Tag - bloggers

Francesca's Holiday Blogger Party
"Bloggers Night Out" at Carrie Ann Boutique- Houston
Recap of TxSC13 "Summer School" Blogger Conference – Austin

Francesca's Holiday Blogger Party

I’ve never really known about Francesca’s until I landed in Texas, where they are based. I was finally introduced to them when I attended their blogger party over the holidays at their location in the prestigious Highland Village neighborhood in Houston. Francesca’s opened their first store in Houston in 1999 and caters to the fashionista who loves whimsical hand-curated clothing not normally found in the major department stores. They also sell bright statement baubles, trendy bold accessories and fun, kitschy gifts. The brand is now located in 45 states and has over 350 boutiques, plus their online shop. The staff at the Highland Village store made me feel right at home during the party and were extremely helpful. Oh and did I mention how talented they are too? I LOVE how the visuals and mannequins were styled (without the use of a merchandising manual). It really gave us a lot of ideas on how to mix prints and textures, style the jewelry, etc., without looking too busy or minutes away from being a fashion disaster. The gifting table is just fantastic! I found an array of quirky items, such as Ryan Gosling books (I mean…100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling…I’m on that!), Etch-A-Sketches, red heeled iPhone stand and so much more! I’d love to also thank the store for having delicious light bites (extra kudos for the cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches), treats and cocktails. The night was such a nice way to enter into the holidays. I ended up getting a cute floral printed blazer with the gift card that the Francesca’s team so graciously gifted the bloggers, as well as a generous gift bag.

Thanks again for your hospitality Francesca’s and Francesca’s Highland Village!!

"Bloggers Night Out" at Carrie Ann Boutique- Houston

Houston’s prestigious Uptown Park was the scene for a “Bloggers Night Out” soiree, held at Carrie Ann, a boutique located in the upscale shopping center. Guests of the event were able to shop the latest Fall fashions that were curated by some of Houston’s top bloggers: Fashionbillie, Style to Envy, From Prosecco to Plaid, Stylewise, Sugarlaws, and Sunday Beach. Guests were also treated to make-up, light bites, sangria provided by 1252 Tapas Bar and prizes.

It was my first time visiting Carrie Ann and I’ve heard so much about it through the blogosphere, so it was a treat to be able to attend their blogger event. Boutique owner and dog enthusiast- Carrie Sanders offers clients variety of unique pieces for themselves and their pooches. The boutique is pet friendly and clients are encouraged to bring their pets while they shop. You can shop numerous designers, including: Alice and Trixie, Yoana Baraschi, One Grey Day, Show Me Your Mumu, Plenty by Tracy Reese and Mink Pink. One jewelry designer that she carries and that I spotted that evening that I am in love with is J. Bird Collection. The fairly new local brand was founded by Jessica Bird in November 2012. She brings to the table her inspiration of nature and gold and then creates beautiful minimalistic designs. All her pieces feature organic elements and nothing is exactly alike. If you’re ever in the shop or online, definitely check out the J. Bird Collection!

If you’re ever at Uptown Park and are in need of a cute dress or top for yourself and an accessory for your pooch, check out Carrie Ann!

heathermarie_033's Carrie Ann Bloggers Night Out album on Photobucket

Recap of TxSC13 "Summer School" Blogger Conference – Austin

The Texas Style Council- founded by legendary Austin blogger, Indiana Adams of Adored Austin – recently held their fourth blogger conference the first weekend in August at the Hyatt in Downtown Austin. It was a three day affair which consisted of a clothing swap, classes on growing/building your brand/blog, a “prom” and panels. I also FINALLY got the chance to meet Rebekka- who owns a mah-velous online vintage shop called Bloomers and Frocks. The first day was light and mainly consisted of registration, a mixer and a Lulu’s sponsored clothing and book swap, all held in Austin’s Second Street District.

The Lulu’s sponsored Clothing Swap was held in a somewhat tiny location and by the time Rebekka and I got there after a delightful meal at Austin Java…was PACKED! It was hard being able to browse the racks as people were basically on top of each other, grabbing coveted items that Lulu’s seeded in the swap, as well as other trendy items attendees brought. I was able to grab my two items- a lovely vintage floral skirt donated by the gals from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno and a vintage Victor Costa dress from Rebekka. I met up with other bloggers that I knew and we were able to get photos at the Lulu’s photo booth. Later, a group of us headed back to Austin Java for general chit-chat and food.

