Photos c/o Sylvie the Camera
Last week, I got to live one of my dreams: creating space for women to gather, build community, and have meaningful connections.
It started a few months ago when Anthropologie invited me to host their Manhattan Fall Fashion Presentation.
When they reached out I couldn’t believe it. The middle schooler in me who always dreamed of walking a runway was freaking out!
As we dove into the details I wondered if it could be about more than just fashion. Could we find a way to create space for women to connect in a deeper way?
We started to dream up ways to transform a fashion show into a multi-faceted interactive experience.
My vision was a runway filled with diverse women of different sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds, and careers. I wanted women who were living purposeful lives. Anthro said yes.
Then I asked if I could perform a spoken word before the show about what it meant to be a woman. Confession: I had never done this before. They said yes
(Sometimes you have to commit to something to give yourself that push to get out of your comfort zone.)
Finally, I asked if I could host a panel with some of the women walking the runway to open up a dialogue on body positivity, and the importance of building meaningful relationships in our fast-paced city. Again they said yes.
I don’t know why they kept telling me yes. But I was so glad they did; it was an honor.
This was the first event of its kind for Anthropologie–and for me too! Our hope was to have 100 attendees. About an hour before the event started we had to close registration — we had nearly 200 guests!
As men and women started filing through the doors I stood anxiously backstage with the 16 women who were about to walk the runway. The group included some of my best friends. It also included women I’d looked up to for ages, who are filled with vision and purpose. Getting to know them in the weeks leading up to the event affirmed what I admired in each of them. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the tribe of women who came together to make my vision a reality.
Right before I walked on stage to perform the spoken word my friend so brilliantly wrote, I was a ball of nerves, my palms were clammy and sweaty. My heart was racing.
Now that everyone was there I didn’t know if I actually had what it took to pull this off. I saw the double doors behind the audience. Running through them without looking back was tempting. I could feel my fears and insecurities rising. I had a choice to make. I could run away, or lean into the nerves and discomfort, and rise above it.
I really did pause to think about this. My friend must’ve sensed my energy because she squeezed my arm and whispered to me:
You are a leader.
Look at the women you brought together.
You created this.
I looked her in the eye, half smiled, half nodded, took a deep breath, and walked out to that stage backed by a crowd of women who were cheering me on. And I leaned into it.
That moment sums up perfectly why I do what I do. We need people around us to remind us of what’s true, to lift us up when we’re full of doubt, and spur us on towards greatness. In my moment of doubt I was surrounded by the support of my tribe. I need to be reminded of this just as much as the next person.
The night went on, and then I blinked and it was over. It was a night of connection, laughter—even tears. I saw old friends reconnecting. Strangers exchanging numbers. People lingering and not wanting to leave. It truly was a dream come true.
Friends, thank you for support this vision.
Thank you for challenging me to live my message.
Thank you for your feedback.
Thank you for coming out to our events.
It feels like this is just the beginning.
This event was made possible by the amazing support of Anthropologie + our dedicated sponsors. Thank you:
And to the Tribe of Powerful Women who walked with me: