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BossBabe

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Last month I dipped my toe after over three years back into the grooming industry with a blog about the cyber bullying of a good friend and ended up in the troll war to end all troll wars, complete with 20 plus voice messages from a raving lunatic who threatened my children and I. It confirmed what I have often thought: pet groomers are a rare breed who are more passionate about their industry than the most extreme politician or religious figure. Even the Pope himself is less divisive. That passion can be channeled for good or evil, but it is a passion you don’t know unless you have experienced it first hand. Once the dust settled, I was left laughing over a large glass of wine and I specifically recall saying to a friend, “what good could come of this?” Only a few days later a door would open that I never saw coming. Now, my friends, you have your answer. As a result of my blog I am (drum roll please): a plus sized pin up model. 

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It was my first time modeling pin up style and between the hair and the red lips, I have a new appreciation for the work that goes into being a lady. Modeling the latest pet grooming smock styles by Pet Groomer Apparel created by the fabulous Ms. Michelle of Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe based in San Diego, California, Ms. Michelle was kind enough to send me some fabulous smocks to model. The quality is impressive and clearly designed by someone who has spent the long hours in the grooming salon. Every detail was thought through in her design from the material to the pockets to the fabulous zipper that is sure to last and last. At a price of $50-58 per smock, they are a worthwhile investment and I love that Ms. Michelle didn’t leave anyone out. Not only do these smocks look great on slender ladies, curvy ladies, and ladies of all sizes, but she designed an entire mens line that includes functional shorts for the men on your grooming team. Photography was by the award winning Audrey Dempsey of Infinity Photo. Overall this was a really fun experience and certainly proved to me that you never know where life will take you. Vogue! 😉

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BossBabe

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If you’re like me the moment Memorial Day weekend was over it hit me that I had less than two weeks left of school and holy crap- there was no way I wanted these two girls with me 24/7. Ack! What the heck do I do with them? One is part ninja, one is a pop star artist in training, and both are determined to blaze their own trail. No small feat trying to please them both. I can’t be the only parent in Las Vegas trying to figure out what to do with my kids, so here is the research I compiled of summer camp options. None of these options paid to be included and I haven’t tried them all (is that even possible?), but I was pleased to find lots of options for kids of all ages and interests available. If I am missing one please email me and I will happily add it. Happy Summer Everyone! 

Bounce U Kids Camp: Based at the ever popular Bounce U in Southeast Las Vegas Monday-Friday 9AM-3PM June 8-August 21st, the Bounce and Create camp is offered Monday-Friday 9AM-3PM. Kids need to bring their own lunch and it costs $159 per week with a 10% discount for siblings. A $50 deposit is required to hold your spot, so give them a call at (702) 735-5867 to register your child. 

Fern Adair Summer Day Camp: Based in Southeast Las Vegas at the impressive Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts, their comprehensive summer day camp program features activities in gymnastics, dance, acting, singing, karate, crafts, ethnic dance, and is highlighted with “Crazy Colors Day”, “Hawaiian Day”, “Backwards Day”… and so on! Each three week session ends with a performance to the cheers of families! The first session will start on June 8th and run through June 26th, the second session is June 29th through July 17th, and the last session will be July 20th through 31st. Kids need to bring their own lunch and cost is $325 per child for the 3 week session and $225 per child for the 2 week session. Registration online, but does require an in person visit to complete the registration process. 

Art Classes for Kids Summer Art Camp: Based in Summerlin and Downtown Las Vegas, Art Classes for Kids offers morning and afternoon sessions for the art loving child in your life. Focused on serving children aged 5-12, the art curriculum is comprehensive from art history to pencil to paint. Sessions are only half day, so lunch is a non issue and cost is $250 per session per student, with early registration discounts. Registration online available. 

School of Rock: It’s the music camp even grown ups want to attend. With sessions ranging from “The Black Album Metallica Summer Performance Camp” to “Build Your Own Guitar Summer Camp”, these camps aren’t cheap, but they are the music equivalent of the space camp I begged my parents to send me to as a kid. Offered 9AM-2PM Monday-Friday costs range from $320+ per week per child and the sessions are only offered once per summer, so plan ahead. Registration online available. 

All Sports Camp by Las Vegas Indoor Soccer: Based in Summerlin, kids will play a variety of sports throughout the day. Kickball, dodgeball, football and soccer, they play it all! For kids from ages 5 years old to 12 years old. Pick Up for Camps will be from 3:00pm to 3:30pm, after 3:30pm there will be an additional $10 charge for After Care. After care ends promptly at 5:00pm. Before care starts at 8AM at no additional charge and camp starts promptly at 9AM. Kids bring their own lunches and early bird pricing of $150 per week per child is currently available with online registration, but rates go up to $195 per week per child very soon. 

