Photo courtesy of Sabal

Growing up in Dallas, where she spent summers at the University Park Elementary School pool, Hartley Lynn basically lived in a swimsuit. As she grew older, she continued spending summers in the sun and in the pool, but she could never find well-fitting swimsuits that made her feel confident, fun, and feminine.

So Lynn, now 31, a Highland Park High School and TCU graduate, took it upon herself to create form-flattering swimwear for women like her. Her new brand, SABAL, launched August 22 and is aimed at women with smaller chests, from AA to C cups.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces. The company also sells swim cover-ups, scrunchies, hair clips, sunscreen, and sheet masks. Prices range from $30 to $98.

As a self-proclaimed member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” Lynn wanted to design swimsuits that wouldn’t “fake it” but simply enhance what she had without lumpy padding or inserts. Lynn says she shopped everywhere looking for the perfect fit and found a gap in the market for swimwear designed for small-chested women. There were so many brands for full busts, but none for the opposite side of the spectrum.

“I just never found bikinis that were made for me,” she says. “They were either too big, awkwardly fitting, too much padding, or just straight up unflattering.”

Before starting SABAL, Lynn considered “going under the knife” to enhance her bust, she says, but she decided she didn’t want to alter her natural body. She simply wanted swimsuits that would make her feel good about herself.

SABAL uses custom, waterproof silicone inserts to create a pushup feel without acting like a typical pushup top. Most pushups that swimsuits lose shape or become lumpy when they leave the water, but SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water, Lynn says.

“I really just want our customers to feel comfortable in their own skin,” Lynn says. “If [SABAL] can help any one person feel that way, then I will feel great at night going to bed.”

As for the brand’s name, Lynn says she named the line after the “small but mighty” Sabal palm tree. The first plant she and her husband planted in their Dallas home was a Sabal palm because she wanted a constant reminder of her happy place, the beach. When creating SABAL, she wanted the brand to remind customers of a happy, warm and sunny place.

Lynn says the company planned to launch at the beginning of the summer, not at the end, but she wanted to make sure she perfected the brand before launching. But she feels confident despite the late summer launch. The designer says she has already seen repeat customers in the first week of business and feels encouraged by the sales so far.

In the future, SABAL may branch into women’s active wear and lingerie, Lynn says. For now, the swimwear line is available online only, but Lynn hopes to eventually get the brand into local stores.

Bikinis in blue and "tropical punch" print.

Sabal swimwear
Photo courtesy of Sabal
Bikinis in blue and "tropical punch" print.
Photo courtesy of Monica Millington

Dallas-Fort Worth designer serves up new sustainable loungewear inspired by Juicy Couture

Sette-ing new standards

North Texas designer Monica Millington is launching a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. Called Sette, it's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear officially launching online Saturday, August 27.

The brand consists of two collections: the Sweat Sette Collection (a bamboo-cotton blend crewneck pullover, sweatpant, tee, shorts, and socks) and The Towel Boy capsule collection (cabana shirt, tee, bralette, two styles of shorts, and a jogger made of Turkish toweling fabric).

Millington, 31, a Highland Park High School and Baylor University graduate, says she wanted to create a brand for current audiences that was also timeless.

“[Sette] is for someone who is looking to do great things with their life and wanna look fabulous doing it,” Millington says.

She was inspired by the wildly popular Juicy Couture sweatpants and track suits of the early 2000s, she says, which have been making a comeback. She fondly kept her own Juicy tracksuit for 15 years before it frayed apart, and now she wants to appeal to that millennial nostalgia — something wearers could “throw on and live in” and feel proud to keep in their wardrobe for a long time, she says.

Sette's pieces are casual, sporty, and comfortable, and designed to mix and match and dress up or down.

They're high quality, but also affordable, ranging from just $30 to $150.

Millington dreamed up the loungewear line during the pandemic when she, like most people, lived in loungewear daily. But she was disheartened and frustrated by the number of big brands making “crappy” clothes without sustainability in mind. She could spend more than $100 on a pair of sweatpants at a store like Zara, she says, but those sweats wouldn’t last more than a few washes without pilling or falling apart.

Splurging to spend hundreds on a pair of designer sweatpants wasn’t a good alternative because she would be afraid to spill something like spaghetti sauce on them.

“I was looking at this huge gap, thinking, ‘It’s not that hard to create something like this that’s at a reasonable price point, that’s made ethically, that’s made well, that’s made with eco-friendly materials. Why is no one else really doing this well?’” Millington says.

Sette will create garments in limited quantities with a mission to create fewer, better clothes. Each Sette garment is made from 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent cotton. Millington says she uses primarily bamboo because it’s a low-impact resource that is easy to grow and harvest ethically. When bamboo is used to make clothing, it gets softer with age without weakening — meaning it’s perfect for clothing meant to last a long time.

