Behind the Scenes – About Us

Julie Quinnan and Reina Smyth have known each other since the first week of college at the University of Southern California. They were roommates for several years during and after college. Julie graduated with an Architecture Degree and Reina with a BS in Business Administration. Now Julie lives with her husband and two sons in California and Reina lives with her husband and one son – born this month – in England as her husband is on a military assignment for a few years. How do the run the company from across the world? Three words: thank you, technology!

Julie had the idea of Flying Buttress handbags about 5 years before they started creating the company. When Reina, with her background in retail, moved nearby, Julie realized she had the perfect partner to join her venture. It was another year until they were ready to launch the website.

Do you have any questions for us? Send them to info@myflyingbuttress.com.

Here’s the newest member of the Flying Buttress family:

Garrett

Garrett

5 Fun Ideas for Tween Girls to do this Summer

School’s (almost) out for summer! For kids, this signals freedom and fun. For Stay-At-Home-Moms, this can make you tired just thinking about your ‘free’ time evaporating. We are here to help with some ideas that require little set-up or guidance for you.

- Get the girls started on making a photo album or scrapbook from the last school year.

- Encourage them to donate some time to a volunteer organization. This is something she can do with her friends to make it sound more appealing. Once they start, they will realize how much fun they are having! Some suggestions: beach or park clean up, organize a food drive and stock the local food pantry, or even make a bird feeder for your own backyard.

- Supply your tween with the supplies to make friendships bracelets for her friends to wear when they go back to school.

- Invite her closest friends over for a Flying Buttress panel decoration party with a ​Party Pack. Each girl gets to decorate their handbag or lunch bag and then take it home. It is a great activity for you to show off her style and creativity and the party favors are taken care of!

 

Party Pack designer

Party Pack designer

- Prepare a picnic at your favorite park with your daughter and her friends. Or she can go by yourself and read a new book – how about Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush

If you need even more ideas, follow our ​Summer Fun board on Pinterest!

New Panel Packs and Limited Special Offer

You are certainly an individual but may you not be decisive, so we have created four new Panel Packs of three different yet coordinating panels to make choosing a new look easier. The new options include: Ali, Hope and RosieEmily, Kimberley and ZuriJackie, Kimberley and Trixie; and Janelle, Rosie and Trixie. Do you have an idea for a combo of 3 panels that you think we should sell? Email your suggestion to info@myflyingbuttress.com.

We also have a very special spring offer until April 30th. For every bag you buy (handbaglunch bag or iPad sleeve) you will receive a Kiana panel absolutely free. No need for a coupon code, just add your bag of choice to your cart and the panel will automatically be added. Enjoy!

Our 10 Favorite Spring Trends for Girls – 2014

Nothing makes you feel better about the cold weather than the idea that Spring actually WILL be here soon! Before you know it, it will be time to dust off your warm weather clothing and figure out what items you need to keep you up to date with current trends. Then you can go shopping!

I have scoured the internet looking at runway shows and reading trend reports and narrowed all that information down to my top ten favorite trends for girls and tweens. Enjoy!

Coordinates - Now is not the time to shy away from matchy-matchy. One trend report likened this spring to bringing back Cher’s style from Clueless with matched sets! How fun. Who can forget her yellow plaid skirt suit? Luckily all of our bags with interchangeable panels make coordinating your handbag with your outfit a snap.

Pastels - The big color palette of the season is pastels. Peaches, pinks, cool blues and mints. Very pretty and feminine. Our suggested FB panel to wear is the Lily in white or yellow.

Tommie with Yellow Lily Panel - How to wear pastels this spring

How to wear pastels this spring

Metallic - Gold, silver and bronze is not just for the Olympics! You will see metallic in clothing, shoes and handbags. Our suggestion on how to wear the metallic trend for Spring in your accessories? With the Trixie panel in gold or silver.

Girl's Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie snapped on - love interchangeable handbags

Girls’ Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie

Neon – It may be hard to imagine neon as subdued but the neon trend that you will see in Spring 2014 is a little more icy than in the past. We suggest snapping the Cita onto your denim handbag to express yourself while having fun with the neon trend.

How to wear neon in Spring 2014 - Cita panel on denim lunch bag

How to wear neon in Spring 2014

Sequins – Embellishments on clothing and accessories is the name of the game. Paillettes cover clothing; or just a sequin trim or even bejeweled ruffles. Our suggestion for this trend is the chic Kimberley panel with linear sequins.

Kimberley panel makes wearing sequins this Spring easy!

Kimberley panel makes wearing sequins this Spring easy!

Layered Statement Necklaces – Buy a beautiful statement necklace (or two) and pair it with your favorite simple tee or buttoned down blouse. Think bright and chunky! Claire’s has a great selection.

Printed Shorts – You will see printed shorts all Spring and Summer! The patterns you’ll want to try are floral, stripes, graphics and denim. We saw some great options at Nordstrom.

Graphic Patterns – Updated multi-color stripes and polka dots are just a couple of ways you’ll see graphic patterns. And you’ll see them everywhere – from clothes to shoes. The Liz is how we would snap your handbag into making a statement.

