In December we were thrilled to learn that we had been nominated for a Fashion Group International St. Louis Rising Star Award. This was their innaugural year presenting the awards, and we were listed among some very heavy hitters in the St. Louis design and retail community including K. Hall Designs and Lori Coulter Made-to-Order Swimwear! Quite fashionable companies, indeed.

On the big night I was lucky to attend with fellow nominee Amie Corley, up in the interior design category (Amie's gorgeous work can be seen all over Makaboo, as the vast majority of the homes we've shot in are Amie-designed!). It was a beautiful event and much bigger and swankier than I had anticipated - which made me a wee bit nervous! This was compounded when the 300 or so attendees were shuffled into the presentation room and I discovered that not only was each nominee covered in a minute long presentation with HUGE slides, but then nominees were asked to stand and the winner was announced and expected to come on stage and - GASP - speak!! Eeeeeek!!!

It was sort of like the local, fashion version of the Oscars. Except that since it was the first year, no one had ever watched these Oscars, and no one knew what to expect. Nominees included!!

Thank GOODNESS my category was fifth out of six, so I had a bit of time to contemplate what the heck I would say if Makaboo's name was called. I'm actually much better at extemporaneuos assignments than I am at planned ones (just ask my high-school English teachers), so I was pretty sure I could roll with the punches.

Finally, the e-Commerce/Social Media category was up, and if you can believe it, Makaboo won! It was so cool! Our own little Oscar moment! I did not trip while making my way on-stage, and I was able to make a bit of sense in my speech. I did, however, forget to thank my husband. I thought about taking a page from Ben Affleck and asking the final winner, Lori Coulter, to thank him for me, but the timing wasn't right.

We got a neat statuette and everything, but most importantly, we got to spend an evening celebrating all of the incredible things going on in the fashion and retail community here in St. Louis. I was so floored by the show FGI St. Louis put on, and by the support ALIVE Magazine and St. Louis Magazine brought to the event.

So, let me say brava to the talented people who put on this year's event, and I can't wait to come and toast the nominees next year! And finally, of course, thank you to the Academy - I mean FGI's executive members - for choosing Makaboo as this year's winner in the eCommerce and Social Media category! We are so, so honored. Oh and to my husband! Who can be seen on the far left of the image below. He is so nice to come along for the ride. I love you Billy!

Stylist Jan Leach Givens, the Collective's Nicole Benoist,

Makaboo's Cindy Teasdale McGowan, and ALIVE Magazine's Jennifer Dulin Wiley

Coverage of FGI St. Louis' Innaugural Rising Star Awards

Alive Magazine

St. Louis Magazine

St. Louis Post-Dispatch