For each garment bought, a tree will be planted in Indonesia through the brand’s partnership with One Tree Planted, an environmental nonprofit that plants trees around the world.

As for the name, "Sette" is Italian for seven, which is Millington's lucky number, and Italy is her favorite place to vacation. Plus, the idea of the brand is that everything is part of a mix-and-matching set. The word also evokes the brand's tennis motif.

Sette loungewear is not the designer’s first foray into the fashion industry. In 2020, she launched Tropick, a men’s performance wear that got her noticed in the fashion world. Shortly after debuting Tropick, she was cast on The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition on Netflix. She was a finalist on the show, which gave her the traction to launch Sette, a brand more personal to her.

Millington now lives in Singapore with her husband, but she returned to her hometown to launch Sette at a private Dallas event on August 24. On August 27, the line will become available online only, but Millington hopes to do some Dallas-Fort Worth pop-up events and to get the brand into local stores soon; watch for updates on Instagram.

Sette is a new loungewear brand from North Texas native Monica Millington.

Sette loungewear
Photo courtesy of Monica Millington
Sette is a new loungewear brand from North Texas native Monica Millington.

Macy's debuts a special free-standing Backstage store in Grapevine

Shopping News

Grapevine stand by, you're in for some shopping: A Macy's Backstage store is opening at Grapevine Mills, featuring trendy clothes at a discount price. According to a release, it'll open May 14.

The off-price, on-trend concept sells quality brands for fashion-loving customers with constantly changing merchandise.

Macy's Backstage at Grapevine Mills is at 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy., #127, spanning more than 22,000 square feet. It's a free-standing store (versus inside a mall), featuring an elevated open environment where all merchandise is easily accessible on the floor.

That merchandise includes:

  • apparel for women, men, and children
  • wide range of toys
  • housewares
  • beauty products
  • designer handbags
  • activewear
  • gifts
  • pet supplies

Macy's VP of off-price Michael Hersh says in a statement that they're thrilled to be opening a third DFW area store, stating that "Macy's Backstage continues to accelerate the expansion of its off-price concept to locations nationwide."

Backstage has expanded to nearly 300 Macy's stores nationwide, including six store-within-store locations and two free-standing locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, allowing customers to shop both Macy’s full-line and off-price merchandise offerings in one trip.

It's part of a "small format" expansion that Macy's initiated in 2021, when it opened two free-standing Backstage locations at The Village at Allen and The Centre at Preston Ridge.

Macy's also debuted three Market by Macy's, a smaller-format retail store with a smaller assortment of merchandise, also in an open environment, in Dallas-Fort Worth including Southlake, WestBend, and the Highlands of Flower Mound.


Texas gymnastics hero Simone Biles unveils new clothing line full of girl power


One of the biggest sports superstars on the planet has unveiled a new clothing line aimed at nurturing future stars: Simone Biles' new collaboration with sportswear brand Athleta, called Athleta Girls x Simone Biles, was released April 19.

Biles, 25, the most decorated gymnast in history, announced the launch on social media. “It’s finally happening,” Biles posted on Instagram, informing her 6.9 million followers that the limited-edition line was available. She co-created the series, which shoppers can add to their carts here.

The line consists of stylish athleisure aimed at girls aged 6 to 12, with streamlined tees, hooded sweatshirts, reversible vests, and more, plus bike shorts and Capri pants and outerwear and accessories. The vivid items are designed with a spring and summer vibe.

But more than simply creating a perfect fit for an active life, the Biles/Athleta line aims to boost girls’ self confidence. Each article of clothing comes with a hidden message from the GOAT herself.

Biles noted to People that these hidden passages are “little love notes” that she tells herself each day, such as “you can do it,” “the floor is yours,” and “no dream is too small or too big.”

“I think [the messages] should be a daily reminder so if [wearers] ever feel down or are feeling like they can't do something,” she added, “they just look in whatever piece of clothing they’re wearing and they find that love note.”

The new collection comes on the heels of a whirlwind year that included a touring gymnastics show (presented by Athleta) and getting engaged to boyfriend Jonathan Owens.

Recently, Biles hinted at a competitive gymnastics comeback, teasing to The Today Show, “I might push it a little bit more to see.”

Worthy Books

Millionaire Texas jewelry maven Kendra Scott writes next chapter with dazzling memoir

Turning the page

She launched a jewelry company now valued at $1 billion. She received the national EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. Two years later, she was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. And she’s been a guest “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank. And just last week, she released a bridal capsule collection in collaboration with a popular blogger.

Kendra Scott, founder of the Austin-based jewelry company that bears her name, reigns as a Texas and American success story. Now, she’s telling her story in her first memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

The memoir, published by the Worthy Books division of Hachette Book Group, is scheduled to be released September 20. It can be preordered now.

