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  • Rival Week: The Belles in the Biz of ShopPop

    Nov 25, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Outfits, SEC Football, Southern Women

    Rival Week usually results in fewer phone calls between divided familes; more taunting texts between otherwise amicable friends and certainly divides states right down the Navy and Crimson line. At least in Alabama.   Gridiron Belles loves a good rivalry as much as the next fan, but what Gridiron Belles loves even more is two women, graduates of rival universities, starting their own business, and finding a way to still be able to communicate during the Iron Bowl.

    Randall Copeland (University of Alabama graduate) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn University graduate) both grew up in the great state of Alabama and remained dear friends throughout college, despite their rival colors on game day.  Post graduation, both Randall and Anne Morgan started full-time careers but could not deny the entrepreneurial draw of creating a one-of-a-kind mobile fashion business.  Their story  (and their “style boxes”) are what Belles in Biz’ dreams are made of: A dream, the passion to make it succeed and a little rivalry on Saturdays!

    Below, they tell us the key to success, what to wear on game day and how they manage to speak to one another during the Iron Bowl (only during commercials of course.)

    Name of Biz:  ShopPop

    The Belles in the Biz:  Randall Copeland (Alabama) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn)

    Explanation of your Biz—tell us how it works!:

    ShopPop is a “mobile” boutique without a brick and mortar store. We sell our merchandise through a pop-up shop experience {trunk shows} and  create “style boxes” that we send to clients—locally and across the south. We launched our website {www.shoppopmobile.weebly.com} in April of this year, and now our merchandise is also available for purchase through our site.

    How did you get your start?

    Randall: Our love for shopping and fashion inspired us to start a business as a way to expand the scope of brands available to the women around us. We wanted to offer customers a unique shopping experience with high-quality, stylish, yet affordable clothing.

    AM: I have always loved fashion and styling. I graduated in Apparel Design and worked in NYC as a designer as well. This taught me a lot about business and retail. Randall and I started ShopPop in April 2013 after the idea came to us while standing in my kitchen. The next week we found ourselves applying for a business license.

    How do you all split up responsibilities?

    Anne Morgan lives in Birmingham and Randall is in Mobile so this has been a tricky part of our business. We are both responsible for selling and we both set up trunkshows in our corresponding cities. It has been nice being able to widen our customer base and touch more clients.

    How does a not so friendly gridiron rival work in a very friendly work environment?  Do you speak to each other on Iron Bowl Day?

    Randall: We keep it light. Of course I want Alabama to win, but at the end of the day, it’s a football game and life goes on. Our relationship is way more important.

    AM:We both love sports but neither one of us would let football get in between our work. I think we love clothes more. 

    Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding?

    Randall: There are not enough hours in the day! Juggling a full time job, ShopPop and life in general – it can be hard to fit it all in sometimes.  But Nothing makes me happier than seeing a customer in a ShopPop outfit feeling confident and beautiful.

    AM: The most rewarding part of my job is the smile on a clients face when you make them see how pretty they are. I think everyone is beautiful but not everyone sees himself or herself that way. My life verse and motto has always been, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made declares the Lord” Psalm 139:14 and I truly believe that about everyone.

    What’s one thing your biz would not survive without?

    Randall: Social media. Instagram has been a godsend!  (follow them here!)

    AM: Our customers. We have the best customers and are blessed to call most of them friends. Our friends and family have continued to support us and we couldn’t ask for better loved ones.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction?

    AM: Fact. I think it is very important to have boundaries with work. It can be so fun and challenging some days but to excel in business I believe you need to also live. I am inspired by so many people outside of work that make me better at what I do.

    Business/career advice to other Belles?

    Randall: Do what you love. If you are passionate about something, go for it, because people are great at what they love. Maximize opportunities and make your own momentum. Follow your instincts, stay positive and surround yourself with good people.

    AM: Never be afraid to fail. Having fear can only hold you back. Learn that failure can be a positive thing. It only makes you stronger and teaches you what not to do. Most successful people have failed at LEAST once.

    Favorite part about being an Alabama/Auburn fan? 

    Randall: Game Day in Tuscaloosa! Tailgating, meeting up with friends at Gallette’s, the energy of Bryant Denny Stadium… being in the middle of it all is so exciting. I enjoy watching football, and the years I was in school at UA were some of the very best, so it’s hard not to love it.

    AM: The community and family feel that the Auburn campus has. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help others.

    What do you wear on game day?

