The Girlboss Rally // Los Angeles // March 4, 2017
“All the girls who wanted to be like Carrie Bradshaw now want to be like Deepak Chopra.”
Any excuse to venture to LA is major. This time, however, this was no excuse, but an electrifying event: the first annual Girlboss Rally!
Despite the whirlwind of Nasty Gal negativity enveloping Sophia Amoruso, Girlboss founder and author of the homonymous book, she is conquering the entrepreneurial world by storm. Sophia has created Girlboss, “a feeling, a philosophy; a way for women to reframe success for ourselves, on our own terms, for the first time in history,” she specifies. It is not often that an entrepreneur builds two successful businesses at the same time (yes, Nasty Gal was successful too: Sophia started with a vintage Ebay store and created an empire).
The Girlboss Radio Podcast is a great source of knowledge and inspiration, ideal for commutes and workouts. In each of the 63 episodes, Sophia chats with an ample array of today’s girlbosses in the creative, cultural, and business fields. Guests are visionaries like Hannah Bronfman, HBFit Founder and DJ, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Co-Founders of The Skimm, and Cassandra Grey, Founder & CEO of Violet Grey. Many of these accomplished women were also guests at the Rally!
It all began while listening to Anne Fulenwider’s episode, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, when Sophia spoke casually about this upcoming Rally. My eyes lit up and I felt the energy; the same vivacity I absorbed at the event. It is what I stand for: women supporting women, turning your passions into a career, embracing your differences, and being a diligent and ardent woman.
Fast forward to March 4, 2017, Rally day! Being in LA was already a treat — I obviously hit up my fave spots: Olive & June (where I got my #girlboss mani), Gracias Madre, Wanderlust Hollywood, and, of course, The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel — look for ALB’s LA travel guide, coming soon! Pulling up to Hudson Loft, in Downtown LA, I could already feel the vibrations of palpable energy emanating from the space. Pink was, obviously, the color of the day, and created an incredible ambiance — from the Valet’s umbrellas to their silk pink bombers. Through check in and up the dazzling freight elevator (how often is a freight elevator described as dazzling?!), was paradise. As the DJ spun in her record laden console, it was like entering Hogsmeade for the first time. All your senses were activated in the SquareSpace space full of pink and denim clad women and a lunch lounge where Sweetgreen and Moon Juice were serving power food. It was a lot, but it felt incredible. Down through the space was where the magic happened: in the Ballroom, in Hustle Hall, and in the Dream Den.
Sophia inaugurated the day by encouraging us to realize why we had been allured to the Rally. “I hope I never figure it out, and I hope you never do either. That is why we are here,” she said, leaving the stage to the shaman-like, Gabby Bernstein. When Gabby speaks, everyone listens. She summoned us with serenity and an open heart. “Commit to something” was her theme. What does that mean? Commit to the vision you envision for yourself. Where our intention goes, our energy flows. Gabby accurately captured our essence: “all the girls who wanted to be like Carrie Bradshaw,” which we, of course, still do, “now want to be like Deepak Chopra.” We are all striving to create our own vision and to blare it into the world.
Wellness for Weirdos, with the Founder of Moon Juice, Amanda Chantal Bacon, and goop Editorial Director, Elise Loehnen, was exactly that. It was majestic. In Blow Your Own Mind, Liz Goldwyn, (yes, as in the Goldwyns of MGM, sister of Scandal's President Fitzgerald Grant III), graced us with, "vulnerability is our strongest asset; you reveal something of yourself when you are vulnerable.”
This new era of women helping women, and not trying to one-up each other is healthy. Rachel Shechtman, Founder & CEO of Story, hits the nail on the head, “collaboration is the new competition.” The magic happens when women are supportive of one another. And it was evident at the Rally. Women introduced themselves and offered advice, collaborative insight, and a friendly voice. Everyone pursued the same ideals: to turn their passions into a lifestyle.
It was kind of a you-had-to-be-there day, but Sheree Waterson, President & CEO of Nasty Gal, and Sarah Robb O’Hagan, CEO of Flywheel Sports, raised the bar. They were of the few non-entrepreneurs, being established executives. However, they had no ego. Instead, they spoke about the importance of failure. “You get resilience from hitting rock bottom. Failures lead you to the right path, to the place where you will thrive,” Sarah said.
One of the most applauded audiences of the day was when Glossier, Outdoor Voices, and Bumble took the stage. Emily Weiss, Tyler Haney, and Samantha Fulgham provided accurate insights into today’s generation. If we follow their examples and create a life we love, focusing on our passions, the future of business and creativity will be in great hands.
Before the penultimate guest, there was time for a glimpse of the sunset up on the roof. It was pink — how fitting.
The evening concluded with Kevin Systrom of Instagram. No words. Systrom was the only #boyboss speaker (and only three of the 500 attendees were men). Similar to Sheree and Sarah, Kevin iterated the importance of defying the odds and turning sceptics’ “no” into “yes.”
Instagram’s goal is to bring people closer. That is certainly what the Rally did. It is hard to describe the thrill of being amongst so many innovative, enthusiastic, and like-minded women. We formed a community.
I left the event and Los Angeles with a reignited inner flame. #Girlbossmoment. It is up to us to empower and support one another. If we could replicate the feeling and fire felt at the Rally, women would feel more enticed to chase after their dreams. It is not about being an entrepreneur, but a woman. And recognizing the power and opportunity we have. These fabulous guests did it, and so can we. The opportunity is there, it is time to seize it.
Header image, ALB's #girlboss mani by @nailartfairy at Olive & June Beverly Hills.