The second day of the conference was filled with different speakers and goodies, but the spirit and inspiration was very much the same.
Caroline Howard was our first speaker of the day. Caroline is a wedding photographer, adventurer and storyteller who spoke about living out our stories while loving the people around us. Caroline encouraged us to carve out time for adventure in our lives, and reminded us how loving other people greatly allows us to better tell our own story. She reminded us to live fully in the seasons we are currently in, as they won’t last forever.
Next up was Ashley Howell, Founder and CEO of The Givve Collection. Ashley spoke about her journey to launching The Givve Collection, and how she became passionate about social entrepreneurship. She talked about testing different ideas, systems and practices, and if they don’t work, continue to update and test again. Ashley reminded us that starting a business is really really difficult, not for the faint of heart. And although it is hard, the best things in life always are.
Health Ade Kombucha came and gave our attendees samples of their delicious Kombucha during our mid-morning break.
Frank Body also gave each of our attendees a bag of their amazing coffee body scrub.
The last speaker session before we broke for lunch was Hannah Brencher. Hannah is the Founder of MoreLoveLetters.com, and blogs over at hannahbrencher.com. She is a gifted speaker, and brought a lot of the audience (including myself) to tears with her powerful words. Hannah spoke about the definition of passion, and how the root word actually means “to suffer.” In this Hannah told us that we shouldn’t be asking what we are passionate about - what we should be asking is what are we willing to suffer for? Hannah also spoke about getting caught up in “Eat Pray Love” journeys and how it puts us in the mindset that life is out there, elsewhere, and how this mindset stalls us from living a full life right where we are, today.
Lunch was again filled with food trucks, Mentor Sessions and of course, Smilebooth time. We were lucky enough to have Smilebooth join us for both days of the conference, which was a blast. (You can check out everyone’s photos from Day 1 here, and Day 2 here.)
After lunch we all gathered for a group exercise. This time we wrote a letter to ourselves in 6th months. We all know that it’s so easy to be inspired and feel full at a conference like this- but the real work comes when we are back at our jobs, behind our computers, surrounded by difficult circumstances. We wrote to give us a reminder of the things that we learned and felt during the conference, after “real life” has fully set back in.
After the ladies wrote their letters, we asked a few of them to share. It was a beautiful thing, hearing what women would tell themselves to stay encouraged, motivated and strong when the difficult times came. Some letters were keeping them accountable to an idea they had, some were simple words of encouragement.
After the exercise, we announced the winner of the Keurig #brewitup Instagram contest. Yes, Keurig gave away one of their amazing products to one of our attendees. It was awesome.
Next we had a Q & A interview session with Promise Tangeman creator of Sitehouse Designs. Promise talked about the ins and outs of being a small business owner and a bit about her journey through finding her niche in creating websites and leading a team. Promise talked about not needing to go out and start a non-profit or an orphanage to have an impact and change the world. Promise told us to be generous with our money, to create an encouraging and uplifting environment, and to treat people well - and in those ways we are making an impact. We can change the world and not everyone has to know about it.
Bon Puff came and treated us to an afternoon snack. Everyone swooned over her all natural, organic cotton candy flavors, and loved having this little doll apart of the event.
We ended the day and the conference with an inspiring talk from Natalie Warne. Natalie is a Social Justice Activist, TED Speaker, and Advocate for Youth. Natalie spoke about “anonymous extraordinaries.” The people who work tirelessly for change and impact, not recognition. She spoke about times of dryness, when there’s no huge events or projects happening, how we are still activists, creatives, and artists. In the trenches and in the valleys, here is where we gain the tools and insight we need to climb the mountains when they come. We are valuable because we are human beings, everything else is a bonus. Natalie reminded us not to get caught up in titles, recognitions or awards. Our paths may change throughout our lives but at our core are the same.
After the conference, we headed to the beach for a goodbye hang out bonfire time. We ate s’mores, listened to live music, and watched the sunset over the horizon. It was a beautiful time of connection as we all soaked in the past two days together.
Elle Wildhagen did a great job putting together this shorter teaser video from the event. (See the longer one at the bottom of the Day 1 Recap post.)
Overall the conference was amazing. I had a great time and left on a huge high. It was so awesome to see so many like minded women come together. Women who had hearts for more than just themselves. They had hearts for other people, for something bigger, something more. I don’t think that we all left with the answers to all of our questions, but I do know that we left knowing that we are powerful, creative human beings, we can make an impact, and we are all in this thing called life together.