I feel like I’m always the one that’s a little late to the party and I know for sure that I’m absolutely late to the here’s my amazing story from my experience at the Creative @ Heart Conference post!
The only thing that I can say in defense of myself is this: I’m late to the party because I wanted to make sure I took my time and really explained and expressed every little thing in the best possible way!
You see… this “conference” and I’m putting it in quotations because it is sooooo much more than a conference! It’s actually a movement ya’ll!
If you are even considering attending the next round of creative @ heart, as soon as that registration goes live friends… CLICK THAT BUTTON! No matter where you are in your business as a creative (wedding planner, calligrapher, photographer, etc) this is an experience with the whole package and I promise you with every fiber in my being that it will change your life!
( sorry ya’ll ^ you get to see my awesome and amazing foyer floors b/c my bath tub which is usually my nice clean white surface for shooting… yep bathtub… wouldn’t fit all the amazing swag inside as well as me!) Real life!!!
The first thing you need to know about the weekend is there is no way you can prepare for it… emotionally! I was told that I was going to “feel all the feels” and I was given details from the first round and I thought I knew what to expect… but friends that’s the thing… you don’t know!
This conference/movement isn’t about just talking. These women and men/man who are standing up front and speaking are not talking AT you, they are sharing their stories and handing you a piece of themselves! They are giving you information it has taken some of them years to learn and at the same time they are sharing such personal stories that make you feel as if you are alone in that room one on one with them.
This conference is not a conference made up of “go get em”… “you can do it” build you up and send you home! Yes, it does that! But this conference and the amazing line up of speakers and panelists arm you with stories of trial and errors, failures and success. They make you think about things from a different perspective and really reach down into the depths of your soul and find the heart, the why! Then these same speakers who you now feel so strongly connected with give you tools to go home and actually get to work!
It’s emotional, it’s overwhelming, it’s humbling, it’s incredible, it’s CRAZY, it’s thought provoking and it’s inspiring!
It’s not just another conference friends: it really is a movement. It’s a movement because you leave (hopefully) letting go of fear and taking in a community spirit. You realize that service and community are the heart beat behind success and that we can all succeed if we just continue to lift one another up!
I may have gone to my room every night with an overwhelming breath, heavy with so many thoughts and plans and ‘to-do’s on my mind. Today though, I sit at my desk and step by step and check mark by check mark I breathe so much easier and there is a pep in my step because I know I have all these women who will keep me accountable! I have all these women (and men) who were there who can help remind me what that experience was like and what it taught us!
We have a community and we are a team!
Ok… so all that was pretty heavy! Here are some super fun parts of the conference! Some of my favorite memories that keep me laughing and will always stick out!
- Day 1 I was such a fan girl! I actually ran up to Mary Marantz and started to pet her! YES ya’ll… I petted Mary! I was that creepy girl! She was amazing and by the end of the conference she hugged me and she cried with me and she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever spoken with!
- When I say you don’t know what to expect… you just don’t! Everyone was really emotional that first day but I didn’t really become emotional until day 2 during a branding talk! BRANDING! Who gets emotional over branding! This is the thing though… BONNIE got up there and did her thing and as she was speaking what she was saying was just on my heart so incredibly much that it moved me to tears! Elizabeth was sitting next to me and she was furiously writing notes to me left and right! The two of us just knew that I needed some Bonnie in my life! (More to come on that front at a later date!)
- Natalie Franke! OH MY GOSH! This girl…. ROCKS! Her talk about social media blew my mind! More importantly though, this girl blew my mind! We met after randomly at the bar after what was a rather awkward experience for Elizabeth and I (we won’t go into detail but let’s just say our relaxing room wasn’t so relaxing and we had to switch). Yes, Elizabeth and I kind of wanted to stalk her out but it did just happen that we ended up at the same bar (the only bar in the hotel) ANYWAY… we totally bonded over the fact that we are probably the only people in the world that order amaretto sours! Aside from that amazing fact alone… we sat 5 of us girls together, and bonded over some crazy personal topics! Natalie is the person that made me realize community is not just something people throw around! Our bartender was probably thrilled when our pizza arrived and we all left because 5 sobbing girls at the bar, probably not great for business. When I say sobbing, it wasn’t that bad and it was all happy tears! I saw one of my best friends realize some things talking to Natalie that she had been holding back! I saw her completely open up and I saw a little bit of fear seep out and a heck of a lot of confidence seep in! I will forever remember that and be grateful for that bar and for Natalie!
- LATE NIGHT TREAT! That first day was a whirlwind and before I knew it, we had to book it back to the room to change into PJ’s and book it back down for late night treat! I was nervous about this one because once I”m in PJ’s I’m usually asleep (at like 730pm and this was supposed to go until like 11pm). Let’s get real ya’ll! But it was soo fantastic to have everyone together, comfortable and relaxed and hanging out. I met so many new friends at the late night treat! I drank tea and bonded with a new friend Kaeli! I had a chance to talk potter speak with Abby Grace, and ya’ll I needed someone to talk potter with because no one understands me at home! # Gryffindor for life!
- Let’s talk about the time I wanted to ask Caroline Logan a question only to have her pull in Katelyn James (who I knew was going to give me tough love on the subject… love her for that) and then tried to escape so no one would see how emotional I got… only to try and grab gummy bears and have the table ATTACK ME! Like not a whoops I just ran into the table, ya’ll it attacked me and I fell and hit the floor. Want to know the best part, Abby Grace was also standing at the table getting herself some gummy bears! DARN IT YA’LL! How do you even play that off?!
- The other really great parts: lunch when I spoke and bonded with a new friend who will be coming in town in June for a workshop and we now have a plan on the books to get together. How about when MARY brought the house down with her incredible talk and everyone was sobbing, but everyone was soo inspired! How about when Kat left us at the end of the day with this incredible and funny talk about hard work and fairy dust and then actually gave us fairy dust!
These are the moments that as I sit at my desk, I can’t help but remember and feel inspired and motivated!
I feel challenged and pushed and ready to move my business forward for the better!
So friends… seriously! If you attend a conference or want to pursue some form of education for yourself and your business and you are thinking about the next round of creative @ heart… don’t think anymore! DO IT!
You will be so inspired~!
I love this one of Kat above…. she is just awesome!!!
Thank you soo much to Amanda Hedgepeth for all these incredible professional images above from our time! The team that Kat put together for creative @heart was truly remarkable! They wanted to make sure we were focused and had our hearts and minds ready to receive the information that these speakers were giving us! They made sure to capture images for us to use so we didn’t have to worry about documenting it for ourselves! Seriously… Kat thought of everything! She’s amazing!
So go… it’s in charleston next round! When that round goes live… commit to it and make it happen!