Urban Ski Weekend 2k18 – #blackexcellence at its finest
Ya girl is back from another awesome trip to Gatlinburg, TN for Urban Ski Weekend. I enjoyed myself so much and honestly, couldn’t think of a more #ForTheCulture way to kick off Black History Month. This is my third in attendance, and each time I’ve gone I’ve been more involved which has made my experience a little sweeter.
But before I get all turnt up, let me back it up a little bit because I’m sure some of you are like “what the hell is Urban Ski.”
Urban Ski Weekend is honestly one big lituation filled with all the black things you love to do and a few things you didn’t even know you needed. It starts on a Friday and rolls through Monday with multiple scheduled events like a black indie film screening, spades + dominoes, an urban couture fashion show, pole fitness, actual skiing, and of course parties on parties on parties. Attendees covered the spectrum when it came to age and profession, and there were more than a few celebrities, artists, + influencers who made appearances and turned the parties up.
For the past few year, I’ve been blessed to work this event with Ava Freeman & Company as a part of her Luxury Pamper Suite team. I mainly do media and marketing, but this year ya girl was blessed and got to get her hands on a few models for hair and makeup. Such a treat!!
If you follow me on the gram then you saw my story and you know that the weekend was way more lit than I could even begin to put into this post. But, outside of the parties and fun, there were some major takeaways that I thought were important to share.
1. I LOVE us – People can say whatever they want to say about us being thugs, ghetto, and all that other bullshit, but black people are the dopest! Yeah, we can throw some attitude and get right witcha when we need to but, overall, we are some of the funniest and friendliest people I’ve ever come in contact with. Outside of our Ava Freeman crew and the people who work with S.E.T Network I didn’t really know anyone, but somehow the weekend felt like a family reunion. Everybody showed love. Everybody was welcoming. Everybody was having a good time. I can’t think of another time that I’ve been in a place with this many of us together drinking and turning ALL THE WAY UP and nothing major happened. The vibe was so dope and so genuine and something that you could only get from us.
2. Quality over EVERYTHING – I think a lot of times when black people put things together it’s expected that the quality will not be quite up to par. When it’s come to Urban Ski, however, I was and have always have been impressed. The amount of attention S.E.T Network pays to detail is seriously admirable.
As I mentioned earlier the weekend itinerary was full. With multiple events going on and several hands in the pot it’s mad easy for mishaps to occur, and understandable when they do. With that being said, no matter what the mishap was or the crunch on time no one ever let the quality fall by the wayside. As an attendee, this is super important because you always want to feel as though you’re getting your money’s worth. As a “vendor” and aspiring entrepreneur, this was important because it was a lesson in priority and the importance of doing things right. I definitely appreciated the hard work S.E.T Network put into creating fun, high-quality events.
3. Always seize a networking opportunity – MAJOR KEY ALERT!!! I know many of you have heard the phrase “always be selling” and I am here to tell you that is some real shit. I’ve missed several opportunities for a come up and/or connection because I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t see my surroundings for what they were. Urban Ski was seriously an epicenter for connections. Yes, everyone was there to party and get their life, but starting a conversation and asking someone their occupation literally takes two minutes. As a blogger this has been one of my toughest struggles, but once I got over being nervous about talking to new people so many doors opened for me. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed honey. If you get the chance to attend big events like this, even as a guest, meet people, sell yourself, and grow.
4. Teamwork makes the dream work EVERY TIME – There is enough room for us all to succeed and helping one another is the only way we will all come up. Wells, Phillip, and the whole team were so helpful and supportive throughout the entire weekend (to be honest they’re super generous and helpful during all of the events). Anything we needed, any idea we wanted to bring to life, and any promotion we asked about they were on board. Likewise, as they needed our team to fill in and help out in any way we were there for them. We all won that weekend and it literally was because everyone was willing to step up and help out when the time arose. No one was too big or too important for any task and I respected that.
5. Don’t let partying get in the way of professionalism – Another !!!MAJOR KEY ALERT!! Ladies and gentleman, if you take nothing else what I’ve written about here don’t let this pass you: party all you want and have a great time, but don’t let it get in the way of the money. Yes, the turn up might be mad real, but always remember that somebody is watching. A party is a party, but for someone it’s work. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you’re so drunk that you’re embarrassing yourself and you’re the one being talked about over coffee the next day. In such a digital age it’s too easy to ruin your brand and/or reputation by getting too turnt and acting an ass. Your reputation proceeds you, remember that.
So, to go back to my fully turnt rant about the event, it was a fantastic weekend. I drank, laughed, and danced wayyyyy more than I planned but it was needed and deserved. Though there wasn’t a ton of time to sit down and relax it was so nice to deviate from my daily routine and also put some real work into my side hustle. I’m definitely thankful for this opportunity and look forward to attending next year.
If you’ve never been to a SET Network event you’re truly trippin. Hit up their site and take some time off. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Thank you, SET Network for having us. And thank you Benjamin Brothers for trusting us to help with your vision. Check out their sites and support black businesses.