Wednesday, November 13, 2013

polyvore meetup!

Exciting news to share. Last week I attended a Polyvore Meetup, a two day event where I and 12 other members were spoiled, praised and showered with gifts. I've been a member for 5 years, and Polyvore remains my favorite online diversion. It's far more than a shopping resource; it's a one of a kind creative community that allows me to express my style ideas and get welcomed feedback. When I was invited to attend the meetup I was surprised, and thrilled... and nervous! I'm a very shy person. Talking to new people does not come easily. But there was no question, I had to go.

 View from the Hotel Valencia via Polyvore

We stayed at the Hotel Valencia in San Jose, California. I was the only Bay Area local in the group. Polyvore flew in members from Austria, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and across the states. The first evening we were treated to manicures at Lavande Nail Spa, where we also met and mingled with the amazing Polyvore staff. What fun! I never get manicures, ever. And I rarely bother with doing my own nails. I usually just keep it simple. But five days later my nails still look great, so that may have changed. I never knew that perfect, colorful tips could be so pleasing. 

Gifts and handwritten notes made us feel special. 

The next morning began with a very nice breakfast at the hotel, where Polyvore's CEO Jess Lee joined us. We went around the table and each person introduced themselves and shared how they discovered Polyvore and what it means to them. Hearing everyone talk, I realized how rare it is for such a diverse group to have this one definitive thing in common. We all have this need to create, to express ourselves and share our ideas, and we are united in having discovered the perfect outlet for that in Polyvore. I think that is truly special.

Next we headed to the Polyvore headquarters in Mountain View. When you enter the building, the first thing you see is the Polyvore motto on the wall (seen below in a photo by Ana). This is not just pretty typography. They take these values seriously. Everything about the meetup experience reinforced these words, from the personalized touches and attention to detail, to the enthusiastic and friendly staff. It was mentioned that even though they would love to invite a lot of members to the meetups, they choose to keep the groups small so that they can actually spend time with everyone. Another example, Carlie brought up an issue with the activity page and engineer Kenson Yee actually fixed it within an hour. Wow! 

Say Ya! Photobooth fun and gifts from Bare Escentuals.

The lineup for the rest of the afternoon included a presentation by Jess on the history of Polyvore, an introduction to the new iPad app, a Q&A with Polyvore staff, and demonstrations by some members on their approach to set-making. It was wonderful to gain insight into the company's background, the various teams, and learn the differences and similarities between members' set creating styles. Later in the afternoon we were all pampered (again!) with "make-unders" from Bare Escentuals. A lovely girl named Alba did my makeup, and she has quite a following on Instagram and YouTube. The Bare Escentuals team also gave us gift bags with tons of take home goodies. I learned that the gifts were customized to our tastes based on our Polyvore profiles - how sweet!

Personalized name badge with one of my sets, and more gifts!

I can't believe how many gifts we received throughout the meetup. As if everything I've already mentioned wasn't enough, we were given another bag (a Polyvore tote!) with awesome stuff inside, including a red knit infinity scarf from ModCloth, Cockatoo Brooch from Reiss, Catherine Michiels pendant from YLANG|23, Julep nail polish, gift cards for Neiman Marcus and Asos, and generous discounts for Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment. Amazing, right!?

A sincere thank you to the Polyvore team for making us feel so special. It was an honor to be included with such a talented group of ladies. I will treasure this experience!

Please have a look at everyone's Polyvore profiles:


  1. Perfect summary of events. It will forever be a favorite memory.

    1. Angie, it was so nice meeting you! I was so pleased you were going to be there, after following you on Polyvore for so long. Still can't believe it all happened!

  2. I loved reading your words, Shawna. You write very well. I'll have to add a link to your blog post from my set. It was a wonderful time. I'm so glad to share it with you.

    1. Thank you, Carlie! It was lovely meeting you.

  3. Very cool read! I love that polyvore took the time to meet with members! I love following you on polyvore, and I am loving your blog too!

  4. aka kira-marie on polyvore, btw!