Last week seems like a dream as co-author @AnneDGallaher and I kicked off our book with a launch in Harrisburg (Anne’s hometown) and then in New York City at the fabulous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. I think the photos (gallery at the end of this post) tell the story—we are always amazed at the power of social and how it brings people together in real life. Through social media, we have met some of our most loyal and supportive friends and our book is selling due to this buzz online.
I know long blog posts are boring so here’s a quick recap of our launch week with mentions of the great friends who joined us!
May 19: I arrived in Harrisburg, PA from Memphis mid-afternoon and Anne picked me up at the airport. We went to her house to unload my bag and get ready for our three o’clock book party at the West Shore Country Club. Keely Childers Heany, co-publisher and editor of Susquehanna Style, joined us to take photos and write a review in the June issue. Thank you, Keely! Friends Kathy Keaney Snavely, Susan Ewing, Michael Rathfon, Megan Healey, the Ben Gallaher Band and members of the Gallaher family joined us!
May 20: Anne and I boarded an Amtrak train to NYC. Of course we would see a social media powerhouse sitting next to us—Mike Wilson of The Vineyard at Hershey fame! Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel and hailed a cab to meet the fabulous Megan Hennessey—social media manager at the Waldorf Astoria. Megan greeted us and we talked about the details of our party. Next, Anne and I had lunch at the world-renowned Peacock Alley bar. I had divine soft shell crab over veggies; Anne had the lobster salad. And to finish it off, we sinned big by ordering the famous red velvet cupcakes—a signature treat and worth every calorie.
Later, for dinner (when in NYC its about the food, right?) we joined the beautiful mother-daughter duo, Jessica and Mona Sappenfield for dinner at in the West Village at a bistro called Aria—117 Perry Street. Trees were lined with twinkle lights and the menu featured small plates; the food was fantastic. The four of us shared a variety of tasty food and enjoyed the bustling and crowded atmosphere of laughter and enjoying time with friends and family. Special thanks to Mona for coming all the way from Memphis to be at our party and support us! And to Jessica, who lives and works in the city, for the great dining recommendations as only a New Yorker can give!
May 21, day of the NYC book party: Mona made appointments for us to have our hair cut and styled at the famous Ted Gibson Studio. What a treat! Ted himself came in, as we were finishing. Jill Engelsen (a woman in high gear, stylist and educator to the celebs in NYC) did our hair. Jill is a living doll—she is talented and makes you feel like a million bucks. My hair has never looked better! I asked her what differentiates Ted Gibson from other NYC salons and she said, “Every detail matters here and mostly how we treat people, which is with great kindness and appreciation.” Well let me tell you, it certainly shows—that Ted Gibson really knows branding. I can’t wait to go back. Thank you to Ted’s good friend Mona for making it happen!
Any girl knows that once the hair looks good, the rest is easy! We had lunch at La Rue with one of Mona’s good friends from NYC and then it was back to get ready for our party. Anne and I arrived at the Waldorf at three o’clock to find every detail taken care of by the capable and courteous staff at the hotel. As our four o’clock start counted down, we sat together talking about this journey and how grateful we both feel to have found each other and write a book together. Anne kept saying, “I have to pinch myself this seems unreal,” which sums up how we were feeling!
4:00: Showtime! Our guests started arriving and it was like old homecoming! In walked the gorgeous and wonderful @DebWeinstein, followed by all these beautiful friends: @brandcottage or Patricia Wilson (who we’ve been wanting to meet), as well as @Sheconsulting or Esta Singer, @JudyBellem, @AmyVernon, @ckburgess (Cheryl) and @mnburgess (Mark), @karimacatherine. We love MEN who support women in high gear like @Josepf (who I finally got to meet) and fiancée @yoginiqueen. Next, in walked a dear friend I’ve known for twenty years, @elisemitch of Mitchell Communications! My cousin from New Jersey joined us—Pat Tipton or @PatrickBTipton (love you, ‘cuz) and @SethSklar popped in to say howdy! Then, @JennFriedberg (Jennifer) joined us and @jkcallas or Jure Klepic came by as well! Last, but certainly not least, I got to spend time with my dear friend Susie Matta. She came to see us all the way from Texas!
In addition to all of these fabulous people, BBDO New York sent Liz Smith and Katrina Wong from their team to represent FedEx at our event, which was much appreciated and nice to have a hometown friend like FedEx on board. Thanks to my friend @StevePacheco for all the support in helping to make this happen.
6:45: The party winds down after lots of photos, hugs and tweets. People go their separate ways, vowing to see each other again soon. Deb Weinsten (who had come from Canada) joined us for dinner. Once again, Jessica Sappenfield selected yet another local fabulous dining option, this time in the Upper East Village and it was great fun celebrating with friends.
May 22: A final salute to NYC and it is back to Harrisburg, where Anne and I mapped out more high gear plans on the train ride back. When we got to her home, we sat on her patio and took it all in; we talked about the past two days and the people we loved seeing! After a good night’s sleep, Anne dropped me off at the airport for my day of travel back to Memphis. That afternoon, Anne was speaking at the Go Red for Women American Heart Association luncheon, where she sold more books as I flew home to a rising junior in high school and a rising eighth grader. We celebrated, as May 23 was the last day of school—a perfect way to top off a perfect week. Thanks to all for making our launch fantastic. Cheers to Women (and Men) in High Gear!
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