Tag Archives: quality

Investing in You

June 20, 2014 by
Photography by Carlisle

From the time I was a child my parents instilled in me the importance of quality.  We were of little means, but my mother and father appreciated quality and understood its value as an investment.
My mother loved to shop. She would take me shopping for clothes, gifts, household goods, furniture, everything! She would compare and show me what made a difference of quality. She often pointed out that quality didn’t always cost more, but when it did, the words I heard her repeat over and over were: “Quality is long remembered once price has been forgotten.”

When, at the age of five, I decided to become a fashion designer, I was already aware of the significant difference that quality made in design. I knew that when the day came along that I’d design clothes with my name on them, they would have to be beautifully made of very fine fabrics. It was not only the design, but also the quality of my work that attracted my clientele. They were people who appreciated quality and knew that in order to be perceived as a person of quality one must wear quality. It shows that you are of value and that you value yourself.

As an image consultant, I preach quality wherever I go. In today’s fast-track world where nothing is about more than a minute, people seem to have forgotten about investment dressing.  They don’t realize that the investment is not about how long the clothes last.  It’s about that single moment you have to make the right impression. Too many people think a first impression is relative only to a job interview. It’s not. You are making first and lasting impressions everyday, everywhere.

When you invest in yourself, it shows, and it changes the way you’re treated by everyone.  It makes you stand out in good way. I personally have experienced hotel and travel upgrades, better tables at restaurants, special seating at concerts, invitations to select groups and parties, all because of the quality I project with what I wear.

So many people put their homes, cars, collectibles, jewelry, hair and nails before their clothes as a priority. They cannot justify their bodies as deserving of good clothes,
but they are.  You are!

Sometimes as people age they lose interest in clothes because their faces and bodies don’t look like they did in their prime. They get frustrated shopping then convince themselves that they don’t need new clothes and don’t deserve good clothes because they don’t look like the models who wear them so well. I tell everyone over 60 that new clothes are important, because it’s important to be current, and everything, even casual sportswear, will make you look better if it’s quality.

Now just because it’s summer, don’t think you can forsake quality for throwaway fashion. Quality is as important in summer as in fall, winter, and spring. Regardless of the season, there is no performance value in throwaway clothing, and what a difference a polished look makes over a
distressed look.

Smart Design Stands the Test of Time

March 15, 2014 by
Photography by Amoura Productions

While attending the High Point International Furniture Market with Shawn Falcone of Falcone Homes this past spring, it was inspiring to find bold, saturated, color in nearly every showroom.

Also timely and fitting that, just as Shawn and I set out to develop the design plan for our 2013 Street of Dreams home (built by Falcone Homes), the home sold to a family who was excited about the idea of incorporating a strong color story into their décor.  >

Our goal became to give this show home a unique and colorful personality.

“We specified top-of-the-line finishes, pro appliances, custom cabinetry, custom furnishings and window treatments, original artwork, fresh paint colors, noteworthy light fixtures, and leaded glass double-entry doors,” says Falcone. “The moment you step into this home you begin to appreciate its character, quality, and charm.”

We took a thoughtful approach to design, one that embraces “on trend” in smart measure so that this work will stand the test of time. Those items which are easy and affordable to replace—think throw pillows, paint, and accessories—are the best areas in which to embrace trends.

And where you should consider a splurge?

Original fine art never goes out of style. Area rugs can be passed on for generations when you buy heirloom-quality pieces. Approach tile as an opportunity to set your home apart from your neighbors. Think of lighting as the icing on the cake.

Investing in fine furniture and custom window treatments will add polish and staying power to your décor. Consider furnishing your home as you would in assembling a wardrobe. Not every item hanging in your closet can be trendy and colorful, and not every item can be timeless and neutral. Some items you find may stretch the budget while others are more easily affordable. The key is to strike a balance by mixing and matching low- and high-end items according to your style and budget.

Good design is not about how much our clients are able to spend. It is about creating spaces that they want to spend time in.

The most important thing about the interior design of your home would be for it to become an extension of who you are, what you value, your interests, and your lifestyle. In a word, it must be you.

