By: Alexia Saucedo
When most people think of the fashion industry, their minds trail to New York City, Paris or Milan. Seldom do they think of the mitten state of Michigan, leaving students with an aspiring fashion career very little to network with. This problem became one to solve for advertising management and public relations alumna, Brianna Olszewski, and journalism and public relations junior, Lindsey Hyams. Together, they created PRnet – a network for students interested in all things fashion and public relations – to come together and discuss the industry, interview professionals and share career advice.
“I didn’t see any other organization or network of students that was interested in PR and fashion. So, I talked to one of my professors and created an Instagram for it. For a while it was just dead, but that’s when Bri DMed me” Hyams said.
Clubhouse, a new audio-only app for communities to come together and discuss topics live, was their foundation of choice. The app launched in early 2021 and quickly gained popularity. With no other fashion-public relations group on the app, Hyams said she saw an opportunity to make it big. She quickly contacted Olszewski about the idea and the two were off.
“The College of Communications Arts and Sciences is such a tightly knit school and its many connections was a huge influence. I wanted to create that community even after graduation. A lot of my professors always said to build something for yourself,” said Olszewski.
In under a year, PRnet has ventured off Clubhouse and grown into a 2,000-plus member club, expanding into Patreon, a podcast and an exclusive group chat called the Creators Club.
“We even had two interns this summer, so there were four of us,” said Hyams.
PRnet has had guests from Sephora, Set Active, Ulta Beauty and The Mayfair Group. The organization has also helped both members and creators in gaining professional experience.
“This industry is all about networking,” said Hyams. “[The benefits] are not just for people who join our Clubhouse and listen to our podcast, but also for Bri and I.”
When asked about the future of their organization, both of the creator’s faces lit up.
“We would like to do in-person events. I’m not even sure what that would look like, but we would love to travel and meet everyone,” said Olszewski.
Though the end of this pandemic still lingers with uncertainty, the success and growth of PRnet does not.
For more information on PRnet, visit www.instagram.com/prfashionnet.