Life, Stella & Dot

Southside Living Magazine

In August, I began advertising in a new magazine for one of the inner loop neighborhoods in Houston, Southside Place. Located near Rice University and the Medical Center, Southside Place is an established neighborhood with residents of all ages. N2 Publishing is an innovative company turning neighborhoods into communities by connecting homeowners and local businesses through a monthly publication exclusively for residents:

Our objective is to provide homeowners and communities with a superior publication that is informative and useful, while providing businesses with an exceptional way of promoting their products and services.


The magazine always features a family from the neighborhood on the cover. What’s unique about this family is that the couple is living in the husband’s childhood home!

Southside Living January 2015

Southside Place is a walking neighborhood; residents can walk to restaurants, boutiques, grocery stores, schools, and gyms. The neighborhood has its own police department and volunteer fire department – do NOT drive even one mile over 30 miles an hour in Southside Place or the bordering neighborhood of West University or you’ll be sorry! (Not that I have any personal experience with this….) Southside Living’s features include a page with important phone numbers, a list of local events, articles about neighborhood kids and pets, resident recipes, and yard of the month. As a business owner and sponsor, I have a 1/4 page ad and am listed in the index of preferred vendors.

Once a month, residents and business partners gather at a nearby restaurant for a Restaurant Review. The event is free and open to anyone who lives in Southside Place and to business owners who advertise in the magazine. I’m attending my first mixer later this month, and I’m excited to connect with homeowners and other sponsors!

I wrote an article for this month’s issue. Since you can’t read it online – the magazine is print only – I am retyping it here. Houston is having a cold snap this week, so the fashion tips in my article couldn’t be more timely!

Sponsor Recognition – Kelly Gartner, Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot

Note: I modified this article for my blog, including links to other posts so you, my stylish readers, can read more about each wardrobe staple.

I am a native Houstonian. I grew up in Briargrove, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, and went to Trinity University in San Antonio. After I graduated from college, I went back to school and got my teaching certificate and Master of Education from the University of Houston. I taught in public and private schools in Houston for 15 years. I still live in the Briargrove area with my dog, Coco. My parents are deceased, and my sister lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. I love to travel and visit them as often as I can!

I have been an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot for four years. What started out as a hobby – a way to socialize, have fun, indulge my inner fashionista, and make a little extra money – turned into a full-time pursuit when I decided to quit teaching.

Stella & Dot is a boutique-style line of jewelry and accessories sold online and at private trunk shows. A trunk show is a pop-up shop in your living room or office. I bring my line of irresistible jewelry, scarves, bags, and wallets to your home or office and do a personal styling session for you and your guests. I also do shows in salons, galleries, restaurants, and wine bars – anywhere women like to gather for fashion, friends, and fun! As a thank you for hosting, my hostesses shop for free and half-off with our generous hostess rewards. As a personal stylist, I help my customers update their wardrobes each season with jewelry and accessories that complement their lifestyles, tastes, and budgets.

One of the comments I frequently hear from my customers is “I have a closet full of clothes, but I don’t have anything to wear!” Sound familiar? I always start with a list of wardrobe staples for each season. If you have a few go-to pieces, it’s easier to put outfits together that look great and flatter your figure. These are the basics I recommend for fall and winter:

  • Leggings, a long tank for layering, and a knee-length tunic or dress. I live in tunics and leggings when it gets cold in Houston. It’s an easy look to pull together, and you’ll always look stylish, as long as you follow a few rules. Leggings are underwear, not outerwear! They should be thick enough that you can’t see through them, and you should wear something long enough to cover your rear end. My favorite brand of leggings is Lysse. They have a wide waistband that controls the tummy and hip area, and they won’t roll when you bend over or sit down. Lysse also makes great tank tops to wear under tunics, button-down shirts, and oversize sweaters. They stay where you put them and give you additional coverage over your leggings. You can find cute tunics at stores like Nordstrom (try their Caslon and Halogen® brands) and GAP and at local boutiques like Marlo Miller Boutique and SoHo.
  • Flats, riding boots, and booties. Leopard print flats are everywhere this season. DSW carries a lot of different brands – I like Me, Too and Kenneth Cole Reaction for their comfort and reasonable prices. Riding boots are a must in black and/or brown. Boot socks are a fun trend; they add an extra layer of warmth and look cute peeping over the top of your boots. If you are looking to add shoes to your wardrobe, try a pair of ankle booties. Pairing booties with tights or leggings in a similar color elongates your legs and makes you look taller and leaner.
  • Scarves. There are so many ways to ear them! Wendy from the blog Wendy’s Lookbook has a scarf tutorial video on YouTube called 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! (She also has companion videos for each scarf, detailing how to create each style.) Stella & Dot has several great options this season. My favorites are our Union Square Scarf in the Hot Pink Elephant and Spring Green Mixed prints. Plaid blanket scarves and infinity scarves are a huge trend this year. You can find them everywhere from Target to Neiman Marcus, depending on your budget. Because you can find inexpensive options, it’s easy to update your wardrobe with a trendy scarf or two without breaking the bank.

Katherine's trunk show

The photos are from my friend, Katherine’s, trunk show in August.

I meant to write posts for the rest of the items on my list of  14 Staples for Your Fall Wardrobe, but I focused on my Stella & Dot business in November and December and let this blog fall by the wayside. I am working on posts about boots and scarves, and I hope to have them up in the next few days. I have to write some posts out of sequence, which is a challenge for a perfectionist, but we need boots and scarves in Houston this week!!!

Happy New Year, and thanks for reading Kelly Gartner Style!

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