    Randall: Skinny jeans or leggings, boots and a silk top. If it’s cold, I’ll layer with a fitted jacket or fur vest.

    AM: Orange is honestly not my best color – I cant say that I even wear team colors…don’t judge me !

    What do most of your clients request to wear for game days? Is that a good choice?

    Randall: Slouchy sweaters, silk tops, and basic “throw on and go” dresses. I think any of these options are perfect for game day – you feel comfortable and still look cute. These styles are also easy to layer for games on colder days.

    AM: Most of our clients request something solid in their team color. For example, Crimson or Navy are probably the biggest sellers for us. And that works.

    What do you suggest/send to your clients to help them look their best that they may not know about?

    Randall: A pair of jeans or leggings that truly flatters your figure will always stay in style. I always advise them to actually try something on (even if it’s out of their comfort zone of usual style).  Some pieces look completely different on a hanger. 

    AM: I always think about their body type and what area they may or may not be self conscious about. Then I play that up. For example if someone is shorter I let them know that monochromatic schemes are best, color blocking is usually not your friend or if they are bigger in the bottom wearing a longer top is the best look verse something cropped.

    What fan base has the best dressed Gridiron Belles?

    Randall: To be honest, I have a bit of a houndstooth hangover, so I’m passing my style points to the UGA girls.

    AM: I have to say Ole Miss. The Mississippi girls really know how to dress for a game and they definitely have the best tailgating. Where else can you eat chicken fingers on china?

    Favorite tailgate dish? Recipe?

    Randall: I love making my way around a dip table, but if I had to choose one tailgate treat, it would be Stadium Dogs.

    AM: BLT Dip with Ritz Crackers. I could eat this all day. It is comprised of Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Bacon, Tomato, and Green Onions. Sounds bad but it really is the best!

    Game day drink of choice?

    Randall: Yellowhammers! {Gallette’s signature cocktail}

    AM: Honestly, a stadium Coca-Cola is my favorite thing in the world.

     

    What do you always have in your touch down purse?

    Randall: Lipstick

    AM: Stilla lip colour. My mother always taught me you must have color on your lips.

     Heads or Tails?

    Randall: Heads

    AM: Tails, always

    Who wins it all this year?

    AM: Well, I’ve got to say Auburn J But seriously I think Florida might pull it out for the big win!

    Randall: ALA-BAMA!

     To see what all the belles of ShopPop are up to or what the latest styles are, visit, follow and post here!

    Website, Instagram

     

     

  • Game Day Snacks: Walker’s Dip

    Oct 27, 2015 CATEGORIES: AL, Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Recipes, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating

    In 2012 I was on my first book tour and was scheduled for my first appearance in Andalusia, AL at a little place called Walker’s Business Machines.  Why I had agreed to promote the book at a business machine store was beyond me but I was young, and green, and any chance to showcase the book, I took!  Upon arrival, I was greeted by the type of people who are so sweet they give you diabetes. The red carpet was rolled out, the store promotions had been done, and the owner and staff all found time to visit with me in between signings.  Did I mention that “business machines” really meant beautiful office furniture on one side of the store and adorable home decor and game day gifts on the other?  

    Also at my signing table was an addicting dip that I’ll admit that I ate more of than the visitors. Whoops!  Which meant I couldn’t leave the signing without the recipe so Suzanne Williams wrote it down for me. (Handwritten recipes are always my favorite).

    Below are all of the instructions for Walker’s Dip.  It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s a crowd pleaser that disappears before half time. 

    Thank you, again, Walker’s and Ms. Suzanne Williams.  I’ve never forgotten about my second home in Andalusia!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Ingredients:

    1   16oz Sour Cream

    2   Packs Ranch Dressing mix

    1   Package of Hormel Bacon Bits (Must be Hormel)

    1    Package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or two heaping handfuls)

    1 Sprinkle of red pepper flakes to spice it up!

    Directions:  Combine sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese in bowl.  Once mixed, add ranch dressing. Mix again.  Serve with Freetos or a hearty chip/cracker of your choice.

     

     

  • Serious Football: Week VII

    Oct 16, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Serious Football, Vanderbilt

    The arrival of fall is evident thanks to cooler temperatures,coaches retiring mid-season and the all-season-telling pumpkin craze.  Here at Gridiron Belles, each indicator is welcomed with open arms, especially weekends chock-full of gridiron battles that have grave post-season impacts.

