• Jenise Fretz

Create & Cultivate Vision Summit: Welcome to Miami 🌴

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

We could not be more PUMPED to attend the Create & Cultivate desert pop-up in Palm Springs this Saturday 🌵🌞. To hype myself up on the weekend, I wanted to reflect back on my first C&C experience in Miami just a few months ago…

Will Smith Miami GIF

Miami had always been on our must-go-at-some-point list. Warm weather? ✓ Beaches? ✓ Nightlife and bomb food? Um, ✓ and ✓. So, when Leanne saw that one of her fave platforms, Create & Cultivate, was hosting a Miami Vision Summit aimed at bringing together girl bosses from all over, she convinced me that we needed to jump on it reeal quick. She'd been following C&C for a while now and was eager to participate in one of their empowering and aesthetically stunning events. On the flip side, I knew virtually nothing about their events but couldn’t pass up a trip to Miami with my sissy. Needless to say, I was a big fan after the Summit.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE 2018 C&C VISION SUMMIT:

Lesson #1: Dress to Impress

SNL Mom Jeans GIF

My lack of knowledge of C&C events couldn’t be more evident by fact that I packed a duffel bag full of clothes more suitable for a week of…well, whatever kind of trip would require 10 outfits purchased almost exclusively from the GAP. I mean, on C&C's website, the Summit seemed to be positioned as a conference-ish kind of thing, and the only other conference I’d been to was the Disney Data & Analytics Conference in which business clothes were mandatory. I knew it wasn’t going to be business attire, but I was hoping to strike the right balance of professional woman meets…tasteful mom joining girlfriends for coffee?

While unpacking my perfectly chosen GAP clothing, I could see the grimace forming on my sister’s face – “That’s what you’re thinking of wearing? Have you not seen the vibe of these events on Instagram?!

Um no, I obvi had not. TG I had packed a bright yellow crop top for the slim chance Leanne and I would have enough energy to go out one night. If anyone is curious, we did not go out.

Night 1, we went to an electric Colombian restaurant where the cheese empanadas were unsurpassed by any I'd had in my lifetime, and then spent hours talking about our investing practice. Night 2, we had an over-priced meal at an Asian-fusion restaurant recommended by Thrillist, and then planned out Insta posts from the Summit.

Anyway, the yellow top paired with a black wrap skirt and some strappy black sandals were just enough to make me feel like I fit in. Once we arrived at the large parking structure that housed the event, I quickly realized this wasn’t your typical "conference," and this wasn’t your typical town. This was South Beach, Miami where you could never wear enough colors, prints and textures. The clothing was as vibrant as the culture, and it was mesmerizing. We saw everything from white sequined kimonos to red feathered stilettos, to entire denim outfits and pink fishnet tights. The event really ran the gamut of types of outfits which was exciting – you could see the diversity of women all around. We were all here from different walks of life but for a similar purpose: to be inspired to up our badass bossery game .

Lesson #2: Bring Your Instagram A-Game

Upon arrival, I was instantly in awe by the setup. Somehow the C&C team managed to transform a drab concrete parking structure into a glam Instagrammable oasis of sponsor booths. It seemed like each sponsor was trying to outdo the next with their very extra displays and novelty giveaways, all for the goal of winning “cool vibes” points with the largely millennial female demo. Apparently, the opportunity for capturing IG worthy content is a major draw for C&C event participants, and I have to admit, I was here for it 🙌.

Some of our favorite sponsor booths included:

LaCroix

LaCroix was for sure my favorite sponsor. They built a funky photo booth and gifted us some delicious LaCroixs and branded trinkets. The coolest offering included a talented fashion illustrator who was sketching participants' outfits. Def worth the 45 min wait 😬.

Oui by Youplait

Not sure if the yogurt actually tasted better than Youplait’s normal stuff, but the “French-inspired” glass jars certainly made us think so. Either way, we were happy to take the free food. They also offered a “French-style” photo booth 👇.

Canon & See Jane Work

Both Canon and See Jane Work had themed interactive photo moments. #ContentContentContent


BCBG

My always-on sweet tooth drew me to the cotton candy station but unfortunately, the cotton candy was better in theory rather than practice as it ended up getting all over my mouth, hands, skirt and even somehow on my sandals. Shit was sticky AF.

