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This week’s Belle in Biz is Arkansas’ very own, Amber Ham of Haute Thread Boutiques. She’s innovative, creative, a mother, a business woman and a fan! Read below to be inspired by her ambition and to see how you can win your very own Haute Threads Boutique game day dress!
Name: Amber Ham
Team: Arkansas Razorbacks
Graduated from: University of Arkansas in 2003 (Bachelors in Nutrition); Texas Tech in 2011 (Masters in Education)
Name of Your Biz: Haute Threads Boutique
Explanation of Your Biz: I convert regular college/team t-shirts into game day dresses and rompers to help each girl be the cutest girl in the stadium on game day.
How did you get your start? I had a pile of old t-shirts from college sitting in my closet and knew I needed to repurpose them so I would wear them again. I cut up a few shirts and quickly designed the dresses that I still make today! After I made a couple for myself, my friends started asking for them… and then someone pinned me on Pinterest… and it’s been an amazing ride ever since! It’s been about four years since the business really took off.
Explain your role: I’m pretty much a one-woman show. I own the business, do all of the marketing and advertising, research new trends and designs in fashion, as well as shop for all of the latest trendy fabrics. I work one-on-one with each customer so they can custom-design their own dress from beginning to end; I cut all of the dresses/rompers out myself as well.
Most challenging part of your biz?: Finding enough time in the day to get it all done. During football season, I could spend 8+ hours a day working on the business; however, that’s also the time that school—and my responsibilities as a teacher– starts back up. Making time to run my dress business on top of everyday life can be challenging some days.
Most rewarding?: When customers send me pictures of them wearing their dresses. I love seeing women enjoying my creations and feeling like they are the “belle of the ball.” The fact that it’s a custom dress that THEY got to help design really gives them ownership over it and makes them truly feel unique in their dress.
Business advice to other Belles? Don’t wait around. I read a quote from Coco Chanel right after I began my business. It said, “If you want to be original, be ready to be copied”… and that couldn’t be any more true. Get out there full force and make your dreams yours so you can be the original and people come to you first.
Favorite part about being a Razorback fan? Gameday. The feeling in the stands when everyone unites for one day to cheer on our team… it’s electric. I grew up going to Razorback football games in the same seats we’ve had since I was 3 years old. Fayetteville is an amazing place.
Favorite tailgate dish? Sausage Crescent Wraps. Ground sausage mixed with cream cheese… rolled up in a crescent roll and baked. Delish!
Game day drink of choice? If I’m tailgating, you can guarantee I’ll have a bottle of Prosecco close by!
What do you always have in your touch down purse? Business cards. You never know when someone is going to stop you and ask, “Hey, where did you get your dress?”
Who wins it all this year? We have had a few rebuilding years and I think we will do a lot better than a lot of people think we will this year… so I’m going to stay true to my roots and cheer on my Hogs for the big win!
You can win your own Haute Threads dress or romper by winning our giveaway! Simply share this link via the Gridiron Belles Facebook page , Twitter (@gridironbelles) or our Instagram (@GridironBelles) post more times than any other Gridiron Belle and you can have your very own favorite team shirt transformed into the perfect game day dress! #GBHauteThreadGiveaway
Happy shopping, Belles!
Xs and Os
The book, Gridiron Belles, states that Arkansas may have a little bit of a comfortable casual side to their flare. And, Ole Miss, we know, is the reigning royalty of game day runway-ready outfits. Which is why Saturday’s (pre-game)match-up in the Grove is going to be the true battle of the day. I have a feeling both fan bases will be envious of the other– Razorback fans wishing for access to Rebel closets and Rebel belles wishing they were privy to even a smidge of the comfort Arkansas fans brought from Fayetteville.
Whichever your game day style, just enjoy the tailgate!
Xs and Os,
Aug 29, 2012 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Arkansas, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Southern Football, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football, Vanderbilt
As we went on with our lives once we calmed down after the first BCS National Championship between two SEC teams, the college football world stayed working.
Coaches changed roles, players were recruited, and we took a little break to stock up on the necessary energy it takes to be an SEC fan. Not to mention, we needed some time to find the perfect game day outfits and tailgate accessories for the 2012 season.
If you’re anything like me, you’re practically drooling over the upcoming season but have had too much going on to actually realize that there is a whole new lineup coming out for kickoff. Which is TOMORROW, so we need to cram!
