Meet Our Senior Advisors!
This year we welcomed two senior advisors, Michelle Raven and Emmi (Emily) Baynard. As senior advisors, the two will advise on optics, process and strategy improvement, communications, and many other aspects of FWMN. Read on to get to know these awesome ladies a little bit more:
What’s your story?
E&M: “We met at a Girl Creative networking event. We worked together for nearly two years at Arc’s Value Village – Michelle as Style Program Manager and Emmi as a featured Guest Stylist (Emmi likes to tease that Michelle was the “world’s most okayest boss”).
After collaborating on a few projects (including Styling Co-Directors for I Am Fabulous and Event Producers for Art On My Sleeve) we discovered that not only did we enjoy working together, but we brought a unique juxtaposition of skills and talents to projects that produce quality results again and again. We’ve become close friends and call each other approximately 18 times a day (yes we actually talk on the phone, not just text. When you’re willing to talk on the phone, it’s a whole other level of friendship.)”
How did you first get involved with FWMN?
E&M: “Emmi was heavily involved in MNfashion, a volunteer-run nonprofit that was a resource for the local fashion community and also hosted events. After they closed their doors in 2015, Emmi maintained a finger on the pulse of the fashion scene and continued to attend events and support local talent.
Last fall, Michelle produced her second official FWMN event. As an event producer, she recognized that the FWMN team could benefit from additional support in order for it to grow, thrive and evolve. Michelle mentioned to Jahna & Sarah last fall that we wanted to help and they encouraged us to put together a proposal. We jumped on the opportunity. We asked them what their pain points were and used that information to draft a proposal outlining key deliverables that aimed to help resolve some of their challenges.
FWMN is an asset to our community and we believe in it. We wanted to support the initiative and help reinforce the foundation to ensure long-term sustainability.”
What’s your role as senior advisors?
E&M: “We’re working closely with Jahna & Sarah on the spring 2018 FWMN installment.
We helped institute a formalized process for the community to submit proposals for FWMN events and a strategy that aimed to reach a broader audience of potential event producers. As a result, there were nearly 30 quality event proposals submitted for consideration for the Spring 2018 lineup, nearly double the amount of proposals received for previous FWMN editions.
The team recognized an opportunity to have a consistent presence throughout the year, giving our community more opportunities to engage with the organization as a resource hub. So we’re working on developing a continuity strategy to that end.
We also recognize that being part of the FWMN lineup is an exciting opportunity and is worthy of celebration. We are reviving the celebratory culture of FWMN from the inside out. Our most recent FWMN team meeting involved toasting with champagne and throwing confetti. We filmed a bit of the fun and shared it as a short welcome video for the spring event producers.”
What do you love about the fashion scene here in the Twin Cities?
Emmi: “The element of surprise. I’m not from Minnesota and didn’t know anything about the Twin Cities when I moved here. There’s so more color and creative expression than I expected. I like that people have fun with fashion! I’m excited for Flagrant : Fashion On The Fringe. It will be a runway event with extras – a truly fun show!”‘
Michelle: “I love that MN creatives are not just interested in showcasing their products, but also their process. I’m really looking forward to the Studio Progressive event where attendees are invited to get a peek behind-the-scenes of what the creative process is like for a maker.”
What’s your favorite part or aspect of FWMN?
“FWMN is approachable, welcoming and inclusive. There’s something for everyone; it’s sort of an a la carte menu where you can choose what types of events interest you. If you’re interested in the business of fashion and generating business leads, there’s something for you. If you’re interested in getting inspired and excited about emerging fashions, there’s something for you.
We love that it’s not strictly a lineup of runway style fashion shows. There are networking events, educational events, shopping events, etc.”
By Hannah Fox