Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LBDC Is Blowing Through The Gulf States

The Little Black Dress Club train continues its way around the US. Our latest chapter is in the Gulf States and being led by Tyra Brown. Read on to learn about Tyra and see all the fun she has in store for her new chapter.

I was on a mission for about a year to find a women's only social club that had a national presence.  After extensive research via Internet, word of mouth and through my travels I came across the Little Black Dress Club
The LBDC platform met the goals and mission I'd envision for a club. It offered a great foundation for women to connect and share common interest. After that massive gulf coast storm a lot of women, including myself, were so busy rebuilding and realigning our lives until we'd gotten used to the hamster wheel of going through our daily routine and put our social needs to the side. LBDC sparked my interest as a great way to have those girlfriend round tables, support network and add FUN back into our busy schedules.
I love the gulf coast because of its diversity. There's a wonderful blend of cultural that keeps me intrigued. It's very European in some areas and others just down home southern living at its best. Every woman needs a girlfriend. And I feel the LBDC in our Gulf States will become that hub to create long lasting friendships. 
Our goal is to have at least awesome events each month; one hosted in Louisiana and one in Mississippi. We want to make an impact in our community so our focus will be on volunteerism opportunities and community initiatives at least once per quarter. We will enjoy wine tastings, cooking classes, painting with a twist, cultural driven activities; especially a few of our famous festivals, as well as an annual international trip such as a cruise. 
As for me personally, I try to walk by faith and not by sight. Early in my career I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Jimmy Buffett's mother, Mary Loraine "Peets" Buffett, prior to her death.  I fell in love with her easy going attitude and more so her philosophy of life.
-Read often, including the classics.
-Accept everyone for who they are, not for what they do.
-Be well traveled.
-Learn to be a listener.
-Live by the sea.
-Listen to your spirit and find joy.
-Education, like money, doesn’t make you happy or successful, but it sure helps.
-Love and family are the best things.
I have so many favorite quotes from being an avid reader but my top pick is one by Mahatma Gandhi; “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
The importance of enjoying life as if it’s your last moment and the equal importance of advancement in knowledge and growth in understanding is very powerful to me.
I enjoy traveling and indulging in the entire cultural experience especially the music, food and arts. Reading and painting is my go to when I cannot feed my travel bug.  I love to meet new people as it always opens up new adventures. 
I look forward to serving the Gulf Coast as their director and welcome feedback & suggestions from all. Make sure you follow us on our Facebook page by clicking here.
Here's to new lifelong friendship....Cheers!
~Tyra Brown
Gulf States Director, LBDC


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Home, New Friends

I've moved twice in the last year and a half. The first time, I moved to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. I hiked, skied, sailed, and kayaked. I was outside every day and I LOVED IT! What I didn't love was my nearly non-existent social life. Yes, I had plenty of weekend visitors who came out from DC. I made a couple of friends sailing and hiking and I did the online dating thing, but it wasn't enough. My second move was a recent one to New Bern in coastal North Carolina. My sister lives here, so it was an obvious choice. I closed on a small house in a military neighborhood about 40 miles from Atlantic Beach at the end of May.

Some background- I work remotely. Moving out of the Washington, DC area where I was born, raised, and spent the last 10 years of my life was a (relatively) easy decision. Paying DC prices just doesn't make sense at this point. Also, most of my friends have transitioned into relationships and having children, so I was at a point of needing to revitalize my social life, anyway. Also, I'm an introvert. Even my close friends are shocked by this. I excel at being alone. I go to movies and dinner by myself regularly. I have bazillions of projects around the house that are constantly in various states of completion. I am much happier being alone than is probably healthy. I think I'm better at change than most people, but change is difficult. So is making new friends. I'm keen not to rely on my sister for a social life here. She's been gracious in inviting me to a few outings and I've attended some. I try to accept all offers- within reason.

Despite my introverted nature, I will make small talk with just about anyone- particularly when they start the conversation. Years ago I read Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People. I highly recommend it. It turned me into a much better conversationalist than I ever thought possible.