Part two of the pre-season primer is a study guide for you to learn about your team’s play-makers and the coaches. Don’t stop at this information—there is a whole chapter about this in the book— but use this as a base for the entire season!
Coach: Nick Saban
Quarterback: A.J. McCarron (JR)
Coach: John L. Smith
Quarterback: Tyler Wilson (SR)
Coach: Gene Chizik
Quarterback: Kiehl Frazier (SO)
Coach: Will Muschamp
Quarterback: Jeff Driskel (SO) and Jacaoby Brissett (SO)
Coach: Mark Richt
Quarterback: Aaron Murray (JR)
Coach: Joker Phillips
Quarterback: Maxwell Smith (SO)
Coach: Les Miles
Quarterback: Zach Mettenberger (JR)
Coach: Dan Mullen
Quarterback: Tyler Russell (JR)
Coach: Gary Pinkel
Quarterback: James Franklin (JR)
Coach: Hugh Freeze
Quarterback: Barry Brunetti (JR) or Randall Mackey (SO)
Coach: Steve Spurrier
Quarterback: Connor Shaw (JR)
Coach: Derek Dooley
Quarterback: Tyler Bray (JR)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin
Quarterback: Johnny Manziel (FR)
Coach: James Franklin
Quarterback: Jordan Rodgers (SR)
Xs and Os,
Aug 2, 2012 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Arkansas, Athens, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Internship, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC football writers, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football
It’s that time again! Gridiron Belles—the lifestyle guide to football in Dixie—is looking for fall 2012 interns to join our team.
We are taking Gridiron Belles (and her sister magazine, SouthernLeague), to the bestseller list this year so we need the best team of brilliant Southerners that the SEC can provide!
Qualifications: Gridiron Belles and SouthernLeague Magazine are seeking upperclassmen and graduate students at SEC universities, both male and female. Preference will be given to those majoring in: journalism, PR, sports marketing, fashion, photography, creative writing or English. Interns must be self-starters. The ideal candidate is enthusiastic about life in the south, adept at writing short nonfiction pieces, and socially engaging. Experience in publishing is preferred, but not required.
Job Description: Each intern must commit 5-10 hours per week, beginning August 27, 2012 and ending in January 2013. This is an unpaid internship with an opportunity for employment based on growth of the company. Duties will include:
- Creating and executing social media strategies
- Writing and managing weekly updates for online publications, including interviews and photographs
- Creating organized Excel sheets of research
- Vendor relations- following up with inventory of stores and potential ad sales
- Planning, organizing and promoting PR events, book signings and tailgates on your campus
How to Apply: Complete the attached application and submit to ChristieLeigh@SouthernLeagueMagazine.com by 9 A.M. CT on Monday, August 20 2012.
Looking forward to hearing from y’all soon!
Xs and Os,
Monday night, I was welcomed at the Vanderbilt KD house by an eager audience of fellow KD ladies. Twenty minutes later, I was out in the dining room signing books for some of the most wonderful women I have met this fall.
These women were kind, genuine and excited to read about their school and it’s place in the world of SEC football. These KDs were asking questions about pass interference, how to improve their tailgates, how quickly thank you notes should be sent and how to land a post graduation job in Washington, D.C. .
This stop at Vanderbilt was exactly what I hoped my tour would be, a chance to reach out to young women and help motivate them to follow their dreams the way I have followed mine.
Fast forward to Friday at the You’re Invited book signing. What a huge success! Anna, the owner, was generous enough to lend me her adorable tailgate items so I could display them on Talk of the Town, a local variety show. You’re Invited has everything a Gridiron Belle needs for hosting a tailgate and stocking up on hostess gifts. I did some shopping myself and checked off my hostess gifts for my last 5 games of the tour!
Saturday morning was a beautiful day for a football game, and almost the perfect day for an upset. However, an early morning text from my favorite KD, Hali, assured me that hell had not frozen over and in fact, it was eerily quiet on fraternity row just two hours before kickoff.
Because I needed to know for myself, I headed to campus anyway to gather what material I could. Sure enough it was a ghost town. I saw tumbleweeds in the road, empty lawns and grills still covered without hot charcoal.
Arkansas on the other hand, had arrived early and was collapsing on the stadium in large numbers. I was impressed by the Arkansas faithful and the outfits of their Belles!
A slow start in the Greek world, however, did not influence the speed of the Commodores on the field. The Vandy football team dominated the entire game against the 10th ranked Razborbacks and started to show the SEC world just how much potential the ‘Dores have.
