I couldn't be more happier at the turnout of our first ever Networking brunch Vimy and I hosted for our new Boss Babe Imperial (BBI) community.
For those of you who have not been following me on my journey, here's a little recap of what exactly Boss Babe Imperial is. It is basically a small community one of my closest friends and I decided to build here in Montreal to bring together a space for female entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and business professionals who want to motivate, inspire, empower and learn from one another. A group of Montreal boss women looking to make it happen.
How It All Came About
The idea was brought up around September last year when we decided we wanted to start some sort of fun project together. I had already started a bunch of projects on my end but really wanted to work on a new project where I could team up with someone instead of always being the solopreneur like I normally am and doing everything on my own.
Vimy and I have been close friends for over 20 years (I know, crazy right?!). We've always had that strong connection and for years have always looked out for each other through thick and thin. It was only until recently that we both decided to develop an interest in personal development.
I had already given myself a head start into the entrepreneurial world about 2 years ago when I first took a leap into starting my own e-commerce store as an experiment. From then on, taking risks and starting new projects gave me a thrill and a feeling of euphoria I could not describe.
Vimy on the other hand was still in her early stages of personal development but didn't have the experience of taking action. The same exact position I was in 3 years ago -- analysis paralysis.
Despite this, we both had a love for two things; personal development and a passion for helping people.
The Birth of Boss Babe Imperial (BBI)
Hence, Boss Babe Imperial was a born -- a project we decided to pursue that didn't require much upfront capital. We decided to take the content marketing approach and started slowly building our Instagram together and eventually taking it from there. At the beginning it was quite difficult to keep up because I was already working on so many different projects at once; my internet marketing business, creating content for my blog and continuously taking approaches to grow my Instagram on top of going to networking and local events.
For Vimy, being a mom and having such a young daughter to take care of on top of working at a stressful sales job to make ends meet made it difficult for her to work on creating new content for BBI. She was the only one at the time bringing in the income to support her family. It was just not good timing along with an unexpected turn of events which put BBI on hold.
For about 3 months we didn't really work on actively growing the community until about a month ago. We both decided to start off the 2019 new year on a strong note and both agreed to continue pursuing our vision for BBI. So January came forth and we both began to brainstorm to plan out how to carry out our first event. Scribbling down notes, working on creating the official BBI website, creating & finding inspiring content for our Facebook group, instagram, researching, finding & reaching out to potential sponsors, creating the event itinerary, managing the attendee list and creating marketing materials for our brand.
All this hard work paid off because our first event was a HUGE success!
Throughout the planning of this event, Vimy and I had to brainstorm, ask for suggestions and research various ice breaker games we could potentially implement at the start of the event simply to get all the girls to talk to eachother comfortably -- a conversation starter game. After much deliberation, we decided to settle on the "Name Tag Match game." Basically, what the game entailed was that all the girls had to write their names on their personal name tags given upon arrival and above their name, put their favorite food. At the bottom, their favorite country. Whoever found at least one match would get a small prize and if they found a match for both food and country, they'd win the big prize. So it was a great way to entice people to start talking to one another.
Honestly, we had no idea how this game would turn out so we were quite skeptical. We thought people might find it a bit childish but many people told us otherwise; that it was a great idea and it helped allow the girls to connect with everyone in the room. This is exactly the type of community we sought out to achieve so everything played out really nicely.
During the event, we had asked a few selected sponsors and guests if they wanted to share their story for the girls to hear as a way to inspire and empower them. All of the girls we asked agreed. Even the ones who have never given a speech or were afraid to do it but mustered up the courage to say yes to my proposal! It was also my first time in a long time ever giving a speech in front of people as well so I was quite nervous. Vimy did a fabolous job when she came up to speak after I did. She was a real natural!
The stories were inspiring, touching, powerful and entertaining. We did it as a way to help the girls grow and to show them that anything is possible.
Special thanks to all the boss babes who shared their story for us all of the girls to hear:
- Isabella - sponsor for Balloon Babe MTL
- Shanila - founder of ShanilaSays.com & BossBabe.Mtl
- Maria - sponsor for My Ketorrific Journey
- Chrissanthi - sponsor for FAC jewelry
- Ann Cung - sponsor for Inspire to Glow
- Nancy Pham - sponsor for Namae Studios
Things will never go as planned. Something will always suddenly come up. In our case, we were anticipating over 60 people to show up but only about half of the girls ended up making it (it was also a free event). The weather was just not cutting it that day and as a result, many people bailed out in attendance. But on the bright side, over 30 girls still made it which is still HUGE for us!
Apart from that, there were of course some mishaps during the event here and there such as:
#1. Our sponsored balloon popping unexpectedly before the event even started (at least @balloonbabemtl was able to get some nice shots of it before that happened!)
#2. The microphone not working properly and phasing on and off while guest speakers were trying to speak. You can imagine how hard it was for me to talk with my tiny voice. Gosh so much effort seriously to scream into the mic for people to hear me. It's okay I managed either way and got some laughs out of it.
#3. And finally, the raffle dilemma that happened when we realized some people had not picked out the postcards that had numbers on them (we put number 1-5 on random postcards to get picked out by attendees to win raffle prizes). Luckily, the quick thinker that Vimy is, she ripped up a bunch of papers and started quickly writing attendees' names on them and somehow found a random basket to anonymously hand-pick the winners.
Vimy and I seriously make such a good team in complementing one another in that way! I'm the one whose good at coming up with creative ideas & content, bringing in the people and keeping things orderly and on par. While Vimy on the other hand is the one who is able to think quickly on her feet, keep things moving, bring about the energy in the room and help everyone feel welcomed. We truly do make one hell of a boss babe team!
Everyone has a story. No matter how insignificant you think your story is, you can make a difference in someone's life without even realizing it.
On the day of the event, all the heartfelt comments & feedback left us with this feeling of euphoria. There really is nothing truly special than to have a gathering with like-minded positive women who truly want to make a difference in the world and up-level their life in one way or another.
Despite all that, everyone still had a great time. Many of the girls told us they had tons of fun! They left with valuable connections, they left feeling empowered, inspired and truly blessed. This was seriously such a huge achievement on our part. For two regular girls to be able to pull off such a successful event, it made us feel so accomplished. It was quite the challenge but we still managed to take the risk and go all in for it!
It also really helped give our brand more exposure and awareness. A ton of new boss babes joined our exclusive Facebook group, followed us on social media and joined our email list as a result of our first event. We're super excited to plan the next one for the girls. So if you're in the Montreal area and you're a female entrepreneur, aspiring entrepreneur, influencer, blogger or business professional we invite you to join our private Facebook group, follow us on social media (Instagram & Facebook) and subscribe to our mailing list!
Hope you can join us on the next one!