Monday, March 30, 2009
She's old and scared and I'm trying to set her up in my garage with an old mattress and her blanket. I wouldn't normally put a dog in the garage, but I have to keep her separated from my other animals for a while for obvious reasons.
I feel so bad for her. At this point it's me or the pound, which will put her down since she's not highly adoptable. Poor thing.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Lucky Beverly won herself a free Gold & Silver Safekeeper Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet by Lori Greiner.
Now let's all stop being jealous of Beverly for just a couple minutes while she gives her acceptance speech ...
"I do appreciate winning the jewelry organizer with the mirror as I have a large collection of QVC jewelry, mostly silver. I purchased the smaller spinning organizer for myself for Christmas and I like it very much. The runner up prizes are very cool too.
"I have watched QVC for a long time-since the early 90s and my favorite host was of course Kathy Levine. And I like Steve Bryant too. My favorite hosts now are Mary Beth, Antonella, Carolyn Gracie (I was watching when she ate the cat food) and Jill. I like the hosts to be laid back but have some personality.
"I don't have much jewelry from the newer lines because I have been retired for 5 years from a job where I got dressed up. Now I wear a uniform to work with minimal jewelry (hospital). So I have Judith Jack marcasite I like and some gold jewelry from Beverly Hills gold collection especially the heart necklace.
"My faves back then were the silver with gemstones-my first ever purchase from QVC was a silver heart ring sold by Jane Tracey. The hearts were gemstones and it was in two pieces that fit together. I still have it but it is now too small for me.
"I bet with a new jewelry box I will be buying more, I can't wait to get it. My all day shopping favorites now are the cooking days, how I have changed=it used to be the jewelry days. I watch fashion day too. I even have the light up Quacker Factory Christmas sweater that everyone makes fun of. But I got it to get a rise out of my grandchildren and I have had fun with it.
"Don't really have a special non-jewelry purchase. I like the Aero bed and the Cooks Essential cookware. Recently bought a Technique griddle and like it very much. I'm still thinking about the TSV today. I will probably get it from Laura Geller. Over the years I have purchased so much. Much disappointment from some of the beauty products. No miracles there. Oh and back to the cat food, too. I have four cats and they will not eat the cat food Carolyn ate. I had to give it away. Thanks again, Beverly"
Ok, now that we know Beverly is a nice lady that needs and deserves to win, we can all go back to being jealous of her.
And, please, Sue or Susan, or Suzy, or Suzanne ... please, please, please email me back so you can get your runner up prize! I hate to give it away to someone else. I've had a few Sue's email already, but sadly, they aren't the Sue I'm looking for.
Sue, Sue, Sue ... just where-oh-where are you!!!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Just a week after Lisa's big haircut debut, she suddenly sprouted long, luscious locks of hair. She's just messin' with us now, isn't she?!
(If you want to grow your own hair overnight, try these Ted Gibson extensions.)
I'm starting to get worried about Kim Parrish, former QVC host and current clothing designer.
Why? Well, I'm seeing signs in the stars that have me concerned.
First, take a quick look at the Kim Parrish Collection page on HSN. I see less than thirty items, most of which are on clearance.
But, I thought maybe, just maybe, HSN hasn't gotten around to uploading Kim's new items. So I check the schedule. According to Kim's website, she is scheduled to be on April 15th & May 5th (that's good, right?) ... at 4am (oh no! that's not so good).
But this could all be coincidence and I could just be over-thinking the situation. But then I remembered, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!
That's when I found this recently posted Kim Parrish demo reel complete with full bio:
So is she on her way out the door? Are her clothes too normal for HSN? Does she need to add more Bedazzled gold lame Spandex with fuchsia leopard print accents? Check out this post to see the look HSN is shooting for these days.
How will this recent downturn in the economy affect luxury purchases? Considering that almost everything that QVC sells is a want and not a need, this is an important question.
I can't help but think about how my grandmothers, who are both children of the Great Depression, approach luxury purchases. They certainly aren't opposed to buying a little something sparkly or special for themselves or for a gift. But if they decide to splurge and buy a luxury item, the purchase will be well-considered. They are willing to spend more money for better quality, good customer service, and names they trust. They also expect the purchase to last a lifetime, which means that good craftsmanship and classic design are both a must.
Counter this thinking with mine. I never expect customer service. I just assume that I'm on my own, because employees are usually underpaid, understaffed, and under-trained. In fact, they usually just don't care and will do and say anything to get you to go away as quickly as possible. If you're dealing with customer service over the phone, they may even be located in India and barely speak English. Let me tell you, that always works out well! I also don't expect anything I buy to last. I assume whatever I buy will fall apart sooner rather than later. Since everything is made in China anyway, why spend the extra money on something high-end? It'll just fall apart too, right?
Will there be a return to my grandmothers' way of thinking? Will we give up our love 'em and leave 'em disposable attitude?
Let's ask QVC's reigning jewelry queen, Judith Ripka. According to an article in Portfolio:
Judith Ripka believes the current mind-set will have a longer, residual effect than the actual recession. "The day will come when consumers will not worry as much about how they spend their every dollar, but they will always remember these economic challenges when contemplating a purchase," said Ripka. "Luxury will continue to be desirable, but timeless and classic pieces will undoubtedly be the focus because of their lasting value."
Will Judith and other home shopping designers switch gears and focus more on timeless styles? It's just hard for me to imagine home shopping channels not jumping onto every trend bandwagon that comes passing by hoping to cash in as quickly as possible.
Judith will have the TSV on April 12th ... here's a little sneak peak. Shhh ...
Friday, March 27, 2009
As reported by Queen Bea last year, Serena Williams--who was just voted WTA player of the year again--will soon be rolling out a new jewelry, fashion, and accessory line at HSN--Signature Statement.
Although the Serena Williams page is up on HSN, none of her products are listed yet. However, Serena just posted a You Tube video showing off her new wares. Check it out:
I'm pretty sure that if you flip over those earrings that Serena's wearing and look closely on the back, you'll see my name written somewhere. Love! Love! Love! You know how I like to rock the big diva earrings. As usual, not a fan of the heart stuff ... Queen Bea is heartless, y'all!