“With a voice that’s vulnerable, wise, funny, and poignant, Kendra takes us on a journey of personal stories and tough life lessons, from her humble beginnings as a bullied middle-schooler in small-town Wisconsin, to launching a business in her spare bedroom with $500, to the devastating accident that turned her world on its axis,” Worthy Books says in a news release promoting the book.

“Through the ups and downs, her struggles and triumphs, Kendra builds a life — and a career — grounded in joy, kindness, purpose, and doing good, a life she desires for every reader,” the release continues.

Scott began creating jewelry in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Fourteen years later, the Kendra Scott brand operates more than 115 stores across the country, including two in San Antonio, and rings up annual sales in the neighborhood of $360 million.

In 2017, Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners invested an undisclosed amount in the Kendra Scott brand. The deal valued the company at $1 billion.

In February 2021, the company announced Scott would step down as CEO of the brand but stay aboard as executive chairwoman and chief creative officer. Forbes last year estimated Scott’s net worth at $800 million.

Today, Scott is a professor of practice at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“Kendra Scott is a generous philanthropist, an unwavering optimist, a devoted daughter, and a mother with a squad of strong female friendships. Her entrepreneurial spirit developed at an early age and her path to success is unique, intriguing, and certainly not an easy one,” the Worthy Books news release says. “In 20 years, she has catapulted her eponymous jewelry line, which started as a hobby in her home, into a mega-popular business that has garnered a loyal following of clientele across the globe.”

Texas retailer Neiman Marcus takes steps for its future fur-free world

Faux Fur News

Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group is standing by its commitment to go fur-free with an innovative new approach to get rid of the old fur and bring in the new (faux) fur.

Working with the Humane Society of the United States, the company adopted a new Animal Welfare Policy in June 2021, with a goal to eliminate fur products at all NMG brands, including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, by March 2023.

To date, fur inventory levels across NMG have been reduced by more than half, and the company plans to continue reducing throughout the next year.

To educate clients on fur alternatives, NMG has begun to introduce several new sustainable and ethical product alternatives to satisfy the tastes of their luxury customers.

CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck says in a statement that NMG is embracing its role as a leader in luxury retail to build a better future. Cool!

"It is clear the future is fur-free, and that includes the ultra-luxury space," van Raemdonck says. "Since our announcement, we've seen many of our brand partners join this movement, further assisting our efforts to implement this much-needed change and create a more sustainable future for fashion."

Their program involves two steps: introducing new sustainable alternatives, and making a plan for how fur salons will evolve.

Sustainable, ethical alternatives
The company is launching new programs at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, featuring products made with sustainable materials, including bio-based vegan leathers such as Prota Fiori, a Certified B Corp founded by Jennifer Stucko who has pioneered the use of apple leather in women's footwear made in Italy.

"We are bringing our brand partners and customers along with us and sharing educational resources every step of the way," says Chief Merchandising Office Lana Todorovich. "We have several brand partners who are leaders in this space. And for some of our brand partners, they are just beginning their journey."

NMG has partnered with The Humane Society and Textile Exchange to encourage reputable training for brand partners.

"We will continue to sell products approved by The Humane Society, made from synthetic, faux fur materials, and traditional animal fabrics like cashmere, leather, shearling, mohair, down, wool, and silk," said Todorovich. "We will also continue to monitor animal welfare concerns associated with these materials and work with brand partners to promote best practices related to their sourcing, production, processing, re-use, and innovation over time, including through our Sustainability Edits that feature products with certified materials and other preferred product attributes for consumers."

NMG's Animal Welfare Policy and the launch of its brands' new sustainable product edits will help the company meet its goal to increase revenue from the sale of sustainable and ethical products by 2025.

Transitioning fur salons
Existing fur salons at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores will be converted into spaces customized for modern luxury experiences. Over time, the salons will be converted into spaces featuring alterations, personalization, dining, and other experiential customer moments.

"We intend to continue offering customers access to fur services, including storage, alterations, and repairs," said Demuth. "Our experts are trained on caring for, maintaining, and altering existing fur products, lowering the demand for new ones while driving progress toward our ESG goal to extend the useful life of 1,000,000 luxury items through circular services by 2025."

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

That is one Effin Egg breakfast sandwich restaurant opening in Fort Worth

A fresh new breakfast-and-brunch spot with a sassy name is opening near Fort Worth's Medical District: Called Effin Egg, it's a small chain founded in Florida, and will open what is only its fifth location at 1305 W. Magnolia Ave., in what was previously a location of Great Harvest Bread Co.

Effin was founded by Jeff Martin, who also founded Smallcakes Cupcakery, the hugely successful cupcake chain with more than 200 locations across the U.S.

His idea was to create a fast-casual concept that specialized in breakfast sandwiches. There are locations in Georgia, New York, and New Jersey.

