Q: What does “No More Nylons” mean?
A: When I was a kid, both my parents worked. Dad wore a suit and tie every day of his working career. Mom usually wore a dress with nylons and heels. When they’d come home after a long day of work, my sister and I would rush them at the door demanding attention. And it was always the same… they would say, “Give me 10 minutes to get out of these clothes and into something comfortable.” After what seemed like hours of waiting, they would return downstairs to help with homework and ask us about our day at school. I watched them transform their clothes as well as their mindsets from constricted and official into something comfortable and relaxed.
Nylons are symbolic of something uncomfortable*. So the whole idea of “No More Nylons” is about getting out of the work you HAVE TO DO and into the WORK YOU LOVE. You’re welcome to define that work any way you’d like. It’s different for all of us.
(*Please note, I’m from California. We hardly ever wear nylons. When I travel to colder climates in the winter, like New York, DC and London, I realize women are wearing nylons as an added layer of warmth. So my symbolic reference to nylons is lost a bit in translation a bit, but I hope you’ll appreciate the essence of where it all originates.)
Q: Who Attends these Women’s Business Socials?
A: The Social is open to all women. I think it will appeal to women who run their own companies, do freelance work, have a boutique or restaurant or on line companies, that sort of thing. But women who run non-profits and business departments attend too. Even if you’re just thinking about starting a company, you’re welcome. All are welcome. Relax… you’re in good company.
Also, that’s why I’m so into posting all of these photographs. I think it makes it a bit easier to see who’s there, that it’s a casual event, and come on, really LOOK at the faces in the photos. They’re having a good time, and they’re friendly, good, real people. Just like you and me.
Q: What, it’s free??? How can that be?
A: Well, it’s designed that way. The restaurants/theaters/venues donate the space because, well, it’s great marketing for them! And the ones that support us, support the community. They know that a healthy local business economy is great for their business too. It’s a win/win/win for everyone!
All of these women show up and have a fabulous time at their place. Food and drink are typically on sale at the venue, so if you’d like something, you can buy it. But that is not required. Sometimes they put out complimentary appetizers, but that’s not what this is about… I’m not asking them to pay for this event, so you don’t have to. This came out of my frustration of attending $35 luncheon meetings with terrible food that I wouldn’t eat. So that’s my answer. Go to fantastic places, order what you’d like, and pay for it.
In addition to fulfilling this innate need to connect with others, I have built a business as a business coach. Coaching is actually my favorite way to work with people. Typically the people I work with are already doing great. But they know there’s more they could be doing to show up… in person and online. What might take a business owner 8 months to a year to implement takes us 3 months or less when I work with you. I have a saying, “We’re smarter together.” Not only does the work happen faster, it’s more integrated, more complete, more fun and more successful… We build plans, profiles and the systems so that you can Be seen. Be heard. And be hired. Click here on the “Coaching” link to read more about this work.
I also get paid to speak at conferences, within corporations and other women’s and leadership organizations about community building and professional networking. If you’re interested in having me speak at one of your upcoming events, please click on the Contact page, and let me know. I’d love to talk with you. I speak world-wide and would be delighted to be a part of your event.
Q: I wanted to know if we’re suppose to bring anything to the meeting or not?
A: Definitely bring business cards, brochures, handouts, that sort of thing. There will probably be between 40-80 women attending. It’s really informal, like a cocktail party. You’re also welcome to bring friend(s), other women in business or thinking of starting a business. And everyone’s so friendly, even to women they haven’t met before. There will be drinks and food for sale. But all of that is optional. But I’ll tell you, most of the places where we have the Socials are hosting it because they want to showcase their menu. So come hungry.
And if you’re looking for support for your company, come with an idea of who and what you’re looking for. I am constantly amazed by the variety and caliber of professionals who attend.
Q: Do you have to live in Ojai, California to attend?
A: Nope! Living in Ojai is just a perk. But we’ve had women drive from as far away as 100 miles to attend! Women come from Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Ventura and Oxnard. These people mean business!
(*The farthest person came from Vancouver, Canada. Come to think of it, I should give her a prize…)
Q: What day/time do you meet?
A: Usually the Socials are from 6-8 pm. But check the main page for the current schedule.
The day of the week changes! I don’t know about you, but my life is a bit complicated and unpredictable. So I rotate the Women’s Business Social gatherings on different days of the week. We’ve also been known to have morning events.
