GO ON A SAWGRASS MILLS SHOPPING SPREE WITH MRS. O AROUND THE WORLD
There are customers and there are very loyal customers. Hailing from Portugal, but living in London for the last 10 years, Ana Silva O’Reilly (also known as Mrs. O Around the World) has been a very loyal Simon Shopping Destinations visitor for over 18 years, and yes, she counted!
She visits the USA 4-5 times a year and she is known to fill up a couple of Tumi suitcases on each trip. Her favourite Simon Shopping Destinations include Woodbury Common Premium Outlets® just outside of New York City and Desert Hills Premium Outlets® in the Palm Springs area. She has recently visited the Miami area and paid a visit to The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills, which she hadn’t visited for a while – and loved what she saw!
Who is Mrs. O?
Ana Silva O’Reilly is a 30-something globetrotter who finds her peace and quiet on a long-haul business class flight to somewhere warm. An avid traveller, Ana is also a good daughter, religiously following her mother’s motto: ‘If you leave home, it has to be better’, or ‘I love camping, in 5 star hotels’.
A city girl at heart, she moved to the quiet English countryside for love, and lives her travel dreams through her award-winning alter-ego and travel blog Mrs. O Around the World.
If you have a thing for all things luxury, namely travel, the first port of call would be her blog, Mrs. O Around the World.
How did you become a blogger and decide to focus on luxury travel?
I was the ultimate accidental blogger. I have been working as a marketing director for almost 10 years and in 2011, when I finished my MBA after getting married and moving to the UK, social media was really becoming something more than a fad. The first business school offering a social media strategy course was NYU in New York and I went on a summer course. I had to create a social media persona as homework and travel was the only topic I thought I had something to add.
I have always been very fortunate as I have always travelled in a certain way with my parents, by myself and with my husband and I used to be the ‘port of call’ for friends and family (and friends of friends) when they were going somewhere. I had a ready to go email to Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul, London and New York, which were cities I had to visit very often for my then corporate work.
The only thing I did was put them online and likeminded people have found me over time.
Tell us a bit about the shopping day in Florida/Miami/Sawgrass Mills
I have been going to Sawgrass Mills since 2000 and have really enjoyed the most recent visits as it has changed SO MUCH. I really enjoyed the mix at The Colonnade Outlets – most luxury brands are there and it made for a very interesting, profitable and enjoyable shopping experience.
I say profitable as we did get some seriously amazing deals and it felt like I was being paid to shop. The dining offer has also improved – we started with a coffee and a bite at PAUL and then had lunch at Matchbox.
The Colonnade Outlets are open door and very easy to navigate.
What are your favourite stores and brands not to be missed in Sawgrass Mills?
I always like to visit Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH as you never know what you are going to find. I did find a pair of Aquazzura shoes which are still available on the normal stores, so thank you very much for that. I also always visit the beauty stores which are relatively recent to the outlet shopping sphere. My favourite is The Cosmetics Company Store and I was able to get a few Aerin perfumes which one never finds discounted. I also got a nice La Mer travel kit.
Always worth a visit is Le Creuset – ironic as it is a European brand, but I find that they carry more accessories than back home, I bought some silicone spoons as we have replaced all wooden spoons and overtop kettle just because I really wanted it. The other brand we always enjoy is Frette, as I picked up a new set of sheets for 70% off.
My friend got a Valentino handbag and some Jimmy Choo shoes. I wasn’t so lucky on that department, but I cannot complain!
How would you describe your own personal style?
I am very classic in some areas, but I always update each seasonal wardrobe with some key items. I have a personal stylist in NYC and every quarter she sends me a list of key seasonal items. I see her when I am in NYC and we go shopping together.
I started wearing more colour than I did (that was a personal goal) and she has made me try things I never would. We are actually planning a visit to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets® on my next trip to New York!
What are you looking forward to most about your next visit to Sawgrass Mills?
I always pray to the Simon Shopping Destinations Gods as luck really plays a part in the shopping experience. Will they have my size? One thing I appreciate is how fast fashion moves in the USA – on a recent trip to California, I was eyeing up a particular dress and decided not to buy it (at Neiman Marcus). At the end of my trip, we went to Desert Hills Premium Outlets® and the dress was there for 40% less. Three weeks later – but it was the timing I needed.