    In case you haven’t decided what to wear this weekend, I’ll venture to say this is one of the last weekends where long sleeves will suffice. But be warned, layering is just around the corner.  In honor of the Head Ball Coach (Steve Spurrier) retiring from South Carolina, the game of the week is Vanderbilt at South Carolina. And in case you haven’t planned the rest of your Saturday activities, I have your full schedule for tomorrow, too!  

    Go ahead and suit up in your game day best, this is what we live for!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Photo Cred @SEC on Instagram

  • Pumpkin (Muffins) Mandatory, Footballs Optional

    Oct 14, 2015 CATEGORIES: Food, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating, Tailgating

    For tailgates and watch parties, I prefer bit-size everything. It’s easier for the grab-and-gab tendencies of tailgaters and serious fans alike.

    Because it isn’t fall (or September or October) without pumpkin everything, here is a semi-healthy pumpkin treat for your next game day dish.

    Pumpkin Muffins (Footballs Optional)

    3/4 Cups of granulated sugar

    2 cups of all purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 cup vegetable oil

    4 eggs

    1 29 oz can pumpkin (or two smaller 16 oz cans)

    1 jar of Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all liquids (pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar) in large bowl, using an electric mixer until smooth and airy.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, baking soda, cinnamon).  Fold in dry ingredients and then use electric mixer to combine all ingredients until batter is smooth. 

    Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray (or if you’re using muffin papers, spray those as well).  Fill each section 3/4 full of mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (Keep an eye on these and set a timer!)

    Apply Pillsbury cream cheese icing liberally once muffins are cool.  Place pre-bought football shapes on top of iced muffins for game day festivities.

    For a heartier muffin, add one cup of chopped walnuts and or half cup of raisins.

  • 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. 

  • Serious Football: Week V

    Oct 2, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Serious Football


    Every once in a while there is a light week during the college football regular season where our entire day doesn’t have to be dedicated to the sport. This week, is not one of those weeks. So much is riding on every play of every game, you can’t afford to miss a snap, even with unranked teams.

    There is a great match-up in each time slot this week, starting at noon. Don’t miss it!

    And don’t forget that as the weather turns to fall (you know that quote you’ve been seeing everywhere about being thankful for Octobers?), so must your wardrobe.  Be sure to layer for the sunshine during the day and the cool breeze for the late game. And thanks to some pending hurricanes, be prepared for rain!

    Happy game day eve!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

    WEEK V

    Noon:          South Carolina @ Mizzou

    3:30 PM:    #13 Alabama  @ #8 Georgia

    4:00 PM      San Jose Sate @ Auburn

    7:00 PM      #3 Ole Miss @ #25 Florida

                            Arkansas @ Tennessee

                           Eastern Michigan @ #9 LSU

                           Vanderbilt @ MTSU

    7:30 PM       #21 MS State @ #14 Texas A&M

                             Easter Carolina @ Kentucky

     

     

     

     

  • SERIOUS FOOTBALL: Week IV

    Sep 25, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, SEC Football, Serious Football

     

    This fall weather has been nothing but welcomed.  Crisp mornings, sunny days, refreshing nights, all have me wanting time to stand still.  Alas, if time stood still we would never get to Saturdays so I’m just planning on embracing said perfect fall weather on game day, too!

    But this perfection will only last so long– take advantage of this weekend’s forecast of highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s to enjoy your tailgate and kickoff before we have to add scarves and gloves.  Layer up (or keep extra clothes in the car) and don’t forget your sunnies!  

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


    WEEK 4  KICKOFF TIMES 

    12:00 PM
    • LSU at Syracuse, Noon, ABC or ESPN
    • Southern at Georgia, Noon, SEC Network
    • UCF at South Carolina, Noon, ESPNU or ESPN2
    3:30 PM
    • Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 p.m., CBS
    4:00 PM
    • UL-Monroe at Alabama, 4 p.m., SEC Network
    7:00 PM
    • Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 7 p.m.
    • Texas A&M at Arkansas, 7 p.m.
    7:30 PM
    • Mississippi State at Auburn, 7:30 p.m.
    • Mizzou at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.
    *ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the two 7 p.m. games. SEC Network will carry the 7:30 game.
  • SERIOUS FOOTBALL: Week III

    Sep 18, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Ole Miss Football, Outfits, SEC, SEC Football

    Not sure what to wear to the game of the week this week? We’re here to help!  Any variations of these outfits will do to keep you in GridironBelle fashion. Get creative, be comfortable and wear team colors!   Don’t forget to send us your game day photos to be used in the next edition of Gridiron Belles!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

    GAME TIMES WEEK III

    We’re grateful for the SEC for putting together our weekend schedule.  Go ahead and clear your calendar… you have no where else to be that’s as important as watching this week’s match-ups!

