People that know me, know I am a big believer in networking. As a former insurance agent with Met Life and later a VP with Smith Barney I understand its value. Often at networking events I would meet people with a sphere of influence that could help me grow both my business as well as theirs. In the financial industry, we call these people “connectors” – the ones that know when money is in motion. This blog will help fashion professionals navigate the networking playing field.
night clubs, art galleries and museums. A lot of the relationships I’ve developed came about through the networking that happened at those events. One designer introduced me to another, and my good friend Aaron Fust CEO/Fashion Designer of Syrup Swimwear explained to me that in order to meet some of the players in fashion, I needed to attend MAGIC in Las Vegas. Aaron pointed me in the right direction that day during a much-needed vacation I happened to be taking in Las Vegas, after the completion of Santa Fe Fashion Weeks’ second year. The following year, Amanda and I attended MAGIC.
“Identify the people in your industries who always seem to be out in front, and use all the relationship skills you’ve acquired to connect with them. Take them to lunch. Read their newsletters. In fact, read everything you can. Online, there are hundreds of individuals distilling information, analyzing it, and making prognos-tications. These armchair analysts are the eyes and ears of innovation. Now get online and read, read, read. Subscribe to magazines, buy books, and talk to the smartest people you can find. Eventually, all this knowledge will build on itself, and you’ll start making connections others aren’t.”
Most recently Amanda and I were invited to Portales NM to be involved in a 1/2 PBS show about fashion in NM. This all came about organically, Amanda and I were at an event at Kouture Konsignment, a local consignment store in trendy Nob Hill, Albuquerque. We were introduced to Kat Moore, a Graduate Student at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales studying communications. Eastern University happens to house one of the best PBS Studios in NM. Over time Amanda and I developed a relationship with Kat – she actually slept on our coach when she came out to cover the Balloon Fiesta. Over cocktails at the Albuquerque Brew Pub, Kat was kicking around the idea of producing a program around fashion. When she returned to school she pitched the idea to the professor. From that original random introduction came about a friendship and us producing a TV show about Fashion in New Mexico. I find it very important to connect the dots. Unfortunately some people feel like networking events should yield immediate results. True relationships take time. It is often said “It is not what you know but who you know” This is most certainly true in Business. Keith goes on to say,
“I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same”