This week's Fashion Friday features the St. Pete-based online swimsuit shop, First & Oxford. With our tropical climate in the Tampa area, I am excited to showcase the amazing swimsuits available in this shop. I feel it is always a struggle to find quality, well-priced suits, and it is so helpful to have options with our proximity to the beach and year-round sunny weather.
I had the opportunity to speak with the owner, Samantha, and her passion for her shop shines through! She assisted me with choosing a suit of my own, and I can really speak to its quality. The material feels different that the store-brands I am used to, and the cut and print are so unique! Samantha shared some background about herself and the boutique that I know will have you excited to check out her amazing selection of swimwear!
Meet Samantha and First & Oxford
I was born in Michigan, but grew up here in sunny Florida. (I guess you can call me a Floridian!) Like many that live out here, cold weather and I do not get along. I enjoy sunny winters and watching the beautiful Florida sunsets. My background is in marketing and ecommerce, and I have worked with several businesses to help create and expand their online exposure.
First & Oxford was born from the passions of two globetrotters who appreciate and love good quality products and the finer things in life (at an affordable cost, of course). After researching and taking into account what several women look for in a swimsuit, we have found the perfect balance in the products we offer here at First & Oxford. We encourage all women to browse our store and take a dive into tranquility. They won't regret it!
Why Did You Launch First & Oxford?
First & Oxford was launched through passion and with the help of some poorly made swimsuits. In the past, I have personally had issues with swimsuits being too expensive, uncomfortable, and simply not lasting. We knew that I wasn't the only female out there going through these issues, so we've decided to take matters into our own hands and come up with a solution!
What Sets You Apart From Other Boutiques?
Our swimsuits are made with high quality fabrics and materials such as Lycra and OEKO TEX certified fabric. This makes our swimsuits both durable and helps you move more freely. As a bonus, our swimsuits also provide UV protection and SPF 50+. In addition, most of our swimsuits are sourced from exotic places, such as Bali and Brazil - places that are naturally surrounded by beautiful beaches and experience a lot of sun. In terms of pricing, we strive to offer great quality swimwear that is affordable - truly the best of both worlds, right?
Where Do You Look for Inspiration?
We found a lot of inspiration through traveling to exotic places around the world with friends. We've come across lots of different textile patterns and styles, so when stocking products for the shop, I look for their uniqueness. On a more local level, I think of the women here in Florida and what they would look for in a swimsuit. Taking these factors into account, we stock a mix of minimal coverage to fuller coverage products. We truly pride ourselves on quality swimwear made from the world's most exotic places.
How to Find First & Oxford
While all thoughts are my own, this post was done as part of a partnership with First & Oxford.
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our June Girls Night Out; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Timeless Photography
It was such a job to have Edna, or Lola as she is also known, capture this event for us! Please view our photos here, and contact Timeless Photography for engagements, weddings, birthdays, everyday moments and any other photography needs! She covers Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
LuLaRoe with Pam Beam
Pam offers fashionable, unique, affordable, and incredibly comfortable LuLaRoe clothing. Her inventory includes shirts, dresses, skirts, kid’s clothing, and of course, LEGGINGS! You can order online or visit her in-home boutique.
LipSense with Amber
Amber shared her inventory of colors from LipSense. LipSense is the premier product of SeneGence and is unlike any lipstick, stain or color. LipSense is a long-lasting (4-18 hours!) liquid lip color that is formulated to molecularly bond to your lips. LipSense is Waterproof, Kiss-proof, Kid-proof, Vegan and Cruelty-free. In addition to LipSense, SeneGence has a complete long-lasting cosmetic and skin care line.
Yoli with Valerie
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Did you have a chance to learn about the Better Body System? It's not magic, it is a foundational, holistic system of synergistic all natural products that support and optimize the bodies physiological systems and processes. What sets the program apart is the patented product called Alkalete. Valerie shared her own mother's health story and how these products have impacted their family.
Premier Jewelry with Elizabeth
Premier Jewelry features the latest trends, to help you maximize your wardrobe and elevate your style. Premier jewelry is high in fashion, packed with versatility and easy on your budget. With almost 500 pieces in the collection, there’s something for everyone, every day! Contact Elizabeth to purchase your favorites for yourself or as gifts!
Bella Mia Medical Aesthetics and Laser Institute of Tampa
Dr. Linette Rivera and Dr. Pina Panchal provide medical aesthetics and medical services, executed or directly supervised by the physicians, ensuring the best care in a safe environment. In addition to skin services, you can visit them for weight loss goals as well! You can learn more about these impressive doctors from our blog feature!
Isagenix with Lili and Cristina
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No matter what your health goals are, Lili and Cristina can help you with their Isagenix product lines.Isagenix is protein based, mineral rich, nutrient dense, super food that combines nutritional cleansing with targeted essential nutrition that feeds the body on a cellular level.
