Ladies, put on your walking shoes and leave your men at home; it’s time to party Shecky’s style.
Girl’s Night Out came and left Boston, leaving a trail of happy, shopped out women along the way.
“It’s a great excuse to go out on a Wednesday night, shop, and hang out with girlfriends,” exclaimed shopper Heather Cloran, gesturing to her other girlfriends. “The drinks are good and the food is great!”
The Shecky’s Girl’s Night Out has been founded by a young entrepreneur named Claudia Chan. She’s been keeping Girl’s Night Out going for the past eight years. She went to all-girl schools her entire life, including Smith College. She is considered the ultimate girlfriend.
“Being culturally surrounded by diverse women my whole life has allowed me to understand the unique strengths, needs and challenges of the women in my own life and inspired me to dedicate a career toward empowering and entertaining women,” said Chan.
And with that title she has designed this event to be for girls to inspire the ultimate girlfriend experience with shopping deals and free products from big sponsors. Shecky’s is known for organizing the largest girlfriend targeted events in the entire country, involving what Claudia likes to call “350,000+ highly engaged and targeted 21-39 year old fashionable, female consumers.” These are consumer that big and small sponsors alike want to reach. Sponsors for Shecky’s include: Lean Cuisine, Veet, Bath and Body Works, EMD Serono Fertility Lifelines, and several others.
EMD Serono, the only non-frivolous booth at the event, probably had the most valuable information to offer women of all ages regarding infertility. There were pamphlets of info, and they even quizzed women on their knowledge of infertility which I completely failed.
“There is a strong lack of awareness surrounding infertility and women here at Shecky’s are very responsive,” said Executive Vice President David Stern. “And being in this type of environment makes this topic less of a stigma.”
And while women were becoming more informed, they enjoyed fruity cocktails, dishes from Lean Cuisine, and girlfriends Katherine Street and Tammy Lambert really enjoyed the free cupcakes.
“This was way better than we expected,” said Lambert. “It’s lower key and there aren’t many big name vendors, so it’s unique.”
Some ladies were even reunited with long lost girlfriends from their childhood.
“We came for the drinks and the goodies, but we also came to see old girlfriends and network and socialize,” laughed girlfriend Kim Ross. “And we got to get away from the kids and the husbands.
The ad for this event said suggested the men be left home, but there were a few working gentlemen who really had some fun in an all-girl atmosphere.
“It’s awkward with a bunch of women,” said photographer John Tomadakis, “but I love it. It’s magnificent fun and it’s totally nonthreatening here. We even get a couple looks and smiles.”
Take it from me, the girl looking for ultimate experiences: Shecky’s Girl’s Night Out should definitely be on your list of things to do in your lifetime. And don’t worry, if you missed this event in Boston, there are plenty more happening every month all over the country. Just check out http://www.sheckys.com/events/ to learn about when and where the next Girl’s Night Out is. There are never enough opportunities for you to be pampered and to purchase one-of-a-kind clothing right from the designer. Have a great girl’s night out.
See below for our interview with Claudia Chan.
BLAST: How did you get into the business of girly things?
CLAUDIA CHAN: I went to an all girls’ high school in Manhattan, followed by Smith, an all women’s college, and grew up in a family where women simply dominated. Being culturally surrounded by diverse women my whole life has allowed me to understand the unique strengths, needs and challenges of the women in my own life and inspired me to dedicate a career toward empowering and entertaining women.
BLAST: What did you study as an undergrad?
CC: I majored in Government and minored in International Relations (the 5-college certificate that allowed me to experience many good classes at UMass & Amherst)
BLAST: What did it take to begin this business?
CC: Every entrepreneur has their own unique start-up situation. In my case, I had no start-up capital. Looking back on my own experiences, I honed in on a few key elements to get my business a float — relentless passion and drive, prioritizing your energy towards making your product or service great, and the sales and marketing necessary to get it to the next level, then the next level and the next level, looking forward more than looking back, and remembering to take care of yourself while building the foundation of the business.
BLAST: What makes you the perfect girlfriend?
CC: Women are emotional and extraordinary. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish and multi-task, yet also sometimes get held back and stuck. I think being a great girlfriend means always being there to provide your friend with confidence, inspiration and empowerment to live the best life they can. The most worthwhile friends are those that return the favor.
BLAST: Have you ever considered marketing to gay or metro men?
CC: No. Women influence over 85 percent of all purchasing decisions. We know women, it’s our strength. If anything, we’re continuing to expand our national female reach with the new Shecky’s brand launch as the leading girlfriend community and lifestyle company.
BLAST: How did you organize this Girl’s Night out event?
CC: After 9/11, my partner Chris Hoffman published a Girl’s Guide to NY Nightlife to raise the city’s spirits. A big Girls Night Out party is what we felt the book and New York City needed. The 1st Girls Night Out event & book launch immediately took off and the Girls Night Out series thus began, spreading to more markets as its popularity with consumers and brands continued to grow. Nine years later, Girls Night Out is still the largest consumer shopping event in the nation.
BLAST: How often does it occur? Where do you host it?
CC: Shecky’s hosts up to 80 days of girlfriend-fun events across America in up to 20 cities, depending on the market interest from our national brand partners. Girls Night Out is our signature event series, but we host other events like Beauty Night Out, Holiday Night Out and a new food & wine event called Toasts & Tastings.
BLAST: How do you know the vendors you have featured? How did you convince them to join you?
CC: Shecky’s has been around for many years and we offer the largest girlfriend experience events in America, reaching 350,000+ highly engaged and targeted 21-39 year old fashionable, female consumers. We are considered to be a very unique marketing and sales opportunity for small businesses (designers, artisans, local boutiques, etc.) and big Fortune 500 brands who want to reach and speak to women consumers. With the recent launch of the new Sheckys.com, we are hoping to grow to an audience of millions over the next few years.
BLAST: What would you tell other young women trying to start out in this world?
CC: Stay tuned for that answer. I’ve got a book with pages of advice that I’ve been brewing for a while.