Why Conversations with Claire DC was Worth the Investment
In November 2017, I began my journey back into a love I buried; fashion and design! I used to tear apart Teen Vogue magazines as inspiration and draw my own designs. While in high school, I learned how to draft a dress pattern at the local community college. I created a stiff denim dress but it was all mine. Fast forward to college, and I pursued a degree in Public Communications and that has been my career track ever since.
Now, I’m turning my graphic art into designs on clothing. I’ve watched Project Runway and my favorite is All Stars! So, when I saw Claire Sulmers the creator of FashionBombDaily was hosting an event in D.C. I knew I needed to be in the room. One thing I love about her story has she had a clear vision for the work experiences she felt would be required to become an editor. She even interned at the age of 28 and I’m feeling to make a shift I may need to do the same thing.
At first, I hesitated at the price but I knew I needed to hear the knowledge of the panelists and that the connections I could make would outweigh the cost. I also made sure to take advantage of the offered discount! When deciding on paying for an event that is out of my normal range I have to know it’s somewhere I can thrive, network, learn and not get lost in a sea of people.
I stressed over what to wear and rightfully so. The attendees looked like they walked through the door and onto the runway. There were colorful furs, shiny shoes, sunglasses, but most important were the warm personalities. I felt self-conscious in a room full of people working in the field from stylists to designers and business owners.
Here I am a blogger that creates designs on her Ipad and sells them on clothes. My one regret is not being myself and wearing my own t-shirt. I saw an attendee who wore a t-shirt with a beautiful yellow floor length coat. Ty Alexander creator of Gorgeous in Grey posted on Instagram about wearing what she loves to the event which included sneakers. I hardly wear heels too. I wish I would have worn my own clothes.
Anyway, back to the panel!
This conflict of what to wear when you’re a designer was addressed during the V.I.P. Brunch. Shateria Moragne-El, a featured panelist, and she wore a show-stopping Fuchsia Macrocheck fabric blazer and skirt. She is the CEO, founder and head designer of Front Row, a Ready-to-Wear luxe brand and was wearing another designer. Her advice was: Mix it up! As you are establishing your name, you should wear your designs but it’s okay to wear the designs you love as well.
One of my favorite quotes from the brunch was from Kenny Burns, also known as The Lifestyle Specialist. He said, “Never let your expectations exceed your effort.” If that isn’t a word that will humble you and make you check yourself at the same time. I felt convicted. I know there are so many things I want to do and I can write a new to-do list every day but, I have to put the time and work behind it.
Another moment that made me think was how to approach networking, which Paul Brunson talks about all the time in his videos. Claire was asked how to approach networking without being too clingy when it’s time to follow-up with someone.
She had one of her employees respond by sharing how she was able to use networking to help her become part of the FashionBombDaily team. She talked about being persistent about asking when if employment opportunities were available. Claire described her as persistent.
As an introvert, these type of events with a focus on networking raises my anxiety before I even arrive. What do I wear? Who do I talk to? What do I say? However, it wasn’t long before I was able to talk to a number of the panelists one on one and even Claire herself! I am thankful she put together a room full of people who had warm energy and a little wobble at the end of the event was proof I was having a great time. (I also went solo.)
I think this investment was important for me because I needed that extra little push and encouragement from people who have been in the business and are doing the work. I also needed to show myself I can speak up and have confidence.