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With Mother’s Day coming up in just a few days (Sunday, May 14th… Just in case you need a reminder!), it’s time to start thinking about how to create the best, most relaxing day for you mom. As a big fan of supporting local businesses, we’ve decided to make that the theme of this year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide! We picked four local businesses that have a niche when it comes to catering to moms, and chatted with the owners about how to make your mom’s day extra special this year!

A set of pastel colored wristlet bags from ViaBuia with long gold chain straps.

Photo Credit: ViaBuia Facebook

For the Mom Always On the Go: ViaBuia Bags

According to ViaBuia, New York City moms are determined, multi-tasking superheroes! From managing after school play dates to packing things for a day trip you may forget yourself, a mom’s style shouldn’t be compromised. From large totes to adorable wallet sand wristlets, let’s see what gifts ViaBuia recommends this Mother’s Day:

  • Out of the items your store carries, which would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift?

The Everything bag is the most coveted item amongst our working mother clientele. Here’s why:

  1. An oversized carryall that automatically adjusts to the size of it’s contents
  2. Lightweight and good-looking from day to night
  3. A mix of weather resistant velvet that catches light from a sunny beach to a neon subway lamp in the most unique way
  4. Comes in over a dozen variations
  5. Pretty and practical!
  • How does this item suit a New York City mom?

This bag makes for the perfect travel companion either on a flight or on a daily commute. Never be bothered to change your bag again, it works with any outfit from the most casual walk in the park to business meeting chic

  • Is there a way for busy fathers and children to purchase from ViaBuia online?

Yes! You can shop our online store. If you have a last minute order, email us and we can help organize quick Amazon-style turn around times by tapping into our local stock points. We get the “I need it yesterday” philosophy!

An array of brunch-style food at Davio's Manhattan with fresh fruit and flower son the table.

Photo Credit: Davio’s Facebook

Wine and Dine Dates: Davio’s Manhattan

What makes Davio’s the perfect spot to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Davio’s upscale, yet family friendly atmosphere makes it the perfect brunch or dinner destination for the entire family this Mother’s Day! The convenient location, across from Grand Central Terminal, is perfect for New Yorkers or guests to meet.

What menu items are your favorite for a special Mother’s Day brunch? 

This Mother’s Day we will be offering a selection of seasonally inspired brunch items:

  • Belgian Waffle with Warm Vermont Maple Syrup
  • Berry Compote
  •  Freshly Smoked Salmon
  • Poached Eggs
  • Roasted Potatoes

Brunch offerings will be available from 11:00am-3:00pm, and the full dinner menu will be available all day until 9:00pm.

What other events does Davio’s offer that moms would love? 

Davio’s offers a selection of weekly promotions, including our Executive Lunch and Daily Happy Hour every Monday-Friday, Half Priced Wine Sundays, and special one-time-only events like our Cakes & Cocktails Workshop – coming up on Saturday, May 20th. We also have gift cards available for purchase!

Pink lipstick and lip gloss in tubes on a counter at Blushington in NYC.

Photo Credit: Blushington Fcaebook

For the Mom Who Loves to be Pampered: Blushington

From makeup application for a big night out to a refreshing spring-inspired hair style, Blushington is the perfect place for New York City’s chic, dynamic, and stylish mothers to feel beautiful and confident.

  • Which Blushington service makes the perfect Mother’s Day gift?

Our unlimited Carte Blush Membership allows for unlimited visits and includes makeup applications, faux lashes and waxing. At $250 per month it is a tremendous value. Luxury and value in one beautiful package!

  • How does this suit a New York City mom?

NYC moms are leading busy lives. Whether working or stay at home, it’s a full-time job being a mother, and we all want to look and feel our best. With the unlimited membership you can pop in before a big meeting, luncheon, charity event, mom’s night out, or just because!Read more

A collection of planted flowers

A Lesson in Creating Balcony GardensSpring is in the air, as well as the smell of fresh flowers and greenery in your New York City apartment! Grab your gardening gloves and dig into our guide for creating a lush balcony garden!

  • Is there an option for a one-stop-shop gift at your store? 

Blushington is the perfect one-stop shop for moms, grandmothers, and moms to be. We have a beautiful curation of the best beauty products, pretty cash gift cards with beautiful gift card holders, and of course our unlimited membership, Carte Blush. All of our gifts are presented in our beautiful Blush colored shopping bags lined with blush tissue. Truly a beautiful presentation!

  • How can moms use a $100 gift card to Blushington?

There are a few great options to utilize $100:

  1. A makeup and BeautyRx peel package
  2. Full-face makeup and eyelash application
  3. A glycolic peel that will leave skin glowing, refreshed and younger looking
  • What makes you believe mothers would find this particular gift useful?

We know time is valuable, especially in New York City,and we have perfected the art of offering impeccable services in a timely manner, all in a beautiful, relaxing environment.

