There are other, non-invested parties who have done a great job of summing it all up here and here.
But here's my tale from the inside. Blogger still won't upload my photos.
Got there around 2:00. Some boutiques had started to move their wares in; music was thumping from the iPod, the caterer was buzzing around getting things prepared. The vodka, beer and wine were all MIA, but really, that's what event planning is all about: it's not about doing all the stuff to get an event ready, it's about solving the problems that arise from doing all of the stuff to get an event ready.
4:00: Vodka: found. It's kind of illegal to send it through the mail, but our sponsor's vodka isn't distributed here yet. So some bottles got broken in transit. UPS: not very happy. That problem goes on the backburner for another day. Beer: still MIA. Wine: um...arriving on OCTOBER 12. Not really going to help. So quick panic call to the caterer--BRING WINE!! LOTS!!! Problem solved.
5:00: A line begins forming. First 10 women, then 50, then 100, then--holy crap, it's all the way down the block!! It was incredible. I'm browsing the racks a bit as they're rolling in--shorts marked down from $188 to $20. Shoes from $300 to $99. Racks of brand-new fall stuff for 25% off. It's looking great. Beer arrives. So the 15/400 men in line will be happy, as there's enough to satiate an entire army. I wave at a woman I know. She looks at me like I'm a bit crazy. Oh, because that's George Stephanopolous' wife--I've just seen her on TV (she was there to help her sister, jewelry designer Sissy Yates). I'm such a dork.
6:00: One final lap to let everyone know that doors are about to open. Cue the doors.
6:02: Absolute pandemonium. Women ripping racks apart. Great music (iPod traded in for full-fledged DJ around 5:30) getting everyone in the mood to shop. Bar flowing. Life: good. Such a high.
7:02: 5" black patent platforms have got. to. come. off. right. now. My flats are in my car, and I can't even walk the 20 yards to get them--I hobble over in flipflops (tights wedged between my big & 2nd toes--it was a good look).
8:02: all is well. Attendees: happy. And fabulous. Friends I didn't even know were coming showed up--such the perfect surprise. Vendors: thrilled. Committee: proud as can be. Bar: ah, yes, that's right, I can walk right up and pour me a martini!
9:00: Crowd slows. Am getting loopy. Sherr, I'll dethinitely haf anuuthr marteeene.
10:30: Pack it up, stop by the WL party down the street, then head over to Blue Gin for a drink with my girlies before heading home for a night of adrenolin-packed non-sleeplessness.
We raised lots of money for Suited for Change, my favorite DC charity as it really plays a huge role with helping to break the cycle of poverty for women in need and their families--and does their work on an incredibly small--I mean SHOESTRING--budget. So that was the best part of all.
So thank you to everyone for your support: attendees, boutiques, our army of volunteers, friends who helped to get the word out, those who couldn't make it this time but asked us to do it again. See you in the spring!!!