Conference Kit

My primary client is Keller Williams Realty, and their annual convention, called the Keller Williams Family Reunion, happens every February. This year I'll attend my 16th, and I've got my "conference essentials kit" down pat:

  • It's always a good idea to bring lots of business cards, but hopefully yours, if they have a picture of you at all, have a more recent photo than one taken 11 years ago. (I just got new photos done a couple weeks ago, but I'll share more on that later.)
  • I don't understand why, but folks find all kinds of reasons to justify not investing $10-25 on a good portable phone battery charger. It's a great tool to have, especially if you're also taking notes and photos of presentation slides on your phone.
  • The outlet splitter could make you the most popular person in a breakout session room -- I know from first-hand experience.
  • Most convention centers have big community water bottles, and flimsy plastic cups. Don't bother with them. Bring your own empty water bottle and fill up as you need to. Just test beforehand to make sure the bottle you bring has a tight seal. (Ask me how I know...)

I don't leave for another couple of days, so tell me -- am I missing anything? ;)

NYC Weekend 2015


This pic was taken from the 86th Floor Observatory of the Empire State Building on our last night in NYC, so I'm getting ahead of myself chronologically. But why not start with this pic? Kyle and I chose to make Midtown / Garment District our home base on this trip, instead of Chelsea. From the ESB you can see it all: Madison Square Garden with its blue-lit roof toward the left, and our hotel, The New Yorker, toward the right.

We stayed a couple blocks away from Metro Textiles, one of our fave places to go when we're there. On my previous visit, I'd purchased this bold graphic cotton sateen and had no idea what I'd do with it. Simplicity 1873 had been calling my name for a while, so I paired the two. I am pretty sure I only purchased 1.5 yards, but Kashi doesn't measure in a traditional way -- he sort of guesstimates the fabric length -- but I've always found him to err generously in my favor. It turns out that his generosity saved the dress. I had just enough, though well over 1.5 yards. And although the dress fits Clementine perfectly, it is a tiny bit big for me in ways I find hard to diagnose and fix. But that is maybe for another post.


Kashi remembered the fabric and commended the dress. Then, like a true fabric-aholic, I went to work finding more fabric. He offered me the stepstool for the first time, and I'm sure it's no coincidence that I found and purchased about twice as much fabric as usual.

At this point, it appears I stopped taking pics for the day. We had lunch at MAOZ, sauntered to Kinokuniya for postcards and fun stuff, and wandered back through the Garment District, at places like Pacific Trimming, Paron Fabrics, and the new Lauren Trimming (247 West 37th Street). I purchased a faux Liberty print cotton and a reversible polka dot cotton (Tom and Linda Platt) from Paron's. More polka dots! Couldn't help myself.

We headed to Chelsea that evening for The City Quilter, where I purchased a sashiko kit, and the unexpected sad news that Pongsri, the Thai restaurant that Kyle so loved when we were in NYC last, had closed. So we grabbed a bite instead at Epice Cafe and called it an early night in. Kyle taught me how the sashiko worked, and I stitched late into the night and finished Oprah Winfrey's book, "What I Know For Sure."


The next morning we hit Beacon's Closet, but neither of us found anything that fit perfectly, nothing we couldn't live without. I think they rearranged their merchandise a bit, and the new setup is less conducive to falling in love. We lunched at Claudette and walked into Soho through Washington Square Park. Flowers were beautiful, and people were everywhere. There was a section of the park where men and women were sunbathing topless, and Kyle and I got a kick out of watching the young men who were ogling the topless ladies. LOL

We saw a serene little garden spot just outside the park, so we stopped to visit. It's called LaGuardia Corner Gardens, full of color and nature. 

At Purl Soho, I found neon pink cotton and a shop gal who was very friendly, unlike the last time I was there. She'd only worked there a month or two, so I hope she stays helpful and interested. We hit tons of spots in Soho on the way to Opening Ceremony, such as Muji, Pearl River, and some specialty sock shop that I imagine won't be there for long. I don't know what kind of business model allows you to stock approx. 20 styles of socks and allows you to pay Soho bills. 


But Opening Ceremony was it for me. Not the dude sitting in front of the store when I took this pic, but the store itself. I don't know who that dude is. I have stalked the online shop for years, but nothing compares to the retail store. It is beautifully staged and curated. The clothing is a wonder to behold. The materials, construction, and design took my breath away. Unlike every other Soho store I've shopped at, every salesperson in OC is friendly and helpful. They seem to love the clothes and want you to love the clothes, too. Very enthusiastic energy.

I wanted to go home and start draping something on my form. So inspiring, the quality, craftsmanship, and detail. 

I'll always remember.


We were pretty pooped by that point, so we went back uptown (funk you up, uptown funk you up). After a couple hours' rest, we headed to The Highline, walked south into Chelsea, and ate dinner at a cute restaurant called The Red Cat. The cold sweet corn soup was TO DIE FOR. Eat it. You'll thank me later. Kyle wanted to celebrate my birthday early, and she came prepared.

On the left there is the card. Kyle always maxes out the stickers! Too fun, and so colorful. The card itself -- I mean, come on! -- functioning zippers on that miniature biker jacket. It was perfect! The present was wrapped flawlessly in Kyle's signature turquoise, and the gift... Check it... Woven ROCK ON TINY REBEL labels! I couldn't wait to get home and sew a label into something!!!!!!

Kyle. You're the best.

After dinner, we walked to the Empire State Building to see the great views of the city. And it was crowded, even at 10:30pm! But totally worth it. We even got super-touristy. And loved it.

Walking through the Saturday night crowd the few long blocks back to the hotel was just invigorating. The city is so ALIVE. I am still smitten.