Saturday, March 10, 2018 was A Rare Day with rain in LA! OK, maybe I’m being a bit extra! A Rare Day was a networking summit put on by The Be Rare Foundation, Ladies First, Rare Global, and ADVNT Society. This event featured top YouTube personalities—Jenn Im, Jackie Aina, Deniss Asamoah, Stephanie Villa, Ashley Villa, and Aja Dang—who spoke about their personal journeys and the tools they used to begin and develop the success they have in their careers today.
In addition to the fashion and beauty mavens, there was a dynamic panel of digital media professionals: Somer Tejwani (VP of Marketing & Communications of Too Faced Cosmetics), Ivy Cavic (Head of TV & Digital Talent of ROAR), Amanda Marzolf (Agent at Abrams Artists Agency), and Gina Wade (celebrity event planner and CEO of Gina Wade Creative).
Throughout the event, there were opportunities to have your photo taken at the photo booth, and there was a live DJ—The Candy Rain kept the music lively, creating a perfect mingling vibe. Complimentary Afters ice cream, BoBos snack bars, and Bai and Miron beverages were served. The food selection wasn’t the best (some poke or taco truck would have set the food vibe to a ten). In case you missed it, here's a recap of the speakers at the first annual A Rare Day summit.
Jackie Aina is a makeup artist and beauty YouTube personality. Jackie spoke about the importance of speaking your truth and shared the importance of projecting authenticity. She shared her journey of being in the army and not knowing how to share her true goofy personality on her channel. She realized the more she was herself, the more she began to see an increase of engagement and people taking a liking to her content.
I felt drawn to Jackie because finding a way to authentically project myself has been a struggle for me. I never want to come off as being inauthentic. However, learning to project myself and not being afraid if people notice my clumsy nature, my lisp, or my awkward and goofy personality is difficult. These are all features that make me who I am, and the more I embrace my flaws, the more others can and will relate to my journey.
I had a chance to speak with her briefly at the end of the event. I wanted to let her know her message resonated with me and to thank her for showing that you can be authentic and still achieve success.
Denis Asamoah, boyfriend of Jackie Aina and time management expert, gave a five minute presentation on essential tools to save time and increase productivity. He used a Miracle cube timer to track his time during his five minutes. He listed a few productivity apps and programs I found informative and will implement into my everyday work life: Doodle, a group availability tracker; Frame.io, a tool to review and upload videos (faster than Wetransfer) to share with a team; Rescue Time, personal analytics tool that shows how you spend your time online; and Shoeboxed, organizes and tracks your receipts and expenses. Many of these tools I was not familiar with, so Denis assisted in strengthening my productivity with these work tools.
Aja Dang, model, beauty and lifestyle YouTube personality, and owner of A Women’s Worth clothing line, moderated the Powerhouse Panel of #Bossladies Gina Wade, Somer Tejwani, Ivy Cavic, and Amanda Marzolf.
Aja stood out as she asked very important questions, such as the importance of having a manager versus an agent and whether it’s vital to have both or one before the other. She also asked what brands look for when working with influencers. The women all brought such meaningful insights on not being afraid of putting yourself out there and standing firmly in your beliefs, no matter how large or small your platform. As an agent, manager, business owner, or marketing and communications VP, the women on this panel brought a dynamic that had all of the women present fired up and ready to take their industry by force (well, at least, that’s how I felt).
Stephanie Villa, also known as Soothing Sista, was fairly new to me. I recently discovered her channel prior to this event. (I know. What rock have I been living under?) She is a fashion and beauty YouTube personality who enjoys traveling (like me). Soothingsista is such a fitting name for Stephanie’s YouTube channel as she has such a soothing soul. Although I did not get a chance to speak with her, I watched as she greeted the line of women who came up to her with such love and genuine appreciation for her supporters.
Ashley Villa, CEO of Rare Global agency and sister of Stephanie Villa, has a powerhouse of personality. Of legal counsel, Ashley showed how to read brand and work-for-hire contracts, which I felt was the most powerful and imperative discussion of the day. Often as creators, we think about creating and engaging but forget the big picture. Once all of the creating and engaging pays off and brands begin to reach out wanting to work with you, it’s important to know not only how to read a contract but also the who, what, when, where, and hows of working with a brand and negotiating a contract. I wish this portion of the event was longer because I took away so much from Ashley. I definitely will work with her in the future (manifesting it now).
Jenn Im, lifestyle YouTube personality and owner of Eggie women’s clothing line, wrapped up the event with a presentation on making your YouTube channel a destination. She spoke about the importance of collaborating and knowing your brand and shared tips on avoiding copyright strikes. Epidemic Sound, Free Music Archive, and Sound Cloud were platforms she shared for finding royalty free music for your channel. Jenn has such a genuine and humbling personality, and it was refreshing to see her radiating on stage.
Kandee Johnson, unfortunately, had to cancel due to getting sick, and she was definitely missed. She is a makeup artist and OG to the YouTube community and was one of the very first makeup videos I watched on YouTube nearly 10 years ago. If you’ve ever watched her videos, you’d love her bright and cheerful personality. Hopefully, they will bring her back for the next one.
After the event wrapped up, there was a pop-up shop featuring Ellen V. Lora, Francis Lola, Pau Dictado, and the new Eggie collection by Jenn Im. We received gift bags filled with Smashbox, Sugar Bear Hair, Tatcha, House of Lashes, Too Faced, Colour Pop, and Purlisse to name a few.
All in all, it was refreshing to see women come together, meet new friends, and empower each other. Women empowerment is such a pivotal movement in our society today, and this event helped move forward the ideals and messages of women helping women move up and work together to build lasting empires.
P.S.: Shout out to all of the men who came to support their women. You all play such an important role in our lives. With your support, you help us break barriers society said we could never break, creating a better future for our girls to come. Thank you!