By Lynette Carrington / Photos by Claudia Johnstone / Styling by Tess Loo, My Sister’s Closet / Makeup by Leiah Scheibel, The Spakle Bar
Scottsdale native Mandy Holmes can be seen at high-profile events and fundraisers around the Valley and dishing out fashion and lifestyle inspiration on her blog-turned-brand, The Real Housewife of Scottsdale. The Horizon High School graduate went on to earn her degree in nutrition communications at Arizona State University and worked her way up to becoming a mompreneur, not only with her blog but also with a new business venture.
Holmes’ blog began in 2015 after she found herself giving out tips for the latest happenings in town. “People were constantly asking me for recommendations, like where to go on date night or where to go for dinner. Because I was born and raised here and have such a huge network and knowledge of the city, I thought, ‘I’m going to use my degree in communications for a good cause and start writing everything down.’ That’s how the blog took off.”
Since then, Holmes has been rocking her brand with finesse everywhere she goes while showcasing great people, worthwhile causes, fun events and local businesses. Almost immediately after founding the blog, local businesses began reaching out to her wanting to be featured. “It really took off and has become so much more than a creative outlet,” she says.
The fashionable mom and wife has a knack for what’s new, what’s hot and what’s happening – with a heart that’s rooted in her hometown. “I enjoy seeing how Scottsdale has changed. I remember when Kierland was just a dirt lot. It’s really evolved, and there’s never a shortage of things to do.”
Though, she is careful to curate her content to fit her audience of like-minded women. “I only feature brands that I personally use or events that I personally attend. My blog readers are women like me – busy working moms, girl bosses and entrepreneurs.”
Last year, after Holmes’ grandparents passed away from kidney failure within a month of each other, she saw an opportunity to help others. Her newest business endeavor, Drink Down 64
(www.drinkdown64.com), was born out of the realization that others could benefit from her own painful experience.
“My grandparents’ caregivers in hospice told them to drink water,” Holmes says. “But since they suffered from dementia, they didn’t know if they were drinking their water. I remembered that I had seen something on Pinterest – people would take a gallon of water from the grocery store and write on it with a Sharpie,” says Holmes, noting she thought there had to be a cuter way to keep track.
After talking with family and friends, the feedback was clear: Even those who weren’t sick could benefit from a water bottle with a tracking feature. “I saw the opportunity as it literally could appeal to every single person on earth. When my grandparents passed away, I knew it was the right time to start Drink Down 64. I launched in January 2018. It’s been great, and the response has been overwhelming.”
The bottle, which fits into car cup holders, includes a time notification and shows how much water should be consumed by a certain time each day. When it is refilled at lunch, the time and amount to drink starts over, and by the end of the day, 64 ounces of water will have been consumed –the daily hydration recommendation for the average person.
The easy and healthy concept of Drink Down 64 has hit home, even with Hollywood. “One of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Meghan King Edmonds, ordered a water bottle,” Holmes says. “She put it on her social media, tagged me in it, and I got 1,000 orders the first day.”
With Drink Down 64’s early success, Holmes is ready to move forward with more marketing, realizing that there are large communities of people that can benefit from the BPA-free plastic bottles.
Future incarnations of Drink Down 64 will include a glass bottle, different color choices, bottles with sports tops and straws.
Drink Down 64 is also connected to a cause dear to Holmes’ heart. With each bottle sale, $2 will go to an animal charity located in the state in which a bottle is ordered.
“My passion is animals. I have 50 animal rescue partners – one in every state – and that will be the designated rescue. I write checks to all the state rescues based on the sales for that month.”
In Arizona, the rescue foundation that receives a portion of each purchase is Rockstar Canine Rescue & Sanctuary in Phoenix.
Visitors to The Real Housewife of Scottsdale blog will become immersed in Holmes’ world – and that is exactly what she wants.
“I will never make a million dollars with my blog, and I’m OK with that,” she says. “The goal of the blog is to share cool people, places, events and charities for those in the community.”