After a few months of a creative slump, I am inspired, fired up and reignited. That's the type of energy and community that's nurtured at Femme Fair, and this is a reason why I'm a day one supporter.
Femme Fair sets itself apart in so many ways. Behind all the female empowerment-themed instagrammable decor is a tribe of women who assure that their mission is seen in every detail. With the intentional event design, Claire Xue assured that no corner was left untouched.
Here's a round-up of all the different elements that make this an SF event you won't want to miss in 2019.
In partnership with Peerspace, Femme Fair held this year's event at The Archery: a spacious venue in the Mission District with glass ceilings filling the room with sunny lighting. It was so pretty!
I had a bit of time before the panels began, so I took a lap and the first thing I scoped out was caffeine. I came across the coffee which was served by Lady Falcon Coffee Club, a local women's owned mobile coffee shop. Coffee: check. Ready to start the day!
In addition to the shopping, food & drinks and photo experiences Femme Fair attendees know and love, the team expanded on the day's agenda for VIP Ticketholders. And FYI, this isn't exclusive to creatives/influencers.
With the VIP ticket, I took home a goodie bag full of amazing full-sized beauty, health and style goodies but even better... I took away so much more than just that.
This year we named our event Together, we bloom.
...because together whatever you do in life, you can't do it alone.
-Stacey, Co-founder of Femme Fair.
Co-founders Stacey, Christina and Mel kicked off the day and welcomed the attendees with a heartfelt message of gratitude. Along with introducing this year's theme, Together We Bloom, they also explained how the brand's abstract shapes and multi-colored aesthetic was inspired by their idea of beauty... in diversity.
THE PANEL: BLOOMING TOGETHER
After the welcome, Mel moderated a panel of three female entrepreneurs & content creators: Shah Zareef (@bossmomnation), Arnelle Lozada (@arnelle) and Mandana Ansari (@girlandthebay). They spoke about vulnerability, facing fears and finding your voice, especially as a creative in modern society. You should see the amount of notes I have from this session... that alone could be its own post. Instead, I'll share one quick quote that stuck with me since. During the panel, Mandana made us all laugh while also making a solid point about grace. She said "Every time I go to see landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, it's are always under construction! See, you can be a masterpiece and a work of art at the same time. Give yourself the same grace". That was a wake up call, especially for myself. I thought about how free I use to post in real time, but feel pressured to hold back and make sure it "fits the grid". This inspired me to let loose a little, enjoy the imperfections and work on that.
These women warmed up the room, spoke from an authentic place and created a safe understanding space for deeper dialogue.
SPEAKER: CHLOE VEGA ON SEX TRAFFICKING AWARENESS
Not all events will dare to break glass ceilings and take a whole room to speak through difficult dialogue... but Femme Fair did and they used their platform the best way possible. They created a space that not only brings a community of women together but also weaved in something bigger than ourselves. This year, they shed light on Sex Trafficking Awareness. Chloe Vega, a Prevention Coordinator of Selah Freedom came to speak with the attendees to share her story. Pulling from personal experience and her professional journey in advocacy to end Sex Trafficking, Chloe captivated the room. She kept it real and raw and intrigued us with ways we could spread the awareness and get involved.
LUNCH HOUR MENTOR SESSIONS
After the morning sessions came to an end, I wandered and mingled to explore the space with a few of my new friends for a few minutes. I grabbed some food and hopped in to join one of the more intimate mentoring conversations with the Femme Fair Fam and speakers. The caffeine caught up with me, so I might have been stuffing my face while listening to Christina and Mandana speak on Business, Career and Social Media Strategy.
Mini Photo Sessions
Another great part of the experience was getting to shoot mini photo-sessions led by Praise (ComePlum) and Zoe Larkin. They created a relaxed environment which made me very comfortable to get shots like this one. The two of them captured photos of so many diverse women that day, and loved seeing how each shot was unique to the girl in front of the camera!
There were several fun craft and beauty experiences spread throughout the event. I love crafts, so one I quickly gravitated towards was Le Bouquet. They hosted a DIY station and taught us to craft our own flower bracelets. I made mine with grey-blue thistles. Felt like prom all over again!
There were several stations for beauty touch-ups. I didn't get a chance to visit all of them, but I did get squeezed in for a blow out appointment with Dyson Hair! I got a late afternoon slot, so it was perfect timing after a long day. I was feeling BRAND. NEW.
SHOPPING CLOSETS & GOOD MUSIC
There were so many beautiful pieces in all 15 of the blogger closets! DJ That Girl made sure we were feelin' ourselves while sifting through the clothes. A highlight of this shopping session: a pair of hot fire black platform boots from Jayme (@thehellajam). Pictures to come in a future shoot. ;)
Community over Competition
At events like these, it's always nice to have a buddy but this time I walked into the event with the intention of meeting up with friends, new and old. I immediately felt comfortable to be myself and warmly introduce myself to fellow creatives in the room. My RBF wasn't going to get in the way this time around! lol. Seriously though, I'm so grateful to have the connected with many wonderful, hard-working, friendly women at this event. It really was a catalyst for new friendships and motivated me to get more active in content creation and joining in local events again. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I had taken a step back for a few months, but now feel revived and inspired. I felt positive and empowering vibes from those all around and I'm so happy I came back for the second time around.