Business Shower: A way to celebrate entrepreneurs
On June 26, 2021, Jenny Weigle and some of her closest friends gathered at the Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Her friend Caroline Ma had organized a shower in Weigle’s honor. The women enjoyed a three-course meal with stunning views of the Santa Monica coast. There was a list, gifts and even favors.
It was a “magical and special gathering” that Weigle will never forget.
But Weigle didn’t get a toaster or china that day, not even diapers. The women were not gathered to celebrate a wedding. They weren’t there to celebrate a baby. They were there for a business shower.
Business showers have reinterpreted a long tradition. They take the form of a baby or bridal shower, but move away from the domestic and towards the professional. They are a celebration of an entrepreneur and his business venture.
“A business shower is a way for someone to invite their friends, family, and supporters to an event where they can share more about what they’re working on and what they’re building, and create space to celebrate and celebrate.” Support this work,” says Emily Wazlak, CEO and founder of Shine Registry, a corporate shower registry website.
Use a business shower to focus on the connection
Five days before her business success, Weigle founded her strategic consulting company Jenny.Community. She longed for support.
“I needed that to be able to sit with these women with the express goal of helping me start my business,” says Weigle. “What I needed from them was that hype, that cheerleading mentality, because I was scared.”
With insights from Priya Parker’s book, The Art of Gathering, Weigle decided to turn her attention to the connection. She developed conversation stimuli that formed bonds and provided fruitful encouragement. This conversation gave her words that she relies on to continually advance her business.
“When I find myself in challenging times, I think back to the support I’ve received from these women, the messages of encouragement, the fact that they were all willing to come together for this other reason that is uniquely me.” “, she says. “They believe in me and I try to remember that.”
A registry for business showers
To normalize the concept of a business shower, Weigle relied on Shine Registry. She shared her registration with her shower-goers, friends and family.
Wazlak envisioned Shine Registry as a means to provide business owners with the support they need most.
“You very rarely get things you don’t ask for,” says Wazlak. “Creating a space for people to ask about these things seemed like something I could do that could really make a difference.”
Shine Registry users can ask for “Small Questions, Small Things, and Big Things.” Weigle’s registration was easy. She asked for social media followers, LinkedIn recommendations, prospect introductions, and contributions to technology, admin, coffee, or happy hour funds.
“I’m always surprised and delighted by the unexpected things people ask for,” she says.
Web hosting costs and caffeine are popular registration requests, says Wazlak. More than 500 registers have been created on their platform. Some users have registered mentorship, a network of angel investors, airline miles and event sponsors. Several have signed up as “small ask” for pep talks.
Showers can be done in person, like at Weigle. Shine Registry offers a shower planning guide to aid in the planning process. For remote workplaces, virtual showers are an option.
Show support for new businesses
For many entrepreneurs, the concept of a shower is still very new.
Dallas photographer Cinthia Jaimes was unfamiliar with the practice in January when she unknowingly organized a business shower for the opening of her friends’ spa. She relied on her talents to build a support system for her friends.
“My goal was to leverage every influence I had on my audience and align it with them, whether it was just social media reach or the idea of introducing them to my audience,” says Jaimes.
A photo session with Jaimes costs around $4,000. It’s a full-day affair that includes creative advice, hair, make-up and outfit changes. Their pricing makes them inaccessible to some. To support her friends, she set up a public business shower, where she offered attendees as much headshots as they could for a fee. She raised $1,000 which went directly to the spa.
Create a sense of community
“Opening a business is incredibly challenging for many reasons – emotionally, physically and financially,” says Jaimes. “Entrepreneurship is heavily glamorized online. Everyone wants to be their own boss.”
Business showers destroy the facade that business owners are in control or don’t need help. They applaud courage and meet entrepreneurs where they need it most.
For Cindy Pedraza Puente and her husband, Armando Puente Jr., that need was a $3,600 freezer. The Puentes opened Olmo Market, a Dallas-based neighborhood market featuring local goods, in February. The couple conceived a center for economic and community stimulus. They had a vision and mission and had hired a vegan chef to help feed the community, but they still needed support. So Jaimes threw them a business shower.
“I literally cried,” says Cindy. “As an entrepreneur, and especially as someone who has ambition and has been doing this for so long alone and for others… It’s really hard to accept that someone would want to do something for you, that someone would actually want to pamper or help, but it is a really nice feeling. It’s nice to feel that you have the support of your community and people see you and see what you’re trying to do.”
Olmo Market is not Cindy’s first shop. Together with her mother, she founded CocoAndré Chocolatier. Over the company’s 14-year history, they have evolved into a tool for Hispanic visibility and advocacy. The road to her success was isolating.
“It felt very lonely, we weren’t in the food world and there wasn’t this community that’s here now,” says the chocolatier. “Making all these things happen and celebrating this new business is very different from how CocoAndré started.”
We celebrate a successful opening
On April 23, Jaimes once again drew on her talents and wanted to garner community support. She hosted a business shower for Olmo Market. She offered portraits for a fee. Glam Haus Collective provided free hair and makeup touch-ups. Four other local businesses have set up shop with the grocer.
All six companies used their fan base and social media reach to attract visitors and support for Olmo Market. They invited locals to meet the grocer, buy local goods and have their portraits taken.
“The community has given me a boost,” says Cindy. “I didn’t feel alone in this and I saw how proud people were of what we do. They are proud of the business we have built.”
The portrait portion of the shower raised $800 for the Freeze Fund. For those who were unable to attend, there is a donation option on the grocer’s website. As their business matures, the Puentes hope to purchase the freezer and additional appliances and add a patio to their shared space.
As business parties become more popular on social media, Jaimes and Weigle are hoping to see business parties as much as baby showers and wedding parties.
“Why isn’t that a bigger deal?” says Weigle. “It’s so obvious that we should celebrate.”
Photo courtesy of Jenny.Community
Gutierrez is a writer who can never escape words. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.