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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

     

     

  • Belles In Biz: Annabelle Laroque Babcock, Designer of Laroque

    Sep 16, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, South Carolina, Southern Women

    Annabelle Babcock knows hard work. With what started as a sewing project of dresses and skirts for friends and family turned into a local–and now national– success, nearly over night.  But don’t let Annabelle’s laid back first impression fool you.  This Belle is a design and business women force to be reckoned with. Certainly someone to take note of.    After all, trading in the corporate world for a sewing kit isn’t generally the opening line to a success story, but in the case of Annabelle Babcock and the Laroque label, success was inevitable thanks to the drive and dedication from the South Carolina native. 

    Meet Annabelle.  You–and your wardrobe– will be glad you did. 

    Name:  Annabelle Laroque Babcock

    Name of Biz:  Laroque

    SEC Team:  South Carolina… but slowly learning to pull for Clemson… I married a Clemson fan.

    Explain your role:  I am the owner and designer here at LaRoque in Columbia, SC.  I run a retail shop where we only sell LaRoque pieces. I also design two wholesale collections each year that are shown at the Atlanta market. 

    How long have you been in this role? 8 years.

    Most challenging part of your biz?: The most challenging part of my career is managing a balance between my personal and professional life. Now that I am a wife and a mother I have to delegate more.  Before I wore many hats and now I try to focus on design. 

    Most rewarding?: The most rewarding part of my career is when I see someone truly happy in a piece that I have created. There are so many talented designers in the world, when someone chooses my creation for a special event there is no greater feeling. 

    Business advice to other Belles? Have a clear goal. What do you want to create, do or help you audience with?  If you have a clear vision and passion no one can stand in your way! 

    What’s next? Expanding the wholesale collection. We’ve also started a “Mini Collection.”  (Shown here on Annabelle’s adorable daughter!)

    Favorite part about being a Gamecock fan? The best part about being a gamecock fan is living and owning a business right here in the heart of Gamecock country. Being in Columbia during the fall is so much fun! Everyone is so excited to cheer on the gamecocks; the energy that football season brings is unmatched.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Fried chicken from Lizards Thicket! 

    Game day drink of choice? Rum and coke.

    What do you always have in your touch down purse? Always a camera.  I have so much fun capturing all of the tailgate and garnet moments on a game day. The best part is when I spot another fan in one of my pieces! 

    What do you wear on game days?  Can’t go wrong with a flow silk top–or our Ivy Top (below) and a pair of skinny jeans.

    Heads or Tails: Heads

    Coach Crush? My all time favorite coach is Ray Tanner. He was our baseball coach and led the Gamecocks to the national championship several times. He is now the athletic director here at USC. I really admire his loyalty to the Gamecock and South Carolina. (Pictured here)

    Who wins it all this year? The Gamecocks of course! Well, or maybe Clemson!

    Don’t miss out on seeing  all the game day outfits—and much more–that Annabelle has created for Laroque and stores near you!

    Website,  Facebook , Twitter,  Instagram

  • Gridiron Belles + Stella and Dot = Trunk Show and GiveAways

    Aug 7, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Southern Belles, Southern Women, Stella And Dot

    28 days…Can you feel it? College football season is just around the corner and if you are anything like the team at GB, you’re already scooping up the perfect game day outfits and accessories.  It is never too early to prepare for Saturdays in Dixie!

    When I saw this adorable “WDE” charm on my friend Katie’s Instagram (More about Katie below in Belles in Biz), I had to tell all of the Gridiron Belles about it. AND DO A GIVEAWAY!

    Think she’ll only make these necklaces for Auburn fans?  Think again! She’s a true Gridiron Belle who knows that every team should look good during football season–see your team’s options below. You have your pick of necklaces, charms and ID tags for your team and she’ll personally help you customize your order.  We’ve even included other jewelry and accessory suggestions for your game day wardrobe— looks like the designers at Stella and Dot love the SEC….

