Come over for a drink...and a sale

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As a working mom with no free time and a family of four, my trips to clothing stores tend to be of the supermarket-sweep variety. With my watch hands moving ever closer to the moment my husband will call my cellphone to ask if I'm headed home, I grab everything I can so I won't have to enter a store again in quite some time. (Retailers probably love me: Most of what I snap up in this mad-dash rush doesn't work but I don't have the time or energy to return any of it.)

When a friend who had fled my Brooklyn building for the New Jersey suburbs invited me to a party recently, I didn't realize I would be joining the legions of other moms who are fleeing the malls for a few relaxing, wine-in-hand moments to survey the latest fashions.

Amy's party was a home show for Suburban Cowgirl, a T-shirt business started by Alex, another friend. Upon arrival I was handed a glass of wine and then set about eyeing the t-shirts, hats and underwear on the dining room table and-for a professional touch-on a real display rack.

Though Alex has shopped her T-shirts to boutiques and has pitched to some department stores, her shirts have really only been sold thus far via word of mouth and home parties (this was her second). With friends telling friends and party guests asking if they can throw parties, she thinks she'll average $1,500 a month in sales this year.

Meanwhile, I walked away with a cute gray camouflage T-shirt and some other items, and felt relaxed and a little tipsy instead of tired and angry. Amy tells me another one of her friends is snapping up designer jeans wholesale to sell at a home party. I'm there!
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