Sunday, December 28, 2008

True Colors Events

Thank you Travis & Jesse for featuring us on your True Colors Events blog. We love you back - and we know others do too, since you were recently voted “Best Wedding Planner” and “Best Day-of Wedding Coordinator” in Seattle Bride Magazine’s Best of 2008.

What would you expect from a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, and a professional counselor? The most dashing wedding planners in town.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Girlfriends' Holiday Kickoff Party

Let the festivities begin! We had a fabulous girls night out at our parlors Thurs Nov. 19/20. (It's taken me a while to post the photos!). Mini-stations of hand massages, paraffin, polish changes and neck and shoulder massage were enjoyed by all. To top it off, we had some amazing bargains that night only. We had so much fun on our end that most of our vernisseurs wanted to do an event like this monthly! So stay tuned.

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More Girlsfriends' Holiday Kickoff Party photos!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Bellevue Here We Come!

The lease is signed, and Jeanne, Kate and I went to pick up the keys and put up our signs in our new Bellevue parlor at 221 Bellevue Way (just south of Bellevue Square Mall, across the street from the new Safeway). We're SO excited. This parlor is going to be amazing. It's 1527 square feet - so a little larger than our University District parlor and the first floor of our Gig Harbor parlor, and a little smaller than our Downtown Parlor. Kate and Jeanne met with our technology gurus today to figure out our exciting new media features. We're targeting opening in late February or early March, depending on whether you're talking to me or to Kate.

But we're taking reservations now for bridal showers, birthdays, and other parties. Just reach out to Susie or Susanne at

Also, to celebrate our fourth parlor, we're offering a preopening special: $100 gift cards for just $50 at - just select $100 gfit certificate and use code Bellevue09Mail at checkout (certificates valid at Bellevue parlor only). I can't wait to open our doors! Audrey, we can't wait to welcome you in early March!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Excited about our Girlfriend's Night Out Holiday Parties

Margot has organzied "Girlfriend's Night Out" parties for us next week - one at each of our parlors - and we've been so excited to the ticket purchases happening! Danielle keeps emailing us that someone else has purchased a ticket online! And another two friends! And another three friends!

It's our first time with this type of event, and all of us are so excited! That's why we keep repeating the word "excited"! And using exclamation marks!!

There's something so immediate and gratifying about online invitations. In case you aren't on our mailing list yet (email me at and let me know!) or your invitation didn't make it to your inbox, here are the details below:

Girlfriend's Night Out
& Julep Holiday Kickoff Party

Downtown Seattle - Wednesday 11/19, 5-8pm
University District - Thursday 11/20, 5-9pm
Gig Harbor - Thursday 11/20, 5-8pm

We invite you and your girlfriends to enjoy
wine & cheese while you sample
a favorite Julep mini-service:

Dress your fingers with a mini-manicure in holiday colors
Clean up with a brow design at the brow bar
Warm up your hands with a paraffin wrap

Only at the party:

We'll "top off" your $75 Gift Certificate purchases and
make them $100 each

20% off all future appointments booked this evening

Check out our new party packages and get
20% off your own Julep Party
(when you reserve the date at this event)

Get a sneak peek at our exciting new
"Ready to Delight" Pre-Wrapped Holiday Gifts

Tickets $25

Purchase tickets for this event online at

Space is limited!

Questions? Call 206-818-0607

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Loving my happy lamp

As I type this blog entry, my eyeballs are being hit with happy light.

Because it is grey and rainy in Seattle. And I'm currently in the process of reading Harry Potter to my kids, which feels grey and rainy too.

Also, the happy lamp distracts my attention away from the flickering of the flourescents in our office (although they do nothing to distract from the buzzing of the same).

I think I'm supposed to sit under it for about 10 minutes, but of course it's already an hour and I'm still here, getting happier. It's just like when I ask our vernisseurs to leave on the glycolic peel for twice as long on me when I get the the Girlfriends' Glycolic Pedicure. Lisa frowns upon this practice, but I have thick, fast growing skin. According to my expert self-diagnosis.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Eyelash extensions

We're starting to offer eyelash extensions at Julep next week - and WOW they are amazing. As a busy working mom, I love waking up feeling glamorous. It takes an initial upfront investment, but now all I do is add lipstick and mascara. And I look JUST like Lucy Liu.

You know how eyebrow shape makes a huge difference? (Although I unfortuantely only learned that AFTER my wedding photos). Eyelashes are the same. Immediate, amazing difference.