I know from experience I’ll never find a day and time that works for everyone. My hope is that it will work for you, enough of the time, and that you’ll join us when you can. No fees, no RSVP, no weird, slimy sales pitch… Just show up if it works for you. And of course, you can bring a friend! Life is complicated enough. This doesn’t have to be.
Please checkout the Home page, that’s where I’ll always post the upcoming event. And if you sign up to be on the free newsletter which is also on the Home page, I’ll send you a little reminder when the next Social is coming up.
Q: What do you do at the Socials?
A: Well, from the outside it looks like a cocktail party. There’s a big table for business cards and brochures that you’re welcome to add your materials to too. People look at that and select cards of other people they’d like to stay in touch with. And then, there’s the mingling. I find most people are really good at introducing themselves to new comers. I usually get on the mic to say hello, introduce myself and the host of the venue, and make any announcements that are relevant to the whole community. Oh, I also persuade the masses to congregate in one area so we can take a group photo. It’s like herding cats. Then, there’s always some kind of food & beverage to enjoy. We even have a signature drink, the Snooty Lady martini, that the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa launched for us in December 2009! (Recipe: vanilla vodka, St. Germaine, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and mint, on the rocks. Mmmmm.)
Here’s the thing, women keep telling me these amazing stories of what’s come to fruition from attending the Socials. The featured photographers have filled up their schedules with headshots, weddings and even more “official photographer” positions for other membership organizations! One woman said she launched her company the day of attending one Social and was up and running by the next month’s Social! Come on, 4 weeks?!? That’s amazing. So really what goes on at these Socials is up to you. I’m meeting new people, recommending the ones I’ve used within my businesses and always on the lookout to learn something new. I look forward to meeting you…
Q: Can you post my stuff on the Women’s Business Social Facebook page? How do you do it?
A: Yes, you can! Please be respectful and don’t be obnoxious about it. But this Facebook Page is an extension of the community that we build in person. With that, here’s the instructions on Posting to the Women’s Business Social Facebook page…
- You have to have to have a personal profile on Facebook.
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/NoMoreNylons
- Click LIKE, if you haven’t already. If there’s no LIKE button near the top, that means you’ve already clicked on it. Good, thank you!
- Where it says, “What’s on your mind?” Click there, and type in your post. You can promotions, sales, special offers, events invitations, whatever you’d like for your business.
- Below the text box (“What’s on your mind?”), it says, ATTACH: with 4 little icons. The first one is to add a LINK, the second is for a PHOTO, third is for an EVENT, and the last one is for a MOVIE. Click on one of those icons, and add your content. Photos and links add a lot of value and tell your story. I encourage you to use these!
- My request: Share the love… See under the photo, the 3rd item down says, “Add to My Page’s Favorites”, it would mean so much to me if you click that. It helps get the word out about the Socials because I’d love for local women in business to know about us!
Q: What makes this one different?
A: I think there are just WAY too many rules. And so, my goal is to create a vibrant experience with as few rules, guidelines and requirements as possible. (See next question…) I used to CRINGE when I’d go to events that went around the circle giving everyone 30 seconds to do their elevator pitch and sell themselves. I just wasn’t very good at it. And it never felt like I was making an authentic connection with anyone.
So for example, the name tags are optional. And they’re a little different than your everyday nametags. These say, “Hello, my name is…” but the kicker is, they also say “and I’m really good at…” Thank you Dyana Valentine for that fantastic prompt! This is where the interesting conversations are born. Sharing something quirky, clever, creative… something real about yourself.
Photos by Lavender and Twine
Q: Didn’t your slogan used to be “Snotty Ladies Not Allowed”? Why did you change it to Snooty?
A: Yes, you’re right. It used to be Snotty… My friend and inspiration, Colleen Wainwright, aka The Communicatrix, told me the story that when she was little, she’d play “snotty lady” and her grandfather would serve her tea. I loved this image of Snotty Ladies bossing people around but I realized I didn’t .
Then I started traveling internationally and trust me, “snotty” did not translate well. AND, more importantly, a local bar asked to name a drink for the group. And I thought, hmmmm “the Snotty Lady”? You just can’t have the word “snot” in a drink, no matter what! So that’s when I made the change official. That’s really when the Snooty Lady was born… If you go to Jimmy’s Pub at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa or Barrel 33 in Ojai, you can ask for a Snooty Lady cocktail: vanilla vodka, fresh grapefruit juice and mint, in a martini glass. Delish…
Just recently the Snooty Lady got a makeover. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do…
Q: Can guys attend?