Behind-the-Scenes of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Photoshoot

Has anyone noticed that countdown widget in my sidebar lately?!? It says 12 days until the launch of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection. TWELVE!! No big deal, just rolling waves of nausea over here. I think most of it is excitement rather than nerves though.

I shared some sneak peeks with my blogger tribe yesterday, and their reactions just fueled my excitement! I literally can. not. wait for y’all to see it! Oh, but before I forget, congrats to Traci K, she was chosen as the random winner of the Collection giveaway (see the official announcement here)! 

I’m excited for today’s post just as much to share the experience with you, as I am to document it for myself. The photoshoot was the biggest whirlwind of my professional life, and not something I want to forget. Funny enough though, I can’t include most of the photos because they’d reveal too much of the Collection! And Nordstrom kind of wants it to be a surprise on May 29! 😉

So this post is an accumulation of pics from our phones, the photographer’s camera, and screen grabs from my Instagram Story. But I think it still tells the story of the weekend! (You can watch it all unfold on my GxHSP highlight video in my Instagram profile.)

But before I get into our time in Santa Monica, I have to go back several weeks to the photoshoot planning process. Once we’d approved all the clothing samples for color, pattern, material, and fit, they were returned to the designers for mass production. Leaving me with only simple computer renderings and fabric swatches to create 45 individual outfits! #challengeaccepted

My goal was to show how versatile each piece is, so I wanted the outfit combinations to cover everything from Work to Weekend.

Clutch | Ombre Earrings | Cuff | Sandals

And since we only had two full days to photograph each piece for the Nordstrom site (fashion moves fast!), I needed to be more organized than ever! So I called in the goddess of zen, the wizard of organizing…Alison Thompson. (You may remember her from my Master Closet project.)

I remember her as much for her mad-organizing skills as her positive, calming spirit. And according to Mr. SP, I was in desperate need of both!

So while I created outfits like a mad-woman, Alison documented everything…leaving us with a bound handbook of every single outfit combination, down to the earrings! It was essentially our map for the shoot, and was glued to someone’s hands at all times.

I want Alison to come organize every nook and cranny of my house. And life.

Garment Rack | Pink Straw Bag | Star Straw Bag

It was pretty much all hands on deck…even the pups were helping!

Slippers | Straw Bag | Cropped Jeans | Leopard Clutch | Black Wedges | Stacked Bracelets | Flat Sandal

Then Mr. SP packed it all up (eBags saving us, once again!), and we were off to California! You didn’t think I could do this without my Mama Sugarplum, did you?!

We decided on the Santa Monica area for several reasons…1) the predictable weather (we didn’t have time for Mother Nature!), 2) the abundance of photo backdrops (remember that whole 45 outfits, 2 days!), and 3) I already knew a phenomenal photographer in the area! (Of course I begged Mary to come shoot the collection, but she’s 8-months pregnant, so there’s that!)

Within an hour of arrival, the entire Collection was hand-delivered to the hotel room and we were a flurry of steaming and organizing! Mr. SP steamed all 45 pieces while Mom and I pulled everything together for the first day’s shoot.

The next morning, Suzie Moldovan arrived to work her hair and makeup magic. And I mean serious magic! We became fast-friends in the two days of working together, and Suzie taught me some amazing make-up tips I’ll share with you once I can show more photos!

Hoop Earrings | Pendant | Jean Jacket

The rental van was our rolling closet, stocked with all the clothes, shoes and accessories…and Mama Sugarplum the facilitator of it all! While I was shooting one outfit, she’d pull together everything I needed for the next look. Then while I changed in the backseat, Mr. SP would drive us to the next location. It was chaotic and organized, all at the same time.

Samantha Klose was our photographer extraordinaire, and flushed out all the best locations, while dealing with the crowds, ever-changing light, and our endless stream of chatter. She is an amazing photographer, and so full of joy and patience.

Suzie Moldovan (hair & makeup) | Samantha Klose (photographer)

Straw Tote

Suzie was with me every step of the way, switching up my hair, touching up makeup, and doing a never-ending change in lip colors. My arsenal of bright pinks has grown, and I’ll be sharing all the makeup and colors she used soon!

Hoop Earrings

Tassel Earrings | Wedges

Day 2 was more of the same, but this time Mama Sugarplum was in front of the camera with me! Y’all are going to die when you see her pictures!

After her shots, it was back to facilitating us all. (Y’all know ‘facilitate’ is just my nice way of saying bossy, right?!) But she was so good at it, and we squeezed in our final shot just as the sun was setting!

