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ShopGirl: Manly social media, summer shoes and the downtown loft tour

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WHAT’S NEW

Say what you will about social media and its ability to save us time and money, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe it as “manly.” That was until I found Gentlemint.com.

Gentlemint is basically an unashamed Pinterest for dudes, with content ranging from beard oil to handguns. Facial hair, bacon and weapons are recurring themes on the pages, but more subtle topics such as “Fighting Nazis Part 2: Being Captured” also come up.

The founders of Gentle­mint state on their blog that they began developing the idea about two years ago and have only recently begun to publish advertisements on the site in an effort to monetize the idea.

Unlike annoying banner ads that have little to do with you, each and every advertisement on Gentlemint is hand-selected and inspected by the two founders to make sure it’s worthy of being on the site.

That’s an advertising strategy that will be increasingly difficult to enforce as the site gains popularity but could wind up paying off in the long run.

WHAT’S TRENDY

Summer lets everyone pull out bright, fun shoes of all styles and colors. This season, I’m seeing a lot of espadrilles and slip-on sneakers. The great thing about both those styles is that they pair well with skirts and shorts, dresses and pants.

My exciting finds lately are the Soludos and Bensimon brands. Soludos call themselves the original espadrilles, with five centuries of tradition going into their materials, design and construction. They have shoes starting at $28 for their basic Dali model and more intricate textiles that run upwards of $40. At that price point, you have no excuse not to wear the original.

Bensimon is another time-honored name for summer shoes – I’ve heard them called the French girls’ Converse All-Star. They have a great price at $55 for their Tennis Lacet and Tennis Elastique shoes. Bensimon ships free within the U.S.

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

Historic Augusta will hold its eighth annual Downtown Loft Tour on May 4-5, highlighting 10 downtown buildings with a wide range of styles and sizes.

The purpose of the tour is to encourage interest in the preservation and use of historic buildings in the Augusta downtown historic district. The tour features architecture and interiors of renovated spaces and those that are in progress. Tickets are valid for both tour days, from 6-9 p.m. Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and are available at New Moon Cafe, First Bank of Georgia, Hill Drug Co., Mellow Mushroom, the Historic Augusta office and HistoricAugusta.org.

During the tour, pick up a tour map and purchase tickets at tour headquarters in front of New Moon Café.


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