Pitches, Blogging, Networking, Emailing, Media Plans & Kits! These are a few of my favorite things.

Loved this tweet by Gregory Russell, winner of the tweeting competition (he is good), and fellow Fashion PR enthusiast with whom I got to #PRnerd it up at Fashion PR Con in NYC! Tanchis be going places! #SiSePuede

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It was the ultimate meeting of the #PRNerds with some of the most amazing girls in the industry hosting, Crosby Noricks and Danika Daly. Bringing together aspiring publicists from all over the country and world, I am incredibly grateful I was among those in attendance.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Dimichino

What is Fashion PR Con?
It is straight up Chevere (awesome). It’s perfect any for aspiring publicist-in-the-making, especially in their “This Isn’t College Anymore” stage in life (for near post college, post college, and post entry-level professionals). Fashion PR Confidential is the first of its kind. It’s a two-day workshop unlocking the secrets of fashion PR. This year it took place at WE CREATE NYC. I really recommend this experience to anyone aspiring to be a publicist in fashion.

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As a career jumper, not pursing the grad school route to do it, finding networks and participating in professional development of this kind is essential for success. Fashion PR Con provides the ultimate crash course with practical tips and know-hows for working in the industry. Just remember to bring your flats for the 8 flights of stairs to climb! Que Yuca! …but it’s so worthwhile.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Dimichino

What Happens at Fashion PR Con?
Absolutely everything– accomplishing a great deal in one weekend! We created mini PR plans on day 1, working with groups of great minds who all think alike. We all brought a variety of perspectives and skills, and were able to make great connections including with a fellow San Dieagan, Angelina, and Tatiana from Canada. We came from SD to NYC! Represent!

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On day 2 we got personal one-on-one feedback on our crafted pitches, participated in a speed networking round, and learned from the wise in the industry – including editor, Julia Rubin from Teen Vogue,Jinna Boo of the fantastic fashion blog, Grease and Glamour and publicist at Club Monaco, and finally a digital PR guru from The Row, Ruthie Friedlander. Did I mention there were cupcakes involved? The panza got the love from Megs Sweet Treats!

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What I wore to Fashion PR Con: Professional Attire from Anthropologie
Networking events and professional development opportunities are important for growth in any career. In fact, Ruthie Friedlander advised us to “stay at a job as long as you are still learning, when you’ve stopped…you’re quitting.” I really enjoy conferences and workshops actually; it is the lifelong learner in me.

When attending, I make sure to dress for the occasion, not only because I love it, but because there is something powerful about dress and overall presentation. In a previous post, on professional attire in the teaching industry, Trendy Teachers what we can learn from Obama, I share how I’d like to put part of the blame on the way teachers dress as reason to why we are so underpaid and undervalued. Sounds harsh, but Julia Rubin’s comment of “be professional so editors take you and your clients seriously“, really struck a chord with me for this reason. Although Julia purposed this in the context of email etiquette to an editor, professionalism is important when dressing, especially for the Fashion PR career – style is a uniform. For the fellow tanchinistas, here is how I curated style – the tanchi way:

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I wore Anthropologie.
I love my Anthropologie, there is no secret there. They are one of the leading petite apparel offerings for tanchis and have an endless array of panza friendly attire. I wore a pair of High Halls Pumps by Miss Albright in a wine color suede with glittery light pink sparkles – a perfect height for the business occasion and just the right amount of glitz to be able to wear to a “business casual” event. Since I wore a fun shoe, I paired it with more neutral tones and conservative attire. I wore black bebe (of course) Kristie pants (size 10), a similar pair is the Petite Dania Skinny Pant. Finally, a petite size M, Striped Candence Top – or as I like to call my peter pan collared Chanel-like top that I have worn numerous times since purchasing. In fact, I previously wore this very outfit to an Anthropologie Petite Shop event with designer Corey Lynn Calter. I have no shame in repeating an outfit – in fact I embrace it with my mantra of “less is more.” I love when I get the most use I can out of an outfit. I find that with Anthropologie attire you get longevity and versatility in most of their garments.

Why I went to Fashion PR Con
“Coupled with a big yucky fear that I didn’t look right (read: wasn’t thin/pretty enough) or have the right connections/confidence to play the part of aspiring fashion editor in New York City meant that I only applied to college in California. I went to the one that offered me the most scholarship money, but no classes in fashion, advertising, marketing, nada.” -Crosby Noricks, from Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR

When I read that upon the first pages of Crosby Norick’s book (which by the way every aspiring fashion PR girl has to read this!), I was hooked. She essentially called out the invisible script I’d been playing in my head for years and now that I have “outgrown my old script,” I can’t believe how freeing the experience has been and how incredibly hard the growth was. All thanks to the personal finance guru I follow and his ideas on “invisible scripts” – Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach you To Be Rich.

What’s Personal Finance got to do with Fashion PR Dreams?
One of my favorite bloggers and thought leaders is Ramit Sethi. He writes about personal finance, but really so much more. I discovered his blog about 2 years ago and it dramatically changed my life. By applying what I call “Ramitting,” I’ve been able to negotiate credit card APR rates, create a budget for blogging, and most recently, conquer ‘invisible scripts’ to pursue a career in fashion and lifestyle PR.

What are Invisible Scripts?
An invisible script is an assumption that is so baked in to how you view the world and your choices that you don’t even question it. It often involves an inner voice telling you what you should do, need to do, or can’t do

Ramit writes about invisible scripts in his blog post, The Invisible Scripts that Guide Our Life. Beliefs are pre-written by our societal values and my invisible script is much like that of Crosby Noricks’ story and not feeling adequate to be a PR Girl. Needless to say, I read every page of the text with great conviction.

