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The Rumination Room: Putting the Fun into Fundraising

I don’t plan on sharing my entrepreneurial life every week…

However,  things happen that I find interesting, so welcome to the sporadic “Rumination Room” section of sheBOOM!

I was invited to attend #WeAreHer: A Night of Women’s Empowerment, which took place at Hudson Terrace in NYC. As I later found out,  was produced in 12 days and raised over $3,000 through small donations which began at $15 per guest. It was a terrific way to wrap up the week that included #GivingTuesday, and made me realize that we have moved way beyond the gala as a means of raising money for important causes.

It was part cocktail party…part mini trade show…part pajama party (with cocktail dresses rather than pajamas). A room full of mostly young women (and a few men) got free manicures, massages, meditation, and education and inspiration from speakers (see below). You can see more pix here. And yes, I got into the spirit of the evening and had little sparkly accupressure studs affixed inside my ears and participated in an awesome five minute meditation, in-between chatting with fellow female founders and sponsors.

The gathering was the brainchild of Erika London, female founder and community builder. After the election, she realized that all of the strong women in her personal and professional life suddenly felt lost, weak, helpless and deflated. With a knack for creating communities and connecting people, she felt something had to be done. This event was created to provide women with a community and place to express their feelings, vent, and engage in meaningful conversations with other like-minded women who just need a little extra support, encouragement and inspiration. And, of course, it raised money!
P.S. Thank you to Marie Assante for inviting me. I know you prefer to remain “behind the scenes,” but you deserve a shout-out for being a persistent and savvy PR pro!
A Little Bit About Erika: 
Erika graduated from NYU with degrees in Economics and Marketing and started her career with nightlife promotions and eventplanning. In 2011 she co-founded and ran iAdventure, an event marketing and production company which hosted approximately 200 events and festivals per year for up to 15,000 people. The creativity and popularity of these events drew media attention and coverage from outlets such as Fox & Friends, amNY, New York Post and The Food Network.
In 2014, Erika Co-Founded cityMANI in an effort to modernize the antiquated salon experience by bringing tech and beauty together. After two successful years and being featured in publications such as the NY Daily News, NBC’s New York Live, Time Out NY, US Weekly, Cosmo and New York Magazine, cityMANI was acquired by Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.
Erika has now returned to her roots in hospitality and is the VP of Operations for FB Hospitality Group, a management company that owns and operates Hudson Terrace, SideBAR, VillagePourhouse, Little Town NY and  TresCarnes.

Speakers at #WeAreHer Included:

Gesche Haas: Founder of Dreamers // Doers, a high-impact community of trailblazing women who believe more is possible by joining forces on our journeys.
Christina Blacken: Storyteller and strategist helping organizations, advocacy groups and individuals tell stories that inspire people to action, already helping secure $3 million in funds and moving 300k people to action.
Elissa Weinzimmer: Co-Founder of Voice Body Connection and a new movement called Speak From Your Vagina.
Katie Schloss: Designer of the The Maps Collection sold in 250 stores nationwide and consultant for female entrepreneurs with a focus on licensing deals, collaborations, and partnerships.
Casey Erin Clarke: Co-founder of Vital Voice Training, a voice and speech coaching company changing the conversation about what women are “SUPPOSED” to sound like and help clients speak, sell, pitch, and present their ideas with authentic confidence and a deep connection to their core values.
Jennifer Love: Nationally-acclaimed mentor, speaker, successful thought leader and CEO of One More Woman, a fast-track, high-performance educational and advisory community helping women entrepreneurs.

Adrienne Verrilli: Associate Vice President for Communications at Planned Parenthood of New York City