We expected to have a fabulous time, to sip bubbles, shop, catch up on gossip and gorge ourselves on sugary treats and delicious cab-laden morsels. But we weren’t prepared for the “epiphany” moment. No, that wasn’t promised on the website.
First stop. Shopping. The Stamford Plaza was transformed into a ‘Portobello Road” themed marketplace. Frocks, accessories, makeup, skin care, cup cakes, massages, hair care, swimwear, lingerie … you name it, it was there to drool over and be purchased. Sigh.
We had our hands massaged, Genine played with fake boobs and considered implants (seriously!), we “sampled” (maybe a couple of) Skinnygirl cocktails and Lindauer bubbles, we discovered drinkable collagen (we kid you not!), we tried on kaftans, watched knots get painlessly combed out of seriously knotty hair and we channeled our inner bower bird, spending far too much time transfixed on shiny, sparkly accessories.
A little overwhelmed, we did what all girls do (or should do) when needing a break from shopping – hit the bar. Two bubbles please! We had a bit of time to kill before our official high tea sitting and wanted to debrief. Yes, yes, it was lovely and girly and fabulous and decadent, but we quickly realised it was something else too – bloody inspiring.
Slipping ever so slightly into work mode, we nattered on about how amazing all these women are – small business owners just like us who are following their dreams. As women we don’t stop to give ourselves, or one another, a pat on the back often enough. We’re too busy being busy. Ladies, we should share, support and nurture one another. That’s what our Alli & Genine world is all about – inspiring, learning, sharing and supporting.
So, instead of banging on about the mini sandwiches (heavenly, by the way), melt-in-your-mouth scones and teeny weeny sweets, which were all divine, we thought we’d give a shout out to some of the amazing women we met. We haven’t been paid to promote these businesses, in fact these women don’t even know we’re doing this! We just thought it was right to “pay it forward”.
Frankie and Nicole: Nicole is a gorgeous Gold Coast gal who has designed a range of stunning lingerie and sleepwear. She is vivacious, passionate and clearly talented. www.frankieandnicole.com
IMAROCKSTAR kaftans: Alli was in kaftan heaven! Jan and her girls were a barrel of laughs and we had a stack of fun playing with her “fresh off the boat” kaftans that just made it to Brisbane. Jan even designed the fabrics herself. (Phone 02 9550 5005 or click here for more info)
Sistaco Jewellery: Wow! Not only is the Sistaco range both stunning and affordable, their mission is to help women everywhere, so they don’t take a profit! Everything they earn goes towards helping women’s charities. A noble cause and a fabulous range. www.sistaco.com.au
Skinnygirl Cocktails: Yes, we bang-on about them a bit, and not just because they are low cal and we love to guzzle them. We love Skinnygirl because it was created by a chick who lives and breathes our “real, raw and honest” mantra, Bethenny Frankel (from Real Housewives of New York City fame). Bethenny is hilarious, successful, savvy and stunning and she built this global brand from scratch. Cheers, Bethenny. www.skinnygirlcocktails.com
Million Dollar Woman: This isn’t a small business, but it’s a brand that seems to really care about women. And we’re all about the sisterhood! Their insurance is designed just for women – they get what we need. This isn’t an ad – we’re being honest here – we should all have insurance. How would you look after your kids if you suddenly became incapacitated? Worth checking out www.milliondollarwoman.com.au.
This is just the tip of the inspirational iceberg. I wish we could give a shout-out to all the wonderful women at the event, but we do have to wrap-up this post sooner or later. Head to www.thehighteaparty.com.au to check them all out.
While you’re there, if you’re from Sydney or Melbourne you should seriously book tickets for these events asap. As the slogan says, it’s a gorgeous excuse to catch up with your girlfriends, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a fabulous way to support and celebrate the sisterhood. Oh and Alison Dean, snaps to you for creating such a beautiful, girly world. See you next year!
Alli & Genine