I Thought the Dream was Completely Out of Reach.
The most important lesson I learned from my career experience is that I choose not to pursue “fashion passions” (Kelly Cutrone would kill for the use of such a phrase) because I was afraid I would be seen as selfish and superficial for leaving such important work (teaching)- work that makes a difference in this world. In fact, I would hide my Kelly Cutrone books and lock the door when I read them during my convent days in my teacher service program. But here I am, a graduate of Fashion PR Confidential and making my way in the Fashion PR world with panza and all.

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Hashtag #FashionPrCon
Follow the hashtag ‪#fashionprcon for great info, insights, + pics! Wishful thinking, but wish I was still waking up to attend another day of ‪Fashion PR Con this morning! Some of my favorite takeaways were the digital workbook, and great swag bag with goodies from Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos, Pretty Please Nail Polish, Rifle Paper CoJamberry NailsTeen Vogue, and PR Couture.

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There is a God
Hearing the success stories of Danika Daily and Crosby Noricks was the best. Muchisimas Gracias to these ladies and to Ruthie Friedlander for the 101 on digital PR and metrics, Julia Rubin for the inside scoop on how to get an editor to love you, and Jinna Boo for insights on how to work with bloggers. Just so you know Ruthie thinks, “It’s so sexy when a girl can code”, Julia “has a lot of feelings about emails,” and Jinna believes “there is a God” when you get your first big break as blogger. Loved it all, Hasta Luego Tanchis!

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Welcome to The Petite Shop, not your ordinary Candy Shop

“We are the Dreamers of Dreams”
When I was young, I used to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original film via VCR, and replay the intro scenes that took place in the candy shop and factory with the wonderland of candy. Pressing start, then rewind, then pause, then play again. Those were the days.

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Credit: (C) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 1971

I was in it for the Candy. 
The rest of the film was irrelevant to me. It took me years to learn the characters names and by the time the Oompa Lumpas came on, I was over the film. Sorry Wonka. I was in it for the candy. Perhaps this has contributed to adult hood panza problems, but how could I resist? I loved seeing the jars and jars of every candy imaginable made to quench your sugar rush and the magical land where anything was possible, from a marshmallow filled life-size mushroom you stick you hand into to bon bons dangling from a tree.

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Credit: (C) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 1971

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Credit: (C) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 1971

A Willy Wonka-like Factory for Petites…Imagine That
Imagine a place where the same options existed for tanchis, but filled with petite clothing yumminess? A Petite Shop mimicking the endless options as the candy shops from our childhood wonders minus the VCR.

Welcome to The Petite Shop – A la Orden (At your service)
It can happen, and with Elizabeth Bates’ vision for her emerging petite apparel start-up, The Petite Shop, I’m incredibly excited to see what she offers for her petite customers! Meet Elizabeth: Professional Petite Problem Solver minus the top hat, ascot, cane, and swag coat. The petite apparel industry is growing and Elizabeth was inspired to start her own solution to the problem, driven by her own personal frustration while seeing the numbers confirmed her assumption of the general population.

Like Elizabeth, fellow tanchis can relate:

Ever been frustrated with clothes? Ever wonder why statistics are gathered showing over 50% of women are petite and yet the industry is still so underdeveloped and underserving the population?

With so many people who know someone of petite height, she realized there are many moms, sisters, and friends with this same problem – they can’t find clothes that fit. Elizabeth has specialized in this specific niche and has since dedicated her online petite apparel business to providing people what they want and foremost educating women about their petite status.

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It’s Not You, It’s ME.
It really isn’t you petites. Elizabeth knows it’s a big job to teach that there are clothes available for us. The process begins by acknowledging or knowing whether you’re a petite to begin with. Even though it is a needle in a haystack to find designers who are willing to do petite or are explicitly petite designers, Elizabeth manages to find great clothing and is encouraged by the emerging market. The key to Elizabeth’s success is knowing how and where to look for clothing – utilizing superb curation technique, the same as the tanchi does curation!

What’s going on in the Petite Apparel Industry?
Challenges with the petite apparel industry haven’t stopped Elizabeth. She shares great insight to what is holding back the petite market. Over the years, department stores kind of gave petite clothing a bad rap by offering ugly clothes that no one ages 20-35 was going to wear. Women aren’t exactly eager to associate themselves as “petites” when there is nothing fashionable to choose from. I love this, because to answer Why do Petite Clothes Suck? (featured in a previous post), it contributes to what is a multifaceted answer. Elizabeth’s explanation offers insight to what Ramit Sethi of, ‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’, calls “invisible scripts.” Invisible scripts are basically the things we tell ourselves over time that we believe to be true. We’re talking deep rooted psychology, so deeply embedded that we don’t even realize they guide our attitudes and behaviors.

If Your in Denial Petites, Elizabeth is Here to Help
In October 2012, Elizabeth became an industry game changer by offering clothing and taking on the base challenge in changing minds. The Petite Shop offers fashion-forward style for women ages 25-35. Her main goal is to build a forum for exclusively petite designers. She strives to make a petite community full circle, supporting the designers so they can continue to provide high-quality, unique petite clothing for us!

Post Banana, Ann, and J.Crew
This community then offers options aside from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, and J.Crew that have their own in-house lines. By working with indie designers – they’re doing things just for us. Coming up on La Bella Tanchi is a rarity – an actually petite jumpsuit from the shop! 30″ inseam, tube top, flare leg, navy blue! Until then, approximately 66% of the Petite Shop garments are petite specific – true to petite proportions. Giving tanchi’s the best possible online shopping experience and their panzas too.

Use coupon code BELLA for 15% off!

Check out other great petite bloggers for more features on The Petite Shop:

Stylepint
Sydneys Fashion Diary
Petite Style Online