On Sundays We Shop

When I woke up this morning, I was in no mood to shop, which is strange because I’m always in the mood to shop. That’s 90% of the reason I have a job. So I can SHOP! But this morning was different. I had discovered that one of my accounts had been compromised. Apparently someone opened up a pay pal with my chase card and purchased a few hundred dollars worth of who knows what. Shout out to Chase for catching it, but also, screw you Chase for being the first person I have to talk to on a Sunday morning.

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Anyways, I couldn’t let these nameless thieves take shopping away from me, so I got dressed and met up with my dear friend and fellow restaurant industry babe, Stefanie Surovec. We had brunch at one of my favorite places to dine in Santa Rosa, Spinster Sisters. Brunch was spent discussing major world issues; gossip, relationships, bargain shopping. The usual. Stefanie had invited me to a private shopping event that day. I had no idea what I was tagging along to. When she said “trunk sale,” I was expected a high class garage sale in someone’s yard with funky lamps, art and bubbly. (Clarification-An event on a Sunday in Wine Country without sparkling wine doesn’t exist. Seriously never happens.)  What I walked into was the the gorgeous home of Holly Ratliff, owner of Nor Cal Boho Chic, an online store where you can find one of a kind, handmade goods from Sonoma County, CA.

Holly had transformed her home into a huge pop up shop, supporting local retail brands owned by talented and business savvy women of all ages. I was in shopping addict heaven! I was swimming in small boutique shops with some of the cutest collections of clothing I’ve seen in a long time, hair care brands, jewelers, swimwear and skin care. Holly had hired a very handsome bartender to serve wine and the kitchen was decked out in horderves. It took me about 5 seconds to completely forget about the whole Chase credit card thing. “It’s fine,” I told myself, “this is why I have more than one card.”

IMG_9043I saw some familiar faces including, Sue Navarra, owner of Sunkissed by Sunsations. Sue is the spray tan queen of Santa Rosa and has a knack for carrying the sexiest swim wear out there. Sue brought a gorgeous model with her to walk the party in some of her pieces. If you are looking for one of a kind swimwear and summer attire, as well as a killer spray tan, visit Sue at Sunkissed by Sunsations, or Great Sunsations.

Stefanie and I spent most of our time and money with the girls at Delicious Boutique. Liz and Salma, owners of the boutique were joined by their manager, Samantha. These ladies are so extremely stylish and have such a deep understanding of classic, yet trendy clothing that is comfortable and high quality. Their store is located in Rohnert Park, Ca. I picked myself up an adorable, reversible, tie dye pencil skirt by Michael Stars and Stef got a backless tee. I’m looking forward to visiting the store and seeing what else they are carrying right now.

Deanna Thompson, one of my favorite women that I met today, owns Haute52, a Designer Retail Consignment shop. Holly’s spread of handbags was more than impressive. You can visit Holly’s site to shop and consign your own designer items. Holly’s keen sense of entrepreneurship has definitely rubbed off on her twelve year old daughter Bobbie, who had a booth of her own. Bobbie Thompson is the owner of Daisies and Toast, organic skincare essentials. Bobbie makes her own decorative soaps, body scrubs, lip balms and more. Her products are sold exclusively at Nor Cal Boho Chic. Mother Holly said, ” I told Bobbie if she wants new Rainbow flip flops and new Nikes, you have to figure out how to make your own money.” Holly gave her daughter a business loan to buy the products she needed to start Daises and Toast and Bobbie is responsible for paying her back and putting 30% of her profits in a savings account for the future. I loved this story because it reminded me of my childhood, and how my parents started teaching me business lessons before I could ride a bike.

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Other vendors at the event included: Michelle Neal Jewelry and Pisces Productions. I was so impressed with Holly’s work and how much time, energy and money she puts into this event. It’s a beautiful thing to see all these women, who have started their own businesses, succeeding at doing something they love and teaching future generations that being a successful businesswoman takes blood, sweat and tears, but is worth every second of it. Cheers to you, ladies!

I can’t wait until next year.

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Dress To Kill: Innovation Salon

DRESSTOKILL

I am not a model. I do not get paid to wear clothes, rep brands, or take photos. I have, however, been blessed with opportunities to participate in fashion shows, films, TV shows, stage productions, concerts and photo shoots for fun and I love doing it!

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 I have the most creative and passionate community of friends and when we all bring our passions to the table together, we can make magical things happen. My friends are artists, musicians, stylists, designers, DJ’s, philanthropists, photographers, actors, producers, directors, and writers. When one of us needs the other for an event of any kind, we are all more than happy to participate. We support each other’s craft and have a deep understanding that when we help one another, we are helping ourselves.

On Friday, the Team at Innovation Salon threw and anniversary party and fashion show and asked me to be a model. I love doing this kind of stuff because it’s laid back, fun, I get to meet new people and wear amazing clothes that I wouldn’t normally pick out

for myself. The show featured designers and jewelers from San Francisco and Sonoma County. Wines were provided by Wilson Winery and our local start artist, Jared Powell did a live painting. Click Here to contact Jared about his art and availability.

