Thursday was one of those days that you would be happy to relive over and over again. It had been a day that alot of people were looking forward to and as such the excitement that everyone was feeling was so electric, that it could have lit up the entire city. You see, Rachel Zoe, the uber successful fashion stylist, author, entrepreneur, author, wife and mother (to name but a few of the very stylish hats she wears) was in Australia this week to travel along the eastern seaboard as a guest of Business Chicks to speak about all things fashion, business and family to hundreds of men and women in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
I had been invited by my lovely friend Megan to the event, along with Martina, who is the Marketing Director of Megan's little empire and two of the funniest people you could ever meet. Jumping in our taxi to the event, there was both an equal measure of nerves and excitement for the afternoon ahead. You see, Megan had created an amazing illustration of Rachel, which was going to be given to her at the event and grabbing a sneak peak on the way there; I think it was easy to presume Rachel was going to go B-A-N-A-N-A-S once she saw it.
We arrived a little bit early to the event, which was super for us as we were able to take some great photos of the stage and with Rachel's giant initials all lit up, the girls at Business Chicks had really done a great job in creating a fashionable setting for who many consider the worlds most fashionable woman.
So what exactly is Business Chicks you might ask?
Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded women together – to give them a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They’re a tribe of explorers, a band of big thinkers and they believe that together, women can shine even more brightly than they do as individuals. What unites the organisation is their shared passion for ideas, their lust for creativity, their boldness, curiosity and generosity.
Being a Business Chick member means you’re part of an unstoppable force and together, you learn, grow, challenge yourself and hopefully kick ass. They have become famous for their events, which allow their members to rub shoulders with all sorts of characters from around the world, from Sir Richard Branson through to Diane von Furstenberg, Ita Buttrose, Julia Gillard, Michelle Bridges, Dr Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Sir Bob Geldof and Seth Godin. On top of that they have a buzzing online network, where members can connect, collaborate and pick each other’s brains – and they even publish a glossy mag, Latte, just for their members. They're quite a force and it was fantastic to finally meet Emma, the CEO of the organisation and her team who were absolutely lovely.
Megan, Martina and I had prime table real estate at the VIP table along with Emma. Joining us at the the table just as Rachel took to the stage was Rachel's husband Roger Berman who starred alongside his wife in the Bravo show The Rachel Zoe Project. With a rapturous welcome, Rachel sparkled in a sequin jacket, a stunning pair of flared trousers and the highest heels I have ever seen. Yes, you got it, she looked MAJ.
It was absolutely crazy to have watched this woman for several years on TV, seen her in countless magazines and now she was sitting mere meter’s away from our table. The talk seemed to go by in a blip and it was clear that every single person in the venue was gripped to every singe word Rachel said. Some have asked me what was she like and I tell them that she is exactly how she is on TV. One hundred percent. She was beautiful, funny and intelligent and whilst she may live a life none of us will ever know, she was incredibly humble and down to earth.
When Rachel rocked up onto the stage, she was instantly drawn to the framed illustration Megan has done of her. So where the hundreds of people that came to the event. Instagram was buzzing with photos of the illustration and when the moment came for Megan to walk on stage and present Rachel with the original, the look on Rachel's face was priceless. I am just so thankful that Martina was quick enough to get a photo of it. Even Roger was stuck for words and when Megan sat back down he couldn't thank her enough. It was a beautiful moment. Check out the illustration below.
If I learned anything from Rachel that afternoon, it’s that life is very short. You have to seize every opportunity that comes your way and if like me you have a vision of the way that you want your life - go after it and never give up. Rachel spoke about being the person YOU want to be and not the person that others expect or want you to be. If you want to be successful in business you don't have to be ruthless or hard. You CAN be nice and successful. But most importantly, to go with your gut is the best advice she could give. Don't ignore it, embrace it.
Our lunch ended with a mini debrief of the afternoon with some of the most glamorous women in Melbourne. Real Housewives of Melbourne Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello, Sarah Jane Young of the blog She Is, Sarah Jane, Megan, Martina and I all huddled together talking about all the best bits of the afternoon.
You can all bet we were all in love with the Zoe.