Last month I had the amazing opportunity to attend The Society for Creative Founders conference that was held in Pensacola Beach, Florida. This conference was previously called Stationery Academy, and I attended that back in 2014, and I can say it was hands down a pivotal point in my business. It not only connected with me other creatives who did what I did (this was before we had millions of Facebook groups and online communities) but it also laid the foundation and stepping stones for what my business has grown into today. That experience will always hold a special place in my heart.
I was beyond honored when Kristin, from SCF, reached out to me about a speaking position at their next conference. My first reaction, and I told her this much, was um – what in the world am I qualified to speak on!? But Kristin had followed me for some time and we had met at another conference for creatives the previous year and she saw what I couldn’t yet see in my own self. She mentioned a few topics that she thought I would be a good fit for, and it all of a sudden hit my like a ton of bricks, I DO have the qualifications to do this. I may not have officially spoken at conferences before, but these are topics that I know inside and out as I have ran my business over the last decade. These are topics that I have painstakingly perfected so my business could grow and thrive. So why wouldn’t I want to share my knowledge with these amazing women. So I said yes.
From the beginning, as I prepared my topics (yes! I ended up agreeing to two different presentation topics!), Kristen walked me seamlessly through the process of setting myself up for success with the presentations. I am forever thankful for that. I could have easily looked at the tasks ahead of me and been so overwhelmed, but Kristen broke down every step we needed to do to make sure the presentations were perfect. I have never been more fired up to work on presentations and worksheets, because I wanted to make sure all of these wonderful ladies would walk away with some of the pivotal knowledge that I had received from Stationary Academy all those years ago.
From the moment that I walked into the door of the jar-dropping beach house along the white sand beaches of Pensacola, I knew that the next four days would be nothing short of incredible. Kristin, a former wedding planner, had thought out every.single.detail and branded the weekend so perfectly that I don’t think anyone could wipe the smile off their faces the entire time.
Over the course of the next four days all 26 of us became best friends, we laughed together and we cried together, we helped and encouraged one another and it was truly the most amazing experience. Myself along side the other speakers were able to help guide and grow these women. It was so amazing to see so many lightbulb moments for these women as the weekend went on.
The first topic I spoke on was Growing your Business While Staying True to Your Design Aesthetic where I helped walked them through growing their business with different revenue streams while intermingling their style and brand cohesively. As creatives, we find ourselves wearing many different hats within our business and offering multiple products or services. Just like I not only offer wedding invitations for my brides, but I also offer branding services for fellow creatives. I taught them how to seamlessly blend multiple services under one brand and execute it in a way to help their business propel forward.
My next topic was on Creating Workflows for Your Business and Clients, this one was probably my favorite! I love me some good organization and systems. I have spent years perfecting my process and implementing systems to help my business run smoothly (shout out to my lifesaver, Dubsado!), and I helped them break down step by step what their process for their business looked like and how we could automate that or turn that into a system. I truly believe that your business has to be set up on some sort of system/automation to truly grow and excel. Other wise you spend too much time on the minor detail to focus on what really matters.
I really didn’t think my experience at SCF as a speaker could top my experience as a new business owner and attendee at Stationery Academy, but it truly did match, if not exceed it. You can never stop learning and growing as a business owner or you will get nowhere. Those 26 women taught me so much over those 4 days and I walked away from that weekend with so much more than just my “first official speaking gig”, I walked away with new best friends, and new plans to implement in my own business.
If you are any sort of creative designer, maker or artist, I highly encourage you to check out The Society for Creative Founders. They will be having another conference in Fall of 2019 and I know it will be nothing short of amazing. You can sign up for more details over on the SCF website.
Thank you to each and every person who made this conference unforgettable.
All of these amazing images by Ashley Victoria Photography