Preliminary Note: This post is old so the photos do not display. If you'd like, you can see photos from our 2008 advocacy trip at the INDIE FaceBook Page. Thanks!
Sweatin' For You In Congress and at the FDA!
I‘m excited to be back from our trip to Washington, DC to advocate against the FDA Globalization Act of 2008. I will be reporting all the details to Indie Beauty Network members in a members only conference call tomorrow. (Check your email members!) In the meantime, I just have to share some photos and a little bit about our journey. It all started at 1:00AM Tuesday (yesterday) when my dear youngest brother picked me up from the airport. I arrived at our family home at about 2:00AM and fell asleep almost immediately. When the alarm went off at 5:30AM, it was on. We squeezed in 4 meetings all over town in one day. Here's how we did it.
I met up with Kayla Fioravanti (see pronunciation lesson below) of Essential Wholesale, Jamila White of j.blossom, Anne-Marie Faiola of Brambleberry and Lela Barker of Bella Lucce at 8:15 at the Food & Drug Administration's Office of Cosmetics & Colors. We huddled in the lobby (there were no chairs) for about an hour rehearsing our presentation. The energy level was high. We were looking our best, even showing off our fabulous shoes. These are Lela's. Note the high heels.
Our meeting started at 9:00AM. We were done by 10:20. After our meeting with FDA, we ran (literally) to catch the metro so we would be on time for an 11:00 meeting with a staffer in Senator John Kerry's office. It wasn't long before we ditched our heels in favor of flats and flip flops, as demonstrated by Jamila White who sported a summer pedicure. We could really run fast without the heels.
When we got to the Senate Office Building, we promptly got lost. When we discovered where we were, we learned that we had entered the building through the door that was the furthest away from Senator Kerry's very grand corner suite of offices. So we ran some more.
By this time, we gave the Indie Beauty Network a new name. The Sweaty Beauty Network.
Lucky for us, the staffer was delayed. So we stood in Senator Kerry's outer office with our chins on the floor. That's right, our mouths were wide open in awe at the hundreds of photographs recounting Kerry's years of public service. Yes, the original swift boat photos are there. And the ones with the Dalai Lama and tons with kids. We posed for one of our own.
Enter: Senator Kerry's staffer. So, we delivered our presentation a second time. We tried to pawn off some beauty products on the staffer, but ever the law abiding citizen, she refused. Then we had to eat.
I Must Digress
But we couldn't eat before Kayla announced, after we've known each other for 6 years, that I had been saying her last name incorrectly for the past 6 years. And now, I was doing it in front of Congress. That apparently was the last straw.
So, everyone, Fioravanti is pronounced Fiora-vaaaaaah-nti. It's “vaaaaaahh-nti” like a soothing spa massage. Not “van-ti,' like a mini-van. Got that?! Check.
I think I kept messing it up anyway, being nervous in front of Congress and all. Now that I've spelled it out, it won't happen again. But I digress.
Food, Then More Sweat
So we took yet another metro to Union Station and gulped down some grub in a food court. Then off to meet with Virgil Miller, the Professional Staff Member in charge of the draft law that brought us to Washington, DC. We ran. We hustled. We sweated.
Our meeting with Mr. Miller was fantastic. He was professional, forthcoming and very interested in what we had to say. He also told us how we could make a helpful contribution to the overall political process where this law is concerned.
But we couldn't rest yet. One more meeting, which unfortunately required us to become sweaty again. Not only that, it started to rain. Indies in the City. Without umbrellas. Wet. Sweaty. Nice.
Thank God for paper towels. We made it to Congressman Jackson's office just in time, and once again, we delivered our presentation. The staffers were very encouraging and made some suggestions for how we could continue our efforts.
After many high fives, and completely exhausted, it was time to head to California Pizza Kitchen. Sick and tired of being sweaty and tired, we decided to take a cab since we did not have to rush.
When we got to CPK, we found our second wind. Who wouldn't? Just look at these Indies In The City.
Seated: dM, Jamila White, Michele Keiper (Flower Peddler)
Standing: Kelly Bloom (Southern Soapers), Lela Barker, Kayla Fioravaaaaaahh-nti, Anne-Marie Faiola, Daniela Maldonado (Hello Bath & Body), Funlayo Alibi (Shea Radiance)
Jamila and Michele looking fetching, not sweaty.
We enjoyed a fantastic time drinking cocktails (on me!) and eating delicious things like white pizza, Tuscan hummus, pear and Gorgonzola cheese pizza and Thai crunch salad. It was the perfect way to cap an energizing, enlightening, empowering and, yes, very sweaty day.