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to see Serena play in a charity tennis tournament with Andy Roddick. She was amazing as usual and even a little funny too. I'm not a tennis player, but Mr. Queen Bea is, and he was very impressed. Plus, my son managed to snag a tennis ball!
Check out the new Serena collection April 30th!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Anyway ... on to our Lori Greiner contest Runner Up Winners:
Karen chose the Floral Room Fragrance with Flower Accents in gardenia--no lavender! she's allergic and she doesn't think that headaches are relaxing. Picky, picky ... :-)
Congratulations to all our lucky Runner Ups! Lori G. is one cool chickie-poo ... who would've ever thought she liked listening to Eminem! If you missed Queen Bea's interview with Lori, check out part one here and part two here.
And FYI, if you entered the contest and you're on Facebook, you probably got a friend request from me. So don't think that "Bea Queenston" is some crazy Facebook stalker! :-)
Between the infamous Banana Bunkers, the Zebra pants, and all the Patricia Field sex and the streetwalker wear, I can't help but wonder if Peg Bundy is the head buyer at HSN.
Now we have leopard harem pants with a big waistband that pulls up over your boobs. Wow. Words escape.
There must be a fashionable place that exists somewhere between Old Granny City and Slutsville.
Do you ever wonder what the UPS man thinks about you and that stack of QVC packages you got after Creede Silver Strike Day or everything on Easy Pay day???
Does he judge you? Snicker at you behind your back? Does he think that you're a stupid, gullible hick with nothing better to do than max out your poor husband's credit cards while you sit on the couch eating bon-bons?
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but he probably does.
Just check out the Brown Cafe message board for UPS men. Here are a few snippets:
Can you believe these women? Can you believe this addiction? I say its an addiction because I have never delivered just one QVC or HSN package to an odd house. NEVER!Its always the same address getting multiple packages 4-5 days/week!Its disturbing. If it was my wife I would classify it as a drug addiction. Spending money on crap you don't need EVERDAY sounds like an addiction to me.I shocked at these women. I know I'm right. They are hooked on the TV sales person. These TV people could advertise a fresh pound of dog crap in a scratch and snif bag and it would be bought by every QVC queen on my route! LOL
The best is when you make a delivery and look thru the window and guess what is on the tube,,,,,,,Qvc
I have a few too that are everyday stops. I have one lady that I DRed three rugs too and they stayed unopened on her front porch for eight years. One day she had her garage door up and she had unopened boxes stacked to the ceiling there too. Finally she stopped getting stuff a couple of years ago. I have been fussed at by quite a few husbands who came to the door when I deliver it. One woman had QVC burned permanently into the corner of her projection TV. Yet another told me once that she would tape the show at night so she could see what she missed while she was sleeping. Some of these people go insane with this stuff.
Hmmm ... what can Brown do for you???
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
No Whammy ... no Whammy ... Stop! Game show host turned HSN host, Todd Newton, has decided to take his lovely parting gifts and go home.
Like most of the hosts hired in the past year (see QB's favorite, Candice Kumai here and here), Todd is no longer listed on the HSN host page.
HSN really needs to re-think how they hire hosts. Seems like they have been putting lots of time and money into people that were obviously not well suited for the job (i.e. complete train wreck) or just not motivated to keep the job any longer then they absolutely had to.
Just a glace at Todd's IMDB page should tell you that he had no intention of staying at HSN very long. Yes, he wants to host. But, no, he doesn't want to sell vacuum cleaners. Why invest the time and money into training him?
I just can't get past his stint on "Wild On ..." That show is just yucky. Not a fan. Sorry. I'm sure he enjoyed himself though.
Normally I would find cutsie videos like this completely lame, but these Amy Stran videos are actually kinda cute. She's like a Freshman on her first day of class. Who is she gonna sit by in the cafeteria?!?
And I love how all the random employees passing by do their very best to ignore her or dart away as quickly as possible! Gotta feel the QVC family love.
Part One: Driving into QVC
Part Two: Walking Around the QVC Building (watch all the other employees scurry away!)
I have a feeling that this has much more to do with the recent employee layoffs than decline in volume of users. And it's certainly not like the Q promotes or encourages the service. LiveHelp is a bit difficult to find. You have to already know it exists and then go hunting for it. Most websites that use live chat customer service also use pop-ups asking if they can help you.
I guess I was one of the few people who did actually use LiveHelp because I much prefer chatting online to calling on the phone. They were helpful in making account and order changes and updates, but they weren't helpful at all with product questions. They tell you exactly what is written on the online product description page pretty much word for word. Surprisingly, since I'm already online using the LiveHelp service, I can read that for myself. I don't need to read it again on LiveHelp. Apparently they don't have access to any additional product information, but they won't just tell you that up front.
The Q should just have Queen Bea work the LiveHelp! I'll work very hard to generate more interest in the service!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Pop princess Lady Gaga is a home shopping fan! Who knew.
“I sort of have a secret desire that when I turn 55, I want to become a QVC girl [and sell] domestic vacuums. It’s all about the hair flip and the manicure."
Lady Gaga knows her Q--it is all about the hair flip and the manicure. How else can you make the latest vacuum cleaner interesting?
But contrary to rumors, Lady Gaga won't be the latest celeb to launch a fashion line. Sorry ... no Lady Gaga for Dialogue anytime soon. She seems to be allergic to wearing pants, so it's probably for the best. All the sparkle of Quacker Factory with none of those bothersome pants! Scary, huh?
“No, that’s a big rumor. Here’s the thing. I’m so busy…and I don’t want to vomit merchandise all over the fashion world and call it my line… If I were to do it, I’d want to take a minute, and a break, and really do it.”
Sadly, when Helen Keaney became an HSN host last summer, she had to hang up her stand-up comedy routine. But last night at the Tampa Improv, she finally got a chance to perform again--this time with some new, spicy material about all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that goes on at HSN.
Ok, spicy shenanigans might be a bit of wishful embellishment on my part, but a girl can dream. According to Tampa Bay Online, Helen said that she was trying out some new material based on her life as a wife, mother and HSN host.
