Disclaimer: The following article reports on an event that was sponsored by Drink Besa, an alcoholic drink company. Please only consume Drink Besa products if you are the legal age of 21 years or older. Please drink responsibly.
You might have heard: the new Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling came out this weekend and there have been no shortage of celebrations. Besa Mi Vino, a canned wine company that sells clean, organic, vegan and zero sugar beverages joined in the fun on Wednesday night by throwing a party at The Victorian in Santa Monica, complete with a fashion show and networking night for female entrepreneurs and business owners in Los Angeles. Her Campus at UCLA received an exclusive VIP invite and is now here to report all the details.
Victoria Brodsky, CEO of Besa, has definitely set the standard for women in business. A fellow Bruin (a recent graduate from the Anderson Business School!), she took over Besa last year. In January, she relaunched the company with new branding, marketing and packaging. One of their key events has been “Wine Wednesdays”. July initially posed a challenge for these events with it being summer, but Besa then had an idea they decided to go all out on: Barbie.
“I love Barbie,” Brodsky tells HC at UCLA. “I was raised by a single mom. I always had Barbies around. She always told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, just like Barbie. So I was like, ‘You know what, we should make this a Barbie event, but we shouldn’t just throw a party. We should celebrate the women building businesses, communities, and who are leading in LA because they all know each other and should be supporting each other.’ Also, we’re working so hard that there’s very few chances for us to get a round of applause, and what better way to do that than doing that during the premier of the Barbie movie when we could actually, like, walk down a runway and literally have other women-run businesses and organizations supporting one another, getting to know one another, creating a buzz around what everyone is doing. That’s the whole reason behind this event.”
The runway actually came to Brodsky in a spontaneous burst as well: “I went outside for a walk to think about it, and I was listening to a really upbeat song, and I’m just in my yoga pants and work T-shirt, and just walking down the sidewalk like I’m walking down a runway, and I was like, “You know what, I feel really good right now. I feel really awesome, and I want these other women to feel the same way, so why don’t we have them dress up as their version of Barbie, whatever that means to them, and put on a fashion show, and we’ll teach them how to walk, [even] if they’ve never done it before, and make it the grand showcase of the night. So that’s the whole idea of the event.”
Brodsky could have not come up with a better idea. We had front row tickets to the fashion show, and watched 20 LA women owned businesses strut their stuff down the runway in various interpretations of Barbie. The fashion show opened with Christine Valdiserri, the first “Sports Illustrated” bald swimwear model known for her work in Alopecia awareness. After Valdiserri, there were women in business attire, dancing outfits and even Barbie bathing suits (as the UCLA women’s water polo and beach volleyball teams were there).
After the show, they told HC at UCLA “It was such a fun experience. We feel so grateful to be part of this really awesome experience, and everyone here is supporting women in power, and so we’re all here for it and here to have a good time.” They absolutely killed the runway, and Brodsky’s intention came to be; one of the women admitted “I actually never felt more confident than when I was walking the runway because everyone is cheering you on… The support was unreal.”
Also gracing the runway was Bachelor Nation’s Susie Evans who is known for being on Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor and who is also an entrepreneur with a photography and videography business. Her Campus at UCLA was so excited to speak with her after the show. “Tonight is so amazing,” Evans said. “I’ve had so much fun! I got invited to walk in the show for Besa as a woman entrepreneur, and just being here backstage with all the other entrepreneurs and founders was so insane, it was so incredible. I’m like blown away. I’m like ‘I need everybody’s contact information,’ and I feel like they gave me so much information for things and projects I want to create moving forward.”
Evans also gave some business advice to our fellow Bruins who want to pursue entrepreneurship: “Get organized and get people to surround you that know what they’re doing in business and don’t be afraid to think way bigger than you can imagine. I was a local wedding vendor like 2 years ago, and my whole world exploded this past year, and now I’m working with brands. I’m doing content creation for big names and things that are outside the wedding industry and I never pictured that for my business. I didn’t even think it was possible. Think bigger than you’re thinking now. You can do anything.”
Evans did not come to the Besa event alone, as Bachelorette alumni Justin Glaze and Andrew Spencer from Katie Thurston’s season were there for support. They could not have been better hype men. They gushed to Her Campus about how amazing Susie is and we totally agree.
“We support our bestie. Anything she wants to do, we’re all in for it. She was a little nervous, but we believe in her probably more than she believes in herself. We support anything she wants to do. We’re here to relax the nerves a little bit for her, and to let her shine. She’s always been the brightest star in our group.”
Evans, Glaze, and Spencer were not the only reality stars in attendance, as Her Campus reps spotted Mitchell Eason from Netflix’s “The Circle” and “Perfect Match,” as well as Kayla Richart and Seb Melrose from Netflix’s “Too Hot To Handle.” However, it was the women on the runway who really had our attention.
One of my personal favorite looks was from the upcycled fashion business Shop Redemption whose model strutted down the runway in a pink animal print two piece set. The model was also as sweet as her look; she told us, “the funny thing is my grandmother used to help us make our Barbie clothes back in the day. I have two older sisters, and my grandma has a sewing machine, so she taught us how to make all the patterns, all the designs, how to dress our own Barbies. That’s kind of what makes this event so much fun, because Shop Redemption, the line that I work for, is a line where all of the clothing is sustainable, recyclable and reusable clothing, so it’s all stuff that she gathered into making the new clothes. It’s kind of full circle, making my own clothes for my Barbies and now I get to model and be dressed as one.”
And we can’t finish this article without giving props to Besa Mi Vino’s theme for the amazing Barbie decor. The classic white Victorian was pinkified with balloons, inflatables, cups, pink frisbees, beachballs and more. Even the water bottles handed out were pink! The Her Campus at UCLA team was also impressed with the Besa wine itself. Many people can be hesitant towards canned wine, but we are happy to report that this wine was honestly delicious (and can get you pretty tipsy given its 12.5% alcohol content). Rosé is Besa’s most popular wine and it was the majority of HC at UCLA’s favorite. It was dry but had the right amount of sweetness. Even Brodsky, who isn’t a huge rosé person, loves the Besa rosé. The white wine was a close second for HC girls. The flavor was nice and light. We also sampled the red and I could totally see myself sipping this at a dinner party or during a nice meal. For a club setting, the rosé or white wine fit the vibe perfectly.
We can’t say enough about this amazing party celebrating women and an amazing company. It’s safe to say that Her Campus at UCLA is the newest Besa fan, and we cannot wait to see what’s in store for their next event. Until then, we’ll be drinking a can of rosé and heading to our favorite movie theater to support some more amazing women in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.