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Froulala in Charlotte North Carolina

One of the things I love most about travel is the people I meet. I love how visiting new places opens up a world of fun, engaging and smart people that I wouldn't have otherwise met. I recently traveled to Charlotte North Carolina, and like most business travel it was a swoop in and out without time for sightseeing.

I attended the national WithIt Convention, an organization for women in the furniture industry. Imagine spending a week with 150 smart, sexy and powerful women who know what they want - and how to get it. Being a part of this group was like standing up in a rollercoaster with my arms waving in the air - the whole time.

I loved it.

Some of the women (and a few men) I knew already through my various online and business networks, and meeting them face to face took our relationship to a whole new level. Let's face it, tweeting in a 140-characters is kind of limiting.

Froulala with MaybellineFroulala with MaybellineOne woman in particular touched my heart. Maybelline Te. She's spunky and smart and has a kick-ass fashion sense that I plan to emulate. We know each other through Twitter as colleagues in the same industry but meeting her person was so much more fun.

Just before we parted Maybelline gave me two hand-embroidered bags for my future travels. Not only are these uber-cute, they're practical (THE best combo if you ask me).

Her company Froulala is the sweetest combination of "Oh La La" and "Fru-Fru" - similar to Maybelline herself. She'll never need to pay for pr because she's the kind of person that invites you into her heart  with one smile.

"On a tropical night in the hills of Maria Luisa EstateMaybelline's FroulalaMaybelline's Froulala Park, I was mindlessly turning the pages of a coffee table book to the sound of the cicadas," she wrote in a note. "A ruffled, hot-pink tulle skirt emerged from the page and all I could utter was froulala! It was one of those moments that left an indelible imprint to my imagination."

Maybelline started Froulala by making personal and themed gift packages, combining and reinventing scraps from her family's furniture business. She admits she never expected her gifts to turn into something friends would want to actually buy - but they did and they do.

"Froulala embodies all the experiences, things and aspirations that have inspired and captivated my heart, soul and creativity."

The bags aren't available online yet, but you can bet I'll let you know when they are.

I'm traveling to Vegas in a few weeks and while I'm pretty sure I'll be packing power suits and all the practical stuff I need for business, my Froulala bags will be my girly treat.

What's the one travel accessory you refuse to travel without?

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Maybelline, dahling!!!! Froulala is going to skyrocket from here! Glad your first online mention was a good experience. Enjoy! Julia

Julia darling, I can't thank you enough for my first Froulala shoutout! I am truly honored. I have always enjoyed reading your posts and appreciate the awareness all the contributors share about exploring and traveling with girlfriends. Sooo up Froulala's alley! Truly appreciate the start up support!! You RADIATE "Dutchess of Sunshine-ness" everywhere you go! Big Kiss!

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