The Millennial Generation

I attended a great workshop featuring Tim Elmore, a nationally recognized thought leader on how to understand the next generation and prepare tomorrow’s leaders today. Tim is a best-selling author, international speaker, and president of Growing Leaders, a non-profit that creates innovative events and resources to equip the next generation for leadership.

A few takeaways I want to share that might be useful as we work each day alongside the 80 million millennials!

  • 26 is now the new 18
  • This generation is self absorbed yet generous
  • Narcissistic (selfie, anyone?) yet very giving
  • Social yet isolated by technology (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
  • Adventuresome yet fearful
  • Team oriented yet diverse
  • Savvy yet naïve
  • High achievers yet high maintenance
  • Achievers yet need hand-holding
  • Visionary yet vacillating, they don’t lack a vision, the problem is that they have 17 visions and don’t know what to do with them or how to begin working on one of them to achieve a goal. It is our responsibility as parents to guide them without overpowering.

Think about it and you’ll see. It’s very interesting how both can exist within one person.


We are experiencing our kids and future leaders growing up too fast and too slow simultaneously: our culture fosters artificial maturity. Kids are overexposed to information far earlier than they are ready.

Most of this information is not traumatic or evil, but they are under-exposed to real life experiences far later than they are ready.

Virtual reality experiences surround them, unlike real life experiences; these create a lack of hands-on learning, situational awareness and problem solving skills.

Internet presence knows no boundaries when it comes to data. The average millennial consumes over 1000 messages daily, which means they don’t need adults for answers or information. The majority of preschool kids are online!

Adults today have more fear of risk; we prevent them from failing or getting hurt. We are safety-obsessed, protecting them from mistakes or consequences. We basically structure their childhood days.


Not too long ago, 4 year-olds were doing age-appropriate chores, 7 year-olds working on the farm, 14 year-olds were learning to drive cars, 17 year-olds were fighting wars, 19 year-olds were getting married. We know that times have changed, and so have we, but are we being extremists? Today we do the chores for them, we don’t make them get a job, and they live at home late into their 20’s.

Our culture has created an artificial world: this allows millennials to enjoy virtual reality through video games and explore virtual relationships through social media.


A Personal Platform – drives a narcissistic culture, self-absorbed life, “everything-revolves-around-me” mentality, when reality is; it doesn’t.

Reactionary Opinions – creates an obsession with judgments, children 12-18 are consumed in what others think of them, roller coaster of living for the approval of others, which is exhausting and takes away from productivity.

Instant Updates – impulsive behavior often creates problems with friends and co-workers.

Constant Information – causes anxiety and depression, creating a new class of at-risk kids.

External Stimulation – addictive lifestyles again, reducing productivity and focus.

So now that we have a better understanding of the issue, how can we improve?

  • An idea to help children/employees: inspire them to find 6 mentors in their lives to help, inspire and drive them personally and professionally.
  • Don’t be an over or under functioning parent/employer. Guide, but allow them to grow up themselves, make mistakes, try new things and experiment. Success and failure will come, but that means a learning experience and personal growth.
  • Mediocre parents/employers treat all their children/employees alike. Awesome parents/employers treat all their children/employees differently.
  • Allow your children/employees to connect with you. Recognize their strengths and their differences. Everyone is wired differently, and by tailoring our leadership strategies for each individual personality type we can help them achieve amazing results


  • The driver: strong-willed, stubborn, large-and-in-charge, get their way, they have a lot on their mind and don’t often hear what you say. When facing this personality, as an adult or figure in charge you need to take over, be very clear and very direct with them: no “hinting or implying”. Be direct, but never rude. The Drivers are born leaders that need guidance and to be in control of their will.
  • The diplomat: loves harmony, they are peacemakers, “whatever it’s ok” mindset. The Diplomats are seeking cooperation, so a better way to lead them is by saying: “You know what would really help me? If you cleaned your room/office, it would help our family/company” instead of demanding that they complete a task.
  • The dreamer: they have a very big imagination, very creative, appear to be in Lala-land. The Dreamers are lead best by providing options such as: “Use your creativity to how you clean up your room; you can do some today, some tomorrow, some Friday, or do it all today, or half today half tomorrow, etc.” The Dreamers need choices and to be held accountable for the choice they make.