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BossBabe

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I read that 82,000 people attended the first weekend of Rock In Rio’s first American music festival and reviews were varied from “ball of confusion” headlines in the LA Times to the rave reviews of my metal head friends who felt Metallica delivered one of their best performances to date. My experience was five stars on all fronts thanks to Slurpee’s new #AllAccessChill promotion that kicked off at Rock In Rio in Las Vegas and Wango Tango in Los Angeles. As a brand, Slurpee is everything an All American summer product could aspire to be. In the week leading up to the event, I made a point of asking everyone I knew if they liked Slurpees. They don’t. You see, people don’t just like Slurpees. They love them with a passion that can only be ignited in childhood on the hottest day in whatever little hell hole you grew up in. Fans from Canada to California regaled me with their tales of “Bring your own cup day”. Stories of filling buckets, of epic brain freeze, and one hilarious tail of pregnancy cravings in the dead of an arctic Canadian blizzard filled my social media platforms. 

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During the two days of Rock In Rio Slurpee offered free slurpees at two main stations on the festival grounds and one VIP station inside the VIP area. As an entrepreneur my favorite part of the Rock In Rio experience was seeing local small businesses like Nacho Daddy, O Face Doughnuts, and Sambalatte alongside national brands like Slurpee, Corona, and 7 Up. All too often music festivals are too cost prohibitive for local businesses to have any presence at and it warmed my heart to see that the Rock In Rio team discovered these local favorites to share with all of the attendees. 

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A warning before I review the music: I listen to all kinds of music, but generally prefer happy, up beat joyful tunes and am practically a James Taylor groupie. It was the best of rock weekend. Friday’s line up of The Pretty Reckless and No Doubt was perfect for my top 40 loving self. Each performance was better than the previous and Gwen Stefani didn’t disappoint, performing all of her classics with the same enthusiasm that the majority of the audience was singing along with. The VIP area set a new bar for all music festival VIP areas, complete with a two story building that had full bathrooms with bathroom attendants like a Vegas nightclub, Wolfgang Puck all you could eat food, and open bars from every major brand I could think to want a drink from. Outside the views were incredible. Friday wasn’t very packed and we had plenty of space to relax while enjoying the music from both major stages. I left Friday exhausted and happy from our musical adventures, ready for more on Saturday.

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Enter Saturday. I mentioned that I listen to mainstream music, right? Walking in Saturday just felt different from the day before. I was fairly certain I stood out from the sea of black studded crowds in my bright pink tank top and goofy smile. Everywhere I looked there was someone who could clearly out party me or destroy me should I ever attempt a mosh pit. The afternoon line up was solid- louder and a touch angrier than the day before, but Hollywood Undead hit the stage and earned a fan in me. Check me out broadening my horizons, right? If you haven’t discovered them, they are intense, but the perfect combination of rap and rock for this music fan. I don’t think I quite appreciated just how heavy the rock was going to get until Sepultura hit the stage. I’m pretty sure they needed a hug, but the look on my face said it all. Thankfully Metallica took the stage before I needed to stage an intervention and they delivered what my metal loving friends have deemed one of their best performances to date. Playing many of their classics that I easily recognized, Metallica brought the first weekend of the festival to a close on an upbeat rock note that didn’t leave me feeling like I might need therapy. Yes, I am a rock lightweight. 

So how can brands best use influencers during events? Here’s some tips from my #AllAccessChill Rock In Rio weekend: 

PLAN AHEAD: Slurpee made sure that our point of contact, Christina, reached out several times in the week leading up to the event to coordinate the details. Leading up to the music festival I was able to share it on my social media platforms to build up the promotion and a sense of anticipation. On our way to the music festival grounds we stopped for a slurpee to grab a photo before we arrived. Great content does not just happen, so allowing your influencers some time to plan ahead is win/win.

COACH THEM: We arrived ready to engage with the brand throughout, so when Christina arrived with a camera crew we were video ready and excited to participate. Sharing the #AllAccessChill hash tag and important handles helped all of the influencers to engage in real time throughout the music festival. 

ENGAGE: Yes, I have an unfair advantage because I do social media for a living, but even I get the warm and fuzzies when the brand I am shouting out retweets, favorites, or shares my posts. Make sure your social media team is available throughout the event to ensure real time engagement. The Slurpee team was on point, engaging at midnight and sharing posts from all of the fans throughout the weekend. 

MEASURE: Tools like Tagboard and Adobe Marketing Cloud can help your social media team to clearly understand which influencers are the most influential, who engaged the most, and where your brand received the most traction. Audience numbers are absolutely not indicative of engagement. Some of my most engaging promotions have come from influencers who had 10,000 raving fans and some of the worst social media activations I have seen have been from celebrities with millions of fans that really don’t care. Identifying influencers who are uniquely invested and passionate about your brand will save your social media and marketing team a lot of frustration. 

Are you in charge of a conference, music festival, product launch party, or event in Las Vegas? My social media team and I love shining a light on the brands we love. Email me and let’s talk about how we can help you!

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BossBabe

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Having spent a great deal of time in Italy enjoying authentic Italian gelato, my standards for gelato are sky high. Throw in that I have lost 80lbs over the last year, rarely indulging in any sweet treats, and desserts are usually lost on me. However, Gelato Messina gave it their best effort recently to change all of that. Opened in 2002 in Australia with 9 established stores there, it was time for them to grow and they opened their first American location five weeks ago in Las Vegas’ hottest new shopping area, Downtown Summerlin. Their local leadership team includes members who relocated all the way from Australia to ensure the quality they are known for was maintained. On Twitter, their bio says they have “pretty good” gelato. In America, if you aren’t saying you are the best, we are skeptical. I went in skeptical about this new arrival. 

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Based on a high profile corner in the heart of Downtown Summerlin, the exterior of the store is modern and looks more like a restaurant and bar than a gelato shop. Huge fold out glass doors and floor to ceiling windows ensure you can see the twinkle lights hanging from the high ceilings, while highlighting the brightly painted custom mural. Greeted by a chef in a huge white hat and jacket, I was surprised. This is not your average ice cream store! Offering 40 flavors with 5 weekly special flavors that have ranged from “Porkies Revenge” (blueberry pancakes with bacon and maple syrup) to Bongo Mary’s Gold Mine (dark chocolate with honey comb chunks), you are guaranteed to find something for even the fussiest dessert eater. To date they have had over 4,000 special flavors and everything is made from scratch in their massive kitchen fully staffed with several chefs. Dedicated to excellent customer service, they take suggestions directly from their customers for new flavors. 

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The full kitchen makes all of the baked goods from scratch, from the apple pie to the chocolate cake they use in their recipes. Tall windows allow you to watch the process happening in the kitchen in real time, which my girls thought was just the coolest. The salted coconut with mango salsa is very popular, but my favorite was the salted caramel with white chocolate. With many Nepalese employees working in their Australian locations, they are currently offering a special flavor called Knights in Nepal. With yogurt and mango with cardamom and rose water cake, it is one of the most delicious things that I have ever tasted and Gelato Messina makes a donation to the relief efforts in Nepal when you purchase a scoop. The location is open 11AM-11PM seven days a week with a very fun nighttime feel thanks to the custom mixed tunes by one of the founders, who used to be a big DJ in Sydney. Offering free wifi to encourage people to hang out with friends and delicious cakes kept in stock for same day pick up (or 24hrs notice for custom orders), Gelato Messina exceeded all of my expectations and has my girls begging to go back soon. My only complaint? Pretty good is the under sell of the century. They’re easily the best. Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

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Monster Products has been around for over 35 years and the head monster, Noel Lee, is keen on coaching young entrepreneurs. We recently had the chance to sit down and chat at the launch of Monster Product‘s new Superstar Backfloat Speaker party at Liquid Lounge at the Aria on the fabulous Las Vegas strip. At a retail price just under $150, this blue tooth wireless speaker is one of the most innovative, durable pieces of speaker tech that I have had the opportunity to experience. The night before our interview I tested mine in the bath tub with my two little girls and it could easily handle bubbles while playing even the most thumping bass in a song. The water dance (where the water dances off the speaker) is plenty of entertainment. The product is excellent and I can’t recommend it highly enough, but I didn’t want to ask this entrepreneurial father about his product. Instead, I was most interested on his advice for moms who are raising entrepreneurial children. It was a topic he is equally passionate about and his insight was inspiring. 

Noel said, “We want them to focus on school, engineering, arts, sciences, because not everybody can be a DJ, not everybody can dribble a basketball, and make money at it. Look at, for all the moms out there we have to be part of (I’m a geeky engineer and the son of immigrant parents. My parents sent me to school on no money. When I graduated I was an engineer, but I designed the coolest stuff. Cables, headphones, all the Beats by Dr. Dre products, I met the coolest people and now we have the coolest stuff for kids too. We have the In Tune line that we designed with Nick Cannon that are in the Wal Mart stores and moms love them because you can’t break them.” 


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He continued, “First, it is about innovation. If I was a mom today with kids I would teach them to be creative, to be innovative, to stick out from the crowd. Our mantra is always lead, never follow. Every step has been about innovation. Never do the same thing someone else did.” 

Reminiscing, he says, “I wish I could be that young again. Kids today have more opportunity to do well and strike out on their own to do something really creative. Moms you need to be encouraging creative thinking, but also encourage education. Stay in school and make good choices. Go for your dreams, but learn what you can in education. Moms need to encourage kids not to forget their education. Kids don’t know how hard moms are working. Your kids will love you later for being disciplined with them later. Listen to you mom!”