Junior League of Louisville Podcast!!!!!

The Junior League of Louisville is excited to release their first collection of podcasts.  As the league works towards the 100th anniversary year, we hope to honor our history by telling the stories that detail the great work of various Junior League members. The Junior League of Louisville has a legacy of strong women who are true change makers in our city.  We hope to help share their stories and experiences.
Season one participants and their corresponding year of Junior League presidency are: Louise Rapp Wall (’63-’64), Emily Lawrence (’91-’92), Anita
Barbee Cunningham (’98-’99), Mary Sullivan (’04-’05), Christie
Lanier Robinson (’05-’06), and Mary Ellen Wiederwohl (’09-10).
To find the podcast, just search ‘Junior League of Louisville’ in the Apple or Android podcast apps.
Some of you may be asking – What IS a podcast?  and WHY did we do this?
Well, a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device. There are over 660,000 podcasts available with over a million episodes! Podcasts are kind of like, radio on demand.  We thought that this would be an excellent way to try to bridge the gap between stories of our legacy/history with early strong women in our Junior league, to the millennial generation.  
 
To find us, use your tablet or smart phone to download the ‘Podcast’ app. This app comes standard on most phones, but if you have deleted it, you may need to re-add.  Once the Podcast app is on your phone, just open it, and click the ‘Search’ icon at the bottom.  Search for ‘Junior League of Louisville.’  You will see our image! Click the image at the top, and then click the ‘subscribe’ button.  The season one of episodes should download to your phone. You can listen to them in the car, while hanging out at your house, while you are on a walk – whenever! If you like what you hear, please give us 5 stars!
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Tulips and Juleps – How do they do it?

Tulips and Juleps is one of our biggest fundraisers. So how does it raise funds? Tulips and Juleps raises funds three ways including ticket sales for both general admission and special events, the bourbon and wine pull, and the winnings from the silent auction, and most importantly the booth sales. We sell booths to our vendors so that they can come and sell their items. Their continued support is how Tulips and Juleps continues to successfully raise funds for the Junior League of Louisville. The vendors continue to support us not only because of the committee’s hospitality and organization but mostly because of customers walking through the door and attending Tulips and Juleps.

One of the returning vendors that will be at Tulips and Juleps on March 1st and 2nd at Louisville Slugger Stadium is Serenity Grace Bath Bombs and More below is an interview we had with the proprietor.

What is your favorite item or item(s) you sell? Why?

Our favorite item that we make/sell are our Handmade Bath Bombs. We do not use any preservatives in our product, so the natural aspects and the scents can be enjoyed without all the harsh chemicals some bath bomb manufacturers use.

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How did you get your idea of opening your store?

A small affordable space became available in our hometown, and we decided to give it a try. Things took off well, and we have grown into a larger space and not only sell bath bombs but have moved on to jewelry and children’s clothing as well.

What is your top selling item you sell?

Our top selling item that will be available at Tulips & Juleps will be our Bourbon Vanilla Oak bath bomb.

bourbon bath bomb - serenity grace

Can’t wait to for Tulips and Juleps on March 1st at Louisville Slugger? Then be sure to stop by the Serenity Grace storefront located at suite 107 7813 Beulah Church Road, Louisville, KY, 40228 and tell them you heard about them through the JLL Blog.

Why Lemonade Day?

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Hailey and Katie participated in Louisville’s inaugural Lemonade Day program in 2016. They made $650 during their first Lemonade Day experience, setting up their stand at
the Kroger at Holiday Manor. They decided to share 1/3 of their proceeds with Cedar Lake Lodge. They won first runner up in the Best Tasting Contest, then won Louisville’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Hailey and Katie went on to win the National Lemonade Day Entrepreneur of the Year award, and were flown to Washington DC to speak at the National Lemonade Day 2017 kickoff event at Gallup World Headquarters.

While visiting DC, they got to represent Lemonade Day on the Washington morning show – Great Day Washington, as well as spend some time lobbying members of Congress to increase access of entrepreneurial training to students across the U.S. After returning to Louisville, they decided they wanted to continue their entrepreneurial endeavors, and
opened up their own online store called Ooh La Lemon (oohlalemonstore.com).

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Ooh La Lemon sells products with a fruity twist – from pineapple purses and water bottles to lemon dresses and watermelon earrings, they are using lessons that were taught to them by the Lemonade Day program to engage in the economic process of
sourcing goods, and selling them to make a profit.

They also are having to learn what a customer wants. They intentionally started with a lot of products to see what products would be successful. They would shop together and look at various products and packaging and opened wholesale accounts. They even attempted to make a lemon swim dress for tweens, but learned it was not cost efficient to make the dresses themselves because it took them too much time.

Hailey and Katie then hired a local seamstress to make the dresses, and hosted a market research party with friends to see what products would sell well. They continue to test new products to see what the public will like, knowing their small business will have to go beyond friends and family. They have learned that it is difficult to have products with multiple sizes (i.e., iPhone cases) because it ties up a lot of money in inventory. They have learned about all of the costs associated with sales – for instance, packaging and monthly website hosting, sales tax, etc.

