Professional Networking – THIS is What it’s All About
Here’s what I remember from the first time I ever met Jennifer Boisvert. I had just started dipping my toes into whole concept of business networking activities. For the uninitiated, there’s a whole subculture of networking in the small business community and it is amazing. Events are usually centered around a meal or a happy hour where groups of people from different professions gather to share information about themselves and their businesses. Occasionally someone closes a sale with a new contact, but more often than not it’s the ongoing cultivation of relationships and connections that keep us coming back. These ever evolving relationships open doors and opportunities, but for an introvert like me, getting to that point is more than just a little bit out of our comfortable box.
Seriously, I think this was the first networking meeting of any sort that I EVER attended. Women Helping Women 2 Network was a brand new fledgling group at the time. I didn’t know a soul in the room. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had made up my mind to put myself out there with a goal of meeting just two or three people by the end of the luncheon.
Baby steps, right? What I really wanted was to quietly escape from the room, run for the safety of my car, and not have to worry about remembering names of people I had just met, presenting a memorable 30 second commercial, or (flash back to junior high) FIT IN.
But there was no escaping. I had already committed to stay.
And through the door flies this charismatic, ebullient red-headed tornado in the most perfect emerald green a-line dress I had ever seen. Her personality filled the room and busted out the windows, raining down on everyone present like super-powered glitter. I was in total awe. We started talking, and within minutes I felt comfortable in a room full of strangers — as if I could possibly actually make it through the meeting and even enjoy it.
Fast forward about two and a half years.
That fiery tornado of a woman chose MY studio for her personal branding portrait session. When she arrived along with Andrea, her childhood friend who was visiting from Canada, we carried in loads and loads and LOADS of clothes.
I wouldn’t have expected less. After all, Jennifer is a fabulous stylist and image consultant and also a managing partner with J. Hilburn, a luxury line of custom mens’ clothing. She has also been named one of the best Personal Stylists & Shoppers by CBS Houston.
An amazing anchor to many of our branding portrait sessions is Brandie Seifert, founder of Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics. The talented and oh-so-adorable Brandie always provides just je ne sais quois with her professional makeup application and hair styling in-studio. She makes everyone look great, and our time with Jennifer was one of the most fun EVER!
Another special friend and colleague, Suzanne Joffrion with esbe Designs met with Jennifer before our session to provide the gorgeous jewelry assortment you’ll see in these photographs.
And to think – I would not know any of these women if I had not become involved in the professional networking activities that are available in my community, specifically Women Helping Women 2 Network.
We wanted to capture Jennifer’s fun and outgoing spirit along with her elite professional brand, so we worked together as a team to create images using different outfits, poses, and expressions. Our consistent lighting style brought a cohesiveness to the overall portfolio, tying everything together beautifully.
One important part of the J. Hilburn brand incorporates the blue measuring tape, a critical tool in perfecting the custom wardrobe orders for her male clients, so we made a point to include that tape in several poses throughout our session.
Jennifer’s style is certainly varied — but always polished and sharp. LOVED this funky graphic tee paired with a traditional blue blazer and shorts almost as much as that gorgeous plum colored dress. Who would have thought to put something together like that? Jennifer did. That’s who.