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Thursday, July 24, 2014

7/22: Indianapolis

Getting ready to go!
We had such a great time in Indianapolis! We arrived early in the morning at our location to set-up the mobile boutique, along with the help of several volunteers from Claire’s. As per usual, they were all super helpful and knew how to arrange everything so that it looked visually appealing. In fact, everything was color-coordinated so nicely that several girls complimented how the clothes looked on the rack! Also at our stop was fashion blogger Ashley Wottring of FASHionatelyMe.com. She was super stylish, and loved helping the girls choose clothing.

With the Claire's Volunteers and Ashley
Allyson, Ashley
















Look at all the shoes!
Our location was the Martin Luther King Community Center. The staff there were so nice as to grill hot dogs and provide drinks and snacks to the girls who came to the event. I am in the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, which is headquartered in Indianapolis! I reached out to ZTA to let them know that I would be in town, so Ashley Martin from their Themis magazine came out to see the truck/trailer. ZTA stands for many values which I feel Threads for Teens and myself embody. I feel extremely lucky/blessed to be a member in such an amazing fraternity that emphasizes service and sisterhood. The local Fox affiliate also came to visit and film the event. I always enjoy talking to the news because that means I can get Threads for Teens’ mission out to so many more people.  I will post a link to the clip if I can find one!

 
Overall, 38 girls came to our stop in Indianapolis and all had such an awesome time. The girls specifically loved the shoes. Almost every single girl took a pair!! Clothing from the brand Maurice’s was also flying off the racks. They sent a shipment of twenty boxes to our Las Vegas stop and since then, we keep going through more and more boxes.

Stay tuned for CHITOWN!!!




Hugs and Kisses

Allyson Ahlstrom

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7/21: Nashville


Laura Hutfless + CAA Team & Allyson
Claire's Volunteers
AHHH! I was so excited for Nashville. My mom, grandpa, and I are all huge country fans, so what a perfect city! My mom and I have been there several times and always enjoy being in the city. CAA (Creative Artists Agency) represents me personally and also Threads for Teens. They help to find opportunities for Threads for Teens with celebrities and corporate partnerships, which is so awesome. Laura Hutfless, is absolutely incredible and based out of the Nashville office. She drove by the truck last year and called me up because she thought it looked so cool! Everything since then has been amazing. Anyway, since I was coming to Nashville, Laura set it up so that some of the country singers on CAA’s roster would come out and volunteer with the girls. To make this possible, Laura enlisted the help of our awesome assistant, Wendy, who really spent so much time planning this event. She also even got a local PR agency, C2 to help publicize the event. Chelsea and Carly with C2 were both incredibly sweet to help us out.

Besides this, Claire’s Accessories once again sent out different district and store managers to volunteer at the stop. Nine wonderful volunteers showed up early, around 9:15am, ready to go! All of them were so amazingly helpful by going through boxes and getting the truck to look perfect for the girls. I am always so amazed at how nicely merchandised the truck looks when they are done going through it. They also set up the jewelry and shoes outside very nicely. Moving back to our country star volunteers, Danielle Bradbery was first.
First up, we had Danielle Bradbery stop by. She is the winner of season 4 of The Voice! She arrived a couple of minutes before the event was to start at 10am, all ready to go! She is such a sweetheart and was genuinely so excited to work with Aleetha, the girl she styled. Aleetha had a great time and chose some amazing items. Danielle just released her first self-titled album. Definitely check it out cause her music is fantastic!
Next up, we had rising star Sara Haze. I actually have met Sara before at different event related to Threads for Teens, so I enjoyed catching up a bit with her. She was super sweet and got really into styling her girls that came through. She was definitely having an absolute blast, right along with her girls.
Next up, Clara Henningsen from the Henningsens and Mickey Guyton showed up. Both girls were full of energy and eager to help. Mickey was great with the girls she was working with because she was constantly pushing them to try items they wouldn’t necessarily pick on their own. Clara was incredibly sweet and patient with the girl she was styling, which is definitely a must-have quality when helping someone shop!

Clara, Mickey, Allyson, Brooke, Cam
Lastly, Brooke Eden and Cam stopped by. Once again, these girl were really great with the girls. Sometimes it gets tough because it is hot in the trailer, but both girls were real troopers, pulling the la  Brooke was rocking an amazing bullet bracelet that she made herself and will soon be launching on her website to sell…definitely check them out because I was definitely salivating over the one she was wearing!
st girls through to the end.
Allyson, Kristen
Coco Jones, Allyson
 Toward the end, Coco Jones stopped by to say and donate some clothes! I was super excited to see her because I haven’t seen her since her Sweet 16 back in January. We caught up a little bit. Both of us are extremely looking forward to her M&G and back-to-school drive event at Threads for Teens on August 7th. Click HERE for more information! My friend Kristen from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards also made stopped by! She did a great community service project related to stopping childhood hunger. We were roommates at the program and instantly bonded. I was so excited to see her!