"It's clean, PG-rated stuff," she says. "I don't play to the rowdy late-night crowd. I'm more for people who can read."
Come on, Helen! I certainly enjoy my fair share of rowdy, late-night, not-PG-rated, dirty stuff and I think I can read. I just prefer my words to be shorter--roughly four letters in length. Any longer and my eyes just start to glaze over.
"I had done stand-up comedy for years, and I found that it was getting hard to travel because I have a 9-year-old daughter," she says. "And I was watching HSN all the time. And I thought it was time I stopped buying."
She says HSN seemed like the perfect place for a shopaholic. And she jokes she had to learn how to stay on air for four hours without a bathroom break.
Maybe this appearance will help Helen with her Wikipedia entry. Wikipedia is trying to give Helen the boot on her biography page do to "notability" issues--that means she's not famous enough. Poor Helen! We need to save the Helen Keaney Wiki Page! How exactly do you go about doing that anyhow?
Here's a clip from Helen doing stand up back when she was in the "3 Blonde Moms" comedy group:
You might have seen Helen on "Short Attention Span Theater," "The John Larroquette Show," "Not Necessarily the News with Dennis Miller," "An Evening at the Improv," "Girl’s Night Out," "VH-1’s “Stand-up Spotlight," "Movies For Guys Who Like Movies," and she can currently be seen hosting "You’re Invited" on the Style Network.
Home shopping hosts are so multi-faceted. Well, some of them are anyway.
Former QVC host Ron Maestri wants back on the Q and has posted an audition tape on You Tube. Seems like everyone wants back on QVC after they leave, doesn't it?
Here's what Ron had to say about the tape:
Remember me? I was a QVC Program Host from 1996-1999 selected from over 5000 candidates in a nationwide talent search. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, producing/directing very successful national celebrity infomercials. Chosen "as a refreshing change for QVC" because of my out-going fun personality, I proudly joined the staff. My favorite shows to host (and most successful, if I do say so myself) were cook shows. Others included electronics (I sold 500 computer TSV's at 5AM; slam dunked a breadmaker TSV and kicked off a very successful presentation of a new steam/carpet cleaning machine).
In addition to cookware, I worked very closely with buyers for other product categories including fashion, gold, Diamonique, various around the house items, collectables and outdoor on-air presentations. I was the roving road warrior for "Extreme Shopping", QVC's breakout latenight series.
So why did I leave?
Times changed. Attitudes changed and it was for the best at that time.
Today, I've have come full circle and firmly believe I was meant to return once again to QVC, where I would stay for the rest of my career. I hope you and they would agree.
But whether it's me or someone else, just know that becoming a program host for QVC is the greatest privilege one could ever have.
Ron also worked on the short-lived QVC spin off, Q2, the Shop-At-Home Network, and the Gem Shopping Network, so this definitely ain't his first home shopping rodeo.
Steve Bryant, who worked with Ron at the Q and Shop-At-Home, wrote a glowing review of Ron on his website (there's also a goofy video of them doing a mock hurricane report for the weather channel).
Check out Ron's website here and scroll down to watch all the videos. There's a great one from QVC's Halloween special--and by great I mean high-quality QVC cheese! Love it!
Although I wish Ron the best, it seems to me that the Q has been trying desperately to woo the young, female viewers and has subsequently been hiring young, female hosts every chance they get. Is there a place for Ron or hosts like him at QVC today or has the terrain shifted too much over the last decade?
Just because I love dogs, I thought I'd post these cute pictures of Colleen Lopez and her little doggie, Muffy.
Doncha love how Muffy is rockin' the bling-bling.
Colleen did mention in her blog that Paula Abdual is working on some jewelry for our little four-legged friends. Can't wait to watch those presentations! Paula tends to trip over her Chihuahuas and fall into walls. Poor Paula.
I heard a while back that Meredith Borowski of the Treasures D'Italia collection was planning on leaving ShopNBC, but I wasn't sure if she'd turn up on another network--especially considering the astronomical price of gold lately. QVC has already started "enhancing" their gold pieces with silicone injections for goodness sakes!
Meredith is following in the path of Offerings--now Sajen Silver--and setting up shop at HSN.
Here's a quote from Shivan Sharna's HSN blog:
"I want to introduce you to a very special guest who we are so proud to have at HSN: Meredith Borowski! She brings her Treasures D’Italia Line of gold. You may know her from her many years on TV with her gorgeous jewelry. She is one of the superstars who will be part of our special event at the end of March called Passport to Fine Jewelry. Here we are together modeling some of her creations. OMG we are so alike! I am happy they are putting us on air together, but I have already been warned by my best friend that Meredith and I will need to slow down and breathe during the show. We both tend to speak quickly when we are excited. And I am very excited about Meredith coming to HSN. Her new treasures are going to be wonderful additions to your collections. So if you don’t know her yet, I’m sure you will love her. She is a busy mom, learned the gold trade from her dad and travels to Italy 4 times a year to work with her designers. Love it! Love her!"
I have to take issue with that "busy mom" description. We all know that Jill Bauer is the official home shopping "busy mom." Besides, busy moms do not go to Italy four times a year! Whatever! She's gonna have to find herself another shtick because that one is taken.
Meredith isn't completely gone from ShopNBC yet. There's still has some jewelry listed on clearance if you're interested.
I was getting sooo over all the QVC Spring-has-sprung weekend extravaganza ... I mean, how many times can a person listen to the same spiel about the new, cutting edge features of the latest and greatest garden hose? Unless it will wash all my dishes and clean all my toilets unassisted, than it ain't that spectacular.
But then, during a presentation of some sort of picnic table, Jacque put a well-deserved smack down on this unlucky vendor rep right in the middle of an on-air testimonial and suddenly the clouds parted and my day became a little brighter.
Why do I think that vendor rep deserved his tongue lashing? Basically, because it looked like he was being a stupid man. Sorry men.
I'm sure when they were getting ready to start, he plopped his butt up on the corner of the table. And I'm sure that Jaque tried to tell him that it wasn't a good idea. And I'm also sure that his man-brain blew her off and didn't actually listen to a word she was saying. All he heard was "blah, blah, blah, nag, nag, nag. complain, complain, complain."
So I'm pretty sure that he got what he deserved.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Queen Bea got the chance to interview inventor and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Lori Greiner (check out her website here), who is celebrating 9 years on QVC.
Just like in part 1 of the interview, I asked some "real" questions, but I also threw in some totally random questions for fun and to try to get to know her a little better. Not that we all don't appreciate Lori keeping our silver from tarnishing, but I wanted to know more about what makes her tick.
The contest ends tomorrow at midnight so don't forget to Enter the Contest!!!
QB: Apparently your hair is a hot topic since I received many emails and posts about it. What products do you use and is it anything we can get at the Q? (Someone also complained about your hair color, but I really like your hair color, so whatever!)
LG: I use the Kerastas line of products on my hair. The Masqueintense is a great conditioning treatment! Depending on your type of hair, would depend on what to use. I really love their products.
QB: How do you come up with ideas for products and how many patents do you hold? How does it go from an idea in your head to a TSV? Do you have to approve the prototype? Do you focus group it? Does QVC have input in how you manufacture it?
LG: Often I think of what products I will create based on a need I have or a problem I see friends and family having and then I try to think of what would work really well to solve that problem and I create it. Sometimes it is just what would I like or think our customers would like to have. My best ideas often come to me while I am on an airplane. I guess because being on an airplane is a very quiet time for me, where there are no distractions and I can think.
I have 93 patents to date.
TSV’s have to be special in concept and value. We try hard to have it be something we really feel our customers will like or need. Typically like all products I create, I will start with a hand drawing that I sketch out, then my husband who is a much better draftsman than I, will redraw it perfectly. Then I send that drawing over to whatever factory I feel would be best to make it.
I have such good longstanding relationships with all the factories/sources I use that they can take my line drawings and make a pretty good first sample for me. From there, I will keep tweaking the samples, with changes needed until we get it down to what I feel is just right. Sometimes we don’t need that many revisions, and sometimes we can go through 8 or 9 to get to the perfect last sample. I then keep that last sample as my last sample to refer to when checking final production.
I don’t do focus groups because I think I have a good pulse on what our customers like. When I first started in 1996, I did do market research myself. I went to many different areas around Chicago with my prototype and stopped women walking by and asked them what they thought of it. I knew I would have to take out a very large loan to make my first product, so I wanted to be sure that women would like it and would buy it. After that first product, I didn’t find the need to do market research again. I do get input from the members of my team and also the buyers at QVC. Once I have a product ready in the final sample stage, I will then show it to the buyers for my brand at QVC. They then share their thoughts about the product.
QB: What celebrities have you met behind-the-scenes at the Q? Were you able to chat with them?
LG: Joan Rivers – Who I love. She is really nice and very funny.
Heidi Klum – She liked my Silver Safekeeper initial boxes and has one for herself and her daughter.
Chuck Woolery – A very nice and fun man who we talk to often.
Bo Derek – Very pretty and very surprising to me. She was so petite!
Paula Deen – Funny, full of life. She stuffed me full of her breakfast sausage one day. I don’t normally eat that, but I have to say it was very good.
Tova – I talk with Tova often. She is a lovely person.
Jack Hannah – I loved when he would be at QVC and I was there at the same time. We would go into his greenroom and play with whatever animals he had with him. We played with 5 snow leopard cubs, he had a baby tiger, armadillo, and I loved the kid pygmy goat! It was the cutest thing I think I have ever seen.
Carson Kressley – Very nice and down to earth.
Anson Williams (Potsie from Happy Days) – A very nice guy.
QB: Is there anyone that you've been dying to cross paths with, but it just hasn't happened yet?
LG: James Taylor and also Carly Simon. They were both at QVC at different times and I wish I had been there when they were because I really like them both. Unfortunately, I was out of town both times.
QB: Obviously, being able to start a successful business from the ground up demonstrates that you are a very determined and positive person. Are there any lessons that you learned along the way that you can pass on to other enterprising women (especially in light of the the current economy).
LG: Yes I think that if you are really determined you can make anything happen. My motto is—Don’t ever think you can’t—Just how can you? You just have to be willing to put the time, energy, and dedication required into making something happen. Whatever it is a business or a product. You have to be willing to devote those long hard hours to doing whatever it takes to make it happen and work. Often people have very good ideas, but they don’t want to give up other things or they are unwilling to take any risks. Both are necessary. But I do firmly believe that if you really want something, you ca attain it.
QB: What is your favorite band or singer? Have you seen them in concert?
LG: Boy, favorite band—that’s tough. I like such a huge cross section of music. I like so much. I find music so creatively inspiring. I used to write plays and almost always my best work came form hearing a certain song, which would then set my mind going and into a scene.
I really like sultry music—songs like: At Last, Lou Rawls, Louisiana Sunday Afternoon, Walking in Memphis, but I also like certain songs by U2—Vertigo, Usher—Yeah, Eminem—Lose Yourself, James Taylor, female vocalists like Paula Cole-I don’t Wanna Wait, it’s more certain songs that I like than artists overall. I love almost anything Tango, Mambo, and Mediterranean/Latin.
I also tend to really like the music to may movie soundtracks. My favorites are Body Heat, the love theme to Blade Runner, and most recently I love the music to Revolutionary Road.
Was that an answer or what! You can tell when I like something I really get passionate about it!
Seeing someone in concert—I am going to see Cher in Las Vegas soon. I love Cher’s voice and think she will put on a great show. Just looking at her outfits will be interesting to me!
QB: Do you collect anything and why?
LG: I do collect a few things. I really love old compacts, vanity cases, and pendant vanities from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. I also like antique silver boxes and cigarette cases as well from those decades.
I love antique jewelry—had to get jewelry in there.
I have recently been into Mei Ji pieces which are from the period 1862 to 1912 in Japan.
QB: What is your dream vacation--cost and time are no object!