"[Effin Egg is] for the person on the go that needs that morning pick me up and a great cup of coffee," Martin says in a statement. "It’s for the person that partied way too hard and needs an amazing breakfast sandwich or cheeseburger at noon; it’s for the everyday person wanting quality food on the go."

The menu features gourmet breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, burritos, and breakfast bowls. The restaurants are generally on the small side, with the majority of business being take-out.

The signature is the breakfast sandwich with an over-medium egg on a brioche bun, in various combinations:

  • The OG, with bacon, egg, cheddar, and Mexican sauce
  • Sausage, egg, & cheese
  • Turkey bacon, egg, cheddar, and chipotle ketchup

They also do biscuit sandwiches; burgers using Angus beef; a Beyond burger with spicy guacamole; grilled cheese; and a bagel with avocado spread.

Tacos contain scrambled eggs combined with options such as chorizo; bacon & hash browns; and brisket tacos with avocado crema.

There are also pancakes, waffles, and burritos with options such as brisket and vegan chorizo.

Effin is coming to Fort Worth thanks to husband-and-wife Nick Valdez and Ana Flores, who are fulfilling a dream to have their own restaurant. They've been diligently working on the space, and hope to be open within the next two weeks.

Working with a franchise operation has helped them cover the daunting checklist of opening one's first place, but Valdez says they also liked the fact that the food is cooked to order, and everything's prepared fresh daily.

"And the name does catch your attention," he says.

Valdez is a former logistics professional, and Flores is a nurse — which helped steer them towards the Medical District.

"We love the idea of being here to make sure our medical professionals are fed and ready to go," Valdez says. "I love the hustle and bustle, the energy in the morning, where you can help turn people's day around. If you have a good breakfast, it can pave the way for the rest of the day."

WBAP's Hal Jay shares powerful story of life-saving transplant with Tarrant Heart Ball

The gift of time

What: 2023 Tarrant County Heart Ball

Where: The Worthington Renaissance Hotel

The 411: On January 10, 2023 popular WBAP morning radio host Hal Jay collapsed from an irregular heart rhythm. On February 3, he underwent a heart transplant. By April 4, he was back on the air, and on April 22, he was sharing his story in person as keynote speaker for the American Heart Association's Heart Ball.

In his brief but powerful remarks, Jay thanked his wife, Ann Harbuck, his family, and medical providers, and God for saving his life. In keeping with the gala's theme, "The Gift of Time" Jay said he had a new-found appreciation for "giving your heart and body time," emphasizing, "I will never NOT exercise again."

The 2023 gala - chaired by Stephanie and Michael Klein - brought together hundreds of Heart Association supporters, philanthropists, and medical personnel. They were seated alongside heart disease survivors and their families, who shared their harrowing stories to inspire fellow guests.

The evening's proceedings were led by mistress of ceremonies, CBS News anchor Nicole Baker, under the guidance of AHA executive director Corrie Harris.

After a cocktail reception and multicourse (heart-healthy) meal of mixed greens salad, pan-seared jerk chicken, and berry tart and chocolate mousse, guests had the opportunity to give through an "Open Your Heart" appeal.

Those holding out with bigger bucks bid fast and furiously in a live auction. Up for grabs were trips to Broken Bow and Big Sky; packages for the Charles Schwab Challenge and Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; Duke basketball tickets; Ginger Walker Art; and a De Boulle necklace.

Those who wanted to continue the celebratory evening took to the dance floor while the Mitchell Ferguson Band entertained.

In all, the night raised $300,000 to further the American Heart Association's work in Tarrant County.

Who: Aimee Plummer, Robin Carson, Melinda Bronstad, Allison and Tug Rix, Becca and Johnny Cheng, Lori and Brad Bruce, Trey and Kristin Carmichael, Angela and Rick Bettinger, Arturo Ruiz, Mercedes Cruz, Ava Beach, Allen Beach, Elaine and Shawn Tubre, Emily Howard, Hatice Dalton, Marcia Jacobs, Eric and Shannon Benink, Anthony and Cynthia Villagran, Nancy Murphy, Sarah Harbuck, Emily Avila, Robert Luera, Shehla Shah, Syed Nayyar Shah, Thomas Williams, Suzy Pratt, Lou Martin, Jennifer and Kenneth Willingham, Tammy and Heath Middleton, Kassy and Jacob Flesher, Chrissy and Jordan Long, Matt and Katie Foust, Treanise Owens, Joel and Lisa Mohrman, Michael Tilley, Denise Castle, Georfe Terrazas, Boozaziel Chavez, Tim Dohse, and hundreds more AHA supporters.

Tarrant Heart Ball 2023, Hal Jay

Photo by Stacey Brooks

Sarah Harbuck, Emily Avila, Robert Luera, Ann Harbuck, Hal Jay, Shehla Shah, Syed Nayyar Shah