Fashion Friday: Easygoing Edge

One of my favorite boards on Pinterest is Stella & Dot’s Style Boards. Our merchandising team puts together outfit inspirations using our jewelry and accessories, integrating them with the latest trends. For the blog, I like to find similar pieces for women who shop for clothes in size 14 and up. I think it’s more realistic for my readers, and it’s certainly my size range.

I love this board for a casual weekend look:

Easygoing Edge

Rebel Cluster Necklace/Becker Cuff/Bianca Earrings/Alexia Necklace

Graphic t-shirts, distressed boyfriend jeans, and leopard continue to be trends. I actually think of them as wardrobe staples now. The great thing is that you can shop high or low for each piece. The shirt, jeans, and shoes in the inspiration outfit are probably the kind you’d find in high-end boutiques in Soho, where our New York design office is, but you can certainly get them for less.

Hello Friday Collage

Human/Cafepress/Skreened

Boyfriend Jeans Collage

Halogen/Gap/Seven7

Leopard Sneakers CollageKeds/Kenneth Cole Reaction/Vans

What do you think of this outfit inspiration? Is this something you would wear on the weekends? I’m all about being comfortable and stylish, and I think this is a look anyone can pull off. For more outfit inspirations, check out my Stella & Dot Style Board on Pinterest.

Follow Kelly Gartner Style’s board Stella & Dot Style Boards on Pinterest.

Happy Friday!

Folding a fitted sheet: the struggle is real

If you’re like me, folding a fitted sheet is an exercise in futility. You try to make it into a neat little square and put it at the bottom of the sheet set so it looks decent in your linen closet but give up and just roll it into a ball and throw it in the back of the shelf. Then you lose track of which fitted sheet goes with which flat sheet and just wash the current sheets and put them back on the bed so you don’t have to mess with folding the fitted sheet. Am I right? Wash, dry, don’t fold, repeat.

Yesterday I decided to tackle my linen closet and get rid of sheets, duvet sets, and towels that no longer spark joy in me. I read about this method of decluttering, called KonMari, on another blog. Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning expert, developed the KonMari method for simplifying, organizing, and storing your belongings. From the description of Marie’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

Using Marie Kondo’s method, Jen, who blogs at Organized Jen, purged her considerably large wardrobe, weeding out clothes that didn’t bring her joy when she held them. Marie suggests putting all the items from one category – clothes, shoes, bedding, books – in the middle of the floor and sorting them into three piles: keep, donate, or throw away. By putting everything (and she means everything) in one place, you can see how much you really have. (You can read Jen’s closet purge post here.)

Jen’s blog is all about organizing, so her closet was perfectly neat; tidying up wasn’t really the issue. Jen’s goal was to let go of clothes, shoes, and accessories she no longer loved or wore. After reading Jen’s post, I thought about the KonMari method and how tidying up might help me function better in my home. Every time I opened a door or drawer, I wondered what it would feel like to hold something in my hands, close my eyes, and feel joy emanating from it – or not. My favorite spaces – my clothes closet and my Stella & Dot closet – are organized and beautiful. Getting dressed is like shopping in my own little boutique! The rest of the closets make me want to run away, taking only my dog and my laptop (and a couple of suitcases with cute clothes and jewelry) with me.

I decided to start with my linen closet, which is actually a cabinet in my garage. My bathroom closet is too small to hold bedding, towels, toiletries, and other products you commonly store in the bathroom, so I had a carpenter build custom cabinets to hold the linens. My copy of Kondo’s book is on its way from Amazon, but I figured I could probably apply the “does it bring you joy” rule without reading the book.

I didn’t take a before picture of the cabinet. but here’s an after:

After picture of linen cabinet
I buy all my sheets and towels at Pottery Barn during their yearly white sale after Christmas. Not only do I get at least 20% off, but if I have Pottery Barn rewards coupons, I can apply them, too. I got two sets of sheets and towels for $41, including tax, this year. They usually have free monogramming during the winter sale, but I found a local monogram shop I like better, so I took everything there. I like white sheets and white towels – it makes it easy to choose the ones I want!

