WORCESTER – When Allison Hale, owner of Loose Ends Business Consulting, set out to create a fun night where women could share their small business, product, or service with other women, she didn’t quite realize the reach her idea would have.
“Everyone I met was looking to engage and connect on some level” said Mary Tilkin from Grafton. “I had no idea what to expect.”
“Such a high-quality group of vendors, great energy in the room, beautiful location, and a fantastic group of guests. I so look forward to participating in the future! Loved networking with other businesses run by women in central mass!” said Karen Duby, Pampered Chef Consultant, Worcester.
“It was the best work event I have ever attended, because it wasn’t work. It was a fun night meeting other women who know what it’s like to create and run a business.”
These are just some of the comments from women who “vended” and attended what seems to be the business social event of the season.
With over 350 women in attendance, Ladies Night Out Worcester, a networking event for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners, was anything but your typical “bagels and business cards.” It was a celebration. A platform where like minded women came out to share what they do, with women who came out to support them. To support local, learn something, try something new, and make something in a positive social environment meant to elevate each other.
From the moment you walked up the stairs and into The Sprinkler Factory, you were welcomed into a space that mimicked a very elegant, outdoor, street fair. Carefully selected vendor tables, filled with handmade and quality crafted goods. Products you knew, and new to you, ready to be demonstrated and sampled. Delicious confections by artisan bakers. Massage chairs, oils, and diffusers set to relax each guest. A private, indoor grotto for painting wine glasses and casual conversation. An opportunity to empower yourself by breaking boards with a Grand Master in Taekwondo. Many women took a spin at pole dancing. There was a boutique fashion show, and a boudoir photographer. Jewelry designers. Make-up artists. There was something for everyone, including gallery walls brimming with art. Art created by local artists, whose works were seen by hundreds of creative minded women, many of which had never been to The Sprinkler Factory, and will now return for openings and events. “I had no idea this place was even here” said one guest. “What an incredible venue!”
One highlight of the evening, was a preview party for the vendors. An hour before the doors opened to guests, Hale created a casual, cocktail, walk-around meet and greet for all of the business owners who hosted tables at the event. Casual, classy, and an important part of the evening, as at most events there isn’t time
“Bringing women together in support of each other as creative small business owners and entrepreneurs was my mission for Ladies Night Out Worcester” said Allison Hale, Owner of Loose Ends Business Consulting, and the creator of the event. “I wanted the business owners to have the chance to meet each other before the event got started. In planning, I knew they had a lot in common. I wanted to offer them an opportunity to network in an environment where they could begin to connect, and form relationships that would compliment their business goals. Too many women cut each other down when it comes to business. I wanted to create an event during International Women’s Week, that would bring women together, recognize very small, single woman ventures, small brick-and-mortar businesses, and legitimize each as important, entrepreneurial, additions to the community and the economy. it’s hard when we work against each other. We need to support each other, because when we do it benefits all of us.”
With the success of Ladies Night Out Worcester, Hale is looking to host a holiday themed event for the Fall. “With so many creative business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs interested in a second event” says Hale, “there is an opportunity here to show what women in Central Massachusetts have to offer when it comes to products and services.”
In addition to Loose Ends Business Consulting, Hale has teamed up with Mary Ellen Wessell, owner of Baystate Business Solutions, and the founder of Children’s Smile Coalition, to form Nuance Networking, an organization for women entrepreneurs and creative small business owners to connect outside of their every day environment, share, partner, and enrich each other through common experiences. “In Central Massachusetts, women owned businesses make up a significant amount of the regions annual revenue. There are enough clients and opportunities for all of us. With Nuance Networking we are hoping to bring together women who want to educate, collaborate, and support this new and creative way of connecting where everyone can grow their business.”
For information about upcoming Ladies Night Out Worcester events, follow their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/124424218272216/
For more information, or to join Nuance Networking, please visit their website at http://nuancenetworking.com/