Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brands that bring women together....

I never quite realised the impact that some brands may have on my life. Not so much in a fashion sense or even in the way they make me feel but in the most profound way of bringing great women together and in creating a friendship that will last for a lifestime.

As women we need our girls, the friends who will be by our side when all else falls apart. The friends who will be right there celebrating the wins and encouraging us on our path to greatness. What I have found and what I keep hearing is the disappointment that we as women experience from the betrayals of the friends we thought would be there for us! I often wonder whether its simply that some come to us for a reason, others for a season and the ones we so deeply cherish for a lifetime. A lifetime of sharing our lives with each other which is something men do quite well but for women seems to be more challenging.
I've travelled the globe and heard the same thing from women everywhere....the common element of betrayal is the same in every language and country!!

But this blog is about a brand which brought two women from very different backgrounds, races, religions and countries together in the strangest place. A few years ago whilst living in Miami I embarked on an adventure and a 3 day cruise with Carnival to the Bahamas. On arrival of course the one thing I really wanted was my daily Soy Chai Latte, Starbucks of course! Come on, as if they would have a Starbucks in Nassau out of all places....

As I disembarked ready for my shopping trip around the little town of Nassau I saw the most incredible thing ever, a Starbucks sign... At first I thought it was a joke, you know one of those fake signs, like the fake bags.... What does a woman do? Ask the locals and of I went happily into the sunset to the local Starbucks. It might sound pretty sad to some that the first thing I would think about was my Chai Latte but being stuck on a cruise ship with American coffee was not good!!! But its really what happened next that will forever be part of me....

As I'm standing in line waiting for my Chai, the girl in front of me turns around, looks at me, smiles and turns away. Then she turns back and compliments me on what I was her already! We struck up a conversation over a gorgeous top I was wearing, it was Guess by Marciano, I offered to share with her where I bought it and how she too could get her hands on one. Not something a lot of women do!!

The next few hours went by so quickly but we discovered a shared passion for fashion and for some of the worlds greatest brands..especially Marciano!! We even came to the Bahamas on separate cruise ships of the same brand....

What I realised and see even today is that women bond over brands. I once read a book called E-volution by Faith Popcorn who says "connecting women to each other, connects them to a brand" and this was certainly true for Miss Toni Hernandez and myself! Toni and I continued a wonderful friendship, her visits to South Beach, our long nights chatting away at Sushi Samba in Lincoln Road, my introduction to sweet plantain (oh soooo yummy), hot summer days at South Beach and the many more Chai Latte's we shared over the months that passed.

What really blew me away was the next time I saw Toni a few months later in Miami she too was wearing a hot pink dress by Marciano and she looked incredible!! So there are two lessons that I wish to share with you, firstly is that finding great friendships is what life is really about and that nurturing them is the key. To surround yourself with women who inspire you to be greater, women who will share the secrets of their success with you and not hold back in fear that you may get grow bigger than they are..... Its important to know what you're looking for in a friend and for the superficial ones that come for one reason or another, its time to let them go and start 2010 with the people who truly nourish you on the deepest level....and secondly, choose the brands you wear carefully because you never know who may tap you on the shoulder and when the greatest of friendship may begin... Thank you Toni xxx

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