“You are a pleasure to know. I very much appreciated your expertise yesterday when we shopped for clothing to fit me and my life. Ruby Inc. is a fantastic help for women of all ages. Your charming personality and “giving back nature” make your business 5 star rated in my opinion.” — K.B.
BY DAVID O’CONNOR
You couldn’t find nicer people than Nate and Shandra Stoner, says an appreciative Trinity Mendenhall of Willow Street.
Shandra Stoner coaches Mendenhall’s daughter for the Penn Manor Strikers youth soccer team, volunteering her time “just because she’s a nice person,” Mendenhall says.
So everyone who knows the Stoners was shocked to learn that someone burglarized their Washington Boro home the day after Christmas.
The family of six came home and found hundreds of dollars in gifts missing, including a Keurig coffeemaker, a George Foreman grill, their kids’ backpacks and even some toiletry items.
But Mendenhall and her friend since their days at Solanco’s Swift Middle School, Jasmine Grimm, are teaming up to help restore the Stoner family’s Christmas.
On Saturday, they delivered hundreds of dollars worth of gifts to the Stoners to give back the Christmas that was stolen.
The delivery was in addition to help from others who have already replaced some of the things that were taken.
“It has been a very humbling — and almost embarrassing — thing to be the receivers of people’s gifts,” Shandra Stoner said.
Nate Stoner said he was touched that, in may cases, people went out of their way to replace the exact items that were taken.
As Grimm said, “Insurance will cover many things, but who in the community has gifts they can offer to help restore their peace of mind?”
Mendenhall works for her in-laws’ business, R&K Stoner Logistics Inc. of Peach Bottom, while Grimm two years ago founded Ruby Inc., a small business that helps women “edit” their closets to build a wardrobe that enhances their body build, size, age and weight.
Grimm notes that “you really don’t lose anything by doing something kind for somebody.
“And if you can keep your candle lit, and light somebody else’s, it’s a much better place. So why not just go and do it?”
Others, including local business people and an area pastor, also have stepped in and made donations.
“I guess I really can’t comprehend … why someone would steal children’s backpacks,”Mendenhall adds.
The two women organizing the effort for the Stoners graduated together from Solanco in 2001.
Grimm remembers Mendenhall helping her through some tough times she faced and hopes the Stoners are feeling the same way she did.
“To have somebody do something for me, it was humbling, but more than that, it really lets you know there are still some really great people in the world,” Grimm recalls.
Staff writer Chad Umble contributed to this report.
If you know of a community member in need, let us know and we’ll see how we can help. One of the services Ruby, Inc. provides are complimentary head-to-toe makeovers for women who have gone through adversity.
Click the link to see how Mandy Gets a Complimentary Makeover
Now it’s time to focus on you. Indulge yourself or a woman you love with a “What Not to Wear” experience.
Personal styling from Ruby, Inc. offers you and the lovely ladies in your life the chance to splurge and jump start your transformation for the upcoming year.
“Ruby, Inc. saved my marriage! It’s true. She showed me how to bring home designer brands that I could have never afforded for a fraction of the cost. I can now tackle thrift shops with ease. I know exactly what I’m looking for and can bypass the rest. More importantly, Jasmine helped me discover the confident woman buried under clothes that didn’t work for me or reflect my personality. I feel like I’m better equipped as a role model for my daughters to show them how a woman should carry herself and express herself.” — Andrea
“I had a blast with you and I am feeling great! I took one of your suggestions and wore the beige skirt, beige and black print jacket with a black cami and black heels to church. I had several people saying I looked great and they loved the outfit! It made my day. I am impressed with your work and expertise and I just wanted to say thank you… you helped me in more ways than you know…” –JoAnn
“You didn’t just create a company; you’ve created a ministry. You’re going to transform how women see themselves and make them realize they have value. That’s incredible!” — Janine
Fact: Many postpartum bodies are squishy, dimpled and stretched. Your body may not look the way it did before you had children. You may feel that your belly button is deeper, your stomach isn’t as taught, your waist isn’t as whittled and your breasts feel engorged or deflated.
This may be difficult albeit excruciating for you to accept.
You may feel you’re somehow imperfect and you may feel that way for quite sometime. It’s tough to feel trapped in your body and it’s even more frustrating to know that you won’t have your body back tomorrow, the next day or the day after.
However, you made a human. And that is amazing. Holy moly you have this tiny adorable little person that didn’t exist before you created it and it’s mind boggling to think that you created something so perfect.
One does not negate the other. They both exist at the exact same time. It’s a hard reality to face. But it’s normal. You’re not alone. In fact, Ashlee Wells Jackson, has created a photographic series entitled the Fourth Trimester Bodies Project to show women exactly what their bodies look like after birth, breast feeding and childcare. And it’s beautiful.
Now just because you know other women face the same challenges doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for you to accept that your clothing doesn’t fit you the way it once did. Even if you can get back into the same size clothing that you did before pregnancy doesn’t mean they fit you the same way. It adds insult to injury. So what can you do about it?
Find clothing that works for your current shape (and no, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it, either).
Here are the easiest solutions for your body post baby.
1) If clothes don’t fit you any longer, quit beating yourself up saying you’ll fit into them. Hermit crabs don’t beat themselves up because they have to change shells. They move onto a new shell. Shed the old. If it doesn’t fit, donate it or send it to a consignment shop to make some money off your duds.
2) Ask yourself:
- Is this color flattering? If it is, keep it. If not, get rid of it. A simple rule of thumb: jewel tones look good on everyone. Black looks good on everyone except women with warm tones.
