Category: Outside the Suit

November Star of the Office // Maria


NAME: ​Maria Valencia​

POSITION: ​Senior Account Coordinator​

What three traits define you?​ Determined. Independent.​ ​Dependable.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?​ Knowing I am able to get coffee soon!​

Where is your favorite place to be?​ I love being in bed next to my fur babies – Mickey and Papy.​

What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs?​ ​I love being able to work with all my amazing co-workers who inspire me to reach my goals each day. I love collaborating with my boss lady teammates and learning new things each and everyday! Not to mention, I enjoy that not one day is ever the same at ChicExecs.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?​ My mom​ has always been my mentor and role model; she has taught me to be independent and persistent, encouraging me to always pursue my goals. She’s a firm believer of “You can do whatever you put your mind to!”​

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs? ​Don’t ever be afraid to express your ideas! The working atmosphere at ChicExecs is​ ​very open and collaborative. We all love to learn from one another!

What’s your go-to motto? “Believe that you will succeed and you will!” – Dale Carnegie


Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you. 

I am a Padres Scholarship recipient, funded by the San Diego Padres team, so I had the opportunity to meet the entire Padres team!


Hustle Humble September Pitching Event Recap


Celebrating our CEO Kailynn’s new bundle of joy with beautiful hues of blue ombre, September’s speed pitching event was a stylish, super fun success!



At ChicExecs HQ, the office was filled to the brim as local entrepreneurs connected with buyers, media, and social influencers! New relationships were born with small businesses as they networked with the best in the bizz.

Putting the passion back into pitching, we had so much fun empowering businesses this month. Explore the gallery below to see more of this awesome event!


Picture Perfect Panels


When the ladies of Chic weren’t getting their hair braided or setting up killer decorations for this event, they were diligently timing and helping out with the picture perfect panels!

With three different panels for entrepreneurs to pitch to – media, buyers, and influencers – these businesses were set up for success! A few of the brands who pitched their passion included baby brand CarriEight, AirFort, Diva Dog, Ghost Scream, Studio Penny Lane, and the delightful jewelry designs from Nomad West! 





With several brands heading into the Media panel to pitch their business, many learned valuable lessons on building brand identity and how to best be prepared for segments, whether they be on live television or print.

Some of the magnificent media in our panels included:


San Diego Business Journal 

Family Entourage

Chelsea Day – Someday I’ll Learn





Our Social Influencer panel was able to give the brands that attended insight on the world of influencer marketing. Brands had the opportunity to pitch their product and get feedback from established influencers on how to best navigate the process of choosing an influencer that aligns with their brand’s unique identity and needs.


Here are a few of the savvy social mavens who attended:


Camilla @navygraceblog

Christina @fifiandmo





Giving sage advice to brands on what buyers are looking for in the retail industry to keep a competitive edge, small businesses like The Argan Project gained key knowledge to establish a strong brand presence.

Thanks to the wonderful Sarah Nicholson from Zulily for bringing her wealth of knowledge to the panel!


Here For The Food




With You Had Me At Cool adding a tasty chill to a hot day and Big Wave Grill providing mouthwatering grub, this event was off to an appetizing start!


It’s The Little Things





At Chic, we are all about stepping up our decoration game! With a blue ombre theme for the arrival of our CEO’s tiny treasure, everything had a beautiful, bold and tastefully teal color!

It didn’t stop there! With a braid and glitter bar by Elwynn + Cass for all of the hard-working Chic ladies, a customized photo booth, party favors, and fun outdoor games it’s safe to say everyone had a good time.



From all the ladies at ChicExecs, thank you to everyone who came out to this incredibly fun and fab event!


Find out more about upcoming events at 

September Star of the Office // Erica


Name: Erica Arvanitis


Position: Copywriter

What three traits define you?


Ambitious. Lively. Supportive.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?


Literally, my 10-year-old Chow mix Gussie whines in my face until I get up for our morning walk. On a more emotional or motivational level, I would say my fire and empathy gets me up and striving to be stronger and more successful each day.

Where is your favorite place to be?


As a writer and avid reader, my happy place is in a bookstore. Being completely surrounded by endless stories and adventures while standing in one place is so magical to me. Books are the best.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs?


Working with an incredible, empowering group of women on a daily basis. I’ve worked for several, more corporate, companies in the past and none have the drive and hustle that these ladies put forth.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?


Lately, I’ve been falling in love with all of the empowering poetry that lives on Instagram and in print. More specifically, I really love Alison Malee – she’s fierce, authentic, and leads with her heart. What more would you want from a mentor?


What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs?


Know your self worth. Starting out in any new experience – whether it’s a job, school, or relationship – it’s essential to know you are worth what you’ve been given. Take that leap with a combination of self love, motivation, and empathy and you’ll be set for success!

What’s your go-to motto?


My all-time favorite quote from Roald Dahl is something I live each and every day. Or try to!


“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you.


