Friday, February 13, 2009

Shopping for female empowerment

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Women from all over the Charlotte area got together late Friday afternoon on Feb. 6 to participate in Diva Couture, an event hosted by JnR Wholesale Apparel whose main focus is primarily on women.

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Described as a “Ladies Night Out Experience/Pre-Valentine’s Day Happy Hour” with complimentary dessert, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, it was hard to turn down. If you missed out, luckily for you there will be a Diva Couture event before Easter and another before Mother’s Day.

Carol Frank, a woman from the New York City area who moved to Charlotte three years ago, has been actively on the hunt for a gathering like this. “I have never seen anything like it [in Charlotte]. The vendors were all nice and helpful, without being to pushy.”

Every person in attendance was female, and my initial reaction was, well, it did say on the flyer, “The Newest Shopping Event for Chic Ladies.” But after speaking to Felicia Reese, the owner of JnR, I found out it went beyond just “chic ladies.”

Diva Couture had a focus, a point that you could physically see when entering the Ben Robinette Meeting Room at Quality Suites in Pineville. That focus was women.

Reese had been to many networking events in the past, and had met the majority of the vendors that way. The advancement of the businesswoman is an obvious priority of hers, and having thought about it for some time, she decided to create “a place where female entrepreneurs could come and network.”

Talk about girl power. When I asked her about the concept behind Diva Couture, she responded with a quick, “Well, I love happy hour and events that are free."

It was easy to see that Reese’s heart was in the right place when she decided to host this event, and each vendor I spoke with knew her personally. With the economy the way it is, we females need to stick together, and Reese agreed.

Reese compiled a list of her contacts from other events she had attended and sent them information about Diva Couture, taking the first 25 or so that responded. The women who got spots were truly something to see.

They had the regular Mary Kay and Pampered Chef stations, as well as an eyebrow wax and hair styling table. There was a line to get your brows done — which I probably should have done.

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Continuing around the square the numerous tables made, I came upon quite a few vendors that caught my eye. Here are some of my favorites:

Ooh La La Cheesecakes & More - delicious-looking cheesecakes, all Valentine’s Day themed with red and pink and hearts.

Stampin’ Up – cute, creative craft projects that Leslie Boyd creates and also teaches you how to make. You can even host your own workshop for parties.

Sassimi – luxurious alternative to the ordinary bathrobe. They are coming out with a new line made from bamboo this spring.

SpiritFire Photography – this independent photographer is following her dream of taking beautiful pictures.

dots paper scissors - personal scrapbooks that are created for the person or a special occasion. There are even small kits for children.

• JB’s Fragrance Rocks, Oils & Candles - Yummy smelling crystals that are put under a concealed lit candle. My favorite fragrances: Pure Seduction, Lick Me All Over, Lemon Pound Cake. jbsfragrance@yahoo.com

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Reese left me with the statement, “Women networking is the most important thing.” I was sold by the time I was ready to leave. She is absolutely right:  Women helping women is a nice change from the gossipy, backstabbing image portrayed so often of our gender in the media these days.

Check back for updates on future Diva Couture events. For more information visit www.jnrwholesaleapparelco.com

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