There is no doubt that Southern California is known for a great fashion sense. But typically, it's the Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, and Orange County areas that get the high-fives for chic shopping spots. As one of those "I.E." shopaholics, it is rare that I ever hear a sentiment such as "OMG! The shopping in the Inland Empire is fabulous!" (And it doesn't help when past teen dramas such as Beverly Hills 90210 and The OC put this area in a "poor" light).
But I guarantee that after Sunday, September 21, all of the fashionistas who may be based in Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Chino, Upland, Fontana, Corona, and Pomona, will have an amazing new experience to brag about. And this amazing, new experience that I speak of: the 2nd annual "Sip N' Shop" Girls Day Out.
Fun, right?! While I missed last year's event, I am so there this year. Presented by Brace Yourself Boutique, this afternoon soiree is the creation of one business and creative savvy Inland Empire resident -- Myisha Croom–Turner. While you can find tons of details about the event's location, vendors, and gift bags on the myspace page of "Sip N' Shop," you can check out my interview, right here, with Myisha. By the way, tickets are 1 for $10 and 2 for $15.
Who is Sip 'N Shop Girls Night Out perfect for?
This year we are offering a "Girls Day Out" instead of a "Girls Night Out." The Los Angeles and OC areas offer numerous entertainment options, but create a travel hardship for women who live in the Inland Empire area. So being the take-on- too-many-tasks person that I am, I decided to create this fun and entertaining event for IE-dwelling women who love to do the types of things I love to do, and not have to drive to timbucktu to do it. So I figured since I love shopping, going to the spa, listening to good music, and having cosmos with the girls, then other women might like it too, and so Sip n' Shop was born. Sip n' Shop Girls Day Out is perfect for women 21 and over in the Inland Empire area, who love Shopping, Socializing, Style and Scrumptious Cocktails!
What was your turnout last year? Were you happy with how everything played out?
Last year's event was held at Victoria Gardens Cultural Center and for a first time event it was Fabulous! I had so many people come and ask me how many people helped me put the event together. They expressed shock when they found out that I had coordinated the whole event by my lonesome. We had approximately 30 vendors, fashion shows every hour, giveaways galore, and the vibe was just awesome. I think the pictures on our site reflect the wonderful vibe of that evening. I was definitely moved to put on a 2nd event due to the feedback and attendance of last year's Sip n' Shop.
For a group of girlfriends going to this event for the first time, what type of vibe should they expect?
Girlfriends should expect fun, fun, and more fun. It just doesn't get any better than having a good cocktail in one hand, and a shopping bag in the other! But really, be expecting a really great vibe filled with good people, awesome music provided by Natuu, relaxing complimentary beauty treatments, tasty complimentary hor d'ourves, and unique vendor shopping options all for a 10 buck entrance fee.
How long did the planning take?
The first Sip n' Shop took me 5 months to plan, and this year's event has taken me approximately 2 1/2 months. I've gotten more efficient this time around. It's a lot of work coordinating all of the activities, and making sure everyone is satisfied, but it's also fun and I love meeting all of the new people each year.
What type of satisfaction to you get from being the brain behind this event?
It's very satisfying when people tell me "Thank you Myisha for creating an event that's fun, local, and an alternative to clubbing." Also, as the small business owner of Brace Yourself Boutique, a bohemian-style jewelry business, I know the challenges of trying to find events to properly showcase my wares and get the word out about my products. Sometimes as a vendor, you pay astronomical fees to attend a show, and in the end you may not make any money or any connections. As a woman who creates products for women, I understand that women can grow their businesses by targeting the correct market and choosing venues that cater a certain audience. The vendors at Sip n' Shop are mostly women -- small business owners who benefit from showcasing to an all woman audience. I am providing them with a venue containing their target audience. All types of women, who love to shop. It gives me great joy to know that the vendors are able to share their goods and services, earn money, and grow their businesses through connections made at Sip n' Shop Girls Day Out.
Is everything at Sip 'N Shop beauty and fashion-related?
Although fashion and beauty are the focus, it is not the only thing offered. I'd like people to know that a portion of the money they spend at Sip n' Shop is donated. Which means they can and should feel good about the dollars they are spending. I donate a portion of the proceeds from Sip n' Shop to non-profit organizations benefitting children. Last year a portion of Sip n' Shops proceeds were donated to the non-profit organization The Heritage Educational Group, which enriches the lives of children by using culturally centered models to enhance the academic, social, and conscious health of children. I have several organizations that I am looking to donate to this year, but as of now I have not decided which one yet. I may even split the proceeds and give them to a couple of different organizations.
Are your goals for this year's event different from last year?
My goals are pretty much the same as last year and that is to create an event that is timeless and fun. A place where women can come and be comfortable, feel bonded, and just take a load off from all of the many hats we wear as women in our daily lives. Sip n' Shop is a day for women to have some "me" time and not have to worry about catering to anyone but themselves for 3-4 FABULOUS hours.
Where can a gal find you at the event?
Now that's a good question because you will be able to find me everywhere at the event. I'll be mingling, taking pictures, and floating around making sure everything is running smoothly. So if you see me, and want to connect please don't hesitate to grab me. I want to meet as many of you as I possibly can. But most likely, by the end of the event you'll find me relaxing under the Gazebo, next to DJ Nattu (hopefully he'll be spinning some Erykah Badu or India Arie) with a cosmo in hand :-)
How will the costs of merchandise being sold differ from what is being sold in the stores?
The neat thing about Sip n' Shop is that most likely the person you make a purchase from is the designer of the product or service! Women will be able to ask questions and get knowledgeable answers about products and services. We do have some urban wear and the latest fashion vendors, however, there are several unique designers who create their own line of products that you won't find anywhere else. There will be some amazing jewelry, clothing, accessory and body product artisans, and more. Also, the costs of the merchandise will be less expensive than normal retail prices, and Sip n' Shoppers will be the first to view New fall fashion lines from many of the designers.
Well, my friends and loyal Diary of a Personal Shopper readers....see you there!
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Myisha