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STLFW: 2014 Midwest Fashion Conference

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blogging / Technology, Fashion | 0 comments

JT at Fashion Conference in front of Steinberg Hall

JT at Fashion Conference in front of Steinberg Hall attended the Midwest Fashion Conference on Saturday. This informative conference gave fresh perspectives on how Saint Louis can become a fashion destination.  My hubby and I work near Washington University, where the conference was going on. So, we decided to walk from our job’s parking lot to the University. When we arrived, we were trying to get in — literally looking in the door — and could not get in the glass doors. No one got up and opened the doors to let us in. We had to walk back to ask the greeter how to get in. She said that we would have to knock for them to let us in.
When we all walked up the steps, someone opened the door for us to let get in. It turns out that we were trying to get in the back doors of the hall. The entrance was actually on the other side of the building; but still when we stood at the doors with everyone looking at us; but no one got up to open the doors for us.

It is ironic this happened because Fern Mallis, creator of NYC Fashion Week, spoke to people who want to break into the fashion industry. Her number one suggestion was “Be nice!” because you will encounter and have to work with various different people from all walks of life.

The first session of the day was Saint Louis Fashion Fund Presents: Fashion as a Civic Agenda

The panelists included Fern Mallis  (Creator of NYFW), Stan Herman (Renowned Fashion Designer and Former President of CFDA), Gary Wassener (CEO, Hilldun Corporation), Derek Blasberg (Editor-at-Large, Harper’s Bazaar), and Timo Weiland (Designer).

Fern Mallis

Fern Mallis

Fern Mallis, Founder of NYC Fashion Week, introduced the panel.


Panelists (Left to Right): Stan Herman, Gary Wassner, Derek Blasberg, Timo Weiland, Fern Mallis

It was so interesting to hear in person from Stan Herman and Fern Mallis how NYC Fashion Week started and what it took to raise the funds for this event. I have seen videos with Stan Herman talk about how NYC Fashion Week started, so it really means a lot to hear him in this forum.  To hear Fern Mallis talk about how she had to get on the phone and call Anna Wintour and other corporations to get  NYC Fashion Week started.  Reaping the knowledge of Gary Wassner who has worked with Betsy Johnson for years discuss how he helps designers regarding financing.

Can St. Louis have a better focus on Fashion?

The focus for St. Louis is to keep the local talent here where they will not want to get their break in NYC they want to stay here. One of the key factors was to engage the local financial community such as the banks.

Bring Production Back to The US!

Fashion Designer, Timo Weiland, discussed how he has been able to bring his production back to NYC from Asia.You can have a tighter handle on quality control in NYC. Gary Wassner discussed how by having your production in the US it gives designers an upper handle on having their designs to be first on the floor of a store and not last.

On a side note I have seen Stan Herman on QVC selling his designs of lounge sleepwear, I have a leopard robe of his, and he’s working in collaboration with Carol Hoffman amongst the major provider for uniforms. It was such a treat to see him.  I was this close.


Tie Designer w Fern Mallis and Stan Herman

TAO Designer with Fern Mallis and Stan Herman

BUTIK Vendors were showing a wide array of designs.


Fern Mallis’s main point was to BE NICE! Make friends and be sincere, have passion – and work hard. Talk about fashion in St. Louis locally and get noticed nationally.  The profile will raise as the industry raises. St. Louis had been a fashion destination with the Garment District downtown, but if everyone gets involved and puts a plan in place, it can make steps to grow fashion in the area.

Ideas of creating tag-lines and posting images downtown to start branding are all great ideas but we have to start somewhere.

Is St. Louis Ready to be the next Fashion Destination?

Fashion a Community In St. Louis

Fashion a Community In St. Louis

A town-hall discussion featuring above local civic and cultural leaders, moderated by Jill McGuire (Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission). Panelists include Jerry Schlicheter, president of Arch Grants; Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC) and Mobin Kahn, director of economic development and research at the Downtown St. Louis Partnership.

The beginning got pretty hot because Ms. Ratcliffe said that not everyone in New York is not fashionable; but it’s still considered a fashion city.  Why did she say that? Fern Mallis corrected her and said that NYC is the Fashion Capital of the World. Ms. Ratcliffe than said she didn’t mean that and that she meant more like Brooklyn (paraphrasing).  Stop now.  Fern Mallis said Brooklyn has become one of the most expensive places to live now. Kitty said okay I will give you that one and the session started moving on.

The focus of this session discussed the creation of a Fashion Incubator in Saint Louis that helps designers get their start, have a business mentor, show them how to create a business plan and get their business off of the ground.

The key is to keep the momentum growing and create that marketing PR campaign and create a steering committee.

