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Friday, 23 September 2011

Alluring Win!

This week I received the brilliant news Jouer won a coveted Best of Beauty Award from Allure Magazine
I cried when I heard the news. My son and I jumped up and down for 5 minutes.

The invitation arrived by FED EX! 
That red sticker is my Oscar and Allure magazine my beauty bible.

Perfect Airplane reading material when I can't use my Kindle! Flying to NY for the Allure party...
After a day of meetings, I threw on my red dress (I wanted to coordinate with the sticker)...
Roland Mouret 

...and got my makeup done by Irina Krupnik - the most gorgeous makeup artist ever!! Yes, having someone as beautiful as Irina applying makeup can be intimidating. But, she is so sweet I felt perfectly comfortable.

Irina is a beauty! 

After she meticulously applied individual lashes at my hotel, I changed my mind outside the venue and frantically pulled the fake lashes off my eyelids (along with some real ones too). Lashes felt like I was trying too hard. I'm trying to remain cool at this point. Hah!

Meredith laughed, it's not the first time she's seen me in beauty emergency mode.

Elevator up to the awards....

We walked into the room and couldn't believe the energy, the beauty...we felt like we'd arrived!

Such a NYC party, beautiful view and good music. 

We immediately sought out the Jouer display... just to be sure we actually did win and didn't make some terrible mistake.

There it was...

Jouer's Luminizing Moisture Tint,  displayed amongst other winners in the "base" category. 

Voila! Am I making a spectacle yet?

When Linda Wells, Editor in Chief of the magazine, spoke at Wednesday’s ceremony she quoted a Greek Philosopher, Senecal, who said, “Luck is when hard work meets preparation”.  

Linda Wells, Editor in Chief of Allure, talking Beauty.

I told Linda Wells (Oh, am I name dropping?), I was certainly the happiest person in the room that night!

I did feel lucky that night. But, I also know that hard work also means never accepting the word no.

Most people think it all looks so glamorous and simple. But the truth is, I have been rejected over and over and over hundreds of times along the way.


When I wanted to start the line, I couldn't find a packager who would work with me. I was told custom packaging is too difficult, and not to pursue.
Labs have rejected me because my minimums are too small and they can't see my growth potential.
PR Companies have told me they couldn't work with my line because I'm not a makeup artist and who would believe in me?
Retailers rejected me because I either wasn't in enough stores, or I was in the wrong stores, or they just didn't want to take a risk on a new line.

I often reread a poem my father sent me before he passed away to give me the encouragement I know he would have offered.

This poem hangs where I can see it every morning. 

But, behind hard work and luck lie the angels who help carry out the mission.

I'd like to call out my angels here...Team Jouer, who go above and beyond to ensure Jouer is a success.

These are my angels:

Team Jouer (Partial representation) at Dusty's wedding last Fall.
From Left: Myself, Aida, Meredith, Dusty, Sarah, Donna and Whitney

If you’ve spoken with Whitney in Customer Service, you know what I mean. Zappos could learn a thing or two from Whitney. She knows customers by their first names, can chat with them about anything. But, boy, she is good at figuring out what colors work on ANYONE!

Whitney, left, and Meredith, Right. Team Jouer, Sales and Marketing (plus a host of other jobs!). 

We share in the highs and lows at this company, as evidenced by my Sales and Marketing whiz, Meredith, who cried with me at Wednesday nights' ceremony! There is NOBODY who meets Meredith who doesn't LOVE her. She embodies the Jouer Girl: stylish, witty, smart, dedicated - a complete package! 

No joke, we cried! 

The dedication at my office is enviable. From Nicki who keeps me organized and sometimes on time, to Dusty, Donna, Aida, Laurie, Jamie...My office is spoiled with beauty and brains. Peggy,  Doris and Kate make everything LOOK beautiful from our packaging to the websites to Newsletters, and Insider Reports plus more. Hillary was right, it takes a village to raise a child! 

There are too many angels to name here, from my NY Makeup Stylists (Chelsea, Neil, Sarah, Elizabeth, Karen, Kim, Naoko...) to makeup artists who've helped me with celebrity placements and even distribution, to my friends who bought Jouer when no one had heard of it (Special mention Beverly Lipsky!), keeping my sales afloat.  

And, my sweetest angels, my children, who understand why mommy will never be room mom at school and put up with my travels and support me because they see how much I love what I do. Maybe they'll be as lucky as I am and love their work! 

All that said, it's now back to the grind. We're taking time to celebrate next week with a special dinner. But, there is a lot of work to do, a lot of road to travel. 

Thanks for your support everyone and keep sharing the magic of Jouer. 


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Lovin’ the ‘Hood ~ Passy

Passy neighborhood that is. Or, as the French call it NAP (Neuilly, Auteille Passy) the neighborhoods the furthest West in Paris.

Next stop, Chez Zilber....

