Let’s rewind the clock to 7/30/15. After more than a month of failed attempts at trying to locate local networking groups in my own area (Montgomery County, MD), I decided that I would buckle down and embark on the one-hour drive to The V Social Eatery and Brewhouse. I’d been following the Northern Virginia Housewives (NOVA HW) on Facebook (and the Nova HW Blog) for quite some time and I finally could commit to the drive. It was a day where I was free of chess club pickup and basketball transport; a day where my husband could pick up the baby and I could put down my “Mommy To Do” list and enjoy the evening. That day I flew solo, not because of a lack of companionship, but because I was up for an adventure and I wasn’t going to let the journey hold me back. I left my original destination of Rockville, MD and wound up at The V in Ashburn approximately 60-70 minutes later. The drive wasn’t intolerable, but it was quite a time investment for a married, mom of two boys with a full time job… and a half. Especially, when I didn’t know what the return on my investment would be.
However, I was most pleasantly surprised by what awaited me in Ashburn. I found an amazing bar & eatery that I may have overlooked otherwise. I enjoyed the vendors’ elaborate displays of products and services; most of which I had never even heard of prior. I enjoyed a nice glass of wine and a delectable appetizer while I made my rounds socializing. That evening, I tried something out of my usual ordinary and it wound up being a wonderful experience. I enjoyed a few more NOVA events since then and I’ve found there to be several key characteristics of a “GNO”. Each of these exists regardless of the venue or the local businesses present (from mom-preneurs and small businesses to chains):
- Attendance is FREE
- Being a “housewife” is not a criteria for entrance
- It takes place at an amazing, local venue that offers food and drink perfect for the ‘happy hour’
- Women are welcome; whether it be alone, in pairs or in groups
- It attracts women from all backgrounds; including but not limited to executives, stay-at-home moms, bloggers, philanthropists and business owners
- Local businesses and vendors showcase a variety of products and services
- You can almost always expect door prizes and giveaways!
- It is the perfect atmosphere for socializing and networking