Okay, so let’s just jump right into this blog since it is related to the last blog but for those of you that have not read it please feel free to read it now. Here is the re-cap/review of The Ultimate Closet Sale Planned and Organized by me. This was my first closet sale event. A year ago on Small business Saturday, I launched my #TeamPrettyBigGirls T-Shirt Line. I did not want to have a 1 year anniversary party so I decided to host an event. I have coordinated events in the past ranging from Corporate to Community and I wanted to apply those skills to my brand, I am Tree (iamtr33). So I planned an event that I think the market is missing. A Plato’s Closet or a bomb thrift store for plus size women only. From Clothes to purses … From Chokers to wide legged boots. Sounds amazing right? Well that was my vision and it truly came to life with the help of my awesome vendors! (Listed at the bottom). I may be a little bias since it was my event but my vision was executed to the T. I took what I learned and liked from past events, the skills I have and ideas to solve what I did not like from past Plus-Size events then mashed them all up and made it work for me with my event.
There were a few things I defly was not doing to do and one was sell water! Most events always sell water … That really BURNS me up … So you mean to tell me you are having a plus size event and you couldn’t at least offer these fat people some water? SERIOUSLY! It’s funny but it’s really not, like water should be free no matter where you go and if you are charging for water, next time take your ticket price up 50 cents and get these people some water! So of course I had water and light appetizers for the vendors and guests. The menu consisted of chicken sliders, chips, cookies, cupcakes courtesy of the Kupcakerie & a house punch, no alcohol of course lol. The food was set up in the middle of the room where everyone could access it. I think it was a pretty good amount of food and goodies for everyone to enjoy.
The vendors were EVERYTHING! Like really, they were the ones that really shaped the vision. You never know what a vendor is going to look like before an event unless you have seen their set up before. That made me a little nervous since I am such a control freak and I want things to look a certain and have my standard of excellence, so I was freaking out to say the least! LoL I put that doubt to shame and just kept telling myself;
“I’ve done all that I can to make sure it will be perfect and it will be… You got this Tree … God got you … Trust the process”.
And let me tell you the Vendors SHOWED out!!! Like it surpassed my expectation ! Presentation and the appearance is what people will remember and is what they will talk about the most. My thought was “first impressions are EVERYTHING, so I am going to make a GREAT one”. When shaping my vision I put a lot of focus on this. I wanted people to walk in and feel welcomed and safe in a sense. I cannot tell you how many times I showed up to an event and was not greeted or did not know where to even start. The location was picked specifically for that reason. I wanted small but spacious. Vendors would have more than enough space for their items and people that were trying things on felt comfortable enough to do so.
So with all that prep and brainstorming the event came to life. I spent a lot of time conversing face to face, talking to people & promoting the event. Each vendor had their own Flyer and promoted the event as well. I had an eventbrite page, posted a Craigslist ad and the whole nine yards. I call myself a middle Millennial lol because I am in the weird space where I grew up having a house phone and dial up internet yet things started to change drastically in high school and college. Social media has taken over how we socialize and I believe talking to people and engaging with people is the most authentic way to get people to support what you are doing. However I see now it was not as effective as I thought it would be. I have been dope my whole life and I am not defined by social media. There is a science to blogging, posting and all the shit when it comes to promoting on Social media. You will not get the same experience or interaction from a flyer you see on a timeline as you do if you were talking to me but this is the new way of marketing and promoting. I did everything right EXCEPT get people there. People purchased tickets and did not show up … I had people texting me the day of telling me they would be there … I had a group of about 10 ladies that were in a group text and most of them said they were coming to the event but again … No shows …After the first hour I was a little bummed but I am not a “feel sorry for yourself kind of person” because hell, it took a lot to get this event together and to make sure everything was paid for and no stone was left unturned. With the help of my Publicist, Ary Boston and my incredible team Amaris (my honey) & Tenille (My friend) & Sabrina (my twin) they helped me pull this off and we now know this can be done and we will continue to do events. They have supported me every step of the way even when I was receiving “NO” emails from Fashionistas around the Atlanta area. I am very proud of what we put together and I am not sad or ashamed we didn’t get much traffic at all!
By the second hour we started to have great discussions about our struggles with breaking into the Blogger world in Atlanta and how small it is ... We all had the same stories of these “influencers” with 100k followers that had been rude or snotty when we met them in public. Some possess a sense of entitlement because of the social media fame. It’s disgusting … As if to say every expert was not a beginner. We are not asking for hand-outs or anything. We have something to say just like you do and did; we have opinions just like you and we love who we are. We want to share our Fat / Plus-Size / Curvy bodies just like you do. I told them my biggest issue is people don’t really fuck with you until they see who is fucking with you. It is crazy! But I get it, some women are like that. Fair enough but NOT when you have a business and a brand. It’s self-destruction and I bet we are not the only ones that have been dismissed or have been ignored by these people who are internet famous. But again, that doesn’t discourage me because they will take notice once they see me as a threat so just wait on it.
By the third hour we were fully engulfed in one another and our future plans and what upcoming events everyone has! We started to get excited about one another and the ideas we shared !! It was a great feeling to know that someone does support you and your vision while still building theirs. There were other entrepreneurs that wish for success for themselves as well as the Melanin Queens next to them and that was nice to see. This is when we started to shop one another’s closet. I went to stylist, Endia Cymone’s, rack and table and found a Dots Blazer that was a 3x and BOMB ! If any of you remember Dots you know they had some of the best stuff! Loved the material they used and everything! I cannot wait to wear it either. I will be wearing it this week. I have a big meeting this week with our department head, which is a big deal, so I want to make an impression and that Blazer is going to be everything. I was able to sale half the items from my rack which was exciting! Even without people showing up ! LoL !! From there we all shopped each other’s closet and played dress up a little bit! Throwing compliments around and cheering one another on. From retailers like Torrid, Rebdolls & Ashley Stewart we had everyone trying on clothes. Vendor, Kloset Threads even assisted with adding some jewelry and other stylish pieces from their collection to the outfits! Man when I tell yall, this was a big girls party for real ! All we needed was wine lol! It really was amazing but would have been EXTRAORDINARY with people there! If you follow my Snaps (Tr33Love) this is the part of the event you saw!
I think it worked out perfect and it was a CLEAR example of why we have to network across and how effective it can really be! I look forward to doing this event next year and I plan to use the same Vendors if they are willing to participate and I will change my promotional strategy and allow my publicist to take on a bigger role in that process. I am learning to trust my team more, believing in my leadership abilities and not feel like if I don’t do it, then it will not be right.
Overall, this was a great learning experience for me and I am so excited for 2018 as I have so many things that will be accomplished ! It’s my time and I’m coming for everything they said I could not have …