This post was originally published over on FIG, Columbia's blog for a holiday recap of our event hosted by the lululemon Columbia showroom. While I'm happy to have it sitting nice and neatly over there, I think B@T was getting a little jealous. Plus, it was just so much fun and one of my favorite showroom events to date (hellooo, #joblove!), sure doesn't hurt posting another time.
Do you hear what I hear?
The buzz of an overly active phone.
The honks of angry, rushed drivers.
The loud, chaotic commercials blaring through TVs and devices.
The silence of a crowded, apathetic sidewalk shuffle.
The icy anthem of: "I'm so busy."
Must be the holiday season.
Instead of the carolers and sleigh bells the yule tide songs boasted of so joyously, this time of year is often a muddled chorus of anxiety and hurriedness. Being in the business of retail, the social playlist of the weeks leading up to the respective holidays is a scratchy, heavy, frenetic sound on constant repeat. A sincere wish for a "Happy Holidays!" and "Merry Christmas!" is often met with a scoff and a stiff look -- one that says, I KNOW. It's the holidays. Do you have ANY idea how much I still have to do?
All I can do is offer a small prayer or positive vibe in hopes they find a little tiding of comfort and joy amid the tinsel-covered frenzy. And, of course, try my best to not think of my own lingering holiday To Do's...
Then you get a rare, shining opportunity to realize your Cindy Lou-Who dreams of warming the hearts of those around you. A chance to share a message of peace, of joy, of living in the moment. (Of eating really, REALLY good food.) At the lululemon Columbia showroom, we were charged to communicate, on a local level, the message of our company's holiday theme: Give Presence. What is #givepresence? It's experiencing Life in its truest essence - The Here. The Now.
|hand-lettering by our talented showroom manager, Kelsey|
How to execute such a grand idea?
Really, it's pretty simple: Bring together the very things that cause one to slow down and appreciate the moment:
Yoga. Food. Conversation. Goal setting. Wine. Inspiring friends.
On a chilly December Monday night, our showroom team hosted an intimate "Give Presence" event at the Loft 201 by Rosso Trattoria, an effortlessly cool venue that's quiet and cozy. The evening started off with a mingling of Columbia friends with a overview of the message of "Give Presence," transitioning into a yoga class led by owner of Yoga Masala and lululemon Columbia ambassador, Kyra Strasberg. Emerging from the most wonderful presence-focused savanna, our guests, whom are showroom and Columbia-area influencers, found their way to a table. This table had posters in which to declare, in big, bold, fat permanent markers, their way to give presence into the holiday season and beyond.
As our guests made their declarations, our friends of Rosso Tattoria, quite magically, set up tables of food and wine pairings inspired by the Give Presence theme. With careful consideration of decadent, savory flavors with specially chosen wines, the Rosso team created a wonderland of food & wine pairings to really bring home the essence of in-the-moment sensations. As the conversations and libations flowed, the sentiment of family, friends, traditions, special moments, and happy memories flooded the little space overlooking our fair Capital City. The night ended with our guests making future plans, on their own, to celebrate the connections and relationship-building of that night; and each got a stack of holiday cards to share with their communities and spread the word with new and old friends.
In the days following the Give Presence event, we received the sweetest, most genuine appreciation for sharing the message - and entrusting these special friends to be the messengers in their own circles. The screechy, chaotic "noise" of the holiday melted into that fullness and cheer of what this season it supposed to be all about. Certainly, it was incredibly cool to see how our simple gathering made its waves across the Midlands. For our little showroom team, it was humbling to provide such an experience for these amazing people who give so much to the Columbia community every day.
The cool part?
Our charge to "give presence" hardly ends on December 25th.
How can you be a part? Simple: Be present. Slow down. Don't hold back telling someone how they mean to you. Be proud of all you've gotten done. Enjoy the sights, smells, and simple joys of the season. Smile at a stranger. Put your phone away. Start your day with a positive thought. End it with a declaration of thankfulness and gratitude. Get excited for starting the new year with a new intention of presence.
(Pssst, you can also share by tagging your photos on Instagram and other social media outlets with #GivePresence.)
So, go worth wonderful citizens of the Columbia community - give presence and have a very merry, happy holiday.
PS. These photos barely cover the half of it. Want to see more AND how each of our guests decided to give presence? Check out the photo gallery here: http://celiagphotographie.zenfolio.com/givepresencelululemoncolumbia
And juuuuust in case you were wondering, here's how I decided to give presence:
Guests of the lululemon Columbia showroom Give Presence event included: Addie Fairey and Anna Reynolds of Pure Barre Columbia; Kim Jamieson of SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Lacy Carbone of Bikram Columbia; Lauren Truslow of barre3 Columbia; Darby Graham and Jamie Scott of Jamie Scott Fitness & SWEAT by JSF; Sean McCrossin of Drip Coffee; Jonathan Kunze of Carolina CrossFit; Dr. Brad and Stacey Collins of City Yoga; Kyra Strasberg of Yoga Masala and Yoga Reaches Out - Columbia; Haley Staubach of Yoga Masala; Nicole Zimmer of Pink Lotus Yoga Center of Lexington; Jessica Lathren of Yoga Reaches Out - Columbia and FIG Columbia; and the team members of the lululemon Columbia showroom. | The event was hosted at Loft 201 by Rosso Trattoria. | Food prepared and provided by Rosso Trattoria's catering team. | Photography provided by Celia G Photographie.