Additionally, they continued their lobbying work and met with Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball to discuss youth entrepreneurship and the status of House Bill 132 to mandate high school financial literacy classes for all JCPS graduates. When the bill
passed, Hailey and Katie got to speak at the press conference alongside of
Treasurer Ball.

Katie and Hailey have had thousands of unique visitors access their website over 5400 times. They have over 400 followers on social channels and have learned how they can use social media to target specific audiences and adjust their marketing strategy to each key customer segment.

The girls are excited about the future opportunities of Ooh La Lemon. They are having to learn how to balance school and sports with their business. They have also continued to apply the spend, save and share models discussed in Lemonade Day’s curriculum. For instance, they are planning to give a portion of their sales to Lemonade Day Giving Tuesday.

Since the two have so much fun working together, they want to keep this business going as long as possible and hope to apply these skills for business to their college applications and beyond.

To find out more or get involved by participating or donating go to lemonadeday.org

A New Year and a New Tulips and Juleps Spotlight Vendor

Happy New Year!!!! A New Year and a New Spotlight Vendor that will make you wish that it was March 1 – the kick-off to Tulips and Juleps which will be held at the Louisville Slugger Field.

Vendors love our event and much of it is due to the Junior League of Louisville members, as well as the loyal shoppers that come and visit the vendors every year. This is one of the reasons that Connie from Heart Strands has been a returning vendor. Read her interview below:

I want to say “Thank You” for this opportunity.  I really enjoyed being a vendor at last year’s event.  Everyone with Junior League did a wonderful job putting it all together and made it fun for all involved. I enjoy working with everyone involved with Tulips and Juleps.  It is very well organized, and they make the vendors feel special and appreciated for being there.

Let me start by saying I do not have a store front or a website.  I participate in several events yearly where I offer my jewelry for sale.  I have purposely chosen to run my business this way.  One of the biggest pleasures I get from what I do is getting out in public and meeting the people who come by my booth.  I love the social interaction and answering any questions they might have about the design process.

booth pic - hearts and strands

Whenever I am asked where I come up with my ideas, I like to joke by saying at least I have something floating around in my head.  A lot of times when I am in the process of buying my beads or pendants, an idea will come to mind by just holding the bead pendant up and looking it over.  Sometimes I will lay the piece that I am wanting to design out on my work station and an image of the finished product will come to mind.

I use natural gemstones in my designs and the majority of them are one of a kind.  I go out of state twice yearly to the warehouses and pick my beads out in person.

stones from - heart strands

I have always been a huge lover of all jewelry, whether gold, silver, gemstone or simply costume/fashion jewelry.  I started out in 2002 by making some pieces for myself.  Whenever I wore the pieces I made I would have people ask me about them. That is how I got started designing jewelry.  Sometimes I make matching sets consisting of a necklace, earrings and bracelet, but most of the time I make pieces that will interact with other items I have designed.

Tulips and Juleps is Just Around the Corner

Tulips & Juleps is just around the corner it will take place on Friday, March 1, 2019 and Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Louisville Slugger Field. Tulips & Juleps is an annual art and gift market featuring vendors from across the region. This is our 13th annual market; in 2015, we moved our long-standing holiday market, Hollydays, to the spring to attract shoppers preparing for spring and Derby. Last year we attracted over 65 vendors and raised $20,000+ in funds to support our mission! In addition to GREAT shopping, we feature special events throughout the weekend including a silent auction with unique products and experiences!

The success of this event is in part due to our amazing vendors. In the coming weeks we would like to highlight nine vendors that will be at Tulips and Juleps and give you a sneak peek of the items that you can purchase at Tulips & Juleps as well as give you a bit more information on the vendors.

This week we had a Q&A with the husband and wife team of Merging Metals. MergingMetals aims to create an ethical and sustainable future by raising awareness of material sourcing issues and practices.
MergingMetals creates unique and unconventional wearable, each lovingly handcrafted and made with purpose. Why do we call them wearables rather than jewelry? Our pieces are more than jewelry, they are wearable works of art, wearable hints of nature at its finest.

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Where do you get your inspiration to make your items?

Our inspiration comes straight from nature. Each design, distinctive and unique, cannot be replicated and represents nature both physically and symbolically. Our design aesthetic embraces a more organic and unrefined look reflective of the natural world.

 What is your top-selling item you sell?

Real copper feather necklaces. This beautiful statement piece that is pictured below will be available at Tulips and Juleps!

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What was the hardest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?

Working with your spouse, we say we built MergingMetals on love, creativity, and arguments; we may not always see eye to eye but at the end of the day we envision the same thing.

What is your favorite item or item(s) you sell? Why?

Steven and I each have favorite items we like to create. I love to make statement necklaces with tree bark, truly making nature wearable. Steven can’t get enough of making “halo” crystal necklaces. Matching up the perfect stone is quite the job! Both items below will also be available for purchase at Tulips and Juleps

His Favorite

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Her Favorite

Her Favorite

Would you like to know more about MergingMetals or can’t wait until Tulips and Juleps to wear some of their beautiful creations you can go to their website at www.mergingmetals.com or via Instagram: @mergingmetals. Stay Tuned for more  Vendor Spotlights.

