Launch party candids

Here a just a couple of candid shots from the end of the day yesterday.  The launch weekend was fantastic and there are some super secret amazing (as in the blow your mind kind!) details in the works which you will find out about very soon.  Over the course of the week I’ll have more photos & details about the weekend to show you.  I am completely blown away by the response from the gowns & can’t wait to share it all with you.  My mind (& my feet) are overworked.  We’re re-grouping today & getting the gowns ready to head up to Little White Dress for the trunk show.

We had the wonderful Scott from Ambassadors Rolls Royce Limousine Service bring out the most georgeous vintage limosines to the show and were able to take the models out at the end of the day to catch some fun candids with the cars.   If you are in Colorado & have limo needs, please give Scott a call.  He’s super cool & will treat you like a queen.

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Sneak peak of the week

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We were out at the castle on Monday for the final photo shoot for the debut colletion.  The remaining 5 gowns will be up on the website next week, but I thought you might like a sneak peak at Claudia.

Look how cute Christina is trying to see her pics outside…

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Things that can go wrong when sending out invitations. By date.

Stay with me on this, it gets complicated.

When sending out Save the Dates to my list of 277 upscale bridal boutiques around the country on

Jan 12

the printer runs out of black ink.  There is a snow storm out & Kevin isn’t home.  Which means if I want black ink to print the address labels, I have to take all 3 kids out into a snow storm.  In my car who’s tire needs air in it every 3 days.  Today is the 3rd day.   So I decide to print all the labels in blue.  It still takes me 3 hours to stuff & label 277 envelopes.  At which time I realize I ordered 800 cards.  Why?  I can’t remember.

On the recommendation of my graphic designer, I decide to use a local printer for the invitations to save on postage.  I decide to use a printer that my photographer knows in Lakewood & have them print up the comp & overnight it on

Jan 26

When it arrives at my UPS store (where I have a p.o. box) on

Jan 28

(I know.  overnight?  From Denver to Colorado Springs.  Takes 2 days?)  the UPS people don’t fill out a slip for the package to put in my box letting me know I have a package.  So when I go in there on

Jan 27

and

Jan 28

and

Jan 29

and

Jan 30

they say that it hasn’t arrived yet.  So I have the printer look up the tracking number & confirm that it did arrive on

Jan 28

When I tell this to the UPS people on

Jan 31

they look around & say “oh, look, it’s right here.”  So on

Feb 2

I approve the comp & order the invites.  Except there’s a problem w/ my credit card.  The credit card company won’t raise my credit limit, even though I charge & pay off 4 times the credit limit every month.  Also? I can only make 4 payments per month, none being within 5 business  days of each other, & once a payment is made it takes 3 to4 days to post.  You do the math.  So I spend, I swear, at least 1/2 hour every day doing math trying to figure out what I can charge when & what has to wait and exactly what date it has to wait until.  So I have to pay off the credit card balance on

Feb 3

and wait until

Feb 10

to pay for the invites.  The wonderful people at Raven Printing print & stuff the envelopes and have them ready by 2 pm on

Feb 13

And, btw, Lakewood is 1 hour & 20 minutes from my house.  Didn’t think that one through.  Arrive at the kids school for 3:20 pick up precisely at 3:21.  Here’s where it starts to get fun.  On

Feb 14

when I start to get ready to send out the 277 boutique invites, I begin by printing out the labels.  On Avery 5660.  Which I will never use again.  And neither should you.  Ever.  The labels come out of the printer with the ink just laying on the surface, smearing everywhere.  It takes me an hour and 1/2 and an entire box of labels to figure out that I can lay them out around the house & let them dry for 20 minutes & they won’t smear.

Then I realize that I didn’t have the printer put stamps on the RSVPs.   So I have to unstuff them, put stamps on the little cards, restuff them & put the stamps & labels on the outside.  Which takes 2 more hours.  Then I try to moisten the envelope flap to close them, but they won’t close & when laid in a stack, smear the ink on the label underneath them.  So I have to re-print & re-label about 20 addresses.  Remember the laying out & drying thing.  And decide to just put the little clear stickers on the back.  Which means I have to take all 3 kids to Office Max and then the post office.  Luckily it was Valentines Day & we stopped by Hallmark first to get their new Webkinz.  Webkinz are like crack in our house.  Even I have one.  A very uncoordinated bat.  Named Fangette.

