And…we’re back! New York was just okay in ways we expected it to be great…but also just fantastic in unexpected ways.
Our trip started out with a happy little omen in our hotel elevator:
Me doing my best ghost impression. Also, we never did figure out why this was printed on the inside of the doors, but hey!
We were ridiculously busy the whole trip, but Lisa and I made time to run in Central Park each day, which started our mornings off right, and made us feel like we still got to be a teensy bit touristy. Oh, and nicely evened out some New York restaurant exploration.
We lost count of how many women approached us about our shoes. Actually, we lost count after the first three hours in the city. If I had to guess, I’d say that between the two of us, we got at least 150 comments. Word spread, too–as you can imagine, we were pretty popular at the conference. We gave out at least 500 business cards, and met some really amazing women.
The conference itself was a bit of a let down, for reasons I’ll go into another time. In short, it felt less “empowered business women supporting and learning from each other” and more “happy hour fruity pink drinks, low-fat chocolate and ‘you go, girl!’-themed workshops”. We were there for meaty, hands-on advice on running a business, and instead we got a giant girls night out.
However. We’ve noticed for some time now that, aside from Seattle, the highest source of traffic to our website comes from New York and surrounding areas. The conference was a good excuse for us to test the in-person New York response to our shoes, and boy was THAT ever a resounding success.
You go, girl!
We also squeezed in a number of really good meetings with local media and fashion experts, each of which could easily justify the trip.
We sat down with them to talk about our business for an upcoming article, and quickly found that these women are very similar to us as entrepreneurs–in business philosophy, work ethic, sense of humor, design sense, and even a shared love of words (at one point in explaining Hourglass, Lisa and I mentioned that we’d cobbled together our skills and interests to make them work for the betterment of the company, and Jen loved the fact that we’d just used the word “cobbled” when talking about our shoe company).
To our surprise and delight, we discovered that their New York lives strikingly mirrored our Seattle lives, and we would have spent the whole afternoon talking to them had we not already been late to our next appointment. We decided on the spot that Jen and Cynthia are our East Coast “sole” sisters, and we can’t wait for our next chance to work with them!
Also, speaking of New York! Remember when we partnered with Melody Hirsch to create the shoes she designed to match her runway collection for the New York Fashion Academy show?
Well, those shoes are now available for sale on our site and they’re named, appropriately, after the five New York Boroughs. Hillary did a great job creating these shoes.