LG: I love going so many places. I love to travel, so I like everywhere. I guess right now a dream vacation is one of two things—both would include staying at a fabulous hotel. Either in a warm climate and doing nothing but relaxing or going somewhere in Europe—I like so many places in Europe, but I guess Italy is my favorite. I love almost everywhere in Italy.
QB: Are you obsessed with any television shows?
LG: I am—I Tivo them and then watch at 12 a.m. I love—The Office and Boston Legal. These are two of my all time favorites. I also really like: The Closer, Damages, 24, Fringe, Lost, and 30 Rock. I am so glad there so many things on now that I really like. I also really love the Food Network and I get a kick out of Cash Cab and Mark Burnett’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.
QB: Were there any exciting changes during 2008?
LG: Yes, a BIG exciting change! We launched our new website, which people have shared they really love. It helps our customers easily interact with me, see and be able to buy older favorites and keep track of my shows and upcoming exiting happenings. It also answers Frequently Asked Questions and we have an exciting Enter To Win a new featured product each month! Our customers really love the site and we love having it.
Don't forget to enter to win Lori's Silver Safekeeper Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet! Do it right now cause you've only got until tomorrow at midnight to submit your name and email address. Plus, I'll be giving away some totally awesome runner up prizes latter!
I to fell for the solar panel birdbath from QVC. Warning, warning, warning!!!!! My solar panel arrived cracked but I did FINALLY get in touch with the company to replace it. Yes, it worked for approximately 3 months. Then for some reason it quit working. The Q will not help you get any replacement parts and the company will not return emails or phone calls. Please, I warn you, CANCEL your order!!!!!! SAVE your money because it is TOO big and expensive to return!!!!!I now have a birdbath with stagnant water and the birds don't like it.
I haven't told Mr. Queen Bea yet. I might take one poster's advice and just tell him that the Q cancelled it. Poor guy ... all he wanted was a high-tech, suped-up, super-dooper cool bird feeder.
I'm also looking for a mattress topper of some kind--feather bed or memory foam. I want to be able to use my son's bottom bunk, which is a full-size mattress, as a guest bed for the in-laws; however, they have bad backs and need better support then my son's mattress will provide.
Are those Northern Nights featherbeds worth it? There are just sooo many of them and very little explanation about which one is good for which purpose. I'm kind of lost. I'm also not opposed to memory foam, but it's supposed to be hot and we are warm-blooded people.
BTW, when I received the email from QVC titled, "QVC: Your Order Has Been Canceled," the first thing that popped into my brain was that the Q likes to spell cancelled with one "L." I know both spellings are correct, but I'm a two-L girl myself. Google "cancelled canceled" for yourself. There's a war going on over this one!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I'm having a bit of … ummm … What's that called again? … Writer's bl-- … Writer's blo-- … Oh, forget it! I don't know. Can't write. Fingers heavy on the keyboard. Can't move. Ugh.
So, I'm forcing myself to write a rambling post to try to winch the car out of the ditch. Anyone have any kitty litter? Anyone? Oh well, strap in. This will be a bumpy ride.
Let's start with today. It's St. Patty's Day! I've never understood the all-day Irish fest on the Q on St. Patrick's Day. Wouldn't it be better to have it ahead of time so that we have our lucky shamrock-covered accessories for the festivities? I know there has been harrumphing about this for years. I mean, they push Christmas all the way back to July, so it stands to reason that they could move St. Patrick's Day back a bit.
And, yes, I am wearing green today. I needed protection from my son's evil little pincers!
Mr. Queen Bea has now officially joined the ranks of the home shoppers. He always knew about the blog and he did notice that random UPS packages show up at our doorstep from time to time, but he never had much of an interest. Lately though, whenever I flip the TV over to the Q, he always asks what the dirt is on whoever's on the screen.
And then a few days ago, he made a purchase of his own. You see, Mr. Queen Bea has a touch of Spring fever. I know that it's Spring because the Cottage Farms guy shows up. With the weather being so screwy lately, there really isn't any other way to tell.
Anyway, Mr. Queen Bea decided that he wanted a tricked out bird feeder--he wanted a bath, hooks for suet and hummingbird syrup, a pot at the bottom for flowers, and a solar light. Yes, he actually requested all those things. Not my cup of tea, but if it doesn't have buttons, lights, or boobs, he's probably not interested.
Where-oh-where could one find such a Frankenstein of a bird feeder? The Q, baby! Check it out. It's got everything. Unfortunately it's also on waitlist and there weren't any reviews, but he wanted to get it regardless. I won't worry about his new-found love of home shopping unless he shows up wearing Diamonique.
I hope this writing blockage clears up soon. Maybe I need a solar panel on my head.
ETA: Crap! Crap! Crap! I just checked the bird feeder again and now it has one review and it ain't good y'all!!! And I quote, "Do NOT buy this--It is made cheap,it was bowed,warped & so light weight it would not stay standing"
Should I cancel the waitlist? This seems like the type of thing that would be very difficult and expensive to send back.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Ok, maybe Queen Bea isn't giving away free cars like Oprah, but I did just give away 3 of the 8 runner up prizes in the Lori Greiner Silver Safekeeper Giveaway! I just love giving away the store!!!
Cutie Christine chose this fashionable and practical Set of Three Purse Security Charms (H10131). Mr. Queen Bea is always paranoid that someone is going to steal my purse (cause I keep sooo much fat cash in there ... not!), so he would certainly approve.
Beautiful Brenda chose these decorative and safe Set of Three Botanical Flameless Candles (H09283). Considering that my curious and mentally challenged kitty likes to catch her tail on fire when I light real candles, I might want to consider going flameless myself.
Pretty Patsy chose the Seasonal Motif Silver Safekeeper (H03770). It might not be as big as the huge Grand Prize Silver Safekeeper, but you can't put the big daddy on your bedside table! Hmmm ... Lori, I think you need to do a bedside table Silver Safekeeper. I could store my jewelry, reading glasses, lotion, books, and ... ahem ... unmentionables. You could even put a little light in it ... just think about it.
Congratulations to all our winners so far. Remember, you still have a chance to win. I've got 5 more runner up prizes to give away and don't forget the big prize!