Liz - multi-color striped handbag

Liz – multi-color striped handbag

Floral – There will be all kinds of floral prints out there. Tropical blooms; floral with a watercolor or illustration feel; florals in embellishments; retro florals prints;  garden blossoms; photo real prints and even a floral / animal print mix. Our suggestion for how to rock the floral trend? With the Kiana panel snapped onto a Flying Buttress girls’ bag.

floral trend in Spring 2014

Birdie Bag and Kiana Panel – floral trend for Spring 2014

Laceless Sneakers – Every girl loves shoes. And every girl loves being comfortable. So what every girl loves even more is being comfortable in super cute shoes. The fashion gods have listened and given us some of the cutest sneakers to wear. And our options are plentiful – you can go with plain or you can go with printed sneakers. Sperry Top-siders even had glittery ones!

If you have any suggestions, please email me at info@myflyingbuttress.com.

Support us on QVC Sprouts!

Show your interest for interchangeable handbags on QVC Sprouts

Show your interest for interchangeable handbags on QVC Sprouts

 

We are so excited to be a featured product on QVC Sprouts! What this means is that they are gauging interest among their customers for a product like ours and if enough people think it is a nifty idea, then they will sell our Exclusive QVC pack on their website. Check out the exclusive product selected below:

Exclusive QVC Pack

Exclusive QVC Handbag Pack

 

Thank you!

5 Ways to Accessorize your School Uniform for Spring 2014

I live in a town with three private schools and all wear uniforms so I’m very familiar with the conveniences and struggles of the uniform. Now the school uniform is a classic look (just ask Britney) but it is hard to maintain your individuality when you look is so, well, uniform. I’ve put together the best tween accessories for Spring 2014 so you can keep your sense of personal style unique and updated.

1. The all important HANDBAG:

The best part of the Flying Buttress handbag system is that you don’t need to spend much to update your handbag. There are several trendy options from which to pick your favorite:

TREND: Stripes

PANEL: Liz

Liz - multi-color striped handbag

Liz – multi-color striped handbag

TREND: Polka-dots

Panel: Dottie (in pink with white polka-dots and brown with multi-color polka-dots)

Booie Bag with Dottie Panel

Booie Bag with Dottie Panel

TREND: Sequins

PANEL: Kimberley (in black, red and magenta)

Kimberley on the girls Birdie Bag

Kimberley on the Birdie Bag

Reina

Booie Bag and Reina Panel

Booie Bag and Reina Panel

Emily

Tommie Tote with Emily panels

Tommie Tote with Emily panels

Julie

Yummie Lunch Bag with Julie panels

Yummie Lunch Bag with Julie panels

Suzette

Techie iPad sleeve with Suzette panel

Techie iPad sleeve with Suzette panel

TREND: Bejeweled ruffles

PANEL: Lily (in yellow, white and teal)

Birdie bag with Lily panel in Turquoise

Birdie bag with Lily panel in Turquoise

TREND: Metallics

PANEL: Trixie (in gold and silver)

Techie iPad Sleeve closed with the Trixie panel in silver

Techie iPad Sleeve closed with the Trixie panel in silver

TREND: Camouflage

PANEL: Jane

Techie iPad Sleeve with Jane Panel

Techie iPad Sleeve with Jane Panel

2. Headscarves or headbands:

Headwear is big this spring but not just in hats! You will see lots of retro headscarves, gingham headbands and floral headbands. As for hats, camouflage is big and straw hats will be seen.

3. Shoes:

Shoes styles will be tennis shoes (think Converse – printed and laceless); Mary Janes, sandals in ankle strap and lace-up (especially metallic!); ballet flats in floral and eyelet materials; white boots; pointed toe; and flatforms.

4. Jewelry:

Metallic fruit pendants, bangles and handmade jewelry of all kinds.

5. Scarves:

Lace for early Spring and neon for late Spring.

* Note: not all accessories in the list will be acceptable in all schools. When in doubt, make sure you understand the dress code before wearing something!

Top holiday gifts for tween girls – 2013

The season is upon us! In case you are stumped for ideas of what to get a fickle tween, I’ve put together a list for you!

1) Girls love magazines and they will love a magazine that is written just for them. Here are a few options:

- BYou Magazine: Their focus is to help “build self-esteem in fun and empowering ways with features on positive celebrity role models, stories about real girls making a difference, tips, advice, games, crafts, contests, jokes, and much more. Topics include friendships, bullying, inner beauty, empowerment, community service, and other timely subjects to help today’s girl glow from the inside out.” A message we can all believe in.

- OMGirls Magazine: A new e-zine on the block. The goal for the magazine and website are “to create a fun, interactive and engaging experience for our female audience. OMGirls Magazine’s goal is to constantly listen to their needs which are forever changing and evolving, and find ways to bring them want they currently would like to see for entertainment.”

- Tween Girl Style Magazine: Tween Girl Style Magazine “launched this publication not only for girls ages 7 to 13, but also to provide tween parents a trusted, one-stop resource for advice on raising stylish tweens. Over time, TGSM has grown to include book reviews, celebrity interviews and an amazing vehicle to showcase talented tweens across the country.”

