I was reluctant at first to participate since Fashletics is less about getting dolled up and more about throwing down... or is it?
As I set up my table I made sure that my display complimented the gallery's stark white walls and contemporary black and white photography as best as possible. I wanted to alter my presentation in order to engage this audience. I first set out pieces from The "Pep Talk Collection" because of their broad and universal appeal. These inspirational pieces seemed more appropriate within the walls of the gallery since they are applicable to the world outside of fitness.
As the event began, a sea of beautiful and confident women began to stream through the doors. Not a single pair of Innov-8's nor an inch of dry-fit fabric would be seen all night. I self-consciously touched up my make-up and set aside the mini kettlebells (and anything that said "LIFT"), assuming that these women were just looking for great deals on maxi dresses and a pink cocktail.
Then something hit me. Actually, a lot of things hit me.
1. I am willing to change the way I present my message but I will not change the message itself. I am what I am. I believe in what I do. Enter the kettlebells...
A Passerby: "Oh my gosh! How cute! A mini kettlebell!"
2. What's wrong with me? Why would I assume that just because these women are here to shop and get their eyebrows threaded that they would not also get excited about kettlebells? Granted, I will not sell out of kettlebells like I did at the CrossFIt event last weekend but that hardly matters because...
3. This is a chance to inspire women to embrace the world of health and fitness. A little running shoe paired with a charm that says "endure" is a lot less intimidating than approaching someone with an Olympic barbell and screaming "3-2-1 GO!". Talking about the collection gives me an opportunity to talk to these women about their personal goals as well as their fitness struggles and/or triumphs. Whether they leave with a piece of jewelry or not, I hope they leave with the thought such as: "Ya know, maybe I'll lace up those running shoes tomorrow after all."
I started the night worried that Fashletics would not fit into this environment. I don't know why I forgot that the women that are sweating it out in the gym... or the women looking for inspiration to do so... are also the women here at Cafeina rocking three-inch heels. After all, I am one of those women. In every way, I am this brand and this brand is me. It actually does belong here in this gallery, with these women, elegantly laid out on pristine displays. It also belongs on the sidelines and front lines of competition, in the company of sweat and muscles.
I want to thank Jenny Ortiz, creator of InterviewHer.com, for inviting Fashletics to this wonderful event and understanding its relevance even before I did. I met a lot of amazing women and learned a little something about being more comfortable in my own shoes... the three-inch heels and the racing flats.
Photography exhibited at Cafeina (in photo above): Jordan Michael Zuniga