I scooted out of town before I was able to see the post almost-biggest-win-of-the-season festivities but I heard the celebrating was in full effect. No fear, pictures have been sent and clearly indicate those Commodore students know how to party… they just get a little bit of a late start.
Vanderbilt moved up in the Gridiron Belles rankings. I loved the people, the town and the tenancity that the team played with on the field. I’m looking forward to my next visit and a chance to wear black and gold again!
Thank you Kappa Deltas, Hali, and You’re Invited, you made my trip so very memorable.
Xs and Os,
Because sometimes it’s just plain funny to laugh at the other team’s expense!
What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?
What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?
………A full set of teeth.
How do you get a South Carolina cheerleader into your dorm room?
………Grease her hips and push.
How do you get a Georgia graduate off your porch?
………Pay him for the pizza.
How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a girlfriend?
……..There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup
Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum?
………Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.
What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player’s life?
………His freshman year.
How many Florida freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
………None. That’s a sophomore course.
Feel free to change any of these teams around–these are just for fun and are not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, to be honest, if these G-rated jokes hurt your feelings, you may want to reconsider changing conferences and never step foot at a tailgate where the jokes are a tad bit–to a lotta bit– more insulting!
Xs and Os,
Nov 1, 2010 CATEGORIES: Arkansas
Two hours before kickoff, Fayetteville, AR showed no sign of a typical traffic delay for gamedays…or any sign of a homecoming-SEC-football-game being played.
Half empty parking lots, vacant bars on Dixon Street, countless available lots for tents overlooking the stadium—not to mention, belles donning t-shirts and jerseys– had me concerned.
Is there a chance that the SEC is losing Arkansas to the “Little 12”? Is Arkansas working on fitting in with the tailgates, wardrobes and stadium attendance customary in the Big 10?
After an hour or so of observing the Saturday traditions throughout the hills of Fayetteville I became despondent. I was sad for Arkansas and I was worried about the SEC. All of my bragging about the strength and unity of the SEC had been done in vain. Was my theory of SEC dominance by displaying all things Southern being disproved?
As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.”
There are still countless reasons to brag about the SEC and even a handful of reasons come from the Razorback nation. So I finally realized. Such is the beauty of attending an SEC game with a Big 12 fan; they just see things differently. You could say they see things like people who don’t understand that wardrobes and tailgating are equally as important as football.
Alas, my initial statements of concern became positives after understanding the bigger picture—we were in Arkansas.
1) “There is no audible proof that a football game is happening in Fayetteville.”
a. The deafening calmness of the tailgating parties means the fans were saving their breath. Clearly they were all talking strategy amongst each other before conferencing in Coach Petrino on how to beat the ‘Dores. This helps with wins and rankings.
b. They didn’t want to scare the six Vanderbilt fans that made the trip by calling the hogs too early. A tremendous display of how to be hospitable to your guests.
2) “I have never seen so many T-shirts, jersey’s and red flannel blankets as wardrobe staples.”
a. Many belles were taking the quick and easy way to achieving the perfect shade of red by purchasing their gameday attire at the book store. The same book store that sells their science books and clearly has a direct line of credit with mama and daddy.
Charging home to mama and daddy for the sake of your education couldn’t be more Southern.
b. Hills, there are LOTS of hills. Tennis shoes proved a proficient catalyst for fans getting from the pastures to the stadium through the straw roads without complaining. And that’s more than I can say about my Big 12 friend. One point for the SEC.
c. Bleachers are cold and uncomfortable. The flannel and fleece blankets were a great idea and helpful with smuggling in moonshine. Despite the outward appearance they gave of fitting in at a bon fire, they were handy when the temperature dropped in the second half. Said blankets would have been smart if you had actually stayed through the entire annihilation
3) “It’s a good thing they didn’t enclose their stadium, they would have had to fill more seats.”
a. A few empty seats up top says that Razorbacks are capable of hosting the big games—like Alabama- and are able to keep their crowds to an intimate gathering of friends when necessary. Arkansas appreciates quality over quantity.
b. The open south end zone allows you to tailgate AND see warm ups at the same time. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. My two favorite pre-game events no longer need to be pitted against each other…if I was in Fayetteville every weekend…
4) “Dixon Street has more bar tenders than patrons before the game.”
a. While this was shocking and is not the case at The Swamp before a Florida game or Tin Roof before a UT game, Mr. Big 12 and I were able to get great service for some pre-kickoff beers AND a seat in front of the flat screen broadcasting the Auburn v Ole Miss game.