2) Nothing could be more funky than a chalkboard wall decal in the shape of  drum set!

3) Of course the Flying Buttress Gift Packs are an easy choice.

Yummie Lunch Bag Gift Pack

Yummie Lunch Bag Gift Pack

But if those colors don’t work for you, how about one of the new Panel Packs paired with a Birdie bag?

Birdie Bag with turquoise Harriette - Fur trends in Children's Fall 2013

The Birdie Bag with the Turquoise Harriette snapped on.

panel pack for girl's Birdie Bag

This panel pack includes the Harriette in turquoise, Jubilee in turquoise and the Lily in teal.

4) Fuzzy slippers are making a comeback in a huge way. PBTeen has several great options for around $35.00. Here’s our favorite pair.

5) Did you still  not find the perfect gift? Check out the “Gifts for Girls” Pinterest board for suggestions from several people. The list is growing regularly so you’ll soon find something that is the ideal present.

Girl’s Fall 2013 Trends

The children’s trends this fall are so much fun! Think color, contrast and fun textures.

The overall trends can be described as Prep School Chic or Geek Chic; active wear for girls and avoid being ‘matchy matchy’.

Some key pieces are colored skinny jeans; jeggings and leggings with a fun print; skirts in check, plaid and bold colors paired with crisp collared shirts or a polka-dot blazer.

The color palette is  berry pinks and reds, purples, greens (think emerald), turquoise, metallic silver and gold paired back to black. The neutral of the season is beige or nude.

There are fun fabrics: space age surfaces, quilting, leather alternatives and chunky knits. Faux fur is another fabric that is sticking around this fall, albeit shaggier and in colors other than the normal sweet and pale palette usually seen in children’s wear. A fun aspect is that these rich fabrics are being worn with casual basics.

As for prints, you will see animal prints and updated versions of camo, skulls and nautical prints in unique color palettes.

How are we interpreting the trends? Flying Buttress is showing the Prep School Chic trend with handbags sporting our Avery panel or Dottie panel:

Prep School Chic - Children's Trends for Fall 2013

Tommie Tote with Avery Panel – Prep School Chic – Children’s Trends for Fall 2013

Booie Bag with Dottie Panel - Prep School Chic - Children's Fall 2013 Trend

Booie Bag with Dottie Panel – Prep School Chic – Children’s Fall 2013 Trend

The perfect panel to snap onto your Flying Buttress bag to have fun with the metallic trend is the Trixie! In gold and silver, it will look great all season.

Girl's Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie snapped on - love interchangeable handbags

Girls’ Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie

Techie iPad Sleeve closed with the Trixie panel in silver

Techie iPad Sleeve closed with the Trixie panel in silver

The gray snakeskin Eve panel snapped onto your handbag will give you the leather look and animal print theme in one chic bag. Or get wild with the ever popular cheetah print Ali panel!

Tommie Tote with Ali panel - animal print is trendy for Fall 2013

Tommie Tote with Ali panel

We have several updated skull prints that will turn everyone’s heads. And our camouflage print can’t be beat.

Booie Bag and Jackie Panel - updated skull print - children's fall 2013 trend

Booie Bag and Jackie Panel

Cita panel - updated skull print - Fall 2013 Children's trend

Cita panel

Jane panel takes on the updated camo print

Fun updated camo print from Flying Buttress

We have always loved faux fur at Flying Buttress so there are several options from which to choose to get into that trend. The shaggy Harriette comes in orange, purple and turquoise.

Yummie Lunch Bag with Purple Harriette - Shaggy Faux Fur trend in Children's Fall 2013 Trends

Yummie Lunch Bag with the Harriette panel in purple snapped on.

Birdie Bag with turquoise Harriette - Fur trends in Children's Fall 2013

The Birdie Bag with the Turquoise Harriette snapped on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Janelle panel is an awesome blend of black faux fur with metallic silver painted on. THE MUST HAVE PANEL FOR FALL 2013!

Janelle panel for your Flying Buttress bag - the MUST HAVE panel for Fall 2013

Janelle panels shown on the Tommie Tote

One more thing to note: Clear backpacks and handbags are also popping up everywhere. Now everyone can see how cute your iPad sleeve is, even when you are just carrying it around!

Techie Sleeve with Brown/Beige Faux Fur Rosie panel

Techie iPad Sleeve with Brown/Beige Faux Fur Rosie panel

8 Fun Summer Activities for Tweens

Running out of ideas of what to do as the mercury is still running high? Here is a quick list of new ideas.

- Make jewelry

- Interview your family for a ‘podcast’

- Learn some new braids and practice with your friends (lots of ideas on Pinterest)

- Enter the Sweety High Contest by designing your own Flying Buttress panel idea

- Scrapbook your memories from the last school year

- Learn how to cook something new

- Go through your closet and donate unwanted and gently used clothing to a charity

- Make friendships bracelets for all of your best buds to wear when you get back to school

 

Have a safe and fun August!!!

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,368 other followers

%d bloggers like this: