River City Six – Brook Hudson
Meet Brook Hudson, a producer of Omaha Fashion Week (omahafashionweek.com).
Tell us a little about the Midwest’s premier fashion event, Omaha Fashion Week!
For 10 years, OFW has been mentoring and supporting young, independent designers in the region by helping them build confidence in the fashion industry, connecting them with buyers, and instilling entrepreneurial principles in them. On the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is a glamorous red carpet event that makes participants feel special. On the inside, it’s a talent incubator that engages designers, stylists, photographers, artists, and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. It’s really become a social enterprise!
How did you get started in the business?
Well, it just so happens I married the guy who started it! But seriously, while I did learn about the opportunity to work for Omaha Fashion Week through my husband, I have been involved in live event production since I was 16 years old. I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in public relations and then went on to get my MBA from Creighton. I have experience in both sides of event production, from the behind -the-scenes prep to being on stage as a participant—I was actually Miss Nebraska in 2004. Now I handle the day-to-day operations for OFW and I love it.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
When I decided to leave my steady job with a steady income to become a producer for Omaha Fashion Week, a new business with a lot of unknowns, my parents thought I was crazy. Besides, I really didn’t know anything about fashion, but I knew how to put on a show and I thought it sounded like a fun, new adventure. Operating a small business with limited resources and time has many challenges. It was scary wondering if we were going to get enough sponsorship or if anyone was even going show up for the event. Along the way, I learned how to let go of the worry and come up with creative ways to reach our goals.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
One day I was sitting on the floor in my grandma’s house and I wrote down an entire business plan on a spiral notebook for what is now the Fashion Institute Midwest, a non-profit committed to nurturing aspiring designer talent and supporting the Midwest fashion ecosystem. I am very proud to be a part of creating a really great community and support system for designers in our area.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I enjoy exercising, mostly yoga. I also like cooking and baking. Oh, and of course, spending time with my family—my husband Nick and our little girl Charlotte.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Fern Mallis, the creator of Omaha Fashion Week, came and spoke at an event and her advice was simply to be nice. This world would be such a better place if everyone was just a little nicer.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Talk show host.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
The Fashion Institute Midwest, for obvious reasons, but I’m also on the board for the Rose Theater.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I highly recommend.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?