5) “Those hills hurt my legs and spread out all of the festivities.” Mr. Big 12
a. Remember what I told you belles about gameday workouts so we can eat the best food in the region? Well, those hills sure do help with cardio. Although, we did notice quite a few designated “scooter only” spots… which leads me to believe that cardio is being substituted with Vespas. Alas, the hills are an option if you’re feeling up to it. I used them to eat some Bruno’s on the way out of town!
b. Pre-game tailgates were spread out all over the hills, but the hills are beautiful this time of year AND it provides a natural division of serious tailgates with less serious tailgates. The same way the football Gods provided a natural division of football skill on the gridiron between a football team and a less of a football team.
At the end of the game, Fayetteville, AR is a beautiful Southern town with a gorgeous campus. The Razorback fans were extremely kind and hospitable and even generous in the price of their tickets. I found my ticket for half off… although I ended up paying double and then some because of a language barrier. I suppose I knew Arkansas had their own dialect, I just didn’t know it was going to be so costly.
Will Fayetteville, AR be the next location for the BCS National Championship game? It’s not likely.
Are the Razorback faithful capable of throwing up tents, brining out their grills and hosting 72,000 of their closest friends before dedicating themselves to the outcome of the game? Absolutely. And they do it by calling pigs.
Personally, I think the SEC is probably the only place that embraces pig calls. Looks like there is no secret Little 12 training going on after all. Which is good, because I have plans to attend the Arkansas v Auburn game next year in Fayetteville and can’t wait to use my perfected calling of the hogs.
My gameday ritual is fairly nonnegotiable: A nice morning run, a trip to the grocery story for gridiron grub and the paper, getting ready in front of Game Day with Kirk, Lee , Chris and Des, cooking during the first half of the 12 o’clock game ( none of my teams have had to play that early), and then sitting down ( if at home) or heading to tailgate( if attending a game) to prepare for kick off.
Don’t even think about asking me to be social unless it’s in front of a flat screen or in a stadium and includes incessantly discussing the games in play, rankings or upsets.
This weekend was no exception, except I actually got my exercise in. Times three.
The Auburn v Arkansas game started my day off on the right foot minus an obvious lack of defense. The Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson show was quite entertaining—for reasons other than watching my dog scamper under the table when I cheered. I was pacing, yelling and clapping for four quarters. (Pretty sure that’s cardio, weights AND practicing healthy lung care). Between the rushing Cam Newton was doing and the tackling Nick Fairley was executing, I was burning calories through osmosis. Thanks boys!
Finally, I thought, an evening of seemingly one sided match ups. I prepared to sit and relax while watching (unlike my pacing and dog-scaring from earlier).
Thanks to the drive of the KY Wildcats upsetting Steve Spurrier, Coach Mullen transforming from the grasshopper to the professor (enter Karate Kid reference), and LSU only soundly beating McNeese State in the 3rd and 4th quarters, I was left getting my calisthenics in the form of nervous twits (no, not tweets… who has time for that during a game?), excessive pacing and high-rep-squats (sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up—repeat—for hours).
When the last second ticked off the clock, I was exhausted and ready to celebrate. Auburn was still undefeated, Mississippi State and Coach Mullen got the big win they deserved and the anxiety of UK coming back to beat South Carolina was now over.
How do Southerner’s celebrate best? Food, bourbon and more food.
Thanks to the mentioned cardio sessions, I indulged in an Arkansas staple of sausage and cream cheese and a Mississippi staple of marinated cheese. Did I mention the nice glass of Woodford that got poured for the KY victory? Well, that was probably going to be poured regardless…
So Belles, next time you think you need to take a pass on the carbs and sausage or stick with light beer, realize that you’re a true fan. You’ve done your exercise. Finish out your Southern duties and enjoy the fine delicatessens and spirits of our heritage!
If you have any favorite gameday recipes, for celebrating or commiserating, please send them my way! Christie@gridironbelles.com
Thanks to my new Alabama friend, Warren, the Emotional Phenomenon of the SEC has been brought to my attention.
An emotional phenomenon occurs when all common sense flies out the window and emotions allow individuals and entire fandoms to act illogically. Ie: Florida fans cheering vehemently for a Gamecocks victory over Alabama.
Florida fans, naturally still grieving their castration from Alabama the previous week, were grieved stricken. Severely. We call this post stress disorder; Warren calls it an Emotional Phenomenon.
