Laughing Stock

Ambria explains the hilarity of leaving overpriced items in the store and her new found love for eco-friendly fashions.

The Gucci shoes were so amazing that I offered something that I'm not even allowed to offer -- 50/50. It's not in the rulebook, but I know how to make money for the store and sometimes I just go my own route. Those shoes were classic, and I just knew they'd sell. Fifi was really on the fence -- more than you even saw -- and there are certain things that I flip cartwheels for. In the end it will make the store $500.

Wilson handled that consignment so well -- I was so impressed. The guy was really being pushy, which happens a lot. Wilson refused to get pushed into a corner, and I even liked that he said, "That’s ridiculous!" to the price that the consignor wanted. It's hard to say good-bye to a jacket that cool, but he wasn't even in the right ballpark. The last thing we need is to have people come in to shop, take a look at the jacket, and laugh at our pricing. It absolutely happens and that's why we don't let consignors dictate the price.

Going to Samantha Pleet's showroom was so much fun. I thought it would be a bunch of garbage bags made into a dress or something, but I had totally missed the point of what eco-friendly fashions were. Tara was really tuned into that whole industry and her idea for the party was amazing. We picked out fancy outfits. I absolutely loved my dress.

The party was fun, but prepping for it. . .not so much. I have to admit, Tara indulges in her emotions a lot and when she gets stressed out, we all feel it. I don't necessarily agree with how she handled herself; I thought it was all coming together nicely and we didn't need the tension. However, if she wants to act that way, she is allowed to, and we all just have to shut up and take it. She is the manager of the store. It's her party, and she can cry if she wants to! Wilson can only benefit by being diplomatic when he tells someone who is his superior that he doesn't like the attitude. I pick my battles; I didn't say a word. . .

In the end it all came together well. I remember getting quite tipsy, selling a lot of clothing and for whatever reason I wore fire engine red lipstick on that rainy day.

What The Water Gave Me

Ambria discusses the team's work with Generosity Water and how proud she is of Tara's progress.

I loved going to Kelly Killoren Bensimon's closet. Aside from Keni Valenti and Eva Lorenzotti's closets, Kelly's was my definite favorite. Handbags, shoes, dresses, suits, an entire Missoni shelf. . .seriously? I aspire to have that closet. On top of the clothing, the bags, the ridiculous apartment and Kelly's down-to-earth friendliness was her charitable demeanor. She knows she has been fortunate, and she makes it a point to give back in her life, which is such an admirable quality. Generosity Water is her pet charity, and I see why. You see the direct results of the funds you send, which is not always the case with charities.

I have always wanted to get involved with charities but I've never been in a position to do so. Working at Second Time Around gives me opportunities to be around clientele who have plenty of clothing and plenty of money. Linking Generosity Water with our clients to build a well in Haiti was finally my opportunity to be a hands-on part of something extremely beneficial. I knew being the one to auction everything would be a challenge -- I've never done that before in my life! I figured because I knew a lot of the women, and we had those amazing items from Peter Som, Kelly Bensimon, Rachel Roy, and Alexa Ray Joel it would be a walk in the park. I was secretly hoping to raise enough money for two or three wells. I was totally wrong. These women did not come ready to give their money away. . It was a real fight to even get a paddle raised. Luckily Wilson came to my rescue with that deep, masculine voice that commanded those women a bit more than mine. Wilson has such positive energy and he definitely added a richer dimension to the party.

Persistence pays off, though, and after a few glasses of champagne the women began bidding. It wasn't the triumphant, over-the-top success I had wanted, but that one well does give water to a thousand people. So I guess I'll just give us four a congratulations for getting that far. Water is something that we take for granted; I can't imagine taking a sip of water and worrying that it's contaminated. This was by far the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.

I was soooo hoping that Colin's bracelet actually belonged to Coco Chanel. Obviously Coco was one of the most influential women in fashion, so I got really excited. It was a let down to find out it wasn't. Visiting the Elle accessories closet was a nice little band-aid. You didn't even really get to see how much stuff was actually in there! I only wished Karina could have been there to fulfill her fantasy of accessories.

I am proud of Tara for sharing about her alcoholism. Everyone has different past experiences which leads them into certain circumstances they would rather not have to deal with it; I definitely have my own. It hasn't always been easy to watch her go through the motions at work. It's the type of situation that there is nothing you can do but be supportive. She has handled herself with dignity and grace, and I believe her sharing is quite inspirational for others who have similar demons.