- Do I have other items that I will wear this with or specific outfits in mind? If you can’t wear it more than once, get rid of it.
- Will I actually reach for this item and wear it? If not, toss it. If you’re not wearing it because you need to mend it and you know you’re not going to get around to it, toss it.
3) Assess your budget. How much can you afford to spend on new clothes? Let’s say you have $400 extra over three months. That’s plenty. Shop what you can afford. There’s no shame in purchasing items at consignment shops or thrift stores.
4) Make a list of what you need. Stick to the list. If you have nothing else in your closet, this is all you need.
- Two well fitted bras: 1 in black, 1 in beige
- 4 sweaters
- 7 t-shirts
- 4 coats
- 2 tops for every skirt you have and pant
- 4 pants, 4 skirts
- 5 dresses
- 4 jeans
Least amount of money you can anticipate paying: bras $120, sweaters $20, t-shirts $35, coats $64, pants $32, skirts $30, dresses $50, jeans $40
Grand total: $390
Put aside $32.50 aside each week. If you have less money the goal won’t change, but the timeline will. Adjust it according to your budget. Don’t feel forced into paying for everything all at once. It’s frustrating to go through a transformation and it takes time.
Purchase one item at a time if necessary.
Start with the bras, t shirts and jeans. You’ll wear them every day.
Buy plain t-shirts. The best way to find a t-shirt that hides your tummy is to find one that’s tighter on your breasts. Shirts that hit you at the shirt tail are perfect to conceal your tummy. Look for wide open necklines or v-necks.
Buy darker jeans with a little stretch. Wide leg jeans hide fuller thighs and a fuller rear end.
Low waisted jeans one size too big will help hide your tummy. Don’t squeeze into them or you’ll give yourself a double butt. Follow the same rules for trousers and get them in darker washes.
Can’t afford 4 coats? Try one trench coat.
Need to find a skirt that works? Low slung waists, sarongs and rouched fronts will be your best friend.
Are five dresses too daunting? Find one wrap dress.
And that’s how you get rid of your post baby woes for less than $390 in less than 12 weeks.
On Thursday around 3 p.m. two Caucasian males pulled up to the Ruby, Inc. headquarters. Their Jeep was a deep green 4×4 with tinted windows and a roof rack and ladder. They pulled up the street, waited outside for more than an hour and revved their engine. One male got out of the car wearing a dark, grey hoodie, a beanie, and jeans. He was smoking a cigarette. He walked to the front door and proceeded to jiggle the handle. Then he started pacing back and forth looking in the windows. Our founder, Jasmine, called the police and reported the vehicle, plate and any identifying marks. The next day around 7 a.m. the same behavior repeated itself.
Jasmine, again, called the police.
It turns out that these two gentlemen were “professionals.” The police verified that they were independent contractors.
However, nothing about their demeanor said professional. They didn’t call and say they were coming nor did they e-mail to leave a time that they’d arrive.
Just as important, nothing in the way they presented themselves with their clothing said they were professional.
They were dressed similarly to the image below.
They wore no insignia that led to their identification. Their clothing was nondescript. As a result of their clothing and behavior, they were reported to the police.
This begs the question, how can a professional, contractor or business person who isn’t a budding Silicon Valley CEO under 30 dress in such a way as to appear professional and not scare off women?
Take note of a few simple tips to not only dress appropriately but also to stay out of jail.
- Stay well groomed.
- Spit shined shoes help garner a professional image.
- In most though not all circumstances, cover body art. There are numerous budding businesses that employ hipsters and body art professionals but if it’s unusual for your industry, keep it under wraps. We, at Ruby, Inc. are big fans of body art and we also know that people may make snap judgments regardless of the quality. When in doubt, check with a supervisor or look to other professionals within your industry as a benchmark.
- Wear identifying insignia.
- Carry business cards.
- Wear high quality clothing regardless of where you purchased it or the price point. Fake Rolexes make a person appear unprofessional.
- For contractors, make sure you’re wearing an ID badge and present it immediately when working with clients.
- Wear little fragrance. A few small spritz on a pressure point is more than enough to last all day.
- Avoid clothing that will type-cast you as someone with a negative persona.
- If your grandma wouldn’t approve, get rid of it.
Want tips to better improve your business or workforce through appearance? Click here to set up a complimentary consultation.
This fall it’s all about roomy coats in thicker fabrics which is good news for layering, but not so good if you’re trying not to add extra bulk. The best way to wear it? Look for off-the-body cuts in exaggerated shapes like the traditional pea coat, cropped jacket, tweed or motorcycle. Empire and trapeze cuts offer additional room for laying but be wary of piling layer upon layer.
Here are six quick tips to keep warm when the temperature drops while still ratcheting up your style quotient.
Dress around your jacket. This means even if you wear the same coat day in and day out you can make it fresh with the garments you wear around it. This saves money because you don’t need to feel as though you need a week’s worth of outerwear to stay stylish. One coat is plenty for the season.
Proportions are critical. If you’re wearing a roomy coat, stick for leaner lines in the rest of your ensemble. Try find knits and thinner pants for a sleek, yet au current look.
Mix your textures and cuts. Want to wear all brown? Try a camel hair coat in a loose cut, pair it with brown suede pants and taupe fine knit sweater for a sweet yet refined look.
Show off your feminine side by belting your coat.
Remember your coat should add to your shape, not conceal it.
And finally don’t overstuff. Want more ideas? Contact Ruby, Inc. for your complimentary consultation today.