Do y'all know about Storyville? If you do not, then you are in luck, because I am going to tell you.

The company -- which owns shops in New Orleans, Austin, and Baton Rouge -- was started by a fantastic group of siblings who grew up right here in Monroe. Since I love New Orleans, and since I also love the Harvey kids, I make it a point to stop by the NOLA location every time I am down. (The fact that the shop is located next to Sucré certainly doesn't hurt, either.) Storyville's t-shirt designs almost all come from online contests (which also feature $$$ prizes!), and the shirts are printed fresh daily in the Storyville Print Shop, also located in NOLA. Storyville's products are very location-centric, so if you are from, have visited, or harbor a deep/abiding love of any of the above locales, Storyville is totally for you.

Monroe / They All Asked For Drew / Water Meter / Who Dat Owl

I myself am partial to the Monroe: Better Than West Monroe t-shirt, pictured above, for obvious reasons. It's all in good fun, though -- WM, we still love you. (You are the home of Duck Dynasty, after all.) I also own the NOLA Water Meter shirt, which comes in a million awesome colors, and it gets compliments everywhere I go. 

Desire NOLA / Little LouisianaNOLA Seasons / Little Red Crevette / Deep In The Heart

Many of the shirts are printed in baby/kid sizes, like the Little Red Crevette shirt, which I would kind of like to own for myself. Do y'all think I would look cute in a onesie?

Storyville shirts are available in their respective local stores, AND you may also order them online. See all the designs here, and get to ordering! (And please buy extra for me. Thanks.)

AuthorAB Chao
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Happy almost holiday long weekend! Would you like to go to AB Chao Design Camp in a new place? How about three new places? OKAY.

New Furbishings

The new dates are all mini-camps, and they are here:

1. Raleigh! To be held at Furbish Studio, business place of one Jamie Meares. This one has limited space, so sign up quick. Sept. 15.

2. DC! Many of you have been asking for a DC camp. How could I deny you? Sept. 28.

3. New Orleans! I hear it's a great place. This camp will feature a pop-up shop by the delightful Amelia Presents, WHAT? Oct 19.

There are still a couple of spaces left for Minneapolis, Denver, and Philadelphia. And and AND: there is a July 4 celebratory coupon, for freedom. Good for all camps, 15% off, through next Wednesday. Exercise your liberties by using code FREEDOM15 at checkout.

Go, go, go! Camp it up, y'all.

AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp
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Oh, hello. Did you enjoy those testimonials? They are all totally real.

I do not even know how to start talking about my first Dewit Design Camp. There are so many things to talk about, and things I am afraid I will forget! The first thing you need to know is that my first camp was in New Orleans, my favorite place, the place we want to live in a few years. And secondly, you need to know that the awesome ladies who attended are all now my new best friends, ready to accept me into their adult ladies' marching dance team the minute the Chaos set up shop in NOLA.

Vince and I arrived a day early to make sure everything was in order (coffee, breakfast, lunch, snacks, champagne, etc.), to take delivery of rental tables and chairs, and to set up the space for Saturday morning. I don't know how I happened on the most perfect place ever to have a design camp, but I need to give a shout-out here to Caroline Ferguson, Architect and Person Extraordinaire, who let me use her beautiful office as a classroom. When I was in NOLA scouting locations -- unsuccessfully -- and crying in my car, I called her out of desperation (I had copied her number onto a receipt as a last resort). I left a crazy voicemail ("Hi, I am having a design camp in New Orleans, and I kind stalked your office from the street because it looked pretty? So, can I use it for the weekend?"), and Caroline -- who clearly has no regard for her own safety -- called me back. And while she allowed that my call WAS totally weird, she graciously listened and offered me her space and now we are getting married.

Y'all, are the bags + contents not the cutest? For that, we can thank Sydney from Baggu for her help and kindness, and Theresa from Twine and Tape, who not only put together the adorable tape, baker's twine, and mini clothespins for the Dewit Design Toolkits, but who ALSO donated the items for this first class. And to top it off, she's offering a 10% discount to readers who use the code ABCHAO for any order. Yay!

Meanwhile, back at camp: Saturday dawned rainy and dreary, contradicting every weather forecast I had read for weeks before. This caused me to have a series of hissy fit meltdowns involving my ugly hair, stupid flip-flops, and ridiculous long skirt dragging the wet ground. I was just a delight to be around for about thirty minutes there.

Fortunately, I had Eliza -- the human Xanax pill -- with me, and she distracted me with questions about things non-camp-or-rain-related ("Have you seen 'Girls' yet?" "Aren't you so excited about the beach in a few weeks?" "Did you know that the human head weighs ten pounds?"). Following a quick stop at the store (shout out to the Whole Foods on Magazine!) for flowers and juice, it was camp time.

I wanted campers to arrive and know that this weekend was going to be special and amazing, so obviously neon was involved. Also personalized camp pencils/schedules, and their own little flower vases. Oh, and jawbreakers. Jawbreakers are special.

Many of you have heard me talk about my husband Vince, but you've mostly just heard jokes Allison and I have made at his expense. I am here to tell you that I could not have pulled this thing off without him. Vince Chao was part production assistant, part muscle, part emergency technician, and all moral support this weekend. 

He IS one in a billion. (Ha HA! I couldn't resist.)