The next two days of the event were filled with networking and learning. During day one, I had classes that dealt with “Social Media 101 for Brands/Blogs”- taught by Terri of Finding Drishti, “Blog Monetization 101”-taught by Bethany of The Glamorous Housewife, “eCommerce 101”-taught by Tasha of Imperfect Concepts, “DIY Earrings”-taught by Austin jewelry designer Sierra of Manic Trout, “Rebranding”-taught by Hilary of Our Style Stories and “DIY Clothes Tailoring” by Austin designer Emily of Emily Hallman. The highlight of day one was when Rebekka and I had lunch with Bethany, who’s personality I admire and who shares a love of vintage.

Now what “school” couldn’t be without a prom of some sort? This was the much anticipated event during the whole conference. It offered multiple booths where brands had set up shop, a dance floor, photo booths and cash bar. Everyone dressed in their own interpretation of promy attire, brought their dates/friends and made the best out of a really fun prom. I joined Rebekka and after having a delicious light meal from Firehouse Subs (OMG…best subs EVERRRR) we both dressed in vintage, had photos taken by her fab hubby and took off to the prom (after picking up her BFF- Charles). Lulu’s booth was beyond amazing and totally feminine in every way. I snapped a photo in their photo booth and then spun the wheel and won an item of my choice. I ended up getting a statement bauble necklace. I made a macrame bracelet at the Kollabora booth. Other brands that participated included: Macy’s, Minnetonka, RetailMeNot.com, Shop Ruche, BonLook, Langford Market, Luxe No. 7, SIC Couture, Smile Brilliant, Accessory Fanatic, Altar’d State, Clyde’s Rebirth, Crowned Bird, Emily Hallman, Manic Trout, Noonday Collection, Purse & Clutch, Son of a Sailor, Whitney Fields for Stella & Dot and PayPal. I loved how there was a mixture of nationally-known brands, as well as smaller indie brands. Jewelry brand- Clyde’s Rebirth was one that stood out for me. It’s ‘made in Chicago’ eco-conscious line that was created by Merl Kinzie back in 2009. All items are made from vintage and recycled materials and no two items are exactly alike. So being that it’s a USA-made brand, but the jewelry is pretty awesome and definitely fits my sense of style. I would love for you guys to kindly check out Clyde’s Rebirth. I also invite you guys to check out the other brands I mentioned above. They each provide their own unique character, like Emily Hallman, that brand is made in Austin and caters to women sizes 0-16. Her garments are feminine, timeless and just plain gorgeous! I’m a huge fan! Another Austin brand- Manic Trout was born in 2006 and conceived by Sierra Bailey. I had the pleasure of taking her DIY: Earrings and enjoyed it. She even went out of her way to provide me with elegant clip-ons because this blogger’s ears are no longer pierced. Thank you Sierra! She takes her inspiration of vintage treasures that she had collected over the years and produces modern, vintage {with a touch of romance} and color {with hints of whimsy} for the fashionable everyday gal. Noonday Collcection is a brand launched by Jessica Honegger and features jewelry, home and accessories made by artisans worldwide. Two of my personal faves include the Nahuala Rectangle Trays and the Shalom Necklace. Definitely check them out, proceeds go to a good cause and also find out how you can become an ambassador and host trunk shows. So along with checking out the amazing booths and photo booths, I was also nominated for “Best Accessories.” The whole night was spectacular and the time flew by.

Day two started off with the keynote speakers- Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. They spoke about their beginnings as bloggers and then gave a power point presentation on what they’ve learned from blogging. We were able to jot down notes in a little booklet they provided us.

After that, we had to sign up for classes, which was an interesting process to say the least. I hope for next year, they give an option to sign up for classes ahead of time while registering for the conference. Classes that day consisted of “Advanced Successfully Navigating Monetization”- taught by Amber of VENZedits and RewardStyle, “Business School: From Etsy and Beyond”- taught by Amy of Little Hip Squeaks, “Small Steps: Secrets to a Start-Up”-taught by Kendi of Kendi Everyday and owner of Bloom. After the last class, everyone gathered for closing remarks by the speakers and there was an opportunity for any last questions to be answered. I left the conference with some information that I already knew but a wealth of information that I now know. If you are a brand, small business or blogger, I highly recommend attending future conferences. Check out Texas Style Council for more information and future updates.

HUGE thanks to Indiana and the crew of Texas Style Council, Rebekka, the speakers for an enjoyable weekend!

heathermarie_033's TxSC13 album on Photobucket

**Photo courtesy of Bloomers and Frocks**

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