Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dashing in Heels

I haven't blogged since October- oh no! Things have been going great with Smiling Stiletto. Tomorrow night is the huge Shimmer and Shine Shoe Ball which benefits the Accelerated Cure Project for MS. It is an event that shoe club founder Melissa started years ago and it is a lovely event. The Accelerated Cure Project does all of the work for the event. We help promote it to Smiling Stiletto members. The event is at the Liberty Hotel and it is sold out, which is great. I'm going to be one of the shoe judges. That will be fun, but I know it will be very hard to choose. There are going to be so many pairs of gorgeous shoes!

So what's been happening lately? Well, we have had some great events going on. On November 3, we had a party at Vlora in Boston which was sponsored by Marshalls. Marshalls displayed a great collection of fall shoes and boots, along with accessories and a couple of outfits. They played a 'guess the price' game and they gave away 3 great prizes to the guests who guessed the closest Marshalls price to an outfit. They gave away a beautiful cashmere scarf, designer sunglasses and a Michael Kors purse. Every guest received a Marshalls gift card and they also got an additional gift card if they filled out a survey. Instead of the usual pink carpet shoe walk-off that we do, Marshalls brought their blue carpet for the walk off and they donated a gift card for the best shoe winner. Vlora donated appetizers as well. It was so much fun- I got a ton of great feedback. I would love to work with them again.

Last month, we also participated in a style swap where guests brought clothing, accessories and shoes and got to swap the items for other fun items. I'm actually wearing the Express zip-up hoodie that I got at the swap right now. I traded a top that was cute, but I hadn't worn it in years and I got this comfy zip up which I've been wearing around the house.

I've been planning our events next year- we are going to be a lot of fun stuff. Our spring and fall fashion shows at Copley are planned for April and September. Our annual Red Shoe Soiree will be near Valentine's Day at Vlora. We will be doing our annual ladies night event at California Closets in May- and that's just the beginning. It is so much fun to come up with new shoe club events.

We have some great photos on our Smiling Stiletto FB page, you can check them out at:

Well friends, that's it for tonight. I promise to blog more frequently- there is so much to write about! Here is a great photo of some of the models from our Fall into Fashion Show, courtesy of Emily Wilson.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fashion Show Success

I can't believe I haven't blogged since August! It has been busy times over here- we had our first Smiling Stiletto fashion show at Copley Place on September 22. It was a big success! One of our shoe club members Christine did most of the organizing, she did a great job. Copley Place hosted and they were very helpful in getting stores on board to showcase their fashions and setting up the stage and event area and organized really nice gift bags for all the guests. We had to cap the tickets at 125, we sold out the week before and had so many calls and emails from people who were looking for tickets. What a wonderful problem to have! Our event tied into Boston Fashion Week which helped increase attendance as well. We raised $1,800 for Project Smile and $500 for the Simon Youth Foundation which is the Copley Place charity of choice. I got Lisa Donovan from Kiss 108 to host the event. She did a great job and said so many nice things about Project Smile. The show had been going on for a few years with Hello Stiletto, this was our first time running it as a Smiling Stiletto event. I definitely want to do it again and the mall said they would like to have it again as well. We have some great photos on our Smiling Stiletto FB page and on our website. Paula Dias and Pino Domenico volunteered their time and photographed the event. I usually have to do all the event planning for Smiling Stiletto and Project Smile so it was great to have someone else who did the event planning. It is quite a bit of work to organize the fashion show. I was really happy that Christine did such a good job. Christine got Skinny Girl Margaritas on board to provide complimentary cocktails and Cameron Hughes wine. We also had Cabot Cheese, Legal Seafoods appetizers and Sweet M's Bake Shop cupcakes. I modeled in it as well- I wore Cache, Elie Tahari and BeBe. It is a lot of fun to model in the shows. We get to have our hair and make up done, then strut down the catwalk showing off our sexy clothes- what can be better than that?? In other personal shoe news- I need to get a comfy pair of attractive winter shoes that I can wear every day. I bought my very first pair of Clark's sandals this spring and I love them, but sandal weather is quickly coming to an end (I went to Niagara Falls over the weekend where sandal weather has long since disappeared). I have two pairs of shoes that I was planning on wearing as my every day winter shoes, but they are not very comfortable- I feel like I don't walk properly in them. I tried on some winter shoes at Clark's last month, but didn't find anything that felt right. I want to go back and have another look or find another comfy attractive pair of shoes which are reasonably priced. Let me know if you have suggestions please! I promise I won't take so long before blogging again. I enjoy my Smiling Stiletto blog and I'm going to write more frequently. Until next time friends..