A clothing rack at Meg Shops in NYC with brown exposed brick and a vase of fresh flowers on the table.

Photo Credit: Meg Shops Facebook

For the Stylish Moms: Meg Shops

Meg Shops is the perfect boutique for those New York City moms who love to look their best – even while on the playground or running to the farmer’s market. As a mother and small business owner, Meg describes how her storefront suits busy, yet efficient and engaged mothers who deserve a personalized styling session! Here’s what Meg has to say:

How does the theme of your storefront or business fit celebrating moms?

Meg Shops is all about ensuring every one of our customers feels her best self and ready to take on what life throws at them. All our designs are clothing that every woman would want – at least we feel that way!  The team understands their needs and creates feminine, yet versatile clothing in a warm urban environment with elevated service levels: from stylists, tailoring, and treats.

Need an item shipped or a private one-on-one appointment? We got you taken care of!Read more

Exterior shot of Paramount Towers

Paramount Tower ApartmentsEnjoy luxury living in Midtown East at Paramount Tower. Click to learn more.

Out of the items your store carries, which would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift? 

A gift card, which can then be used during a private one on one styling session/appointment with one of experienced Meg Shop stylists in her local store. We have multiple locations throughout Manhattan:

  1. Upper East
  2. West Village
  3. East Village

During the hour-long appointment, you work directly with a stylist who will select the best seasonal wardrobe for your life needs and body type, and expertly tailor your pieces for the perfect fit!

How can moms gain value from your business the other 364 days of the year?

We like to create relationships with customers and make it as easy as possible to shop with us. Our stylists can email you or text you to let you know when we have new pieces in,  including photo’s and tips on styling that piece. Let us know if there’s a special event or occasion coming up, and we will alert you if we have dresses coming in that might work for you. We can even have the pieces in your size set aside for when you come in and we tailor to fit everything!From brunch to beauty treatments, what are you planning for Mother’s Day? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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ViaBuia is an edgy, eclectic, Italian specialty bag brand with Brooklyn roots. Founder and creator, Christine Tortora, awarded the title of Brooklyn Rising Star in 2014, blends ne Italian exotic leathers with nostalgic upholstery fabrics to create unique textures, showcasing iconic damask prints in carefully designed urban shapes from the inside out. Each piece is considered “BagArt” and is characterized by its airy weight and eye-catching detail designed to travel be er, every day. The bags are Made in Florence with a team of talented artisans.

Shortly after her rst samples were made in Brooklyn, in 2013, ViaBuia made a rst appearance in specialty boutiques in the US, Italy, and London, where her iconic Pastina Camera Bag completely sold out. In January 2017, Tortora opened the rst ViaBuia store on Via Capo di Mondo in Florence and just this May, the brand discretely revealed a small and focused shoe collection – a series of must-have ats that retail under $200. The most recent ‘Nomad’ collection, featuring totes with fringe and pompom embellishments of Florentine passamanerie, is the current ViaBuia Spring-Summer vibe, all made in limited quantity.

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We’re so excited to welcome to the blog entrepreneur, designer, and all-around inspiration Christine Tortora!  Christine is the creator and visionary of ViaBuia, a Florence-based handbag line with Brooklyn roots.  While she currently resides in Italy with her bags (not to mention her husband), she was born and raised here in New York, and is never far from this city in spirit.  Today she shares with us some of her go-to spots when she is home, as well as how the city has inspired her line.

Name:  Christine Tortora

Occupation: Handbag designer and founder of ViaBuia bags/Freelance developer


New Yorker since: Birth

What hood do you stay in when you’re in town?  Brooklyn, with my family

And where do you get your morning coffee? If not at home, I usually stop at a small Russian cafe by the Sheepshead Bay subway stop

Restaurant you’d be really, really sad bordering on clinically depressed if they closed:  Already happened! Pastis! But apparently it’s back? Whatever, the original was so awesome. [Editor’s note:  It will be back, but not until 2017 apparently]

Every tourist must visit: Coney Island

NYC trend you’re currently loving/hating: Soul Cycle and green juices—sort of irritated by both as an outsider.

Favorite way to while away a non-workday NYC afternoon: Central park and tea or Prosecco at the Plaza with mom.  Fancy.

NYC’s best-kept secret: ViaBuia bags

What do you miss most about NYC when you’re in Italy? So many things—the people, the energy, the diversity, and all of its 24-hour conveniences.

How has NYC influenced/inspired your handbag collection? The urban twist on all ViaBuia creations is very much inspired by the city girl who carries all her necessity and walks incredibly fast.  Lightweight bags with edge and major versatility. ViaBuia girls are special—a club.  And they come back for new pieces all the time. Love the loyalty and shared appreciation.