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I am, in no way, a veteran of the catwalk, but it was not my first rodeo either. I’ve strutted my stuff before, and I’ve also been behind the scenes, helping models change and get ready. I’ve had my hair and makeup done by professionals countless times, and I’ve also been the stylist myself. As long as I get to be a part of the action in some way, I’m happy.

 What I love most about the fashion shows I’ve been apart of, are the range of ages, body types and cultures of the models I’ve worked with. A fashion show is supposed to highlight the designers’ vision and not every designer makes clothes for skinny, six-foot tall professional models. A lot of them are making clothes for people of all walks of life. Friday’s show included moms, teens, fashionistas, Harley riders, businesswomen, musicians and more.

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I got involved in this project through my dearest friend, stylist and hair+makeup genius, Nicolette LaFranchi. Her and I met years ago through the amazing community of talented folk we both belong to.

11010006_10153363747844680_1524201563524191691_oMutual friends of ours were throwing art shows and concerts together and we have been friends ever since. Nicolette and her mother Terri run Innovation Salon in Santa Rosa, Ca. Not only are they both cosmetology queens, they are killer businesswomen with more heart and drive than most people I know.

The first featured designer was Thilde Weems at Belle Neptune. Thilde’s prints are “original designs from the artist’s photography, as well as from Nasa, and are placed into the garment in such a way  to complement a woman’s anatomy. The original designs are eye catching and memorable.” Thilde was so easy to work with. She chose the perfect pieces for each of the models and assisted behind the scenes for all three other designers. What a team player! Click above to find out more about her designs and upcoming shows.

The second designer to grace the red carpet was Esther Jocelyne Fame of Fantabela. Esther’s line is inspired from her West African roots and upbringing in Camaroon. Fantabela is a fair trade company, and her goal is to provide artisans with a substantial source of income that will benefit them as well as the communities they live in.

LiveLoveModa was founded by Kiely Hernandez. Her mission behind the brand is to provide customers with an online fashion boutique where they can find trendy, versatile pieces at budget friendly prices.

Last but not least was Sheila Ash, Fashion Stylist and InnKeeper at Noe’s Nest. Meeting Sheila was an unforgettable experience because she is an unforgettable woman. Not only is she a vintage stylist, collector and event planner, she’s a writer and Innkeeper at Noe’s Nest in San Francisco. http://www.noesnest.com

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On top of the gorgeous clothes we got to wear, we also got to wear some killer jewels, provided by some more amazing women. Check out their jewels at:

SparklebyResh & Jam Jar

Thank you to all the Designers, to Terri and Nicolette for making us look beautiful and fierce, to the photographers and supporters that came!

Amazing photos taken by-Michael More-https://www.facebook.com/pureinfodesign

A Social Media Girl In A Wine Country World

It’s hard to talk about who I am and where I’m from without sounding like I’m bragging. That is not my intention. But I did grow up in the wine country, my parents are still happily married, I’ve been lucky enough to do a handful of traveling, I went to college for free, I have the love and devotion of a great man, and the coolest friends a girl could ask for.
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Now before you make the assumption that I am a spoiled, rich girl, dining at French Laundry and buying my groceries at Dean & Deluca, I can assure you that I have never been to a Thomas Kellar restaurant, and even though Dean & Deluca is around the corner from my parents’ house, we don’t shop there.

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I was born in Los Angeles, where my parents were raised. We made the move to the Napa Valley in the early 90’s when the housing market was affordable and their businesses were doing well. In our 20 years in the wine country, we have watched property value triple. It’s impossible to live in the wine country on an average American salary these days. I don’t know how I make it work, but I do because I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else.

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I’ve been a restaurant kid since I was 15. I started out as a hostess at a local brewery and worked my way up to bartender by 21 at several fine-dining restaurants all over Napa and Sonoma County. The restaurant industry gave me the freedom to do full time school and pursue my love for music. But as most restaurant industry people know, it’s harder to get out of it than it is to get into it. The flexible hours, the cash in your pocket every night, the free food, and of course the friendships that you form with your co-workers are often the strongest bonds.

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Nowadays, when I’m not waiting tables at THE BEST slow food movement restaurant in Sonoma County, I’m working on building my social media business, working for Spoiled To Perfection, a webseries about fermentation, working out, hanging with friends and family, watching the Giants, cooking, making music, playing dress up, drinking wine and exploring the most beautiful place to live in all of California, The Wine Country.

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I’m a loud, whiny, hyper, and passionate person with only child and little person syndrome. My friends and family are insane.

Our stories are so bazaar. I struggle on a daily basis with the decision to spend the day being a productive professional or a total weirdo, artistic maniac. I cry all the time, from laughing just as much as from sadness. I truly believe in my heart that almost any problem can be solved with tacos and Netflix.

My blog is all over the place, waiter rants, marketing, cooking experiments, reviews of my favorite places and products, funny stories and more. I try to stay as objective and appropriate as possible. (That’s a total lie) Follow me on IG and Twitter @emmysomple.

Cheers!