On today’s episode I am chatting with my best friend of 15 years, Shea, about our friendship, our trip to Beverly Hills and memory lane. I was invited to be the guest of honor for the Dream Drop Collection with Red Dress Boutique at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Our entire trip was a complete dream and an unforgettable experience.
In this episode you’ll hear:
• About my relationship with Red Dress
• The laughable story of how Shea and I met
• Our living situation in high school
• What Shea does when we are out together
• How we surprised Shea for her birthday
Grab an iced coffee and let’s continue the chat over on Instagram #lifewithloverly.
This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram. Grab an iced coffee and let's do life together.
Hello. Hello, happy Tuesday. We are coming to you on our first podcast road trip. This is the first podcast we have recorded, not in the studio. It feels like we're official. Now we are at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We've been here for the past few days with red dress, with the Red Dress team, doing an exciting drop. Diana who's the owner of red dress. She has been dreaming of launching a collection at the Beverly Hills hotel for the past few years, and it's been something that's been in the works for so long. They've titled this drop the Destination Dream Drop. I was so honored when they called me a few months ago and asked if I would like to be part of this first major drop as the guest of honor here at the Beverly Hills Hotel with them, and it was such an honor, but also it felt very fitting because of my long-term relationship with Red Dress.
A little bit of a backstory. If you are not familiar with them, Red Dress is a women's clothing boutique. They have a brick and mortar store in Athens, Georgia, and their primary, I would say main business is all online. She actually was telling us some of the backstory last night, but she started it on eBay actually and eventually grew into this brick and mortar. This was really before online clothing sales was happening. I think it was back in 2004, 2005 is when she started opened this brick and mortar store. Her first location was on Baxter Street and it was like in this tiny little shop.
I remember going in there looking for a homecoming dress when I was in 11th grade and I bought my homecoming dress from red dress. So my history with them really started way back in high school. Even when I was in college, after college would always shop at Red Dress. And then later when I made it as an influencer and I was started working with brands, they were always one that I wanted to continue a partnership with and they had grown immensely.
We've done several things together over the years. So the fact that they asked me to be here, supporting them, supporting this drop, this clothing launch that has been in the works for so long was honestly such a dream come true and was a very big honor. What was even more exciting was that I was able to bring some guests of honor with me.
So they really wanted this trip to not be just an influencer trip where they invited a ton of other influencers to experience the same thing that I was experiencing throughout this trip, but they wanted me to bring either my team members, family, friends, people who could like really genuinely enjoy this with me. I think that's a really cool thing for them to offer, but that just as part of this experience, that Diana is wanting to create for the people that she does, these drops with. If you don't know Diana, her mind works so uniquely, it's so cool to watch her have a vision, and it come to life or her to get inspiration from something so unique and create something
unbelievable. So to watch her over the years, because I've known her for so long to watch her create what she has created, everything is done with intention, which I think is really important to me since one of my words of the year, this year is intention and being intentional. And so the fact that every little piece of Red Dress and every little thing that she is doing to make the brand unique is being done with intention.
So she asked me to invite some friends and some family, and I was so excited. I got home and I told Chris all about the opportunity and he was like, oh my gosh, hold on. When is this? When are the dates for that? He and one of his guy friends had planned a surprise trip for a few couples to go on. One of my other friends Shea her birthday, it was going to be her birthday trip and the guys were going to do golf and the girls were going to go to the spa, but this was going to be backing up to the Red Dress trip.
He eventually told me about the surprise we made it work anyway. And then Shea, who is my best friend from high school. She's actually with me on the trip. We will introduce her here in just a second, but her husband came to us and was like, what is it? Can Shea come on this trip with you. I think this would be such a cool surprise and an awesome birthday present.
And I was like, you know what? Actually because of the way that Diana wanted this trip to work, we had a spot for her and it just made sense that I could bring one of my best friends along for the ride. So we surprised her when we were in Arizona and brought her along. I just think it's so cool.
Everything is going full circle. I'll let her get into a little bit of her experience here. So hi, Shea. Welcome to the podcast.
Shea: Hey Brittany. Thanks for having me.
Brittany: So what did you think when Nick said you're going to LA?
