#AerieReal is Now

This year has definitely been a whirlwind full of new opportunities.

At the beginning of the summer I received a direct message from a company called Youth Marketing Connection. They reached out and let me know that they loved my Instagram feed and what I stood for. YMC then went on to tell me about this amazing brand ambassador program they run for Aerie. I have to be honest, I’ve heard of Aerie but wasn’t super familiar with the company. I’m always open to learning about different brands, you never know what you’ll like or relate to unless you go in with an open mind.

As I did more research into the program I quickly fell in love! Aerie wanted each brand ambassador to pledge not to post any retouched photos for a year. Okay, some people may not understand how big that really is. In an age when most of our advertisements are made by influencers via social media, these posts are tailored to show “perfection”. You have major celebrities, bloggers/influencers, and even people just posting for fun using apps like Facetune to alter their bodies and faces so they come off as what society views as perfect. There are these unrealistic standards out there that a majority of people cannot meet.

On top of having amazing and comfortable products, you have this huge brand who is just changing the game completely and letting the industry know F your unrealistic standard. There is no one shape, size, or color. This bra, pair of bike shorts, or cami will look good on you, you, you, and even YOU!

Are you in love with Aerie yet? It’s only going to get better.

Photo by: Madi Scott

On August 21 & 22 Aerie hosted an in person training for all of the ambassadors who were able to attend. 58 of the 100 amazing ambassadors were flown out on an all expense paid trip to Pittsburgh and let me tell you it did not disappoint.

August 21 – Head to Pittsburgh and Happy Hour

All decked out in my new (Aerie) arrivals, I departed Las Vegas for Pittsburgh. Let me start by saying my emotions were all over the place. This was my first ever brand trip. I had no idea what to expect! Luckily I didn’t have to go into it alone. I found out that my assigned roommate and fellow Vegas ambassador, Megan, was on my plane and we met up immediately after getting off of the plane in PA. I just have to mention that we instantly bonded. I had found my partner in crime for this short trip. As we made our way through the airport we finally met up with our appointed shuttle driver and a couple of other ambassadors. From the airport, we headed to our hotel to check-in and freshen up for our first event, happy hour.

Sorry the beds aren’t made. (Kanye Shrug) This is real life.

Aerie put us in a nice Marriott room, which was a five minute walk from the AEO headquarters! Once we changed, spritzed, and took a couple of pics it was off to HQ for the Happy Hour event. We were greeted at the door and given name-tags as we were directed to the elevator. As we made our way to the top of the building we were finally here. The doors opened and we were greeted by all things Aerie! Each rep received a cute swag bag with some Aerie pieces and wristband. As I looked around the room I’m not going to lie the first thing I noticed was everyone’s outfits. I loved seeing how some ladies were wearing the same pieces but each style was completely different!

My Partner in Crime

Once I was done admiring the fashion aspect of it I made my way to my top priority…..the food and draaaanks. There were tons of different food options: shrimp pasta, pizza, meat & cheese plates, and tons of different desserts. (If my stomach is happy…I’m happy.) After about my third serving, I went around the room to check out all of the fun activations. There were so many different things going on. They had a customizable hat station set up, you were able to decorate your own dad hat with different patches and pins. There was a Polaroid station, you could take cute Polaroids either solo, with a crew, or both! Once you take your pic you bring it over to a table where they decorated them and turned them into magnets. I’m a sucker for a souvenir. We were also introduced to one of the Aerie Role Models, Iskra, who would be tagging along with us on the trip. Guys, if you’re not following her on IG you should probably go do that. (After you finish this of course.) Needless to say, there was plenty to do day one! After Happy Hour ended a group of the ladies and I decided that we wanted to go out for a little before our busy day began. We found this Halloween themed dive bar downtown and decided that this was the place. I have to say it was the perfect pick. It was completely empty and that meant we had control over the jukebox. We played everything from Backstreet Boys to Lizzo. As the night went on other ambassadors would trickle in until the bar was filled with the lovely ladies of Aerie. Everyone formed a circle and sang alllllll night.

August 15 – Tours and Training

Thursday was all planned out for us. We woke up bright and early, to meet up at the Hotel Indigo. Once we got there we were greeted by a breakfast bar and our introductory meeting. The intro meeting contained general information regarding the program and brand. It helped us understand a little more about what Aerie was doing on the social media aspect. After, we split up into two groups. My group headed over to HQ for our tour. We signed in we went upstairs where we were greeted by a photographer. First, we took a picture with our group and then shot a short video piece. Once the group shots were finished it was onto the next. I was really excited to get a sneak peek of the upcoming styles. (I may or may not have already drafted a list of my favorite pieces.) The tour itself was pretty insightful. I really enjoyed getting a look at the behind the scenes.

AEO Headquarters

Next, we had body positivity training led by Iskra and Neda. As a group we discussed what the term body positivity meant to us and why it’s something that is important. It was interesting to be apart of a discussion like this with 50+ women from completely different backgrounds. We all have so many differences when it comes to our looks and personalities but a lot of the struggles and insecurities are the same. A huge takeaway from this segment was how easy it is for everyone to talk badly about themselves most times without even realizing they’re doing it. It’s important to take a second to say something to reassure that person or even yourself that it’s not true or encourage them to move in a direction that makes them feel more comfortable.

Oh heeeeey Iskra!

Sadly, our day was coming to an end. We enjoyed lunch and our final meeting which included information on the direction of the brand and program as well as a look into the newest campaign. The final activity of the trip was a session of group yoga and intention setting.

I know this post is a little on the lengthy side but I felt like I wouldn’t be doing it any justice by summarizing everything. So if you’re here right now I appreciate you taking the time to read this. This trip is truly one that will stick with me for a while. I met the greatest women and got to understand them in a way I wasn’t expecting. The community built by Aerie is one that allows encourages you to be yourself. I’m grateful to be apart of it.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Sending Positive Vibes Your Way.

XO

4 thoughts on “#AerieReal is Now

  1. Yayyy I’m so happy for you! How amazing that this is your first brand trip for such a cool company! This totally got me checking out Aerie merch now lol

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