How I Ended Up at Create & Cultivate
As you may or may not know, I attended Create & Cultivate in Los Angeles last weekend. What is C & C, you ask? Well, it's a community of women who aim to pump each other up, break the glass ceiling, and curate their dream careers in the digital age. The conference I went to on Saturday was a gathering of these women. Some gals were sent by their employers, some were just launching a blog, some were founders and CEOs of dope companies, some didn't know what direction they were heading yet, some were podcasters, some were celebrities, and all were feminists.
Why was I there? Create & Cultivate's founder, Jaclyn Johnson, was on The Skinny Confidential podcast a little while back. I thought the conference sounded like something I should do, so I sent myself! (Sending myself was empowering, to say the least.)
Here are the main highlights from my experience at the conference:
It was all women there, which made things safe, efficient, and quite lovely.
There were two tracks you could take at the conference. One set of panels was aimed at entrepreneurs and one was aimed at creatives. I got the entrepreneur one (they randomly chose for anyone who wasn't VIP) and naturally wanted to trade for the creative track. Luckily, I met a nice gal on Instagram who was willing to swap. Since it was all women in attendance, I didn't think twice about giving her my phone number and meeting up with her at the event. There were a few dudes there but it appeared that most of them were either working the event or husbands/boyfriends of the speakers. I'd say it was 99% women. The solidarity was refreshing.
I was nervous about going alone, but instantly made some new frenz!
In my Lyft over to the venue, I was a bit anxious! However, I literally made friends right when I walked through the entrance as well as throughout the day. When I checked in, another gal from Portland saw that I had an Oregon I.D. and started chatting me up. Easy-peasy!
Everything was #millenialpink and hella Instagramable.
As I mentioned, since ladies were in charge, everything was efficient and beautiful. The decor was pink and tasteful and there were Instagram photo ops everywhere you turned! Since I went alone, I took a few selfies. But usually when I turned around to snap a photo of myself, a woman would go, "Do you want me to take a picture of you? It's my job." It was her job. Like, they actually had gals posted around the venue to take photos of people at each of the chic backdrops.
All attendees wore their best outfits.
Seriously, everyone was sporting the best of the best. So much outfit inspo all day.
They turned the men's room into a unisex bathroom.
Not only that, they filled it with organic pads and tampons. I really, really loved this. (I wasn't on my period, but appreciated the option to go organic if I was.) I saw maybe one man in the unisex bathroom out of the five or so times I went in there. This is honestly something I have dreamed of at music festivals and other crowded events.
Everyone was approachable, even the speakers/celebrities!
It wasn't that big of an event, so you could just walk up and chat or take a photo with most of the speakers there.
Here are a couple quotes from the speakers that stood out to me:
"No content is free." Busy Philips
What she meant here was that we all pay for Netflix, we watch commercials, and we sit through YouTube ads. So anyone who gives you a hard time about doing a sponsored Instagram post or using affiliate links on your blog can really fuck off because no content is free.
"Be a fucking pleasure to work with." Jaclyn Johnson
I think actually Molly Sims first said, "Be a pleasure to work with" and then Jaclyn Johnson reiterated, "Be a fucking pleasure to work with!" Great advice, if you ask me.
They served breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks which were all pretty dank.
Lunch was the exact healthy concoction I wanted to nourish myself on my current bride diet. However, I almost had to pull a Cady Heron and eat my food in a bathroom stall. Not because I was getting bullied or anything, but because there was literally nowhere to sit, like even on some steps. Luckily, I found this concrete wall ledge and posted up with some other lost souls for the lunch hour.
There were endless ways to refresh yourself.
I refreshed my sunscreen at the Supergoop! popup and got some free samples while I was there. Then I had a gal from the Nordstrom Beauty popup freshen up my makeup. [I just happened to be having the best makeup-on-my-skin day ever because I had tried out the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel the night before at my hotel. My goddddddd this is the secret to perfect skin, you guys. More on this later, but since I was having such a flawless day, when I got to the Nordstrom counter, I was all, "Cake it on, ladiezzzzz!"] Beyond that, you could freshen up your phone's battery at a charging bar, you could drink lettuce water from Organic Girl, you could get a Yerba Mate cocktail, you could nosh on dozens of different healthy snacks, you could pop a gummy vitamin or five from Olly.....all for free, ya'll!
They made us go outside before Chrissy Teigen spoke and then again before KKW hit the stage.
This was the worst part of a great day, especially since the hour before Kim Kardashian came on was supposed to be "Happy Hour". It was not a happy hour. After a day filled with female empowerment and almost no boys, the only men there started yelling at us to "clear the room." Talk about a buzz kill! The women were pissed. Calm, but pissed. (Also, it happened to he hella cold in LA that day/week. Like, 45 degrees at night). I was bummed because I had scored a soft chair on the side of the room and planned to post up until the whole thing was over. That's basic concert rules, right!? Getting there early means you get to stake out your spot! As it turns out, I'm somewhat of an instigator in mobs. At least, in all-women calm mobs where everyone is virtually safe from trampling and pussy grabbing. There's just something I like about mob mentality, about power in numbers. There were about five security guards and 1,500 of us and we were simply bigger than them. I was in the front and started whispering to the gals next to me, "Should we start a chant? Should we just go in? Push through the door? Start singing?" And eventually, a few of them took my bate and led our peaceful army through the doors.
We got SO many beauty samples.
Like, so many, which is truly The Dream.
And SO much swag.
Seriously. Everyone had like 8 bags to carry by the end. Bags, bags, bags! It was like if 1,500 women went to a Kim Kardashian concert after they shopped 'til they dropped at the mall. Bags everywhere.
But do you know what the best part about attending Create & Cultivate was? I felt like I was meant to be there. I didn't have imposter syndrome. I didn't feel like a fraud. I belonged in that great big pot of creative women soup. It truly felt like my natural habitat and I want more.