Shea: I was blown away. It was Friday night. I had only packed for Arizona, so I was definitely not expecting this. It was a lovely surprise though. You had thought ahead and you had planned some outfits for me waiting here. So I wasn't too concerned about that, but I did have to call a friend and a boss and make sure she had actually gotten work covered for me. Nick had to prove some air flight tickets made me believe that I was actually coming.
Brittany: It was so funny. She's like looking out, we were at dinner and she's looking out and Nick goes, oh yeah these Palm trees are just like what you're going to see in LA. She was like I'm not going to see this in LA, like Bernie and Criswell. And Nick's no, like you're going too. And I think it was a good 10 minutes you just didn't believe that you were coming with that.
Shea: Brittany and Chris were sitting there looking at me going, no really you're coming. I said, no, really. I'm not really. You are. And they had to bring out a multitude of things to prove that I was actually coming through.
Brittany: I know, I tried to sneakily be like, oh, I want to get this picture while we're in Arizona. So make sure to bring white jeans. Cause we're going to do like a group picture and white jeans. And I really think we should bring extra workout clothes just in case. Cause I knew you would want to work out while you were here. So I'm surprised he didn't catch on at all, but I just think you didn't even think it was an option.
Shea: I didn't catch on, and Brittany's a little bit of an overpacker. Makes sense for her profession, but that's not my profession. I am not an over packer, which I guess correlates to when we put our bags on the Delta weight check, Brittany gets a heavy tag and Chris gave me the thumbs up of approval that I was under the weight limit.
Brittany: I think there was a 25 pound difference in our bags the other day.
Shea: Probably accurate.
Brittany: So let's give our followers a little bit of a backstory. Shea and I have known each other for, I don't know how many years, 15? Our first meeting was interesting. Yeah. Do you want to share the story of how we met?
Shea: Sure. I can do that. We were in Athens at a high school baseball game. Brittany's a year behind me, so I was a rising sophomore and Brittany was rising freshmen and she was sitting in the stands behind me. I guess I must've been talking about this guy. I was dating at the time and she leans down and interjects herself into conversation and says, pretty sure we're dating the same guy or were dating the same guy or some version of that. And I was like, oh really? So who are you? And it was an interesting interaction at the beginning to say the least. And somehow we became best friends almost immediately.
Brittany: It's crazy because that first meeting for most people wouldn't end in an immediate friendship for whatever reason we took it.
Shea: We actually both continued to stay really good friends with the guy over the years. Moved on married somebody else, which worked out for everyone involved. It was definitely an odd interaction to then become best friends after that initial meeting.
Brittany: Yeah, it's crazy because that, I feel like that was in May and it was definitely summer. My parents, we had just sold our house and we were building a new house, but it wasn't going to be ready for a few months. And I think when we sold our house, it sold faster than we thought it was going to sell. We moved up to my parents' lake house, which is about an hour outside of Athens and Shea's family lived in Athens and we pretty quickly started splitting time between like my lake house and your parents' house. We would do like weekdays at your parents' house and the weekends at my parents' lake house.
Shea: It was a Sunday through Thursday, we stayed at my parents' house, so we could go to school. And I had my license at the time. Brittany did not. Then Friday after school, we load up and we would head to Brittany's lake house for the weekend. Almost a six months routine. No questions asked.
Brittany: It's so funny looking back I'm like, how did my parents just we're okay with that. We shared a room, we shared a bed and it was just, that was just how it was for that first six months. Then my family eventually moved back to, we lived in Oconee and Shea was actually the reason that I switched high schools because I will never forget. I was standing on my back porch at our old house and I was on the phone with you. My parents were, we were moving out to Oconee County, so my brother could start ninth grade in Oconee.
So I would have been going into 10th grade and I liked the school I was at. My parents were like, you can stay if you want, but Oconee was in walking distance from our new house, the high school was, and I remember being on the phone with Shea being like, I don't know, should I stay where I'm at? Or should I go to Oconee?
I don't know. And she was like, just do it, just come on. It will be great. It'll be so much fun. And I just remember being like, okay, Shea talked me into it. We've had so much fun and it'll just make things easy for our friendship, so then that was it. I like enrolled in Oconee and that's how it started.
Shea: That is exactly how it started.
Brittany: And it's so crazy. So fast forward, several years we stayed in touch. Shea is a Nurse Anesthetist.
Shea: Just say RNA certified registered nurse. My mom still can't say it. So don't feel bad.
