Blogging has brought opportunities, explorations & friendships that I will truly cherish forever. Recently, I attended St. Louis Fashion Week on behalf of Midwest Influencer Network and Explore St. Louis — It was my first visit; and it certainly won’t be my last! (No, I’m not just saying that). St. Louis may be small, but it’s mighty; filled with the biggest hearts, and sweetest souls — I have never been to a place filled with so much kindness. I guess the old saying, ‘Midwest is best’ rings true. St. Louis friends; thank you for your hospitality and grace! I left a little piece of my heart with you! Luckily, I got to hang with the locals, so I got to experience the best of the best that the city has to offer. From the delicious food (so much food) to the entrepreneurial spirit; the victorian homes to the shopping — I am still recovering from 4 jam-packed days of F-U-N. PS: Shout-out to Ashley Kuenstler Photography for snapping photos throughout our trip!
Lodging: Thanks to my friends at Saint Louis Union Station for an incredible stay! The lobby was beautiful; and the hotel was converted from an actual train station! Make sure to check them out if you plan to visit! xx
St. Louis Fun Fact: Three actresses from St. Louis work at The Office: Jenna Fischer (Pam), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis) and Ellie Kemper (Erin) were all raised in the Gateway City!
Katies Pizza & Pasta Osteria | 9568 Manchester Road, Rock Hill Missouri | My mouth is still watering from this magic. The coolest part? Seeing Katie (yes, the actual Katie!) help deliver food, and greet guests. I just love that Midwest hospitality! It’s so rare these days! I highly recommend the fig & squash pizza & braised short-ribs (holy moly).
Tiny Bar | 1008 Locust St | St. Louis’s tiniest bar is a big deal — with a super cute story (read more about it here) — I sipped on champagne, while enjoying city sights with new friends. A great place to visit before/after dinner! (Oh, and a great first date spot, just saying!)
Element Restaurant and Lounge | 1419 Carroll St, St. Louis, MO | Another favorite meal of the trip; I got to chat with the owner of Collections by Joya (more of that later!) — Enjoy delicious small plates of comfort food (the fried chicken was to-die ya’ll) & sometimes, simple is best: Make sure to get the caesar salad (seasoned with garlic, lemon & parmesan) & hanger steak (the blue cheese butter was fire).
360 St. Louis | 1 S. Broadway, St. Louis, MO | I’m on top of the world! Literally, you’ll enjoy views on views and delicious bites (what’s better than that?) Soak up the city skyline (and that arch!) The locals absolutely love this place; and I can certainly see why! Snack on truffled popcorn, house fries (with lemon tarragon ailoli) & sausage pizza. This is your cheat night, babes — go all out!
Lu Lu Seafood | 8224 Olive Blvd | Swing that table round-and-round! I just love interactive bites, and conversation. I think we had one too many dumplings; but, that’s what vacation is for, right?! Make sure to try the steamed BBQ pork buns, and veggie fried rice; can’t go wrong!
Central Table | 23 S. Euclid Avenue | Central Table was all about intimacy as we enjoyed Socially Jen’s amazing (and triumphant) story with the Missouri Eating Disorder Council. As influencers; it’s important for us to spark conversation/awareness; to spread good around the world! Central Table allowed us to enjoy delicious food, and have intimate conversations (thanks for the gorgeous space!) I recommend the chicken, brussels sprouts & crispy fried cauliflower (these people now how to make veggies!)
Ballpark Village | 601 Clark Avenue Street, MO | Oh hey, St. Louis Cardinals! Literally located next-door to the iconic stadium (we even had a VIP tour of the ball-park themed rooftop bar — It actually feels like you’re directly inside the stadium. Baseball buffs; you’re welcome). This was definitely one of my favorites of the trip; there’s something about beer n’ bar food that bring me to my happy place (it must be that Midwest in me!) Order anything, and everything; the food is fresh! I enjoyed a delicious (juicy) steak with potatoes. I always enjoy a place that has something for everyone and everyone; makes large group-ordering seamless.
Welcome to my second favorite activity (after eating) shopping! St. Louis offers a plethora of showrooms, galleries & local artists — Honestly, I was blown away with the fashion offerings. A few of my favorites below:
The Vault by Women’s Closet Exchang | 2325 S. Brentwood Blvd. | You can never go wrong with a high-end consignment shop. From the moment I stepped in; I felt like royalty. The staff was beyond accommodating & friendly — The store’s aesthetic is similar to my own; gold + white, with a giant couch for the sweet hubby’s! The store carries designer handbags, clothing & accessories; I was so close to buying some fab J.Crew earrings (70% off); but opted for a blouse instead! (I’ll be sharing it soon!)
