Knowing her passion is in the arts, by way of macrame wall hangings, she attended Wednesday night’s Babes in Business networking event at The Asbury on Fifth Avenue to connect with like-minded entrepreneurial women.
“I love to be around positive people,” she said.
Babes in Business launched in October. The women behind the empowering network are The Helpful Rabbit founder Jennifer Chavez, visual artist Maggie Brown and fine art photographer, filmmaker and social media strategist Ciara Perrone [above].
The three met while working at various Asbury Park restaurants. As they pursued their individual artistic ventures they were inspired by the creativity around them.
“We’ve worked with so many kick ass women,” Chavez said. “There are so many cool talents and trades working in the industry.”
Chavez said she attended a host of networking events that fell short of meeting the personal and empowering experiencing she sought. With Brown and Perrone, she set out to create what she found was lacking.
Their goal is to bring strong and inspired women together, not only via bi monthly meetups, but through their online platform, which connects professionals, artists, and the everyday hustler aiming to forge her own path to inspire one another and to create opportunities for one another.
“That’s my favorite part of this,” Brown said. “Everyone is a different age, different level of experience, and everyone is just here to make themselves better. It’s just a very positive cool thing.”
“The response is amazing,” Chavez said. “I talk to all of these women everyday on Facebook, Instagram, the website.”
The event also served as a fundraiser for Second Life Bikes, the Main Street used bicycle and repair shop offers the city’s youth a chance to earn a free bike via a workforce training program.
Next Chloe Masco, 24, of Asbury Park, shared her unlikely path to becoming an aerial photography and the launch of her business Claudia Chloe.
Then, meditation teacher Dana Garced, 36, of Ocean Township shared some invaluable techniques that could help anyone de-stress in any given moment.
The evening culminated in a more personal opportunity to connect once the women [and the men in attendance] were split into groups based on numbers they were given at the beginning of the night.
“I had a few men who asked if they could attend,” Chavez said. “We said of course.”
“It never feels like too much because I enjoy it,” said Chavez, who hopes to extend their mission to a younger audience.
“I’d love to go back and speak at my high school,” she said. “There was never someone that came to my high school and told me you can do this, you can go be a woman entrepreneur.”
As for Smith, she left the event with a vision to help sustain her family by administering how to workshops, exhibits and online sales.
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.