I’m not sure if this counts as something surprising, but I cry during acceptance speeches. Not just Oscar speeches, any acceptance speech. You name it, I’m in tears.


Check back on the blog to see next month’s Star of the Office! 

August Star of the Office: Brianna


Name:  Brianna Marie Fulce

Position:  Senior Account Manager


What three traits define you?

Creative  – Passionate – Cheerful


What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My Cocker Spaniel Vader and Coffee! Lol


Where is your favorite place to be?

San Diego or visiting my family in Utah


What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs?

The exposure to upcoming trends and getting to work closely with buyers and designers. I also enjoy when I get to be involved with design and the creative product development process. At ChicExecs I have a tight group of colleagues that I’m lucky enough to call friends. I love the collaborative energy. Everyone brings something to the team. Which makes for a constant learning environment. One of us might help the other become more “creative” while another helps us become more “analytical”. It’s like we all make the complete puzzle and we are continually making one-another stronger.


If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Diane Von Furstenberg – She’s lived an incredible life and is a true inspiration not only in her design but her philanthropic spirit.  My real life role model is my Grandma, Linda. She is kind to everyone, strong and loves her family fiercely. My mom is another role model of a strong, “Girl Boss”. She continues to inspire me daily.


What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs?

Get to know your co-workers. Learning about the different departments will only make you a stronger employee! Be a sponge and learn everything you can!


What’s your go-to motto?

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world” #Girlpower!


Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you.


In my free time, I like to sketch fashion illustrations and come up with new designs. I enjoy sewing and working on my dress form to create custom dresses. Usually, vintage or POP culture inspired.


In the past, I arranged fashion shows. Working with vendors like Buckle, DEB and Rue 21. Etc

I facilitated every detail from coming up with the show theme, to selecting the garments and casting the models.

Check back on the blog to see next month’s Star of the Office!

The Women Behind ChicExecs: San Diego Woman Feature!

Working twice as hard in their hustle, the ladies behind ChicExecs know a thing or two about building a business from the ground up. For their 10th Anniversary, San Diego Woman Magazine took some time to chat with Nikki Carlson and Kailynn Bowling on what makes a successful company and how ChicExecs began.



Featured as part of San Diego Woman Magazine’s Women of Distinction, Nikki and Kailynn had some essential tips on building your business:


Be authentic 

“If you are a mom and find a product you need that doesn’t exist, then other moms probably feel the same way. Be aware that along the journey there might be those who will discourage you, but just stick with it.”


Find a mentor 

“Reach out to people – you will be surprised how many people are willing to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”


Don’t compromise

“Always uphold your morals and values. It will help you in the long run. Never work for just the success or money.”



Head on over to San Diego Woman Magazine to flip through the pages of this spectacular issue and read the full feature on these fierce females!

July Star of the Office: Megan!



Name: Megan Fowler
Position: Junior Marketing Executive

What three traits define you?

Diligent, devoted, easy going.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Literally– My dog Layla. She’s not allowed on the bed but sneaks up in the morning and has to lay on my neck. She definitely isn’t aware that her head weighs 20lbs.


Figuratively– Everyone I work with, no joke! I’m honestly so inspired just listening and being around all the amazing women I get to surround myself with every day. We all get along so well and are different in so many ways. Not sure how that works so I’ll just say it’s magic- something in the air here, I guess.

Where is your favorite place to be?


I’m from Santa Cruz and I’ve been in San Diego for 10 years so I think it’s safe to assume I like the beach. Even if I’m not there every day, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that it’s close. I’m also ALWAYS game for a Petco Park trip to watch the Padres, especially if the Giants are in town!

What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs?


The bond. We are literally all each other’s cheerleaders. It’s such a close-knit group and we all have each other’s backs.


If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Ellen DeGeneres. Because… she’s Ellen. Nuff said.

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs?


-Find out about every division of CE and what they do (dig in deep), It will make your job easier. *Knowledge is power


-Make a point to take laps around the office- don’t be scared to make new friends (it’s inevitable- don’t fight it).
-Stand out.


-Go above and beyond…


…Oh, you just asked for one? 😉

What’s your go-to motto?


It’s a saying I came up with a long time ago:
“Teamwork makes the dream work.”


Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you.


I was born on Easter so I celebrate my birthday at least twice a year (sometimes 3- my half birthday is a pretty key celebration).




Check back on the blog to see next month’s Star of the Office!

#ChicFourth Entrepreneur Party!


We don’t know about you, but we can’t believe July is already half over – where did the summer go? As we head back into reality after the long holiday, we can’t stop talking about our #ChicFourth of July party!

Here at ChicExecs HQ, the office was packed with patriotic pride as we connected local entrepreneurs with media, buyers, and social influencers! We saw the fireworks as up and coming business owners formed new relationships with the latest and greatest in the industry.