So the kids & I put stickers on about 260 envelopes in the post office.  Whew.  Done.  Right?  You would think.  But on

Feb 19

I go to pick up my mail & there are TWENTYFIVE invites returned b/c the post office machine tore the address labels off of them.  And there’s no way to tell which 25 of the 277 they are.  So on

Feb 20

when I get around to sending out the remaining invitations to Colorado Wedding planners I decide to hand write them with a calligraphy pen.  Sitting in a chair in my living room.  With my laptop open next to me to read off the addresses compiled by Margo, my sales director.  Who is a goddess.  My calligraphy pen starts to dry up,  so I open a 2nd one.  Which spews ink all over my lap full of invites, the carpet, and my LAPTOP COMPUTER.

I love you.  I really do.  And I want you to come to my launch party.  But really, can I just call you on the phone & invite you?

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Launch information

Alisa Benay bridal couture is so much more than just a dress.  I am launching in March of 2009 a line of couture bridal gowns, veils, and jewelry.  With 15 years experience as a custom designer and a BA in fashion design, I come onto the national scene with a rich understanding of what a bride wants in her gown.  But that is only the beginning of my journey into this market.  My goal is to create a corporate culture of caring and compassion whose impression is left not just on my bride, but on everyone I encounter within the industry.  We use lean manufacturing processes to lessen our carbon footprint and socially conscientious charitable initiatives to expand upon the warmth and love that initially brought our bride to us in the first place.  I want my bride to know that the day her dreams come true is also the day she makes the world a better place.  I want her to feel that not only is she the most beautiful woman in the world at the moment, but she has created a more beautiful world through the choices she made in her wedding day purchases.

 

The Alisa Benay launch party event is scheduled for March 14th & 15th, 2009 at the breathtaking Cherokee Ranch & Castle in Castle Rock, CO (http://www.cherokeeranch.org).  Come and see the gowns during a live runway show and stay after to view the gowns up close.  Gift bags will be filled to the brim with goodies and special offers totaling over $1000 in value.  Door prizes will also be offered up to a $500 retail value.  If you miss the live event, you’ll be able to see footage of it on our upcoming episode of Get Married and on our website. 

 

Alisa Benay and staff will be available to boutiques for appointments to view the collection during the following week.  If you are a bride and would like one of our gowns, you may purchase them in Colorado at The Little White Dress Shop, or we can assist you in finding a boutique in your local area to carry our gowns.

Concierge service is available for the entire weekend.  Please contact Ann White at 303-995-4407 for discount hotel rates and any other assistance you need with additional Colorado vacation packages.  Make the Colorado launch event of Alisa Benay bridal couture your destination bridal adventure!

 

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Photo shoot: behind the scenes pictures

Yesterday was my first full photo shoot for the new dresses.  Below are candid shots from the day (and yes, you may also consider this your sneak peak of the week, b/c you’re seeing two dresses you haven’t seen before.)   Overall is was a great day; exhausting, freezing cold, but much fun.

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This is my favoite picture of the candids.  It was blindingly white outside this window w/frost & snow on a pine tree right outside.  It was a great contrast to the dress & I can’t wait to see the real pics.

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My model, Christina getting her hair done by Tasha Valenti

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Kim getting shots of Christina in the window.  This one is fun b/c it shows her barefoot.  There are lots of things you find out in the pattern making / production process.  Like that you forgot to mention to your pattern maker how tall your models are.

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Touch up between shots.

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Margo Trueblood, my Director of Sales & Marketing, steaming the Millicent veil.  Did I mention that every one of my gowns have matching veils?  You’ll want to know that for future reference.  And if you’re one of the 300 stores on our contact list, you’ll be talking to Margo here shortly.  And if you’re not on our list & want to be, please let us know!

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Tada!  The Millicent. 

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In case you haven’t started to notice, this is the coolest castle ever.

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Notice everyone wearing coats?  It was freezing in there!  It was about 11 degrees outside & I’m not sure it was much warmer inside.  Poor Christina kept covering up with a tablecloth we swiped off a side table.

