Lessons Learned from JamCon – (a.k.a. Girls’ Week Away!)

I spent a huge part of last week at the Jamberry International Conference at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.  I went with my sister-in-law, a handful of gals from our immediate team, and 5000 of my closest Jam Friends.  Here’s what I’m taking from the experience!

  • The Gaylord Texan is ENORMOUS.  It’s quite possibly the size of my hometown when I was a kid.  There was a RIVERWALK.  With a “real” river.  (Ahem – man-made.)  The picture below?  It doesn’t even show the gargantuan glass atrium, complete with bell tower, the water park, or a huge portion of the convention center.   You can work off your margarita(s) just by trying to find your room.  And that water park?  You have to take a SHUTTLE to get to it because the property is so big.
  • Gaylord Texan
    The Gaylord Texan Pic: http://www.marriott.com

    wA good lazy river is better than therapy.  We showed up after an insanely early flight out of Chicago (hat tip: United Airlines!).  I was coming off of a few manic days with my kiddos, who were beyond excited that their grandparents were watching them while I was gone and my husband was at work.  Candy-store levels of excitement.  Which means I was certifiable levels of crazy.

    But that lazy river… We stopped for lunch (nachos – see below) and immediately made our way over there.  Via hotel shuttle, because TEXAS!! After hanging on the inner tube for a few trips around, I became a normal person again.  Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my little babies to the moon and back.  And I was expecting to feel guilt-beyond-measure about being away.  The lazy river solved that one.  (Until my sis saw a couple of cute redheads that reminded her of her boys she left home, at which point we jumped back in the tubes and did our water therapy a little longer.

    Pro Tip:  If you go, there are some MAJOR jets and waterfalls going on at this attraction.  So keep your wits about you.  You’ve been warned.

Lazy River
The Gaylord Texan Lazy River Pic: http://www.Marriott.com
  • You can in fact laugh until your core muscles refuse to hold your body upright.  Hot Jam – you can take the girls to a professional event, but you can’t make them act like grown-ups.
  • Our CEO is a pretty awesome person to be leading a company filled with moms.  Most people familiar with Jamberry know that it was founded by three sisters who wanted an at-home option for no-chip manicures.  Some people even know that the husband of one of the sisters, Adam Hepworth,  is our CEO.  I had heard him speak several times via leader calls and YouTube videos on our dashboard, so I knew he came across as a very likeable and approachable person.  He and his wife have a newborn little boy, who made the trip from Utah to Dallas with them for conference.

    At one of the meetings on leadership, he was scheduled to give our presentation.  But… his wife was exhausted and occupied and the baby was asleep in his stroller.  So he did what any dad would do: He walked that kid back and forth in the stroller to keep him from waking up.  You know the drill.  Except he did it while addressing the leaders of the organization, many of whom happen to be moms.

    Check it out:

    (Photo Courtesy of S. Normand)
    (Photo Courtesy of S. Normand)
  • NACHOS.  Seriously.  If you ever go to the Gaylord, go to the Riverwalk Cantina and get the Nachos.  Wear your eating pants.  You can easily feed a couple of people with this plate of happiness.  Which is good, since the plate of happiness is kind of spendy.
  • Five-thousand women in one room learning about new products?  The loudest experience of my life.

    Re-enactment:
    “GEL POLISH!” **SQUEE**
    “NEW LACQUER COLORS” **WOOOOOOOT**
    “CATALOG REVEAL”  **YOU CAN HAVE MY FIRST BORN**

  • My team of girls is inspiring, hilarious, and down-to-earth. I just wish my sis was in the picture – but she was busy being recognized at the EXECUTIVE dinner.  Holla!
  • PaJAMaPartyA 35th birthday should be spent dancing with your girlfriends.

    Birthday Selfie Suz and Meg

  • Or standing in line to ride a bull (I cannot express how thankful I am that the line was too long for it to actually happen.) Also – Peacock Jams!

    Suz at Denim Diamonds
    How this happened: “Hey! Let’s give Suz Jamberry Punch and challenge her to ride the mechanical bull!” – The most maniacal SIL in the world
  • Liquor licenses in Texas are either extremely lax or super easy to skirt around.

TX Liquor Laws are Interesting

Mostly, I learned that I can give over control to my hubs and everything will be perfect.  It reaffirmed that my sister-in-law is my best friend and I’m so happy to be doing this with her.  I learned that total strangers can become some really amazing friends.  And that a CEO will push a sleeping baby back-and-forth in a stroller while giving an important presentation.  Because Hell hath no fury like an awakened baby.

Tuesdays are for Camping

I have never liked Tuesdays.  Mondays aren’t that bad for me – I can get motivated and excited about the week ahead.  Wednesday – half-way done with the week.  Thursdays – it’s almost Friday and the whole world posts #tbt pics.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday – no problems there.  But Tuesdays – it kind of sinks in just how far from Friday you really are.

Tuesdays are for Camping – Or Just Pretending You’re Camping.