It was also awesome to fall asleep (actually drooling and snoring!) while Lisa went to work transforming my short stubby lashes into sweeping curls (using "j" curl, which is more natural looking than the "c" curl).

But I asked Lisa whether my eyelashes were the shortest she'd ever seen, and she said no. Mine were a size 7, and she swears she's seen 6s. But I suspect she says that to everyone.

Anyway, now I'm a size 9. Take that, TMZ.

Now I am obsessed when I look at magazines - trying to spot eyelash extensions (which last up to 6 weeks and look more natural) versus the false eyelashes (which can be more Tammy Faye and are applied for just the evening). E.g: Jennifer Lopez - false eyelashes. Jennifer Aniston - eyelash extensions.

I've never had lashes long enough to worry abut clumpy mascara before! Now I understand why that matters. . .

Thank you thank you Lisa!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Julep Support Center Offices - Transformation to Holiday Workshop

Here's a sneak peak at our Holiday Gift Set preparation! I LOVE our earth-friendly ribbon - Recycled and Recyclable, with our elegant-but-cute-as-a-button leaf cluster printed with soy-based ink. I want to send it to Project Runway for someone to make me a dress with it. (But Kate would kill me if any of her holiday goods went missing - as she's clearly laid out in multiple post-it notes throughout the office).
And how about our eyecatching environmentally friendly shopping bags? We've only got a handful of these first edition bags! Someday, I hope to be kicking myself up-side the head for not keeping mine in better condition to sell for huge bucks on Ebay.
Our shared wood-paneled Support Center office is brimming with boxes and boxes of lovely holidy gift set goodies. True to our goal of learning and getting better everyday, our holiday preparation this year was in full swing MONTHS before the "H" word even crossed our minds last year.
Speaking of our Home away from Home (or right next to our homes, for me, Kate and Jeanne), apparrently we've sufficiently aggravated our co-tenant/landlord with all of our clutter that he's banishing us next door - where we will have access to more space and light, but not free heat/water/phones. And, most importantly, we're going to have to leave behind the wood panels. Kate is so excited she can barely concentrate in yoga class.
When I first told Kate where our office was located, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that the building wasn't a front for a porn studio, as her husband had concluded based on the perpetually pulled blinds, the non-descript company name taped inside the window, and the presence of scantily clad women smoking cigarettes outside the back door. (But it just turned out that the building houses a legitmate photo studio that works for local spas - or so we've been reassured).
Anyway, now we will have a room of our own. (That's two literary references in the same month! Reading this blog will make you smarter!).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our chairs are FAMOUS (on SNL!!)

Marylee emailed me over the weekend to tell me that she saw our orange chairs on a Saturday Night Live sketch - Don Draper's Guide to Picking up Women.

We've seen Vanessa Williams in the sexy white version on Ugly Betty, but not in our Italian leather deep orange.

Come to Julep - sit in the chair that all the stars are sitting in!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My baby sister is getting married

We're down in California for my baby sister's wedding this week. (This is where I'm totally psyched to have an awesome team at home - especially since after scouring the land for months and months, we finally have some live prospects for a Julep on the Eastside! Thanks Kate and Tracy!).

I love that my sister has found someone who wants to go to the airport as early as she does - especially since she comes from a family where flight times are taken as merely suggestive.

My sister Alice is nine years younger than I am, so I've spent my whole life equippping her with all the tools she needs to be a happy, responsible adult, including mandatory essays on E.M. Forster's Howard's End at age 9. All my life, I've worried about her, pushed her, nagged her, basically did everything my parents did to me that I found as profoundly irritating as it was ineffective.

But I love her such a "big, gi-normous much", as my daughter would say. Being a sister to Alice and my other (already married) sister Jenn has been one of my life's greatest joys. I really love being a sister.

And yes, I used to love making my sisters act out the "Sisters" song from White Christmas. ("Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters . . .").

I once read an article about a pair of sisters who were 98 and 100 respectively, and the 98 year old was still waiting for her older sister to stop bossing her around. I'm just barely perceptive enough to know that this is NOT an appropriate wedding present, but I might try to dig it up for my sisters nonetheless. . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Beyond "Red State Blue State"

The whole nation was holding it's breath tonight - and the verdict is in. All the pundits are calling it on every network. Julep's beautiful fall colors are in - deep indigo, true turquoise, rich wines, gun metal grey . . . We're far, far beyond just red and blue.
I'm wearing "Maggie" these days (the first bottle in the row above)- and there's something about beautiful color that just makes me smile. I love that it's colorful but still sophisticated and grown up. I want to bathe in this shade.
After you register to vote (deadline in Washington state is October 4th!), then come pick from our rainbow of colors while you contemplate what you want November 4th.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Going for Cate, ending up Dorothy

The coolest, and most dangerous, thing on the world wide web today is Instyle's Celebrity Hairstyle tool - where you can upload your own photo and "try on" celebrity hair styles.

