During my senior year of college, I started working in the marketing department for a personal care products wholesaler. I learned the ins and outs of developing a product and bringing it to market. After graduation, the President of the company took a big chance on me, an overly-ambitious 22 year old who was ready to learn everything I could about the industry. He gave me a new market sector that the brand had never been in before and told me to go for it–free rein to build something new. I faced countless set backs, several VERY humbling experiences, and endless lessons learned the hard way. I learned about wholesale vs. retail, line sheets, margins, promotions, production, private labeling, packaging design, regional sales representatives, showrooms and above all else, trade shows. Several times a year, I would travel around the country to train sales representatives at regional gift and home trade shows. The job was exhausting. But also, so much fun. And it taught me invaluable lessons and skills that I have continued to use in my own business over the years.
When I received an invitation to speak at MAGIC Las Vegas, I was thrilled at the opportunity to attend a trade show again for the first time in over a decade. And not just any trade show–THE fashion trade show with the largest selection of of apparel, footwear and accessory brands! This show is HUGE! So basically, I said yes because I wanted to get a sneak peek the Free People, Dolce Vita and GiGi Pip upcoming collections, lol. Just kidding, but also, visiting those booths was super rad!
My dear friend, Kelly Helfman, started working as an INTERN for MAGIC right after college. And now, today she is the PRESIDENT! Watching her in action was an honor. She is an incredible leader and such an inspiration and blessing to the professionals within her industry (and to me!). Those who have the opportunity to work with Kelly know that she sincerely wants nothing more than to see others succeed and it’s obvious that the foundation of her work is built upon this desire to do everything in her power to help others reach their goals.
Do I know anything about the fashion industry? No, lol. Am I a fashionista? Hardly. But I do have a thing or two to share about hard work, setting goals, dreaming big and building a business from the ground up. For my segment, Kelly interviewed me about tips for growing a successful business while balancing real life and motherhood. We were both vulnerable in the advice and truths we shared and we may have even shed a few tears on that stage. It was a beautiful experience that I will forever cherish.
Three of my other besties, Shambri, Brian and Kim, attended MAGIC as well and we had such a blast spending time together amongst all these dreamers and do’ers! Y’all the energy at this trade show is like no other! Let’s see if we can talk Kelly into inviting me to the next show and if you’re there as well, I would LOVE to meet you!