2013 has come and gone and it was a big year for both my personal and professional life. Where work is concerned, I've maintained the promise I made to myself to keep my eye on the bigger picture. After countless passion projects and a new full time job, I'm proud to look back and see growth. Most importantly though, a lot of great moments that I'll remember forever.
I thought I'd take a moment to jot all that down. Next time I'm having an oh-shit day, I'll glance at this post to remind myself that every moment matters, that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have (Thanks Elizabeth) and that big things lie ahead. I encourage you to do the same. And if you feel so inclined, take a peek at some of my favorite achievements of 2013.
|It's no secret that I can be a bit overbearing and in the past 2 years I've developed a habit of obsessively trying to convince other local bloggers to attend NYFW. Despite annual rumors that the majority of bloggers will soon be banned from shows, there are countless blog-focused opportunities for influencers to connect with other fashion enthusiasts, brands, boutiques and designers. It's a moment of growth and education for anyone interested in working in or writing about fashion. I was excited to see Brittany Browers, Emily Iovaldi, Danica Friederich and Sonia Hendrix all attend for the first time this year.|
|I love Alice & Olivia's collections, so I was squealing with joy in the office when an invitation to Stacey Bendet's NYFW presentation hit my desk. It was a beautiful showing and I ran into Keiko, Calivintage, Debra Bass and a few other fashion friends. My only regret is that Holly had not landed in NYC just yet. I actually received my first printed invitation (in the mail!) this year, and I got several! It was actually a tiny baby goal of mine and I was embarrasingly excited.|
|Madewell opened in St. Louis this year. I love seeing new major brands popping up in St. Louis, so this felt like another mini fashion retail milestone for our city. And I'm stoked to announce I'll be hosting an in-store event in 2014. I believe a few other bloggers will as well. Stay tuned!|
|Luxury Garage Sale stopped by Downtown STL this Summer, and I helped them coordinate some key pieces of their event like their venue, hosts and beneficiary. It was an exciting moment because resale has been really popular in St. Louis and Luxury Garage Sale takes it to the next level. STL resale joints, take note! Can't wait to see local establishments reach the level of quality LGS has committed to. They sent me a gorgeous bracelet (which I recently wore for the first time to Nelly's Black & White Ball). And, I was even featured on their blog!|
|I traveled a bit this year. Not too much, just enough. As much as I want to see the world and experience new (to me) cultures, I'm a bit of a homebody. I launched The Hotel Chronicles as a way to share some sponsor love with my readers. Stay tuned for many more to come.|
|A passion project of mine (one that's obvious if you're a lifestyle blogger in STL) is creating new opportunities for local influencers through collaborations and events with local and national brands. In July, I teamed up with Nordstrom to produce a very special event and contest surrounding their Anniversary Sale. While other luxury department stores finally began inviting local bloggers to in-store events on a substantial level in 2013, Nordstrom was the first in St. Louis to produce a collaboration on this level.|
|In Fall of 2013, I co-founded and produced the first ever St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards. The event was held at 360 in Downtown St. Louis. I was honored to even go home with a couple awards! If I'm being completely transparent though, Joy & Cake beat me out on the People's Choice award for several categories. Way to go, Kate!|
|In February of 2013, very shortly after my last day at Bakers, I accepted the position of Marketing Manager & Digital Strategist at ALIVE Magazine. With this new job came the title of Director of Marketing for Saint Louis Fashion Week. I secured designers Jennifer Chun and Samantha Pleet and brought in over 10 national bloggers including Calivintage, Delightfully Tacky, Keiko Lynn, Orchid Grey, Good Good Gorgeous and TF Diaries among others. I also produced 37 events ranging from 10 to 1,000 people in just 10 days under the direction of Elizabeth Tucker (Executive Producer) and with the help of Jessica Leitch (FOH Coordinator). It was an enormous project to take on and a learning experience for sure. While the season was beyond memorable, I can't wait for Fall 2014.|
|Jennifer Chun was recommended to me for STLFW by an Editor at Refinery29. She was sweet to invite me to her NYFW presentation as Cosmopolitan Magazine's Emerging Designer. The venue was gorgeous and the view was spectacular, but Jennifer's designs held everyone's attention with ease. Her aesthetic is on trend yet entirely her own. I'm happy to have a new favorite designer (and skirt!) as well as a new friend.|
