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  • Belles In Biz: bySMITH Collection

    Oct 7, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, SEC Football

    BAMA Belle Smith Sinrod, thrived in the Big Apple in one of the hardest industries: fashion.  One trip to Thailand, a huge leap of faith  and the upbringing that encouraged her to never give up, has led this Belle to a successful career running her line of chic women’s clothing for the modern woman.  BySmith helps the working woman get from the office to dinner out on the town. This focus on work-life balance, all while looking divine, is what hooked me on the BySmith line… for the work day, game day, and everything in between. I can’t imagine any other line to wear through life’s events. Read on. You’ll be ordering pieces in no time.

    Name: Smith Sinrod

    SEC Team: The University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide

    Graduated from: The University of Alabama

    Name of Your Biz: bySMITH

    Explanation of Your Biz: by SMITH is a contemporary women’s line of sophisticated, chic dresses and classic day-to-night separates recognized for the use of Thai Silk, vibrant colors and bold patterns that place a spin on classic looks. Made up of versatile and transitional day-to-night pieces, by SMITH pieces are perfect for a young professional heading to meet friends after work, or for a young mother going out for date night. by SMITH recently celebrated its 10th season and is distributed online and located in national and international retailers, consistently appearing in fashion shows and media outlets across the country, like Town &  Country, Southern Living, E! News and Real Simple.

    How did you get your start? I developed my business plan prior to graduating from The University of Alabama. I officially started my business directly following graduation with a sourcing trip to Thailand—that’s when it all began.

    So tell us, what exactly is your role? I’ve been designing my own pieces and collections from the beginning of college, but officially launched by SMITH in 2009. As owner and designer, I wear every hat. I design each collection and develop our prints each season, work with manufacturers directly to ensure our production is running smoothly, and I coordinate our wholesale business with the boutiques on a regular basis. I’ve learned a lot by owning my business and being an entrepreneur, and have found that even after six years, I am still learning and evolving my brand.

    Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding?  I would say the most challenging part of all of this is making sure I keep up with the ever changing world of fashion. There are so many moving parts to this business and just when you feel like you are caught up, it’s time to design another collection, a year ahead of course. I like how fast the industry moves and how it constantly changes; it challenges me in a good way.

    The most rewarding part of my job is seeing strong and diverse women wearing my clothing. Fashion is a choice and the consumer gets to pick what they like, buy it, and then wear it. It’s a form of self-expression so when my art is chosen, it makes me happy.

    bySMITH collection showcased at a University of Alabama fashion show.

    What is one thing your biz would not survive without? Me (and a lot of caffeine!)

    What’s next? I am excited to be back in the south again and am enjoying every second of it. I am working on expanding by SMITH from New Orleans and so far, we have exciting things in the works. More to come!

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction? I think that’s a fact for me. I really work to be the best businesswoman and designer I can be, but also make it a priority to find quality time with my husband, friends and family. Those are the people that encourage and inspire me daily, so it’s a win-win.

    Business/career advice to other Belles? Never give up. My dad told my sisters and me this on a regular basis growing up to encourage us to be strong no matter what. Even though it’s pretty straightforward, it’s helped me navigate my career over the past few years and has kept me grounded when things get crazy busy.

    What do you wear on game day?  I wear one of my Barrow Tees in black or white with my jeans or my crimson East Village Skirt. A black dress is also a home run for BAMA games.

    What have you found most inspiring about SEC and Gridiron Belles’ wardrobes?  What I love is seeing how girls at each school show their school spirit. At some schools, people dress to the nines as if it’s a cocktail party.  At other schools, girls are more relaxed with a cute T-shirt and jeans. I certainly get inspiration on how to mix and match items, particularly as many of the schools have different climates that they deal with. It’ fun to see how the girls dress weekend after weekend.  

    Favorite part about being an Alabama fan? My favorite part of being an Alabama fan, is the pride that comes along with the Tide fan base.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Stadium dog

    Game day drink of choice? There’s nothing better than a Yellowhammer from Gallettes on game day. This was my friends’ go-to game day cocktail during our time in Tuscaloosa.

     

    Smith celebrating all things Alabama with fellow belles at an Alabama tailgate


    What do you always have in your touch down purse?
    A shaker and a pen/notepad. I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings and football games are no different! I love seeing what women are wearing and often find myself jotting down sketches of some of the styles and trends that inspire me.

    Coach Crush? I might be a bit biased, but I’m partial to Saban.

    Heads or Tails? Tails

    Who wins it all this year? Alabama, of course!

    Keep up with Smith and all of tricks of the trade she has for Gridiron Belles by visiting her website and following her on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. 

