This weekend, I attended Create and Cultivate Chicago — a one-day conference for entrepreneurial women. I learned about the conference from an advertisement on Brit + Co, and when I saw the line-up of talented women, I had to jump on the opportunity!
On both Friday and Saturday evening, I stayed at the Hyatt Place Chicago/River North, which has quickly become one of my favorite places to stay! Ben and I visited last Christmas, and the location is perfect for walking to different shops and restaurants. And did I mention there is a Starbucks right across the street? Major selling point! I was able to walk to Friday’s Create + Cultivate Cocktail Hour hosted by General Assembly and take a short taxi ride to Saturday’s Create + Cultivate Conference at the Chicago Illuminating Company.
The conference began with Check-In and a donut wall. The donut wall definitely set the tone for a day that would be so colorful, so exciting, and so engaging. At Check-In, we received a creatively-designed notebook, along with our schedule and lanyard. The Check-In process was really quick and easy.
We began the day with a beautiful breakfast in the courtyard, complete with mini jars of jam. (How cute are they?) I knew the Conference would be lovely — but I especially appreciated these little details. I met up with a few friends — new and old — and we started our day.
We had an opportunity to explore before the first Session; inside, there was a Beauty Bar, a variety of Pop-Up Shops, and room for lots of photo opps — from a styled ‘living room’ to a lounge area. It was so much fun to look around at all of the different shops, sample macarons and tea, and take advantage of the complementary make-up application! It was so, so cool to be surrounded by so much color and creativity.
Throughout the day, I learned from so many of the women I look up to in the business and blogging industry; I learned more about styling, marketing, branding, and treating my blog more like a business. I took lots of notes, but I also just soaked up the encouragement given by women like Liz from Sequins & Stripes and Jenny from Margo and Me.
My favorite part of the Conference was meeting in a small group Mentor Session with Liz from Sequins & Stripes. I really appreciated her willingness to share her expertise in such an honest and authentic way. She provided our group with lots of key takeaways, which I feel is so needed — and so appreciated!
Between each panel, we explored the Pop-Up Shops and styled areas; there was so much to look at all day long!
Some of my favorite businesses and brands, like ShopStyle and Lulu & Georgia, also attended. Needless to say, I was so in love with all of the decor — especially these bold and beautiful area rugs! (A similar rug can be found here!)
After all of the panels and speakers, we wrapped up the day! As a small group of new and old friends, we went to Michigan Avenue for dinner. Dinner was immediately followed by a taxi and sleep. It was such a long and busy day — but one I’ll always remember and cherish.
Did you attend the conference? What did you think? Please comment below!
P.S. Here are a few of my Instagram shots from the day. (Meeting Whitney Port was a major moment for me!)