Young Living with Kelly
As the world leader in essential oils, Young Living believes that everyone deserves a life full of abundance and wellness. Their vision is to bring the life-changing benefits of essential oils to every home, family, and lifestyle. Contact Kelly to learn how oils can help you in your wellness journey.
Nspire Network with Greg and Jacqueline
Now We No is the campaign that is informing men and women all over the world about the harmful effects that today’s sanitary napkins and tampons may have on women’s bodies. Visit the websites to learn more about the movement and view the innovative products that Nspire Network offers.
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
Tell us about your business and how you became the successful business women you are today.
Dr. Linette Rivera and myself are both physicians who had a passion that went beyond going to work and seeing patients every day. We wanted to be able to interact with the patients and develop a close doctor-patient relationship where we help them not only look their best but feel their best. That is why, a year ago, we decided to open our own medical aesthetics practice. Among the services we provide are the following; Botox, Dermal Fillers, Laser Skin Treatments, Skin Care, Laser Hair Removal, Medically Managed Weight loss, Testosterone Replacement and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. We met 3 years ago and we noticed we shared the same passion for medical aesthetics. We have always believed in pursing our dreams and we know that taking risks is a big part of making it happen. We spent a lot of time putting together a concierge style practice where patients feel we are there for them 24/7. We work long hours, even from home making sure our clinic provides the best quality of care. This ensures patients feel at ease and are satisfied with their results.
Staying motivated is not hard for us because we put our hearts into this venture and want to see it succeed. Building something from the ground up has given us a lot to be proud of and thankful for.
Describe yourself in three words:
Strong, Confident and Passionate
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Our greatest professional achievement was working hard to become physicians and being able to pursue opening our own medical practice.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
Our goals are to continue growing our business, getting more patients to visit our facility and to become more involved in the community and the different organizations in the Tampa Bay area.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Linette would like to learn more about photography since she loves to travel and talks about her life experiences on her blog. I would love to learn more about the culinary arts. I have a love and passion for cooking and would enjoy getting deeper into this.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
At the beginning, it was a challenge because we both still work at other medical practices. With time, we have learned how to organize ourselves in order to meet the demands of our profession without compromising quality time with our families.
It has not been easy, but we just work hard daily, and most importantly, we make time to laugh and just let go and have a good time.
What websites do you visit every day?
We want to always keep up with new products and treatments coming out or any new laser technologies. We not only keep up with beauty and fashion trends but also are always searching for the best aesthetic conferences and trainings that keep us delivering the best services to our patients. These are some of the websites we like to visit:
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
Linette is a foodie and loves to go to restaurants all over Tampa. Her favorite one is On Swann, in Hyde Park Village. Being from Canada I'm and avid hockey fan and love going to the Lightning’s games and Linette goes to most of the Buccaneers football games. We both love to go to Miguelito’s for lunch breaks and happy hour.
What is your goal for retirement?
We would love for Bella Mia Medical to be at multiple locations so we can pass the legacy of a successful business to others. Then, spend our retirement traveling the world. We want to know that we have lived, done well and worked hard to be able to enjoy retirement
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
The best advice we could give to women wanting to become entrepreneurs is to not worry about following the common path, but to go where there is no path and leave a trail!
Any final comments?
We are both blessed and thankful for where we are today and look forward to so much more for the future.
I am thrilled to bring you the first in our Summer Fashion Series! I had the pleasure of shopping and learning all about Thread Appeal, a local online and mobile boutique.
Thread Appeal was a lifelong dream for Melissa, while growing up in Pinellas County. After numerous years working as a buyer for local corporations in her current hometown of St. Petersburg, Melissa took the leap in 2016 to combine her purchasing knowledge with her love and passion for fashion, to open her own boutique; and has been loving the experience ever since!
I met Melissa at one of her pop-up market locations at the Pierce Street Market in Clearwater. She set up a beautiful space at the market and included about a fourth of her inventory. My absolute favorite thing she does at her pop ups is she set up two changing areas, just like you would find in a brick and mortar store. Buying online can sometimes be tricky, so it was so convenient to have the opportunity to try on different pieces, and Melissa also offered helpful feedback and fashion tips. Her number one tip: garment tape! She told me garment tape is a huge trade secret, and will soon be available at Thread Appeal too. One more Fun Fact: You can also receive styling help for yourself or a gift for a friend when purchasing online too!).
I asked Melissa about her fashion preferences, and she says that while she stays away from shopping at chain stores anymore, her favorite store is Banana Republic. It is easy to see that preference when looking at her inventory. Thread Appeal has a stylish variety of romantic, functional pieces that would be great for a day at work or an evening out. I wore one of my new shirts and jewelry to our Girls Night Out this week! Melissa continues to keep her inventory updated with an amazing selection of New Arrivals that stay on-trend.
