Shopgirl: Travel apps, a new store, custom printed fabrics

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

What did we do before iPhones? They entertain us in waiting rooms, allow us to get the perfect, spontaneous photo and never let us truly escape the office. In addition to these uses, the iPhone truly shines during vacations.

There are a ton of great vacation apps, from better-than-Google GPS to old standbys such as Yelp. iExit is a great app that gives you a heads-up about restaurants, hotels and gas stations organized by interstate exit. The app’s newest update lets you know in real time as you drive down the highway, allowing you to plan for a stop and not miss your favorite restaurant. You can also designate your favorite stops so that iExit knows to highlight them.

The “deals” tab alerts you to any promotions running for specific brands, making your road trip affordable as well as organized. iExit is only 99 cents in the iTunes store, and free for Android users.

 

WHAT’S NEW

It looks as if Augusta will be getting a Francesca’s Collections at the mall, a really cool store that I’ve visited in other cities. On the Augusta Mall’s and Francesca’s Web sites, job postings are up for part-time and full-time positions for an Augusta store.

Francesca’s sells clothing and accessories for women, geared toward a younger demographic. Prices are reasonable, and the quality is nothing to sneeze at.

My favorite thing about this store is that, as a boutique, it buys in very small quantities, so you and your friend showing up with the same dress from Francesca’s is unlikely.

The inventory is updated frequently, and the store runs great sales and promotions. Check it out at www.francescascollections.com.

 

WHAT’S TRENDY

You know the frustration of knowing exactly what you want but not being able to find it anywhere? As far as fabric is concerned, those days are over.

Spoonflower is an online company that will print your designs on any of nine fabrics. You can upload images, decide how to print it on the fabric, and then order as little as one yard of your created textile. You can upload jpg, png, gif, tif, svg, ai and eps files. The file must be less than 40 MB.

If you don’t have a specific image in mind, you can browse the huge selection of saved fabric designs from other customers.

Spoonflower was started in 2008 by two guys whose wives convinced them that being able to print fabric would be amazing. Their wives turned out to be correct, and Spoonflower now has more than 150,000 users and has received acclaim from Vogue, Apartment Therapy and other big names. Prices start at $18 per yard or $5 for a test swatch.

SHOPGIRL BLOG

Read Staff Writer Gracie Shepherd’s Shopgirl blog on fashion and bargain buys at augustachronicle.com. Reach her at (706) 823-3217 or gracie.shepherd@augustachronicle.com.

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