Magnified Non Lighted Wall Mirror
39 Years Old? No Way!
Aptations – well, actually the predecessor company Kimball & Young – began life in 1983.  That makes us 39 years old, which is the age that my mother ALWAYS said she was when asked.  Apparently, 39 was the age where sophisticated maturity met perpetual youth…..and now we are there!  

In the Beginning….

Kris Kimball and Curtis Young fleshed out a partnership agreement and began to sell cosmetic accessories to anyone who needed cosmetic accessories.  In short order, they decided to focus their efforts on magnified makeup mirrors.  The first catalogs were simple 1 page fliers with hand held mirrors and compacts. (more…)
Trends from the lighting show
Trends From the Lighting Show
I recently had the chance to see some of the new trends from the lighting show after a quick trip to Dallas to Lightovation, the residential lighting trade show and market.  Since we’ve all had some time to be more creative during the pandemic, I was expecting to see some really innovative new things.  I was not disappointed!!  What is happening in lighting, you ask??  Well, let’s see….  

Natural Materials

  After years of very contemporary designs, it was really refreshing to see so many natural materials being incorporated.  There were a lot of lamp shades made from wood, and chandeliers made from wooden beads.  There was also a wide selection of light fixtures with rattan or even burlap-looking shades.  While the wood and rattan fixtures added a distinct bohemian flair to the show, it didn't end there.  There were also some really stunning (more…)
Trends Impacting the Market
Top Trends Impacting the Market
With vaccines rolling out and states opening up, I was able to take advantage and get to southern California and see what trends are impacting the market.  It was a great couple of days.  There is nothing like talking to your customers and trading partners to find out what’s happening in the market.  Here’s a quick look at what I learned….  

Black and Brass are the new…..well, Black.

Matte Black and various Brass finishes have been in the market for a few years now but both finishes are really getting some traction.  As more and more of the fixture companies are offering these finishes, there’s huge demand on the hardware and accessory companies to keep up.  We, at Aptations, are doing our part, (more…)
Perfect Bridesmaid or Wedding Gift
Perfect Bridesmaid or Wedding Gift
Springtime is here, which means a lot of happy people are looking for the perfect bridesmaid or wedding gift.   The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and a lot of weddings will finally be happening after being postponed during COVID.  Hitched Wedding Trend Predictions  How wonderful for all of these couples and families to be able to celebrate their big days!  This is especially true after all of the isolation and uncertainty of the past year in quarantine.

Gift for a Bridesmaid

My daughter will be a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding in July.  This got me thinking about the tradition of bridesmaids’ gifts.  What better way to say thank you to your bridesmaids than with one of our magnified makeup mirrors?   What woman wouldn’t want a beautiful, stylish, and high-quality accessory (more…)
More famous mirrors
More Famous Mirrors
It turns out that there are even more famous mirrors that need to be discussed.  The following all involve having mirrors smashed and broken, which is something that we, at Aptations, discourage.  Let’s take a look at more famous mirrors and the mirror smashers who made them famous.  

Richard II, by William Shakespeare

  This Shakespeare play is an historical tragedy and as with all Shakespeare plays, it is filled with nuance.  One of the less nuanced scenes has Richard II focusing on a mirror and what it tells him about the stress he has been under. (more…)
Famous Mirrors
Famous Mirrors, Part 1
There have been a large number of famous mirrors in literature, music, and movies thru the years.  Sometimes they are used as a metaphor and sometimes they are simply a mirror, reflecting back an image that is often less than flattering.  Let’s begin to take a look at some of the most famous mirrors in Part 1 of this blog series.  

Magic Mirror On The Wall….

  In the Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen begins each morning by asking…..”Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?”  The Queen is quite beautiful, at least in appearance, and this mirror always told the truth. So, day after day, the mirror tells the Queen that she is the fairest in the land.  Then one day, to the (more…)
Renovation for quarantine weary travelers
Renovations for Quarantine-Weary Travelers
Now is the time to make renovations for the quarantine-weary travelers who want to come and stay with you.   Snow is melting, flowers are blooming, vaccines continue to rollout across the U.S. at a steady pace and we're all tired of our quarantine surroundings.  This week marks 1-year of quarantine for me and my family of 4.  We started with building couch forts, having family meals, game night.  The kids were allowed to eat candy for breakfast because telling an independent, strong-willed 7-year old "no" was too hard.  We would stay up late and sleep ‘til noon.  We had the best intentions with our cobbled together homeschool plans.  Video meetings started with brushed hair and clean clothes but after a few months rapidly degraded into muted mics, no video, pants optional (more…)
Best Magnifying Mirror for You
Getting the Best Magnification Mirror for You
“Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up” was the line famously delivered by Gloria Swanson.  She was playing the part of aging actress Norma Desmond, in the 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard.   The question is…..are you ready for your close-up?  What is the best magnification mirror for you??  (more…)
My Favorite Mirror
My Favorite Mirror – Ask the Experts
We asked our controller, Laura, to tell us about her favorite mirror.

My favorite Aptations mirror is...

....our Single-Sided LED Round Wall Mirror - model 944  It is one of the lighted, hardwired mirrors in our Kimball & Young collection.  This is a 5X magnified mirror, which is such a great help during makeup application.   5X may not sound like a lot of magnification, but it’s a true 5X strength which is quite powerful, much more so than some drugstore mirrors you might find which claim higher magnification.   For me, 5X is plenty.

Classic Styling

You can’t go wrong with the classic, simple style of this mirror.  It’s wall-mounted, so it doesn’t take up any space on the counter.  Its slim design allows it to tuck away easily.   The lens can be positioned at any angle, which makes it really comfortable and convenient to use.  We even have this little beauty in our restroom at the office, so there’s another endorsement.

Switchable LED Lighting

The LED lighting is bright enough to allow me to see what I want to, but not so bright that it’s distracting.  The feature I like best is that we have just added new technology which allows the LED lights to be switched between (more…)
Lessons Learned From 2020
2021 – Whew! We Made It! The Lessons (Re)Learned From 2020
When the history is written, 2020 will give us some good things and a lot more bad things but there are definitely lessons learned from 2020.  Taking a page from the great David Letterman, I want to share my list of the Top 10 Lessons Learned From 2020.

10.  Panic is real!

Accept with it....and then move thru it.

9.  We've done this before.

Certainly we've never done it quite like this, but...we've gone thru challenges that are enough like this that we can plan how to get thru this one.

8.  Pay attention!

….to what your people are telling you, your inventory flow, your cash flow, and your profit levels. For example, while we have some really unique vanity mirrors, we didn’t have a selection of basic, opening price, vanity mirrors.  Look for our new Pure and Classic mirrors coming in 2021.

7.  A bit of quiet time gives space for creativity and innovation.  

Return Mirror to Sender
What If Your Purchase of the Perfect Mirror Turns Out to Be . . . . Not Quite Perfect?

Don’t worry—we’re here to help!

We are happy to accept a return of a mirror within 120 days of the ship date because we know that having a good return policy gives you confidence in us.  (The Importance of a Good Return Policy)  This allows time for you to receive the mirror, inspect it thoroughly, and make sure it’s going to work in the intended space.  (more…)
Perfect gift for the holidays
Perfect Gift for the Holidays
I think I’m like most people – I both love the chance to pick out the perfect gift for the holidays and I panic when I’m faced with buying a gift for someone who is hard to shop for.  I LOVE the times when someone helps me out…..and I REALLY LOVE the times someone helps out my beloved husband and children.  Let me return the favor and help you out with some ideas…..  

For the One Who Deserves Some Pampering

  Most women don’t take enough time to take care of themselves.  I try really hard to not generalize but, in this case, I think I’m on pretty solid ground.  If the woman in your life would love the chance to just focus on herself, then a gift of a magnifying makeup mirror is ideal for her.  Having a magnifying makeup mirror allows her to spend some time primping and preening and generally making herself feel better.  A woman who feels like she looks good has the confidence to conquer the world…. (more…)
Veteran with American flag
Thank You To Military Families
November 11, 2020 is Veteran’s Day and November is Military Family Month and at Aptations, we want to say thank you to military families.  The National Child Traumatic Stress Network tells us….  ”November was first declared as Military Family Month in 1996.  They contend with separation from their families and make adjustments to new living situations and communities.  Military Families embody strength, resilience, and courage.”  National Child Traumatic Stress Network

An American Story

My parents were both in the US Air Force.  My Dad retired as a Lt. Colonel and my Mom resigned her commission as a Captain when she married my father and started a family.  While neither were in the military when I was growing up, the impact of the military was a constant in our lives.  When we would prepare for a family vacation, my father would forget that we were children and not soldiers and would bark orders at us as if we were invading somewhere…..not just visiting family.  My Mom brought her skills as a leader and an Air Force officer to everything she did and was my role model to help me become the leader and owner of my own company. (more…)
Mirrors as room jewelry
Mirrors As Room Jewelry
I’ve always thought of mirrors as room jewelry.  And like the most perfect jewelry, it can make a definite statement about the overall look, in this case, of the room.       Back in 2009, at the depth of the last great recession, I was invited to a Girl’s Day at the San Francisco Nordstrom’s with a bunch of really good friends.  I was suffering from “recession fatigue” and wanted to get out with friends and enjoy some shopping.  I was just getting out - I was not going to spend any money!  Well….that plan didn’t work so well and I ended up falling in love with and buying a couple of great outfits that were WAY beyond the current clothing budget.  Then the personal shopper asked, “would you like to take a look at some scarves and belts to go with that?”  In for a penny, or in my case a stressed credit card…..I reasoned.  I agreed and piled on even more expensive accessories.       Even though I knew I would be calling, first my credit card company, and then my husband, to explain these extravagant purchases including scarf, belt and shoes, I still bought them because they were absolutely perfect with those outfits.  Frankly, it would have been a bad idea to try to accessorize these great outfits – expensive clothing investments - with the things I already had.  It wouldn’t have done justice to any of the pieces.  (more…)
Minimalist Rectangular Magnifying Makeup Mirror
Mirror With Value for Your $$
The reviewer said….”it was a bit pricey, but well worth it…..”  I love it when customers find value in our mirrors!  It means that we have struck a balance between the price that they paid and the quality of the mirror that we delivered to them.   It is tricky to talk about value because it is an intangible quality to deliver.  The recent pandemic has made us all aware that seemingly trivial items can have great value – toilet paper in March, for example.  I have been giving a lot of thought to defining how I determine value in a mirror, and even in “normal” times, value is an elusive and intangible thing, often only understood by the person looking for value.  Like beauty, value…. “is in the eye of the beholder.” (Margaret Wolfe Hungerford(more…)
Hotel bathroom with lighted magnified mirrors
Choosing the Best Magnification Mirrors for Hotels
Recently, a designer asked me about choosing the best magnification mirrors for hotels and their guests.  Most successful designs give the guest the feeling of home but with luxurious amenities.    

Do you Need Magnification Mirrors in Hotels?

Magnifying mirrors should be one of those amenities and in every hotel & resort.  Now, I’m not just saying this because I’ve been selling magnified mirrors for the last 10 years but as someone that has worn glasses since the 2nd grade.  Believe me, there is nothing more uncomfortable than having to crane your neck like a giraffe (or in my case a full body stretch) across the vanity to be able to see that painful eyelash poking in my eye or apply eyeliner without looking like a raccoon ~ eek!  I’ve even resorted to using the guestroom wardrobe mirror in the dimly lit hallway.  Battling the unflattering shadows of a single ceiling canister light.  Hoping that I don’t look like a Goth clown as I race off to an important business meeting.  And even if you have perfect vision, magnification allows for exacting application of lip liner or eyeliner, subtle blending of colors, flawless tweezing, and crisp shaving because let’s be honest, we ALL like to look good!  (more…)