But since I look JUST like the Asian model on the top right corner, I chose to use that face instead.

And then I went hairstyle shopping.

I thought I'd like America Ferrera, and I knew I wouldn't like Cindy McCain (is she REALLY a CELEBRITY????). But Cate. Cate was who my hair was on the inside.

After clicking on Cate's hairstyle, I then made it dark, added highlights, tried to add lowlights (but couldn't really figure out the difference) and then pressed print and I was off to the hair salon.

But somehow, when I left, I was not Cate. I was more Dorothy Hamil. Not that I didn't spend most of my childhood channeling Dorothy. (When I wasn't channeling Debra Winger as Wondergirl).

But now I am in my late thirties, a mom of two kids trying not to LOOK like a mom of two kids, and I ended up looking like a cross between a seventies figure skater and a Japenese adolecent boy. Not really sure what is worse . . .

Ah Cate. You are so elusive.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Julep First Ever Family Picnic - Indoors!

The on again off again rain didn't stop us from gathering with our families for our picnic - we just moved it indoors to the UD parlor! Thanks everyone for staying/coming out/ driving up from Gig Harbor / bringing your spouses and family!! It was so great to have some time to get together! And thank you Amy for organizing the event!

Julep Family Picnic - Indoors!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting our jollies from checklists

I was so excited driving into work today because we were having our first ever seasonal promotion pre-launch meeting. Strange but entirely true - I was so giddy with anticipation that it felt like Christmas morning.

Up until now, we haven't had/haven't had a chance to have prelaunch meetings because I was head of marketing, parlor hostess and parlor manager, so the promotions I dreamed up at 2am only needed to be discussed with Jeanne, printed up in Powerpoint and communicated to our small team in parlor, and we were off and away. Total time from inception to rollout: 7 hours.

Turns out 7 hours notice doesn't really work for 3 parlors.

So even though our awesome fall treatments and vernis colors launch OCTOBER 1 - a full 16 days away - we met as an implementation team to discuss our programs and figure out how to bring them alive in our parlors (using Jeanne's awesome step by step checklist, which gave Kate the goosebumps). Moving from 7 to 384 hours is an over 5000% improvement.

And I love sitting around a table with such smart, passionate, and powerful women. I have the most amazing job EVER.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Suddenly it's fall!

Over the past few months, we've been getting used to welcoming guests and trying to keep the lightbulbs from going out in three locations across Puget Sound (KBM knows more about 130volt light bulbs than she ever thought necessary . . .).

And suddenly it's fall!

Everybody's babies are bigger (Jeanne and Shari here, Ali & Renata out of state). And some are about to come out to meet us (Danielle - who is conveniently planning to have her baby on September 29th - between processing payrolls).

I'm entering fall with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement for leading Julep to the next level. Our walls are plastered with regional maps - and growing numbers of red stars for where we want to bring Julep next. (Including Bellevue, Kirkland, West Seattle, University Place, Mill Creek, Edmounds . . .).

Right now, I'm excited about:
  • Doing a better job telling our story! Okay, maybe if you're reading this, you're already immersed in Julep, but we're realizing that a lot of our guests don't realizing that they we're a healthy, non-toxic, ultra-sanitized, community-oriented, responsible place that's perfect for your next party. They just know they're somewhere hip and friendly, with rockstar treatments. That's great - but there's more to us! Yes, it is possible to be both beautiful AND deep!
  • All the guests who are bringing their celebrations to Julep! September is turning out to be a busier party month at Julep than August was.
  • Our new Refresh Citrus-Mint Salt Scrub! We have a sample jar in our Julep Support Center offices and I've been using instead of soap to wash my hands - with velvety results after just 2 days.
  • "Liv" - one of our new fall colors that's a beautiful gun metal grey
  • Summer finally coming to Seattle
  • Our amazing teams in all three parlors.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jennifer on top of Cate

So I've realized that we can expand our 36 Julep vernis colors to an infinate number if we layer 2 different polish colors. We always do 2 coats of vernis anyway - so now I'm trying to experiment with different variations.