Brittany: It's funny because I feel like when I'm not like talking to you about it, tell everybody exactly what you are because you're sitting here. I'm like, did I say you're right? So Shea went to nursing school, went to CRN school. And so we've I went to school away, college away. I feel like we always had these times where we weren't like in each other's day-to-day life, but it always felt like as soon as we were back together, it was. We just picked back up, it was just like life just continued on as if we had just seen each other the next day.
Shea: It was an easy relationship, easy conversation. We always knew we were available for the other, even though it wasn't a everyday communication by any means.
Brittany: Exactly. It's really funny because obviously I'm into shopping and enjoy just picking around, like going to Target, Walmart wherever I could just like browse and Shea was not really a browser. And I would drag her to Walmart when we were doing this living together situation.
Shea: Okay. Not just any Walmart, our primary Walmart was the Hartwell Walmart.
Brittany: Yes, it was, I feel like it was part of our tradition. We would go to church on Saturday night because part of you getting to spend the night on Saturday was for us to go to Catholic mass.
Shea: Correct. So we would make five pm mass.
Brittany: So we would drive into Hartwell, do mass, stop at Walmart, then stop at Pizza Hut and get a pizza and then go back to the lake. That was just like our thing, but I don't know we would stop at like the outlets on the way home. I was always like dragging Shea let's just see what they have. Let's just see if we can make something out of this outfit. Let's just see. And I feel like so many times you were like, I don't think that's going to work.
Somehow I always made it work. When Chris and I moved back to Athens Shea and her husband, Nick lived in Athens, and that was one main reason we wanted to move back, like of course, to be close to family, but we knew that we already had built-in friends coming back to Athens that we could raise our kids with, but we have two children each and they're both six months apart, I think prior six months older than Collins Cardi six months older than Hazel. It just felt like being back together and truly we've been side by side since we've been back.
Shea: Our families mingle very well. Our husbands, our kids, everybody enjoys each other so much so that when we leave our Saturday morning breakfast at Mama's Boy boy, half the time, our kids opt to ride with a different parent in a different family, we'll go to Chris's car and say, I'm going to ride with Chris. And Collins will ride with me.
Brittany: It's just like a big mixture, but it's, I feel like that's what I always dreamed of and hoped for when you make these friends early on in life and you hope that you'll stay friends forever or what you think forever will be. And then you have family. There's so many things that pull a friendship apart, but the fact that we've are back together and our kids love each other so much. I think it's so cool. And I think it's that was one reason when we had the opportunity to like, bring you on this trip and surprise you. I was like, this just would be so cool because it's so full circle.
I love like a good story and this feel-good moment, plus I like really wanted you to be able to see the behind the scenes of what is really going on, cause sometimes I feel like these trips that I go on look like we're just doing all these amazing things that there's really so much work that goes on behind it, that people just don't really know unless you are actually behind the scenes. So it's been cool for somebody who's supported me and in this role and in this business that I've started. And Shea, I remember I told you what I was doing or starting Loverly Grey.
You're like, I don't really know what that means, but I'm here for you, whatever you need. So to have you here as like really cool. I don't know, just a full circle moment.
Shea: It's been an honor for me to see you in your realm because I get to see you at home. And I get to see what you do day to day on your phone when you're updating posts and what little I know of it, but you do a really good job separating out your social life from that. And yeah, sometimes you walk by a restaurant for 30 seconds outside and Chris takes a picture and you make a post, and it's done quickly, but you make a solid effort to not let it distract from your family and not let it distract from your social life and your friends and it's appreciated. We also understand it is your job. It is your livelihood, so obviously you are a lot of that time to do that, but to be here and see you in a work environment. And for those of you who are listening, it's currently almost 8:00 PM at the end of this weekend in Beverly Hills. We have a very early flight tomorrow morning, but Brittany roped me into this room and we're doing a podcast right now.
And I can appreciate that this is her job and she puts her heart and soul into it and she makes it happen and she gives it all of her effort. Okay. I got to tell everybody something really funny that if Nick ever listens to this, he'll appreciate the honesty in it. Okay. And this also tell y'all exactly how different Brittany and I are two things.
It was probably last month. I learned how to tag somebody on Instagram. That's a true story. I figured out. I probably should figure that out before I get to this point. Felt like it was only appropriate to tag Red Dress and tell them how much I appreciated everything they've done and letting me be included on this trip.
