Big announcement!

I have had the privilege of attending many different transgender events over the years.  I've gone to big conferences, getaway weekends, and events that fall somewhere in-between.  There are events like this all over the US, and in many parts of the world.  If you think there's not something near you, think again (and then get to Google-ing "TG events YourState")!

Of course, some areas have more options than others.  I feel fortunate in New England that not only are there so many options for going out in public and more options opening up every day.  We have several TG conferences including First Event, and fantastic regularly scheduled club nights (I'm looking at Tiffany Leigh and Triangles specifically).   I've taken people to mainstream restaurants and clothing stores and local parks with no incident.  And I'm very thankful that I live in an area that there are all these great options and resources to point people towards.

However!  We have a gap in the getaway-weekend department. 

There is so much to be gained from conference seminars, but after going to several, some people have gleaned as much as they are going to, and want an event where they can really focus on the social aspect of the event.  That is where getaway weekends come in; roughly the same span as a conference, the focus is totally different.  Think of it as a vacation organized with a bunch of friends you haven't quite met yet. 

Over the last two years, I've considered many different locations to host a Thursday through Sunday event, and have finally decided on Ogunquit, Maine.  Activities I'm looking at include a scenic sailboat cruise, a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse, the Museum of American Art, and a trip to the Kittery Outlets.  I haven't quite decided on timing yet (currently Fall 2015 seems the best), but hopefully I will nail down a weekend soon.  When I do, it will be posted here!

Southern Comfort

This time next week I will be frantically throwing everything I can think of into (hopefully) two big suitcases and one carry-on.  Why?  Southern Comfort Conference is upon us once again!  I'll be heading to Atlanta for a few days of catching up with old friends, enjoying warmer weather than Connecticut boasts at the moment, and of course doing makeup!  I've been booking appointments since May and am pleased to see I'll get to spend time with many of the same people as in past years.  There are some new people coming to see me as well, and I'm also very glad for the opportunity to meet them, hear their stories, and form new friendships.

SCC has many positive features.  It attracts a variety of people from many places; it is in fact one of the largest gender conferences in the US.  As such, the programming at SCC is diverse, and there is sure to be something for everyone on the seminar schedule.  For those who want to go out in Atlanta, there's no shortage of friendly restaurants and clubs in and around the city.  There is also a large shopping mall across the street.  I've never met anyone who regretted attending SCC. 

For more information about Southern Comfort, visit their website: www.sccatl.org

Charming Charlie's

As promised, here are some photos from the latest Open House adventure.  After a full day hanging out at the studio, five of the girls decided another outing was due.  We discussed going to Foxwoods (to compare to Mohegan Sun, of course), but the vote showed more interest in shopping and dinner.

Charming Charlie is a huge accessory store; think of it as a classier Claire's that you might find in a mall.  We went to the one in Northborough, though it is a chain and has many stores in other locations.

Before heading out on our adventure.  L to R: Cheri, Chrissie, Jayne, Chardonnay, Katie, and Jill.

Before heading out on our adventure.  L to R: Cheri, Chrissie, Jayne, Chardonnay, Katie, and Jill.

Jill became enamored with hats on this trip.

Jill became enamored with hats on this trip.

After over two hours of wandering the store, we all had narrowed down our final purchases.  It was definitely not easy to decide what came home with each of us and what should stay on the shelf.  The store is huge, and has options for every person's taste.

We had to practically drag Chrissie out of the store.  Even after we had, she went back in for a final purchase!

We had to practically drag Chrissie out of the store.  Even after we had, she went back in for a final purchase!

Finally done shopping!  Whew!

Finally done shopping!  Whew!

Delicious!

Delicious!

As everyone knows, shopping works up an appetite.  Purchases in hand, we headed to a 99 Restaurant nearby for a late dinner. 

Thanks for another great Open House girls!

Open House date change

I have had to move the September Open House from Thursday September 18th back one day; the new date is Wednesday September 19th.  I hate to move Open House dates once they are set, but unfortunately there's no getting around this change.  

Completely unrelated, but I will be unavailable by phone until August 18th.  I am taking a real vacation with my spouse for the first time ever!  While I'm away I may check emails once a day, so just be patient with me.  I know Southern Comfort is fast approaching, but I promise I always schedule appointments on a first-contact, first-served basis. 

I will be posting pictures from the August Open House after I return.  A group of six of us had a fun shopping trip to Charming Charlie and then enjoyed dinner at the 99 Restaurant.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Mohegan Sun

When I say that casinos are incredibly safe places to go while dressed, people are generally surprised.  But really think about it.  The staff and security has seen just about everything, so they don't care what you're wearing.  People usually have a specific reason for being in a casino, which does not generally include a trans witch-hunt.  Ultimately casinos are based around people being focused on gambling and having a good time, and anyone that interrupts happy, money-spending customers is thrown out.  End result: if some idiot approaches you at a casino to try ruining your night, and security sees it (and of course they see everything), then said idiot gets removed before you can even think of a retort!   

With all this in mind, a group of us went down to Mohegan Sun for the evening after the Open House last week.  We had some dinner, explored the shops, and of course, did a little gambling.  We also took many pictures with Mohegan Sun as our ornate backdrop.

L to R: Kathy, Katie, Scarlett, Jayne, Cindy, Dea, Chrissie

L to R: Kathy, Katie, Scarlett, Jayne, Cindy, Dea, Chrissie

Totally reasonable reaction for doubling our money....turning $3 into $6!  Yippee!