Right now, I'm loving Jennifer (sheer light pink) on top of Cate (opaque neutral beige) - the perfect nude polish for my darker skin.

I was at Gig Harbor today, "helping out" by having Karen practice a Parlor Manicure on me. Yes, it's so hard being me.

Anyway, we tried the Holly (opaque light pink) on top of Hillary (coffee brown), and that didn't work out as well. I had to bail and go straight Hillary, which I had forgotten how much I loved.

Lisa is working on new fall colors - dark neutrals, blues and greys. Stay tuned - more exciting colors and combinations arriving at one of your THREE Julep parlors soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grand Opening Julep Gig Harbor - July 25, 2008

Opening day! And we were booked with walk-ins! Here's Debbie (Esthetician), Patience (Manager), Monique (Parlor Hostess), Kate (Assistant Manager) and Mary Lee (Operations) at our new front desk!
Jennifer Thuma, you are a genius. We love the front counter displays. Our cuticle oils were made to live on your lovely shelves.
I love how our Gig Harbor location feels like a whole separate building (actually, we only share it with Panera). And the high ceilings are very dramatic. Tom & Kate - I love the firefly lights! the whole space is gorgeous. Tom's idea for the mezzanine was brilliant - we're loving every inch of our new home.
I've kinda been pinching myself the whole week - it's hard to believe we're here - with three parlors open and welcoming guests. The two most thrilling things for me are sharing the passion with our growing Julep team, and having guests leave delighted.
I can't believe it!
Unfortunately, I missed the morning of our Grand Opening because I had to drive down to Olympia to plead our case to the Washington Liquor Control Board. We are applying for a wine license to be able to make it easier for our bridal shower, birthday party, and girlfriends gathering guests to enjoy a glass of wine or champagne with their pedicures and yummy Gourmando appetizers. Everyday, I am doing things for Julep that I never anticipated having to do before in my life. . .
But arriving at Gig Harbor, it was so great to see the energy and enthusiasm (even if it was partially Red Bull induced!).
Lisa and I agree that each immersion we lead together, it just gets easier and better. (Which is why we add additional tasks to her list, like van driver).
I'm so glad to have Patience and Kate at this parlor - I know they are going to do amazing things to welcome the community into Julep.
After Gig Harbor, our goals feel more concrete to me than ever before. This is where Julep is truly leaping off the business plan and into action.

Gig Harbor!

Okay, so you get to experience Julep Gig Harbor pretty much the way I experienced it, which is that I saw it at the very beginning, then all of a sudden it was finished. THANK YOU Kate, Tom, Jennifer, Mitch, John, Chris, and Mary Lee!
The photos are:
1) Kate putting up the curtains (with Mary Lee's help)
2) Beautiful flowers from Della to congratulate Kate on all of her hard work coming to fruition!
3) Beautiful flowers from Diana Giannoulas' garden (next to stairway up to our esthetics room and breakroom
4) Signage going up! Thank you Danielle and team from Plumb for working with us!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gig Harbor - From The Beginning

We have VERY high ceilings at Gig Harbor - which is why Tom suggested a mezzanine. Our first 2nd floor at Julep! So I have to admit, I am cheating - Kate sent me these photos 3 weeks ago . . . but I thought it was fun to post belatedly to give you a sense of the beginning of Gig Harbor Julep. I'm really excited to share Julep beyond Seattle!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Anniversary

So I'm finally getting the pics from our 1 Year Anniversary / Downtown Parlor Opening Party up - because I've just realized I should try to do this at least before we get to our next milestone of having Gig Harbor open (which is just right around the corner!).

Thanks Margot for throwing such a yummy, fun, festive event - just what we all needed!

I've never been very good at pausing to celebrate my own progress - I am much better about it for others. Being a parent helps - I'm much better at recogizing and celebrating milestones with my children than I am at recognizing and celebrating my own.

But what I've realized is that it is selfish not to pause to be proud of all we've accomplished - because I should not be modest on behalf of the hard work of others. I did not do this alone, so I have no right to be modest alone. All of us (including myself) who have worked so hard should be shouting our accomplishments from the mountaintops. Or at the least from obscure blogs that only a dedicated mother-in-law could love and read with regularity.

Hooray US!!! A continued happy anniversiary everyone, and here's to many, many more.


Here are our beautiful Parlor Managers . . . and our beautiful Parlor Managers to be . . .