Last weekend I had the honor attending my first Create & Cultivate, and I have to say that I have never felt more inspired in my life.
C&C empowers women to chase after their creative dreams through a safe space of inspirational panel discussions and breakout sessions. Attending has been on my bucket list for forever and this time it was held right here in New York City.
Since it was my first huge blogger-based event, I definitely had some social anxiety heading into the weekend, but my nerves were quickly calmed once I made a few new friends. They sort of became my "people" throughout the day and I'm looking forward to keeping in touch!
At each conference there's two tracks full of panels and discussions– one with a focus on social media and content creation and the second focused on entrepreneurship and business owners. I purchased a General Admission ticket (as opposed to VIP) and didn't get to select my track or my mentors, but surprisingly got exactly what I wanted. Since I'm interested in content creation, Track 1 was perfect for me.
Overall, the day was great! One of my new blogging buddies and I joked about how inspiring the room was–so inspiring that it's inevitable everyone shed a tear of two at some point. Including me. During the mentor power hour I opened up about my anxiety when it comes to sharing my blog with family and friends and my mentor Maxie McCoy had some great advice! I seriously got teared up, because it was exactly what I needed to hear. In addition, I got to see my favorite fashion blogger in all of her colorful glory.
All the panelists were extremely funny and had actual tangible advice. My favorite panel of the day, hands down, was "Beyond The Binary," all about diversity and inclusion featuring a few passionate speakers. I appreciated their honesty and bluntness about how all of us who don't fit the "mold" just want a seat at the table.
Lunch was provided by sweetgreen and The Meatball Shop if you were a VIP. Plus I had some AMAZING yogurt parfait thingy from Noosa. It was so good, I immediately went to the store and bought the yogurt to make it at home (and have almost every day since then!).
Some Key Takeaways from the day:
- "If you're chasing paper, you'll never win the race." -This is probably the best quote I heard all day. So many attendees kept asking about how to monetize, but it's important to focus first (and mainly, forever) on creating quality content.
- Be authentic.
- You're not creating content for your family and friends. Your blog is not for the people you’re worried about, so it doesn’t matter what they think.
- First step into taking a leap of faith? Remove the safety net. Allow yourself to fail, full force.
- When creating content, stick to writing about things you ACTUALLY like.
- Invest in brands who invest in you.
- When negotiating with brands about sponsored opportunities, get creative (while reasonable) with your asks! Go beyond the sponsored posts/photos.
- **Don't get caught up in the numbers game!**
- There is no one picture of what a feminist looks like.
"If what's inside your dreams wasn't already real inside you, you couldn't even dream it." –From the legendary Gloria Steinem.
While I live for conferences, deciding to drop $300+ on the tickets is never an easy feat. Fortunately, this particular conference turned out to be more than worth the money. I would hands down reccomend it to anyone, and will definitely be attending again!
Photos from Create + Cultivate!