The Buzz Girls
by Sari Anne Tuschman
FROM LEFT: Buzz Girls Amy Fotheringham, Heather Hope-Allison and Jackie Shuman
After leaving her job at a marketing and PR agency when she had her first child, Heather Hope-Allison wanted to stay in touch with the incredible women she’d come to know professionally, so she decided to throw a cocktail party—only better. “I wanted to make the occasion more intimate, something not typical of LA,” says Hope-Allison, founder and director of The Buzz Girls.
She got together with former coworkers and split the guest list in an effort to introduce people who didn’t know one another. The result was a group of agents, publicists, studio execs and journalists— people who had a professional incentive to meet.
About two years later, the group that came to be known as The Buzz Girls is still going strong, hosting—on average—one event a month, partnering with other companies and inviting an exclusive and rotating group of attendees so that no two Buzz Girls events are exactly alike.
The one thing noticeably absent from The Buzz Girls’ invitations is the reliable “plus one” of most Hollywood events. “As a rule, people can’t bring a guest,” says Hope-Allison. “We want to encourage people to mingle, and they are less likely to do that if they come with someone.”
If the plus-ones are missing, the gift bags definitely aren’t. The organization is known for giving attendees bags featuring an array of goodies: beauty products, clothing, jewelry and more. The women are later asked to rate their favorite products, and the feedback is relayed to the companies that contributed. The Buzz Girls events range from private spa visits (the group takes over a facility and members get acquainted while receiving treatments) to in-store shopping events, dinners and The Buzz Girls’ first-ever retreat (outside of LA) to Vegas this summer.
“We try to integrate as many elements as we can into our events, so there are activities to do while everyone is mingling,” says Hope-Allison. “It’s like a bunch of girlfriends getting together, but they all have something bigger in common.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL KOVAC
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.