You know those dreams you have for your life. For your business. For your future? On the afternoon of Sunday, June 11th at The LightBox209 Studio in Annapolis, MD…one of my dreams was realized. Twenty brilliant and ambitious women walked through two glass doors of the studio and into The Brand Passion Guide Workshop.
The energy in the space was electric. From the moment the attendees stepped into the venue their senses where taken on a beautiful ride of sensory delight. Surrounded by gorgeous bouquets of pale pink and white floral arrangements, a stunning floral wall that completely covered the bar, with beverages by Creme de la Creme Bartenders, from top to bottom in hydrangeas and roses by Ebone Adrianne Floral Design. To the smell of the farm to table cuisine by Get Plated and the sweet aroma of the hand-spun custom cotton candy confection flavors of Sugar Soiree. The eye was pulled in every direction and I couldn't believe that I was right in the middle of an event that only existed in my mind until then.
One year ago, The Brand Passion Guide was created in an effort to help a small group of entrepreneurs. I was contacted by the founder of The Black UpStart, to come and speak to her twenty business owners during her bootcamp about the importance of branding for new businesses. At that moment I knew that if I wanted to make a lasting impression on not only the entrepreneurs but the founder (for a repeat invitation) I have to give them a guide to follow.
Here was my thought: A small resource, no more than about eight pages, packed with the steps I use to create brands everyday. Nothing more, nothing less. I couldn’t have imagined how the #BPG would take off from there.
Webinars, small speaking engagements and offering the guide to my Instagram audience - the #BPG touched the hands of hundreds of creative entrepreneurs. Trust me, it was (and still is) far from perfect but the feedback was amazing. I began to hear stories of how the guide helped business owners get clear on the what branding and how it can be used within their business.
Fast-forward to January 20th. Five women gathered in the basement of my parent’s house while I presented this crazy idea to turn the guide into an in-person workshop. Did I mention that a few of the women, I had never met before?! Yeah, I know crazy. But I knew for this to work, I would need the absolute best creatives in the business to help me.
To help me fully execute and handle logistics, insert Brittany Collier of Brittany Collier Studios. I couldn’t have done anything without this girl. Late night calls, weekly Skype sessions and tons and tons of emails were sent Brittany’s way - so much so that I thought I might drive her crazy. Smack dab in the middle of wedding season, she listened to each and every detail and made magic!
And magical it was. The experience was the main focus of my vision. It is thee most important aspect, in my mind, for a successful event. Each and every moment was painstakingly thought out and tweaked to fit our attendees. (insert feedback from attendees)
The signature Brand Passion Guide talk (find another word) officially started our day. Practical, thought-provoking conversation about branding was just what every needed to settle in and begin to get comfortable. Then it was time to have a bit of fun with an interactive mood board activity that allowed the ladies to begin putting together the visuals pieces of what they dreamed their brand to become. The stock photos, provided by Kate Maxx and Ashely Irene and printed by Minute Men Printing in Largo, Maryland, allowed the ladies to not only get creative but leave with a tangible visual representation of their growing brands.
After lunch from Get Plated, the attendees were off to take a few headshot images by the Ashleigh Bing Photography and then breakout mentor sessions with a few of the industry’s top influencers: Reina Pomprey of Reina and Co, Caroline (insert new last name) of POSH PR®, Tiffany McCall of Sugar Studios and Kamari Chelsea of Kamari Chelsea. The ladies then when right back into learning mode with two breakouts sessions: Instagram Styling for the Creative with Tiffany McCall + Flat-Lays for the First Timer with yours truly.
After a rosé toast to success, with Yes Way Rosé glasses provided by Rachel Allene, everyone began to depart with new friendorsships, (insert feedback from attendees) Not to mention a pretty stunning gift box designed by Marigold & Grey with items (find another word) from BELONG Magazine, Candelles, Revival Body Care, Cloth and Paper Co. provided by Creatives CFO.
As for me, I sat on my couch - unable to move from utter exhaustion - with a grateful heart, already plotting on the next event!
In the meantime, I’ll be completely heart-eyed over the recap video from Madison McGhee (again…AMAZING, amazing creative), click here to see all the magic for yourself!
Wondering how I was able to pull off such an amazing event, with a laundry list of creative collaborators?! I’ve got you covered. Next week, I’ll be sharing my experience with HoneyBook and their new creative directory, the HoneyBook Community.
Wishing you had an opportunity to attend?! There’s great news. We will be hosting another The Brand Passion Guide Workshop in Washington, D.C. in October 2017 and Los Angeles, CA in February 2018.