If you just can't wait, you can always find Lori's creations on QVC and some great clearance items on Lori's website. Check it out!
If you haven't already, enter the Queen Bea and Lori Greiner Silver Safekeeper Giveaway!!!
QVC host Gabrielle Abiera recently got a dramatic hair cut. Maybe she just had long extensions before and decided to get rid of them. I don't know. I'm not always the best at spotting extensions, weaves, and wigs (of my!). Regardless of whether she chopped off real or fake hair, it's a huge change. What do think???
If you haven't already seen Gabrielle's recent extravagant wedding check it out here. She looks gorgeous!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Remember those tasty little weight loss snacks, Lite Bites? There was even an entire book written about this particular QVC product, Uphill All the Way by Marvin Segel, the spokesperson for the product who claimed to lose 80 pounds using Lite Bites. (And, in case you didn’t know, QVC was founded by Marvin’s father, Joel Segel.)
In addition to the Lite Bites, QVC was also making false claims about For Women Only weight loss products, Bee-Alive royal jelly supplement, and Lipofactor Cellulite Target Lotion.
Here’s what the FTC said about the lawsuit back when it was filed in 2004:
“QVC’s claims for these products are not only unsubstantiated, but for some, scientifically impossible,” said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “No pill or drink can cause anyone to lose 125 pounds. QVC didn’t keep its promise to use sound science and solid evidence to back up the claims it makes for the health products it sells.”
In 2000, QVC settled FTC allegations that the company made unsubstantiated claims that Cold-Eeze zinc lozenges prevented colds and alleviated allergy symptoms. The resulting FTC consent order requires QVC to have “competent and reliable scientific evidence” substantiating any claim that a dietary supplement “can or will cure, treat, or prevent any disease, or have any effect on the structure or function of the human body.”
So now the Q has to pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.5 million and a consumer redress of $6 million (does that mean they have to pay back customers who bought the product???)
Here’s the exact language for all you lawyerly types:
Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered a Consent Decree against giant home shopping retailer QVC, Inc. The Consent Decree stems from a June 14, 2000 Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) decision and order in which the Commission ordered QVC to cease representing certain products in violation of the FTC Act. This led to a March 2004 court complaint filed by the Department of Justice against QVC alleging that the company violated the June 2000 order by making false or unsubstantiated claims for several weight-loss products. The 2009 Consent Decree slaps QVC with a civil monetary penalty of $1.5 million and consumer redress of $6.0 million. In addition, the Consent Decree modifies the June 2000 order to add additional weight loss products. Additional information on the FTC’s QVC docket is available here.
Constantly hearing the hosts say that they can’t make any medical claims … blah, blah, blah … is so tiresome, but I understand why they have to do it. On the other hand, this leads to all sorts of semantics game playing. Prime example: "the appearance of," as in, "this may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
Andrew Lessman really wasn’t kidding when he said that there are strict laws about making unfounded claims when you are trying to sell a weight loss product. Perhaps he is correct in his stand against Sensa (you can catch up on the drama here). And it's looking like Andrew might be winning the battle. There's not a trace of Sensa on the HSN website any more (here's the odd array of products that pop up when you do a search for Sensa).
Monday, March 9, 2009
Like all aging celebrities who need to make a quick buck, Barbie is turning to home shopping to pawn her wares. Yes, she's a little stiff and plastic ... but, honestly, aren't they all???
QVC is selling the 50th Anniversary Barbie Generations of Dreams Collector Doll (pictured), which features Barbie all decked out in a huge dress assembled from pictures of herself throughout the years--like a wearable scrapbook. Barbie isn't known for being humble.
HSN also has several special edition Barbies for sale that are sort of reproductions of popular Barbies from the past. Although I have know idea why the Barbie and the Rockers doll was included. Everyone knows that was a total rip of Jem (who is truly outrages!)
Like all little girls, I had my fair share of Barbie's. And I was even lucky enough to have the Barbie Dream House with the real working elevator (yeah, I know you're jealous). However, I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the plastic blond bombshell. In fact, I sorta pimped her out. But it was all very innocent! I swear!
You see, my neighbor, Greg, had every cool Star Wars toy ever made--with the exception of the Princess Leah action figure, which he thought was totally lame since she was a girl with big cinnamon buns on her head.
I wanted to play with the Millennium Falcon (Hello, Han Solo!), but Greg refused share. So, I did what any other girl would do and I offered to let him see my Barbie doll totally naked in exchange for the opportunity to play with his awesome Star Wars toys.
Greg immediately took me up on my offer.
What a sucker!
Once the clothes come off, Barbie and her nipple-less bazoombas are a total let down for curious boys. I thought everyone knew that.
After my Barbie participated in the world's oldest profession, life didn't get any better for her. My new puppy, Barney, systematically chewed all her hands and feet off, rendering Barbie unable to wear the mismatched pair of shoes I had stashed somewhere in the bottom of my toy box. After that, I just couldn't bring myself to play with her. Poor Barbie.
So, it's with mixed feelings that I wish Barbie a happy 50th anniversary. We can never live up to her high standards. I mean, who lives in a mansion in Malibu, wears couture clothing, works as a pediatrician while wearing high heels, drives a Corvette, and dates a closeted gay man for decades? Honestly!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Queen Bea got the chance to interview inventor and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Lori Greiner (check out her website here), who is celebrating 9 years on QVC.
I asked some "real" questions, but I also threw in some totally random questions for fun and to try to get to know her a little better. Not that we all don't appreciate Lori keeping our silver from tarnishing, but I wanted to know more about what makes her tick.
Don't forget to Enter the Contest!!!
QB: Is it true that you had your flight diverted and ended up stranded in Canada during 9/11?
