Express Grand Opening Party & Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins

2013-10-03 19.04.24{Yours truly with Jessica Sturdy, style blogger of Bows & Sequins…we match!}

I had the honor of meeting Jessica Sturdy, style blogger behind Bows & Sequins last Thursday at the Desk-to-Dinner shopping event with InStyle Magazine  and Grand Opening Party for Express at Madison and 51st in NYC.

Jessica was so sweet and we talked about how she started her blog and some of the exciting projects she is working on. I asked her some style advice questions and I wish I could take her shopping with me because this lady has an amazing eye for style.

The theme of the event was Desk to Dinner. How to take your professional work attire and transition this into night life. Think about the blouse/pencil skirt combo and adding a leather jacket and a long chain or trading in your denim for leather pants.

The newly renovated Express had a club-vibe and there were hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, mini makeovers and of course special discounts for purchases made during the event. I wore a fancy Express top (black and gold lame) with a black blazer, skinny dark denim and leopard flats. After all, I took the whole desk-to-dinner theme literally by adding the blazer and walking from work to the event. I wore my Bows & Sequins inspired necklace my sister gave to me (from JewelMint) in honor of the hostess.

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2013-10-03 18.13.06{Display styled by Jessica}

2013-10-05 14.51.37{A few items I picked up from the event: Diamonds & Camo}

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{My Bows & Sequins inspired necklace from JewelMint}

Upon entering the store I took the atmosphere in and immediately recognized Jessica. I introduced myself and we got to talking. She recognized my top because she also owns one and she got the reference from my necklace right away : ) Jessica took me around parts of the store explaining the outfit she wore and some of the displays she styled for the night. Not only was I a bit star-struck to ask this style guru my questions, but I was ecstatic that Jessica was so open about her blogging, career and encouragement to me and my dreams.

I’d love to share some of the highlights from my convo with Jessica:

Highlights:

Dressing to Impress:

Jessica will also be attending this year’s Lucky FABB in NYC! She went last year and said the speakers were amazing and the networking you get to do is priceless. She said the energy was high and the gift bags were fabulous. She was excited when I told her I was going for the first time and I asked her what a beauty or fashion blogger should wear to an event like this.

Jessica’s advice: Wear something that is honest to who you are and comfortable–both in fit and style. This is the event where you can wear anything that expresses your style, but you don’t need to feel like you have to wear something wild to stand out. Her lesson for me was that she wore pants to last year’s conference that weren’t tailored and she did not feel 100% comfortable in them and it can show in your body language and pictures. At a conference like Lucky FABB, you can’t afford to be uncomfortable in your ensemble–you have to focus on feeling fabulous and enjoying the moment (and taking the most Instagram-worthy selfies ever).

Fall Trend Alert:

I asked Jessica if there was one thing we should pay attention to this Fall, be it a print, color combo or cut. Jessica took me over to one of the displays she styled for Express and explained that she is currently feeling Camo (yes, it’s back!) to mix with more refined pieces (i.e. camo shirt with blazer and skirt for work). She also loves the incorporation of leather details like piping on skirts and of course the slew of moto-style jackets that are in practically every collection–classic and adaptable bad-ass chic style. For colors indulge in black and white; gold and black.

Expressing Your Style:

If you have checked out Bows & Sequins (do so right now if you haven’t) you know that Jessica displays her outfits of the day (OOTD) with candid with the city as her backdrop. I asked her how she felt about taking these pictures out in the open where passers by are sure to gawk out of curiosity. Jessica agreed that especially when she started blogging in Chicago, that the idea was a little frightening to her and that she had to be creative in how she got the pictures taken (now she has the assistance from friends and photogs, but before that she had to rely on self timers and quick poses!). Her confidence comes from loving what she wears and having fun with expressing her style choices.

Now she is more comforatble about the street style pics, even if a small crowd forms near her shoot. After all, that’s New York for you. The sidewalks are our catwalks and we are all models and photographers.

Passion Advice:

I am so grateful to Jessica for giving me her honest advice about how I can manage a not-so-dream job and the pursuit of the ideal career path while juggling a blog and passion that requires whatever remaining time and energy you have. Basically, you have to stick to your guns, take advantage of every opportunity you have and surround yourself with the right energy to keep you grounded and humble.

For all my fellow bloggers, whether this is your “hobby” or your career, you have to put in the hard work and allow yourself to thoroughly enjoy the fruits of your labor. And for those of you who feel like you’re not that important or not that big of a deal: Jessica has come a long way from sharing outfit pictures to hosting events and being an ambassador for brands. She didn’t get there overnight and she still has those pinch-me moments where she can’t believe the opportunities that have blossomed from her blog. But most importantly, she does not take it for granted and she appreciates her supporters.

Bottom line: If you have subscribers, fans or followers you have source of support and admiration from people who celebrate you and look forward to what you have to share. So keep on sharing, creating, writing and designing. There are millions of creative people in the blogosphere and the more variety we have the more we have to celebrate.

For more pictures from the event, search for #EXPStyle!

XOXO Liz Signature

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3 thoughts on “Express Grand Opening Party & Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins

  1. Oh my gosh, Liz! Thank you for such an incredibly sweet recap of the event! And an even bigger thank you for spending your Thursday evening with me. It was so nice to meet you and chat about life, jobs, style, and blogging. I can’t wait to see all of the fabulous things in store for you and your blog! Stay in touch! xoxo

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