We had a blast celebrating America’s birthday – take a peak at the gallery below to see the sparks that flew on #ChicFourth:


Snacks Galore


From our friends at Hello Penny serving nice, cold drinks to the mouthwatering Mastiff Sausage Company, it’s safe to say #ChicFourth was stocked up on all things snack.







It’s All In The Details


You’re only as delightful as your decorations – dress up accordingly. ChicExecs was beaming with Independence Day pride with everything from red, white and blue themed party favors, outdoor fun, and a patriotic Photo Booth!








Work, Work, Work


While everyone was having fun in the sun – here at ChicExecs we know the work never stops. Media, buyers, and social influencers connected with local entrepreneurs as they pitched their new business ideas! If you look closely, you might even see some of our ultra talented Chic ladies enjoying the party while they network.








Proud to be Americans – and to help bring entrepreneurs together with media, buyers, and social influencers – all the ladies here at ChicExecs had a happy #ChicFourth!



Find out more about upcoming events at 






June Star of the Office: Sammi!



Name: Sammi Mendoza

Position: Account Executive, PR


What three traits define you?

Ambitious, caring, & organized.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My cats meowing for their breakfast!

Where is your favorite place to be?

 On the couch, in cute pajamas, drinking coffee out of a mug with a cheesy saying on it.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs? 

 The growth opportunities that they have offered me, and the constant encouragement to reach for the stars!

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? 

Samantha Jones from Sex & the City or Diane Von Furstenburg.

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs? 

No matter the task you are given, do it to the best of your ability and more. I always tell every young professional I meet…if your job is to get coffee- get the hottest coffee you can, and get it done quickly. If you see an opportunity to make a positive change or suggestion to something, don’t be afraid to do so and show everyone what you’re capable of.

What’s your go-to motto? 

 Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.

Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you.

Contrary to popular belief, I am actually NOT a biological member of the Gladden family……just kidding 😉 I just might be.




Fun fact: I know 100% of the words to 99.9% of Beyonce songs.


Check back on the blog to see next month’s Star of the Office!

May Star of the Office: Mackenzie!

Name: Mackenzie Sanderson

Position: PR Account Executive


What three traits define you?

Determined. Adaptable. Compassionate.


What gets you out of bed in the morning?

A veggie breakfast burrito, green tea in hand and knowing that each day brings new experiences to achieve your goals.


Where is your favorite place to be?

I’m a cliché SoCal girl – you can find me at the beach. Whether it’s on the weekend, getting a tan and jumping waves or eating dinner and watching the sunset during the week, the beach is the most relaxing place to be.


What’s your favorite thing about working at ChicExecs? 

I love the opportunity to succeed that ChicExecs not only provides but encourages. This is a strong group of women that push one another to do their best.


If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? 

Kate Middleton! She exudes class and elegance with her fashion, style and presence.


What’s one piece of advice you would give someone just starting at ChicExecs? 

Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded!


What’s your go-to motto? 

Work smarter not harder. Working hard and hustling is definitely part of my everyday groove, but when push comes to shove, it comes down to thinking outside the box and getting out of your own comfort zone. That’s where creativity is born.


Lastly, tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve traveled to 10 countries within one year. Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, and Thailand. My goal is to explore a new country each year.




Check back on the blog to see next month’s Star of the Office!

9 Secrets to a Successful Trade Show


Prepping for a trade show is more than just booth set up. While some businesses have the secret recipe for networking at trade shows – it’s no secret. It’s simple: trade show success is measured by how much effort you put into it. 


But what specific strategies will boost your business? Check out our top nine tips for making the most of your trade show experience:


 Prep with a Press Release



Send a press release to media prior to the show, inviting them to your booth for a new product reveal.

Boost with a Buyer Release



Send out a buyer release to existing and new buyers, inviting them as VIP to set a meeting with you to review your product launch at your booth, before it’s released. Get them excited about your brand new business!

Tease with Treats



Offer special treats for VIP guests, such as cupcakes and drinks if they schedule a meet and greet time with you. Everyone loves freebies, and this will help you network and get face to face with the right people! 

Send Special Gifts

Send unique invites through the mail, like ice cream or cookies, prior to the show. This will attract buyers to your booth!

Meet & Greet

Schedule influencers to be at your booth at a specific time, while inviting buyers and media outlets to come at the same time for the perfect meet and greet sesh!

Use Social Media



Plan live social media streaming at your booth! Whether that’s an Instagram story, live Tweeting, or a customized Snapchat story, it’s essential for media and buyers to see the behind the scenes action during the trade show.

Keep Features Front and Center



Prepare press features that you can hang in your booth for credibility and recognition. Show your company off, you work hard – tell the world all the great features you get from that hustle!

Don’t Let Anyone Miss Out

Can a buyer not attend this year? Don’t forget to alert them about pre-show specials that they can take advantage of! No one should miss out on the ability to network.

It’s All in the Details



Make sure you have a compelling catalog, look book, and line sheet for your buyers to peruse.



Gear up for that next trade show with tips that will help you and your team thrive!