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Vow to be Chic Office Tour

There are so many reasons to adore my job, but at the top of that list is to hang around with like-minded creatives. I recently had the chance to touch base with Vow To Be Chic and took the opportunity to pick their brains about all things events. From how they got their business off the ground to five things every event must have, you’re going to want to read on! With photos from Jana Williams, you’d better believe there’s more! 

SMP: Tell us a little about Vow to be Chic!
Vow: Vow To Be Chic is the first company to offer designer bridesmaid dress rentals online. Our goal is to make the bridesmaid experience affordable, stress-free, and fun! We also just launched little white dress rentals for the bride’s countless wedding-related events, so she can enjoy designer dresses at a fraction of the price too.

SMP: How did you get your start in the industry?
Vow (Kelsey): I have been a bridesmaid six times already, so I know how expensive and time-consuming it can be. I also worked in wedding planning in New York City. During my time there I saw how guys could easily rent tuxes for weddings, and it always bothered me that women couldn’t enjoy the same concept.

SMP: The very best part of your job?
Vow: We love talking to our happy brides and bridesmaids and hearing how we helped them. It’s an honor to be part of their wedding, one of the most important days of their lives, and we’re thrilled to hear how we made it easier for them.

SMP: The worst?
Vow: Not being able to attend the weddings! We get to hear all of the details during the planning process. If we could go and hand deliver the dresses and see the end result, how fun would that be?!

SMP: One thing you would do differently if you could go back?
Vow: We wish we started it sooner! Women constantly tell us they wish we were around for their wedding and how thankful their bridesmaids would have been. If you’re thinking about starting a business, our advice is to go for it!

SMP: One thing you wish you knew when you first started your business?
Vow: Don’t be afraid to ask! People are very willing to help no matter how unreachable they may seem. We met with CEOs of major companies simply because we emailed them and asked to meet.

SMP: A piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out?
Vow: Keep the bigger picture in mind. As an entrepreneur you’ll be pulled in a million different directions, so stay focused on your goals and what’s really most important to you! Prioritization is key.

SMP: Your secret to success?
Vow: A great team! We all have the same goals and work together to achieve them. We are lucky that we genuinely enjoy working together, and that culture makes what we do even better.

SMP: Five things that every event needs
Vow: Love, champagne, chic dresses, beautiful flowers & dessert.

SMP: Any predictions in upcoming trends?
Vow: The mix and match style will probably go beyond just style. We’re starting to see bridal parties wearing various styles, colors and designers to suit everyone’s body type. We love this trend since each bridesmaid can look and feel her best and the bride can achieve her exact vision.

SMP: One thing that really helped your company thrive?
Vow: Candy! We can’t live without it. We always have at least five different kinds of candy in the office – it’s our afternoon fuel! Besides that, our customer’s viral response to Vow helps not only spread the word but also keep us motivated and fuels our love for what we do.

Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Styling: Be Inspired PR | Office: Vow To Be Chic | Silk Flowers: Afloral

Jana Williams Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jana Williams Photography

Owl Inspired 1st Birthday Party

What’s black and white and adorable all over? You’re about to find out. Mama and event planner Party With Chloe has totally outdone herself on this one. With a towering cake that’s borderline too cute to cut into, tiny felt houses and a box filled with gummy favors, she’s going to be hard pressed to top this one for sweet baby girl’s 2nd. Complete with photos from Babypink Studio, there’s more right here. 

From Party With Chloe… My daughter Nayun’s 1st birthday was held at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Toronto. The staff was amazingly hospitable and food was great. As a mom and as a party stylist, I wanted to make her 1st birthday very special.

The main concept of the party was Scandinavian owl. Like a modern Scandinavian kid’s room, I wanted to style the party as Chic and Cute – using bold patterns, little lux touch of gold and vivid color accents, warm felts, natural plants and cute owls. My two girls were dressed with Scandinavian designer’s black dress and black hats to match with the party. Sharon from Bloom Cake Co. made a birthday cake, matching cupcakes and cake pops and those were absolutely beautiful and of course tasty!

As a Korean traditional ceremony, during “Doljabi” for 1st birthday party, the baby is propped up at a table of various foods and an assortment of objects and urged to pick up one of the items. It is believed the item the baby picks up symbolically foretells his or her own future or would influence his or her fate.

For examples money means wealthy, traditional book means scholar, five color threads means artistic skills, horse medallion means high ranked government officer and stethoscope means medical doctor. During Doljabi ceremony, Nayun wore Korean traditional dress and picked yellow thread. She may become a famous designer one day!

In the theme of my princesses’ black hats, we hired famous kid’s magician Tricky Ricky. Everyone had a fabulous time!

Photography: Babypink Studio | Cake, Cupcake And Cake Pop: Bloom Cake Co. | Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Toronto | Korean Traditional Dress: WoeHee Gallery | Magician: Tricky Ricky | Party Styling: Party With Chloe

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gul...

Gazpacho with Shrimp

Inspired by our recent trip to Spain, I created this summery gazpacho. With tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers readily available at every farm stand, it’s the perfect late-summer meal. It comes together in minutes. Adding leftover shrimp infuses protein and bulk to your lunch. Serve it with crusty bread and you’ll have a great family dinner or a fancy party appetizer! For more, head on over to Audrey’s.

Gazpacho with ShrimpA fresh meal, perfect for an entree or an apetizer
prep time
10 Minute/s
cook time
total time
10 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 4 inches in size)
  • 1/2 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chardonnay vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili (optional)
  • 6 large shrimp, steamed, sauteed or grilled - peeled
  1. In a blender, puree tomato until almost smooth. Add cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, vinegar, and oil and season with salt, pepper and chili. Pulse until mostly smooth.
  2. Chill soup in the refrigerator 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours). Adjust seasoning; thin with water if necessary. Before serving, chop 4 shrimp into small pieces. Garnish soup with chopped shrimp, a drizzle of olive oil and add one shrimp on each bowl as a garnish.
  3. Notes: The quality of your ingredients really make a difference here. Try to use the freshest produce you can find and use the best quality vinegar and olive oil you can afford.

Photography: Audrey's 74 | Recipe: Audrey's 74

Giulia Doyle

Contributing Editor: Food + Recipes