Cheers to the Creatives: Creative at Heart Conference - Roanoke, Virginia

And so it’s begun…

It’s two days after the Creative at Heart conference and as I was getting ready for my 9-5, my heart began to ache, for I had realized I was already missing my fellow creatives. On my way to work, I found myself in a daze and don’t remember much of the drive (has this happened to ANYONE else other than me)? Nonetheless, I parked my car, walked in and made my morning cup of coffee. Two hours later, it hit me. My mind was gone, I was thinking of the friends I made, the new swag we were given & the amount of knowledge I acquired.

This past weekend was an information overload but somehow I remember it all. From SEO to pizza parties, creative at heart had forever changed not only my life but the lives of 50+ others. I found myself surrounded by other 9-5’ers who were in the same walk of life and we shared similar obstacles. From designers to calligraphers, we all were there for a reason, for a purpose but ultimately for a change. Men, women, young & “young at heart” – we were there because we believe in ourselves & we have the power & opportunity for change. 

The men and women I met at C@H have AFFECTED my life forever. People I’ve never met before are now texting me, checking my blog, I’m checking theirs, blasting Facebook posts to each other & planning reunions already! To think that we’ve lived our entire lives without knowing each other until this weekend is mind blowing but such a blessing.

I could go on and on about all the things I’ve learned & all the things we experienced but this blog would get undoubtedly long. So, to sum up this past weekend’s learnings, I want to share just a few key points to help my fellow creatives.

1.The Lord is amazing & he ALWAYS provides

2. Friendships CAN happen at first sight

3. The little things matter. From lighting techniques to gifts, it’s the little things

4. Everyone has areas of improvement. Always be humble

5. Everyone has their own style & their own path

6. Creatives may not be able to handle a 9a-5p job

7. You are only human & so are your role models

8. Don’t give up, we all start somewhere

9. Scars are what build, mold & drive you into the person you are today

10. If you tell yourself you can't, then you won't

11. If you don’t understand SEO, there’s always someone else that does

12. It’s about your clients, not about you

13. Marriage is hard but, your skill could be a reminder of where it all started & why

14. Done is better than perfect sometimes

15. Community over Competition

16. Plan a "duty day" - mine are Wednesday evenings before Survivor! 

17. Stop trying to reach the masses & find your tribe

18. Manage expectations

19. Out of the mouth of Mary Marantz, “You’re doing JUST fine”

Caitlin and her amazing new living room furniture by Paisley & Jade.... Gosh I love this girl!

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Day 1 twinning with the amazing Abby Grace

I got to meet the most amazing & influential ladies I can possibly think of in photography - two being THE Katelyn James & THE Mary Marantz! **FAN GIRL MOMENT**

Twinning again on Day 2 with Shannon!

My dinner dates, Josh & Whitney of Handspun Cinema. I cannot say how happy I am to have met them

Hope Zeitler, I am blown away by you girl! Hope & I were the proud winners of the Instagram giveaways of a "Better Life Bag" and the "Creative Scrap Bag"....I guess you could say we had the  giveaway "in the bag"....hehehe (props to Hope for that clever joke)

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Learning makes us sleepy....

Marie Chang - YOU are AH-MAZING!

Johnna from  Twila&Co - who just so happens to be amazing at life!

Sweet Mandy of Chesapeake Charm Photography

Ashley with V.A. Photography - FYI, I totally had a fan girl moment when I saw she was attending & she even got to take my headshots.....HOLLA!

These girls....let me tell you. Kaeli & Hope, you truly are amazing! Kaeli, you're truly an inspiration! 

The remarkably smart & absolutely adorable Krista Jones of Krista Jones Photography, The Palm Shop & co-founder of Bayside Bride! AHH!

I hate to say it but I didn't get pictures with everyone but, seriously, these men and women were amazing! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events for having the courage to break free of the norm & give us this opportunity! After a fun filled weekend, we all have a to-do lists as long as the Appalachian Trail, hearts full of encouragement & some relationships I'm sure we never thought could be possible. I know I've found my tribe & I'm ready to spread the love! #Communitynotcompetition