“If we knew each other’s secrets, what comfort we would find.” ― John Churton Collins
This past weekend we had our first ever Awestomy apparel photoshoot. To be honest, this whole event emerged so quickly that we weren’t really sure what we were getting into. But I guess that could be said for everything in our business! Do your best, be good to people and hope everything works out. We had people come from all over the Midwest to join us in rocking Awestomy gear and having fun. The person farthest away came from Memphis, Tennessee! And did we mention, that we met all of these people through social media?!
After seeing things like, “The Craig’s List Killer” on Lifetime, you begin to worry if you can trust social media or people you meet online. However, I am happy to report that everyone we met in person this weekend for our Awestomy photo-shoot survived and loved every minute of it. One of our youngest model’s Dad jokingly told her to a) make sure it’s a really company and b) make sure it’s not porn. Good fatherly advice!
(note: we are a real company and no porn was made.)
As we stepped into the Invention Pictures studio on Saturday, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do but not exactly how to execute it. Our video guys Heath & Nathan along with Gary from G. Watson Images were very helpful in getting the process underway. The only thing we really had to do was to help with fit, grab different sizes and styles and be as ridiculous as possible to make everyone feel like themselves.
In truth, this was the first time we were seeing actual customers in our products, which made us both excited & proud. However, the real takeaway from the weekend was just seeing the models with ostomies interact with each other and the spirit of the entire event.
It was great meeting everyone for the first time and getting to know their story. We loved the discussions about ostomies, j-pouches, NG tubes, and oh yeah, underwear. It just got us thinking about how lucky we are to be able to meet the most beautiful, brave and honest people and the power of social media. I think these days with how easy it can be to communicate with someone through Facebook, we tend to take for granted in-person relationships. What I saw at the Awestomy shoot were models telling their war stories or as we started to call it “ostomy shop talk”. They were as comfortable as they possibly be while standing in front of complete strangers in their underwear while discussing gastrointerologists.
To have these folks in the same room, meeting for the first time, who wouldn’t have otherwise met except through our brand, was truly exceptional. THAT is the power of the Internet, and proving that with strength in numbers & similar events new found friendships are forged.
By the time Sunday rolled around, we were a well oiled machine. There were actually four models that came in ready to have a great time. So we pumped up the music and let them work their magic.
This experience just made us love our business more. Even without us in the room, the models said some of the most flattering things about our products. How much they enjoy them and how they are helping them in their lives cope with their ostomies. Frankly, isn’t that what it’s all about?
I know that we sound like a broken record, but we are completely humbled & thankful to those of you who helped us make the photo/video shoot a success! We’ve already seen some of the preliminary work coming out of the shoot and can’t wait to add it to our website. We can’t wait to do it again!