Lilly & Stephanie & COLOR

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When I found this quote by Lilly Pulitzer and learned more about her, she and her story reminded me of my most recent podcast guest, Stephanie Smokovich, the creative genius behind Bella Blvd. Both women LOVE color—especially PINK.

Lilly is a fashion designer, known for her signature shift dress of bright colorful printed cotton. This design was worn by Jackie Kennedy in Life magazine, making it an overnight success.


But the story of HOW Lilly started making dresses in the first place is so appealing to me. Lily married Herbert Pulitzer Jr. , known to friends and family as Peter (the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher and founder of the Pulitzer Prize.) Lilly and Peter owned several Florida citrus orange groves and, with produce from the groves, she opened a fruit juice stand in Palm Beach. While working at the stand, she found that squeezing juice made a mess of her clothes. Seeking to camouflage the juice stains, she designed a sleeveless dress of bright, colorful printed cotton and her customers loved it. Lilly decided to produced more summer shifts to sell at her juice stand. Eventually, she was selling more dresses than juice, and … the rest is history.

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Bella Blvd introduced a NEW summer line, Squeeze The Day, today. SEE the whole line  HERE.

Bella Blvd introduced a NEW summer line, Squeeze The Day, today. SEE the whole line HERE.

Stephanie is a paper designer who also loves bright, colorful designs—not to camouflage orange juice stains but to enhance photos and memories. In 2016, Stephanie and her good friend Nilmarie introduced a brand NEW event, appropriately called She Loves Color and I was there. We talk about this event on episode 24 of my podcast—FYI registration fort the 2019 event is still open, but only through July 15th—So, if you’re looking for a fabulous fall escape by yourself or a getaway with friends, I wanted to make it easier to GO—I’m posting the details and link here and in the show notes. I say GO. You won’t regret it.

Dates: October 17—19, 2019
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Here are a FEW pics from 2016, when I attended…

There was such a feeling of FUN and connection at this event. Stephanie created this huge ball mixer for drawing names and giving away prizes—so clever—and there were inviting photo backdrops and an on site store. The best part is that attendees are all assigned a table for the whole weekend. They didn’t have to move from classroom to classroom, instructors did! And we (the instructors) were encouraged to make our class kits feel extra special—like gifts. I taught this home album with Simple Stories papers in a Heidi Swapp album, and I included a photo insert card that I designed and had printed. Stephanie also invited me to design a set of stamps for the goodie bag that all of the attendees receive. It was ALL of this attention to details that set this event a part. If you sign up this year, let Stephanie know I sent you, so I can get invited back again too, ha!

All the details can be found here.

I hope you’ll listen to episode 24 with Stephanie. She has so much goodness and wisdom to share, including a new line from Bella releasing TODAY.

So weather you’re squeezing fresh orange juice or just trying to squeeze a little more from life, creativity is the answer and Lilly and Stephanie have got it in spades! And just in case you’re wondering if Lilly Pulitzer’s influence is still being felt. The answer is YES— watch this from Pottery Barn Teen.