I attended the University of Tampa while obtaining my degree in Marketing and upon moving back to Houston, I quickly realized that I had no support network of friends. Three years later, I experienced a devastating breakup where I had hit a low emotionally, felt sorry for myself, unsupported, angry, and totally alone. In an attempt to dig myself out of a hole and finally leave the house, I found meetup.com and quickly started joining groups. I couldn’t find my tribe in any of the groups I explored, so I decided to create my own called Ms.Independent. I gave myself a 30-day time limit, and if the group failed I would close it down. I had 56 members in 3 days and 22 people attended our very first event. The meetup group was a lesson in trial and error and how big things have small beginnings. I quickly went from planning an event here and there to bring women together, to attending networking events to meet potential collaborators and sponsors, designing a logo, creating a budget, and without knowing it, building a brand.
At the time, I was working as Pilates Instructor and Personal Training, which I loved, but I didn’t see a future in it long term. In 2015, 5 years after creating MsIndependent, I decided to take an office job in sales thinking that it would offer stability and job security. Turning Ms.Independent into a full-time business was always in the back of my mind but I was reluctant to take the leap. After only ten months with the company, the business was sold to a competitor and I was out of a job. Just a week prior to the announcement that all corporate employees were being let go, I had made up my mind that Ms.Independent would be a full-time business the following year. This was the sign I didn’t want, but needed. Since then, the meetup Ms.Independent has become the business and brand Ms.Independent.
To date, we have hosted over 300 events and gatherings, including our signature event #GirlsNightOut, which brought in 115 women when it debuted in 2016. Most recently I’ve entertained requests to consult on events outside of Ms.Independent, share my knowledge on marketing and event management and best practices as an influencer.
What does purpose mean to you?
About Erin Creeks: