Common threads

Jul 01, 2011

Kerry Hillard Johnson
With these more mainstream hobbies, if you will, I expect the crowds of devoted followers. I didn't expect the frenzy I recently witnessed around a shopping event for a boutique line of clothing made for girls. I admit I hopped a plane to travel two states over for the buying bonanza, which included a pre- and post-party for about 400 people each. But I really was just along for the ride, playing a supporting role for one of my college girlfriends.

We had a great time, and I did buy a few lower-priced items for my daughter. But my main takeaway wasn't the outfits. It was the strength of community.

Many of the women "knew" each other beforehand from their profiles on a related website. They could recite details about each others' families, challenges, and shopping goals.

These people had studied up. They knew their clothes, from the lines to the styles to the fabric names to how much certain styles would bring on eBay.

We all shared a bond. Even though I couldn't talk shop like the rest, I enjoyed an instant connection with everybody. Striking up a conversation was fairly effortless and most everyone was eager to meet new friends. And I believe some of these women truly will remain friends. In fact, my friend and I met three ladies who live near us, and I bet we'll all get together at some point.

At first I was a little taken aback by the whole scene. But I've come to think it was great. Finding a way to hook up with kindred spirits is positive, regardless of whether the link is clothes, Klingons, or veterinary medicine. I hope Firstline and all our components can be a force for connecting you to other team members. So let's meet at the CVC in Kansas City in August ( I'll be the one with the overdressed daughter.