Background: My Previous Event and Startup Experience
I loved organizing events back in Vancouver and one big personal highlight was an ongoing series of Young Professional’s Personal Development Events with SoulCycle as a partner!
Many friends have asked if I would continue organizing events in San Francisco, and also, if I would keep working on Fashion Startup LookLab that I had devoted a lot of time to in 2018. The short answer to both, was no, not immediately! I needed to evaluate the local landscape first and start building a community and network – things that allowed me to thrive in Vancouver 🙂 I couldn’t have pulled off any of my accomplishments without a solid community!
Abundance of Event Opportunities in San Francisco
Thankfully, San Francisco has an abundance of events and opportunities, if you’re willing to seek them out! From SF Girl Boss Meetups (my write-up here) to Canadians in tech (write up here) to well, general ways of meeting interesting, ambitious people (Uber ride example)!
I do love Fashion, and the potential to make a positive environmental impact since we all make Fashion choices every day when we get dressed, whether we realize it or not!
When I met Heather and April on the BART on one of my first days, little did I know I would end up meeting two fashionistas who would introduce me to the amazing Rent The Runway service (and what LookLab was trying to emulate – more on RTR here: ), and through them, I also met Shirin of SF Fashion Community Week and got involved with partnerships and promoting her event and cause.
Meeting Fashion Enthusiasts at Fashion Community Week’s Winter Soiree
At the Winter Fashion Soiree – I met Amanda Saeed, Personal Shopper and Stylist and we quickly got chatting about fashion, sustainability and wanting to host a clothing swap! BOOM! That was my opportunity to lend my event experience to help make this happen!
We connected over texts in January and then met at the Native Twins Coffee Shop, owned by two local Twins, Jennifer and Ashley @the_rubin_twins_, aka the would-be host of our swap! I shared my experience working in Fashion, and also, organizing events and attending clothing swaps. I created this summary of how I leveraged Clothing Swaps to promote clothing recycling – Shout-out to Roxanne for always inviting me!!
Collaborating with local Fashion Stylist on our Bay Area Babes Clothing Swap
Amanda had the venue, and materials (clothing racks) and I knew how to set up eventbrite and payments, and was also happy to write the event description and help promote via instagram!
I usually like to budget 3 weeks to promote an event – not too far in advance that people forget! With the published eventbrite site, we went ahead and started sharing with friends. She focused on in-person promotion via fliers at the Native Twins Coffee Shop and I was doing more online tactics – like sharing on Facebook groups and even using an instagram ad thanks to my Instagram friend who works there 🙂
Yup, it pays to play as I got a lot of views and look, 1700+ likes!
Day of the Clothing Swap
So, event day came and I was excited that several of my new SF friends had bought tickets in advance and agreed to come (Thanks Brenda, Hang and Leanne!).
We ran into a few hiccups when setting up the new clothing racks (think IKEA-esque instructions) – but thanks to Amanda’s friends, we got everything set up!
Then the women arrived!
Native Twins was a very cozy, intimate location and perfect for facilitating some discussion while browsing for clothes.
As always with these clothing swap events – it is so fulfilling to see others make use of your previously loved items! AND, it’s a nice bonus when you can score some new digs too.
I sheepishly brought a few items to the swap that I had never worn but that still had tags on them (I really intend to get better at not buying things I won’t end up wearing!). However, one of the ladies picked up my vest right away and said she would be wearing it to work on Monday!
As for me, I am going to Hawaii for my first time in April, and scored a few tropical dresses!
In the end, Amanda and I considered the event a success because all the women that came had a positive experience and were able to donate some of their clothes, while also getting some new fun items. All the extra items at the end of the evening went to Goodwill!
Amanda is aiming to build her stylist business and showed firsthand how she could help women with their clothing decisions! Native twins got some extra exposure, and I was excited to meet some new women and also build my own confidence that yes, I can organize events in a new city!
Interested in participating in our next Fashion event?
Also, I am Partnering with SF Fashion Community week for their March 13-16 week of events!
Make sure to attend!
DM on instagram for discount code to register by MARCH 5!
Interview with Shirin, Extraordinary human behind SF Fashion Week!
*UPDATE* READ my interview with the Founder, Shirin here:
NEW!! On March 14th, I will be a HOST and help moderate a panel for the Industry Startup Portion!
While the Fashion industry is sometimes viewed as a vanity industry, there is also a huge business component. People travel to places like Paris and Milan mainly for Historical sites, Food and also, Fashion! Through these series of events, Shirin and all those involved, hope to shine more light on how new innovations and diversity in Fashion, can be good for business and help economies thrive, while also emphasizing sustainability!