I Hosted a Party. Nobody Showed Up. Here’s What I Learned.

I never planned on being an “influencer.” I was unemployed, newly relocated to Massachusetts, so I started making videos on Youtube. Fast-forward 5 years later and here I am, a full-time content creator.  Now that I create content as a full-time business, I have to constantly remind myself of why I started, otherwise, the temptation to quit might actually do the trick.

no-body-came-to-my-party1
Similar Dress in black HERE or Similar HERE. Jacket: Contact Josefa Boutique HERE Glasses HERE. Shoes HERE.

To be clear, I could never imagine myself back in somebody’s office playing into office politics and working overtime to disarm the white folks who see my blackness before they see me, this is true. However, there are parts of this business that can be soul-crushing if you don’t quite “fit in.” And that’s where I am.

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So let’s get back to the subject at hand, shall we? Last week I was contacted to host a fashion party at Primark in Boston.  To be fair, I only had a few days to promote the event, so I sent a bunch of emails to my local list of supporters, posted a facebook event to my facebook page and my my personal page, and I posted on Instagram a couple of times.

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Nobody showed. Okay correction, 3 of my blogger friends showed up at one point during the 4-hour event to stop by and say hi. I would have hoped, that at the least, a member of my family would have taken pity on me and stopped by, but nope. Not a chance.

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To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I work, around the clock, 7 days a week, as a creator. I work with professional photographers, constantly re-invest into my brand, and still, for some I’m not popping. I look around and see folks doing a fraction of what I do and getting “put on” left and right. Shit, members of my own family don’t think what I do is worth supporting. By the end of the event, I got in my car and cried my way home.

Similar Dress in black HERE or Similar HERE. Jacket: Contact Josefa Boutique HERE Glasses HERE. Shoes HERE.

I wasn’t popular in high school, so the idea that as an adult I would find myself in an industry that is dependent on popularity feels contrary to who I am at the core. I’m not about this life, I’ll never be about this life. And I’m done pretending I’m about this life.

Similar Dress in black HERE or Similar HERE. Jacket: Contact Josefa Boutique HERE Glasses HERE. Shoes HERE.

I’m not quitting any of my online activities, don’t worry. I will continue to create, host events, do videos, but what I will no longer do is search for validation from other people. This, of course, isn’t going to be easy because I pay the bills by advertising for brands and if folks aren’t interested in me, my family won’t eat. However, I didn’t venture into this business to have the self-esteem I’ve worked so hard to build crushed by Instagram likes. I’ve always been a risk-taker so being newly re-focused on the content, and nothing else will simply be another risk I’m willing to take.

Saturday’s event was also a much-needed ego check. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what it felt like to have no one show, and I think it’s important to have moments like that to keep you grounded.

In an event, here’s to keeping content first, and likes last. And if you haven’t already, click HERE to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you if I’m ever I’m ever in your city.

Share your thoughts below!

 

Well Hello! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a lipstick-loving, high heel junkie, mom, and wife. When I’m not here bringing you the latest in beauty, fashion, hot topics, and bits and pieces of my life with my family, you can find me over on youtube swatching lipsticks and sharing my latest natural hairstyles. Make sure you also follow me on Instagram and Snapchat under my brand name Lisa A La Mode. I’m a real person. I promise.

48 Comments
  1. It’s what I like to call the “Jesus Syndrome” ….when you deliver truths about people’s character and how they can improve, they will want to crucify you because, technically, “Who asked you, bitch…how could you know, I ain’t said shit, how dare you assume”. You know how people behave when they are called out on the bullshit they think they have so cleverly hidden. Honest people will never have support because too many people wish to pretend to have it together than actually putting in the work to really have it together. Nothing has changed since Jesus (if you even believe he was real) ….He challenged people to leave behind their toxic behavior and they crucified him. Nothing has changed.

  2. This was so uplifting for me to read. That others relate to the same fears and feelings I have as a new entrepreneur. I have been reading your blog and I feel the sencerity in it and hopefully if your ever in New York we can link. All the best for you.

  3. I really enjoyed this! I can relate to this, as I have never been popular. Even now, as an adult in my mid twenties- which is that awkward transitions between young, fresh adulthood and “actual adult ” adulthood-I struggle with validation. It isn’t easier also considering that I’m still in college. I think it’s urge to be reassured that I’m doing something right. Sometimes when I’m on social media and I see the bonds that my comers desire share and how it seemed so easy for them, it hurts a little. I know it shouldn’t. I shouldn’t care. I am most appreciative for this post. It provokes my own optimism. You are absolutely sensational, and I hope you never feel any less!

  4. Hey Lisa
    I’ve hosted many workshops and webinars with no one showing up. You don’t have to feel bad. It happens. For people to show up at events you have to send constant reminders, make and make phone calls. Yep moments like that keep you grounded.
    Kemi

  5. My first event was only like 10 people and they were close family and friends. I’ve gone to big events put on by big brands and they barely brought in 15 folks. So know you’re rocking out regardless. You’re an inspiration and keep being fabulous.

  6. Wow I couldn’t tell… you were as real as ever. What do I know I’ve never been the popular one either! I dig your style although I don’t comment often. I don’t live in your area or else I probably would have stopped by myself and your little guy is just the cutest thing ever! Keep doing you & never doubt… your fans are out here!! 😚 👏💕🎉🏅😊

  7. Lisa, I totally get it and have had similar results as a small business owner. I have watched my cousin turn a hobby for extra money in his down time (he builds fences), turn into a nearly 1,500 a day business, in addition to the fences he builds. I have had people who I have known my whole life, turn their backs on me and steal designs and make money. I have had people actually outright steal my products and then block me on facebook when I repeatedly but politely asked for their return.

    Right now, I set growing more worried by the day, as my daughter’s prom and graduation approach and I honestly can’t afford the dress. She gained weight and most of the gowns in her closet that I could revamp into something stunning for prom, do not fit. The gown ahe chose is nearly $800. While my job pays great money per hour, I dont get enough hours and those in charge play games and shortly I will have a boss that is worse than the current one.

    All of that aside, I still keep looking and creating with the hopes that one day, something that I create will catch someone’s eye and it will open the flood gates to bring revenue and financial stability. And that is my hope for you as well. You are highly talented and absolutely GORGEOUS. Keep doing what you do. I totally understand how you feel. But one day, we are going to be sitting back and laughing over mimosas and playing in makeup at how those who didnt support, wouldnt support or didnt last in the industry, didnt have nothin’ on us!

    xoxoxo

  8. Hello Lisa, thank you for sharing and being authentic in this blog. I have been following your blog for a while and I enjoy your content. Your content is original, relateable and truthful. I am going through something similar with my 9-5 where I am the only black person on my team and it is very soul crushing. Keep going, no matter what because so many black women can relate to your experience. Thank you for having the boldness and courage to share your truth. Have a wonderful day!

  9. I can relate to this on more than one level. Lennette Horne above crystallized the reality, especially as it pertains to thriving in a 9-5, or surviving a transition to something more entrepreneurial. Ive also had this happen to me when at the helm of an event I planned, little to no feedback or appearance from my own friends and family. I’m not the loudest, prefer to work behind the scenes instead of always being in the spotlight, but I still am called to advocate for and champion certain initatives. The need for validation is unfortunately real, and something that I struggle to balance with my own personality. I’ve always had an eclectic interest in music, fashion, art, social causes, friends, etc, and it seems that is not as celebrated as much as I would like. I always feel as if I have to choose and leave a part of me behind as “unprofitable”. Add the new value of social media clicks, “reach”, and followers, and I feel that every attempt I make to carve a niche for myself just doesn’t hold up because I’m still small-scale. I developed my outlook on life and built up my self esteem over the years by doing me and being aloof to the conformist and deniers, but they still hold the purse strings, apparently. I’ve found it very disheartening that even applying for “entry-level” positions as a blogger or influencer that would allow me to gain training and “street cred” in a program means I need at least 500 followers, so it feels like a vicious cycle with no real port of entry. I’m not giving up, but I’m definitely still looking for “my community”, an increasingly frustrating undertaking for an eclectic introverted wanna-be blogger. You have a follower here because of this article! Thank you for your honesty!

  10. Can I just say that I feel you from the pit of my spirit, like I could have wrote this article (not nearly as good as you!) firstly I saw the event and the first thing I thought was damn I would love to go but I live in Upstate ny and didn’t see the post of until it was too late to make any plans, secondly I appreciate your candidness because most people would have just went with the idea that it “looked” successful on social media. That kind of transparency is so important in the age of “stuntin” we see today, I’m just chiming in to let you know I’ve been there, hell I live there lol. Read the books, took the courses, invested, connected, slaved and sacrificed only to inch by while others shoot pass me…. but I say to myself I can only be the best version of me, I do this because I love this, because it excites me, fills me with joy. You’re right, it sucks when family, won’t even share your work, friends don’t shout you out, you throw parties no one shows up to… I get low… really low, then I realize I’m not doing it for likes, applause, or girl yes! I’m doing cause it brings me joy, cause I know I’m blessed to wake up everyday and do what I love for a living, that it took courage to take my dreams and put them on display for others to dissect… and so I give it a good cry, throw on some lipstick and keep pushing,
    “If you ain’t never been down, how you gona get up?” – James Brown

  11. A bloggers life can definitely be hard on the ego, I know. As a food blogger, focusing on recipe development, sometimes get invited to restaurant openings and media events. It’s always nice to be asked to attend these events, but it’s not my focus.