What’s the first thing you do when you come back for a visit? Breakfast at the diner with loads of coffee followed by a manicure and pedicure. This will sound crazy since I live in Florence, but I also require Brooklyn pizza within the first 48 hours of my arrival. It’s the best.

Since you’re in the fashion industry–please tell us how we can build a wardrobe like yours. Where do you shop when you’re in the city?  Shopping has taken a backseat since I launched my brand. Ironic I know, but I do have fun mixing blazers and fedoras with simple tee shirts and jumpsuits. One-pieces are my favorite, so comfortable and easy while super cute. When I do buy there is usually a comfort aspect in my decision. Heels are a rarity since I am always on the go on cobblestones or factory floors. This is a shame since my husband is 6’4″.  At times I’ll wear a pair on a plane ride to keep my feet reminded that they must adapt on occasion. That and my fedora…#fedoratortora.

What Buia bag is best for a city neighborhood walk?  Pastina, hands down. The Pastina bag is inspired in shape by 1980’s traditional compact camera bags, but now our cameras are our iphones, usually.  So there is some irony to it.  This bag has a built-in coin pocket and leather slots for your Metrocard and license.  The main compartment fits eyeglasses perfectly, and unless the iPhone 8 becomes an oversized banana we should be good on volume. You can also loop a belt through the back and removed the long strap for an old-school refreshingly cool fanny pack.


What about for a night out on the town?   The signature clutch in the collection currently is called the Invitation Bag, a super flat and chic shape that works for any occasion and offered in loads of textiles and colors (also makes a great bridesmaid accessory). The newest kid on the block is the Pupa bag, a mini Pastina with a dynamite chain. I’d recommend this little doll to anyone going out that wants to remain hands free and look amazingly put together.

To connect with this awesome New Yorker, visit her on FacebookInstagram, and of course, the ViaBuia website.  If you join the mailing list you’ll receive alerts for bi-monthly New York City events.

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Made in Florence with a team of talented artisans, Christine Tortora researches and develops thoughtful combinations of snakeskin, Italian leather, and rich damask fabric, trimmed in bronze hardware- reminiscent of decadent Italian furniture and the authenticity of times past. Inspired by those that have made a lasting impression along the way.

“Each handbag tells a story of journeys past and present offering modern day women truly wearable treasures.

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ViaBuia ~ Bag Art for Your Soul

I was at a wedding in Germany a few years back, and met an amazing woman there.  Upon talking to her, I came to learn that her name was Christine Tortora, and she was a designer.  She was currently designing handbags which she was carrying, and I immediately fell in love.  They were beautiful and unique.  The colors and textures were rich and bold. Often describe as steampunk and cool, these bags were unlike the typical manufactured labels you see these days.  This, I knew, was going to be an amazing brand.

She told me that “the DNA of ViaBuia is about being an individual and tapping into your emotions to choose a style that you connect with – a color, a texture, a nostalgic moment.  Each item is created uniquely and pieces together like a painting.  ViaBuia is BagArt: when you wear or hold it, it’s not about the label.  It’s about you and your story.  In a world where everyone is so exposed, dare to be unique.  ViaBuia means dark street and represents each of our paths.”

ViuBuia was born in Florence, Italy and Christine draws a lot of inspiration from her late Grandmother, Angie.  “She passed nearly 2 years ago and was and always will play a huge role.”  Christine also draws a lot of inspiration from “dramatic textures, art deco, Italian gothic architecture, black and white films, and the 40s as well as the 80s.”  

The first freestanding monobrand store just opened in Florence a few months ago, and Christine says her next stop is Brooklyn.  But if you can’t make it all the way to Italy, and can’t wait for the Brooklyn location to open up, check out her website where you can get these beautiful bags shipped right to your door.  ViaBuia   

ViaBuia makes a plethora of different styles in an array of colors and textures, and you have the option to get your bag monogramed. Totes, crossbodies, clutches, backpacks, and wallets are a few of the options you will find on her website. But one of the brands signature items is the Pastina Camera Bag.  It’s trendy and bold…a shape unlike any other, and definitely makes a statement.  

ViaBuia bags are versatile.  They can be dressed up for a night out on the town, or can be worn for a casual day out.  Personally, every time I pull out my ViaBuia wallet, people ask me about it.  It’s my favorite piece because I can add a cross body strap to it, and tranform it into a bag for when I need something smaller.  This is always great for those late nights in the city when you are going to bars and don’t want to carry around a bulkier purse.  I love how their bags are so detailed and intricate.  Every pocket you look into reveals a beautiful pattern of fabric.  No corner was ignored, and you can tell that these bags were made with love.

Great quality, amazing style, art at your fingertips.  Dare to be you..dare to be unique.  Chose your journey and express yourself with ViaBuia.

<3 P.S. New colors and creations are always coming out, so be sure to check out the newest styles.