Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Big Deep Breath...It's Over!

Hello blogging world! I know that I have been absent for a number of weeks, and I apologize profusely to those of you that have been eagerly awaiting a post of mine (i.e.: Heather and Erin), but when your only access to the internet is at work, it really hinders your opportunity to blog, especially when it’s super busy, as were the past two weeks!

Our Marketing Machine was running full speed ahead this month as our name was splattered everywhere in the city of Burlington, and its surrounding counties. Between our live television interview on Friday the 20th, our trunk show on the 21st, and our two fashion shows on the 22nd and the 29th , and lets not forget all the advertisement, Christy’s Bridal was a name not to be forgotten this month, and it definitely wasn’t.

When we got back to the store on Friday after the Fox 6 interview, a number of people had already called the store, wanting to book an appointment to view the fabulous Australian gowns they’ve heard so much about. We gladly took their appointments, and awaited the crazy busy day ahead of us on Saturday.

Saturday came and went, and while I was not able to be at the store (I had to be at Geneva National setting up the show, and hosting the dress rehearsal for the models), the girls worked their asses off selling 9 dresses and a whole tons of jewelry and head pieces/veils. I came back to the store around 6:30 when dress rehearsal was over to see my very ecstatic mom running around like crazy helping the last of the brides that remained in our store. At about 7:00 we locked up the doors, took a 3 second breather and began loading the store into the vans outside, it was time to prepare for the bridal fair.

The final dresses were loaded by 8:15 and by 8:30 we had arrived at Café Calamari in Delevan to meet the rest of our party for some fabulous seafood and amazing martinis. We sampled a bit of everything, had a few too many to drink, and soon decided that unloading the vans in our condition was not in our best interest, so we retreated to the hotel to play some euchre, have a few more cocktails, and unwind a bit more.

I awoke Sunday with a bit of a hangover, but there was no time for nursing. By 8:30 I was at Fusion going over final details with Jacquelin and by 9:00 I was at Geneva National doing final run thrus with my show sponsors.

It was chaos before the fashion show. Dresses weren’t in order, models were complaining, props weren’t in place, after all my hard work I panicked thinking this was not going to come together, and people were going to hate every second of this spectacle. Luckily I found the master dress list and discovered all the dresses were in fact at the venue, and I was able to put aside all the other minor problems that were arising to just enjoy the moment. I finished up the show script within moments of the show’s beginning and by 2:15, the opening music played and my models walked out looking fabulous and sophisticated!

There were a few mishaps in the show, of which I was only able to tell, and aside from the occasional lag on the runway, and the speed of which the models were running down it, the show was an overall success. With over 400 people in attendance, 150 of which stayed for the fashion show, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Afterwards I received a number of comments from attendees saying it was the best show they’ve ever been to and the dresses were just stunning! That made me feel like all the hard work was really worth it!

It was back to work on Monday but there was no time to rest as I had another fashion show to prepare for on Sunday the 29th as well. Prom time is here, and we kicked off the season with a Prom Fashion Show, enlisting a number of girls from the surrounding schools to help us in our Prom promotions, including the fashion show. By Saturday all the dress choreography and model fittings had been done, so I was able to spend the majority of the day at the Vet’s Building setting up the runway, the chairs, the covers, and the decorations. Who would have thought the Vet’s building could have looked so elegant.

The show on Sunday went wonderfully! We sold three dresses at the show and have a number of the girls coming back this week to make their final purchases. The girls did a fantastic job, and most of all they had fun doing it! I really can’t wait to do it again next year =)

Things have gotten back to normal here at the store. My mom and I have been spending the last couple of days getting the shop back in order after all of our shows these past few weeks. It’s been really nice having peace and quiet back in my life, and here at the store.

We still do have one more show to plan for, and in fact 17 of the models for that show came in yesterday to get fitted for their dresses (and I have 8 more coming in tonight), but luckily Catholic Central is taking care of all the details. My mom and I just have to show up with the dresses!

It’s amazing how much I have learned in the past few weeks, and it’s unbelievable how much I have obtained in such a short time for my portfolio! As time moves on I know I’ll just get better and better at doing all of this. I could see the improvement in just the two shows I have done! The future is only getting brighter =)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My Week to come

More so for my own benefit:

  • Learn "I Get So Lonely" dance
  • Reserve runway/chair covers with Rick before he leaves for New York Fashion week!
  • Figure out which model, is wearing which dress in BOTH of my fashion shows
  • Decide which dresses are going to be shown on live television
  • Finish coordination for two fashion shows then try to teach it to 25 different people
  • Schedule voice over meeting with Kiss FM for our radio advertisements
  • Create show brochures and get them printed ASAP
  • Send out press releases for the Prom Fashion Show
  • Meet with Russ one last time to coordinate music with show movement on the runway
  • Get Prom boys measured and order Prom tux's for Fashion Show
  • Meet with Hanan to pair up jewelry with my dresses
  • Set up and dress rehearsals all day Saturday
  • Then drink...drink....drink =)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Yes, I am a work-a-holic

When I took this job at my mom's store I never dreamed I would actually treat it as my full-time career. I know that is an absolutely terrible attitude to have, but I just never considered this all very permanent. I assumed this would be my one year gig, to make some things happen on my resume, and then get the hell out of here! But the past 7 months have turned into something rather different. I've been here from the beginning, shared in the profits, shared in the losses, and shared in tears of seeing your first bride walk down the isle and say "I do" in the dress she purchased from YOU! And as time goes on, I find that I'm treating it less and less as just a resume booster, but more and more like my career. It sure makes coming to work much more satisfying when you look at it that way.