The audience was heavily involved in both discussions and are very pro-active that Fashion is St. Louis.

After lunch, three sessions were geared to Professional Development.

– The Art of Storytelling in Fashion: A look at impactful styling, photography and narration for brands and blogs.
— Brand Smart: Brainy Solutions for Creating Your Marketing Plan
— The Business of Fashion: A Look at Entrepreneurship in the Fashion & Lifestyle Space.

The panelists in these sessions discussed a wide range of topics, including blogging tips, how to create your niche, how stick with it, how to take quality photographs and how to be true to being you because your followers/readers can tell.

Professional Development

The Art of Storytelling in Fashion

The sessions in the afternoon made me think about my blog and how to focus more on social media presence.


The Business of Fashion

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How to REALLY Build Muscle – Forget 3 Sets of 10 Reps

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Fitness | 0 comments

If you have ever stepped into a gym, most like you’ve used the old school method of 3 sets with 10 reps to try and build muscle. Then, 90% of you won’t return after a month because you don’t see any gains. Of course not! Think about what you’re doing. In order for a muscle to increase in size you have to first break it down. You’re not going to accomplish that will 3 measly sets of a weight you can lift 10 times.

JT training with weights!

JT training with weights!

If you really want to build muscle, try the method fitness coach Chad Waterbury advocates in his book Huge in a Hurry. At first I was skeptical to try this method I am about to describe, but now I am a true believer.

If you want to accelerate your muscle growth, try this method. First pick an exercise you want to do, then find a weight that you can lift 6 times. This step is often the cause of mistakes. Most bodybuilders at this point will pick a weight they can lift 10 times and use this as the weight they can lift 6 times. I want you to truly pick a weight that you can lift only 6 times, and you should be struggling on that sixth rep. Once you have determined that weight, your first set is to lift it 6 times. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat with that same weight for your second set. Don’t worry; you probably won’t lift that weight 6 times your second set, in fact, if you do, you didn’t choose a heavy enough weight. Continue to bang out sets with that same weight until you reach a total of 30 reps.

Back Exercises You Can Do at Home

You should do only one exercise per muscle group and don’t overtrain. This doesn’t have to be your whole workout, but after you complete 30 reps, try not to do any more exercises with that muscle group for a few days

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards. Now available in Australia.

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The Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger Lounge

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blogging / Technology, Fashion | 1 comment

JT at VIP Blogger Event

Saint Louis Fashion Week started in full force with The Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger Lounge event.
This exclusive opportunity for bloggers to meet with local businesses was a wonderful experience. From gourmet chocolate, to all-natural skin care, to footwear and haircare. I was honored to be invited and given the chance to learn more about these companies and even purchase their products.

Here are some of the companies that were at the event.

Blissoma is an all-natural, plant-based skin care line that produces its products in downtown St. Louis. The prices are very affordable. I purchased a spray deodorant and two moisturizers. I will be writing a review of those products in the near future.



 Vogue Footwear shoes are designed in St. Louis. The styles are on trend, affordable and stylish. It was cool to see that they also have a young girls line.  Their shoe lines can be purchased at ZAPPOS, DSW, online retailers and at department stores throughout the country.

Vogue Footwear

These ladies from KINK salon were so nice. I asked if they style natural hair and I heard a resounding yes. They shared a leave-in moisturizer spray that smelled great and adds a little sparkle to my hair. It was not being sold at the event; but if I wanted purchase it I could get it at one of the salon.

Ladies of KINKS Salon

JT with the Stylists of KINKS Salon

All sorts of vendors that night.

Vendors and bloggers

Vendors and bloggers photo by JTwisdom

The Foundrie offers a wide range of handmade products, including jewelry in brass and leather with stamped lettering.

Gourmet Pizza Photo by Alive Magazine

The Foundrie

The event was held at the Scape Restaurant in the Central West End, which provided food for the evening. The gourmet pizzas were delicious.


Gourmet Pizza: Photograph Alive Magazine

To end the night off with a smile, won the Zettie’s gift basket of delicious cashew white chocolate and dark chocolate toffee, a Zettie T-shirt and coffee mug. The chocolate is oh-so good and yummy. Can’t wait to get a chance to write about it more.

Ms. Zettie's Gift Basket

Zettie’s Gift Basket

The swag bag included a copy of Alive Magazine, brochures, coupons,  swimwear chlorine cleaner in a green drawstring bag and a beverage container.

Swag bag

Swag bag

It was a great night but we couldn’t stay late because we had to go to work in the morning.
The Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger lounge was a step up and I know that it will continue to be better each time this event is held.

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This post is linked up with Visible Monday.

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