LG: Yes that is true. I was flying back from Paris and our plane was ordered down into Newfoundland, an island at the very Northern most tip of Canada near Greenland. We stayed at the Salvation Army Church for a week with 189 other passengers from United Airlines and Delta Airlines flights. Six thousand passengers landed on St. Johns that day, a town that had a population of only 120,000, so 6,000 people was a lot to shelter. It was an amazing story, all the steps we went through just to get processed and put in places that would shelter us. We were very fortunate to have landed there. The people involved with the Salvation Army church were so wonderful to us. Between the Red Cross and the Salvation Army Church, they fed us 3 times’s a day, brought us sleeping bags to sleep in, soap, towels, etc. We were not allowed to take any luggage off the plane, so they really had to care for us completely and they did. I could go on and on about it. While a terrifying experience and difficult physically at times, the kindness of these people is what stands out so strongly to me and we are forever grateful to them.
QB: How has this affected your outlook on life?
LG: I remember thinking at the time how amazing and caring people can be. The town of St. John’s literally jumped into emergency action to take care of all of us. I also realized firsthand what the Red Cross and Salvation Army do and it has given me enormous respect and admiration for these organizations. It was also very interesting to me how the horrible terrorist act also deeply affected the Canadians. They considered is their “brothers/sisters” and their hearts went out to all of us. It made me think about how truly wonderful the human spirit can be and how important it is that an adversity (and even outside of adversity) that everyone should always care about each other and help each other. We are all the same and should share the very best parts of ourselves in life with others.
QB: When you are doing lots of shows in one day (like when you have a TSV), is there somewhere in the studio where you can nap privately or do you have to schlep back and forth to the nearest Motel 6?
LG: That’s funny. When we have a TSV or long day of shows we do get our own green room which is great. We can hang out in there between shows and take a nap—if we can. It’s just great to have somewhere private to relax for a few minutes and sit down. We do schlep a lot of props back and forth because we use all of our own props on air so we run around a lot. It takes us about 4 hours to set up before each show and an hour to break down, so unfortunately we don’t get to sit down or rest much on those hectic days.
QB: Do you get any cool vendor perks--drivers, hair & make-up, meals, etc. or are you on your own lugging samples in your own car?
LG: QVC does have a hair and makeup person that we can schedule an appointment with before a show. I am always so busy setting up that I never have the time to take them up on this great offer. I do my own hair and makeup. I am very hands on in all aspects of my business, so I am really out there setting up and busy most of the time. Because we do lug our own samples back and forth and back and forth!
QB: How far in advance are your appearances scheduled? Do you ever have to fill in quickly? Is it any different during the busy holiday season?
LG: It depends. My Clever and Unique Creations Shows are scheduled a good 6 weeks in advance, but the individual airings I do in other QVC shows, can happen just a day in advance sometimes.
Yes sometimes I do fill in quickly. I remember one huge snowstorm, my husband and I were one of the very few to get to the studio before it became completely impossible. We wound up pinch hitting, making dishes in the test kitchens for on air last second, and doing airings all day to help out QVC because no one else was around. It was a very fun day!
Yes, it definitely is more hectic during the holiday season. More last minute shows or changes going with the flow of whatever if needed.
QB: Are you having to make any changes in light of the current economy? Smaller/less complicated/lower priced items?
LG: I always try to make items that can be very affordable on the whole and a great value. I want to make items that people can say, “Hey, it’s only 'x' dollars, I can afford that!” I think it’s better to make items that the majority of people can afford—then I know I am making people happy.
QB: Have you ever met anyone who can actually fill up the Trifold jewelry cabinet with 700 pieces of jewelry? And if so, is this person planning a yard sale any time soon?
LG: You’re funny. I do know a lot of people who can. My mom for one. Many of our QVC viewers wrote and called in asking me to make a super duper sized Silver Safekeeper and that is why I created it. So many people would tell me that they had 4, 5, or even 6 of my other Silver Safekeepers and that had to take up a lot of room. This product can store all their pieces. And takes up just a little over a square foot of space.
QB: What is your favorite pizza--toppings and style?
LG: Well growing up in downtown Chicago—pizza capital of the world—I love pizza and Uno’s (they also have a sister restaurant called Due’s) in Chicago is really good! My husband and I have done several pizza “throw downs," where we order a pizza (same kind) from two different Chicago pizza places and then have a contest which one is better, Uno’s has won hands down so far over all of them. We get the deep dish sausage, mushroom, and pepperoni. Besides that, I am a pretty healthy eater. The Chicago Uno’s is different from the chain Uno’s you find in other cities, so you have to come to Chicago and go to the “real” Uno’s.
QB: Do you like your coffee simple or do you tend to go for things like the venti soy vanilla mocha latte with no whip? On a side note, have you tried the Keurig (it's my new baby)?
LG: You wouldn’t believe what I do to coffee. I mix about ¼ coffee with ¾ hot water. So at Starbucks I order a skinny latte vanilla and a hot water and then mix them. Adding more Splenda and the powdered chocolate they have on the counter. Crazy, I know. I’m not really a coffee drinker.
We do have your baby. My husband loves it!!!
QB: Looking back, what is the most embarrassing fashion trend that you took part in?
LG: Oh boy, I guess really big shoulder pads. I am rather short, so I think I thought having big shoulders would make me seem larger. I have some pretty funny coats that when I look at them now, I probably looked like a little quarterback in them.
QB: Do you know how to play poker? Are you any good?
LG: I love playing poker!!!! I am [good] when the stars are in my favor.
QB: What is your favorite meal to cook? To eat?
LG: Oh boy—I love to eat and I love to cook so that’s hard to answer. I guess our favorite thing to make, which I don’t make often, is my pasta sauce that I make from scratch—with tomatoes, tomato sauce, lots of Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, and of course neck bones for flavor. We throw country style ribs in and it simmers for hours and it is just awesome. Of course I eat pretty healthy other than that.
QB: Aside from your own, what are your favorite QVC products?
LG: I have to say I am a Judith Ripka jewelry fan. I also really like my Arctic 180 ear muffs. Great invention! The Pilates Performer and Northern Nights flannel sheets. There are so many things I have and like—I just can’t think of them all right now.
What celebrities has Lori met behind the scenes? Who is she just dying to meet? What's this I hear about a goat? What's on her iPod? Stay tuned to the next part of the interview!