This morning, my kiddos woke up – and immediately decided to go back to bed.  Even kids get the “Tuesdays?  No good.” situation.   Amelia took charge and in about 10 minutes, they had set up “camp cots” (couch cushions) and sleeping bags were installed and inhabited.  Amelia: “I think we really just need to go camping today.”

Kids CampingThis absolutely reminded me of the forts and tents we made out of sheets, spreading couch cushions on the floor and pretending that the floor was lava, and just filling days with pretending pretty extravagant adventures.  Made my Tuesday.  I think we’ll try and go viral with the idea  – anyone have a catchy “Let’s all go pretend camping on Tuesdays instead of being grumpy” catch prase?  Yeah, me neither.

While I was catching up on dishes and some Jamberry business, my kids were telling “ghost stories” (with no ghosts, because they’re too “scair-wy”), found a bear in a cave, and counted “consultations” (constellations), all from the comfort of the couch cushions.  And all before 8am.   Big Tuesday around here, folks!

65. 65! SIXTY-FIVE!!

When I first joined Jamberry, I swore that I was only in it for the discount and that I’d probably never actually host a party.  Then I saw that the wraps *actually worked* as much as the hype and thought, “Okay – I’ll share this with a couple of friends.”  Then those couple of friends saw that the wraps *actually worked* as much as the hype (sensing a theme?) and joined up as well.

In October, I had an fun crew of three girls on my team – my cousin, my BFF, and a close family friend.  And I thought I was a TYCOON.  For the first time in a looooong time, I was helping to lead a team of people and I felt like a true grown-up again!

65 Team Members

But this month, just eight months into this crazy gig, my team is sitting at SIXTY-FIVE women and men, and I LOVE it!  It’s so fun to see these people taking on a new role, sharing something fun that they believe in, and just supporting one another on a daily basis.  So whatever coffee, tea, or OJ you’re drinking this morning, raise a glass and help me celebrate!

Do Jamberry Nails Actually Work? | “Keep Indianapolis Beautiful” Edition

Indy Poster
http://liveinindiana.com/

I’m living outside of Chicago right now, but I grew up outside of Indianapolis.  My parents would take me and my brother into the city nearly every weekend for some kind of “adventure,” and my dad nearly ALWAYS took any way home but the highway.  So we got to see a ton of the older neighborhoods and areas of the city that you just don’t see driving down I-65.  I LOVE Indianapolis- the people, the skyline, the architecture, and most of all the pride that Hoosiers have in their communities.  So on that note…

My best friend from kindergarten until, well, now, has one of the coolest jobs I can imagine in one of my favorite places in the world.  Libby works for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIBI); the company tries to revitalize green spaces, parks, and neighborhoods through Indy using tons of local volunteers, high school students, and neighbors and encouraging them to take ownership of their own city and surroundings to help it thrive.  KIBI’s vision:

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. sees a vibrant city, with every neighborhood landscape thriving and well, and its people empowered, mobilized, and devoted toward that vision. The result: a city defined by strong neighborhoods; inspired places; and a clean, flourishing environment.

http://www.kibi.org/about-kib/who-we-are/

My friend has one of the coolest jobs; she’s the Assistant Manager of the Youth Tree Team (YTT) at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.  Libby works with high school students over the summer on the “Youth Tree Team,” taking high school students all over some of the older neighborhoods in Indianapolis, planting trees and helping clean up forgotten spaces.   Basically, she spends her days planting trees in tucked away corners of the city.  SO COOL.  This is her (and she’s actually pretty girly, despite the F-550 evidence to the contrary):

Libby the Bad Ass and the F-500.  Coming to a neighborhood near you!
Libby the Bad Ass and the F-550. Coming to a neighborhood near you!  Can we just pause for a minute and really let it sink in that this is a FIVE-Fifty?  With a FIVE as the first number.  And a trailer hooked up to the truck.

So – this awesome person just tried Jams for the first time in December, not exactly tree-planting season.  This weekend was one of the first that involved being on the job in a major way.  She has been saying for months that this would be the “true test” for Jamberry Nail wraps – and whether the Jams live up to everything I claim about them. 🙂   For a little extra sparkle, she wore her all-time favorite Jams, “Midnight Celebration,” for the occasion. So, without further ado….

Jams WIN!  Jams WIN!
Jams WIN! Jams WIN!

The result:

AMAZING!!!  Okay – check that out – over a week into her manicure AND a day spend planting trees.  No chips, no scratches, no lifting edges.  Verdict?  Yes, Jamberry Nail wraps actually work! And I love that while LIbby is off helping the amazing city of Indianapolis thrive and be beautiful, she’s looking on-point and sassy with the cutest nails to ever grip the wheel of an F-550.

Love the look?  Midnight Celebration has been one of the top-sellers since it was released! Click here to see it! 

Local to Indy?  Check this out! Youth Tree Team | Keep Indianapolis BeautifulKeep Indianapolis Beautiful.