It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two weeks since the Create & Cultivate conference in Chicago! Being in a room full hundreds of passionate women was both incredibly humbling and inspiring. Not to mention hearing from #bossladies like Ashley Tisdale, Whitney Port, Alli Webb, Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Rink and sooooo many more! Create & Cultivate certainly knows how to over manage the details from the cocktail hour and the instagramble wall installations down to the stickers on the floors. It was a dream. Start to finish.
I walked in feeling uncertain about what I really wanted Hey Allie to be and what I thought the brand needed to look like. I left feeling refreshed, inspired, and reassured that I do, in fact, have something to offer. Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from this amazing event:
“You can never be anyone but your beautiful self.” – Koya Webb, Squad Up Panel Discussion
We hear it all the time. But for several months, I realized I didn’t know what that looked like anymore. I was so consumed with this vision of what I thought I needed to be or what I thought was be acceptable. I forgot to recognize what makes me “me.”
First, I picked out the most “Allie” outfit I could possibly come up with – a pair of high waisted pink trousers, a polka dot top, and pom earrings. I was in my truest form, but also so far out of my comfort zone. But then I found myself feeling so confident and getting compliments on my outfit throughout the day. Look good, feel good, do good. Right?
Authenticity is everything. Now, I never leave the house without first asking “Ok, is this the most ‘Allie’ that this outfit can possibly be?” I want to make sure I am always projecting my truest self. Polka dots, pink pants, poms and all.
“Start with what you’re passionate about and then focus on what works” – Unknown, How to Monetize panel
I started the conference without a clear direction. I kept asking myself: Should I just focus on just photography? Do I want to be considered a fashion blogger? What about my art? How does this all fit together? Listen sister…my greatest takeaway was this: Just DO the damn thing. Then you can focus on what’s working.
“There’s a reason horses race with blinders on” – Alli Webb, Founder of @Drybar, Keynote
The only thing standing between you and your dreams is the WORK. Nothing is going to get handed to you. You have to hustle. Focus on YOU and your brand first and foremost. Don’t get hung up on what other people are doing.
“Collaboration Over Competition” – Create & Cultivate
We met and listened so many incredible powerhouse women this weekend and I wanted to take a second to give a shout out to some of them so you can check out their work too!