Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of visiting Nashville, Tennessee for our national Stella & Dot conference, HOOPLA. It was my second time in the city (I visited two years ago for a bachelorette party while pregnant with my daughter) however this time was not to sing along to endless country music acts while bar hoping (although there was some of that!) it was to immerse myself in the amazing community of stylist and learn all I could to take my passion for this business to the next level.
I got to spend three short days, including my birthday!, with my Stella Sisters learning, growing and being inspired to leave better women than when we arrived. I’ve always loved being a stylist, but more than ever I feel privileged to be a part of the most amazing community of badass boss babes from all walks of life! I ventured home excited and motivated to grow my business and my team, and eager to share my Stella Dot Joy with everyone!
Here a little sneak peek into our conference fun, as well as some fun had around the city!
I spent the majority of my time at the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, a magnificent property located only a few minutes from the airport and a short uber right from downtown, that once inside seemed to never end! It was full of amazing walkways lined by delicious greenery and faintly flowing waterfalls. The Nashville inspired decor included giant cowboy boot and guitar displays that reached many feet wide and tall. The property was packed with endless restaurant options ranging for pizza and a fine dining steak house.
My first night at HOOPLA, I attended an amazing opening session and gorgeous Fashion Show that debut our entire Fall collection and some sneak peeks into Holiday 2018! My favorite part of the weekend were the product displays of our entire line. The displays were available to look at, try on and share with our customers which gave me a really great grasp on the product detail, make and feel of everything. I couldn’t help but send endless texts to friends and customers sharing my personalized favorites for them!
I enjoyed a delicious set of tacos (and a margarita of course!) at the Solario Cantina. The tacos were so delicious and the perfect size to satisfy my appetite. Highly recommend the fish and avocado tacos, and the guacamole and margaritas did not disappoint! I was treated to glass of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries after my mom couldn’t resist commenting that tomorrow was by birthday! (They were a delight!)
The next day (my birthday!) I had the honor of starting my morning with a session listening to Brene Brown. I knew little about her story before hearing her speak- I knew she had an amazingly popular episode on Ted Talks, and that she was an award winning author but I couldn’t have imagined what hearing her speak would do for my confidence, perspective on life and business and my desire to dare greatly. (Check out here Ted Talk episode here, and grab her book Daring Greatly here)
After sharing the morning with my Stella sisters, my mom and I headed to The Gulch, a newer neighborhood in Nashville full of shops and restaurants. We had an appetite for shopping and food, and this was just the place to enjoy both! We walked through the neighborhood exploring cute boutiques such as Parish Nashville , and admired the amazing craftsmanship of the boots at Lucchese. We stopped into Biscuit Love where we were welcomed by the delicious smell of freshly baked goods as if you were right at home in your moms kitchen. I’m not normally a fan of biscuits (I’m more an English muffin girl) but the trendy southern decor in this restaurant made me want to pull up a chair and enjoy a plate full! (insert food coma!) The Gulch is also full of incredible murals that color the side of buildings, making it the perfect picture backdrop. It was fun to see people lining up to get a fun photo jumping for joy, or posing in between the giant set of wings. (Obviously, I took part!)
We couldn’t visit Nashville and not make a trip to Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James store. Talk about decor goals! We were delighted by bright colors, cheeky phrases displayed on the walls and on the products, and of course so sweet southern hospitality. I developed a want-list more than a mile long, but refrained for splurging on anything in store (which if you know me is uncommon!) but plan to revisit online!
After working up an appetite walking around the Gulch, we headed further downtown to where all the action is…Broadway! As we arrived, the sweet sounds of country songs flooded out of the bars into the streets. We couldn’t help but sing along (if you knew the words) or walk with a bit more pep in our step as strolled along past places like Tootsie’s and . Our reason for venturing to this area was to have lunch at Merchants, a restaurant that came recommend by a few friends. Right on Broadway, this doubles as a casual dining lunch spot and 5 star steakhouse. The lunch menu is full of unique versions of everyday delights such as duck-fat tater tots and double deviled eggs that featured sweet and spicy pickles! It also included a variety of bourbon infused cocktails and simple southern cuisine such as mac n’ cheese, gumbo and pimento cheese dip. I opted to indulge in the grilled chicken sandwich that was packed full of arugula, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, & ranch basil aioli (is your mouth watering yet?!) It was served with a side of thin cut fries that I could not stop eating! Every bite was better than the last and it left me 100% satisfied and looking forward to coming back for another meal in the future!
With a full belly and tired feet, we headed back to the hotel so I could attend my final session of the conference. Rounding out my first HOOPLA, we were introduced some AMAZING things coming in the future…an irresistible stylist special, the PayPal feature at checkout (coming in Sept!) and delicious new sneak peeks at our Holiday Collection coming in October! My heart is so full and I feel so fortunate to have the opportunities that Stella & Dot has provided me for success. I love being a stylist for so many reasons, but mainly because I get to share my joy with everyone! We are a community of women that are professionals-doctors, lawyers, teachers, moms, sisters, daughters, survivors and motivators.
I ended by trip to Nashville and my birthday doing some of my favorite things- drinking wine and chatting with my mom 🙂 We enjoyed a light cheese plate and a bottle of Chardonnay at a wine bar overlooking the Garden Conservatory in the hotel. It was the perfect ending to an amazing trip. Thank you Nashville for your hospitality, and thank you Stella & Dot for the incredible experience! XO
Interested in what this stylist gig is all about?! Let’s chat! There has NEVER been a better time to give this opportunity to yourself. Worst case, you walk away with gorgeous jewels that you get to keep! Best case, it could change your life. JOIN ME!