Last month, my best friend and I woke our butts up at 4am to get ready and drive up to the city for Femme Fair 2018! I had heard about the event last year after its debut and knew I had to be there for the next one. Needless to say, it was one for the books! Or should I say blogs?!
As we wandered around, I had the chance to meet several Bay Area bloggers like Closet_Luxe, DesignByBrianna, CallMeChristina, GirlandtheBay, KelseyKaplanFashion, GetFitJoanna, and AlacodeBlog. I have admired these ladies on Instagram for a while so it was great to interact with them IRL!
The next part of the day consisted of a panel discussion, "Blooming Together: Vulnerability, Fears, and Finding Your Voice" featuring Melissa San Vicente, Shah Zareef, Arnelle Lozada, and Mandana Ansari. Each woman had a rich point of view on the world, not just through the eyes of a blogger, but through the eyes of a human who is in search of connecting with others through the use of social media. They offered tips when it comes to disconnecting from social media, being more present, and accepting the fact that we are not perfect.
My favorite anecdote came from Mandana. She explained how when you travel to really extravagant places like the Eiffel Tower or the Parthenon, they are always under construction. She suggested we see ourselves just like these marvels; as masterpieces under construction. I might get that tattooed somewhere on my body because HALLELUJAH I love that thought!
The panel was priceless and dug into deeper topics we all struggle through. It made the room feel more intimate and it also enabled many of us to feel comfortable enough to bond over shared experiences.
After a little break (another chance for an Instagram selfie or two), we congregated once again to hear a talk called "Enough is Enough: Shining a Light in the Darkness of Sex Trafficking" with Chloe Elisa, the Prevention Coordinator for Selah Freedom. Selah Freedom is an organization working to end sex trafficking by creating programs to help and empower the survivors of this epidemic. It was an emotional and enlightening experience to listen to Chloe share her vulnerable past with the group and to see what an incredible woman she has built herself up to become. I was also grateful to have learned about this tough topic that is more common than we could ever imagine.
After Chloe's incredible talk that made the group practically say a collective "YASSS!," the Femme Fair Fam, which included the cofounders, as well as Nailah Ali, Claire Xue, and Ashley Nguyen, came back to again thank us for being a part of the 2018 group.
Following this eye opening morning was lunch and an opportunity to chat with a mentor! There were 3 separate groups, each focusing on a different topic: "Business, Career & Social Media Strategy" led by Mandana and Christina, "Empowered Latinas: Knowing Your Worth & Finding Success" with Melissa and Chloe, and "Women of Color, Juggling Life and Chasing Your Dream with Shah, Arnelle and Stacey.
The BFF and I chose the "Empowered Latinas" talk. It was lovely to chat, even if only for a short while, with ladies who have lived through similar situations caused by the fact that we are Latinas. But in conclusion, we all agreed that we are amazing! Sadly, I wasn't able to sit in on any of the other groups but without a doubt in my mind, they were phenomenal!
Now it was time for drinks and shopping! There were so many blogger babes selling their previously loved and stylish pieces, as well as a few vendors like Dopp and And.Comfort! I think I probably spent the most time at the And.Comfort booth trying on as many sample pieces as I could! I ended up purchasing a little something I can't wait to show off on Brunette of Vantes!
The party continued as we mingled with DJ That Girl playing the jams in the background, sipping on the yummiest sangria ever by Purity Organic, as well as some scrumptious treats by XOBakes and TheJenProject.
I even had my headshots taken by the talented Zoe.Larkin. I had never had photos taken professionally for my blog before so this was an immense opportunity, and I think they turned out pretty great!
Towards the end of the event, a representative from Global Fund for Women came up to the mic to express gratitude for the turn out. A portion of the proceeds went to the organization. Just another huge reason that I fell in love with Femme Fair and their mission!
Honestly, blogging is hard. I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy the connection. I never thought I would be able to share this connection in person with ladies I have met and admired through my smart phone for so long.
The Femme Fair experience taught me to embrace my fellow blogger, because she to is struggling with something I may or may not relate to. I learned that we are all humans trying to create something beautiful that can contribute to the world in a small way. I learned that we need each other's praise and encouragement to reach our full potential.
Plus the VIP bags were filled with over $500 worth of goodies! Whaaa?!? I will definitely be attending next year! Who's with me!?
-The B of V
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