Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend in the Berkshires

What's everybody doing this weekend?  I mean seriously, has anyone taken a look at some of the events going on in the Berkshires?  The farmers markets are starting, estate sales abound, the museums are hopping with their newest exhibits...

I am taking my daughters to see Rhythmic Circus at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and I. CAN'T. WAIT!  I mean what's not to love about dancing (like tap dancing on steroids, from what I hear) and percussion instruments TOGETHER?!?!  In fact, The Colonial's website reads something like this, 

"There’s tap dancing and then there’s Rhythmic Circus, the percussive-dance phenomenon that features a variety of musical flavors, from Minneapolis funk to salsa, and enlivened by a seven-piece band, vocalists and a beat-boxer."

(Okay, so The Colonial's website reads exactly like that, since I just copied and pasted that part.)  

So I think that looks like a really fun night, and for two little girls (and one big girl!) that get really pumped by funky music with a great beat and CRAZY dancing, I think it's a no-brainer. 

And speaking of no-brainers (well, kinda...I just said it right there ^), I think that all too often people come to the Berkshires expecting that going to the theatre means listening to a symphony, or seeing the opera, or watching ballet. But TRULY every taste is represented here.  And The Colonial, among other places, has SO MUCH to offer, but I think sometimes people who aren't the "artsy-phartsy" type are NEEDLESSLY intimidated by some of the amazing local venues we have.

So if anyone is looking for the Consolati girls tomorrow night, you know where we'll be! (Probably kicking up our (my) heels in the girls will be mortified...a win-win situation!)

Til next time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Love, Vintage China and Classical Tents

I'm pretty fortunate to work with some of the people I do (definitely a perk when you work for yourself!), as most of them become my friends.  And as I get to know each one, I really try to soak up as much as I can about their businesses.  I don't know if it's that I have a genuine interest in the type of work each one does, or if that just comes as a natural part of building relationships, but either way, I know it's a crucial part of creating marketing campaigns, helping with branding and so on.

And so it is with the crew at Classical Tents.  Last year, owner Katherine Lockridge decided that she wanted to build a rental line of mismatched vintage china.  It seems like we're really seeing a trend of country, rustic chic weddings, and they go particularly well in our beautiful Berkshires.  So my first assignment was to become a vintage china scout (yes, that's right...I HAD to go to estate sales, tag sales, antiques auctions, was just awful...wink, wink).  We had so much fun creating a collection and were like kids on Christmas each time we went through a new box of goodies!  

Next came the assignment to photograph some of the pieces, which meant setting up my dining room as if I were preparing for a party.  Now those of you who know me, know that photography AND party planning are two more of my faves (so in other words, this whole vintage china thing was NOT something that killed me to do!), so this task was a lot of fun, and I think the results were positive, too.  And then today, after last month completing the flier announcing this new line, I decided to put together this fun little montage of love, country weddings and fabulous place settings...starring none other than the Classical Tents' new show-stoppers!  So while I head out to check out a new antique store (and have lunch...I'm starving!), why don't you enjoy this little video, below?

'Til next time...!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day!

Happy May Day, everybody!  Yes, I know it's the end of the day and I totally should have written this post first thing this morning, but such is the life of a blogger.  Everyone else's blogs come before my own!

When I was thinking about May Day this morning, I thought, "What is May Day anyway??"  So I looked into it and it ends up that it's of Celtic origin and used to consist of festivals celebrating the true start of Spring (new growth, fresh starts, etc.).  And those little May Baskets that I'm sure you've seen pics of...they used to be left on someone's front door, with the "giver" knocking on the door, then running away!  When the "receiver" opened the door, they would run after the other person, try to catch them and give them a kiss!  I guess I'd rather receive a May Basket than the other stuff pranksters leave when they ring the doorbell and run!  (just sayin')

Then I started thinking about how this tradition pertained to today and realized that each day gives us a chance to start fresh.  That's pretty exciting!  I feel like over the last several months, each day has been leading up to something big...I call that my "knowing" feeling.  I'm so excited to begin the process of my relaunch and it seems like things just keep falling into place...I'm attending a one-day intensive next week with Lara Casey Reps called Making Things Happen.  I'm looking forward to getting really fired up and blazing a new trail!  And who knows...if the mood strikes, maybe I'll start skipping around the May Pole myself!