I wanted the linen closet in my garage to bring me joy, so I pulled out anything that was old and ratty or missing something from the set. I also got rid of duvet sets I no longer used, donating them to a local charity. I separated the sheets and towels and then started folding. As usual, the fitted sheets gave me fit. This time, I turned to YouTube for help. I watched several “how to fold a fitted sheet” videos, tried and failed many times, and was convinced I lacked some essential fitted sheet-folding gene. Then I found this one:

YouTube Preview Image

Hallelujah! A fitted sheet-folding demonstration even I could follow! After a few unsuccessful attempts, I did it. I folded the perfect fitted sheet!

Fitted sheetIt’s almost too pretty to put in a closet! I refolded the top sheet and matching pillowcases and stacked them with the fitted sheet. I put the pillowcases on the top with the monogram showing so I can tell the sets apart, then I tied a pretty ribbon around each set, just like Christine did in the video. Don’t they look joyful?

Sheet StacksI present to you my beautifully organized linen cabinet!

Labeled linen closetI keep going out to the garage and opening the cabinet door – I can feel the joy, y’all! All the towels and sheets on the top three shelves are in good condition. There aren’t many bath towels on my towel shelf because I did a load of wash right before I took this picture. I’m single and don’t have kids, so I only have queen sheet sets for my bed. I keep everyday dishtowels on the fourth shelf; I have seasonal towels I rotate during the year, but I store them with the seasonal decorations. I buy inexpensive washcloths at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to use when I remove my makeup. I roll them up and display them in a cute box in my bathroom. I kept some old towels that are still in good condition to have as backups, although I’m sure Marie Kondo would say to donate those, too. The bottom shelf has old-old sheets and towels for drying off wet dogs, messy spills, and covering plants if needed.

The secret to the success of the KonMari method is to keep only those items that bring you joy. I’m pretty well-stocked with sheets and towels I like, but if I buy new ones in next year’s winter sale, I’ll swap out some old ones (I’m looking at you, extra towels.) This linen cabinet makes me smile and lets me breathe. This little space in my house, with its neatly folded fitted sheets tied up with ribbon is done!

Houston Business Owners: Julie Verville and Nikki Navarro

Memorial BNI Thanks a MIllion

I’m in a networking group that meets every Wednesday morning. It’s the Memorial chapter of an organization called Business Networking International, or BNI. We recently reached a milestone in our quest to close $2,500,000 in business for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Our leadership team wanted to celebrate our achievement, and as the social chair, I was happy to plan the party.

Because we were celebrating closing $1,000,000 in business since October 1st, I wanted the theme of the party to be Thanks a Million. While I had a general idea of what I wanted things to look like (green and white balloons, small flower arrangements, some sort of party favor) I didn’t know how to pull it all together, so I reached out to Julie Verville, owner of an event planning business called Crowning Details.

Julie is a wife and a mom of three kids, Harrison, 3, Nora, 2, and Leo, who was three weeks old when she did the party for me! A former financial executive, she is a serial entrepreneur. Her first business was an international company that made fun, retro-chic candy. After years of throwing over-the-top parties for her kids, friends and family, she decided to turn her passion into a business with Crowning Details. For her daughter’s second birthday, Julie did a western theme, perfect for a pink, pony-loving cowgirl:

Nora's Party Collage Logo

I love the darling horseshoe plates, and OMG, the cake! Stacy Fuller from Whoo’s Bakery baked the too-adorable-to-eat masterpiece.

Nora's Pony Party close up plate with logoNora's Pony Party cake large logo2

After a brief phone conversation during which I explained my vision for the party, Julie got to work, pulling together a proposal for decorations, cake, cupcakes, flowers, and party favors. She recommended Whole Foods for the flower arrangements and catering, including food, cake, and cupcakes, and she helped me select the menu – petite baguette sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, chips and guacamole, and a fruit tray with vanilla dip. Julie also ordered balloons and put together the items for the party favors.

The day of the party, Julie and her assistant picked up the food and decorations and set everything up at our venue, a bar called Fox Hollow in the Heights. Fox Hollow has live music and dancing, but that doesn’t start until after 9:00, so the owner was happy to have our little happy hour crew from 6:00-8:00. We only got a few pictures of the event – the cupcakes and cake stand, a flower arrangement, and several of the party favors. The favors were small treat bags filled with crinkle paper and a lottery ticket.

flowers2logocakelogofavorsbucketlogo

Our group is pretty entertaining by itself, but when I met Nikki Navarro, owner of an open-air photo booth, Shindig Photo, I knew she would add a fun element to the party. Nikki had a long career in human resources before starting Shindig Photo in August 2014. She wanted to do something creative she could call her own and to model for her kids, Giovanni, 18, and Alexandra, 15, the value of working hard to achieve your dreams. She recently set up her photo booth at AIDS Walk Houston 2015, where Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker, posed for a few pics!

