About Chic Steals

Luxury is a construct. Price is something determined not by quality of materials, difficulty of creation, or hand-craftsmanship; 80% of it is brand cache.  Value becomes inherent when your own blood, sweat, and tears have created something. Steal that style by DIY!

About Carly J. Cais

I am a self-taught DIY maven – making my own clothing and accessories since I was 9.  Ever since I was a young child, I wanted to be three things: a fashion designer, a film director, and an animator.  I went to film school, I went to animation school…but after that, there was no opportunity to go to fashion school.  I fell into working in fashion simply because I could not find a job in film or animation where I happened to live at the time.  I loved the industry and wanted to become a designer, and after I became a stay-at-home parent, I realized that by founding my own line of misses’ clothing and accessories, RIVETED.

After two seasons, due to economic, financial, and personal issues, I had to close down the line.  The ironic part was that I was finally at the point I knew how to execute it – I finally knew what changes were necessary and how to adjust my strategy; I just couldn’t do so due to [mainly] lack of funds.

I offered to write for an online fashion and lifestyle blog just after I closed my line down, in order to stay connected to the world of fashion.  I also kept making pieces for myself; DIY’ing things I saw in magazines and couldn’t afford, and crafting items of jewelry on a small scale.  Since I did not want to commit huge amounts of money to a line and thus could not manufacture things in large numbers, I began writing and sharing tutorials for fashionable items others could make at home, with fairly simple tools and materials.  I also became a Contributing Editor for DIY and Eco-fashion for FashionTribes.com, and later left to write for the Threadbanger blog.  Meanwhile my DIY’s and tutorials have been featured in numerous places on the web and in print, and I’ve launched an Etsy shop with the jewelry I make for sale.  The internet has allowed me to reach such a wide audience and share what I’m passionate about – something I could never have anticipated when I began!


I had begun writing the weekly article series “Carly’s Chic Steals and Fashion Deals of the Week” for FashionTribes.com in September 2008, in which I sourced 5 low-priced fashion finds on the internet plus a sixth must-splurge item.  By November I decided I wanted a place on the web as a roundup for all my articles, and simply created Chic Steals as a home for all my writing.

And then I started posting some cool things that I noticed in the world of fashion.  And then I added some outfit photos.  And then some pieces I made.  And then I thought…why don’t I teach people how to make what I do?

My first step-by-step tutorial I posted in June 2009 – and I received an AMAZING response.  I cross-posted it on Threadbanger and CraftStylish…and then there was an avalanche.  Readers loved it – I received so many questions and comments, I knew I had to keep going.

And so I have.  Ever since, I have been adding DIY tutorials, styling tips, ideas, and get-the-look-for-less postings (as well as outfit posts here and there, runway show coverage, interviews, and general fashion news).

Chic Steals has grown immeasurably since I began it, and it’s all because of you. Thank you for all your invaluable feedback, and as always, for being loyal readers!!


If you are interested in advertising/sponsoring Chic Steals, my current advertising rates are available as a downloadable pdf on my Sponsor page.  Thank you!