After everyone had arrived and helped themselves to coffee and delicious pastries, it was time to begin. I started with introductions (mine, of course, and each camper gave their name, city of residence, and childhood best friend). I then launched into a long, long, long (but fun!) slide presentation featuring the things you see in the camp description here. The group was shy at first, but warmed up quickly and started participating and asking questions. (In retrospect, I probably could have served the champagne earlier.)

Above, the campers and I discussing things during the slide show. It was hard for us to concentrate with Sarah's fabulous orange shoes in the room.

I am pretty sure I'm trying to convince someone to do SOMETHING at this moment.

At several points during the presentation, there was some exciting hands-on learning. Here, we are talking about how to draw a layout to scale and I am obviously extolling the virtues of the furniture template. (The furniture template is awesome.)

Cupcake break! I guess cupcakes are now totes passé. That is fine, but I am unapologetic about these particular cupcakes: Sucré forever!

We learned some more stuff, then it was time for another hands-on activity. This time it was learning how to make one ugly grocery store bouquet into several adorable flower arrangements.

 Everyone got REALLY into this project, and into styling the end result. It made me happy like I was their MOTHER at GRADUATION.

And as well I should have been -- look at this beauty that they made!

I then gave a little lesson on how to shoot interiors: wide shots, close shots, pro tips, and mistakes to avoid. Then I quick, quick showed how to style a vignette, because it was almost time to go. 

We finished up the slideshow and Vince Chao served us the champagne he had been secretly icing for us. (I told you he was helpful.)

On Day 2, Sunday, we started with coffee, breakfast, and talking about the pictures that everyone had brought of their own homes. This part of camp was that thing that ends up being everyone's favorite, but you don't realize it until it happens. Seriously, we could have spent five more hours talking and collaborating on everybody's respective rooms. SO MUCH FUN. Check out these people actually paying attention to me like I have something important to say.

After camper house design collaboration fun times, it was time for lunch.

Did I mention we had lunch catered by St. James Cheese Co. on both days? Well, it's true. And it was a thing of beauty.

My sweet group. You never forget your first.

(This wasn't the end of camp: we attempted to go shopping, and when we discovered that all the places were closed for Mother's Day, ended up at Delachaise drinking $5 rosé. Priceless.)

Oh, look, here come a few more testimonials!*

Of course I'm kidding. But here are some actual quotes that are real, and make me real happy:

Dewit Design Camp is the sweetest, coolest, funnest, educationalest, most exciting thing I have ever done, and I am so grateful to all of my NOLA ladies who took a chance and signed up. I want you all to come! So DEWIT.

The next camp is in Austin at the very end of June. Details here. Love y'all!


*All testimonials created by Pamela Ribon, who thinks she is pretty funny.

Well, I am back from my very first Dewit Design Camp, and I am happy to say that, not only did I survive, but that I survived, and it was amazing. It was a word that is better than amazing that hasn't even been invented. It was flamazing, y'all.

Here are just a few pics from the first day. I'll be back later in the week with a real recap and more pics. And maybe some testimonials from my ten new best friends. Thank you all so much for being awesome!

Dewit Design Camp, I love you.

AuthorAB Chao
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With a little over a week left until the half marathon in New Orleans (Our third! Remember when the only place I ran was to the car to drive to Smoker's Paradise?), I've started gathering the items I'll need for the race. This year I've decided to be so cute that nobody will notice if I don't run very fast -- a definite possibility due to my INCREDIBLY ANNOYING KNEE INJURY. And if you didn't think runners could have good outfits, please reconsider:

1. Compression socks. Not normally what you'd think of as cute, but in hot pink, they are!

2. My beloved Brooks Launch, otherwise known as The Shoe That Fixed My Knee.

3. For the past two years I have worn boring running tops, while surrounded by people wearing things much more creative than a sad blue tank. So this year I am getting all Breesed up. I may or may not put my name on the front. (Also I am going to wear my hair like that girl's, which idea I find both ridiculous and awesome.)

4. Y'all think I won't wear a sequin fanny pack to carry all of my important race items? Think again.

5. Hand-held water bottle. A must for my mental well-being. If I get tired of carrying it, maybe I can fit it in the fanny pack.

6. Arm warmers. I probably won't be wearing these, since the temperature in NOLA in March is basically summer, but they sure are a cute color.

7. Shorts. I usually wear compression running capris, but see above re: summer temps.

8. I cannot live without my running watch. It's my favorite thing on this page.

9. Shuffle. Obvs. First album up: WHITNEY.

10. The thing most runners use for energy during races, which is called Gu, is a thing that makes me vom. So my fanny pack will be filled with Sport Beans and Shot Bloks. And possibly methamphetamines.

I think that's it. Starting this weekend, it's basically super easy runs and non-stop carbs, so I am very much looking forward to that. See you on the other side (of this pile of spaghetti).

AuthorAB Chao
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I went to New Orleans for the Mom 2.0 Summit. And the only photograph I have for you is this one -- of my strawberry shortcake, which I ate at Commanders Palace, and enjoyed TOO MUCH, two days after the Mom 2.0 Summit -- until I get myself together and upload the pictures from my camera.

Please forgive me. I am in a New Orleans haze and am trying to recover. I will return soon with actual entertainment and information.

AuthorAB Chao
12 CommentsPost a comment