Before I even mention how the trip went, I have to acknowledge how many people bent over backwards to take care of things at home while I was gone. Leaving three small kids and a crazy busy business behind is no small thing, and I'm so grateful for friends who literally came over every day while I was gone and packaged orders and for Soren who had a sick baby stuck to his hip the entire week. They didn't have it easy so that I did have it easy.
I left for my trip on a Tuesday night and having a four hour flight by myself was a strange and glorious thing. I only wished that I had brought some lighter reading. Daring Greatly is a pretty heavy book to try and read for four hours! I made it to San Francisco and navigated the airport and taking my first Uber. Life is just so different when you are a single, lone person, and I'm totally out of habit. I found myself feeling like a 12-year-old again so many times (like when taking an Uber!) because I just hadn't navigated a situation before.
The amazing ladies that planned our trip rented a house for us and when we each arrived, we found fresh flowers, a bag of gifts, and cute decor all over the house. I met the other six bloggers up on the rooftop balcony where there were lights set up and drinks and snacks. We had too much fun up there laughing and swapping stories (usually about babies and childbirth) every night we were there. Most of us had our own room, but Veronika and I were the last to arrive, so we bunked together. It worked out great because we got to know each other a little bit more that way - she was a fab roomie!
The first morning, we all woke up and navigated the two bathrooms to get ready. Cotille and Hege (our hostesses) picked us up in a 15 passenger van and we were off to HQ. Talk about a dreamy place to work. We all about applied for jobs as soon as we arrived. Headquarters has racks and racks of clothing samples.
And trays and trays of jewelry samples! We all just wanted to start shopping right there!
After a tour of the office - which also had everything else you could want, including a cereal bar in the kitchen and all beauty tools in the bathroom - we sat down to hear from some of Stitch Fix's lead stylists. Alexandra was one of them, and she and I could not have dressed more similarly. It was crazy. I loved hearing about what they do and how they put outfits together.
My top - Chicwish, Hers - Stitch Fix
Next we heard from some of the buyers about upcoming clothing for fall and their thoughts on trends and what is hot. I was most amazed at how they described clothing and styles. They had such a large vocabulary to describe clothing! You can tell they have worked in the industry for a long time and really know their stuff!
Veronika and me
For lunch we headed over to a park downtown and had a fun picnic. The food was fancy and the weather was beautiful.
For the afternoon, we got to go tour some of the sites around the city! We made to Coit Tower, Lombard Street, the Palace of Art, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It was so sweet of them to plan site seeing into the trip - it really made it a vacation! That night, we all met up for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then stayed up way too late chatting and eating SusieCakes at the house. (Literally the best cake I have ever had!)
The second day we woke up and headed to the Hizzy - or the Stitch Fix warehouse. This was such an amazing part of the trip. The warehouse was enormous and the amount of clothing there was jaw-dropping. They took us through the entire process from the moment a product shipment comes in to the shipping it out the door in a fix. I was fascinated by it all because we are trying to do all of the same processes for our business right now, but on a much, much smaller scale. I loved seeing what shipping looks like at such a huge scale!
As part of our tour, we each got to pick and package a fix. We didn't get to style it, but we filled the order and had a great time seeing what each customer would be getting.
After the warehouse, they took us back for lunch and for possibly the best part of the trip. They hired a makeup artist to come in an do all of our makeup. I of course picked her brain about her favorite products and got some great recommendations that I'll share later. I loved how my makeup turned out! Then we all headed over to Dry Bar to get a blow out before our professional photo shoot! I've never been to Dry Bar before, and it was such a treat. The products they used smelled amazing, the aesthetic was beautiful, and I got to try styling my hair a new way.
Pre-hair, post makeup....
Post hair and makeup.
We headed back to HQ for our photo shoot (which was just for fun) and worked with a stylist to pick out our outfits. All in all the photo shoot was fun but really stressful for me. I would think, and they definitely thought, that because I take photos for the blog all the time that photos are NBD. Except this set up was so different than my set up back home. Having Soren take photos outside my house is much more comfortable than taking dressed up photos in front of a room full of people that I only half-know. I was pretty awkward and nervous, although I warmed up a bit. It was a good experience and definitely something I want to work on. Obviously the photos turn out better when you look and feel confident.
Jen and me
We ended the day at dinner with our hostesses and the stylists. I loved meeting all of the women there, and it was so fun to expand my circle and hear about life outside of my Midwest bubble. I can honestly say that I now have new girlfriends from all over the country, even from around the world, and that is such a cool feeling. Meeting the other bloggers and the women who work at such a great company was so inspiring and refreshing - definitely the best part of the vacation overall.
Friday was my last day in San Fransisco and it was a free day. One of my best friends from college, whom I haven't seen in years, lives pretty close to where I was, and she drove up to sight see with me. It was so great to catch up with her, and we had a really fun morning hitting up the pier and Ghirardelli Square and eating clam chowder. It was the perfect way to end the trip.
As much as I was dreading getting back and catching up at home, I was also totally ready to go home. Being in a new place and being "on" all of the time is really exhausting to this introverted personality of mine, so I was ready to stop talking and get back to my normal. I picked up an incredibly interesting book for the flight home and hopped on the plane ready to see my family.
Thanks for indulging me in so many photos and details of the trip! Thank you Stitch Fix for such an amazing week of pampering. I'm definitely back in the trenches now, but it was so great to have a week out.
Do you have any trips or events coming up that you are looking forward to?
Photo credit - Molly, Stitch Fix Photographer