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Party Night!

Tonight was shoe club party night! We were at McGreevy's on Boylston Street in Boston- it is the nation's oldest sports bar. We had the downstairs section to ourselves. The venue donated appetizers and they created a delicious signature cocktail for us. We had our pink carpet out and we got to debut our new Smiling Stiletto sign- which I have to admit I'm rather in love with! I had printed at Staples and I bought one of those terrific stands which folds up easily and can be carried around in a little bag. The sign has our logo and tagline "Do your shoes make you smile?" and our website. Now that we have our new logo, website, business cards, signs- it feels official.

It is funny how different it is from just attending shoe club events to organizing events. It is two very different experiences. I've loved coming to shoe club events since my very first one in 2007- it was fun hanging out, showing off my shoes- I even won prizes a couple of times, meeting people- I'm met one of my closest friends at Shoe Club. I never imagined that one day I would take over the group. I love organizing our events now. I enjoy the planning, contacting venues and creating the vision for the party. I don't particularly mind the work of sending out the email invitations. Of course, the events themselves are the best part- it is fun to greet members, chat with everyone and check out the fabulous shoes. My favorite part is taking photos and then just taking a minute and looking around and seeing everyone enjoying themselves- that makes me very happy. The pink carpet walk-off is always a blast to watch and then it is great to see how happy the girls are who win prizes. On the other side is that there is pressure with every event- you want to create a fun event and get a good turnout- not only for the shoe club's sake, but also so that the venue is happy and wants to have you back. As the host, you want to greet everyone and make sure that members feel comfortable. You want to introduce people to each other, especially new members. Then there is also the logistics of getting to the venue ahead of time, dropping off the pink carpet and other items, parking, then setting up so everything is ready for start time. It doesn't sound like a lot and compared to the date auction and other events, it isn't much work- but there definitely is a certain amount of pressure associated with running the events.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. It is 1am and I am off to bed. I posted photos on our Smiling Stiletto Facebook page, they will be on our website soon too. Until next time..

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Little Girl with Shiny Red Shoes

This blog has got me thinking about my life in shoes, particularly about my earliest shoe memories. One memory that stands out is when I begged my dad to buy me a pair of shiny red patent shoes. I don't remember how old I was- probably around 7 or 8. I don't remember what store he bought them in, probably Ann & Hope. But I remember trying them on in the store and my dad pressing down on the shoes where my toes were, trying to see if the shoes were big enough. The shoes were definitely too small, but I wanted them so badly that I told my dad they felt fine. I think he knew they were too small because he kept asking me, even when we got home and I was trying them on again, but I kept insisting they fit perfectly. I remember standing next to my bed and looking down and admiring my adorable red shiny shoes. I remember how they pinched my toes, but I ignored it- all for fashion! They were just simple flats, I don't remember them having a bow or anything, but they were shiny and red. The funny thing is that I don't remember wearing them very often, probably because they were too small!

I don't remember a pair of shoes that I had in elementary school that I thought were super cool. Before I describe them- remember this was the late eighties, actually it might have been 1990, since it could have been 5th grade. I had a pair of silver tennis sneakers which had glitter all over them. Oh, how I loved those sneakers! I remember sitting on the floor in gym class (which I always despised), my legs stretched out in front of me and I was quietly admiring my glitter tennis shoes. It made gym class almost OK because I could run around in my favorite shoes! I even got compliments from the other kids on my sneakers, which was something because I always dressed differently from the other kids and was not exactly known as one of the 'cool kids'.

Well, that's it for my shoe stories for tonight. It's fun trying to remember the shoes of my childhood! Until next time...