    How do you get your order for your team before kickoff?  Head to the Gridiron Belles Trunkshow to order yours.  OR, you can win our “repost competition” and receive an ID tag for free!*

    Orders ship within 3-5 days so you’ll have it in time for kick off. The combinations are endless for the SEC nation, order yours today!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    *Giveaway simple details:

    • Be the Gridiron Belle who reposts our Instagram picture of the charms more times than anyone else (@GridironBelles) #GridironBellesGiveaway
    • Or share our blog link on Facebook  more times than anyone else and we’ll send your customized team ID tag. 
    • Be sure to submit your name and e-mail address to our “contact” page so we can get a hold of you!
    • Giveaway begins Friday, August 7 and ends at midnight, August 21.
    • Shop here!  

     

     

     

     

    As promised, here is a little more info on our fellow Belle in Biz, Katie, the Belle behind creating the SEC items above!

    Name: Katie Lewis

    Team: Auburn Tigers

    Graduated from: Auburn University ‘06

    Biz:  Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot

    How did you get your start?

    I read the mission of Stella and Dot after a trunk show my mama attended, “To give every woman the means to style her own life…we have a vision of the world where strong women live bold and joyful lives. They know what they want and they work for it.” I signed up the next week, no regrets.

    And Now…?:

    I represent S&D’s line of jewelry and accessories, selling through in-home trunk shows and online through my personal website. I decide when and where to sell and how much time I want to invest in the business. I’m a party planner, fashion consultant and gifting guide. 

    Business advice to other Belles?

    Dream big. Like REALLY BIG! Figure out your “why” and then pursue it fearlessly – every day. Make a plan and take action; consistency and confidence will be key to your success. Remind yourself of your “why” every morning, then live it, love it, work it until it becomes reality.

    Favorite part about being an Auburn fan?

    Without a doubt, our game day traditions:  The eagle flying over Jordan-Hare Stadium before the game. Rolling Toomer’s Corner after a victory.  Mama G’s sandwiches and sweet tea.  I could go on…

    Favorite tailgate dish?

    Deviled eggs and pulled pork sandwiches.

    What do you always have in your touch down purse?

    My  touchdown purse is an orange Waverly Petite from Stella and Dot… it holds all my game day essentials:

    • Orange & Blue shaker
    • Scarlet & Gold face tattoos
    • Lip gloss
    • Sunglasses
    •  Cell phone to Instagram my favorite moments and outfits from the day

    Coach Crush? I’m on the “Gus Bus,” 100 percent. Talented, smart and confident in his signature game day attire.  What’s not to love?

    Who wins it all this year? Auburn, of course. War Eagle!

    Shop away, Belles!  We hope you’re the winner!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • We’re baaaackkk!

    Aug 2, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, SEC, SEC Football, Serious Football, Southern Belles, Southern Tailgating, Southern Women

    What an off-season!
     
    It’s been a tremendously action packed off-season full of travels, Triple Crown winners, coaches-musical-chairs, coordinator hires, and SEC-themed weddings. Alas, it’s time to re-submerge ourselves into the glory of the fall and the highly anticipated SEC football season.
     
    This year brings new things to Gridiron Belles and we couldn’t be more excited.  What you can expect on the blog this season:


    MONDAYS: Outfits, Recipes and Tailgates, Oh My!
     
    You can never plan your outfit or tailgate menu too early.  Mondays will give you ideas of outfit suggestions, our favorite recipes, interesting SEC sightings or recent photos of Gridiron Belles tailgating around the SEC. This gives you all week to wrangle what you need and to be inspired by what’s going on around you. 
     
    If you have a favorite game day recipe you want to share, by all means, send it in and we’ll test it out!

    WEDNESDAYS: Serious Football.  
     
    We’ll post the weekend’s match-ups, schedules and why in the world it’s important for you to watch, or not watch, the gridiron grit that weekend. 

    FRIDAYS: Belles in Biz.  
     
    We know that there is more to us Belles than being great on Saturdays. We are smart, motivated, talented and successful in a million ways outside of tailgating and being able to call plays for coaches.  Here at Gridiron Belles, we celebrate strong women and want to highlight the Gridiron Belles in Business around the south.  
     
    If you, or someone you know has started their own company, has made a difference in the community, or is otherwise pretty awesome, we want to hear about her!  Drop us a line about her and we’ll feature her success story.
     
    Note, you want to pay attention to Fridays, because sometimes these are going to be accompanied by product giveaways! See instructions on how to win on each individual post.