You can view and shop the inventory in the online boutique and on Facebook. There is always FREE shipping! You can also contact Melissa to set up a trunk show in your home. Trunk Shows can be scheduled evenings or weekends for you and up to 10 of your closest friends. With a $50 deposit, they’ll bring up to 15 different styles either of your choice or selected for you, along with all of their current accessories. The $50 deposit will be applied to your order during the show as the hostess and you’ll also receive 15% off the remaining balance of your order!
Be sure to check upcoming Events to find where Thread Appeal will pop-up next!
Connect with Thread Appeal
While all thoughts are my own, this post was written as part of a partnership with Thread Appeal.
USF Pre-College Camps
Do you have a high school student who wants to experience college life? With USF’s Pre-College summer programs, they can!
Teens can now spend their summer break pursuing academic interests, discovering career opportunities and exploring the independence of university life. All of our programs are enriched with experiential learning, select field trips and guest speakers – all of which put theory into practice. Some programs even offer the opportunity to earn college credit.
To learn more about the USF summer camps, visit http://hubs.ly/H071Fgp0
Tampa Music School
Tampa Music School will be rockin' out this summer to 80's themed summer music camps. Learn the piano, guitar, drums, rock band and steel pans to age appropriate 80's themed music for ages 7-13. With three professional musicians on staff, and a cap of 12 students, your musician will enjoy 20 hours of music camp, select weeks June - August 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.
Visit http://www.tampamusicschool.com/ for more information.
Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps
Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps are the premier camps for young players who strive to learn the game, improve their skills and/or participate in middle school, high school, USTA team tennis or tournaments. Both commuter day camp and overnight camp options are available! They break the campers into small instructional groups of similar age and ability so each child is working in a group that is commensurate with their experience level. They tailor each program to the level of the players.
Barrett School of Music
Come join us for our first ever Brandon Music Summer Camp! Classes will run from 11am - 3pm, Monday through Friday, the week of June 12. Students will choose between a variety of musical ensembles and activities such as drum circles, pop band, choir, guitar ensemble, and songwriting. We will have a talent show on Thursday and group performance on Friday for friends and family. Register here.
We just had our fourth amazing event last week here in Tampa. I’d like to give a big thank you to Vuelo Mexican Grill for being so accommodating and welcoming to our group! Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend. I love seeing so many familiar faces and meeting new guests every month. With each passing month, I see how ready Tampa was for a group like this, and I hope you will all continue to come out and support each other!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our Spring Fling; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: IME Independent Mobile Entertainment
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Tabetha from IME Independent Mobile Entertainment did such a great job with our photos from this event. Check them out here! IME is a mobile entertainment service specializing in DJ services and photography. Competitive prices and they can play any genre of music.
LuLaRoe with Lisa Lett
LuLaRoe is an American fashion brand specializing in clothing from size 2T-3XL. LuLaRoe features everything from dresses, skirts and tops to leggings and more! There is no catalog, as each unique and comfortable piece is part of a print that is only used for approximately 2,500-5,000 garments. Which is where the Unicorns come into play! Lisa is available for in-home pop-up parties, on-line parties and shopping (both on-line and in person for locals) as well as FaceBook Live sales!
Pure Romance with Zaeda
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With the best in bath, beauty, and bedroom accessories, it's easy to find something you'll love. When you place your order from Zaena on her private, secured site, your order will arrive at your home promptly and wrapped in discreet packaging.
Young Living with Kelly
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Young Living sets itself apart from other essential oils with its Seed to Seal® process. This meticulous, five-step approach allows them to deliver nature’s most potent and pure essential oils from their farms to your family. Kelly is passionate about the ability of oils to improve a family’s daily lives and would love to share her knowledge with you!
VOXX Life with Cathy
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Tired of always being SORE and ACHY? Both comfortable and affordable, Voxx Socks and Insoles can help you live a better quality life! Check out Cathy’s Facebook page and website to learn more about the incredible technology in VoxxLife’s socks and insoles.
Isagenix with Lili, Alejandra, and Estrella
Isagenix has solutions for whatever goal you have with their effective nutritional programs for weight loss, performance, healthy aging, and energy. You will love the convenience, taste, and health benefits!
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
Thank you to all who attended our Bar Louie Girls Night Out! We had so much fun, and I know the vendors loved meeting all of the guests! I also know traffic was difficult and we were all feeling the effects of the day after the Super Bowl, so here is a recap of our AWESOME vendors!
Many of you are just learning about Housewives in the City, or were just unable to attend our launch event, so I'd love to share some local businesses with you! These businesses were featured at our vendor tables and we just love them! Please reach out to them to support their businesses if they have something you need or want!
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!