It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was in New York City, getting into a cab to go to the Broad Street Ballroom to show my collection. A lot has already happened since my show, and I am so excited to see what new opportunities come to my brand!

I am so thankful for all the support I have received, both from my community here in Omaha, but also from all the amazing people I met in New York. There have been a lot of people asking how the trip went, so here is a recap of my week! Get comfortable, this post will be a long one!

Day 1: Monday

Monday began at dawn with an excited but groggy-eyed flight from Omaha to NYC. Mom and I landed mid-afternoon and started getting into our Hawaiian attire for the official Luau Launch Party! I began meeting the who’s who of the industry right away, and these connections became great relationships throughout the week!

Mom and I in our Hawaiian looks
Mom and I in our Hawaiian looks
Me with the producer of FFFWeek, miss Gwen Devoe
Me with the producer of FFFWeek, miss Gwen Devoe
Me with the beautiful Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
Me with the beautiful Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
Me with the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine, Maddie Jones
Me with the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine, Maddy Jones

Day 2: Tuesday

Tuesday began with a Press/Buyer media event where I had a table set up with marketing materials and my portfolio. I met several bloggers and other influencers during the event, as well as the two ladies behind a documentary about the plus-size industry!

My booth at the media event
My booth at the media event
Me with blogger Natasha Nurse of Dressing Room 8 (left) and editor-in-chief of Plus Model Mag, Maddy Jones (right)
Me with blogger Natasha Nurse of Dressing Room 8 (left) and editor-in-chief of Plus Model Mag, Maddy Jones (right)

I also went to a small business panel discussion in the afternoon, but during the break I discovered that I was already in the center of the Garment District, and just four doors down from Mood Fabrics! (For those of you who don’t obsess over Project Runway, that’s where the designers on that show go for fabric every episode.)

Day 3: Wednesday

Wednesday was the day I was worried about leading up to the trip. In the morning were the fittings, where my stress level for the rest of the week would either become non-existent, or reach dangerous levels. Fortunately, all I needed to do was switch two models’ looks and grab a couple pins. Once those were done, I knew I would be able to enjoy the rest of the week much more.

Figuring out my lineup and being filmed by Kalisha from the documentary crew
At the fittings with Kalisha (left) and Sandra (right), the ladies behind the plus-size industry documentary!

Once those were over, it was time to get ready for the Curves at Sea all-white cruise: a huge yacht full of attendees and plus-size women, all dressed in some form of white. I ran into a few of my models there, got lots of compliments on my handmade neoprene dress, and was inspired by everyone’s creativity. When you all have to wear the same color, it’s tough to stand out, but I was really impressed with everyone’s efforts!

Me with my model, supermodel Ebonie Bennett
My outfit for the night
Mom and I
Me with Kalisha and Sandra
Me with my model, supermodel Brittany Cordts

Day 4: Thursday

Thursday was our designated sightseeing day, so we hit all the stops: Times Square, Grand Central Station, Macy’s, Carlo’s Bakery, Kleinfeld’s (Say Yes to the Dress got me into sketching!), the Today Show, Chinatown, Little Italy…

Times Square
Grand Central Station
Macy’s on 34th
Carlo’s Bakery (Cake Boss on TLC)
Kleinfeld Bridal! (Say Yes to the Dress on TLC got me into sketching)
The Today Show
Chinatown
Chinatown
Little Italy
Mom and I managed to find the only gluten-free Italian restaurant in Little Italy!

Day 5: Friday

Friday= Show Day! However, I started the morning off by going to the Celebrate My Size Expo. I networked with a lot of great people there!

Me with Karen Ward and Peter Chiem, owners of the FFFWeek Boutique of the Year, Your Big Sister’s Closet
Me with the CEO of major plus brand, Ashley Stewart. He is so passionate about this company!

After the expo, we hurried back to the hotel to grab my garments and head to the venue. It was show time!

The venue, Broad Street Ballroom
Me and fellow designers getting ready backstage
Me with one of my beautiful fans, Nyla Ham!
My feature in the official show mag, Devoe Magazine
Red carpet interview with the Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
My red carpet pose. Dress by HCC
Pre-runway interview with Gwen Devoe about my collection
One of my pieces. worn by Lindsey Owens
Another piece, worn by Cne Rhymes
Another piece, worn by Ariana Corrao
Another piece, worn by Lene Pelayo
Me with Beyonce’s stylist, Ty Hunter
Me with blogger Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista
Me with blogger Farrah Estrella of Estrella Fashion Report
Signing my first autograph in NYC!

Day 6: Saturday

I started off the weekend with an interview for the plus-size industry documentary in my hotel room. We took the lovely Kalisha and Sandra out to lunch to thank them for making me feel welcome in New York and for including me so much in their documentary!

Then mom and I got ready for the Saturday night finale of FFFWeek. It was hard to believe this amazing week was coming to an end. The finale included retailers and boutiques, and I got to continue to network with people.

Mom and I in our red carpet looks. Red gown by HCC
Me with FFFWeek Blogger of the Year, Kelly Augustine

Day 7: Sunday

Sunday was our last day in New York and I was definitely not ready to leave. I especially wasn’t ready to leave the Garment District. I went four times, but I still wasn’t ready to leave it behind. I went one last time and ended up buying the fabric for next year’s collection for FFFWeek, Technicolor! And also another suitcase to get it all home in…

After that, we returned to the hotel to gather everything, and the documentary ladies got a few last shots for the film. They even rode in the cab with us to the airport to get final comments.

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The trip home was already sad, but our flights got delayed four separate times. Either way, I slept for a whole day when I got home and then went straight to work.

Even though the week is over, my career is just beginning.

If you would like to check out more of my Gilded collection, head over to my shop!

To follow my journey, find me on social media:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Web

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