'Til next time...!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

L'Accent, Ltd. (or "Branding an Interior Design firm")

I had a great coffee date today (at Chocolate favorite remote "office") with a fabulous new interior designer in the area, Elise Abrams of L'Accent, Ltd..  I say "new" because she's only been in the Berkshires for about three years (she divides her time between Monterey and NYC).  Being a lifelong lover of unique furniture and antiques, she quickly realized the Berkshires was the perfect place to live and began designing spaces for people she met while on her own personal search for beautiful things.  She has often been called upon to stage houses that are on the market, businesses/office spaces or create a certain "look" for private events.

But what I find most interesting about her business is that people pay her to find that "one special piece"...  I mean, really!  She gets paid to go shopping?!  I've seen a few of those "get paid to shop" ads before, but I never believed them. (I'm kidding, of course...what Elise does is not quite the same deal!).

Anyway, we're going to work on some branding ideas and I just can't wait!  She has such beautiful taste (not only in decor, but apparel, too, as she always comes bopping in wearing new Louboutins!), I  can't wait to help her come up with some new designs!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Learning curves for a PR consultant

So, it's funny.  When I'm writing blogs for my clients (view one here), it just seems to come naturally...I could go on and on about all the cool stuff that they have going on.  Same goes for the marketing and design aspects...I'm so "outside-the-box" with the fun, quirky ideas that I'm becoming known for.  But then I start focusing on my own business and it's like, "Um...what?"  Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I'm not SUPER excited about the work that I'm doing (I LOVE what I do!), but all my ideas tend to start swirling around in my head like a destructive tornado and I start thinking, "I'd really like an Oreo and a glass of wine...together...right now."  Good thing this doesn't usually happen early in the morning!  LOL

Okay, so with all that being said, I've decided that I need to break down my "Luxe-ness" into categories, but I want your input (a little bit later...I'll give you the signal).  Since the Berkshires really is an amazing place to live (don't just take my word for it, Smithsonian Mag thinks so too, apparently!) I think I need to discuss the best of everything.  So here are my categories: Arts, Dining, Shopping (this will be home decor and clothing...although more home decor, because I don't think my Virginia Tech sweatshirts--though completely awesome--exude the whole "luxe" appeal), Antiques, Wedding/Event Venues, Lodging and maybe even People.  Oh, and probably something for pets, since I'm beginning to think I may have a hoarding problem.

So now, this is where I'd like your input.  Do you want to wake up every morning and wonder, "What category will Tara discuss today?"  Or should I do something like Twitter's "Travel Tuesday" (or #TT), "Wedding Wednesday" (#WW) and so on? (I haven't figured out what the other days are supposed to be, and truthfully, I thought Wednesdays were about Weight Watchers for the longest time...)

Let me know your thoughts!  I know right now, no one really knows about this blog yet, so I'll probably just hear from my mom, sister or maybe cousin.  But that's guys count, too! ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello...let me introduce myself!

Well, it seems like this has been a long time in the making, but I'm so excited to announce that there are some really fun things going on in my neck of the woods!  For the last six years, I've owned my own business that provides business support services (marketing, office organization, personal assistance to solopreneurs, etc.) and this has allowed me to meet all kinds of terrific people!

Last year, I was fortunate enough to get involved in the Lenox Wedding Tour, which brought luxury event planners to the Berkshires for a scouting trip.  Our mission was to raise awareness of the Berkshires as a luxury destination wedding location...I mean, really, we live in an amazing region!  It's basically Newport without the ocean (but SO much more!).

I quickly realized that marketing the Berkshires was the direction in which I wanted to take my own business.  I'm passionate about everything we have to offer here...a cultural mecca, fabulous shopping, fine (really fine!) dining, and so on.  And so here we are...I've dedicated this blog to highlighting some of the amazing things (services AND products) that the Berkshires has to offer (i.e., we're not just a bunch of country bumpkins...we're bumpkins with a lot of class!).

This is a work in progress, but as we begin this process and get to know each other better, I think it'll be great!  Here's to new endeavors!  Enjoy!