This past weekend I took the train up for 14 hours in NYC to attend Create + Cultivate, a conference that brings together female creatives for a day of inspiration and collaboration. While I’ve attended a blogger conference before, I loved that this event brought together not just bloggers, but entrepeneurs, creators, artists, and makers as well. When you aren’t in a room that’s solely fashion bloggers, there’s so much more room for “collaboration not competition” as we were reminded by a neon sign hanging over the main room.
Not only were all the attendees I met welcoming and downright awesome in their stories, but the speaker lineup was absolutely ridiculous. From bloggers like Naomi Davis, Carly Heitlinger, and Mary Orton, to amazing business women such as Kendra Scott and Rebecca Minkoff, and, finally, keynote speaker Gloria Steinem, the entire day was incredible. There were, of course, panels that were on the lighter side of things, discussing blogging and social tactics many of us may know, but there were also deep dives into topics that included fast fashion v. intentional wear, when should bloggers and influencers speak up in the political sphere, how to remain authentic when pursuing sponsored posts, and the delicate balance, or lack thereof, of family and career.
I have to give big kudos to Create + Cultivate for staying so on brand with the vendors they chose. From Framebridge to UrbanStems to Mark & Graham to Richer Poorer to Gorjana to Kopari to Erin Condren to Kendra Scott in her signature Austin, TX Airstream, everything fit perfectly within their clientele and aesthetic. Even the more established sponsors like Laura Mercier, who did our makeup and headshots, were on point.
The food was almost comically Insta worthy. Perfectly arranged chia seed pudding bowls, meals from sweetgreen and Cava, juices, cold brew coffee sweetened with almond milk and dates, organic bars of all sorts, and more LaCroix than I’ve ever seen in one place. While I definitely went straight for pizza before getting back on the train, I was glad to have super healthy options at my fingertips all day long.
There were many, many takeaways from a creative career standpoint and I’ll be applying those for months to come, but Gloria Steinem, a self described “hopeaholic,” went bigger and reminded us that, yes, the current state of affairs may be a disaster, but at least Trump has been a consciousness-raiser. It can take seeing things imploding to get people aware and involved, and that’s where we are now, and it’s certainly better than complacency.
So, will I go to Create + Cultivate again? Absolutely. And now here are the pretty pictures.
Feel free to comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about attending a creative conference! While I went with a friend and knew a few other girls going, it’s totally something you could manage on your own and meet people there. Also, let me know if you have any conferences on your agenda that may not be on my radar! I’m always looking for new opportunities to meet inspiring women!