Last weekend my partner Halla and I headed to New York to take in the much-hyped Girlboss Rally, spearheaded by NastyGal founder, Sophia Amoruso. We got in the night before and snagged some last-minute tickets to the critically-acclaimed Tiny Beautiful Things (thanks to our Amex and their reserved seating program) and had our hearts opened and broken a little – WHAT A PLAY! That humbling experience got us in the perfect mindset to receive all that we would the next morning at the Girlboss Rally.
Bright and early Saturday morning we headed over to the West side to find our fellow Girlbosses and got Rallying! The Uber dropped us out front of what appeared to be a retrofitted warehouse: the original brick was painted a fresh white, and a Mexican restaurant took over part of the ground floor and just to its left, a surly, large man stood at the door doing little to acknowledge the streaming gaggle of estrogen pulsing by him. It would be unclear that we were in the right place save the massive banner that sat just above his head, screaming in yellow block letters outlined in black BE YOUR OWN YOU!
Past the surly security, up the pink and orange carpeted ramp, under the various Kastor & Pollox designed banners propositioning us all to choose our own Rally cry – would it be Do You For Yourself, or Start Your Own Shit? Halla and I decided quickly that Choose Your Own Damn Adventure suited us just fine – whether that is based on our current trajectory or just our love for campy novellas from the 80’s, we will never tell.
We, like everyone around us, stopped for the obligatory photos & Instastories (this place was an Instagrammable moment in every corner) and headed up to finally pick up our badges. Opting for the VIP tickets, we then headed back down to grab breakfast before the first speakers hit the stage. The line for food (even with the VIP badge) was very long and we didn’t want to risk missing the opening remarks so we skipped it and headed back up.
The Rally began with an address by founder of Girlboss, Sophia Amorouso. Though the Britney Spears-style mics didn’t work, seemingly upsetting Amorouso enough to say over her handheld – ‘I better be getting a discount’ – her address to the crowd of over 600 people was honest and sweet and quirky, just as you might expect it to be if you, like me, are obsessed with her Podcast. Though not a polished public speaker, Sophia’s ability to be truthful and open, to me, far outweighed her mumbles and rambles. Her authenticity rang so true that I thought to myself, she’s not only a cool chick who’s gained incredible success at such a young age, she’s also the kind of person I’d dig as a friend. That appeal isn’t easy to come by. In a world that has turned authenticity into a catch phrase, that should tell you something.
After Amoruso, Author and Self-help Guru Gabby Bernstein was welcomed to the stage with a rousing applause. She pumped up the crowd with her tiny energetic frame spewing so many nuggets of self development that my uncaffeinated fingers felt inept at keeping up. But when she nicely broke down 5 of her tenants of success I was able to take them in and write them down and they’re pretty damn good:
Claim success as an inside job – make it a priority to turn inward. Ask, does this feel good to me?
Intention, intention, intention. Living and working with intention is the key trait of a high performer.
You don’t have to be THERE now. Be in the moment.
Fuck it, let’s go! (to put in context, get out there and get doing – stop talking yourself out of it)
The day went on with panel after panel of incredibly successful and interesting women speaking about various topics but all culminating around some very strong truths:
Work hard, harder than you think you should
But not too hard, you’ll burn out – self care is a must
Take chances and risks on you
Break the rules
Don’t wait for a yes
There were so many standout moments filled with inspiration and motivation. Here are some of my favourites:
Ashley Graham was a dream. There’s no questioning why she’s the star that she is. Not only is she incredibly beautiful, but she’s smart and her vibe is infectious. She said so many awesome things but I especially liked when she said:
“Ok, I’m a plus sized model, but why can’t we all just be called models?” Something so simple yet so true.
When listening to the panel on personal finance, Sallie Krawcheck was not only an incredible speaker but came with some cold hard finance facts starting with “80% of women die single.” That was enough to stop me in my tracks. Not because of how incredibly awful that sounds, but because often we think about building a life and doing that with someone else. But when the stats say that women just live longer than men, it makes no sense that we historically and statistically don’t get conditioned to be in more control and focused on our finances. Basically everything she said was eye-opening like: “let your daughter see you balancing your accounts and dealing with your money.” She argued that just the act of seeing your mother handle finances can be transformative.
Dr Lauren Hazzouri said: “On the days you don’t feel confident, don’t do it for you, do it for us.” When speaking out against women’s tendency to want to be small.
Nina Tandon reminded us that “the barrier for learning has never been lower.” And because of that, encouraged us to stay curious and to continue to feed our curiosity.
The day capped off with an incredibly engaging talk by Esther Perel. Esther spoke all about sex and our changing relationship with it due to Social Media and technology. I was so taken by this woman not only because of the way she delivered her message – clear and concise – but the way she made sense of sexuality in an approachable and honest way. So much so that I subscribed to her podcast and bought her book…
All in all, the day was packed with information, the venue was cool and the swag bag was pretty insane (one that I didn’t instantly trash). The one downside for Halla was that there wasn’t any time to mix and mingle. This was not a downside for me, as I am the kind of shy that makes mingling a sweat-inducing situation.
Sophia Amoruso posted this on US Thanksgiving:
Ivanka promptly unfollowed. Amoruso may be an unpolished speaker but what she lacks in oration she makes up for one thousand fold in her ability to inspire and uplift a generation of women looking for so much more than just how to be a girl and a boss. Keep blazing that trail, Sophia. We need you.