*People can be a combo of these three types. Analyze, understand and apply!

Parents and leaders, we are driving an EPIC generation:
E – Experience
P – Participatory
I – Image Rich
C – Connected

We need to encourage this generation to go for it! Support and create the experiences they want to have, they need to own the experience; allow them to plan it and try it! It may be risky to watch them try without offering assistance, but it is always a risk worth taking in situations like a school project, a trip, etc.

A great way to practice this methodology is by allowing them do it their way, and afterwards discuss how it could improve, what was just right, what they learned and what they want to try next.

Good leadership gives grace and tough love at the same time. Tender-and-tough is often hard to do, but necessary to get results with this generation that has so many distractions.

This generation needs two types of leaders:
– Leaders who are responsive, who display acceptance to support and believe in them.
– Leaders who are demanding, to establish standards and to hold them accountable.

Be clear on your messages when they are young or new in the position:
you are loved, you are safe, you are valuable, you have gifts, you are unique, etc.

As they mature into their teens or within your company, the messages they need to hear also mature, they are true facts; life is difficult, you are not in control, you are not always the most important, you are going to die, your life is not about you. (I know, tough love!)

Then, guide them. Allow them to find out how and what to think. They need a compass to navigate and find their own values, faith, upbringing and street smarts. This generation doesn’t need a GPS to tell them their every move.

A handmade gift from Lulie to me, her “helicopter mom”

I guess I am not called “helicopter mom” for nothing, and I have lots of room to improve, but we are all a work in progress everyday!! I would love to hear your thoughts, comments or ideas on this, and hope you got as much out of this as I did!





Featured: #TimElmore

Photos by: Suzanne Jones | Location: Old Town Columbus


Lisi Lerch

The Lisi Lerch brand initially started with her selling Kentucky Derby hats that she was inspired to create because of the lack of affordable women’s hats in the marketplace. Fast forward a few years, she tested the waters in jewelry making and became an instant success. I love her fun merchandise so much I wanted to become a sales rep for her!! Do I have time??

It’s easy to sell stuff you LOVE and I could wear her jewels every day!!!!


I have seen Lisi’s booth at market several times, but I have never actually seen her. This July, I went to Atlanta for the July Market and we ran into each other. She’s as cute as I thought she would be! She’s fun, energetic, creative and kind!

As you might already know, I love Lilly Pulitzer, and probably wear something Lilly every day. I have the Elsa top in pink, and not just one, but five of the exact same shade of pink!! That day, I happened to be wearing it!! As we walked up to Lisi’s booth, I immediately spotted my top, and it happened to be Lisi, and we were wearing the same top!! I knew I liked her!! We immediately hit it off and connected. I purchased the Libby Cluster necklace in neon yellow and wore it right out of the booth!!

Wearing my new neon yellow necklace with Lisi!

Lisi, myself and my new necklace!

We discussed numerous areas of the United States and markets where her jewelry would be well received. I told her that people stop me every time I wear Lisi Lerch jewelry and ask me where I get her creations. I believe in instant updates to your wardrobe in which her pieces are just that and more!! You can update your brand for your business and the design of your spaces as easily as updating your wardrobe. Click here and call us today for a free consultation!!

Stay fun, frolicky and frisky!




Featured: #LisiLerch #AmericasMart #LillyPulitzerElsaTop  #HollyEarrings #neonyellow #KentuckyDerby


Lilly Camp

If you know me, you know I love Lilly. She is my ultimate favorite. She is a hero of mine. Vanity Fair magazine published an article in 2011 (click here to read) that inspired me to share my passion for children and good old fun like Lilly Pulitzer. I read this article about 20 times and I enjoyed it more and more every time, so I decided to do all the things she liked in two days; yard sale, lemonade stands, parties, and all things Lilly and Palm Beach.

This fun-filled 2 day summer fête started at our house. I wanted the girls to have a Lilly Pulitzer experience. I love to decorate for the decades— probably because I’m a 70’s baby!! Before they all arrived, I made them a huge welcome sign made out of sea shells that I had used as decoration at my wedding. (I’ll tell you about our wedding surprise one day soon!) I wanted this to be extra special and fun!! I laid out all the Lilly Pulitzer catalogues from years of collecting and all my Lilly clothes, and the girls got to wear whatever they wanted to begin the first day of Lilly Camp!