  • Belles In Biz: Bebe Goodrich Brews Up Icebox Coffee

    Sep 9, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, New Orleans, SEC Football

    Bebe Goodrich hails from the Big Easy but knows there is nothing easy about starts-up. Founder of the smoothest iced brew in the south, Bebe gave us some strong words of encouragement of having a work-life balance and how she’s turned a hankering for the taste of home into a growing business that is in specialty stores and Whole Foods Markets throughout the south.  

    If I ever thought I was too busy to fulfill my dreams, one conversation—or a few lines of questioning—later,  had me knowing that it may take just  one idea to launch a start-up but it takes a village led by a strong belle to make it soar.   

    The Gridiron Belles order of decaf and regular is being placed for our upcoming morning tailgates.  ( You should follow our lead by ordering here.)  After all, what tastes better with grill-fried bacon and eggs than a true Southern brew to wash it down and cool you off?

    Name: Bebe Goodrich

    SEC Team: We have Alabama tickets, but I like the underdog in any game.

    Graduated From: Washington and Lee

    Name of Your Biz: Icebox Coffee (website: www.iceboxcoffee.com)

    Explanation of Your Biz:  Icebox Coffee is a handcrafted, cold-brewed coffee concentrate that’s rich in flavor. Our brewing process leaves us with a low acid, flavorful concentrate that can be diluted to make any coffee drink you can imagine or it can be used as a baking ingredient to add a coffee flavor to any dish.

    How did you get your start? In 2012 I went searching for the cold brew coffee I grew up with in New Orleans. When I couldn’t find something as smooth and flavorful as the coffee back home I decided to make it myself. Icebox Coffee was born.


    Most challenging part of your job?  
    Start-ups are never easy, they require a lot of non-stop hard work but every step forward is exciting.

    What is one thing your biz would not survive without? A hardworking team; I wouldn’t be here without them.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction? Fact. Business will come and go but family is forever. Three generations deep, my family has had two working parents. Each generation has turned out better than the one before it because of a great balance and shared responsibility.

    In our house, my husband Thomas shares the load. Sometimes, our boys are at work (they’re under two, so consider how smoothly that goes!) and sometimes it’s coming in on the weekends. At the end of the day, building a family and building a business are the same, it takes time, attention, and an understanding that failing on some tasks is going to happen. Just stay focused on what’s important.

    Career advice to other Belles? Never stop learning. Go to seminars and find mentors. Listen to everyone who’s willing to talk, whether they’re the bag boy at the grocery, a college intern, or a Harvard professor. Everyone has something you can apply to enhance your business and life.

    What’s next? Icebox Coffee in every home, office, and restaurant throughout the southeast for starters; then we’ll keep moving until we’re in everyone home, office, and restaurant in the country. We’ve got work to do!

    Favorite part about being an Alabama fan? Winning.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Buffalo chicken dip, but Icebox Coffee popsicles are a close second.

    Game day drink of choice? Icebox cocktails are perfect for an early game-day drink.

    RECIPE:

    Take 8ounces of coconut milk or half&half

    Add:     Two shots of Icebox

                 One shot of Tito’s Handmade Vodka

    It’s delicious and oh so easy to pack our concentrate bottle with the tailgate supplies.  (For more delicious Icebox recipes, visit Icebox on Instagram)

    What do you always have in your touch down purse? Having grown up in New Orleans I always have minis and snacks. My purse is a mobile pantry.

    Coach Crush? Tommy Tubberville (does he still coach?)

    Heads or Tails? Heads

    Who wins it all this year? Ohio State has the best chance and easiest road… so my husband told me. 

    Follow Icebox Coffee:  Instagram , Facebook, Twitter

  • Belles in Biz: Haute Threads Boutique GIVEAWAY!

    Aug 27, 2015 CATEGORIES: Arkansas, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football

    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!

    Head Belle In Charge of Haute Threads Boutique, Amber Ham, showcases one of her dresses as she cheers on her Razorbacks!

     

    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

    You can follow Haute Threads Boutique on Facebook  or order your custom dress on her website !

    Happy shopping, Belles!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

     

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