My Experience at Creative at Heart
If you follow me on social media, then you know that in January 2019 I was asked, and agreed to be a breakout speaker at Creative at Heart, round 9. Creative at Heart is a conference put together to build connections and educate creative, entrepreneurial women. This is a conference I have wanted to attend since I started getting into small business education back in 2016, and I was thrilled to death to not just attend, but to also be a breakout speaker.
What I Expected
I found out there would be upwards of 180 in attendance; between the 120 or so attendees, keynote speakers, breakout speakers, and Creative at Heart volunteers and staff. I was very nervous because I was scared I would be judged since I had never been an attendee. I was also suffering from some major imposter syndrome, because I had never performed my talk in front of real, breathing people. (I know that sounds crazy, but it was something I had to overcome since I was so used to doing lives in front of just my phone or computer screen.)
What I Experienced
The event was held at The Winmock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run, SC. My first impression was: great customer service. The venue staff was there to greet each of us and to open the main doors to enter the venue. Once inside the C@H brand was in full effect. The first thing I was was a big picture of diverse women that said “Welcome Home.” Right next to that the C@H staff was there to welcome us, give out hugs if we were so inclined, and to make sure we received our individual goodie bag. Then we were shown the way to the outdoor meet and greet with the speakers and attendees. I was in my nerves, but I was asked to speak to another attendee who was nervous because she had come alone and didn’t know anyone. That’s when it hit me. We are all here for the same thing, with the same fears and we are all looking for community. After that, my networking fears were quieted.
The next 3 days were jam-packed with education and connection building. We had a mix of keynote speakers (45-60 minute talks to all in attendance), breakout sessions (50-minute sessions that included a short talk and group work or group discussion for 15-20 people), and panel sessions at lunch (small mastermind style discussions with industry-specific attendees and speakers).
I spent my time in the evenings eating with new and old friends. We chatted about everything from family, personal goals, to big business dreams. I also had great conversations with my roommate Amy Northard, and reconnected with former online mastermind friends: Alexandra Kaval, Danielle Loncki-Young, and Trena Little. I got to spend alot of time with my fellow ATL lady boss Aleia Walker, and I got to meet several ladies, I have followed online for years, in person. And not just “hi” but legit meaningful conversations. Here are those special ladies: Geomyra Lewis, Laura Foote, Jessica Rasdall, Dondrea Owens, Lauren Carnes and Kat Schmoyer.
First - I learned that if you put your mind to it, and you know that you have something valuable, you can accomplish so much from pushing yourself outside that box of comfort. Second -I learned there are really successful women who really believe in educating, supporting and lifting each other up! I came away with so much mentally and emotionally, that it has been a month and I am still processing it.
There is so much power in a group of like-minded people, and boy there is so much power in the Creative at Heart community. I hope that it continues to touch and motivate as many women entrepreneurs as possible. I also am so grateful I was able to be a small part of this impactful conference.
These were taken with my cell.
These were taken by the talented Bethanne Arthur.
And we can’t forget the lovely new headshots from Laylee Emadi.