It's been just about a week since I returned home from my whirlwind 48 hour trip to New York City as part of the Target Inner Circle social influencer team meet-up, Target Media Day and the Target 50th Birthday Celebration...and I have been dying to share the details of my experience with you. Up until the moment John dropped me off at the airport, I still couldn't believe this all was happening, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of such an amazing group of women and such a landmark company.
Target put us up at The Muse hotel in Times Square (where apparently, Daughtry and his band, were also staying) and after I checked in and cleaned up, I got to meet my fellow Target Inner Circle team member and new buddy, Jennie Lyon from MySweetGreens.com. She and I decided to take full advantage of our first time in NYC and see as much as we possibly could in 5 hours. So off we trudged, in the pouring rain, umbrellas in hand, to Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock!
I think that's when I had my big "OMG" moment- standing up there, looking out at those amazing buildings in the clouds, stretching on and on. John summed it up when he said that New York City is "a monument to human achievement." It's like nothing else on this earth. I live in a beautiful part of the country, with magestic mountains outside my front door, but those skyscrapers are something else entirely. I was floored. And of course, that was also the moment I regretted not bringing my DSLR because my iPhone battery was at 20%. Rookie.
After I finished kicking myself for not being able to take more pictures, we were on to our next adventure. From that point, we were like Laverne and Shirley, drunk on life and ready to go!! We tackled the subway! We made friends with the locals, and a rider who gave us play-by-play directions on her iPad between stops! We walked for blocks in the dark, rain pouring, clothing soaking wet, hair frizzing, to The Spotted Pig! One of the best restaurants in NYC and we got a table! We ate a burger made by food gods! I drank the best beer ever! Then it stopped raining, and we went for a 43 block walk back to our hotel, all the way from the Village to Times Square. AMAZING!
The Target Inner Circle team (from Left to Right): Me- Jennifer Pebbles/ blog.StudioPebbles.com // Jennie Lyon / MySweetGreens.com // Patrice Yursick / Afrobella.com // Anne Sage / AnneSage.com // Jennifer Chong / blog.JChongStudio.com // Jenny Radosevich / ISpyDIY.com // Jeanne Chan / ShopSweetThings.com // Alyson Seligman / TheAverageGirlsGuide.com // Amy Mascott / TeachMamma.com // Jo-Lynne Shane / MusingsOfAHousewife.com // Not Pictured: Jessica Shyba / MammasGoneCity.com // Katie Hurley / PracticalKatie.com // Kara Fleck / SimpleKids.net // Gina Homolka / SkinnyTaste.com // Ashley Brown / 7thHouseOnTheLeft.com
The next morning, we were up, bright and early to meet for our Target Inner Circle team breakfast. We got a chance to meet face-to-face with the people at Target who put this whole thing together, and get acquainted with each other before heading out to the Target Harlem store for a tour and shopping trip. I bought a battery powered phone charger. No way was I making that mistake twice.
Then, after a quick break to change and grab a bite of lunch, we were back on our little bus to head to Media Day, where all the good stuff was waiting to happen! Members of just about every major media outlet (magazines, newspapers, television) were in attendance, but as Patrice put it, "We were the specificly invited guests"...Crazy!
Media Day packets and nametag, with Jennie Lyon of MySweetGreens.com, Kathee Tesija, Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Supply Chain.
Media Day was where we had the opportunity to learn about the new Holiday promotions and store updates that Target is planning, which I will share with you in an upcoming post. As an information junkie, I loved this part the best, it was great to know how Target is working to improve the shopping experience for its customers, and is staying sensitive to the idea that frugality and saving time is important to us.
There has already been a lot of press covering the Neiman Marcus collection for Target, (to see the designers and the entire collection, visit Neiman Marcus here) and it was great to get a chance to be one of the first people to see the items in person. The girls dresses by Marchesa was an instant favorite, as was the glittery Marc Jacobs clutches, and the Brian Atwood Studded Gloves.
My ultimate favorite item was a stunning blue sequin paisely top by Tracy Reese, but sadly it will have to remain a fantasy for me since none of the clothing items for women are available in anything larger than XL. This is one area in which I hope Target stores can improve in the future.
The unveiling of the Neiman Marcus collection was just the tip of the iceburg when it came to the fun planned for the rest of the evening. As members of the Target Inner Circle team, we were invited to the exclusive Target 50th Birthday Party! We knew to expect a few celebs in attendance, but woah... talk about star struck...
People, I have rubbed sholders with a few famous folks over the years...I gave flowers to Princess Diana when she and Charles made their post honeymoon Canadian tour. I downed enough liquid courage to talk to Bruce Willis during a performance with his band in Haley, ID...and did you know that my pregnant belly got some love from the guys from Broken Lizard? I should be a pro at this by now...but no.
I was like a giggly little kid! There were so many celebrities at this party, I about died. It was hard to walk the line between, "Just another fellow party attendee, no one else is freaking out, why should I?" to "OHMYEFFINGGOD!!!SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!" I think I hopefully settled somewhere in the middle? I was with Alyson and Jennie when they got pictures taken with Nate Berkus, and had the chance to talk to Sabrina Soto, where of course I probably babbled like an idiot, something I chose not to repeat when meeting Soleil Moon Frye, where I kept my mouth shut to avoid embarrassing myself. Later on I decided to put my composure and manners to the test and approach Shaun White for a photo...so glad I did, he was the NICEST EVER!!! He seemed genuinely happy to talk to us, and answered some quesitons about what it's like to design clothing for Target, and talked about the X-Games in Aspen and Target's participation. Considering I am married to a red-headed winter sports athlete, I was pretty jazzed to get a picture.
Me and Shaun, Alicia Keys singing "Happy Birthday, Dear Tar-Jay" :), and me with the Target Musical Performers.
It was truly such an amazing, wonderful, fun filled 24 hours. So many times during this whole event, I kept wondering "Why me?" and to be honest, I'm still not 100% sure, but I plan on making the most of it. Target is a fantastic company (you know they give over $4 Million a week to charity?) and I had the time of my life!
Please note, As a member of Target Inner Circle, I was invited to attend this event and Target paid for my accomidations, but all opinions and thoughts are mine alone.