I cried in Memphis…. St. Jude | Brizo | Blogger19

This summer I had the honor and pleasure of traveling to Memphis Tennessee as part of the Brizo, Blogger19 Reunion.  Rooted in the fashion and design communities, the Brizo brand is the primary sponsor of fashion Designer Jason Wu’s fashion shows, and is the first national sponsor of the St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway.  Named for a Greek goddess who appeared in the dreams of mariners, Brizo products are available exclusively at Brizo Impressions Showrooms. 


Blogger19 represents an elite group of designers, architects and influencers.  Established in 2010, this self-named group has since grown to include nearly 130 leaders in their fields from all over the globe. While diverse in their aesthetic, the Blogger19 ‘s are all united by a shared experience at New York Fashion Week, hosted by the premium faucet brand Brizo. A primary sponsor of fashion designer Jason Wu, Brizo believes high-style applies not just to the clothes we wear but is a lifestyle that extends to our aesthetic at home.  

I am proud to be a part of this amazing new family of friends and call myself a Brizo Blogger19 Alumni…. you can read more about my trip here...

Ok so blah blah blah blah….I could go on and on about the wonderful amazingness of being part of Blogger19 and you can read more about my trip to Fashion week in the links above,  but I would first like to share with you the importance of why Brizo brought us all to Memphis of all places.  


I have to admit that when I think of luxury plumbing fixtures Memphis isn’t the first city that comes to mind.  But in fact Memphis is where the magic of the Brizo Brand comes to life and wait until you hear about the amazing connection to St. Jude Hospital because that really is where the story is.  

Having created Blogger19, Brizo decided to invite this elite group of Blogger19 Alumni, from across the globe to be their guest in Memphis Tennessee for a Blogger19 Reunion.  Brizo wanted to bring all of us together in one place to connect in person, give us a tour of one of their factories and to share with us their involvement with St. Jude and the Dream Home Giveaway. 

During the reunion trip we were able to reconnect with our fellow alumni and meet in person those from the other groups; it was reminiscent of a big family reunion.  And let me just point out that it was a family reunion like no other which included luxury accommodations at The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  Brizo really is first class all the way.  Our itinerary included some really fabulous social time events where we were able to just truly spend time together, we also attended several hands on presentations about Brizo’s latest and greatest product development, we were thrilled to get a factory tour of the Jackson Plant where we got to see where and how the Brizo product is made.   Though for me, hands down the highlight of the trip was seeing Brizo’s connection to St. Jude hospital and our amazing tour of St. Jude.

ST. JUDE HOSPITAL   {...this was where I laughed, where I cried….}

So what does St. Jude have to do with Brizo?  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is one of the world's leading pediatric cancer research organizations and relies heavily on charities, donations and philanthropic campaigns, such as the Dream Home Giveaway, to help raise money and awareness for its mission.   Formed in 1991, the program allows for newly built homes to be raffled off with all proceeds directly benefitting St. Jude. It has raised more than $224 million for the hospital and awarded 280 homes over the past 20 years.  In 2010, the Brizo brand became the foundation's first national sponsor and has since contributed over $1.5 million in products and donations to St. Jude. 

Bravo Brizo!!

I remember a time when cancer was not so common place, and now I don’t know too many people who haven’t been touched by cancer in one way or another.  I, like many, have seen cancer up close and personal through my dad’s cancer battle. 
Me and my Dad ~ Albert Alton Christensen  Jan.1941 - Sept.2004
Knowing in advance that my trip to Memphis would include a visit to St. Jude hospital, I was worried about how I would handle this emotional subject when faced with children who were having the same fight.  Having experienced cancer first hand through my dad’s cancer journey…I was unsure about how I would react being in a “Cancer” place again.  In retrospect I can say as worried as I was to bring up the memories of my father and his struggle with cancer I now know what a wonderful amazing place St. Jude is. 

I really don’t know where to begin.  Besides the fact that St. Jude provides free (yes free) care for all patients and accommodates the patient families in their onsite residential living facilities, the one thing that really just awed me was the fact that they treat patients and do research to find a cure.  Here is a quick video and a glance into St. Jude....