Once we were all dolled up, we set up the lemonade stand, and the girls worked it in shifts (just like Lilly would’ve done). We also sold Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers, fresh picked Zinnias, home baked goodies, and handed out smiles!!


The lemonade stand!


Fresh picked zinnias

These two days were full of super fun activities. Day 1 consisted of playing loud music, dancing with hula hoops, playing games with a bunch of colorful balls that were set as decoration, a shaving cream fight, a hat-making party, and water activities. We ended day 1 of Lilly Camp with an awesome pool party with bright colorful tiki umbrellas all around the pool, tropical decorations, inflatable flamingo ballons (that I still have blown up to this date!!!), and water balloons. We had so much fun!! These are the things you can only dream of doing as a kid!!

I love my flamingo balloons! So many years of so much fun!!

Saturday morning was day 2 of Lilly camp and we went yard saling! This was one of Lilly’s favorite activities! All the girls wore gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses.


Yardsale shopping!

We sought out cool finds, colorful vintage nick knacks, and whatever else we could find that caught our eye and sparked interest! After the yard sales, we visited numerous Saturday morning events in Columbus, GA sharing the story of Lilly Pulitzer.

Visiting the market at The Landings

Later that afternoon, we had a tea party and everyone wore the hat that we decorated from the day before. For this party, I invited “Miss Manners”, who taught the girls how southern girls should behave! She talked to them about etiquette, good manners, being kind, being polite and all things southern! It was so much fun!! Miss Manners also dressed up and acted crazy to prove her point, teach the girls, and continue with the belly laughs we had going all weekend long!

Miss Manners

Miss Manners showing the girls how to set the table

After the tea party, I planned to share with the girls my love and admiration for Lilly Pulitzer. After all, she was a fascinating fashion icon. I pulled out my Lilly collection to show and explain to them how you can always find the word Lilly in every pattern. We talked about fashion, design, colors, and they all got to pick and say which one was their favorite piece and why!

Talking about Lilly

Sharing and talking about Lilly

Lilly Camp ended with a bang!! We had a real fashion show!! This just wasn’t a regular fashion show, we jumped all in!! We set the runway, created space for attendees, decorated the tables using live goldfish as centerpieces and made it look amazing! Our theme was Palm Beach. We were having some very special guests: their mothers!! When they showed up, the girls got to pick whatever they wanted from my Lilly clothes and dressed their moms! It was hilarious and so much fun!! I think to myself that to this day, whatever the children selected back in the summer of 2011, is probably very similar in style to what they would really wear today! Crazy to think they were all so little!! Time flies when you are having fun!

Our table decorations

Our table decorations

Liza at the fashion show!

Liza at the fashion show!

Lilly Pulitzer was big on parties and party favors, so I teamed up with #SouthernLiving guru Carmen Johnston to put together the most awesome favors. They were gorgeous buckets from her own business, #NectarandCompany, and they included gloves, plants, shovels, seeds and everything the girls would need to start their very own garden!!



The awesome buckets by Nectar and Honey!

Lilly Camp was such a success that a good friend of mine, Helen Brooks, wrote a note about me and Lilly Camp on her blog! She is an artist and writer who layers bible verses and bursts of color creating the most amazing mixed media pieces to share with people what God has done in her life. She has her own website, Milk and Honey Collective, which is growing. Also, she just partnered up with a company out of Charleston, South Carolina that has a similar mission in putting scripture on the walls of people’s homes.  The Charleston company was formerly called Naptime Diaries. Now, she and her partners are re-launching the business under a new name, “Amen Paper Company”. You can follow them on Instagram or go to their website and stay on track with the newest and latest! So proud of her!

Click through the Lilly Camp gallery!

I want to finish this by leaving y’all with a favorite word of mine; vivre!

Vivre is about a life well-lived, on trend but never trendy, relevant and inspiring and exquisitely crafted. It’s about modern sensibility and celebrating everyday moments.

All these thoughts really remind me of the thoughts behind Lilly Pulitzer, the Kate Spade brand and the Bando Brand; life filled with memories, love, friends and fun.

So for now, vivre!




Featured: #VanityFair #LillyPulitzer #NectarandCompany #SouthernLiving #MilkandHoney #AmenPaperCompany #vivre #KateSpade #Bando