Monday, August 8, 2011

My First Heels

I would love to start collecting shoe stories- stories of women and their relationships with their shoes! So I'm starting with my shoes. My father bought me my very first pair of high heels when I was around ten years old. I might have been younger, I'm not sure. I don't remember if we were at a shoe store in the North Dartmouth mall or at the now departed store Ann & Hope, near where we lived. We were looking at shoes for me and I spotted a pair of light gray heels in my size. My dad said that it was about time I learned to walk in heels and he bought them for me. I don't remember how high the heels were- they probably weren't very high, but they were definitely the highest heel I had ever owned. Before that, I would clomp around in my mother's high heels when I played dress up. I was so happy to have the new shoes. I don't remember ever actually wearing them out in public, but I would definitely parade around the house, very proud of my grown up shoes!

One of the shoe memories that stands out the most was when I was learning to tie my laces. I'm not sure how old most kids are when they master the art of tying their shoes, but I have a feeling it took me longer than most kids. I remember wearing a pair of black patent leather shoes with blue laces to school. I was going to school in Providence, RI at the time- we had recently moved from London, I was around 6 years old. We had to change into sneakers for gym class and I was terrified because that meant that I had to retie my shoe laces when I put my black shoes back on. I tried to take my shoes off without untying my laces, but that didn't work. I remember sitting on a bench, struggling to tie my shoe laces. I was getting upset and probably mortified that I couldn't tie them properly, when all of a sudden a teacher came over and knelt down in front of me and tied my shoes for me. I remember her saying how I needed to learn to tie them myself, she said it in a nice way though. I was so grateful for her help. I probably did learn to tie my shoes soon after that. I'll always remember sitting on the bench, leaning over, trying to get them tied and help miraculously arriving- I can still remember the relief I felt, all these years later.

Well, this is the start of my shoe stories. I want to start hearing your stories too! We are going to have a section on our website where people can share. I think it would be wonderful to hear about women and their shoes! Until next time..

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Busy Days

It has been an exciting month! Our new logo is done and our new website is up and running! A friend of mine designed the logo and another friend, Gina Roberts designed our website for us. They both did awesome jobs. I love our new logo and our web site is great. Check them out at

I've even been learning how to do some of the basic updates myself. I have been using Constant Contact's new event marketing service and that has been great for sending out event invitations and also creating a stand-alone event details page which can be linked from any website. We are having a fashion show at the Copley Place Mall on September 22, tonight I created the event details page, it also has a link for people to purchase tickets. The proceeds of the event are going to Project Smile, the non profit organization that I run. A portion is also going to the Simon Youth Foundation.

We had a great event at Splash last month. We had an awesome turnout and we had a DJ there who did a really great job, particularly when the ladies were walking on the pink carpet. The energy level was so high. We had complimentary appetizers and complimentary Stoli cocktails. My friend Michelle also debuted her new cupcake business at the event and provided samples.

Well, there is lots more to talk about, but it is after midnight and I'm getting tired. I will update much sooner than I did last time!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Welcome to the Smiling Stiletto Blog! We are starting a new phase and I wanted to share our stories here. Smiling Stiletto is a relaunch of an organization that was founded in 2004 by Melissa O'Shea- the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club. Hello Stiletto was a social organization for women who love shoes. The organization grew over the years to over 10,000 members with local chapters across the country. In Boston, we have almost 3,000 members alone. I joined Hello Stiletto in 2007 after reading an article in the Boston Globe. Over the years, I went to many great events and met a lot of wonderful people, including one of my closest friends. Melissa moved to Atlanta last year and in January I took over planning events in Boston for Hello Stiletto. I wanted to keep the group going- it was too much fun to let it disappear.

Melissa decided to reduce her role and step back from running Hello Stiletto except for the Atlanta Chapter. We decided in May to rebrand the group and that's where things stand now. I'm in the middle of a rebranding. Hello Stiletto is becoming Smiling Stiletto. I registered our new domain name. My website host who runs my work website, Project Smile, created a Smiling Stiletto email address for me. I have a friend who is working on our new logo and another friend is designing a free website for us. I started a new Smiling Stiletto Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. I already started using the new Constant Contact event marketing service to promote our Shoe Club parties- the response has been great. We haven't officially informed our members of the rebranding yet, but I'm gradually incorporating some of the changes. I'm waiting until our new website and logo is ready before we send out the official email announcing the change. I'm still planning the same fun events that we always used to do, so that isn't changing at all.

Well, that's it for now. I will be posting again soon!