Today (8th March) is International Women’s Day and, being a Brit, sat in California pulling together this article, after 4 days of adventure with female entrepreneurs I hadn’t met before I’d say that last week’s inaugural Girl Boss Rally has made waves amongst young women across the world.
SPOILER ALERT: we’ll touch on a number of the speakers from the event but, as it was a huge and multi-stream affair, we would recommend picking up a digital pass to all the content from the event at www.GirlBoss.com
In case you missed it Sophia Amoruso is the OG #GirlBoss; the woman behind the cult brand Nasty Gal, author of New York Times bestselling #GirlBoss and Nasty Galaxy. Sophia is a smart, passionate and driven business person who owns her failures on her sleeve. Since the release of the book #GirlBoss there has been a entrepreneurial podcast, a Girl Boss Grant founded and this event, a packed day of Girl Boss-dom for 50 speakers and 500 attendees in Los Angeles’ DownTown.
With tickets sitting at around 300 dollars the event had a barrier to entry that meant only serious entrepreneurs would be attending and also meant that attendees brought their A – game. We started our Girl Boss experience the day before by hosting a mixer for attendees in town at a space in Hollywood provided by the incredible Breather (breather.com), they even sprung for cupcakes so check them out when you next need working or networking space!
On the actual Rally day we arrived bright and early at the stunning and overwhelming Hudson Loft; a repurposed warehouse building nestled in DTLA that had be turned into the interiors that any Girl Boss would crave. After a power bowl breakfast which left us in no doubt as to what city we were in, we got the party started on a Saturday morning…
A mix of guest lead talks, panels and workshops sat alongside more technical support with Squarespace running clinics, Bumble hosting makeovers and professional head shots and healthy delights from cult LA faves Moon Juice and Sweetgreens.
After an emotive opening speech from Sophia herself we were all treated to Gaby Bernstein’s caveat to the day that success doesn’t equal love and that loving ourselves remained important over anything else we want to achieve. We chose the ‘Hustler Hall’ stream for the day and heard from cult speakers such as Jane Buckingham on millennials, Jess Weiner on vision achieving and Sallie Krawcheck on well, how to be generally badass and bounce back from being fired.
It was a long day spanning from 8am – 8pm but never fear, #TeamCoco held on until the end, being in the last 10 or so Girl Bosses to leave cocktail hour on the rooftop overlooking all of DownTown LA’s city of stars. But before cocktail o’clock was our favourite session of the day of @Kevin (seriously, check him out on Twitter and Insta, he got in there early for that handle! haha!) in conversation with our girl, Sophia about Instagram’s mission (to bring people closer together) and how it was his then girlfriend, now wife’s idea to bring filters into the app to break down the barriers of people feeling nervous to post their photography. You might be surprised to read that there were male speakers and there were a number who brought some balance to the day. If we were to give feedback, we would have loved more guys present to diversify things but, for a first year event, nothing to worry about.
The day wrapped with a panel discussion about the new Girl Boss series, coming to Netflix and we managed to steal a minute with Sophia (where we pledged to help bring the Rally to Europe, so watch this space!). Meeting our girl crush was sweet, and hearing all these amazing speakers was truly inspiring but what really lit a fire in our hearts was the pure connection with girls from across the world, our lives changing as one as we invested in ourselves at this event. Compliments were aplenty, strange kismet connections were uncovered by turning to the girl adjacent waiting for coffee, tears shed and plans made.
Our emotional cups full, we all dispersed into the night, this overachieving Girl Boss with a new friend on to a birthday party at a hookah bar, as you do.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric and we can’t wait to bring you Part 2 of our Girl Boss Rally review where we’ll share some of our favourite co-Girl Bosses’ stories, along with our top tips for navigating an event of this size! Clue: it involves buying a super recognisable, magpie-friendly piece of clothing. Could you guess what ours was?!