  • Game Time(s) Week 11

    Nov 7, 2014 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, LSU Football, Nick Saban, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating, Tailgating

    They don’t call it the Bible Belt for nothing! Ole Miss is getting it’s rest on Saturday while they play Presbyterian at noon—don’t change your plans for this one.  Our adoration for the DAWGS and Coach Richt (what a gent!) has to take a back seat to pulling for the home team. Georgia lines up against Kentucky at noon which will potentially give Stoops’ Troops a chance to regain momentum from early in the season all the while giving the DAWGS a “can’t lose” battle.

    The Aggies head to the plains in an attempt to rattle the No. 3 Tiger’s cage.  In typical Auburn fashion, they will likely use every minute of the clock to pull off the win. Auburn fans get the faith and Aggie fans don’t start “gigging” too soon… this will be a surprisingly long game.

    The number one team in the country, Mississippi State (I still can’t believe I get to write that sentence), will put in their 3rd string against Tennessee Martin at 4pm on Saturday. A great move to rest up before the Starkville Bulldogs make the trek to Tuscaloosa next week.

    Florida at Vanderbilt may be the highlight of the season in Nashville.  With the Gators not exactly brimming with confidence and skills and Vandy looking for a win, this might actually be a good game. Might.

    The game we’ve all been waiting for has the 8pm prime time spot.  Every year this game has more on the line.  Despite LSU’s 16th spot in the rankings, expect a battle for the history books.  LSU has home field advantage, but don’t forget Saban knows how to play in Tiger Stadium as well.   For some statistical talking points, here is what Edward Aschoff from ESPN wrote.

    “Since 2007, this annual game has been decided by seven points or fewer five times, with LSU winning three of those games. Four times since 2007 the winner has worn the SEC crown. They’ve met as top-10 teams five times in that span and twice have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2. The winner played in the BCS title game four times, going 3-1, with the only loss coming at the conclusion of the 2011 season when Alabama beat LSU 21-0 in the BCS National Championship after losing “Armageddon” 9-6 at home earlier in the season.”

    Happy Game Day eve, Belles!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    PS- Don’t forget to send in your tailgating photos!  info@gridironbelles.com

     

    12:00pm               Presbyterian @ Ole Miss (No. 11)

                                       Georgia (No. 20) @ Kentucky

    3:30pm                 Texas A&M @ Auburn (No. 3)

    4:00pm                 Tennessee Martin @ Mississippi State (No.1)

    7:30pm                  Florida @ Vanderbilt

    8:00pm                 Alabama (No. 5) @ LSU (No.16)

    Bye Weeks


    South Carolina

    Tennessee

    Missouri

    Arkansas

  • THE Big Rival of the Week

    Nov 27, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Auburn, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, SEC Football

    Never have the stakes been this big in the Iron Bowl. No.1 Alabama at No.4 Auburn….

    If Auburn knocks off Alabama, the tigers will be heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game which is not one anyone predicted in August.  Yes, we realize that there are countless other rivalry games this weekend, but none carry the weight of the Iron Bowl.  Either way, if you are going to your team’s game or watching at home while eating leftovers, we have some Rivalry Week wardrobe suggestions for home or away! 

    Good luck!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • Signing Day: One Step Closer to Kick-Off!

    Feb 12, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Southern Football

    When it comes to football, the Southeastern Conference dominates the competition – including National Signing Day. High school students from around the country finalized their college football destinations last week. On February 6, all fourteen SEC schools replenished their troops by finalizing their 2013 classes.

    The Alabama Crimson Tide was able to roll again and come out on top of the recruiting race. Who wouldn’t want to go play for a school whose selling point is winning three out of the last four BCS national championship games? Even a player who verbally committed to playing for Auburn and has an Auburn tattoo made the switch. The defending national champs signed a total of 26 players, 14 of which ranked in the ESPN 150.

    Coming in with the second best recruiting class is the Florida Gators. Former head coach Urban Meyer created a very high recruiting standard in Gainesville that Will Muschamp is continuing to carry on after landing a top five recruiting class for the second consecutive year. The Gators signed a total of 30 players, 11 of which are ranked in the ESPN 150 – including the top cornerback and top running back in the nation.

    The biggest surprise on signing day may have been Ole Miss. Coach Hugh Freeze was able to land a top-five recruiting class in just his second year with the program. The Rebels were able to land two of the top five players in the country – including DE Robert Nkemdiche, the number one overall prospect. Ole Miss was also able to sign the top offensive tackle and wide receiver in the county. We’re sure name dropping Leigh Anne Tuohy didn’t hurt with recruiting either.

    LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia all landed top ten recruiting classes this year as well. Les Miles pulled the fourth best class in the SEC and seventh overall in the country – signing a total of 27 players. Texas A&M, who is heading into year two in the SEC, came in fifth in the conference but eighth overall. The Aggies signed 32 players who will get their chance to play with the first ever freshman to the win the Hesiman Trophy: Johnny Manziel. Being able to play at least two years with Johnny Football sounds like a good deal to us. Defending SEC east champion Georgia fell a little short this year. Last year, the Bulldogs signed a top five class but only managed to come in tenth overall this season. The class of 32 still gave Georgia the sixth best class in the SEC, signing five players ranked in the ESPN 150.

    Auburn and South Carolina were the only other two SEC schools to finish in the Top 20. Auburn is the second biggest surprise, behind Ole Miss. The Tigers fired coach Gene Chizik for finishing 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC but new head coach Guz Malzahn was able to pull together a recruiting class ranked eleventh in the nation. The class of 24 comes in ranked seventh in the SEC – including five-star recruit and the second best defensive end in the county Carl Lawson. South Carolina pulled in a class of recruits ranked 17th in the country but only eighth in the SEC. Of the 22 players signed four ranked in the ESPN 300.

    Vanderbilt and Mississippi State both pulled Top 25 recruiting classes – coming in ninth and tenth in SEC standings. James Franklin signed 27 new players to his team while Dan Mullen signed 23. Tennessee signed 21 new players to finish with a class ranked No. 29 nationally.

    The signing process might have taken longer than expected for Arkansas after ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins’ mother would not sign his letter of intent paperwork. 24 hours after intending to sign the letter and with some help from his father, Collins was finally able to sign it. The addition of Collins puts the Razorbacks class at No. 31 in the nation and eleventh in the SEC. Behind Arkansas, comes Kentucky ranked at No. 36 and Missouri ranked at No. 38. These two teams really needed to step up their recruiting game if they wanted to produce better results than last year.

    Unlike the NFL, there is no incentive for finishing last. You don’t get the first pick of players the next year, you actually have to work even harder. The SEC has proven they can win and who doesn’t like to win? It appears to us that if you win on signing day, there is a good chance you’re going to win during the season. Only 28.5 weeks until college football season…but who’s really counting?

    Signing Day: One Step Closer to Kick-Off was written by Gridiron Belles and SouthernLeague Magazine intern, Ashley Colley.

  • A Saturday in Tuscaloosa

    Nov 7, 2011 CATEGORIES: AL, Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, LSU Football, Nick Saban, SEC Championship, Southern Belles

    GameDay set up in front of Bryant-Denny

    If I was ever concerned that the Alabama football nation was going to grow out of the houndstooth trend and start wearing khaki pants like Saban, I’ve since been reassured otherwise. Houndstooth is the easiest way to identify an Alabama fan and there was no shortage on Saturday in the crowd of 200,000 plus fans that converged on T-Town.

    Mama and Ms. Campbell showing off their houndstooth

    In addition to the presence of houndstooth, no tailgate was complete without some sort of sign about Les Miles eating grass, a pun on what LSU players do with grass and some sort of insult of what the Crimson Tide was planning to do on the astro-grass .  I personally find a lot of entertainment in reading the clever signs that fans make for their tailgate décor.  In fact, if you have any good fan-signs, send’em in!

    Leave it to the law school...

    The new statue on the walk of legends is of Coach Saban. When the news covered Tide fans complaining about coach Saban’s clown-sized-bronze-shoes, I didn’t understand. Upon further review, the ruling on the field stands,  his shoes are a little large for a rather small framed man.  I do, however, think the statue captures his spirit and enthusiasm and gave me chills just thinking about his success as a coach.  And just to be sure that no one messed with his big feet, there were more security guards for these statues than on the field during the game!

    Bama Belles paying their respects

    With months of anticipation surrounding the meeting of these two power houses, I was dreaming of fanatical fan bases battling it out pre-kickoff and a game with a little bit of offense.  What I found was the largest gathering of well mannered fan bases in the history of college football! Yes, I just wrote that. I just categorized LSU as well-mannered and included the Tide. Hell has officially frozen over. Pigs now have wings. The pope is no longer Catholic.

    This was a display of unprecedented respectful fraternizing with the enemy.  I suppose it’s because neither team had too much room to talk.  60 minutes could change LSU’s entire season and the only reason Alabama wasn’t number one was because they had not yet played LSU.  It was amazing.  It was impressive.  I was so proud of both teams.

    She didn't tell me she was grilling tiger. Just grilling for the game

    The game was phenomenal. Every snap was worth holding my breath.  Every play that I stood was worth the agonizing pain in my tuckered-out feet.   Simply being in the stadium was enough for this Belle. It was history in the making. What made it better was sitting with my Mama and Dad in Bryant-Denny stadium while they experienced their Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

    Thanks, Mama and Dad for making the trip!

    What a show, Tide fans, what a show.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh