I mentioned that I was heading down to California for Elevate at the end of last month. And as I was trying to decide what to say and what photos to post... I basically was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for the women I meet in this blogging community and the opportunities I have been blessed with. So you are going to get a nice thought and photo dump. It is the only way for this post to happen. Let me start at the very beginning, a very good place to start... Let me tell you why I decided to come to Elevate. If you have been here for awhile you know I headed to Elevate on a whim - a majorly huge whim - last year in attempts to make friends in Arizona. I met sweet Camille and she said "Hey, we have room. Come!" And I said okay. Not only did I make friends, I made connections, I felt good, and I knew I needed to be there again this year because that is the impact this conference left on me.
Do you see those two LOVELY women in the front. Summer and Jen. The organizers. Two women that I look up to tremendously. And when I grow up, I am comfortable saying I want to be just like them... that is if I ever grow up. They are both so amazing, so kind, so generous, so innovative, so many good things. Great women, great humans. I have the honor currently of working with Summer at Pollinate & Weave. And I had the honor of working with Jen's husband, before I even knew they were married, and let me tell you. He wouldn't marry some dud. They are both hard working and have a spiritual push behind this conference. And it is incredible to me to hear them say, "We just pray that we have the right people here for the women that come to our conference."
And they did. Last year they had Alissa, the co-founder of Pollinate, which led to me getting my job. And has led to me being part of an AMAZING Pollinate family. This year they had women that inspired me to reach for the stars. I left the conference thinking I could seriously accomplish anything. ANYTHING. That is not a joke either. Ask my husband, my roommates at Alt, and my friends how many business pitches I have delivered since Elevate. It is a can't stop, won't stop situation. I just want to do it all. I want to be like these women I was surrounded by.
All the speakers were great. Alison Prince spoke about not being stopped. I. WILL. NOT. BE. STOPPED. She called herself a serial entrepreneur. What courage and bravery there is in that. And that is where the go-go-go mentality that has set in my bones began. After that was Ginger Parish, SO giving. Seriously. And so humble. I can not say enough sweet words about her. She wants to give back. She wants to share. And she wants to motivate. And sometimes you look at women that are as perfect as her on Instagram and you think, "She has got to be rude in real life." Nope. She is so kind. And she dresses spot on, so does her mother. But this this woman right here, seriously hit it home for me...
Courtney Brown. Owner and CEO of Cents of Style - which is a shop that I love to shop. My hat is from her store. She left me with chills and with inspiration. About being empowered. About reaching for your dreams. About being strong in spite of the worst moments and in honor of the best moments. She is spunky and stylish. And I admire her to NO end. I always saw her on Instagram and thought she seemed so fun. And then I met her in real life and her depth is a million times beyond that. Fun is the scratch at the surface. She is an inspiring woman. If you get a chance to hear her story, TAKE IT!
Then off course, on top of all the motivation and the speakers there is the swag. Swag on swag on swag. Giveaways. Crafts. All of the above. I learn every year I am not a crafter. But I think I did alright with my Crio Bru (best drink eva!!) mug. It is a great opportunity to learn about new brands. And to be reminded of the brands that love to reach out and create a connection. The Elevate women are marketing smarties. The more you gram the more tickets you get and the more chances to win prizes. You might have seen the photo of me with all the Lily Jade bags on Instagram - it is down below too - that was one of the Instagram contests. And I won thanks to my followers! Thank you for that. And throughout the night they spoiled us. To the point that I had to send my stuff back to Utah in a trailer to pick up later because I forgot I was flying.
My very most favorite part? More than the swag. More than the feelings of inspiration and empowerment. More than the California sun. THE PEOPLE! I started this post off by mentioning Summer and Jen, but they are just the tip of the iceberg at this conference. I was able to see women that I met last year and reconnect. I was able to meet new women and make new connections. I have new friends that I can't wait to talk to more. And I saw old ones that I missed dearly. I was able to end the evening with my Pollinate peeps at Alissa and Kyle's. Then wrap it all up with a pretty bow of my hotel roommates. Like I said, I am overwhelmed with the people that you are able to meet at these conferences. The love and support from the blogging community is unreal. You just have to put yourself out there. And I am so glad I did. Thank you to Summer and Jen for putting the thought and prayer into this conference. Thank you for getting the right people there to motivate and inspire. Thank you to the women that attended and made the experience that much more special. Thank you, thank you. My heart it full.