This time a week ago, I was about to arrive in San Francisco for Hoopla. I look forward to this weekend every year for so many reasons.
1) Stylists who attend our national conference are the first to see and try on our new Fall collection.
2) We get 2 days of training from the cream of the crop — our VP of Training, Chief Creative Officer, Director of Field Operations, and our amazing/gorgeous/genius CEO & Founder. (And we dance to “Call Me Maybe” while we’re at it!)
3) We also get to learn from thousands of our fellow Stylists and leaders from around the US and Canada.
4) Meeting new Stylist friends that you’ve been stalking (or were being stalked by) on facebook… and reconnecting with those friends that you maybe only see once or twice a year. We have teams that span across the country, so sometimes we’re meeting people on our teams for the first time at Hoopla.
5) Prizes!! Lots and lots of jewelry giveaways as well as super fun swag bags for all attendees!
6) It’s a big ‘ol dance party at every event. We love our DJ.
7) Speaking of parties, there are so many welcome receptions, team parties, team dinners, and recognition parties. This year’s awards gala included a special performance by Cirque de Soleil performers!
So yes, it’s a business trip… but it’s really all about the jewelry, isn’t it? The Olivia Bib Necklace is my FAVORITE piece from the new collection. These red-orangey stones will pop over so many colors and prints…. I’m excited to wear it with light pink, mustard, lime, denim, navy/white, and hot pink! It’s such a statement and can really dressed up for weddings or a night on the town — or it can be thrown over a white T or patterned maxi dress for a casual outing. I also adore those Gigi Studs seen below — and they come in black, too!
And speaking of jewelry, here are some prizes from the trip! Stylists received a pair of the new Secret Garden Earrings, which are gold leaves with sparkle down the spine. They’re pretty, dangly, lightweight, and have just enough sparkle. Stella & Dot also debuted a boutique where we could purchase S&D branded items, like mousepads, water bottles, pens, etc. I got several to give out as prizes to my team who couldn’t make it to Hoopla. No, those TB flip flops weren’t part of our swag bags — I have an awesome Sponsor who loves to shower us with gifts.
This was our last year in San Francisco for Hoopla, as we’ve outgrown the conference centers and hotels there. I’ll miss getting to tour around this beautiful city next time, but I don’t know if I’ll miss 60-degree weather and very windy evenings in July! My sponsor Paige did a team dinner on Friday at a neat little place called Salt House. The food was great… the wait time after ordering was not. We didn’t eat until after 10pm, which made for a very late night for us East Coast girls. My favorites were the loaves of fresh-baked bread tossed on the table (I probably ate 1/2 a loaf waiting on the meal to arrive) and the dessert that one of the girls got — lots of peanut butter and chocolate crunchy goodness. I should have just ordered bread and dessert, and I would have made it out of there much earlier.
Day 1 of training — Behind the Design with Blythe::
We added 2 new collections — Mod Safari and New Romantics. My darling Olivia is a superstar from Mod Safari — the collection is full of bright colors, animal prints, and designer-inspired pieces from a nod to 60’s style. I’m also really loving the enamel animal bangles. I mean, who can resist blue and gold tigers?? You can’t have a bad day while wearing kissing blue and gold tigers on your arm.
New Romantics is inspired by Victorian estate jewelry. Some of my favorites from this collection are the Tempest Necklace, which can be worn 3 different ways (that’s pretty awesome for a bib-style necklace), the Lillith Fringe Necklace and Earrings, the Starstruck Cocktail Ring, and the Secret Garden Ring. (All are pictured below, except for the SG Ring.) I love the edgy, rocker look that is still very elegant and can be pulled off by a 20-something city girl or a mom in her 40’s.
Our design team is incredible and never ceases to impress me with the collections they release each season. They travel the world looking for inspiration, whether it’s on the streets of Brazil or in a tiny vintage shop in France, and they then bring that to our customers with a fresh new design. We have a world-class design team that hails from the likes of DeBeers, Ippolita, Banana Republic, and Marc Jacobs — and we have in-house model makers that create models of many of our pieces, which is almost unheard of in the fashion jewelry industry. I am reassured more with every collection launch that I chose the right company to be a part of.
Stay tuned for more from Hoopla!