So here’s what’s happening in my Sonoma life this week. I’m hosting the Nearly Annual MMB Professional Retreat where nearly twenty image, style, wardrobe, and fashion consultants will be gathered for three full days of learning, experiencing, and sharing with friends and soon-to-be-friends in our profession. The MMBs is short for the Monthly Marketing Bundle program, a program I began in 2009 to support the growth and success of our industry.
How do I do that? I’m a content provider of articles, tip sheets, and speech outlines delivered monthly to our members who would rather spend time with their lovely clients than sit at the keyboard hammering out feature articles for their newsletter, blog, or social media content throughout the month. If they’re going to be giving a presentation or workshop, they get a whole outline complete with a marketing blurb and everything in each delivery. I provide the written materials so they don’t have to think. They take it, run with it, and make it their own. They’re so creative!
More of a professional conference than an actual retreat
I call our gathering a retreat and it is retreat-ish in that it’s being held at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, an iconic resort destination right here in town. But the truth is, it’s more of an educational conference. I’ve packed the three full days with rich professional sessions led by mostly MMB members. Topics we’re covering include creating online campaigns and membership programs, marketing on a shoestring budget, learning how to use systems and recordkeeping to stay in the black, a master style class promising to show us how to break fashion rules, a writing class to inspire authorship, photography for social media, my A Conversation on Aging program, and a panel of local Wine Country women entrepreneurs sharing how they’ve turned their passion into action and created women-friendly products for sale.
Luckily I’ve had a great team who’s been helping me all along the way. This wouldn’t exist without them. (Thank you Marjory, Carolyn, Adena, and Elena!)
I promise to provide you pics and share adventures from the week. Right now my stomach is full of butterflies because I’m so excited!! When I press “publish” I’ll be changing clothes and heading over to the hotel to meet everyone before we officially start at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Yesterday Russ and I went out to Cornerstone. It’s this arty complex of great shops, wine tasting rooms, beautiful gardens and a restaurant where we’re having Wednesday’s luncheon. They’re seating us in the barn that’s on the property. We’ll have just come out of our Photography for Social Media session and one of the teachers, Marjory, is giving us photo assignments for the afternoon. I thought I’d check out some backgrounds with good lighting.
I also wanted to test out this outfit because it I may wear it during the retreat. The unusually warm weather has set in!
My three key pieces: bold print, bold earrings, and magnificent cuff
Because of the weather change, I knew I couldn’t be in my layered cashmere pieces! I did a little quick shopping at Nordstrom to pick up a top that was more springlike. In my heart of hearts, I’ve wanted to add prints to my wardrobe, preferably large scale floral prints. This one by Vince Camuto was a good start. The print has that shade of blue I just love, the color white that always makes me feel elegant, and that grassy green that I lust after. Just last week I saw someone wearing a solid-colored jacket in that shade and wished I could wear it too. I don’t think I could do a two-piece suit in it but wear it in a print? You betcha!
I’ve also been hungry to wear my earrings and cuff from Artful Home where I’m so lucky to be one of their Brand Ambassadors. Earlier in January, I’d ordered these two pieces because I had a hunch they’d be great as a pair. I’ve been waiting (impatiently) to wear the Teardrop Earrings by artist Maia Leppo. They’re made of steel and have an industrial look that reads modern and a little edgy to me. They need neck space to be truly appreciated. With weather in the 70s, I can unwind the wool scarves from my neck and give these earrings the space they deserve! Besides, this bold print needs a bold earring.
What pairs well with steel earrings? An iron cuff exclusively from Artful Home. It’s called the Moonlight Cuff and the artist is Pat Flynn. I love the clean, simple design. I love its tough and tender bits. The tough part is the super strong iron component. This cuff comes in three sizes. Mine is small and fits beautifully. I don’t want to take it off. The tender part is the strip of diamonds right in the center. So sweet!
I finished off this outfit by adding my delicate tassel necklace. I know it’s hard to see it hanging over the bold print. That’s how I wanted it. I wanted just a tiny hint of something else going on in this two-piece outfit. The tassel necklace doesn’t block the print of the top but it does add a little more sparkle near the cuff. I wanted something sparkly to play with the diamonds in the iron cuff. Boy, do they like each other! They’re happy together and that makes me happy!
I’m wearing Wellfeet sneakers from a couple of years back. The store where I got them has closed. The drawstring pants are by Theory. The gray shawl that came on and off throughout the afternoon is by Echo and came from Nordstrom. I’d say this outfit is a strong contender for wearing with my professional peeps this week, don’t you?
Welcome to Sonoma!
I’m ready for you MMBers! Sonoma is anticipating your arrival with open arms. Let the good times roll!
Since I’m going to be with my consultant buddies all week, is there a question you’d like me to ask them? I will be interviewing a couple of them on plus-size fashion as per your prior requests. Anything else? Let me know!
This post is sponsored by Artful Home. Their winter collection is out right now. My ideas of how to wear these jewelry pieces from Artful Home comes from my heart and mind. Thank you!