With champagne, in store sales, and a fashion industry expert panel
I have learned that God will encourage your walk of faith towards purpose with undeniable signs and wonders. Accordingly, I should not have been surprised when God used Lilac & Lilies, a boutique and e-retailer, as a preluding sign and wonder. When I stumbled across the Fort Lauderdale boutique for the first time, I was on my lunch break. I had been working as a secretary since 2006, so when the boutique opened in the plaza adjacent to my job in 2009, I noticed. I would stroll into the boutique, frequently to look for deals to find inspiration, and to day-dream about the days to come. I had a vision that I would be the ultimate event host. I saw myself dazzling audiences with my unique fashion sense, wearing one of kind piece, setting fashions trends and ensuring repeat customers. Ironically, I made my debut as The Mistress of Ceremonies in 2011.
At the end of last month, the Westside Gazette asked me to cover the nine-year anniversary of Lilac and Lilies. I had not been in that area since my layoff in 2013, but I was instantly reminded of my day-dreams. God was on a mission to finish what He started. Since that time, I had become the owner of Press Release Marketing, and lately, I found myself questioning my role. I wondered if I truly belonged in the entrepreneurial space, if I had the wherewithal, the fortitude or the support to achieve the success. I was experiencing many uninspiring moments and long hopeless days. I was failing to realize how far I had come, but God used the boutique as a sign to show me the miles traveled on faith fuel.
To celebrate their nine-year anniversary, Lilac and Lilies founder Michelle DiMarco and her team organized make-up demos, in store activations and even a fragrance-making bar. The weekend long celebration was sponsored by Villa Riveria, a Premium French Rose, but it was an interactive panel featuring Beauty for Real founder and celebrity makeup artist Leslie Munsell, celebrity fashion stylist Caitlin Saucier, and Miami lifestyle bloggers Brickellista File’s Evelyn Torres and Go Chic Yourself’s Marissa Mosseri with Channel WSVN 7 Segment Producer Genna Mark as the panel moderator that blew me away. Below are paraphrases from the panel that will restore your faith, inspire growth, and push you further along in your journey.
Moderator Mark stated, “As an entrepreneur knowing what you know today, what advice would you give yourself nine years ago?
Saucier: “Have a great attorney, accountant and support system”.
Torres: “Hustle, be bold and don’t be afraid to take risks”.
Mosseri: “Despite the opinions of others, know and believe in your value”.
Munsell: “Don’t be afraid to ASK. Some women are honestly looking to connect, but if you don’t ask, you won’t know”.
DiMarco: “Learn to delegate. Ask for help. Ask yourself, who do you know that you can trust. Your vibe attracts your tribe”.
DiMarco concluded the panel discussion with an analogy that I will never forget. She once read “female business owners are like swans gliding gracefully across still waters appearing peaceful and elegant, but what we don’t see is beneath the surface, that swan is working: kicking and pedaling and doing whatever it takes to get to the other side.” Like many of us, I had mistaken me below the surface kicking and pearling for failure. As DiMarco grows, she wants entrepreneurs to know that with “perseverance, some sort of support system and a great pair of heels, you can do it.” Happy anniversary Lilac and Lilies! I pray for continual blessings for you, your team and supporters. Once again, God used your journey to keep me walking in faith.
Press Release Marketing, LLC
Event Hosting – Marketing – Public Relations
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