    As always, keep up with our whereabouts and going ons via Instagram: @GridironBelles, Twitter: @GridironBelles and Facebook:  Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie.
     
    We always look forward to hearing from you so don’t be a stranger, you hear?!
     
    Xs and Os,
     
    Christie Leigh
     
     
  • Football Season Wedding Planning

    Aug 27, 2014 CATEGORIES: Football weddings, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Women

    Dress shopping on a NON-GAMEDAY is the only way to go! *This is my picture, but not my dress. Said dress will likely be found in Chicago while Muschamp battles it out against Saban. Sigh.

    There is an entire chapter in Gridiron Belles about why a Bride and Groom should pass on hosting a fall wedding.  There are also a few pages about how to pull off a fabulous fall wedding should the chosen date be during football season. 

    What was not anticipated or written about was how PLANNING your wedding should not take place during football season! 

    Being recently proposed to by and Alabama graduate and fan,  we immediately agreed that all fall dates were off limits for our nuptiuals.  A nice April date had been set leading me to believe I was in the clear with any of my wedding (or planning) interfering with the gridiron.  Ha.

    An excited mother of the bride wanted to take a trip to Chicago to dress shop . No (initial) problem there.  The flights were booked, the appointments were made when I was reminded by the aforementioned fiancé that that was the FL v BAMA game in Tuscaloosa. Which apparently we had decided to go to.  

    I immediately switched into event planner mode and looked at the second available date to switch everything. Miss the South Carolina at Kentucky game?  Beholdn in the Windy city was worth it…  What? That’s the same weekend that Alabama heads to Oxford for a battle of brawns versus beauties?  What had I done?!?!?  I was between a rock and a hard place and knew immediately that weddings AND planning must be scheduled around kickoffs.

    I’ve learned my lesson the hard way, but either way I slice it I’m missing a match up I’d rather not.  So, when the lovely mother of the bride asked for my entire Saturday this weekend to plan a day far off in April, I had to hold my ground (as I suggest all of you engaged Belles to do…). She can have all of Sunday, even Friday night… but the only time I’m giving up on the inaugural Saturday is  between 12-3pm… After College GameDay and before Alabama game kicks off an entire day of gridiron bliss!

    Plan accordingly, belles.  Happy Season!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

     

  • Order the 2nd Edition of Gridiron Belles

    Sep 4, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Atlanta, Auburn v Georgia, BCS Championship Game, Football weddings, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Heisman Trophy, Lilly Pulitzer and Gridiron Belles, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Southern Women, Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    My dearest Gridiron Belle:

    Football season has arrived and with impeccable timing, we just launched our highly-anticipated campaign for the 2nd edition of Gridiron Belles! ( You can go ahead and back the project here.)

    With an overdue welcome to Mizzou and TX A&M to the SEC, I needed to add their chapters and some photos of their tailgates and traditions.  While I was at it––to keep it a second edition and  not an entirely new book–– I went ahead and added new belle photos, quotes, outfit suggestions and updated some unique tailgate ideas among other things. (It’s easy to pre-order, here, now)

    So here is how this works:  This kickstarter campaign is the only way for you to get a copy of the new book. If this isn’t a success, no one gets a copy, so be sure to spread the word.   We recommend telling all of your sorority sisters, bridesmaids, boyfriends, friends you tailgate with and gridiron-loving family members. Heck, go ahead and order a few for yourself so you have hostess gifts on stand-by.  Either way, y’all asked for more books, so here they are! You’ll be the first to have a copy of the fall’s must-reads and I guarantee you’ll understand the game of football when you’re finished reading! 

    Thanks in advance for your support; can’t wait to see you at the next tailgate!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Go ahead, order!

     

     

     

     

  • Mid-Week-Inspiration

    Jan 23, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Women

     

     

  • No Green Thumb Necessary

    Nov 16, 2012 CATEGORIES: SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Southern Women

    I was most definitely born without the green thumb. In fact I don’t even have a green pinky.  So I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of plants that I absolutely cannot kill; cacti and flowers that are already dead.

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve forgone the traditional attempt of arranging a live bouquet for the feast and have started working on a new type of display of “survivors.”  Here is my inspiration!