With that said, I've definitley been taking pride in the marketing and events that I've been creating for the store. So far since our opening I have created numerous marketing efforts including an HR campaign which has been highly beneficial so far, mailings, fashion team creation, advertisements in both print and tv, and in-store promotions. On top of the marketing efforts, there have been a number of events I have organized all adding to my credibility as a professional =)

This weekend I spent emersed in more events, and more work, leading to the belief that I truly am a work-a-holic. I worked this weekend, but had Sunday off initially to enjoy a day of relief from the chaotic week I encountered. Instead of enjoying that day off however, I scheduled a Fashion Preview event in New Berlin, WI for the High School girls of the area to come and preview the entire Spring 2006 collection, before it all went on sale. My mom and I thus, packed up the van late Saturday night, and drove to New Berlin early Sunday to begin setting up for the event. Overall we had about 15 girls there with their mothers and we sold 3 dresses!!! Horray!! *cheers* to success!!! It was great, and we really got our name out there. Hopefully we secured more spots at our Prom Fashion Show as well.

Although I didn't get to enjoy my Sunday off, I was still excited for a day off on Monday to take care of the necessities around my apartment (laundry, dishes, etc) but of course I instead found myself perched at Starbucks for 4 hours, working on my bridal show choreography and event details. So much for days off right?! I want everything to be perfect though, and unfortunatley that means a lot of hard work. I've had a lot of offered help though, so that'll definitley come in handy as the weeks wear down.

In other news, my mom and I received some fantastic news yesterday from Fox 6 Wake Up here in Milwaukee. We have been sending out a number of Press Releases to all the local media announcing our Essense of Australia Trunk Show, as well as our Bridal Fair all coming up next weekend. Fox 6 was one of the contacts we had and they called us yesterday saying they want us to appear on their Wake Up show on Friday the 20th to do a Fashion Preview of our dresses. It'll include a live fashion show as well as a 4-5 minute interview and who gets to do the interview...ME! Horray for TV =) So make sure to look out for me. It'll be shown around 8:40 AM they said. I'm very excited that everything is coming together.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Working Hard...or Hardly Working

You would not BELIEVE the number of calls I get from woman who are at work, searching for bridal gowns and planning their wedding. Is this really what consumes a brides mind, even while they're at work? I'm sure their employers would be thrilled to know that they're checking out the latest "How to" on the Knot.com, or perusing thousands of dress styles on Essense's website, while on their dime. And it's very satisfying to know that certain people, I as a consumer rely on to be doing their job accurately, are really just sitting behind a computer fantisizing about their little "All about me" party.

And while I'm at it. SINCE WHEN DID MOTHERS SHOP FOR THEIR DAUGHTERS?? Wasn't that something we did when we were 5 and couldn't pick out items for ourselves? I've gotten at least 5 calls in the last half hour from MOTHERS looking for a dress for their daughters. Yeah sure, they're helping, but if you're too busy to be planning a wedding....why are you planning one?

No, I'm not a bitter non-bride, and please know that I truly am happy for you. I just don't get it. It's supposed to be a celebration of your love right? Then why all the fuss? And why for the love of god must life revolve around it? I guess to me, if it were truly all about the celebration of love, the ceremony would exist with you, your spouse, your parents, and close friends and family...then go out and get bombed together =)

But it's just something much different these days...for a lot of brides.

And that's my crabby rant for the morning.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My 2006 ... so far

I rang in the New Year in Green Bay this year. Actually, it was for the second year in a row. It was fun...nothing spectacular. The same old crowd, the same old scene...just the same old. Drama arose as is per-usual which put a damper on a lot of things, and my phone got stollen which is always a plus (especially when you had a $400 phone), but other than that the evening was nice.

Tara and I hung around on the first being hung-over, watching movies, and pigging out on everything in sight. I practiced my dance routine a little bit (I'm doing a dance performance for Karnitz and Marissa's Humane Society Benefit), and then watched as Karnitz, Tara, and Katie practiced their routine as well. Ahhh those girls crack me up.

The following Monday I had off from work and took full advantage of doing absolutley nothing! It was great! Then, to top off the evening, Tara made me my favorite meal on the planet...her magnificent Chicken 'n Dumpling soup. Mmmm Mmmm Good. I think that Monday topped the weekend for sure!! =)

Tuesday it was back to work and it has been CRAZY busy here at the store for the last few days. As we knew they would, all the brides waited until after the holidays to make any wedding decisions and they're coming in in full force this week!! It couldn't come at a worse time as I have so many things to prepare for in the coming weeks, and my grandpa died last night so my mom can't be here, meaning I have to man the store by myself. Somehow between all the people and all the phone calls I'm managing to slip some of my other work in between here and there so it's working out so far. I have been progressively getting sicker as the days wear on (I think it has something to do with the fact that I gave up caffeine on the 1st) so I'm not exactly on my A-Game today. Uh what I wouldn't give for a big bottle of diet coke right now!!!

And I guess that's it. I'd write some profound post about how much my life has changed in the past year, and where I project it to go in the coming 360 days...but I'm much too busy and quite frankly, I just don't feel like it =) 2005 was a combination of stress, anxiety, joy, relief, desperation, confusion, simplicity, comfort, and chaos all wrapped up into one year. I can only expect 2006 will bring me much the same thing. And I look forward to every minute of it.

See the Rest of the Photos HERE!!!