|This Summer, the dueling outlet stores opened in St. Louis. I worked with St. Louis Premium Outlets on a small collaboration and in turn ended up with these incredible Nicholas Kirkwood sandals. Um, yes.|
|After being introduced to London Times at NYFW a few seasons back by Megan Zietz, I was featured in their Savvy Summer campaign last June alongside STL blogger Psyche Southwell of Economy of Style. I made the websites of Fossil, London Times and Topshop x Nordstrom this year and that feels like a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.|
|Rachel Meis is a PR pro if I've ever met one. She introduced me to Boera in 2013 and I'm smitten. As things often do, our partnership came full circle as I sat at my desk wearing this gorgeous 3-petal necklace and spotted the same on an ALIVE Magazine trend page, pulled from local boutique Blush after Owner Sarah King asked me for contact information for the brand when I wore the necklace to a STLFW board meeting. Helping independent brands make placements makes blogging feel worth it. The ALIVE feature is icing on the cake! Teresa, the designer behind Boera, is a joy as well and working with her and Rachel has been a treat.|
|During STLFW, we produced a show at The Fabulous Fox Theatre featuring several Project Runway All Stars alums. I was the lead FOH Producer with FOH Coordinator Jess Leitch by my side (she rocked the seating chart with Elizabeth and so much more and did an incredible job). It was absolutely an incredible experience to produce a show at the Fox.|
|I worked with Fossil on a couple fun outfit posts and ended up on their blog. I've worked with brands and been featured or received press in the past, but I felt like 2013 was a step up. I'm still grateful for every collab. The skirt featured here was a gift from Warehouse which quickly became my favorite online shopping destination.|
|After having been nominated for a Rising Star Award in 2012, I was asked to speak on a panel FGI's Branding discussion. I genuinely think so highly of the women who lead our St. Louis chapter and plan to finally officially join early in 2014. |
|Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's came to St. Louis, specifically the theater at Plaza Frontenac. I was asked to host the event and while it wasn't my prettiest public speaking moment thanks to no mic and no notice of no mic, I made it through and was happy to do so.|
|Saks Fifth Avenue at Plaza Frontenac was another store to jump on board with influencer marketing this year, and I was grateful to be in touch with their Marketing Manager to assist in her efforts by consulting on bloggers, format and strategy. I also kicked off the Saks 5 collaboration which will continue through June or later.|
|2013 was a big year! On top of the things listed here, I produced a Spring STLFW Blogger Experience, produced over 30 blogger events and 10 collaborations. I worked with Luichiny, Vogue Footwear, Sole Society, The Hunt, ShoeDazzle, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Topshop x Nordstrom, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, The Resale Shop, Luxury Garage Sale, May28th, Boera, St. Louis Premium Outlets, The Face Company, Rungolee, Saver's, Kristen Linares, London Times, Muzio, Skinnygirl, MillerCoors, Pinnacle Vodka and ESQ Movado. I attended events by Interview Magazine, Lucky Magazine, Birchbox, Lulu's, IMG, Beck's Sapphire, Katie Gallagher and Mercedes-Benz. I produced over 50 large and small events with ALIVE Magazine, helped bloggers get noticed in STL and wrote a pretty fantastic plan of action for 2014. |
I've said "I" a lot in this post, but the truth is: I'm forever indebted to the countless individuals and organizations who help me on my way. I won't name them here (although they know who they are), except Elizabeth Tucker who embraced my personal passion for building and influencer network here in St. Louis and encouraged me to keep working toward my goals. Although I appreciate the perks, I'm generally looking toward something bigger - and the most rewarding experience yet is hearing that other bloggers notice and value the improvement in the quality and quantity of opportunities in the metro area. A big thank you to the bloggers in St. Louis who believe in community and support each other sans cattiness and unhealthy competition. And of course, to anyone who reads this blog (I still don't believe anyone does - and I'm certainly not sure how someone could make it through this whole entry.), thanks for stopping by. Without you, absolutely none of this would be possible!
I'd love to hear some of you toot your own horns in the comments. Please share with me some things you've done this year that make you feel proud!