And also tag Brittany said that all of you, people who follow me, those a hundred people are who to go and follow. But in addition to that, Nick would make fun of me because when I go to post a picture of he and I out at dinner or a picture of our kids for a birthday or shit, respond to a text message. I literally am so bad with words and so bad with captions that it probably takes me a good five to 10 times of typing a message or a caption and backspace, or erasing what I type and retyping it.
So the anxiety that I feel watching Brittany post anything and type any caption, and she does it in about 30 seconds and it's done and it's posted and it's live for, I dunno, whatever 900,000 of you to see blows me away because I couldn't do it. Literally could not do it. As much as I would like to think that, oh my gosh, this Instagram influencer lifestyle.
Oh, this is great. Like the money she makes the people that follow her, all the fame she has yeah. But I literally couldn't do it. Wouldn't be able to wouldn't want to do it. When we walked in Beverly Hills, there was literally somebody in the hotel who whispered, oh my gosh, there's Loverly Grey. And I was like, yeah, she is, here she is. Come on over.
Brittany: funny because we will talk on the phone and she will be sending a text and she's wait, should I say that? Hold on. Let me change that up. What should I say? We go through this on text messages and phone calls. So it's so funny that you say that about Instagram, but then I also feel like you're my biggest cheerleader. If we are in public and somebody is like Hey you're Loverly Grey. Shea's like this is Loverly Grey, and you know what, she's exactly the same as she is in person. You say that every time.
Shea: So Brittany took me and a couple other friends on a trip to Charlotte. Was it Charlotte for your birthday? And we went and saw a comedian Heather McMahan. I never heard of her. She was hysterical by the way. But so we walk in the venue, and this was obviously closer to home. So we weren't in LA literally half the people there knew who Brittany was and were like, oh my God, it's Loverly Grey.
Some of them were a little more bold and would come up to her, but we walked by this group as we were walking towards the bar and they were whispering to each other. And there were four of us in our group. And Brittany, I think was the lead and I was in the very back. So by the time that I was walking past these people, everybody was like staring and gawking truly and whispering like, oh my gosh, it's really her. Oh, I would love to meet her. This is like a dream. Do you think she'd speak to me? I literally interjected as if I was one of the group. And I was like, actually I think she would speak to you. She's my best friend. So do you want to meet her?
Come on over. Literally I was told I was the MVP of their trip and they were so excited to meet me and let's go meet Brittany. I think I did that to a few other people that day. So I felt really really important on that trip, but Brittany did her thing and she was kind as she could be. She took pictures.
Brittany: I always love meeting people, but I don't ever want to just assume that the whispers are, they're like, oh, that's Loverly Grey great. I don't usually just try to turn around to be like, yes, it is me. Hi. Can I entertain you for a second? Exactly. But then I know some people feel like they don't want to bother me, which it's never a bother. But I've always thought it's really fun when you're with me and you're like, you want to meet her and then you just see their faces light up.
Shea: Truly they get so excited, I'm like, I can really make that happen. I can't do a lot of things, but yes, I can introduce you to Loverly Grey.
Brittany: I know. It's so funny. So I feel like it's also funny how, now that we have our office house, Shea. always calls, can I come and park at the office? I'm going to go for a run. I always say, sure, no problem, and she comes in and like mingles with the team. So it was great because when she came on this trip, she already knew my team that was going to be there just from sometimes weekly interaction. It's funny. The office is actually a house. It's a three bedroom, two bath house that we converted into an office.
There are no beds there. We don't use the showers. Shea is the only person to this day that has ever showered in one of the showers.
Shea: I drop my kids off at a little mother's morning, out preschool, a couple of days a week downtown. Then I go park outside Brittany's, go for a little run while the kids are at school, and then I come back and I go in Brittany's quote, unquote office, take a shower in the master bathroom and come out and say a little, Hey, girls How y'all doing today. Then I go get my kids, so it works out really well for me.
Brittany: It's perfect for Shea because she's currently living like 30 minutes or so away. So it's a way that she doesn't have to go all the way home, but it's funny because I just still am working in the midst of her being there. She'll be talking to me and I'm filming a try-on or taking photos and I'm like, okay, hold on. No questions. Let me just get through this one minute video really fast and I'll finish and we'll just keep on talking or whatever, but I think it's that's another thing. I just love about us being back in the same city as, because while I am at work, you can still like pop over and you don't care that I'm working while you're sitting there getting ready or putting your makeup on, but we're still able to hang out.