The Shindig booth is different from other photo booths. It’s open and can fit 10+ people in one shot. Nikki used a standard backdrop for our photos, but she can create a background with your logo or party theme. She can also add a logo, theme, or graphic to the customizable photo strips printed after each session. You can even post pictures directly to your Facebook page during the party! We had a blast with the props and will definitely have Shindig back at another event!

BNIShindigGirlsGroupSceptor

BNIShindigMikeLisaMBNIShindigLisMMikeSwordBNIShindigLanceLauraLaughingjpg

BNIShindigGroupMeLikeBNIShindigToddWifeBNIShindigBNIAngelsBNIShindigSandraKellySaraBNIShindigMooseLisaBNIShindigMikeJeffChickenMeBNIShindiA-MLauraTweetMeBNIShindigGirlsGroupViking

That’s Nikki in the bottom left corner. ;) The party was a lot of fun, and I had a great time planning it with Julie and Nikki. I would definitely work with both of them again! Special thanks to Patrick from Fox Hollow for letting us hang out at his bar for a couple of hours.

For more information about each company, click the icons below.

Crowning Details Logo with writing

PhotoBoothFinal

Fox Hollow pic

wholefoods



 

Start your career as a Stella & Dot stylist!

The Best is Yet to Come

Due to overwhelming traffic to our website following Jessica Herrin’s appearance on Undercover Boss, we are extending our best sign-up special yet through February 4! What does that mean for you? It can mean anything from getting to wear and share an incredible line of jewelry and accessories for free and half-off to making new friends and expanding your social and professional circles to loving your part- or full-time career as personal stylist. The great thing about running your own social selling fashion business is that YOU determine the path and what you will do to reach your goals.

Become a Stella & Dot Stylist

We’ve had sign-up specials before, but we’ve never given new stylists the chance to earn their starter kit fee back! You can start a business, receive hundreds in free product credits, and earn back the $199 kit fee within 30 days when you sell $1000. You will also earn $250 in commission, making your business profitable after one month. There isn’t another business out there that offers that opportunity!

If you are curious about how Stella & Dot might fit into your life, please visit my website and click on Become a Stylist. You can contact me through the Connect with Me link on the pop-up tab and ask me anything about my job as a stylist. I’ll be thrilled to  hear from you! If you sign up to be a stylist on my team, I’ll be your mentor and will help you make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

don't wait for opporutnity

Stella & Dot on TV!

Are you a fan of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Lisa Rinna hosted a Stella & Dot trunk show on the January 27 episode. You can read about it here and watch the episode here if you have a subscription to Bravo. My friend, Susan, was on the episode with a small group of stylists who showed the jewelry to the guests and helped take orders. Here are some stills from the trunk show:

RHOBH with Lisa Rinna

Stella & Dot Director, Ali McNeely, sat down with Lisa Rinna to plan the show.

RHOBH Trunk Show

In the top left picture, Lisa and Ali are wearing on of my favorite bracelets, the Renegade Cluster in gold.

RHOBH

My friend, Susan, is the stylist on the far left.

Real Housewives is not my cup of tea – too much drunken yelling – but it was fun to see all the Hollywood ladies ooh and ahh over our jewelry, and Lisa’s house is gorgeous. The show was in her backyard, and the view was amazing!

Stella & Dot was also on Undercover Boss last night! Our CEO and founder, Jessica Herrin, went undercover in our distribution warehouse, design studio, and our customer service call center. She also posed as a new stylist and went to a trunk show with one of the Senior Directors in our company (who didn’t believe Jessica’s disguise for a minute!)

Jessica UCB

No amount of bad blonde wigs, dowdy clothes, and glasses could fool someone into thinking our fashionable CEO was just a regular employee!

You can watch the episode here. The episode was very positive, different from some of the other episodes I’ve seen. No disgruntled employees (I saw an episode in which the CEO fired someone on the spot for his poor attitude and performance,) no major problems in any of the four places Jessica visited, and I think people got a realistic look at what this global, billion-dollar business in the making is all about.

Undercover Boss collage

I think you can see why I love this company and my job as a stylist so much!