Near the top of my list of tasks for personal growth was making the effort to put myself out there, form friendships and meaningful, lasting relationships with people who share my passion for fashion and life style choreography. People who not only made me happy, but inspire me and pushed me to work harder. I thought that might be difficult, since I was moving to Miami, not New York or Milan. When one thinks of centers for fashion, New York City and Milan, Italy come to mind. I used to think the same. To my surprise, in the three years since I moved back home and made fashion and life style my business, I have happily found that the fashion and marketing community here in Miami is quite strong. As a result, now, even living in Miami, I'm proud that I have developed many strong, lasting friendships in my field.
While some make fun of me for always being somewhere, never missing a party and constantly being on the go, I have to say that networking has been the key to my success. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to host a fabulous event called Fashion Happy Hour. How did this come about? A few months earlier, one of the founders of the event and I struck up a friendship at a blogger conference. With a simple exchange of contact information and a follow on Instagram, this new friend opened a new door to a wonderful event.
My friends always tell me that I should teach a class on how to network.
While I may not be teaching a class anytime soon, I'm definitely happy to share my not-so-secrets. Making friends and building a solid network of contacts is really quite simple. Just be open to opportunities and be a nice person. There are lots of interesting, friendly people out there. Make friends with anyone and everyone. Don’t base your friendships on what you can get out of it – instead, befriend people you find yourself investing in. With genuine friends, you never know how your life may be effected.
I put myself out there on a daily basis. I attend as many events as possible and always try to support brands, agencies and people I love whenever they are reaching out to the community. I also make it a point to surround myself with warm-hearted, hard-working people from whom I derive pleasure that is not simply related to business. And, of course, I'm more than happy to pay it forward when I can. We always need a plus one, so don't be an invitation-hog. Invite that girl or guy who might appreciate a simple cocktail party or mixer. You're going to need someone to pose for pictures with, anyway.
Scroll down to check out pictures from the re-launch of Fashion Happy Hour.