If you followed along on social media this past weekend you'll see that I attended Create + Cultivate. Not sure what that is? Check out their site here. I love that they market themselves as "the conference for women entrepreneurs in the digital space" - right up my alley! There was SO much to take in and I met so many amazing people. I'm going to share all about it right here over three different posts. It's just too much for one post. I'm going to start today with all about the event. Part two will be all about the amazing people I met and part three will be what I loved and what I wish would've been a bit different. As well as some tips and tricks if you ever decide to attend.
Sierra from @5x7Lifestyle went with me. We had a blast together. She makes a wonderful travel partner - totally laid back and always down for anything.
Here's what our day looked like...
We arrived bright and early at Lofty Spaces in Dallas around 8:00 AM. Registration and breakfast went from 8-9. It was a lot right from the beginning. We signed in and found out we were both on Track 1. Since we went GA and didn't get to pick our track, I didn't study them too hard online because I didn't want to get my hopes up for one or the other.
We headed to the main stage to listen to a panel on ' Monetizing across different channels and strategically growing your following'. On the panel was Lunchpails + Lipstick, Cara Loren, Hilary Sloan of ShopStyle, Kendi Everyday, and DWNLD.
This was my least favorite probably because I thought it was the least informative. They gave this panel a super fancy name but all they talked about was RewardStyle and ShopStyle or the DWNLD guy randomly talked about how you need to have an app. What... no I don't.
From there we switched stages and listened to a panel about 'How to define your personal brand, manage transparency and define your voice'. It included... Lauren Scruggs (uh, love), Natalie Off Duty, Trop Rouge, Katherine Schwarznegger, Life With Me, Urban Bush Babes, and Haylie Duff.
Loved the eclectic mix of bloggers on this panel and some interesting insights but nothing I'm not sure I didn't already know. The big message here - be authentic.
How cute is Sierra? Between panels there was all kinds of things to do and little 'boutiques' or pops ups to look at. We wandered and snapped as many photos as we could left and right.
What I liked so much about this panel was none of these people are the "face" of their brand. They all have a brand and a business that they run but they aren't like the first panel of bloggers who's faces clearly drive their brand and blog.
Matt Crump (#minimalcandy) was the most insightful. I would've loved to hear just him talk about his adventure and fun Instagram that he's brought to life.
It's now about 12:40 when that session is over and we are hungry. Haven't had anything since 8am. We are on a break for an hour and 2o minutes but no lunch. :(
From 1-2 was a wonderful 'mentor session'. Which basically were little breakout groups where you could ask a mentor questions and get a little more up close and personal with some 'big wigs' - if you may. My mentor breakouts where Jessy Fofana of La Rue PR and Melissa Lawson of Who What Wear.
Jessy was AWESOME. I got to ask questions and the group was only about 12 people. The second one was good but there were 25 people or so and it was so loud I couldn't hear a darn thing.
Finally lunch time!
Although I didn't really know who these women were prior to the panel, I sure liked the entire discussion and how insightful they all were. It was refreshing to hear the long hours and endless email pays off. They all talked about how they got started and when their businesses really started to take off.
Another hour long break before the keynotes (which were my favorite!).
The first keynote was the founders of SoulCycle. Being from KC, I had no idea what this was so I got on my phone and looked it up. I sure hope they have plans to come to KC soon! I'll join. These two ladies (Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice) were so interesting. The passion they have for what they do and how much blood, sweat (literally) and tears they have put into growing this business was amazing.
Next keynote was Emily Shuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. She was good but not as inspiring as the SoulCycle ladies or the amazing women that followed her. She is a beautiful blogger, though.
Last keynote was the ladies of Clique Media or better known to all of us as Who What Wear. As in, the line that just launched in Target on Sunday. Just completely amazing women. Their story was fascinating to hear about where the idea came from and what they've done along the way to build and build. I was fangirling hard. If I could spend a day with these two women and just watch them, listen to them and learn from them - that would be a dream come true.
8:00 PM and the events were over. We went home with one helluva treat bag (that I'll share in part 3). We were hungry! We Ubered back the hotel, ordered pizza and was asleep by 9 PM. #lame
Overall, an amazing day with all some of the most authentic and amazing women entrepreneurs I'll probably ever have a chance to listen to speak.
Next up: can't wait to share all the amazing people I met!