Totally reasonable reaction for doubling our money....turning $3 into $6!  Yippee!

None of us won it big in money, but we all deposited a great night into our memory banks!

Synchronized Gambling

Synchronized Gambling

Kathy

Kathy

Chrissie

Chrissie

Katie

Katie

Ice cream and coffee break!

Ice cream and coffee break!

Queen Krispy Kreme

Queen Krispy Kreme

Overall a fantastic night with great people!  I hope to do more excursions after Open House days, so if you have suggestions please send them my way!

A round of drinks to end the evening

A round of drinks to end the evening

Some bad news, then some good news

First, the bad news: I will be raising my prices.

Good news: You have the opportunity to keep my current pricing for an extra NINE months!

I've been doing makeup professionally in the trans community for almost five years now, and always at a very low, reasonable price.  Unfortunately, it's just not sustainable for me to keep the same pricing forever.  As of April 1st, I will be increasing the cost of makeovers and my hourly services (coaching, photo, and instructional sessions).

The good news is that if you pay for any of these services before I change the pricing, I will honor it until the end of 2014.  After that point, I will still accept the face value, but ask that you pay the difference as well.

The pricing will change on April 1st, so don't hesitate on taking advantage of my current pricing!

First Event Recap

This year was one of the nicest, but quietest First Events I remember.  I say quiet because it seemed that more people ventured out of the hotel this year than in past years.  Maybe it was the planned offsite activities (to my knowledge, a new addition to the 2014 programming),  maybe it was the lack of snow this year, maybe there were so many seasoned veterans that no one was afraid to explore outside of the hotel.  Probably a combination of these factors.

Katy and I stayed busy during the day, and I have to thank everyone who helped make Katy's first time at a gender conference a positive experience.  She had a great time making new friends, and looks forward to attending future events!  And I of course had a great time seeing everyone as well.  I always say First Event is my favorite conference, and so it stays!

First Event

First Event is coming up in a little over two weeks.  For those of you who have attended before, you know that this is a huge conference with well over 500 people attending most years.  I've looked at the schedule of speakers, and it does seem to be a very balanced mix of topics.  There are, of course, the doctors talking about hormone and surgery options (of which there are many!).  There are presentation about how to present more passably.  Information sessions on the technical issues of transition, such as legal issues from name changes to employment, can be incredibly helpful for those navigating those confusing waters.  There truly is something for everyone.  

I've also noticed there is a newcomer's session and social lounge this year.  I don't recall those at past First Events, and that very well could be just me not remembering, but at other conferences it's always worked out to the advantage of attendees to have a social lounge to relax and meet up with friends.  

My schedule for First Event is half full at this time, but I always book up completely during the course of First Event.  I am offering discounted makeovers to Fashion Show participants, and free touch-ups just before the Fashion Show begins.  I am also bringing reinforcements with me this year, and my young friend Katy will be both helping provide makeovers to people and offering half-hour photo sessions.  If you are interested in a makeover and/or photo session, just click the button below to email me!

And on a final note, I have an open house coming up this Wednesday, 1/8, and will be at Triangles this Saturday, 1/11.  Hope to see some of you at one of these events!

2014

I need to start 2014 off with a sincere thanks to all of you.  I have been working to build a business that fairly provides the services that are being sought in the TG community, and I am so grateful to have so much support from all of you to make that possible.  My friends and family have been a wealth of encouragement during trying periods, but it is really the support of the TG community that allows me to say that I am a full-time makeup artist and image consultant.  As of the end of 2013, this business has proven itself to be my full-time vocation.  

Thank you so much.

I get so much joy and satisfaction from meeting new people and helping each one of them find the confidence they need to go into the world as their authentic self.  I've made so many genuine friendships since I started attending events seven years ago.  I know it's a rare thing for someone to have work they love and people they love working with, and I am fortunate to say I have both.

I hope each of you has had a fun, relaxing holiday season and have welcomed 2014 with some good cheer.  I have posted the 2014 events I plan on organizing or providing makeovers at, and will update it as needed throughout the year.  I look forward to making new friends and catching up with old ones at many of these events.  

Raven Review

Raven was a blast.  There was such a great turnout both nights - easily 30-40 girls on Friday night and probably triple that on Saturday.  And I have to hand it to the Raven: they have a stellar AC system.  Fr how many people were in the building, even the dance floor was chilly to me.  I actually stepped outside a couple times to warm up a bit.  The music selection was excellent too, in my opinion, and the dance floor was pretty crowded most of Saturday night.

My only complaint for the weekend is that the red carpet photo op wrapped up too early.  I know more than one girl who raced down to try and get a pic, only to find the Cub Room empty ten minutes earlier than stated.  Having the photos wrap up at 7:30 seems early to me anyways; that's right when most people are getting ready for the night, and I'd imagine most people would want a pic with a fresh face and evening attire on, as opposed to rushing after a full day shopping in New Hope.  I have no idea the logistics behind the scenes, so take it with a grain of salt, but if the photo op is supposed to go until 7:30, I think the red carpet and backdrop should still be out at 7:20.  Don't get me wrong, though; this one thing is not going to keep me from going back to future events.  

After such a full weekend, I decided to stay in this past weekend instead of going to Triangles for 80's night.  I hope everyone had fun though!  

Looking ahead, I have a bonus Open House next Wednesday, 8/28, followed closely by Southern Comfort.  If you would like an appointment at Southern Comfort, just let me know.  I may go down with plenty of times open, but they tend to fill up quickly once I'm at the conference.