We stayed at Palihouse Santa Monica, and it was the perfect home-away-from-home for the exhausting days. It’s decorated like the inside of an Anthropologie catalog, and the gorgeous grounds even served as beautiful backdrops for some of our photos.

They knew we’d have an entourage, so they kindly upgraded us to a 2-room suite. But Mama Sugarplum’s standard room was just as lovely.

It was the busiest, most-exhilarating two days, and I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such a kind, talented, supportive team. Everyone was an essential piece of the puzzle, and made the weekend both fun and successful. Plus, sharing the experience with my darling mom was extra special, and I couldn’t have done it without her and my funny Mr. SP.

White Jean Jacket | ‘Out of Office Hat | Hoop Earrings | White Jean Skirt

Pink Straw Tote

We flew home early the next morning, but there was no rest for the weary since Samantha’s photos were due to Nordstrom 24-hours later! You’ll get to see them all in 12 days. Did I mention it’s only 12 days?

A huge thanks to everyone on #TeamSugarplum for your patience, talents, support and unlimited enthusiasm for this project!! My heart is so full after time with you, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of our labor. And thanks to Gibson and Nordstrom for trusting me with full creative freedom on styling and shooting this Collection. I’m beyond proud of what we’ve created together.

I hope you enjoyed this look behind-the-scenes, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks of what’s to come May 29!



Leave a Comment


  1. Ah, I loved this behind-the-scenes post! Along with personal posts, they’re always the most interesting. So much work was put into the photoshoot! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  2. LeeAnn wrote:

    So exciting!!! I have followed your blog for forever it seems and I’m super excited for you! Congratulations!! I CAN NOT wait to see the new line!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  3. Julie wrote:

    Love this post! Congratulations on your line!! Such an exciting time! I can’t wait to see the clothes, and the make up tips!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  4. YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Such a fun look at the shoot behind the scenes! You have worked incredibly hard getting ready for this launch, and I CANNOT WAIT for May 29th!!!!!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  5. Oh my gosh – this is so very exciting! What a dream come true!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  6. Sandy wrote:

    How exciting! Great photos. Funny photos of Mr. SP, especially the “sexy” steaming (steamy!) one! Thanks, Cassie and all!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  7. Jennifer wrote:

    Such a fun time! Thanks for the sneak peek behind the scenes! Congrats and can’t wait to see the new collection!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  8. Wanda wrote:

    Thanks so much for the peek behind the scenes. You are really building excitement for May 29!
    Thanks so much for my 7:00am giggle to Mr SP. The double hat and straw bag popped pose – especially the foot – has absolutely made my day!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • greenpear wrote:

      Wanda, I was going to say the exact same thing! I got a real laugh out of Mr. SP posing like Cassie, complete with extended right foot!

      I loved the sexy steaming photo too!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
      • Cassie wrote:

        He’s definitely got the ‘blogger pose’ down!! 😉

        Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  9. I have been with you for years (almost from the beginning), and I am beyond happy for you!!! I’m more of a shop local boutique kind of girl, but seeing your sneak peeks has me impatiently waiting to shop Nordstrom; kinda the point, huh 😉

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      LOL! Nordstrom would certainly love that!! 😉 Thanks so much for your loyal support!! xoxox

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  10. So much fun seeing behind the scenes! And look at Mr. SP with his perfectly pointed foot 😀 He has it down!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  11. Sandy M wrote:

    What fun! Such a gorgeous setting for this. So excited for May 29 & ready to shop! You and your family are so adorable. Makeup and hair were beautiful for both of you. Mama SP looks so young! Enjoy this time. I have a feeling things are going to really get crazy after this line is revealed! 🙂

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  12. Mindy wrote:

    Ahhhhhhh I can’t wait!!!! Tick tock, tick tock 🙂


    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  13. Kerri wrote:

    So fun to see behind the scenes! You guys were like a well oiled machine! I love that you got to have Mr. SP and mama SP to share in this adventure with you, I know they must be so darn proud of you and all that you have accomplished. That hotel looks so stunning and Malibu was the perfect local. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, all this excitement feels like Christmas in May! Counting down the sleeps! 😘

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  14. Brooke wrote:

    I absolutely love it that your mom and husband are so involved!!!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  15. Vali wrote:

    OMG I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  16. Your clothing line is going to be amazing! You have such a helpful supportive mom! So happy for you all!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  17. Nell wrote:

    Can’t wait to see ! Loved your play-by-play of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  18. Victoria wrote:

    I’m really surprised you had to do so much of it yourselves. I assumed you’d have a Nordstrom crew to do everything, like steaming. Was that your choice?

    It didn’t look quite like you in the first photo and I realised that I’m so used to seeing you smiling that you looked different. You have a smile that really lights up your face 😀
    Congrats and looking forward to seeing everything, and being envious because I’m not in the US and can’t have any of it!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That’s so funny about the non-smiling pic! I guess I am always smiling in photos! As for the photoshoot, Nordstrom bought the line, but how we represent it is totally up to us! And Gibson gave me full control, so I chose and styled everything! It was a huge undertaking, but I’m thrilled to have it shown and styled exactly as I’d wear it!

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  19. Libby wrote:

    Cassie, can’t wait to see the full collection! Going to be beautiful, I’m sure. A question: I love the eye glasses that your mom is wearing. Where are they from? Thanks!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you!! Her glasses are from her local eye shop, and the brand is Tiffany.

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
      • Libby wrote:

        Thanks Cassie!

        Posted 5.21.18 Reply
  20. Cherri wrote:

    Your momma looks incredible and could pass for your sister!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’m just hoping I got her full gene pool!!!

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  21. Denise Tucker wrote:

    Cassie, I am literally bursting with happiness for you! To me, no one deserves this more than you. As I have followed your blog and Instagram over the years, you have absolutely changed my style. What I wear now reflects my personality! Who knew?! Thank you for sharing your love of style and life. I can’t wait for May 29! Sending big hugs your way!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      This makes my heart so happy, Denise!! I’m thrilled you find inspiration here! I know clothes don’t make the woman, but they sure help us feel good in our own skin! xo

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  22. Lisa wrote:

    I am SO excited for you!! And to see the new line, of course 🙂 I love that your mom and husband helped out behind the scenes. It reminded me of Julia Child’s beginning in TV when her husband Paul would help her out, too. Xoxo

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That’s so fun, I never heard that about her! It’s definitely been a family affair! My kids have even been pitching in on some of it!

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  23. Sevahn wrote:

    Can you hear the champagne corks popping all over these United States on May 29? xoxo big hugs indeed!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  24. Jill wrote:

    That sounds so exciting!! Congratulations and I can’t wait to see the collection!!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  25. Courtney wrote:

    I could not be more proud of you! Congratulations on all the hard work and success! Much love lady …..
    – The “Lady” with the dude hands

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      My OG blogger friend!!!! Isn’t it crazy where this has taken both of us!! Much love to you and your gorgeous hands!! xo

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  26. Christal wrote:

    Congratulations! This is SO exciting–the sneak peeks have us all very anxious to see the whole collection. I think this is just the beginning for you and all your talent and you are already so amazing!

    Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  27. Jessica wrote:

    I’ve never in my life commented on a blog, but I’ve been a reader of yours for a few years and just had to congratulate you on your line at Nordstrom! It’s beyond amazing and I’m so happy for you! Double high-fives, girl 🙌🏻 And best of luck!!

    Posted 5.17.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Jessica!! I really appreciate your kind words…and you’re coming out of lurkdom to tell me! 😉 xo

      Posted 5.18.18 Reply
  28. Margaret wrote:

    Oh My! I am beyond excited to see you and your mom in this collection. Seeing how you each style things based on your body types and ages is my favorite part of this blog. Congratulations for all your hard work. It has definitely paid off!

    Posted 5.21.18 Reply
  29. Hi Cassie,
    Not only do I adore your eye for color and mix of fabric…but most of ALL its your beautiful way of connecting with others. You are disarming and real. I am a special needs mom with a ton of hurdles and struggles with my kids…its an outlet to go on your blog for an escape of the darker times of parenting a special needs son. I also love fashion!!!!! it is colorful and within my control when life seems at times to spiral out of control.
    i’m on — haven’t written in awhile because of the need of keeping my son safe at this time. I am hopeful for colorful day ahead! Keep in touch!

    Annie Todor – we have such in common stripes and color!!!!!!!

    Posted 5.22.18 Reply
  30. Stephanie Williams wrote:

    Just now reading this post and am BEYOND EXCITED for you!! Your story is such an inspiration and what a bonus that it is coming from someone as humble and genuine as you!!! Thank you for sharing your journey and teaching us your secrets along the way! Can’t wait to go shopping tomorrow!!😍😍

    Posted 5.28.18 Reply