Don't forget to enter to win Lori's Silver Safekeeper Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet! Submitting your name and email address will get you one entry. However, if you also include a link to where you posted about the contest, you'll get an extra 5 entries! Just entering your name five times in a row doesn't count, y'all!!!
I would hurry, Queen Bea's feeling like giving away some Runner Up Prizes today ... :-)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Martha McCully, vendor rep for Lancaster beauty products on HSN, wrote an article For Huffington Post about the craziness that goes on behind the scenes.
The ins and outs of her experience being a vendor are interesting enough. However, the bit about the wheelchair? Well, now that's just downright funny! I swear I was LOL-ing until I was ROTFLMAO!
"My first trip to Tampa, home of the shopping channel, was like entering an alternative reality, Vegas-style. Where are the clocks? Why are people sleeping on the couch? All the snacks are insta-calories laced with MSG. The speed at which this 24/7 operation works is dizzying. In fact the hosts are often sped from studio to studio in wheelchairs pushed by the Production Assistants; it's faster than the scurrying in Broadcast News. I know of at least one who hit a cord and went flying, but she still made it on camera in time for her next promo."
This entire scenario brings three very important questions to mind:
1) Who was the host that went flying out of the wheelchair and fell on her face? Bobbi Ray? Colleen? Shannon? Every time I picture a different host, a new little bubble full of giggles floats to the surface.
2) Wheelchairs? Seriously? For reals? Can't HSN afford a scooter? Of course, they did just report a $2.9 billion loss, so maybe they actually can't.
3) How does one apply to be the host wheelchair pusher? Does the ideal candidate have a particular skill set or type of work experience?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Ramona Singer, a Real Housewife of NYC, is premiering her jewelry line tonight on HSN.
I would like to plead with you on her behalf to please ... if you can ... open up your hearts and your wallets to purchase a piece of her jewelry. These 9.21ct Gemstone and Diamond Sterling Silver Convertible Dangle Earrings are only $499.00! She's practically giving them away!
The recent downturn in the economy has hit her hard. Read about her heart-wrenching struggle in her own words, "What was hard for me was giving up my live-in maid five days a week," housewife Ramona Singer moaned.
... hold on a second. y'all while I try to compose myself ...
I'm sure she would never ask you herself or be demanding in any way. Hopefully, we can all pitch in and help Ramona get that live-in maid back. No one should have to suffer the indignity of cleaning a toilet--except maybe her maid.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Anyway, aside from his hosting gig at the Q, Rick ... I mean, Richard ... is best known for playing Ed Getley in the 1987 horror flick, Evil Dead II. Oscar worthy? Perhaps not. But it's no small potatoes, y'all! Evil Dead II is ranked #32 on the top 50 Best Horror Titles of all time. There's even some fancy technical formula used to determine the rankings.
Check Rick duking it out with some sort of evil and/or dead critter. This probably isn't safe for work or safe for people who are generally squeamish.
Even if you aren't a card carrying member of the Peanut Gallery, you'll probably appreciate this little blast from the past.
There are two other videos here and here and there should be two more coming.
Jessica Simpson hawked her Dessert Beauty Line on the Q a few years ago during the heyday of her Newlyweds reality show. Remember? OMG, they did an entire episode about Jessica being sick while she was shooting the promo pictures for the line. I didn't think that spoke to highly of the products considering that they were supposedly edible (or at least lickable) beauty products. But they played it up dramatically like she was possibly pregnant and had morning sickness. Of course she wasn't.
Anyway, I digress.
Jessica then headed over to HSN with her bestest hair guru pal, Ken Paves, to sell their line of hair pieces and wigs called Hairdo. Unfortunately, Jessica would never show up in person to sell her wares, leaving all the heavy lifting to Ken. I hate it when celebrities want to slap their name on a product and sell it to the masses on a home shopping channel but refuse to actually show up to do it. Ummm, no ... you gotta pay to play, baby!
Even though the Hairdo line is still on HSN right now, it won't be there for long. Looks like Jessica and her fake hair are headed back to the Q. the picture isn't up yet, but check it out.
I'm predicting that more and more celebrities will be beating down the doors to get on QVC or HSN this year. Apparently celebrity vanity lines are tanking in this economy and they'll be looking for a lifeline.
ETA: I completely forgot to mention that Toni Brattin is probably slapping on her favorite Toni Pony and throwing herself a party! Go Toni, it's your birthday ... go Toni, it's your birthday ...
(hat tip to godfreako ... whoever you may be!)
Monday, March 2, 2009
Mirror, mirror on the wall ... who is the hottest home shopper of all???
In celebration of her 9th Anniversary on QVC, Lori Greiner is giving away a Gold & Silver Safekeeper Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet!!!
I already have the one in the cherry finish pictured in the center, so I can personally attest that it is nothing short of fabulous. There's so much storage that it makes me feel like I really don't have too much jewelry. Plus, my husband is pretty sure that burglars would be fooled into thinking that it's just a mirror and not a jewelry box.
Here's all you need to do to enter: Submit your name and email address in the entry form (CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTRY FORM!) This gets you one entry in the drawing. Simple, right?
But wait! It gets better!
If you want to increase your chances, include a link to a posting on your personal blog, website, comment on another blog or message board, Twitter, My Space, Facebook, etc. about Lori Greiner and Queen Bea's Silver Safekeeper Giveaway contest that links back to this Home Shopping Queen blog post and you'll get FIVE additional entries in the drawing.
The contest will run from Monday ,3/2/09, to Friday, 3/20/09. And the winner will be announced on Saturday, 3/21/09. The winner will be determined by random drawing and will be notified via the email used to enter the contest and will have 7 days to claim their prize. Your odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. This contest is only open to U.S. residents at least 18 years old. Void where prohibited.
Be sure to enter early! In addition to the big Grand Prize, we'll be giving away 8 Runner Up Prizes at random times throughout the contest--basically whenever Queen Bea gets the urge to give something away!
Also, be sure to check out LoriGreiner.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up on all the latest and greatest in Lori's fantabulous creations. And don't miss Lori celebrating her 9th Anniversary on the Q on Sunday, March 22nd at 2 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m. EST.