The doctors that work at St. Jude are not given limitations to their research.  They are not governed by the restrictions of a patient’s health insurance coverage.  They are free to treat their patients without the burden of what someone can afford or what type of insurance they have.  They treat patients to save lives, research and fine cures.... 

More importantly, the cancer research that is done at St. Jude is open to be shared with other researchers across the globe. They are not holding onto their discoveries to win fame or fortune, they are sharing and collaborating with the sole purpose to save lives and find cures.      

Other amazing things that St. Jude is doing that stand out in my mind are:

        -  The whole hospital is run and maintained completely on donations

        -  The whole St. Jude campus is designed with thoughtfulness to the children
            and  families that spend months, sometimes years there going thru treatment.

        -  They have amazing survival rates, that means cure for short! Here are a few 
            of their statistics 

chart image credit ~ stJude.org

We spent a day touring St. Jude, learning about what they do, how they do it and seeing and meeting some of the children.   I had moments of joy, sadness, laughter and crying.  It was an emotional day filled with excitement for the children who were getting this amazing care and sadness thinking about the many people including my father who lost the their battle with cancer.   St. Jude is helping people because that is their goal; they reach out and have made it their mission to find cures purely for the sake of saving lives.  They are amazing!!   Imagine a world with no cancer….St. Jude is working towards exactly that and are willing to share what they know, imagine if everyone felt that way!

If there is ever a time that you are looking for a place to donate or make a contribution this is the place!  


What would a trip to visit with Brizo be without an opportunity to learn about what makes their product so wonderful?  We got to see up close and personal some new and upcoming technology (no photos allowed on the top secret stuff) and learn about some of the latest and greatest Brizo products.  Complete with a water technology show and tell....


I think taking a factory tour and seeing exactly how something is manufactured is the single best way to understand the quality of a product.  We arrived at the Jackson Plant, were given a pair of stylish safety glasses and we got the VIP factory tour.  We got to see the nuts and bolts of how Brizo produces and assembles their products from start to finish.   With over 600,000 square feet and nearly 800 dedicated employees this factory and distribution center was pretty impressive.  It was a very clean, organized and efficient facility and the employees we met were so friendly, knowledgeable and it was evident they are dedicated and proud of where they work. 

CONNECTING AND SOCIAL TIME  {...this was where I laughed, where I cried again….}

Brizo knows how to throw a party!  I think the photos speak for themselves!  They are first class all the way!  Right down to the champagne and cookie that was left with departing wishes in each of our rooms the last night of our stay at the Peabody.

Thank you Brizo for another amazing experience!
Visit www.brizo.com or call 877-345-BRIZO (2749) for more information and to locate a Brizo
Impressions Showroom.

Sandra Espinet | The Well-Traveled Home | Book Review

I recently received a copy of Sandra Espinet's new book The Well-Traveled Home.  From the moment I opened it I was drawn in by the beautifully curated collection of Sandra's design talent.  Having a personal love of travel I felt an instant connection to Sandra and her love of travel and how it has influenced and shaped her passion for interior design.

It is evident with every turn of the page that Sandra has mastered the skill of expressing her clients love of travel and how it can be represented in their home.  It is a wonderful representation of how your travels mold who you are and how this can be incorporated into your home.

Sandra says... 

  "I suppose I would say that the essence of my interior design work seeks to reflect the evolving interplay of the domestic and the international, while reaming true to my intent to create alluring family living spaces and home environments". 

Well said and this book is a beautiful reflection of exactly how Sandra has achieved that through her own travel experiences and those of her clients.
The book is stunning and shows how Sandra has become proficient in melding the travelers treasures in different ways throughout a home and is evident and eloquently illustrated by the images of Sandra's work throughout the book.  
I really enjoyed how the book is divided into distinct sections so that you can see the process of how Sandra builds off her travel inspiration ~ Travel and Design, Adventure and Artifact, Domesticating the Exotic, Beautiful and Useful, Imports and Inspiration.  Each insight gives a clear understanding of how your travels and adventures can be a part of your home and reflect how travel has and is influencing your home and interior design.