The Canadian Fashion Weekend in Ottawa seemed to be one of the best events I could possibly go to network with fashion-related professionals.
The event was a very well organized fashion show that gave the opportunity for many professionals in the area of fashion business to interact and exchange ideas. I had the chance to meet many local fashion bloggers, Canadian designers, reporters, and business people. One of the most interesting people I met at the Canadian Fashion Weekend was the prominent fashion designer Antoinette Di Carlo from Di Carlo Couture in Montreal and who was one of the guest speakers of the night. She was very attentive and was sharing all her experience and story with the public. I also met some Ottawa-based fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Dominique Baker from Style Domination, Katie Hession from YOW City Style, Alyssa Beltempo from Ms. Beltempo, among others. It was a great opportunity to discuss about the fashion market in Canada and all the trends shaping the fashion landscape.
One of the things that I learned attending this event was that I need to get out of my comfort zone and attend these events by myself. When I have friends or people I know around, I miss the chance to make new connections. So, I have to be a little brave, show interest in others, keep in touch after the connection, and have in mind that a networking event can move my business or career in the right direction.
During the event I had in mind that I had to add some value to the people around there, so I decided to contribute offering some promotional posts to the bloggers I met. That actually brought not only nice and rewarding “thank you” messages from them, but also a lot of promotion to my page since most of them reposted my posts to their audience tagging FashionCanadians.
Canada is in huge need of a fashion council to save its fashion industry. Naira Fragoso, the CEO of The Exclusives PR and organizer of the event said; “We need Panel discussions, social media posts, petitions and spreading awareness is what we need to do and most importantly uniting as one is the only way we can rebuild our industry and start off on a clean slate”. She also said about the networking side of the event: “It’s great to spend time at a networking event with someone you know and like. But that’s not what you’re there for. Your goal is to expand your network by meeting new people”.
And I totally agree with her, we were there to meet new people, with similar interests, and maybe work together towards a shared goal.
With all that being said, I must conclude that the more people we meet and the more people we offer help, work in team towards a goal, the better is for our brand and businesses. This is probably the most valuable lesson I learned from this event.
I can’t wait to attend the next big fashion event in Ottawa to meet new people and, as a result, bring more opportunities to my business and help others grow as well, like a circle of growth in the Canadian fashion industry.