Create & Cultivate LA Recap
As a blogger, content creator, and entrepreneur (aka #girlboss) I think it’s really important to stay in the know with all things industry-related. In addition to reading up on the latest trends and joining online communities, I always aim to attend at least one blogger-friendly conference a year to stay informed and inspired.
This was my first time attending Create & Cultivate, and it just so happened they were back on their home turf in LA. They kicked things off with a Happy Hour at Rolling Greens on Friday night (give me allll the succulents) where after one million years of trying to find parking, I walked in a bit late, feeling totally out of place, grabbed a Health-Ade (the blood orange-carrot-ginger is my new fave), and spotted a group of ladies that looked like they could use one more.
After awkwardly interrupting their conversation with my presence, I proceeded to introduce myself and asked if I could join in. Not only were they incredibly welcoming, but one of the girls already knew who I was (and was even a member of my online community, The Goals Club!). We ended up having the best conversation about all things entrepreneurship and it reminded me that even though I hate networking, I love meeting new people.
On Saturday, the conference started bright and early at 8AM at City Market Social House in downtown LA (which they transformed into the cutest event space ever). Side note, why is going into DTLA so stressful? I nearly had a panic attack trying to decide between the metro, an uber, or driving. Despite my worries, finding parking was relatively uneventful and shortly after arriving, I was enjoying breakfast and delicious coffee from Chameleon Cold Brew while browsing all the vendor displays.
If there’s anything C&C does well, they know how to pull together the best of the best — from vendors, to food, to speakers, it’s a very who’s-who vibe (ie, the list of vendors included: Alfreds, Shake Shack, LaCroix, Homestate, Salt & Straw, Dyson, Dermalogica, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom Beauty, etc. aka ALL MY FAVE THINGS). I had serious FOMO the entire time I was there because there was so much to take in.
Anyway, a little after 9AM, the conference kicked off (at least for me, since I was track 2), with Podcast 101. This panel included Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential, Francheska Medina (heyfranhey), Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari of That’s So Retrograde. Although I have zero interest in doing a Podcast at the moment, despite the fact that they are all the rage, I actually found this panel super interesting.
They talked a lot about how important it is to niche-down and how not everyone is going to like you — and that’s okay. I think that applies to blogging, social networking, and, well, life in general. They also said that knowing your audience and connecting with them authentically and consistently while adding value to their lives is so important for growing your brand.
Next up was the Body Positive panel with Tess Holliday, Danika Brysha, Jessamyn Stanley, Ericka Hart, and Mama Cāx. I had no idea how much I’d enjoy this chat. It was basically all about girl power and confidence, loving and accepting yourself for who you truly are, and not letting others limit or define you. They encouraged us to be honest on social media about how hard life actually is because when we live our truth, it inspires others to do the same.
Never Not Posting was the next discussion led by leading ladies such as Brittany Xavier, Jen Gotch, Jacey Duprie, and Busy Phillipps. This topic was a blatant reminder that we, as a generation, are all glued to our friggin’ phones.
We should probably do something about that at some point, but, in the meantime, they encouraged us to post consistently, view Instagram as a community, follow and reach out to people that genuinely interest you, not be afraid to share your life, and always offer original, inspirational, and high quality content.
After lunch (don’t get me started on how delicious Flower Child meals are) was a quick fireside chat with a surprise guest… who just happened to be Molly Sims (what’d I tell ya? They bring their A game). First of all, she’s just lovely to look at. Second of all, who knew Molly Sims was so badass?
She was so refreshingly honest and you could tell she’s a girl’s girl. She gave some great tips including say yes more than you say no, be kind, network across, let the no’s make you resilliant, don’t be afraid of change, find a mentor, be yourself, and if you have an idea, go for it.
A bit later in the afternoon was the Brand Queen Bees panel, one of my unexpected favorites of the day. The line-up for this one included so many amazing CEOs such as Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow and Anine Bing (quite possibly the most effortlessly chic mama on the planet). They talked about taking a great idea and turning it into a business.
They encouraged us to create brand consistency (what are three words that encompass your brand? What’s the common thread of your aesthetic? Stick to it). They said to set very specific goals for what you want to achieve and to be sure to clearly define what “success” means to you (hint: only you can answer this). Above all, make sure your content isn’t self-serving.
Following that panel, we were surrounded by the millionaires. Ladies with over a million followers, that is. This group included Nina Dobrev, Julia Engel, Aimee Song, Maria Hatzistefanis, and Arielle Vanderberg (please tell me you’re all familiar with Arielle’s stories on IG? If not, you have not yet lived).
These girls shared a whole lot about following your passion, finding your community, and being true to yourself, all the while reiterating the overarching theme of the conference: embrace authenticity. “If you’re being genuine to yourself, its not weird,” Arielle, voice of the people, encouraged.
The millionaires left us with some key pieces of advice: don’t push anything you don’t use or believe in. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. At the end of the day, do you feel loved? Are you happy with the content you’re putting out? That’s what matters. Don’t worry about your following. Keep the end goal in mind. Be who you are and be proud of it.
First up: Lauren Conrad. Who doesn’t love LC? She’s as gorgeous, poised, and well-spoken as you’d imagine her to be. She shared in depth about the process of curating fair-trade products for The Little Market, her friendship and partnership with fellow boss babe Hannah Skvarla, and the importance of giving back.
The next keynote was with sarcasm’s finest, Chrissy Teigen. A girl after my own heart. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s so damn confident in her own skin. It’s contagious. Chrissy shot to fame over the years probably for something else but all I remember were her hilarious and unfiltered Tweets, which was just her doing her thing, not even paying attention to her follower count.
Though she has to censor herself much more now, you can tell she doesn’t really care all that much about what people think of her. She reminded us that it’s important to do something you love on a daily basis. She also openly shared about experiencing postpartum and humbly admired everyone in the audience who was on the grind. Basically, she had us all wanting to be her BFF.
Speaking of her BFFs, the final Keynote was none other than Kim K. Say what you will about Kim, but girlfriend knows the influencer biz and she dropped some gems on us. Bottom line? Don’t be lazy. Show up (on time) and work hard.
With that, 12 hours of conversations came to a close and I made my way home (with a bag full of goodies) feeling a little tired, but reeling with inspiration and a renewed sense of drive.
Did you attend Create & Cultivate? Drop a comment below with your favorite takeaway!
Create & Cultivate LA Recap As a blogger, content creator, and entrepreneur (aka #girlboss) I think it’s really important to stay in the know with all things industry-related. In addition to reading up on the latest trends and joining online communities, I always aim to attend at least one blogger-friendly conference a year to stay […]