fulfillment.

Martin joins ShopNBC with nearly two decades of manufacturing and distribution experience. Most recently, he served as assistant general manager at United Stationers Supply Co. Previously, he held management positions at Cost Plus, QVC and Verbatim Memory Corp.

“Nathan is a logistics and direct-to-consumer fulfillment veteranwith a proven track record of increasing profitability, improving service levels, and decreasing costs,” Mike Murray, ShopNBC’s senior vice president of operations, said in a canned statement. “Nathan will lead ShopNBC’s fulfillment team in expanding the company’s capacity and effectiveness while optimizing the overall distribution processes. We look forward to his contributions as he oversees all aspects of our state-of-the-art Bowling Green distribution center.”

In accordance with the NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635, Martin is being granted inducement stock options as of his first day of employment with ShopNBC, covering the right to purchase 50,000 shares of the company’s common stock. The options will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of the company’s common stock on the date of the grant.

Kate Middleton Wore Montclair-QVC Girl Bobbi Brown’s Makeup For The Royal Wedding

June 3, 2011

Famed makeup artist Bobbi Brown — our famous fellow Montclair, N.J., resident — is in West Chester, Pa., right now.

She had QVC’s Today’s Special Value for Friday, an “On The Go” makeup kit for $90 that’s a great deal. It includes two blushes, four eyeshadows, gel eyeliner, brushes and a wristlet. Add that up all individually, and it comes to about $190.

Kate MIddleton was wearing Bobbi Brown makeup at her wedding

We already ordered our kit. We use Brown’s blush and eyeshadows and love them.

BTW, for our new gig at The Montclair Times we recently spoke to Brown’s husband, who is a hotshot developer in town. He was very funny and cracked us up, sounded like a nice guy.

QVC host Jill Bauer gave everyone a some juicy dish about Brown: Kate Middleton and her hot sister Pippa used wore Brown’s makeup for THE wedding April 29!