Fauxgerty | 228 N. Euclid, Saint Louis | Support your Herby’s! Ha, I just love this store! Aspirations to reduce waste, and increase planet and animal love. PS: It’s all vegan, and hand-crafted in New York City & Chicago. My BFF, Heidi (who enjoyed St. Louis with me) absolutely went nuts! She purchased this sweatshirt; and yes, she’s a vegan. (I haven’t seen her this excited in a long time) This store is a must-visit! It just opened a few weeks ago! Oh, how I love supporting local & upcoming designers. Admirable!
Skif International | Pop-Up in ‘The Hill’ neighborhood | Each piece available is handmade by a team of artists; They’ve been dressing the free-spirited, the risk-takers, and heroes for over 20 years (I had to steal that from their website; so badass!) I purchased a handmade blazer (it’s bright pink!) — I always love supporting the locals; I hope it pushes them to do even more incredible. I also met DJ; a local artist who drew a portrait of me (it’s sitting on my desk!) Each time I look into it; it reminds me of his care-free, local charm. (Everyone knew him, by the way!) As much as I love living in Chicago; it doesn’t have that small-town feel like St. Louis does. It’s like everyone is one-big-family out there; as cliche as it sounds. He also shared this piece of advice; and I’ll cherish it forever. Ah, the people.
Living Collective | Central West End Neighborhood | You guys; I got Clueless nail decals! I can’t even contain my excitement; I’m going to post on Instagram soon; so make sure to stay tuned! Living Collective is a women’s lifestyle shop for adventurers, and dreamers alike. Recently launched in July (congrats!) the store offers something for everyone; including these hilarious sweatshirts (my personal favorite: bitch, better have my money).
Naturalizer | 2436 St. Louis Galleria | One of my favorite highlights of the trip; meeting the actual designers behind Naturalizer shoes. Naturalizer is on a serious mission to target 20, 30-somethings and beyond! They have a shoe for everyone! I took home these babies; and will style them soon (still playing catch-up from being out of town). Also: It’s located inside the mall which includes Free People, Nordstrom & more!
The Normal Brand | Midwest apparel represent! The brand reflects living between the city and country (we get the best of both worlds!) — Apparel designed for hunting trips, tail-gating, weekends on the lake, lazy days on the couch, house parties and more — The Normal Brand is comfortable, stylish & bonus: the founder is super cute 😉 (shhhh!) I am rockin’ this hat as I type!
Calares | ‘Let me take a shoefie’ — Ha! Caleres is North America’s top footwear companies; representing brands like: Naturalizer, Vince, DVF, & more! Their portfolio focuses on contemporary fashion, healthy living and family (love that!) Check-out some more history here (because, there’s plenty of where that came from!)
One of my favorite parts of the trip was exploring; I got to visit various neighborhoods including my personal favorite; Lafayette square; it’s home to some of the most historical, iconic houses in the country. I can’t even begin to describe how magical these homes are; The gals at Midwest Influencer Network said that they have strict historic codes to preserve the area — I couldn’t believe how many colorful doors there were! I am such a sucker for bright, colored doors! (Thanks to everyone who allowed me to stop, explore and gasp for an hour!) Oh, and I couldn’t stop looking up — the amount of detail embedded in each house is absolutely incredible.
We also enjoyed ‘The Loop’ where you can admire the arch; It’s located in the Delmar Loop/University City area for those of you that haven’t been! PS: Have any of you been on the actual arch? I was a too nervous to try; I’m scared of heights! (insert baby emoji here) Ps: Thanks to Fun Tyme Limo Bus for the transportation!
Another area we frequented; Central West End. It’s filled with beautiful restaurants, shopping & gated communities. Some of these homes took up the entire block, I swear! I think that was another shock upon visiting; I had no idea how beautiful the homes/communities would be! We attended the Fantich & Young at the Projects Gallery. (It was absolutely incredible; and filled with teeth — yes, you read that correctly; teeth!)
I had such an amazing trip connecting with fellow Midwest influencers; I will forever cherish my experiences, and appreciate Midwest Influencer Network for making it happen (Shout-out to Lindsay; she was a doll to work with!)
Thank you to Explore St. Louis and Midwest Influencer Network for the opportunity to explore the city of St. Louis and experience St. Louis Fashion Week as an official influencer!