There was also a full-on beauty bar where various sponsors were making over participants from hair to face to nail. Would've totally hit that up if we weren't more concerned with the free cotton candy, rosé, kettle corn, floral flavored ice creams, rosé. You know, priorities 🌹.

Lesson #3: Find Purpose in the Panels

Instagram aside, what we really came to the Vision Summit for was to be schooled by some of the top female entrepreneurs in the game. We wanted to know how these awe-inspiring visionaries in fashion & beauty, food, art, culture, and business came to be and what words of advice could be bestowed upon people like us who are just starting out. In our eyes, these women have made it. To put simply – they are running shit. Not only are they doing what they love and are living out their passions through their work, their work is also providing the income they need to live the lifestyles they want to live. What an incredible combination. These women are everything we aspire to be.

As I sat at the impeccable white table tastefully decorated with succulents, eating my trendy Oui yogurt and drinking my brightly colored LaCroix, I attentively watched the various panels of these rock-star women, eager to soak up all of their words of wisdom. Although these women had made it, and my sister and I were only in the very beginning stages of the vision we wanted to create, there were a few concepts that really resonated:

People are looking for brands who take a stand on their views. - Katie Erhard, Oui by Yopliat

Something that we have questioned is…will people even relate to the content we want to write about? Will they get us – not only the ideas we are trying to get across and our purpose for doing it, but also our personality? I think what Katie really drove home for me was that, in order to create a brand, you need to stay rooted in who you are and in your point of view because that is what differentiates you from so many others out there. There will be people who get it and who are on board, and people who don’t get it and couldn’t care less about what you’re putting out there. You can’t cater toward the second camp of people because it’s impossible to please everyone. Stick to who you are and what you believe in, and there will be people who are willing to come along for the ride.

It’s all about the hustle. It doesn’t feel like a state of flow, it feels like a state of grow. - Diana Trout, Founder of Health-Ade Kombucha

Even just regularly contributing to a blog and keeping up an Instagram account takes hustle when you have a full-time job. It’s not easy to come home from a long, hard day’s work and work on something else. In fact, it doesn’t come natural to me at all. What comes natural to me is shutting off my brain, stripping down to my pjs, ordering Postmates and watching New Girl for a couple hours before bed. So, although having a passion project or side hustle or whatever you want to call it can feel exhilarating and fun and purposeful and productive, it doesn’t mean that it necessarily has a natural flow in your life. It takes work and energy – two things I never knew I had left to spare after 10 hours in an office + 1-hour commute home. It’s definitely a hustle, but none of the women sitting up there on the stage would be there if they didn’t embrace that hustle.

Building community is two things: storytelling and relationships. - Allegra Shaw

The way we view our blog, is less of being something prescriptive and more as something that tells a story. The story of our journey to financial literacy. Our purpose is to share our story of how we’re figuring this whole money thing out. Our trials and tribulations. Our revelations and inspirations. Okay that’s a lot of “ations” in a row but I think you get it. Basically, we are attempting to record in detail our mission of going from ignorant fools to money savvy mavens. And we hope to help inform you with our learnings along the way, thus building a circle of women with similar goals of financial fitnessiscm.

The time of being perfect is over. Be your personal, vulnerable self. - Diana Trout, Founder of Health-Ade Kombucha

Worrying about being perfect can be paralyzing. We’ve had moments where we didn’t even want to start because we were worried we didn’t have a lot of experience, or what we produced wouldn’t be polished or professional seeming or just plain good. With our blog, we’ve made many excuses that we “aren’t ready to launch yet” because this or that was not up to the standard we thought it should be. The most important lesson we’ve tried to drive through our pretty little heads is that we need to just put something out there. That is the most important thing. And if it’s complete crap, it’s complete crap. As long as what we put out there isn’t half-baked, it’s a win and we should feel good about that. If we never put anything out there, we will never learn anything and nothing is ever going to come of our vision. We aren’t financial experts (which is why we started this thing) and we aren’t experts at blog writing or website building or even Instagramming, but we won’t improve if we don’t try and just get our shit out there.

Stay tuned for my dish on the C&C Palm Springs pop-up in a couple weeks. Will be sure to leave the GAP fit at home 😉 and will hopefully have some fire pics to share 🔥.

💋 💋 💋 Jenise

#Blog #AudienceEngagement #Miami #CreateCultivate #VisionSummit

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