Miss A Columnist

Kristen Kwiatkowski is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about many different subjects. Having previously written for Miss A Annapolis, Kristen is pleased to continue this exciting journey with Miss A Philadelphia. Since she was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, it is wonderful for her to get back to her hometown and discover all of the new aspects of the city as well as enjoy all of the old favorite places and exciting events which the Philadelphia area offers. Kristen has spent many extraordinary years as a military spouse and has had the opportunity to live in many different locales while experiencing the flavor and flair of these different regions. Kristen enjoys writing about various topics including food and wine, fashion, charity events, restaurant reviews, cultural events, music, online marketing and more. Ranging from informative review pieces to creative short stories, writing has become an enjoyable way of life for her and one which she is not soon to leave behind.

Interview With Jennifer McDevitt, Founder Of Fabulous Shoe Night

I was recently informed of a unique girl’s night out concept and simply had to learn more about it by interviewing the woman behind Fabulous Shoe Night, Jennifer McDevitt. It was fascinating to hear more about Fabulous Shoe Night and to get the insight first hand from a woman who is passionate about doing great things for the community and having fun at the same time. Here’s what McDevitt had to say about her girl’s gathering for a cause social and networking group, Fabulous Shoe Night.

Photo Credit: Meetup website

Q: How did you come up with the concept for Fabulous Shoe Night?

A: Fabulous Shoe Night was born out of a compliment a friend and I received on our shoes while we were out catching up over dinner. We began chatting with the woman who delivered the compliment and, before we knew it, two hours had passed. We made plans to all go out again in two weeks, and when that day came, I emailed them both and suggested that since we met and bonded over shoes, we should all wear our most fabulous shoes and call it Fabulous Shoe Night. As an afterthought as I was literally going out the door to meet them, I updated my Facebook status to “I’m going out to Fabulous Shoe Night” and the response was both immense and instantaneous. I received about 30 likes, 18 comments, and one friend actually tracked us down and “crashed”! I realized I had hit on a fun concept and started having them every month just for fun. But when more and more people came every month, I saw I could harness our growing numbers to do some good in the world by adding a charitable aspect.

Q: How does Fabulous Shoe Night work? 

A: It’s easy … and most of all, it’s fun! Just slip on a pair of fabulous shoes, right out of your closet, grab a girlfriend and join us for a fun evening of cocktails and appetizers and mix and mingle with other fabulous women like you. Your $25 admission includes heavy appetizers and drink specials and, most importantly, $15 of that $25 goes directly to a local charity, always.

Q: Do you pay an annual membership fee to be involved in the Fabulous Shoe Night network?

A: Yes, we have a $39 annual membership fee, but the member benefits and perks are well worth that initial small investment.

Q: What charities benefit from the monthly gatherings?

A: We generally donate to women’s and children’s charities. One of the hallmarks of Fabulous Shoe Night is that every chapter must donate to a charity in the town where that chapter is located. It’s SO important to help locally, in our own backyards.

Q: How many chapters do you currently have within the Fabulous Shoe Night network?

A: We currently have nine chapters, seven in and around the greater Philadelphia area, as well as Delray Beach, Fla. and Las Vegas. I’m currently in talks with women interested in starting chapters in Columbus, OH, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Bethlehem, Pa., Hershey, Pa., State College, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. We haven’t “gone viral” yet, but I’m confident it’s a matter of time.

Q: Is it easy for new members to mix and mingle at your gatherings?

A: Absolutely! It’s a very friendly crowd, wherever the location, as we’re all there for the same thing … socializing, networking (if you work, although not everyone who comes is there to network), meeting new people … all for a local cause. Plus, it’s a chance to wear your fabulous shoes that were probably just sitting in your closet, waiting to go out and have fun! But it’s the charitable component that turns the evening into a Girl’s Night Out that helps others, right in your own community.

Q: I’ve read that members get various benefits from their annual membership, such as discounts with local retailers and service providers. Can you tell me a little bit about this?

A: While membership is not yet required to attend our events, there are certainly major perks to becoming a member. Currently, Philadelphia area members can get ongoing discounts at national retailers such as Bootights and Piggy Pillows with a member only discount code, as well 40 percent off any custom closet, office, pantry or garage at Closets By Design. Forty percent! That in itself is certainly worth the $39 annual membership fee. Discounts vary by chapter location, but we’re working hard on adding new ones all the time.

Q: How many members do you currently have in the Fabulous Shoe Night entity? 

A: Our actual membership number is currently around 100, with more women joining every day, but we easily have over 2,000 women in our network as active nonmembers.

Q: How do you decide which charities benefit from your organization?

A: I leave that up to the chapter’s leader, as I don’t know where the most need is in their communities, but I have final approval. We tend to concentrate on women’s and children’s charities, such as the prevention of domestic violence and children’s sexual abuse, breast cancer, and homelessness. I know certain chapters have an event or two ear-marked for their local SPCA at future events. We’re generally all-inclusive, with the exception of political, religious or controversial causes.

Q: What do you foresee for the future of Fabulous Shoe Night?

A: Just thinking about this literally gives me chills and makes my heart swell. I absolutely see within the realm of probability, not possibility, that we will someday have multiple chapters in every state in the U.S., as well as in numerous countries worldwide. If you think about it, there’s no reason NOT to … there are shoe-loving, charitable-minded women everywhere. Just think of the vast number of people who could be helped, worldwide, every time an event is held (our chapters hold a minimum of eight events per year). It’s thrilling, daunting and exciting all at once, but most certainly, it’s do-able.

Photo Credit: Fabulous Shoe Night website

Q: How can Miss A Philadelphia readers get involved with Fabulous Shoe Night?

A: Join the fun … it’s that easy! Just visit the Fabulous Shoe Night website to see when and where our next events are located, then register online, and you’re all set! And please … don’t think your shoes aren’t fabulous enough, or that the word “fabulous” somehow implies high-end. Our members wear all and any type of shoes … it’s whatever makes you feel fabulous. We all know that fabulousness is on the inside. Just be sure to have your fabulousness on full display … you’re loaded with it!

Before the interview with McDevitt, I was already drawn in by the concept of Fabulous Shoe Night. However, after having completed the interview, I love the concept even more and hope to attend a Fabulous Shoe Night event in my area in the very near future. I sincerely thank Ms. McDevitt for taking the time to answer my questions and to allow myself and the Miss A Philadelphia readers to learn more about Fabulous Shoe Night.

If you can’t wait to slip on that fabulous pair of shoes and get out for a girl’s night out while supporting a worthy cause in your local community, click here to learn more about Fabulous Shoe Night and see when the next event in your area is taking place.

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