On Saturday, I attended Create & Cultivate, “a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space” founded by Jaclyn Johnson. It was the first time the conference has taken place in Chicago and I was lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out.
To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the conference was all about but saw that there was a rockstar lineup of lady bosses speaking throughout the day so I dove right in.
I signed up solo and therefore had major anxiety leading up to the event. I had been to similar large conferences (Alt Summit and Engage) and know that a 10-hour day of networking can be scary and downright exhausting. But, I did my research on #CreateCultivateCHI on Instagram and spotted a familiar face in the lineup – Maureen from Kate & Company, whom I had worked with in the past. And even though I introduced myself to a ton of new people, it was nice to have a friend in the bunch to touch base with during breakouts.
The action-packed day was split into panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, a keynote speaker and socializing with other female entrepreneurs. Plus, there was a shopping lounge by Whitney Eve (who was also a speaker), Topshop, Lulu & Georgia and Simon G. and a beauty lounge offering OPI manicures and hair and makeup touchups. Why did I even get ready for the day?!
What I Thought:
The standout panelists for me were ones that gave the most “real-world” advice – Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This, Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins, Whitney Port from Whitney Eve and of course, Garance Doré. Garance was effortless and funny while being professional at the same time. With inspiring advice such as, “the heart first then the success follows” and “you cannot be everything to everyone,” I am really looking forward to reading her book coming out in the fall.
Although there may be many people doing the same things, it is important to set yourself apart just by being YOU. We may buy the same bag or read the same blogs, but each person is unique. No one can be ME and I am pretty darn happy about that. So now it is time to hustle!
I was also happy to connect with the sister-duo behind White Elephant Designs, Kate from The Small Things, Rachel from Between Two Coasts, Kristin from Bridentity Crisis, Ashley from Ashley & Malone and Jay Goldmark from EmiJay during my mentor session.
All in all, I am happy that I attended Create & Cultivate and look forward to more events here in Chicago. I would love to hear if you attended the event, what you thought or if you have any questions about that day. Let me know in my comments section!
What I Wore:
I stressed and stressed about what to wear and what to bring. After all, most of the women speaking and attending are quite fashionable. I chose this patterned, silk dress because it was stylish, comfortable and minimal on the wrinkle-factor (important when toggling between sitting and standing all day), black booties to last 10 hours on my feet and my trusty black tote filled with my camera, phone charger, lipstick and business cards.