My Last Normal Day: AERIEReal Summit 2020

Pictured (Left to Right): Me, My Mom, Sister

My mom, sister, and I arrived in Brooklyn on March 8th, 2020 for the first annual AERIEReal summit. This was my sister’s birthday, but will also now forever be known as “my last normal day before the pandemic of 2020”.

The AERIEReal summit was a day of powerful conversations with AerieReal role models to celebrate International Women’s Day. The tickets were $25 and 100% of ticket sales went to NEDA, a non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders. NEDA is an organization near and dear to my family, so this was an added bonus for us to attend. I am going to link the old event listing below incase you are interested in learning more!

When we signed in for the day, we were greeted by friendly people, and I could tell already it was going to be an exciting day based on the vibes of everyone around and the set-up of the event. We grabbed boxed waters (points for being environmentally friendly!) and made our way to the main seating area to grab a spot for the start of the event.

On every chair, there was a Happy Planner notebook and adorable pens. I love notebooks, especially inspirational ones like the Happy Planner, so this was a great, and unexpected, treat.

View from DUMBO into Manhattan

Once we were settled, the day began!

Pictured (left to right): Tiff McFierce, Iskra Lawrence

A (very) pregnant, glowing Iskra Lawrence greeted us. She was joined by Tiff McFierce.

Aly Raisman

Next, Aly Raisman led us through an invigorating meditation. This was meant to ground us and set our intention for the rest of the day, and this exercise was extremely beneficial. Aly is someone I have admired, so it was amazing to have this led by her.

Throughout the day, there were “Meet & Greets” with some of the speakers. Pictured is mine with Hari Nef– I discovered her from the show “You”. She was the first trans woman signed to IMG Worldwide.

My sister met Molly Burke, who is a blind YouTube star. I didn’t know who she was at the time, but now I have become one of her subscribers, and I watch all of her YouTube videos. They are definitely worth checking out!

Both of these woman are incredible for everything they have been through to get to where they are now.

Throughout the day, there were various different panels. These are pictured below, and I have noted each person below the photo. In some cases, I have highlighted an aspect that stood out to me. Overall, the panels involved people from very different backgrounds, all sharing their experiences on how they have excelled in this world as women.

Pictured (left to right): Lola Ogunnaike, Lana Condor, Tiff McFierce, Dre, Breanne Delgado, Molly Burke and her guide dog Gallop
Pictured (left to right): Jess Weiner, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Iskra Lawrence

Katherine Schwarzenegger discussed her new book ‘The Gift of Forgiveness’ and each of us got a signed copy to bring home with us!

Pictured (left to right): Tiff McFierce, Jenna Kutcher, Ali Stroker, Lana Condor

For those that don’t know, Ali Stroker was the first actress to use a wheelchair on Broadway, and she won a Tony. She performed a song for us during the day- it was incredible.

Pictured (left to right): Beanie Feldstein, Aly Raisman, Hari Nef

Other things to note:

  • We got to make our own Air Plants to bring home
  • They served us lunch and multiple snacks. There was also unlimited coffee and soda throughout the day. Both of these were unexpected bonuses to me!
  • Free Stuff: As a “goodie bag” we got a (reusable) Aerie bag FULL of so many great items, including scrunchies, clips, candy, various toiletries, coupons, and, my personal favorite, a lavender scented heatable stuffed animal.

Concluding Thoughts

This is definitely an event I will attend every single year in the future for as long as they have it. Honestly, a lot of what I heard there motivated me to write this blog- it made me feel powerful and like I could conquer anything. A lot of these women I had never heard of before this event, and I have since followed all of them on social media because I was so moved by what they had to say. If you need encouragement and something to look forward to on your feeds, I would suggest following them!

Overall, it was an inspiring, fun day, and it made it even better that 100% of ticket sales went to a great cause, meaning that Aerie truly did this out of the goodness of their heart. I can’t thank them enough for putting on this event.

If you are in the area, don’t hesitate to check out this event next year!

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