Design Your Future event

Feb 10, 2020Create, Moments

A few weeks ago, a friend invited me to join a “Design Your Future” event. At first I had no idea what that meant, I was just like ‘sign me up’. After finding out that it was a social mixer for local creatives to network with the Chamber of Commerce, and that I would have to show my work at a booth, I got nervous. I mean I was excited, but I had that butterflies in my stomach feeling.

I kept asking my best friend and fellow creative, Gabby, about details and how I should prep for the event since she was helping with coordinating the artists and the setup. Basically, we were just asked to show our portfolios and share our business cards. And I got extra nervous because I didn’t have a physical printed portfolio, and only had my really old business cards. I think the last time I had business cards made was in 2016, and I barely had any left, so I quickly designed a new logo for myself  (which I’m actually quite pleased with) under “nerelle / creative” to encompass my photography/ web design/ marketing consulting work. Gabby helped me get my business cards printed super last minute, along with poster prints of 4 of my photographs, so that I could show those along with my website. I also brought a polaroid digital frame that Ian’s parents gifted to us last year, two photo books that I had made, a seashell marquee lamp, and a spider plant in a lens cap vase.

Here’s me at my booth:

To my knowledge, this is the first time an event like this has been organized in American Samoa for creatives to network with the business community, so I greatly appreciated the initiative. I shared a table with another fellow local photographer, Sam Solaita, who I just officially met in person recently, and it was so nice to see other creatives that I know already like Gabby, Pua, Ammon, Tulaga, and Matauaina; and to officially meet other creatives I’d never met before like Duffy, Cinta and Esaia. I even sold a couple of my posters! Even though I was nervous initially, I’m so glad I participated.

And a few things that I learned from the event, as a note to myself for future events:

  • It is soooo important to show up – literally.
  • It’s also important to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while.
  • Feign confidence, at the very least.
  • Have genuine conversations, people will appreciate it.
  • Bring a fan in case it gets hot lol.
  • Network with your peers, and promote their work too.
  • Just be yourself.



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