    A while ago I found myself becoming upset when I saw other local bloggers being invited to events that I was not invited. I really had to check myself. Media events can be fun but there is work and time that goes into them. Since that isn’t my focus I had to let it go and focus my efforts on becoming known as an expert in my field.

  12. Booo, I wish i was in the area, I would have came out to support! I’m sorry you had to deal. I was just reminded in my FB memories of an event that I had a RSVP of 50 for and only 4 people showed up too. I made the best of it, but it was really hard for me to see myself as a blogger for some time. In fact I haven’t really blogged since then. I really wish I had the attitude to keep creating content, but this kinda gave me the boost to do so.

  13. Hi Lisa!

    I have been following you on Instagram for a few months now, and your style and look is AH- MAZING! So glad that you are not going to let what happened this past weekend stop your show! Keep grinding the way that you have and keep putting out killer content. I know things like this can be hurtful at times, but keep pushing.

    Sincerely,
    CJ of Jeanae’s Melange

  14. I’m sorry that hardly anyone you know showed up at your event but guess what your determination to succeed is what makes you stand out. Keep doing your thing I love and follow your fb and Instagram page…
    Love from France

  15. I overstand how you feel. Lack of support can be discouraging. I am glad you have the spirit that motivates you to keep going. I can relate to the feeling, but staying focused on my true purpose for doing this is what keeps me creating. Stay up Queen.
    Tee Carter recently posted…Your CompassMy Profile

  16. Hi Lisa, I normally tend not to read blogs as there are so many that crashes my mail box, my fault though as I can’t help subscribing to them but I decided to read yours todays because of how honest it felt from the get go. It grabbed my attention and I am sure it got the attention of a lot of people as this is human nature. We can try to thrive but sometimes , we will fall. It’s refreshing to see someone, coming from this social media thing own to it as it probably happens a lot but we only see the victories online. I am an aspiring jewellery designer but because I suffer from depression and anxiety, I shoot myself down for the fear of failling. And it sucks cause I know I am talented. So it’s nice to hear people owning to things when they don’t go right. Just keep sending great content that’s authentic to you and not pretentious, people will respond to that. Just be yourself.
    PS I am a mum of two girls and a wife hanging in there too. Was never popular either, had my click of nerds and that never bothered me.
    I know things will change as I have to keep positive for my girls. My creativity won’t disappear as that’s my authentic self. So it’ll be ok.
    Lisa, be true to yourself and keep at it!

  17. I truly appreciate your candid-ness!! Keep doing the work, its all a part of your ¨million dollar story¨!!! See you among the stars!!!

  18. This was an awesome read, Lisa! Thanks for your transparency. I can totally relate to your feelings on all counts. It can be tough not to get in your feelings as an influencer/blogger when, like you said, so much of what we do requires some level of popularity. There have been so many convos around getting back to creating dope content for the love & not being worried about likes. It’s so necessary.

    My first in-store event, I traveled to Philly and only friends of mine showed up. They and the merchandiser I worked with told me it was the location that wasn’t the best. A lot of things could’ve affected the poor turnout at Primark… no matter, though, you’re doing the dang thing! Jeep shining!
    Toia Barry recently posted…10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a MomMy Profile

  19. First of all— your work, blog and style sense is smazing! Second, thank you for this post and it’s raw honesty. I was really convicted by it in the sense that it reminded me how important it is to show support for people you admire and who influence you, especially home-grown businesses, and (yes, I’m going to say it) Black businesses! I live in NYC so next time you do an event out this way let us all know. Keep up the great work! 👌🏿❤️

  20. Oh dear I am so sorry that your family did not show…, but I am glad that instead of crushing you it has given you a new perspective. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of work that you creative types put in and it must suck. However, all the way from Nairobi, Kenya. I would have attended had I been around (not trying to make you feel better) I have been following your work for a while now and I love your content.

  21. Hi Lisa,
    I just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing your story. I came across your story on Facebook. My business partner and I just experienced something similar to what happened to you. It is a tough pill to swallow but I agree with you that you have to keep at it and not worry about the likes and who is supporting and who is not.

    I believe in you and I have enjoyed viewing your site. I signed up to your mailing list. Keep at it and just like we had to understand that it will happen and the people that are for us will come.

    Keep at it!!! You will succeed in all that you do.

