Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zoe is Proud to Sponsor Listen To Your Mother DC

One of the best parts of having Zoe is seeing how many amazing relationships and friendships have developed over the years. One such relationship is with Kate Hood, co-producer of the Listen to Your Mother DC show, which features live readings by local writers on “the beauty, the beast and the barely-rested life of mothers.”

In 2012, I was brainstorming with one of Zoe’s designers Kathlin Argiro on the best way to publicize her trunk show. She suggested that we reach out to her friend and former Georgetown Visitation classmate Kate, who wrote the blog A Big Piece of Cake. Kathlin provided Kate with the information on the store event and Kate wrote an amazing blog post. 

Right now at Zoe you can find Kathlin Argiro's gorgeous full-body wrap dresses!

I started reading her blog and was immediately hooked. I met Kate in person when she came to the trunk show and a friendship was born! It’s incredible to realize how one introduction can grow and develop into something lasting. Kate is truly someone I respect and value in my life. She is amazing!

I am honored that Zoe is a local sponsor of the Listen to Your Mother DC show. I attended last year’s show and to say I was moved is an understatement. I have never seen anything quite like it that evoked so many emotions. 

It is not too late to get your tickets for the Third Annual Listen To Your Mother DC Show on May 4 at the Synthetic Theater in Crystal City. 

The 2014 cast includes: Lisa Cadigan, Kristi Campbell, Stephanie Stearns Dulli, Kiran Kairab Ferrandino, Callie Feyen, Wendy Besel Hahn, Jessica Hinton, Kate Coveny Hood, La Dale Johnson, Amanda Mushro, Tiffany Patterson, Jessica Rapisarda, Michele Mariani Vaughn and Melissa Scholes Young.

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to House of Ruth. For full details on the show, visit

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Join Zoe in Support of Denim Day – April 23, 2014

One of the reasons I love fashion is that what you wear can not only make a statement, but it can help create a movement.

On Wednesday April 23, 2014, people across the country will be wearing jeans on “Denim Day” as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This rape prevention education campaign has been organized by Peace Over Violence since 1999.

For the third year in a row, Zoe will be supporting the mission of Denim Day by wearing jeans, providing information from the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and offering a 25% discount on ALL denim in the store!

The very first Denim Day started off as a protest after an Italian court ruling suggested that a woman cannot be raped if she is wearing jeans because “they are impossible to remove unless she helps.” This “denim defense” sparked global interest.

According to the Peace Over Violence website, “Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.”

I love the message behind this day. We can take a stand and turn misconceptions into social awareness simply by showing solidarity and in this case - wearing our denim.

I hope you will stop by Zoe on April 23 to pick up a pair of our Red Engine jeans.  We carry four styles – Ruby (boot leg), Cinder (straight leg), Scorchers (skinny) and Firebrand (tailored for curvy figures).  

Please join me in supporting Denim Day this year. Here are some important reasons why you should:
  • Nearly 1 in 5 women in a national survey say they have been raped (CDCP)
  • Only 3 out of every 100 rapists will ever spend a single day in prison (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
  • The majority (54%) of rapes are still not reported (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
  • Only about 1 out of 4 reported rapes leads to an arrest. Similarly, only about 1 out of 4 arrests leads to a felony conviction and incarceration (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (National Institute for Justice and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Launching a Lookbook: An Exciting Collaboration Capturing 'A Weekend in Old Town'

If you are following Zoe on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, then you have probably heard about the incredible release of the Cobblestone Runway Lookbook. If not, please take a look at “A Weekend in Old Town.” I promise you will not be disappointed by this innovative marketing project that I had the honor of working on in collaboration with several Old Town Alexandria businesses including Bishop BoutiqueThe Dog Park and Sugar House Day Spa.

I am proud that this premier Cobblestone Runway Lookbook captures not only the beauty of Old Town Alexandria, but showcases Old Town as a fashionable (and dog-friendly) destination.

Here is a little behind the scenes glimpse into what was involved in getting this Lookbook launched!

Late last Fall, Kelly, the owner of Bishop Boutique, asked if I would be interested in working with her to submit a proposal to the Alexandria Marketing Fund to do a 2014 Spring and Fall Lookbook.  Having provided clothing for the models in Bishop’s first lookbook last Spring, I knew what a beautiful end product this could be!

On March 6, Kelly and Bryarly, Bishop Boutique's Manager, presented a proposal to the Alexandria’s Marketing Fund Committee. They did a fantastic job demonstrating how their previous Lookbooks had increased sales and media coverage. The project was approved and then the REAL work began!

We wanted to release the Cobblestone Lookbook prior to Easter, so things had to happen fast! Fortunately, everyone worked easily together and Bryarly kept everything moving quickly. I would match her project management skills against almost anyone in the technology business!

