Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Review: fun with Twenty York

Photo credit:
You know how Alice, when in Wonderland, had that white rabbit that seemed to be guiding her along her adventures? We have one of those lately, too: her name is Twenty York.

Well, actually, it’s Marilou Moles, but her blog is called Twenty York Street, and her Twitter handle is 20YS (as in, 20 York Street), so we call her by her handle. Marilou is one of Ottawa’s top fashion bloggers; in fact, the Ottawa Citizen recently dubbed her so. So how did we end up meeting and then following Marilou around the city? We have Twitter to thank, actually. I’m not sure exactly when it was that I started following ML on Twitter, but anyone who’s really active late at night on there tends to catch my eye, as it’s the last thing I check in on at night. We began chatting—or tweeting, I suppose—and somewhere along the way, we connected blogger-to-blogger. Before we knew it, ML was one of the most influential people in our goal to ‘stay acquainted’ and not end up as couch potatoes.

We decided to do some reviews of the activities we got up to this fall that we didn’t have time to blog about, and realized we had quite a few Twenty York-specific adventures to share. Here’s a recap of what Marilou got us into this fall…


Jordan chatting with local celeb, Stuntman Stu
On September 10th, Marilou asked me to cover an event on her behalf. The Rhythm & Rum Ball, a gala in support of the Care Grows West Foundation, was a Caribbean-themed evening of steel drums, fantastic food, and, of course, rum punch. Some of the swankiest people in the city were there, dressed to the nines and bidding on some pretty incredible silent auction items. ML asked me to cover the event from a fashion point of view, which I initially thought would be no big deal, but two problems arose: one, I didn’t know anyone there, and two, I had no idea how to ask people about their clothes. I think people could smell the desperation because I’d sidle up to someone and just as I’d take a breath to ask them a question, they’d give me a wary look and back away. Armed with nothing but a pen and little notebook, I just didn’t feel ‘official’ enough not to look creepy when I asked the delicate question, “What are you wearing?”

Luckily, I met a fella named Rob Dupuis, from a company called Sweet Chili. Rob was on site to document the evening from behind a video camera…and he happened to have a microphone. He was looking as lost as I was, so we chatted and quickly came up with a plan. Armed with my very own cameraman and a mic to stick in people’s faces, we quickly found ourselves with plenty of people to interview. By the end of the night, we’d interviewed everyone from the CEO of the Queensway Carleton Hospital, to Erin Philips, wife of Chris Philips of the Ottawa Senators. I had a great time munching on hors d’oeuvres and talking with the various ladies about their dresses, each of which had a unique story. You can read more about the night at Twenty York, once ML gets a chance to post it!


Photo by Adam Pap
In mid-September we had another wonderful adventure as we followed our ‘white rabbit’ onwards. We were invited to attend an event called LIFEOFSTYLE (All together like that, at least for us Twitter nuts); this was a fantastic event that provided a launching platform for the rebranding of several local businesses including Twenty York, Beyond Events, and Thann Skincare…but also provided a wonderful stage for a handful of local artisans to show off their talents. Little Cakes Cupcakes made an actual tower of test tubes stuffed with cupcake and icing; Whalesbone catering showed us how to eat an oyster at their phenomenal oyster bar; Reggina pastry delighted us all with cones of fruity mousse; and ARC the Hotel hosted in their gorgeous lounge, and provided decadent little beef sliders that Brian and I haven’t stopped talking about since. ARC’s atmosphere just calls for a fete full of famous people, and that’s what LIFEOFSTYLE was. Brian and I live-tweeted the whole evening, and had a fantastic time meeting all sorts of lovely people. People are still talking about this event, but I think our third Twenty York invite is going to be the new talk of the town…

THANNMEDIA—as seen by Brian

Jordan and Fadi of Thann at THANNMEDIA
This past Thursday, We were invited to the #THANNMEDIA event at Thann’s Bank street location. This was our first time visiting this location and it was beautiful; not only was it done up for the private event but the store’s look and feel is just incredible. Clean lines, unique displays, and warm colours make the shop an inviting place you never want to leave. For the guests, there was sushi provided by Sushi Go and a chocolate fondue from Truffle Treasures. The best part of the atmosphere: the incredible scent of the all-natural products in the room, like an exotic garden.
This event for media, bloggers and tweeters was a great way for us to be reintroduced to Thann and to really see what the brand has evolved into. They started the event off in the morning with Twitter questions about Thann trivia, and Jordan won a 50 dollar gift certificate, while at the event I myself won some aromatic wood handsoap by shouting out another trivia answer.
As the night went on we mingled with all the guests, and got a chance to connect with people like the manager of ARC the. hotel, editor of the Kitchissippi times, Malorie the organizer of the Unshaven Mavens, and of course our hosts 20 York Street and Fadi, owner of Thann. These events are always so much fun because most of these people we converse with over twitter every day but never meet face to face, and THANNMEDIA was particularly incredible for networking.
Brian and Jordan, big winners for the night
The highlight of the meeting was the grand prize draw, for a weekend stay at ARC the. Hotel, with valet parking, sparkling wine, chocolates, and breakfast. How to win this incredible prize? I’ll set the scene: there were five items sitting on top of a black box, and the goal was to guess which item of the five wass in the box. Guests had to fill out the ballot and put it in the box next to it. Jordan and I both got a ballot and I filled out our names then left Jordan to write what she thought was in the box. As the draw was started, Marilou started picking out names but no one had guessed the right product…until she got to mine. My ballot was the only one in the whole box who guessed the winning product! Thanks to one of Jordan’s hunches, we have an amazing weekend ahead of us. So be sure to stay tuned for our blog post about our stay at ARC the hotel! We felt really blessed that evening, and wanted to give something 'back', so we donated our gift card prize to the Unshaven Mavens for their closing night prizes.

Additional note by Jordan:

During THANNMEDIA, Fadi Ghabi, owner of Thann, challenged all his media guests to find a way to accurately describe Thann’s products. I loved that moment when and entire room full of writers put their fingers to their chins as they contemplated the task. Fadi is a former engineer, and I think Thann’s product line is reflective of that: beautifully engineered, simple perfection, and every ingredient included for a logical reason. Made from natural products, with thought put into every aspect of the smell, texture, and feel, Thann reminds me of a finely-tuned sports car: engineered to elegant efficiency, streamlined to optimal perfection. And if I can recommend my personal favourite: Oriential Essence is the best-smelling line of products I’ve ever tried. -JK

Photo by the lovely Adam Pap

We have no idea where Marilou Moles will take us next, but we’re always excited to see what she has in store. ML loves our live tweeting and our ‘roving reporter’ blogging, but given that she recently dubbed us ‘Ottawa’s Brangelina’, I think it’s safe to say she just straight-up loves us, too! The new blog is taking on a life of its own, and you’ll find us all over the city…but keep a special eye out for the lady from Twenty York; this particular Alice and her Mad Hatter will be hot on her fluffy little tail.

And of course, if you have other events you'd like to have us cover, check out our 'Collaboration' page!

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I read every single word in this post with absolute pleasure!

    Not just because it has something to do with.. aherm, me but because you have a fantastic style of writing!

    I am so very glad you both were able to join me for my/our Adventures in Wonderland!

    much love always!