I Give Des Moines Women a "Bravo"

February 5, 2018

I  give Des Moines style women a “Bravo.”


My original title of this today’s blog was going to be about the great style that I would witness at one of the largest fundraising events in Des Moines, the Bravo Awards Gala, held this past Saturday night.  

Bravo is a wonderful organization that provides funding to our regional arts, culture, and heritage nonprofit organizations and programs ensuring that our community continues to thrive and grow.

Although I saw lots of great style... what stood out to me was many of the incredibly strong, powerful, resilient  (and stylish) women that are part of what makes living in our community so rich and rewarding.  


I started the evening with a few women from my own tribe.    I have been fortunate enough to connect with some like-minded women that keep me on my toes and that I enjoy spending time with outside of work.  

What a wonderful group of women.   All of these women have faced all that life throws at them - both good and bad - and charge through it with grace and style.

I also got to share the evening with some of the amazing women that I get the honor of working with…

Lana Jones Gould (middle) looked gorgeous in her emerald green gown (designed by and styled by our own DJ Fees.)  For those of you who know her, you know that nothing stops this incredibly kind, generous and savvy woman.

Lisa Wood (and her husband), one of our home stylists, rocked a Rachel Zoe pantsuit at her very first Bravo event. We are lucky to have this creative, smart and very stylish young woman on our team. She represents the young women of our community and our K. Renee brand beautifully.

Gina Ross (far right, pictured with Jim, Greg, and Brenda Cushing), another of our home stylists, also wore a Rachel Zoe pantsuit that beautifully complemented her amazing guns (arm muscles.) Not only is this beautiful woman one of my work tribe members but also my sister-in-law who has been a meaningful part of most of my best and worst days in the last twenty-something years.

I also had the pleasure of seeing a few of our styling clients...and missed seeing so many more. With 1600 people in attendance it was almost impossible to touch base with all the people that I had hoped.

But the most impressive part of the evening was the women that took the stage during the evenings' presentation.   

The first of these notable women was Mary Coffin (on the right), EVP Loan Servicing at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Nora Everett (on the left), President of Retirement and Income Solutions and Chairman of Principal Funds) who took the stage as the first female co-chairs of this 13-year-old annual event.  

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Nora but I admire her from afar. Mary, well, she is just one of those people that commands a room no matter where she goes.   I am honored to know her (and is one of those people that lifts me up when I need it most).


Following Mary and Nora was the unstoppable Katie Patterson, owner and founder of the Happy Medium - ‘the happiest ad agency in Des Moines.’ (Love that)  


I don’t know Katie well, but she is one of the young women that I watch with great admiration. She strikes me as confident, fierce, always stylish and gives me great hope for the future of my daughters and yours.  


And then there was the woman that we all stand in awe of, Connie Wimer (owner and chair of Business Publications Corp.)  Man, does this woman ooze grace and style or what?    


She has achieved the kind of success and admiration that all of us strive for in our lives.  Connie was honored by Bravo for all of her vast contributions to the arts and our community.   As she humbly accepted her honor, she spoke to us from her heart and touched every person in the room.  Over the years, Connie has literally made herself available to all women who ask for her help in business and life.  



Thank you, Connie, for all that you do, for the women that you mentor and for the impact that you make.   You inspire me to strive to be all that I can.

I woke up the morning after and thought to myself that as much as I love fashion and style and all that it can do for our confidence, the most inspiring aspect of the evening was thinking about all of the strong, resilient and stylish women that I have the privilege to share my life with.   

So this blog is my shout out to all the inspiring women I know.  Not just the ones attending the event - but to all that I have the pleasure to interact with both professionally and personally (you know who you are - business partner, co-workers, friends, clients, daughters, sisters, moms.)    Thank you.   You are all a part of my reinvention.   For that I am grateful.  


PS.   Most of the photos in this blog were not taken by me but by the ever giving Chris Maharry and his partner for the evening Anne Mikesell Hartshorn. Thank you for allowing me to use them today!






And back on the topic of style, our school of styling event is coming right up!  In workshop two, we are going to tackle arranging those difficult shelves in our homes.  We love to have you spend an interactive evening with us!   


Have a wonderful week,