Calling all fashion bloggers! Birmingham Fashion Week 2014 kicks off Saturday, April 19. If you’d like to apply for a media pass to cover this year’s events, you’d better hurry. The deadline for media registration is April 1. Don’t be daunted by the word “media.” You don’t need to be a reporter for a major magazine or newspaper to be considered. The organizers of BFW show plenty of love to independent fashion bloggers too. They’re looking for blogging who consistently post relevant and timely fashion stories and bloggers who are very active on social media.Bloggers who provide pre-event coverage and those who provided significant coverage of last year’s event will be given priority. If you don’t snag a media pass you can still cover Birmingham Fashion Week without breaking the bank. Simply attend the event(s) best suited to the theme of your blog. If your blog focuses on local style then you don’t want to miss Grassroots: A Local Fashion Evolution. This event, set for Tuesday, April 22, will feature local emerging designers vying for the title as emerging designer of the year. This event will also include designs by Elizabeth Singleton, last year’s emerging designer winner. The local vintage lifestyle brand Harold & MOD will be featured as well. If your blog covers both fashion and fitness then Lifestyle: Mind, Body, and Soul is the event for you. Set for Wednesday, April 23, this event will feature fashions from Pure Barre, Mountain High Outfitters, and lululemon athletica.
On Saturday, March 29 I attended the Natural Hair & Health Expo at the BJCC in Birmingham. Ironically, however, I didn’t attend this event to learn more about how to care for my curls. I went hoping to learn how to be a better blogger. And I was not disappointed.
Rep. Merika Coleman-Evans signed a declaration of her support of Birmingham libraries. (Photo Credit: Chanda Temple)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you remember what answer you gave to that question when you were a child? I wanted to be the first female president of the United States. Alabama legislator Rep. Merika Coleman-Evans had this same dream as a girl and shared this with me and the dozens of other female entrepreneurs who gathered for the Power in Heels business workshop on March 28. The free event, hosted by Operation HOPE Birmingham, was held in the Arrington Auditorium of the central branch of the Birmingham Public Library. Coleman-Evans was the keynote speaker at Friday’s event and she talked to us about being fearless and fierce. Like many of us, Coleman-Evans had plenty of fierceness and fearlessness as a girl dreaming presidential dreams. But she not only talked the talked, but she also started making strides toward achieving her lofty aspirations. In 2002 Coleman-Evans was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives when she was only 28 years old. But that’s only part of the story, Coleman-Evans told us. Along her road to success, she faced a speed bump: fearfulness. She began to to doubt herself.
Perhaps you’re dealing with doubt too. Perhaps you’re dealing with a significant other, a family member, a co-worker, or a friend who is discouraging you from pursuing your writing or business goals. Perhaps you’re doubting yourself because you’ve faced rejection. But Coleman-Evans gave us a simple charge: Don’t let anyone else dim your light. She urged us to remember that boldness we had as girls and to reconnect with our fearless selves. Coleman-Evans closed her talk with a song many of us knew from childhood: “This Little Light of Mine.” She invited us all to stand to our feet, clap and sing along. She wanted us to declare, in song, that we will let our lights shine everywhere we go. When you were a child what did you dream of becoming? Why did you let that dream go? Sometimes we let go of dreams because our goals and interests change. I realized I wasn’t interested in politics enough to run for any office. I realized writing was my true passion. But sometimes we let go of dreams because we start to doubt ourselves as we grow older and face failure, rejection and fear. But what would happen if we chose to believe in ourselves anyway? Dare to have childlike faith in yourself.
See Jane Write is 3! Let’s have a cupcake (or three).
Three years ago today 13 women and I gathered around a table at a local Mexican restaurant to talk about writing. Over tacos and nachos we discussed our writing goals and our questions about social media. And we discussed what we wanted from a women’s writing group.
See Jane Write was born.
Scenes from the first See Jane Write event
Chanda Temple (far right) attended our very first event and is still an active member today.
Today See Jane Write has 50 official members and a mailing list of nearly 400 women.
Since March 24, 2011 See Jane Write has hosted panel discussions and workshops on topics such as blogging, social media, freelancing, publishing and more. We’ve hosted social events to help local female writers network with one another. And last year we launched an online magazine.
The attention that See Jane Write has garnered these three years still amazes me. At Birmingham networking events people often call me See Jane Write, so much so that my husband says I should just write “C. Jane Wright” on my name tags.
Many people think See Jane Write is my full-time job, which I think is hilarious considering I don’t make any money from See Jane Write. I just spend money on See Jane Write.
Because of this I often say See Jane Write is my child, which seems even more accurate now that I claim it on my taxes. But even though See Jane Write is now officially a business it is still a labor of love.
And as I celebrate my baby’s birthday, I just want to thank all of you for what you’ve done to help See Jane Write become what it is today and I look forward to it growing into so much more.
Now that See Jane Write is 3, how would you like to see the group grow? What programs and services would you like the group to offer?
Last night I hosted the first See Jane Write members-only workshop and it was a huge success. About a dozen members and I gathered at the Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) to discuss blogging and social media.
I kicked off the night by sharing some of my personal online experiences and striving to answer questions that the ladies sent to me beforehand. Topics covered included the purpose of blogging and using social media, choosing the best platform for your blog, deciding how often to post, managing multiple social media accounts, monetizing your blog and building your blog readership and social media following. We also discussed blog photography, RSS feeds, and more!
Then it was time to get busy.
These members-only events are called workshops for a reason. They’re designed to encourage attendees to take at least one action step before they leave. So after I spoke, the ladies got to work. One member made her first post to her WordPress site. One member – who’s new to social media – set up a Facebook account. Another started an account on Twitter. And another left with a new editorial calendar.