Kelly and Bryarly pulled everything together in less than 5 weeks! It was an impressive testament to what happens when you work with great partners like the Sugar House Day Spa, The Morrison House, Bronzed Berry, Jackson 20, The Dog Park and Alumbra Photography (aren't her photos stunning?)

We traded lots of emails and had two in-person meetings. Trying to coordinate bloggers, dogs, venues, hair and make-up stylists and photographers is quite a juggling act, which is why we were grateful for Carlis of Spicy Candy who helped tremendously with blogger coordination. We looked for bloggers who fit the personalities of our stores and would have lots of fun with our pup focused theme.

Wendy of Old Town Home

Bryarly of Everything That Flickers

Tammy of A Loyal Love

Rachel of My Fair Vanity

As you can see, we made some great choices with Wendy of Old Town Home, Tammy of A Loyal Love, Rachel of My Fair Vanity and Bryarly of Everything That FlickersThe models picked their outfits at Zoe first and then went to Bishop to add shoes and accessories. We had no set agenda with what they wore - we wanted them to feel comfortable and beautiful (and they were)!

Anna of The Dog Park was instrumental in finding the perfect dogs for the shoot. We also wanted to include adoptable dogs and she worked with a contact to get those cuties included as well. 

The Cobblestone Lookbook truly is a work of art. Please check it out and share this piece of #ExtraordinaryALX!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Saturday With Lauren Cecchi

This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a trunk show for up and coming handbag designer Lauren Cecchi.  Lauren spent the day at Zoe and shared her talent and story with us and our customers.  Lauren’s amazing all leather handbags are truly works of art. Crafted in New York City, these bags are just the beginning of what I know will be a long and exciting career.

I am thrilled that PopInShop, a service that connects designers and stores to host trunk shows, helped make this happen.  Lauren was looking for a store in the Washington, DC area and was attracted by Zoe’s profile on the site (and all the color she saw in pictures of the store)!

A former buyer in New York, Lauren suddenly found herself without a job and instead of settling for anything, she took the bold step of pursuing her passion. She began sketching last April, connected with a leather tannery in upstate New York and by January had her first line – all of which are produced in the Garment District in New York.

The quality of her handbags is top notch and I am in love with her choice of colors. This Spring/Summer she boasts a fun fruit-inspired line with pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew as the stars of the collection.  (Watch for pictures of me with my new Watermelon Mezzo bag in the next few weeks).

Lauren’s Fall collection will include colors inspired by strong, passionate women with lipstick red, chocolate and rose gold included in the palate.   I saw some photos and I can’t wait to get my hands on the lipstick red handbag.  As you can guess, we bonded over our mutual love of color!

Lauren was a delight and a true talent. She even styled a couple of outfits just for fun!  Visit the Lauren Cecchi website and take a look at her collections.  Stay tuned because she plans to introduce more handbag styles and I’m sure even more color in 2015.

Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your Saturday with Zoe!

Visit our Flicker Page to see more photos from Saturday's trunk show!

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Zoe is Three!

It’s hard for me to believe, but my baby is three! Yes, this weekend was Zoe’s third birthday and yet again I was touched by the outpouring of love and support. We celebrated in true Zoe fashion with three days of visits from friends, loyal customers, neighbors and well-wishers. By the end of the weekend, the air was heavy from the gorgeous aroma of floral arrangements and my heart was filled with joy and gratitude.

I am grateful and inspired by every single person who has touched my life and supported my journey to introduce Zoe to the world.

My life was on a very different course and I was a different person before I took the time to listen and follow my heart. What I realized was that I had to pursue my dream of bringing Zoe to life. It was what I was meant to do and was worth every struggle and hurdle.

Before writing this post, I went back to the very beginning and read my first entry. This is what I said then, “I was led to what has become my signature verse for this venture - Matthew 11:30 - For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I realized that God wanted me to work but to do something that was enjoyable! And I truly feel alive when working on Zoe!”

Feeling alive is exactly the perfect way to explain what Zoe has given me. Thanks to Zoe my eyes were opened and my soul was filled.

Through Zoe I have discovered a community and been introduced to people I would never have met. People who take time out of their lives to stop by just to say hello. People who I now consider my friends. People who respect, love, and understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. People who connect to my sense of design and style. People who see more than a small boutique, but rather see my Zoe.

I am looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays with all of you. As part of my gift to Zoe, I am recommitting to keeping this blog updated with my many stories and experiences. Zoe is no longer in infancy and there is much to share.

I would like to send a special thank you to the following businesses who helped us pull-off the best birthday celebration yet: Affordable Signs and Banners, Alexandria Cake Pop Company, The Enchanted Florist and designers Trina Turk and Velvet.  We also received beautiful floral gifts from The Shoe Hive, Bishop Boutique, and DC Modern Luxury. 

Here are some photos from the weekend's festivities. Visit Zoe Boutique on Flickr to see even more!