One day a few weeks ago, I was at the beach with a guy I met on Match (no, I'm not good at online dating either - I get cold feet at the last minute and wonder why I'm torturing myself). While waiting for the shower, a woman commented on a dress I was wearing. I offered to let her look at the tag so she could see the brand. Normally, I might have just accepted the compliment and moved the conversation along, but this particular dress was bought on a recent trip to Maine. It's made by a company called Global Mamas , which helps women in Africa. Since I'm passionate about women's progress, I felt compelled to market the dress a bit. As we walked toward the parking lot, I learned that she was also from New Bern. I mentioned that I had just recently moved to the area to which she responded with an invitation to join her and a friend for a wine tasting at a local restaurant! She gave me her phone number and we went our separate ways. Now, I was at a crossroad. I'm not even going to try to convince you that it was easy to just go out and meet this woman and her friend(s??) for drinks, even as sweet as she was. I knew I needed to go because I did move here to make friends, right?? So, I sent her a text message and told her I was interested in joining her thinking (hoping?) maybe she wouldn't respond and I would be off the hook. No such luck. She responded, told me what she would be wearing and when she would arrive. So, I put on the same dress and headed off to the tasting. Guess what? I had a great time! She invited another woman who was also incredibly friendly. Since that evening, I've been to her house for a cookout and visited a Rotary meeting with her.

I'm still working on making friends here, but after only a few short months, I'm feeling good about my progress. Here are my tips, if you find yourself in a similar situation:

·        Take Dale Carnegie's advice - be genuinely interested in other people and ask questions

·        Accept all offers- within reason!

·        When meeting up with a new group, find out who the organizer is, what they will be wearing and where you will be meeting them- get a contact number, when possible

·        Practice going out alone once in a while- movies are great because you aren't supposed to be talking to anyone anyway; sushi and restaurant bars are also good because they are naturally set up to accommodate single diners (bring a book or a magazine)

·        Talk yourself off the ledge- if you are going to meet some people and can't find them, what's the worst that happens? (probably you go home, maybe after you've had a drink at the bar first)

·        Don't be afraid to be a little bit vulnerable- people generally like to help and if you are willing to say you are looking to make new friends many people will naturally step up because it makes them feel good to better someone else's life

~Christine Zellers, CEO

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nashville Girls Night Out

 On September 4th, the ladies of the NashvilleChapter put on their little black dresses for a Girl’s Night Out at local restaurant Cabana located in the Hillsboro Village. Cabana has regular Girl’s Night Out specials for drinks and appetizers on Wednesday nights, and the ladies of the Nashville Chapter were excited to take part.

While the group was too large to take part in one of the private cabana experiences, they did enjoy the nice summer breeze from the open veranda. August was very busy in everyone’s lives with work and back to school, so there weren’t many opportunities for LBDC members to get together. The conversations around the table involved everyone catching up on what they had done for the summer and the excitement of upcoming events like the Sumner Crest Wine Tasting later in September and Glamping Part Deux in October.

Conversation with our group is always very lively. A few quotes overheard around the table were:
“If you need a picture of myself to go in that, let me know.” Shay, when talking to the raffle winners upon opening their gift of a photo frame.

“I feel like I smell like bleu cheese and grit balls.” – Amy

“Kim does not work for ones.” – Kim
 The raffle winners of the evening were Niki and Belinda. Congratulations!
After a fun evening of laughing, conversations and photos, the ladies went home to their regular evenings with big smiles and a great Girl’s Night Out.
~ Tonya Overstreet
Nashville Chapter Member, LBDC

Friday, September 6, 2013

LBDC Has Arrived In Lexington, KY!

The Little Black Dress Club continues to grow and move its way across the US. We are so excited to welcome Nikki Harvey as our newest LBDC Director in Lexington, KY!
Nikki first learned about LBDC when she was invited to participate in a vendor event by our Sevierville, TN Director Kim Beal.
After meeting Kim and so many other new people at the Sevierville event, Nikki decided she really wanted a way to meet fun people in Lexington as well. Being new to her area, she thought starting her own LBDC Chapter would be the perfect way to do just that!
Hosting a local happy hour and working with a local shop on an evening of wine tasting and shopping, Nikki has jumped head on into her new role as LBDC Director and is busy spreading the word. Make sure you find her new chapter on Facebook to stay up to date on other upcoming events!
“The people here in Lexington are very friendly and laid back,” says Nikki. “I think as we get older and start families it gets harder to make genuine friendships. As women we have so many things that keep us busy, that we sometimes can’t spend a lot of time building relationships with other women. I think having at least a friend or two in our lives that we know we can count on in the good times and bad, that won’t judge us but is close enough to show us tough love, is so important.”
In her free time, Nikki volunteers for a non-profit organization called Nellie’s Catwalk 4 Kids. The mission of NC4K is to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Nikki is not all work and no play; she also loves spending time with her family at their farm, reading a good book, traveling and playing volleyball.
Nikki says, “I try to live my life by Proverbs 31:10; “A wife of noble character who can find. She is worth far more than rubies.” Nikki also believes everything happens for a reason and people always deserve second chances. “I am very excited to get started with the Little Black Dress Club and I can’t wait to make many new girlfriends!”
Welcome to the team, Nikki. We are so glad to have you!