Shea: It also gives me an opportunity to see how seamlessly you have mixed your work into your life, but how effortlessly you can separate it as well. So we can have conversations and we can take some time out of your work day, once a week, and we can go do a little workout session, you and I, and then you go back to work and it is what it is.
Brittany: Yeah, I feel like you've definitely encouraged me to take a little bit more time for myself. And while Nichelle has been pushing for this for a long time, I feel like you've pushed me to be like, make it happen because I'm like heads down. No I need to work. I have this team who's here supporting me. I need to be there supporting them, even though I'm like the leader and CEO of the company and it's okay for me to take a day off in the week. You've helped push me to actually really do that with our Wednesday mornings.
It's also rewarding to me cause it's not like I'm just like taking a day off to twiddle my thumbs. It's there's something that you and I are committed to doing every week. And we have so much fun doing that. We're able to spend time together, but get a good workout in. And then it just has been like very beneficial and something, I didn't really know that I needed, but that I was pushed to do. And now I'm like, I can't imagine, like not doing our Wednesday mornings.
Shea: I'm glad you take the time to do that with me, but I can also understand and appreciate when we do go out and have a shopping day just the girls or something that, that is part of your work. So I acknowledged that needs to happen, but you do a good job, separating it out of you have a true genuine, authentic friendship, but you can do some work reels or posts or threads or whatever you call it in between. And it works out.
Brittany: Yeah. It's just crazy. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes that I feel you knew a little bit of, but I think really being on this trip and even just getting to know Lain and Nichelle more cause we've been altogether for the last four days, I think you are also like, okay, wow. I didn't realize all of that was happening. Then just to be with a brand that I've worked with for so long, but I don't know to see their thoughts of working with me. I feel like several times you've just been like, this is so cool. Cool.
Shea: So I knew, I obviously knew how many followers you had and on obviously have a general idea, like you do well in your profession, which is awesome. And people look up to you, but I didn't exactly realize how appreciated you are from other brands. Diana, the owner CEO of Red Dress. She very clearly said last night at dinner when we had picked this date and we'd reached out to you to make sure this would work for you. She like cut off whoever was talking and was like, yeah, because of that date didn't work for you, we were going to move the date like this date for this Beverly Hills dream dress, destination drop, whatever it's called. She was going to change whatever date to make it fit your schedule. To me that solidified exactly how important you are to her company and for other companies that you work with.
Brittany: It's crazy because I feel like I don't think of it like that. To me, it's an honor to be here and to do this because I've worked hard and I like working hard and that just feels like what I'm supposed to do. But several times throughout this week, just in talking with some of the other employees of red dress and people that I've known for years. I don't know, just feels very sentimental now that this is like actually happened. I guess sometimes I don't realize like how much they are valuing me, because I'm just like this is just what I'm supposed to be doing. I love doing it. This is my job. This is, I like to work hard.
Shea: But that's part of the reason that you're so good at it.
Brittany: But it made me feel like after Diana said that I was just oh wow.
Shea: It was a genuine statement. She wasn't trying to build you up. She meant that.
Brittany: So it's just been really cool to have my best friend along. You know what I mean? I feel like there was always times where before Chris was doing this with me full time, that I would be like, I can't wait for you to see me in action, or he would go to events and we would leave and he'd be like, that was really cool.
I'm really proud of you. And so I feel like there's always like a different like person or friend or my parents that you just want to see you in your element. And so I think it's been just awesome that you've been able to see me in my element, doing all the things and the behind the scenes stuff. So we've had a really great time.
Shea: Oh, I've thoroughly enjoyed being here.
Brittany: Yeah. We're going to wrap this episode up. We have an early flight tomorrow morning, happy to get back to the kids. This is the longest that both of us have been away from our babies. So we are both so excited to see our kiddos tomorrow, and then we're going to be doing a season finale soon and then taking a break.
We've got some awesome things for the podcast coming later this summer. So make sure to stay tuned and we will talk to you next time on Life with Loverly.
Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram, at Life with Loverly. Until next time.