Overall, over 50 girls came to Nashville!! Afterwards, once again the Claire’s volunteers were incredibly helpful with cleaning up. Also, they were as much a part of the day as the country singers…they were always in the trailer helping style the girls along with outside the trailer manning the jewelry and shoes. Anyway, we got all packed up and were able to get some BBQ for lunch. What an AMAZING day.



NEXT UP: Indianapolis

XOXO

Allyson Ahlstrom

7/19: New Orleans

In front of Jefferson Park
New Orleans was a crazy incredible stop. We missed stopping there last summer, so we were super excited to come into town this year. Our New Orleans journey dates back to Friday morning, after our stop in El Paso. Everyone already knows this, but I just want to reiterate that TEXAS IS MASSIVE. First of all, the drive from El Paso to New Orleans is a TWENTY-HOUR DRIVE. We decided to split this into two segments. We first drove from El Paso to Austin. This took such a long time, there was no cell service or radio stations the majority of the drive, and we were really just surrounded by desert. It was a boring drive to say the least. Side note—I am currently traveling with my mom and Grandpa Gus (he drives!). We spent the majority of the drive talking and catching up, which was great because I am not able to spend much time with my family now that I go to school in Philadelphia. The drive took about NINE HOURS. We rolled up to our hotel extremely late at night, around 1 am. All of us were beat. The next morning, my mom and I woke up early because we needed to fly out to New Orleans a little bit earlier in the day. At that time, Grandpa Gus also woke up to make the second part of the drive.

Unfortunately, when we go to the airport, our flight was cancelled due to bad weather! My mom and I were super bummed out because we had woken up so early to make our 8:00am flight. Thankfully, we found a new flight on Southwest We ended up landing around 1:30pm into a thunder and lightning storm! As we came to find out over the weekend, NOLA’s weather is extremely temperamental. We spent the rest of our day working on some TFT stuff, and then a little bit of sightseeing. My mom and I were able to see her friend Sean from high school. He took us to a great restaurant on Magazine Street called Rum House. I had a really amazing pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato chips. After this, we met up with Grandpa Gus who had spent a long day driving. He said there was a lot of bad weather along the way, which made the trip take even longer. We dropped the trailer off at our location for the next day and then headed for the hotel were we again all passed out from exhaustion.
Rob, Allyson
Hailey, Allyson
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to set up for our shopping appointments for the day. A highlight of the day were three girls who came from an organization in NOLA called The Pink House, which is an organization to empowering girls. The girls all had a blast choosing their items. Also as a little bonus, Bryce Dallas Howard, she’s Victoria from Twilight and Tilly in The Help, was there helping. When the girls found out, they all became a little starstruck! Also at our shoot were two awesome people, Hailey and Rob, who were so incredibly nice. Hailey did a little bit of makeup for the girls and Rob did hair. Before we left for the day, Rob even braided my hair into a gorgeous crown. I wish I had a personal hair stylist like him to travel on the entirety of the tour (who doesn’t!?!). After all this, we finished the day in New Orleans on a high note, after a long 13.5 hours of working!

We then went to check into our hotel for the night, The Roosevelt, who so kindly hosted us in one of their LUXURY SUITES. The room was insanely beautiful and luxe. After checking in, we went to look for food and found ourselves on Bourbon Street. Now, I am sure Bourbon Street is quite the party any day of the week, but being there on a Saturday night was quite the experience…we all enjoyed grabbing beads that had fallen on the street. I shared shrimp and red beans and rice for dinner with my grandpa.

The next day, we still had some time to look around, so we woke up bright and early to head to the famous Café du Monde. My mom and I shared some of their famous beignets, which were fabulous! The beignets were covered in powdered sugar that melted on top of them because they were piping hot, fresh from the oven. Just typing this makes me want to go back to eat more. We spent maybe an hour long walking around the French Quarter. I definitely want to go back to NOLA sometime soon and be able to actually spent time exploring the city.

NEXT STOP: NASHVILLE (Teaser: It involves more celebrities!)

XOXO
Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, July 21, 2014

7/16 & 7/17: Phoenix & El Paso

It may have been 108 degrees in Phoenix yesterday, but that did not stop the girls from coming out to the boutique! We started the morning by being interviewed for the FOX 10 Morning Show by Kristy Siefkin. We woke up super early to get the boutique set-up for a live segment. Click HERE to see the clip. After that was finished, around 8am, we went back up to our hotel room, to rest a little bit before the girls came down to shop. We were parked at the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. They were kind enough to donate our hotel stay and host the event. We were excited because our room had great air conditioning! The day was ultimately extremely successful because we set our tour record with girls served. 70 girls came to the boutique!!!


Claire’s Accessories sent out an AMAZING team of volunteers to the boutique, which included an adorable girl named Katie. She was such a great little helper, and was so excited to be there because she had heard of Threads for Teens on the Disney Channel in the past. All in all, everyone who came was a real trooper considering the heat.

El Paso was also an awesome event, which took place the next day. CPS hosted us in their lot, where they brought in food, a DJ, and books for all the girls who came. We were actually short on volunteers, so several CPS workers helped us out, which was incredible generous. The girls had an amazing time once again. The energy at the stop was great.
In the picture with the heart silhouette, the girl Aleea was so excited to receive her brand-new floral maxi dress from Maurice's. The colors were fabulous and looked absolutely amazing it it. 