  22. Young Lady, you is smart.. you is kind..you is pretty. 😊
    Looking forward to how this will refine your message eve more… Painful no doubt…but At 52… chocolate and a more experienced mirror image of You… I want to express my admiration for your honest commentary…and humbly suggest that it wad supposed to happen that way… THE REAL EVENT is the redirection NOT the rejection. SO many of us chocolate Goddesses experience this on a daily basis…that purported dismissal…and unpopularity.. YOU’RE MAGIC… it’s difficult for people to acknowledge that in a brown package ( I believe).. I experience passive aggressive behavior every single day from younger… attractive but less fabulous females… Accept can carry your mantel… Write boldly .. Step boldly.. they SEE you..and WE need you to represent us… Young and old.. You’ll be fine.. nothing wrong with a good cry… pixie dust for MAGICAL girls.
    #notold/Gold

  23. A great reflection on looking at perhaps a negative situation in a postive way. Good for you!
    Hasttag: Yourhonestyisrefreshing,#kudostoyou#nuffaccolades

  24. OMG that is a crushing blow, But I understand completely! I now do things at my own pace and believe that what is meant for me, will be. Good luck sweetie

  25. Hi Conqueror,

    Under your honest account of your disappointment I most definitely see future accomplishments. Keep striving and asking yourself HOW rather than why when you reach hurdles. Eg: How can it be done differently? How ? How? How? The universe will be your guide.

    Endless Positive Energy,
    AG

  26. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. This is a timely post for me; I’m hosting a very pure dance event in Colorado on June 1st. Many ppl may may not show BC they’re used to events with big names and money making attributes. I could’ve given in and promoted another event m, like other events. I was VERY tempted to do so. However, I just want to bring ppl together socially, to learn from each other and to grow together. I thought about canceling. I anticipated embarrassment. Regardless, I’m going forward with my vision intact. So, again, thank you for your post.

  27. I am sorry that you had to go through this. I appreciate and enjoy reading your Facebook postings. Keep pushing forward, trust in the timing of your life.

  28. This hit home. I wish you all the success and happiness. Keep pushing through. It gets lonely at the top, so its going to require tougher skin to go higher. God bless you and your endeavors. Risks are worth taking. Best of luck to you.

  29. Hey Lisa! I experienced the same thing on a smaller scale. I scheduled a dinner party at my apt and none of those folks showed up. There were my supposed friends. I was very hurt. Fast forward a few years and a new set of friends and acquantances, I had a house party and ALL invitees show up, plus more! Next time, just invite someone who knows a lot of people (“connected”) and your event will be a success. Remember to connect with the LGBT community. You will get support! Stay inspired as you inspire many!! Rosalind Young

  30. I’m so sorry that happened. Being a original is hard but your family should’ve been there. No matter what.
    Please come to Dubai!

  31. Wow!!!! The title in it’s simplilcity resonates vulnerabiltiy, honesty and humility. As stated in the age of most always desiring to appear as if they are “winning” in is refreshing. Continue to be the best you that is rewarding in and of itself. I enjoy your content and look forward to you coming to the “A”.

  32. I’m sorry baby that this happened to you and I’m so proud and inspired my your perspective on something as heartbreaking as this and you are great and I love reading your posts!!!! Come to NYC and I’ll be there 😘

  33. I’m so sorry that happened to you and I loved your perspective on the entire situation, you are strong, beautiful and I love reading your posts!!! Come to NYC and I’ll be there😘

  34. Wow! Thanks for sharing. I can imagine how difficult it was to write this post. But I appreciate your honesty and find your attitude to be absolutely inspiring! This simply proves you love what you do and won’t give up no matter what the circumstances appear to be. Success comes in various forms, Instagram likes are only pea-sized compared to what one can accomplish! Thanks for the post! You rock!

  35. Thanks for sharing…. I wish people could be consistent with supporting one another…and do bloggers support each other? If not then Why?? If there would always be consistent support for one another instead of constant competition your party would’ve rocked out…as a blogger if you didn’t and/or couldn’t contact other bloggers to help promote your party then…that’s.a.problem..thats. the. problem..Problem Solved… maybe…hopefully ❤

  36. Soul sister! This has happened to me, I’ve felt the same way. I’m an entrepreneur 3 times over- started three different businesses, I have two degrees, but I still have to fight for respect from some family and friends. It’s cool, as you said helps keep me in a check, and makes me believe in myself even more. Because if I don’t believe in me, who will? Keep up the good work!

  37. Dear Lisa A La Mode,
    I love your work as a blogger and a youtuber. I understand how you feel about things. I know those primark parties can seem to be a bust, I think that’s on the part of Primark to make sure to advertise things better yet or change the day unto a time where shoppers mindset is to get clothes and what they need and leave. Cause that’s what mainly people do on saturdays or when they do those kind of events. If ever you get invited again I would be glad to show up. I know this will to better yourself.

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