As most of you know, I spent this past weekend in Atlanta for the Create & Cultivate Conference. I wish I could have brought you all along with me — it was such an inspirational, motivational and uplifting day!
With such an important day of learning and networking ahead of me, I wanted to be sure I looked and felt my best. That’s why I was so excited to partner with Dove to share with you guys how I got ready. First up was selecting the perfect outfit and deciding on a hair and make-up look. You want to make sure you’re comfortable (especially shoes!) and cute so that you can make a great first impression. However, most importantly, I wanted to be sure I was feeling confident enough to approach all of the girl bosses there to discuss the industry and how we’re all trying to fit into it. Thanks to Dove Dry Spray, I was able to do just that. It goes on instantly dry, perfect for all of us on-the-go women, provides 48 hours of protection and provides my skin with all the care of Dove. It was a serious necessity for the super-long day.
The day started off with breakfast with Bebe , they were serving Callie’s Biscuits and they were delicious. I could have had at least 5 servings! The first panel was based on food in the digital space — my favorite speakers on that Panel were Ayesha Curry & Waiting on Martha. These ladies had so much good advice and offered some amazing insight on how to balance time, family, side hustles, social media and how to plan our content. As someone whose goal is to eventually write a book. I really enjoyed hearing their input on the publishing process and how to balance a book and a blog. Check out Ayesha’s cookbook below!
The next panel was so awesome! I was the most excited for Courtney Kerr from Kerrently.com. I have been a fan of hers since Most Eligible Dallas and jumped at the chance to hear her speak! I also chose her for my mentor power hour which was awesome! Rach Martino also spoke on this panel. It was so cool to listen to these huge bloggers share their tips and stories. It was very inspiring to see so many examples of hard work paying off.
After this panel we had lunch from Zoe’s Kitchen and a chance to walk around and explore the sponsors & vendors more. This extra time was spent stopping by Sara Happ’s booth section. Her lip scrub has been one of my favorites for years for years (it’s one of my holy grail products) but wanted to stop by and see what else they had. To my surprise, Sarah Happ herself was there doing lip scrub demos for the attendees. I thought this was so cool — I really look up to her as a business woman and love how hands-on she is with her company and her customers. They ended up gifting me this lip balm, which has seriously changed my life. I’m going to order two more to keep at work and in my purse. You have to try it!
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After lunch, we had the power hour mentor sessions. I got to spend 30 minutes with Courtney Kerr, and then The Beckerman girls for the second half of the hour. I LOVED both of these sessions. They were completely different and I relate to them both in so many ways. Since the Beckermans blog together, it was awesome to hear their perspective on duo bloggers. The biggest takeaway from these sessions was: always be positive, and always be authentic. Check out this NY Times article on the Beckermans — I texted this to Emily during the conference and simply said, “goals.”
Then it was time for another panel, the founder of Ban.do was on this one and I loved hearing her speak. I use so many Ban.do products at work and for blogging every day. If you are looking to give your desk a makeover, these products are definitely the way to go. Shop my favorites below!
“If you make it all about the money, it won’t work.” -Jen Gotch
The last panel of the day was awesome, I was the most excited about Nikki Reed & Ingrid Nilsen. I have been watching Ingrid’s videos for years, and it was so surreal to be sitting front row watching her. Seeing Nikki’s husband, Ian Somerholder, walk out with her was a crazy fan-girl moment for me. Even though I was team Stefan.
The keynote speakers were amazing. First up, was Meghan Markle — blogger and actress extraordinaire. She runs the blog, The Tig, and stars on one of my favorite shows, Suits, as Rachel Zane. I love her because she uses her platform for good. Check out this post as an example! The thing she said that resonated the most with me: “Leave room for magic.”
“Part of being an entrepeneur is not being afraid.” – SMG
Next was literally a childhood dream come true: Sarah Michelle Gellar. No joke — I used to think I was a vampire slayer. My good friends from grammar school can attest to this. I have been a huge fan of her work for years and was so excited to see her name on the line-up for Create & Cultivate. Sarah and her friend started a new company, Foodstirs, which is subscription based baking. It’s meant to do with your family — so Emily and William will be doing a post on this coming up soon! She said this, “If you’re really obsessed or passionate about an idea, you don’t sleep.” I can relate to that so much – because I am non-stop thinking about the blog. Even in my dreams, what can I post about next week, where can I shoot, what has no one done, what would my readers want to hear about, what company should I reach out to. What is hard for me to sometimes process is that this kind of “crazy obsessiveness” often leads to success so for me, someone who doesn’t want to slow down — this meant the world.
“If you want to save yourself some energy: Just. Be. Yourself. There’s nothing else to be.” – Nicole Richie
Lastly, was Nicole Richie. Girl boss to the max. Emily and I used to be so obsessed with the Simple Life. Before she even got to college, I decorated her dorm room door in posters of Paris and Nicole. I relate to Nicole a lot, she isn’t afraid to be herself, she doesn’t care what people think, and she has taken the mistakes she’s made in her life, and instead of being ashamed — she has used them to learn to be better. And there is no better business model than that.
Hearing her speak, you can really tell that she cares about other women, she wants to help and empower them, so much so that she started her very own conference, The Pearl XChange. I randomly shared an uber with the co-founder of this conference — and their team was one of the favorites that I met this past weekend. The conference looks amazing, and just shot up to the top of our 2017 to-do list. Be sure and check them out!
I loved Create & Cultivate and will definitely be attending one again soon! XooX
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