Like most women, I have my own tribe and recently realized how strong the power of visualization is. I, along with two good friends, plotted our career plans last June 1 after feeling a bit lost as to where to bring our chosen fields next. We are all entrepreneurs: a writer, a stylist and a photographer who want to succeed while making a significant difference to people who’s lives we’ve been privileged to touch. We made a vow to work as hard as we could while keeping the eye on the prize: opening up our hearts to opportunities and—eeeeep!!!—even doing things outside our comfort zones.
As fate would have it, I got a message from my friend Dara of Collab Contessa asking me if I was open to doing a workshop with trunk show at the end of June at 2nd’s, a restaurant she was doing marketing for. This was already mid-month and although I felt two weeks wasn’t enough time to make things move, the excitement of doing it compelled me to say yes. The idea was to have a styling workshop on how to put together looks using the brands I personally chose to participate. And since SOS is all about helping regular folk find their style identity, I wanted to use real women as models—friends and clients who I’ve come to know well. The ball immediately went rolling through many exchanged messages and ideas that by Day 1, I had three out of four merchants confirmed. The succeeding days were spent designing the e-vite with Drey, Dara’s talented graphic artist sister and partner in CC, arranging schedules with the venue and brands, making a timeline for posting and inviting and everything else that needed attention. It was a breeze working with the sisters; when everyone on board is efficient, you get things done in the least time. I learned a lot from Dara while doing this event, from the proper use of hashtags and captions to timing and patience and zen-like calmness (despite the stress) that things will fall into place.
Next thing I knew, it was the week of the event. I won’t lie, my stomach was in knots and I was so out of sorts! Throughout the week, I tried to memorize my spiel with bullet points in my notes so I don’t forget important information but my husband suggested I speak from my heart and rely on stored knowledge—it was a topic I knew inside out. Both actually made sense and as I was about to find out on the first day, necessary.
Friday came and I woke up confident and ready, had my hair done and went early to the venue. However, I wasn’t too crazy with what I was wearing. Ironic for a stylist, I know, but I was deciding between fashionable and comfort. I chose the latter without giving much thought about the former. Mistake number one. When people started to come in, I felt the pressure, but went about my to-dos: style the models, prep the merchants and waited until everyone settled down before I began talking. 3:30 pm, the agreed workshop schedule was fast approaching, so I positioned myself in front, mic in hand and started my workshop. I was a nervous wreck inside, but tried my best to play it cool and follow my planned outline. Somewhere along the way though, with all eyes on me by my friends and attendees, I fast tracked my presentation. Mistake number two. My tips felt bitin and the flow wasn’t so organized. I closed it with an awkward Q&A that left crickets chirping. Haha!
Not my best moment, but I think I did a good job styling my friends who very graciously said yes to doing it for me, which made me feel a bit bad, thinking that I didn’t do them or the people who came for the workshop justice. Thankfully, I have honest friends who gave me feedback so I could improve for the second day. I promised them I’d do better (they wouldn’t be there) and keep their suggestions in mind. Thankfully, too, the trunk show was another story. The merchants all came up to me and said they sold pretty well and were looking forward to day 2. At least the goal to promote their brands and make a profit was achieved!
Here are scenes from that day captured by my friend, photographer Cholo dela Vega.
Dusting off the previous day’s learning experience, I was ready to face the afternoon after a morning run and a more exciting, albeit tame, outfit. I was expecting more guests that day including my mom, sister and titas as well as friends I haven’t seen in a while. It should’ve added more pressure but coming from the first day’s mishaps, I didn’t let it bother me; I had more organized notes and pointers, itching to blow them away with tips galore! True enough, when you put your mind to it, you really can conquer anything—including a mother’s critical stare (love you, mom!). I was careful to be more thoughtful with my words, tried not to forget bits of information like the brands’ backgrounds and my models’. I made it light and fun but informative, easy to understand and take in. At the end of the workshop, I was feeling great and knew I did a better job. Finally, I could relax, mingle and have a much needed drink! I still have a lot to improve on for future workshops but I can say now that I’m more confident and less tentative of my moves and words. So… bring it on!!!
Photos of day 2 by Aldrin of Iv Photography