    What a beautiful bouquet made of floral and cacti, the perfect balance between blossoming flowers and green succulents

    The perfect place to display a dangerous plant? Behind the safety of a glass bell jar.

    Dried roses, lavender, and wheat give off such a gorgeous rustic feel…this makes me want to have a country barn wedding

    If I ever desired to build a table for the outside and stuff it with cacti, this is exactly how I’d do it.

    And lastly, I will be bringing something of this variety to my hostess for this weekend’s game day party and to my host over the holidays!

     

    Written by Gridiron Belles intern, Brittany Frederic, of Ole Miss.  

  • Come on in, it’s fall, y’all!

    Oct 18, 2012 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Women


    Being a hostess requires opening your home and letting the ones you care about be a part of your life. Making them comfortable and letting them know they are welcome are all requirements of the job. And unfortunately as fall grows closer and football games require cardigans and boots, houses begin to close their screen doors and turn off the porch ceiling fans. Therefore as the seasons change so does the meaning of the words “come sit a spell.”

    Sitting a spell now requires a hot toddy instead of cold sweet tea and a warm fire instead of a paper fan. Fall weather essentials require quite a familiarity of the cozy feeling one receives from cuddling under a thick knit blanket. And as being a hostess most certainly changes from season to season, here are some favorite fall tidbits to make a guest feel a little more comfortable.

    Learning to make Banana bread (the Paula Dean way)

    Covering the couches with something soft and squishy

    Game day chili

    Lighting candles that smell of coffee and magnolia trees

    Making a flawless hot toddy

    Wreathes made from oak leaves and pomegranates

    Pumpkin spice lattes steaming from a mug

    A small fire filling the house with warmth

    Cashmere socks

    Urns filled with chrysanthemums, late dahlias and sunflowers

    Team colored blankets during the game

    A watch party menu filled with warm soup, crusty bread, and lots of pumpkin

     

    Written by Gridiron Belles intern, Brittany Fredrick, of Ole Miss

  • Tips Every Seasoned Tailgater Should Know

    Sep 25, 2012 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Lilly Pulitzer and Gridiron Belles, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Southern Women

    The queen of hosting, Emily Post, once said, “If you know any one who is beguiling and amusing, you will, if you are wise, do everything you can to make him prefer your house and your table to any other; for where he/she is, the successful party is also.” This is not only true for being a hostess of the home, but can guarantee that wherever your tailgate location, you’ll be the most popular around!

    We are sharing some of the tailgating tips that have helped us learn the Do’s and Don’ts of having a fabulous time preparing to cheer on your collegiate team.

    1. Do invite all of your friends—tailgates are not the time to be exclusive. The more the merrier—especially on game day!
    2. Don’t block the road for other cars or pedestrians. Keep those clear for everyone else trying to tailgate and enjoy the game.
    3. Do have a great play list of songs. You want it to include some 90’s jams, a few slow dance songs, crowd pump-up songs, and a lot of songs people know all the words to (Visit SoLeagueMag for their game day playlist)!
    4. Don’t bother other tailgaters around you. Keeping your games of cornhole, football tossing, and chair set-ups within your allotted space will allow everyone to have a great time.
    5. Do plan food. The worst tailgates are the ones where the food has run out. Plan on feeding your crowd, plus any unexpected guests that they might have!
    6. Don’t intimidate other team fans. The occasional jest is OK, but stick to cheering FOR your team!
    7. Do remember that the goal is to make it to the game. Tailgates are a great pre-game tradition, especially in the South. But you also want to be able to cheer your team on once the game starts. Remember there would be no tailgate without a game!
    8. Don’t make your tailgate hard to find. If you’re inviting new tailgaters or people unfamiliar with the area, give them directions that are straightforward and easy to understand.
    9. Do get there early enough to park, get the grill going and catch up. Traffic is tough on game days!

    10. Don’t forget your tailgate essentials. Pop-up tents, tables, cutlery, sound systems, chairs and your spread are all things you’d

    hate to forget at home!

    Add these to your existing list for game days and you’ll be hosting a national championship tailgate in no time!

    Post was written by SouthernLeague and Gridiron Belles guest writer, Katie Rudder, of LetsBePreppy.com

     

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