On Monday 23rd July I peeled myself out of my cool, comfortable home by the sea, clambered aboard a spacious air-coned train then rudely catapulted myself into what felt like the actual inside of satans belly, the lovely central line of London, as I had a ticket to the Lone Design Club (LDC) Female Empowerers (yes it's a word - I had to do a double take too) and entrepreneurs event at their pop up space in Covent Garden.
The night was hot, in more ways than one. There was the unmistakable vibe that is creative London in the sun going on, everyone chatting away, quaffing prosecco, buzzing with excitement for the wears that where on show and the morale boost that being in a room filled with progressive, helpful business women gives. The exhibitors on the night where all fashion industry based but interestingly, the majority of brands showcased had an ethical / vegan / sustainable angle as their unique selling point.
One handbag company in particular that really gained my interest is called Stelar. I spent time talking with founder and director Lorna Watson about the companies creation, its ethos and end product. Lorna has worked in the creative design industry for over 25 years as a jewellery designer working for the likes of Dior, Astley Clarke and De Beers. Lorna started Stela after holidaying in Bali and seeing the artisanal skills of the local people dying as they abandoned traditional craft work to take jobs in the tourist industry.
Lorna created Stela to try and revive this dying community and produce sustainable, covetable and unique handbags, which is exactly what she has done. All their handmade leather goods have a unique code attached to them, when entered into the ‘meet your artisan’ link on their website, this code enables you to discover the origins of your bag, meet the artisan who created it, and in turn support the communities they are working with. Sustainability with style and flare. All great things in my book.
The discussion panel of the night was hit and miss. Now, I have spent my life before interiors (LBI?) in various guise's, one of them being a practice educator for local government. I have spent many minutes of my life stat in front of a power point presentation, both as a participant and educator so think I know recycled material when I see it. Some of the things spoken and presented as original where clearly not as I've seen other more established instagramer's in the online education, money and manifesting or how to grow your brand communities do almost the same presentation with more detail and in a more engaging style. Im not going to name who this person was as thats unnecessary but feel I do need to mention it to give you an honest overview of the event.
Now I haven't and won't list everything said mainly due to the fact that I didn't write everything down and my dyspraxia means I've got a memory like a sieve, however the main points that I took away from Flavilla on the night are:
1. Personal Branding; We all know what this is yes? Its the brand that you have created to sell yourself to the world. Be you selling yourself as an influencer, blogger, stylist or you actualising selling goods that you create or curate. We all think that we have a handle on our personal branding don't we. We put what we think is our best foot forward, fling out content that we enjoy creating and are fairly certain that people "get" us.
Your personal branding isn't what you think. Its not what you think you or your content is all about, your personal brand is defined by what people say about you when you leave the room. You may think that you are gregarious, smart and witty but if you leave the room and everyone just thinks you're rather arrogant, this is what they think of your brand. the best way to combat this? Get feedback, as much as you can and in as many ways as you can.
After all that networking that I mentioned above, ask people out for a coffee or email if you really can't bear it (but again, what does that say about you...) what they actually thought of you and why. Encourage honest comments on the content that you put out there and be willing to listen and act on it. There is no room for bruised ego's when building a successful brand.
2. Help before trying to sell: With everything that you are doing on social media, try and help others before selling people anything. This can be in the form of advice (see point 4) through spare time where you physically volunteer somewhere for someone / an origination, through online mentoring or just buddying up with someone in your field and giving them a little lift on Monday morning by sending a positive DM. It doesn't have to be a big grand gesture and it doesn't have to cost a thing, just try and help others in anyway you can, the positive energy will flow back to you and your personal brand will get an instant uplift. Positive personal brand + active networking = people wanting to invest time and money in you.
3. NeuroMarketing: This was briefly touched upon and more as a self directed follow up so I can't impart much advice here. I do however have this link apparently this information will change how you see business and how you function successfully within it. Go forth and educate!
4.You have to teach it to learn it: Anytime you do something new, something interesting, something that helps you in anyway in your life, teach others. No-one is going to steal your shine or big idea if you teach them something. Everyone is an individual and even if we are peddling the same thing, the way in which we do it will be different. Don't be afraid to share your knowledge, especially with other women. Don't be THAT woman. No-one likes her, and I can guarantee what they are saying about her personal brand behind her back isn't nice.
I didn't take many pictures on the night as I was soaking it all in, I know very bad blogger of me, however I did snap this.
I think no matter what field you're in, place in your career, or time in your life, you can apply the above to all parts of your life that you want to see success in. Go on, push any British sensibilities to the side and give the vision board a go. Im going to get working on mine next week during my holiday and I'll show you mine if you show me yours?
Did you go to the LDC event? or know anyone that did? Was their takeaway similar to mine? Let me know if there is anything else you'd like to know about my time at the event or if you have any comments about the evening please stick them in the comment section below.