When I first started looking for an apartment, pre-kids, I wanted somewhere in the heart of the city.  But then I found, the center is too crowded, I was told to look in the chi chi 7th…But alas, I would last 2 minutes in the pretension of the lonely 7th; not my thing.

Then, I looked in the charming, lively, 6th – way overpriced and too many tourists; the 8th, great for lunchtime restaurants and high end shopping, but dead when the business suits leave.

After years of searching, and two babies later, I finally found my dream in the 16th Arrondissement, and I love every minute I spend in the sweet sixteenth. 

Ave Mozart

It’s been 7 years since I settled on Ave Mozart and I love it more and more each visit.

I’m 2 minutes from the Jardin du Ranelagh, one of the chicest parks in Paris. There’s a kids’ kiosk to buy snacks, toys (and espresso!).

Toys, Snacks AND Espresso! I've arrived!

pony rides,

I'm not in Kansas anymore!

a huge grassy area to run, play and picnic...

...stationary trains, and even Le Guignol (puppet shows) every Wed afternoon and weekends. 

Are we in the 21st Century? 

My building houses a famous chocolatier..and wine shop.

Delicious chocolate shop
Something to sip with your Truffles?

Every morning I indulge in CARBS from one of the most delicious boulangeries in all of Paris, A La Flute Enchantee...just 15 steps from my front door. 

Chocolate, Wine, and Croissants.
Is there a CRACK dealer nearby?!
And, I know everyone raves about Laduree Macarons. They're OKAY, but seriously, for cookie afficionados such as myself, NOTHING beats a macaron from Yamazaki...across the street from me!

Yamazaki = Red awning. Taken from my bedroom window...
Wake up and smell the macarons.

Arguably the BEST Macarons in Paris!! Salted Caramel is my preferé.

Are we sick of food yet? We'll come back to that in a minute. Let's start shopping.

Rue de Passy is not going to appear in the guide books. You won't find hordes of tourists like at the Galeries Lafayette. You will find outposts of some of the coolest young designers in France as well as staples such as Zara and H&M. Prices are reasonable and the boutiques are FUN. Come along....

First stop, Franc et Fils

First opened in 1897!
Franc et Fils is a mini department store with just enough merchandise to satisfy any shopping emergency. 

The grand staircase leading up to shoes, Paul and Joe, Zadig and Voltaire, Sandro, Isabel Marant, Bash,  and the list goes on........

Exiting Franc et fils onto Passy and we're all warmed up. Just up the street is Gerard Darel. At first glance it's slightly matronly...but I flip for the long, gauzy dresses...
So does Angelina Jolie

And Jessica Alba...
Perfect for running around with Shiloh and Zahara 
Gerard Darel bags are cool too! 

Continuing up the street there is Ann Tuil - a neighborhood store with a nice selection of designer and smaller brand shoes. 

Zara, Kiwi bathing suits 

Villebrequin is for tourists...Kiwi uses soft materials and perfect cuts! 

And, then we hit Passy Plaza...

I love traveling, but one thing I am seriously addicted to is my STARBUCKS. I know, French coffee, the best, blah, blah, blah...but a grande nonfat latte in a to-go cup makes me JOYEUSE. 

How lucky am I there is a little mermaid right in my hood at Passy Plaza! Quel Chance! 

While I get my coffee fix, the kids hit Le Grande Recré...Toys are us for the petite French set.

And, another stop for Mom...I mean, Amelie....

Why do I have more fun in here than my daughter? Girly girly, boho chic, five and dime kind of stuff...Claire's meets cool! 
Bracelets and rings abound here....

Continuing up the street I can find great rock and roll sweaters and tees at Zadig and Voltaire...

uber cool! 

And the recently opened Repetto store. As a tall girl, a ballerina flat is part of my every day uniform. Repettos come in every color of the rainbow!

There's a pair here to go with anything! 
Across from Repetto is the new Maje store. I LOVE this brand - wearable trends, reasonably priced. The S.F. Chicster, Vanessa Traina recently guest designed for the brand. Take a look at her goodies:

Perfect Fall-wear! 

All this shopping is making me hungry...carbs burn faster, you know. I'll either hit my local pizzeria

A hidden whole in the wall GEM!!!!! don't shoot me, I've been in Paris a LONG time....

Susan's Place...dare I say, MEXICAN food in French? 500 meters from my apartment!!!
You can keep your fancy fois gras, when I feel home sick, I head here for some real comfort food! 

And, then dessert from Aux Merveilleux

Merengue and whipped cream rolled in white or dark chocolate flakes....RIDICULOUS!

I'm stuffed....I'm broke...I better go home now, where I'll gaze out my window at night, lament the end of summer and count my blessings! 

Oh, the Beauty of the City of Lights from the sweet 16th!

Views from my pad

More from my window...

Au revoir Paris..