3 Things I Learned at Create & Cultivate (ATL)

Create & Cultivate is…a 365 day conversation around entrepreneurship and being a woman in the modern digital world. They gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs and bosses to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about from influencer marketing and brand building to raising money.  

At Create & Cultivate you are destined to meet other talented, like-minded creatives, all while learning tips and tricks from some of the best in the business. Attendees get access to a highly curated, impactful one-day program of workshops, mentor sessions, and panels, as well as delicious cocktails, food, pop-up shops, photo booths, gift bags and more.

Create & Cultivate attendees come to feel inspired, enhance their business, drink killer cocktails and cultivate new friendships in an amazing and beautiful environment!  Create & Cultivate has taken place in Brooklyn, Montauk, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Portland, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and continues three times a year, nationwide. 

Past speakers include Chelsea Handler, Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power of Who What Wear, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler of SoulCycle, Emily SchumanGarance Doré, Hannah Bronfman, Rachel Parcell, Emily Weiss, Aimee Song, Chriselle Lim, Jen Gotch, Orlando Soria, Geri Hirsch, Peter Rojas, Amanda de Cadenet, Julianne Hough, Whitney Port, Soraya Darabi, Studio DIY and many more.

create and cultivate atlanta - belong magazine blog

The Atlanta event 10/15/16 was every bit as spectacular as the previous LA event that I attended in May 2016 and featured keynote speakers Megan Markle, Sarah Michelle Gellar of Foodstirs, and Nicole Richie among oodles of other amazing women. Here is what I learned from this beautiful conference:


1. The details matter //

When you gather a group of creatives, the details count. We notice them. I notice them. Create & Cultivate did not disappoint when we drove up to see a large “Create & Cultivate” sign atop the art gallery building that was housing the event. Yep, we knew we were in the right place.

Crossing the threshold where the words “Create & Cultivate” were adhered to the floor, you faced a “Create & Caffeinate” bar serving cold brew coffee. There was a red VW photobus inside for snapshots, a full gallery of pop-up shops (which were all fully decked out, by the way—no simple folding tables here!), and a “Beauty Room” where one could get their hair, nails or makeup done, get a hand or body massage or just meander to see the great products represented. There were also several seating area vignettes placed throughout the venue with sofas, chairs, rugs, etc… where you could comfortably sit and chat.

The event spilled out the back of the building’s loading dock which was wide open to expose the Second Stage as well as a large set-up of picnic tables, a bar and several more pop-up shops and photo opp backdrops. (Ummm… Kendra Scott brought it with their decked out airstream and Erin Condren’s booth lit up the whole event).

The stages were the most breathtaking focal points of the décor. The Main Stage had a white backdrop loaded with greenery and a “Create & Cultivate” sign. In front of the backdrop were the white leather and gold, vintage-styled round chairs. The chairs facing stage were clear acetate. The Second Stage, set under a clear-top tend, had a gorgeous, rosy-orange balloon sculpture across a white wall with a bit of greenery poking out here and there. The seating for the panel was mid-century modern white button top leather chair. The chairs facing the stage were vintage-style metal chairs.

I can’t even tell you all the details. There are just too many. So we’ll some pics or you can check out the hashtag #CreateCultivateATL to see them yourself.

2. The space matters //

I didn’t realize how much the space mattered until there was so much of it at this event. When the space is tight, I feel like I need to get away. It is not necessarily claustrophobic but it’s overstimulating. You can’t get to the bathroom, you can’t get to the seats, you can’t get to the pop-ups, you can’t get anywhere without waiting in a line or shoving through people.

Having the room to move around and interact is so much more conducive for proper networking. This space was ideal for the event size offering room to move and room to breathe both inside and outside. It also helps with the volume—it is very hard to talk when there are 600 women in one room.

3. The people matter //

You don’t have to work the whole room. In fact, with an event this size, you CAN’T work the whole room. But you can pick out the people that you want to network with and make that time matter.

Not only that, but the people you attend the event with matter. If you don’t go alone, be strategic together as this is how the networking web works and it is a beautiful thing. Some of the most beautiful friendships can be born out of these events and with the ability to keep in touch digitally, there is no reason they cannot and should not flourish.

I was fortunate enough to go to the event with a friend and made several new friends through her in the process--it was like gaining a tribe in one fell swoop! I also connected with a few women from instagram at the event which is always fun--putting a real-life face to a insta feed.

Not only is networking important, but making friends is important. Entrepreneurship can be so lonely. Have you heard the phrase, “Find your tribe; love them hard?” It’s key to being an entrepreneur. Find people who you can relate to and who can relate to you. Discover relationships that can carry you through the hard times and where you have the honor of being there for someone else when they need it. Events such as C&C are ripe with like-minded women so it offered an ideal opportunity to seek out such people.

When you leave the event, the details will fade, the space won’t matter but the people will still be there. It’s always the relationships that matter--the people that matter. Always.

To see more lovely details, search instagram with hashtag: #createcultivateATL.

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