Member Spotlight: Kristin Armstrong

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We recently had a brief interview with Kristin Armstrong to discuss not only why she joined the League, but how it has positively impacted her career and personal life. Kristin’s League experience has been nothing short of impactful. She is currently an active member of the Junior League of Louisville, and serves as the VP of Membership.

 

When did you join the Junior League and what motivated you to become a League member?

I joined in the fall of 2014. I was a graduate student in a specialty program at the Kent School of Social Work, so my time was slim and split between classes, practicum, and homework. I wanted to volunteer in the community but couldn’t commit to daily or even weekly involvement, and the Junior League allowed me to give my time on an irregular schedule while still making a big impact. I wanted to volunteer, but I also wanted to get to know my city and meet strong, smart, community-focused women. The League offered me all of that in one place.

What are some of the skills you have learned/honed through your roles within the Junior League? Have these skills helped you in your career? How?

Earlier this year I made a career shift from social work to nonprofit fundraising, and I was able to do so in large part because of skills I honed serving in League leadership. I was able to organize and facilitate training events, lead teams of volunteers, engage in strategic planning, manage a tiered budget, fundraise for a meaningful cause, collaborate on a marketing campaign, create tactical plans for recruitment and outreach, and more. During my job search I was able to provide concrete examples of this work to potential employers, and even though I’m new to the field I entered the job market with multiple competing offers. I’m convinced my League experience was a major contributor to that positive outcome.

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What is your favorite JLL memory, event or committee and why?

In April, I was selected to attend the Organizational Development Institute for the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), a conference for Junior League leaders from across multiple countries. We shared ideas, learned new approaches to leadership, and more of your typical conference activities, but what really stuck with me was hearing about the incredible collective impact being made by our members. There are Leagues working to address human trafficking, environmental concerns, refugee resettlement, domestic violence, health services, and here in Louisville, the effects of generational poverty on education. As only one woman, it’s easy to think I can’t make much of an dent in those large, systemic issues, but in the Junior League we have over 140,000 women working together against them, and in those numbers we’re pretty unstoppable.

There are occasionally stereotypes about what it means to be a member of the Junior League. How is Junior League relevant to you?

The Junior League isn’t a stagnant organization- they’re willing to make changes in order to meet the needs of the changing role of women in society. When the Junior League began it was an organization for socialites, and that’s simply not what life looks like for most women. In 2018, our members are teachers, business women, mothers, students, judges, civic leaders, women from absolutely every walk of life who need an organization that’s willing to adapt to that changing demographic. You can see that forward movement through elements like our Diversity & Inclusion task force (a watchdog group for increased League accountability), our Advocacy Committee (to educate members on public policy issues and civic engagement), and the Voice & Choice implementation (to maintain the League’s flexibility for women with increasing demands on their time and talents). I attended a training event recently where a representative from the Association of Junior Leagues International told us, “if you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” I strongly believe the League will never be irrelevant because as an organization we’re willing to make the difficult changes necessary to effectively meet the needs of our members without compromising our mission.

What do you wish you could share with individuals who are not in JLL, but may be interested?   

Set aside your preconceived notions and give us the opportunity to surprise you – come see who we are in action. I invited a friend to attend a Junior League recruitment event, and afterward she came up to me and said, “I really wanted to hate this. I thought it was going to be an organization for bored housewives, but I think everyone in this room has at least a master’s degree.” She filled out her Junior League application that same night. It’s funny, but it’s also true – this is a group of incredibly accomplished women, but it’s also a group for women who are just starting on their path and want to gain practical skills or engage with their community in a way that will one day help them be one of those incredibly accomplished women, too. Empowering women and communities is what we do, and I can promise you’ll believe it when you see it.

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If you have a Junior League of Louisville Member (active or sustainer) that you think should be highlighted in our blog, please contact Lindsey Brown at lbrown0086@gmail.com.

 

Little Black Dress Initiative

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The Junior League of Louisville (JLL) embarked on its inaugural Little Black Dress Initiative from October 22-26, 2018. Fifty League members and several other community members wore the same black dress or outfit for 1 week. The purpose was raise awareness of the issue of generational poverty and the impact it has on education in our community. This was just a tiny representation of the limited choices that people in poverty face. The experience as a whole impacted supporters in many different ways and helped us all gain a new appreciation for the options we do have. It also was a great tool to start conversations in our community shedding light on what many here face. From share nights with local businesses, guest speakers at our breakfast panel on poverty held at Spalding University, and the sponsorship of our kickoff event, we were grateful for the support from our members, the community, and our extended networks in making our first year so impactful.

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You can view our sponsors in the images below. With their support we were able to raise $16,200, surpassing our initial goal of $10,000. The JLL has many projects in our community which support both educational initiatives and meeting basic needs. Money raised from this initiative will help the JLL continue to serve our community and train women to become civic leaders. It will support projects such as filling our 6 Little Libraries with free books, help sign kids up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in partnership with Wave 3 News, fill backpacks with food for children in need, help provide meaningful mentoring and events for children in crisis and so much more. Thank you again for supporting the Junior League of Louisville and we look forward to continuing this event and the conversation again next year!