Stay tuned for our next update from New Orleans!

<3
Allyson Ahlstrom

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Threads for Teens and Coco Jones Team Up!

Threads for Teens will be hosting our third annual back-to-school backpack drive on Thursday, August 7th with the help of the most fabulous Coco Jones! We are so excited at Threads for Teens for this event because while collecting school supplies to distribute to girls in need, the first 100 people to stop by will also get to meet Coco AND eat FREE CHIPOTLE! Coco is a talented musician who will be playing at the Sonoma County Fair the night of August 7th, along with Cody Simpson. Furthermore, at the event, there will be giveaways for awesome seats for the show. How can you participate!?

Threads for Teens is collecting BRAND-NEW school supplies. To be able to meet Coco, you must choose five of the items listed below to bring to the event and donate* to Threads for Teens.

Acceptable School Supplies:
Notebook
Paper
Pens/pencils
Backpack
Loose-leaf binder paper
Graph paper
Eraser
Pencil case/pouch
Highlighter
Water Bottle

*All donations are tax deductible

Full Details:
When: Thursday, August 7th 2014
Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

Where: Threads for Teens – 925 Corporate Center Parkway, Suite D

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7/15 Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas was a fabulous second stop to our Threads for Teens tour. We were fortunate enough to park in the SAFY (Specialized Alternatives for Family and Youth) parking lot, which is an organization in Las Vegas that provides a variety of social services to at-risk youth and families. As was the case with LA, there was a large line already waiting when 10am rolled around. Today, two wonderful women, Kathleen and Ashley, helped us to set-up and style the girls. 

The first girls to come in, Ines and Amber, were shy and excited as they first walked into the mobile boutique, but quickly warmed up to the shopping experience. This trend continued throughout the day, as we continued to make our way through the line of girls. One comment from a girl was extremely sweet, she wrote in the Threads for Teens guestbook, “Thank you so much for the clothes! It’s nice to know that there are organizations like this, who want the best for us.” Another girl said, “Thank you for everything, this means so much to me.”

All of us were truly humbled and blessed to be a part of today’s shopping stop in Las Vegas. We are now off to Phoenix. As I type this, we are driving through the desert and see many different cacti along the way. We just had to stop so that I (Allyson) could take a picture! Some of them are so tall. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow is in store for our stop in Phoenix. 

P.S. Make sure to continue solving hunts at TheHunt.com/threadsforteens! The charity challenge launched today, and as of now we need to solve about 13,500 hunts a day to ensure that Threads for Teens receives a $15,000 donation! Keep up the good work!

XOXO
Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, July 14, 2014

TOUR DAY 1: LA


WOW! What an amazing day in LA. This morning at 10am, Threads for Teens On Tour 2.0 kicked off. This year, the tour is a little bit different because we are going to fewer stops, but packing a ton of girls in at each stop. So today, over 60 girls received a brand-new outfit. We drove the truck/trailer to LA last night, and parked at the Hilton Universal City, where the event was held today. The Hilton Universal City hosted us last year for our event and were extremely generous to welcome us back this year. Once we pulled in yesterday, my mom (Amy) and my Uncle Allan (truck driver) and myself all crashed.

This morning, we knew we had a lot of work to do to get the trailer ready for the first day of appointments. We all woke bright and early to hang clothes on the racks, and get ready for our first girls of the tour. To help us out, Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook (www.wendyslookbook) came to help, along with Sydney, who donated her Bat Mitzah gifts to Threads for Teens a while back. For Wendy, this stop was personal because she grew up in the foster care system, so she was extremely grateful to give back. Both of them helped a ton with organizing the clothes to get ready for the girls.

The event was set to start at 10am; however, girls arrived early and by the time we were supposed to open, we had a huge crowd of girls waiting in line outside to come into the boutique! We started by welcoming our first girl into the boutique, Dominika. She ended up taking a super cute baggy beach jumper from Wildfox Couture, a cute tank from Lucky, and earrings from Claire’s! Also at this time, Aneesha (PR Director) from Wildfox Couture was at the trailer to check out the event, so she super excited to see one of their items that was donated be taken. The rest of the day continued to progress smoothly, with Wendy, Sydney and I getting girls in and out, while choosing items of clothing that made them feel confident. I cannot stress enough how big of help Wendy and Sydney were!

One happy shopper excited about her
Wildfox Couture jumpe
After the girls chose their clothing items from the trailer, they were able to go outside and choose either a pair of shoes or an accessory. Outside, my mom (Amy) and a wonderful volunteer named Mary, from Diamondale Adolescent Care Facility, helped the girls ‘check out’ when they were all ready to go.


As 1pm rolled around, we were all shocked because the time went by so fast. We are currently en route to Las Vegas and can’t wait to meet all of the girls tomorrow. Make sure to keep checking back for updates. Also, follow Threads for Teens on Instagram (@threadsforteens), Twitter (@threadsforteens), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/threadsforteens).