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And here’s the Beatrice.  And Kim directing the pose.  Awesome doors, no?  Not so awesome?  The lint, dirt, & grass from the tile floor that kept getting on the dress hem.  Where, I ask you, is grass coming from in the middle of a snow storm in Colorado?  We have to import grass in the summer & treat it like royalty just for it to stay around until October.

Directly to the right of whoever took this shot is a Reuben.  Painting.  gah.  And there’s a Rembrandt in the dining room. 

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A crew shot.  That’s Ricardo, Kim’s lighting guy holding the little lighting thingy.  And Tasha, the hair person, in the coat.  And Katelyn Simpkins, the make up artist, in the jean jacket.  Plus Kim & I.  I think I’m eating.  Which I’ve decided to stop doing after seeing photos of myself.

This is the room where the runway show will be.  March 14 & 15.  Let us know if you want to come.  We’re giving away cool stuff.  You’ll want to be there.  🙂

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Great view of the gigantic flower.  This dress is a little bit sweet & a little bit sassy.  Because I know you are, too. 🙂  And you can see the clothes pins on the back of the gown.  Because Christina is too skinny to talk about.

 

It was a great day & I can’t wait to get started on the next 5 gowns.  Those will be shot in the same location on March 2.  The gowns above are already for sale in The Little White Dress Shop in Castle Rock, Colorado.  The entire line will be ready for retail sale at our launch party, March 14.  But if you are interested in carrying some of the gowns ahead of time, please contact us & we’ll get you set up.  If you are a bride looking for my gowns in your local area, please let us know where you are.  As I mentioned, we have just over 300 stores that we are targeting & we will do our best to find one near you that will help you find the gown you want!

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Sneak Peek of the Week

I have a photo shoot on Monday for 4 dresses, matching veils, and jewelry.   Just wanted to show you a quick peak at my 2nd cameo.  You’ll see more photos both here & on the website by the end of  next week.dsci0094

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25 Random Things

I’m working hard & fast on delayed production issues this week to get us ready for Monday’s photo shoot.   I leave you today with my list of 25 Random Things, a Facebook chain mail thing:

 

1) I tagged every 3rd person on my list at random.

2) I got married when I was 21.  Which was apparently way before the rest of you.

3) I want to like coffee, but I don’t.  I will occasionally drink a latte, but it’s got to have flavored syrup in it.

4) I have never travelled internationally.  I’m not for sure how that happened.

5) I’m a night person.   But Kevin & the kids are not, so I have to work to adjust my body clock.  Left on my own, I would sleep from 1-9 am.

6) I love to read fiction.  Snarky chic lit is my favorite.

7) I worked for the state of Arkansas in the international economic development division once.  I know, that job doesn’t match up with the rest of my career, but there you go.

8) I gave birth w/o drugs once.  Not recommended, is all I have to say about that.

9) I was pregnant with my 3rd & visiting my parents in Arkansas when 9/11 happened.  The girls & I had tickets to fly back the next day & ended up stuck there another week.

10) I grew up in the Church of Christ, but have since left it.

11) I am a kick ass pattern maker.

12) I was Jr. Miss Faulkner County in 1989.  Which is totally embarrassing.

13) I am learning social networking & frustrated that it takes up so much of my day.

14) I rarely wear make-up.

15) My hair is naturally curly. Not curly enough to be cute, just annoying.  Which is why you’ve never seen it that way.

16) Random people in public yell at me.  It’s happened to much to be a coincidence.

17) I am a touch claustrophobic.  Like when I’m in an airplane & everybody stands up to leave, but you can’t move for 5 minutes.  I have to do Lamaze breathing through that.

18) My husband was a pastor for 17 years. Wait, that’s not about me.  But that means I was a pastor’s wife for several of those years.  Which people who know me now find shocking. J

19) I’m not very good at math.

20) I’m creeped out by spiders.  Not afraid of them, just totally freaked out by their existence.

21) I really love home made tapioca.

22) I haven’t had a pet since I was a kid.

23) I learned to shoot a gun when I was 8. 

24) My kids are 22 months apart.  Both times.  So my first was just past 3 ½ when my 3rd was born.

25) I’m not a very good cook.

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