today I'm going to pretend that I am, and my first meeting will be with Yael Aflalo.
Do you know who Yael is? I didn't until recently (which doesn't mean much because I am a hick as well as an accountant). She's a 30 year old LA-based clothing designer and I think her brand, Ya Ya, could be considered high end because she sells pretty normal looking stuff for mucho dinero:
YA-YA Charcoal Miller in Dean, $235
I probably wouldn't pay $235 for pants that pull in the crotch like that, but I'm going to assume that some people don't mind that (Jessica Simpson, for one, wears Ya Ya).
I discovered Yael when her backyard was featured in the most recent domino. I can't stop looking at this place. Designed by Art Luna, it's very formal and it is stunning. I know you've probably already seen it, but for those of you who don't get domino, check it out:
My (expertly) scanned pictures do this garden no justice; believe me.
And here's the exterior of her house, which has nothing to do with Art Luna, but I am so in love with it:
I'm always into the high contrast of a dark color and white trim. Beautiful.
This garden did not come cheap: $18,400 in statues, $4800 for a fiberglass couch by the pool, and two quartz crystals (pictured above, on the pedestals) for $3300 and $4900 a pop--just a few of the big ticket items. The landscaping alone probably cost a zillion dollars, not to mention the upkeep this baby is going to require. Knowing all of this, I became very concerned that Yael spent beyond her means. So I did some research, and this is what I would say to her:
Hey girl! What's up? I'm worried about you and your 401(k). I'm sure you're successful and all (and you're beautiful!), but can you really afford to be spending almost $20k on four statues? And $10k on custom benches? How much did Art Luna charge you for his services? I know how hard it is to say no to a man who is selling beauty--believe me, I've been there--but really. This yard must have cost a crazy amount of money. You're so young! Do you have a trust fund that I don't know about? I hope so because I see a lot of your clothing taking big markdowns, and I'm scared for you. [this is where she starts to tear up and I give her a tissue]
No, no, it's not a bad idea to invest in your property. But have you seen the market lately? What happens when Jessica Simpson finds another purveyor of snug pants and you find yourself upside down in your mortgage? Will Art Luna buy back your statues and quartz crystals then? I think we both know the answer to that.
The good news is that you're very young and if we start now, you can recover. First, no more custom furniture, no more statues, and for the love of God, stop designing pants that look like they're from SJP's Bitten line (wtf is up with that, by the way?).
Second, I think you need to look into a *second* job. Maybe Banana Republic is hiring? Just head to the mall; I'm sure you'll find something.
Third, open an IRA and try to contribute at least $200/month, even if you have to give up the Cristal. I don't to see you "big pimpin'" anywhere, at any time.
Fourth, if you do end up selling-off your garden goods, I will loan you the port-a-grill that we use for tailgates. That's all you really need in a backyard, anyway.
That's it! I'm very hopeful for you. [I give her a hug] Thank you, and I'd appreciate it if you'd pay my $750 fee promptly. Good luck!
Hope she listens, because I'd hate to see her on the streets with those quartz crystals in her shopping cart. They look heavy. For real, does anyone have a guess as to the pricetag on this place? Holy smokes.