Mike Hogan’s Mercedes-Benz SL550 Roadster

November 25, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

If you were to ask Mike Hogan why he’s been a Mercedes-Benz customer for almost 30 years, the answer is simple: Quality.

Hogan, who owns Papillion-based Hogan & Company, believes it’s important for businesses to focus on the quality customer since 1983 because he trusts the product—and as someone who’s been in the realty business over 35 years, trust means a lot to Hogan. “You would hope a company starts with a quality product and doesn’t cut corners,” Hogan professes. “I feel comfortable and safe with Mercedes-Benz. It’s something I’m proud to own.”

Having driven several Mercedes-Benz vehicles over the past few decades, Hogan currently spends his time on the road behind the wheel of a 2013 SL550 Roadster. As has been the case with his past few cars, Hogan’s Roadster is black, as he’s become quite fond of that choice of vehicular color over the years. “[Black] has a real nice look to it,” he says.

“I feel comfortable and safe with Mercedes-Benz. It’s something I’m proud to own.”

Hogan enjoys the many high-end features of his SL550 Convertible, many of them standard. Some of his personal favorites: the push-to-start engine, the paddle shifters, the navigation system, and the ability to go top-up or top-down in just 14 seconds. The vehicle also contains an economy feature which shuts off the engine while the vehicle idles, another feature Hogan enjoys. No doubt the car’s 4.6L twin-turbo V-8 engine and 429 horsepower, as well as the sport lower-body styling are also appealing.

Prior to purchasing his first Mercedes-Benz, Hogan remembers “having his eyes on their vehicles” for some time, but he never knew if it was something he would be able to afford someday. Fortunately for Hogan, his hard work in real estate allowed him to enjoy the luxury of obtaining his dream vehicle.

One of Hogan’s favorite drives in his convertible is the round trip to Lincoln, Neb., for Husker game days. And though he’d love to drive the car year-round, he’s a protective and practical owner. He doesn’t take the car out in snow and ice or more than 100 miles from home, opting for an alternative ride. Weather permitting, however, he’s rollin’ in the Roadster.

Fine Tequila Tastings at La Mesa

April 15, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Tequila was North America’s first distilled spirit. Sadly, for most of its history, it has been tarnished with a reputation as a cheap liquor often used to make margaritas or “shooters” with lime and salt.

In the last couple of decades, that has started to change as many distillers are producing high-end tequilas for export to America that are designed to be collected, sipped, and savored. I have been a connoisseur of high-end tequilas since the mid ‘80s. Back then they were hard to find, but nowadays most every reputable bar will have several high-end tequilas on their premium liquor list. Tequila is becoming the North American version of Scotch.

To be classified as tequila, it must be made from a distillation of at least 51 percent blue agave and be from the state of Jalisco. High-end tequilas are always made from 100 percent blue agave. Today’s high-end tequilas are highly coveted by collectors worldwide for both the smooth aromatic liquor and the handcrafted decorative bottle.


Jose Salazar, manager of La Mesa.

Locally, the great people at the La Mesa Mexican Restaurants have embraced the popularity of fine tequilas. The managers and employees at the La Mesa restaurants are extremely knowledgable about tequila and take it very seriously. In fact, La Mesa was the first Mexican restaurant in the Midwest to be certified by the Tequila Regulatory Council. I have not found a better selection of high-end tequilas anywhere in town.

For the past several years, La Mesa has been hosting special Tequila tasting dinner events. I have attended some of these events, and I can tell you that these events are an excellent opportunity for novice tequila drinkers and connoisseurs alike to enjoy some fine tequilas and learn more about their characteristics and production. The events often include a presentation by the distiller and a multi-course dinner with each dish paired with a different tequila. The food at these events deserves special mention. The chefs at La Mesa must really enjoy these events because they go all out, and the creative Mexican dishes they come up with are reason alone to attend one of these events.

The next La Mesa Tequila Tasting event is scheduled for June 2. Make your reservation today at any La Mesa location. You’ll be glad you did.


For more information, visit la-mesa.com.