To avoid falling victim to the foolish spectacle of the Emotional Phenomenon, read about your team below to see who you should and should NOT be cheering for this weekend.
Vandy (SAT scores don’t count) at Georgia
Vandy Fan: You likely thinking this a chance to secure an SEC win. The dawgs from Athens aren’t exactly putting up an aggressive fight this season. You are cheering for the Vols to lose out. Which, might not require too much effort on your part. But don’t worry, if you took a big study break and headed to Athens at least you’ll learn how to tailgate and show school spirit.
Georgia Fan: Bring on the protein enriched kibbles and bits, this is your big chance to take down the lone private school team in the league AND make it look like Coach Richt should keep his job. Which, may not make you smarter, but it should help your ranks.
Cheer for Old Rocky Top to win out. Yikes.
Arkansas(12) v Auburn (7)
Auburn Fan: You are hoping that the Tigers seal the deal early and that Cam can keep up his half-season-long-endurance of carrying most of the team. But, you’re actually a bit nervous because Arkansas gave those other Alabama kids a good run for their money. Alas, you’re not just farm and agg kids, you can beat Arkansas and BAMA any day, right? Auburn’s been scraping by—cross your fingers, wear your lucky underwear, follow every superstition. You’re cheering for someone to win at the UK v USC game… you’ve beaten both, it doesn’t matter. And, of course, you’re always cheering for a BAMA loss.
Arkansas Fan: You’re ready for revenge against anyone playing football in the state of Alabama AND you know this is your best ranking/season in a long time. Do the razors on the back of the hogs prevent a Heisman hopeful carry all of the pressure? You think so. You’ve got the whole package this year. This is the new Arkansas v BAMA game… But now you’re cheering for BAMA to win ( against Ole Miss).
McNeese State(who?) at LSU (10)
*Probably scheduled years ago to give LSU a mid season boost because let’s face it, no one thought LSU was going to be undefeated this far into the season this year. Not even Lucky-Les.
LSU Fan: You are following suit and making deals with the devil that every other SEC team loses, especially Auburn, South Carolina and Alabama. Florida, you actually want to win now. I know, it’s crazy, but each team is selfish until we all gather and chant S-E-C …
McNeese State Fan: You’re just glad your school’s name was finally posted on espn.com
South Carolina (10) at Kentucky (basketball rankings don’t come out until later)
South Carolina Fan: The Cocks are fired up and they need to be. Kentucky almost tasted victory last week against USC rival (and victor) Auburn and they are itching for more. Alas, Spurrier has his boys right where they need to be—playing a basketball team coming off his biggest win with South Carolina. South Carolina needs Alabama AND Auburn to keep winning—ultimately one of them will lose in the Iron Bowl and South Carolina wants to be the next best thing.
Kentucky Fan: You’re hoping your Wildcats are still hungry for a win on the gridiron and not just at the racetrack before the game. It’s time to let go of the wins over cardinals and hill topers, these Cocks and the SEC play real football. Focus on football for 6 more weeks, I promise basketball season is coming and the bad dream will soon be over. Oh, and by the way, you need Ole Miss to win out to help you. Sorry, Charlie Cats.
Mississippi State at Florida (22)
Mississippi State Fan: You can taste a huge SEC victory. But this is more than the players on the field, this is Mullen v Meyer. Coach Mullen, as nice of a guy that he is, is going to have to pull out all the stops to prove to his mentor ( Mullen coached with Meyer at Bowling Green and Florida) that he was taught well. Beware bulldogs, they don’t bite, they chomp. You need to cheer for yourselves… !!
Mississippi (Ha!) at Alabama (8):
BAMA Fan: You’ve never been happier to be playing some preps from the Delta. You are about to get out all of your frustration on kids that go to college just to dress up and party. As a BAMA fan, you can relate to the dress up and party part but your bragging rights come from actually winning on the football field. Do not, under any circumstances, lose this game. For the sake of the prestige of SEC football and any hopes of turning 13 into 14 (EVER), do NOT lose this game. Cheer for Auburn to win so you can have a shot to redeem yourself when you play the #1 SEC team at the Iron Bowl.
Ole Miss Fan: Let’s face it, you came to tailgate with Alabama. You’ve heard The Quad rivals The Grove and you want to see what it’s all about. This football thing is just to pass the time before all of the pretty Greek co-eds head to Galettes. Go ahead, skip the kool-aid, drink a Yellow Hammer, you know you just watched one of the best football teams in the country and probably sang along during “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.”