At the end of February, I took a quick trip back to Los Angeles to check off some to-do’s, visit with old friends, and participate in my first Create & Cultivate conference. If you’re not familiar with Create & Cultivate, it’s “an online platform and offline conference for women looking to create & cultivate the career of their dreams.” And I’m one of those women! 🙋🏻♀️ As I’ve been navigating through this new season of my life, one of my goals has been to grow my creativity and feed my entrepreneurial spirit. But I’ve realized I can’t do these things in a vacuum. So I’ve been pushing myself to meet new people and network with women who are in similar positions, and I’ve been learning from many established creatives and business leaders about their own transformations as well.
Attending Create & Cultivate was such an inspiring experience for me. It was a full day (more than 12 hours!) packed with amazing keynote speakers, fascinating panel discussions, networking opportunities, exciting brand activations, and exclusive mentoring sessions with women trailblazers—all in the company of more than 1,000 women, many of them like me, taking our first steps into launching our own brands and businesses.
The keynote speakers were unlike any other conference I’ve ever attended. The morning started off with a keynote from Jessica Simpson (yes, THAT Jessica Simpson), who spoke about her transformation from pop star into the CEO of a billion-dollar business. I participated in mentoring sessions with Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY and Callie Cholodenko of Something Social. I heard from panels of multi-hyphenate moguls, women who are owning the C-suite, leaders creating cultures of inclusivity, and more.
I was also very excited to listen to and meet women leaders in the food space, such as Jill Russell (winemaker) and Katie Jackson (proprietor) of Cambria Wines; Elizabeth Chambers, entertainment reporter and founder of BIRD Bakery; Kristyn Clark, director of brand communications at Shake Shack; and Gail Becker, CEO of Caulipower, who gave such valuable advice about achieving your dreams and goals. Gail’s talk really resonated with me because she is someone who decided to embark on a very risky and new adventure in food (a space she was new to) later in life. She proved that it’s never too late to start.
And as if that lineup wasn’t enough, the conference wrapped up with panel discussions featuring Eva Mendes, Lauren Conrad, and Jessica Alba. Talk about powerhouse women!
No doubt I was exhausted at the end of the day! (It kicked off at 8 a.m. and didn’t end until after 9 p.m.!) But I felt so much joy, and I left incredibly motivated and encouraged to keep pursuing my passions and following my curiosity. There were so many great pieces of advice given throughout the day, from the speakers and the women I met who were also attending; but I can say that my biggest takeaway from the entire experience is that I’m doing the right thing by taking the leap and betting on myself. ✨💪✨