A Fashion App And My Immigration Journey

Immigration.  A much discussed topic these days but, if you told me seven years ago that I would move to the US, I would probably say that is not in the cards for me.  I was living in Dubai with no idea that someday I would migrate to the US.  I had a high flying career as a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines.  It was a fabulous life and perfect for a girl who loves travel and shopping, I was able to shop practically anywhere in the world.  Online shopping was still in the baby stages over there and personally, I preferred the shopping experience in a brick and mortar store.  I was on the other side of the globe not knowing that I would meet a wonderful man who will eventually  become my husband.  After a transatlantic courtship, we got engaged in Los Angeles in 2011 and I began my immigration journey.  Long story short, I was granted my fiancée or K1 visa in 2012 and moved here that summer.

As I was new in the country,  I awaited my papers while planning for my destination wedding in the Philippines in 2013.  I then discovered the convenience of online shopping with items needed for the wedding and even a bridesmaid's dress for one of my friends when her first gown didn't work.  That was a lifesaver indeed!

After we returned from the wedding, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do since I had a lot of free time by then and without a job.  That was when I found a relatively new fashion app called Poshmark.  I downloaded the app, and opened a closet to see what it's about.  What I didn't realize in joining this app, it would change my world in terms of shopping and help broaden a new immigrant's horizons.  It is not only an app where you can buy and sell fashion but with the social aspect of it, you get to chat and meet other fashion minded people all over the US.  If you haven't heard of this awesome app, a simple description would be Instagram/Facebook meets Nordstrom/Macy's, making it very social and interactive in addition to uniting community members (aka Poshers) through the love of shopping.  Social engagement drives 90% of sales in the app where users spend on average 25 minutes per day, opening it 7-9 times which is almost Facebook level engagement.

Shopping for pre-loved items was new to me at this stage but this app helped me appreciate the hunt for unique pieces.  I even explored thrifting here in Colorado and beyond!  Aside from discovering all these alternative shopping avenues, I never thought that there are people who would purchase my own pre-loved items and actually like my personal style.  What sets this app apart is the very involved and dynamic community of mostly women who communicate with each other through the app and even made friends.  Aside from that bonus, we are  empowered to become girl bosses by having online boutiques or closets.  In our closets, we can sell personal items, resell for others and some have even grown to become their own fashion brands.  No other selling site nurtures the community behind it like Poshmark does.  At its conception, Manish Chandra and his team started it solely as a women's fashion and accessories marketplace but, they now expanded categories to include men and children, making it a shopping experience for the whole family.  Currently, one in fifty women in America sell in the app giving buyers access to their closets all over the country.  They also acquired Totspot and made the community base grow even bigger.  Community members are also considered Seller Stylists and they share approximately 7 million items daily to their followers, usually converting into a sale made every few seconds.

Team Posh visited Denver in 2013 to connect with community members in Colorado.  They also took it a step further that same year to reach out to the entire community when they decided to organize PoshFest.  I was one of about 100 Poshers who flew to Las Vegas and met in real life.  There was never an awkward moment since we've all been talking in the app so it was like seeing old friends where we celebrated and learned from each others' successes but most importantly, share the Posh love!  Manish's dream was fully realized at PoshFest 2016 in Los Angeles where almost 400 Poshers flew in for a weekend of workshops, fashion and community activities.

The app itself has finally come full circle with fashion, community and brands.  For the first time ever, a shoppable PoshMarket helped Poshers see the brands from the wholesale portal and get to know them better. They also produced Poshmark's first-ever fashion show where the different brands came to life on the runway with Poshers modeling them and one of them was, moi!  Colorado was very much represented as well by having the biggest delegation ever from our state and some of our local Poshers participated as resource speakers on several topics about fashion, business and community.  As a dynamic community, we get together in person on a state level through posh and sips a few times a year.  We have been blessed to be supported by local businesses like Denver Style Magazine, Peach and Pepper Apparel, GlamourBar Denver, Kompass Apparel, The Street Boutique: A Fashion Truck, Velvet Wolf Boutique and winterthursday.com Photography.

Four years after I migrated here, I became a US citizen in 2016.  I am thankful that my immigration journey was pretty straightforward and I am very lucky to have a very supportive family here and back home.  Poshmark unknowingly helped my assimilation into this country through fashion and the community in it.  That is something I never expected from a fashion app.

If you're not in this community yet, joining is simple: -Download the Poshmark app from the App Store or Google play. *Get site credit with your first purchase with code JLDRD when you type it in at sign up. -Create your unique username which is also your closet (store) name. -Once your closet is set up, you'll have access to millions of closets to browse and shop in. You can also start sellingyour own items by posting pictures, item info & price. -We are a very friendly and social community, so follow closets and say hello! My closet names are @ex_globetrotter & @amihan_artisans.  We'd like to meet you!