Inspired Retreat 2015

As a creative person, it’s so important to take time to recharge the source of your energy and inspiration. For a couple of years now, I’ve been seeing some of the creative entrepreneurs I admire most going to and posting about Inspired Retreat. After living vicariously through Instagram, and meeting the incredible Amber Housley at the National Stationery Show a couple of years ago, I finally got up the courage to reach out to her and send her a proposal to speak at the 2015 Fall Inspired.

Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

Inspired is all about creative women entrepreneurs gathering together to learn, listen, and encourage one another. I learned so much from the sessions with amazing women, but I learned so much more from chatting with my dinner partners, roommates, and while hiking to a huge waterfall in the middle of a glorious Tennessee Autumn.

Amber took good care of us, including styling every meal with beautiful tablescapes. I came home with so much swag from washi tape to new socks to inspirational mugs, coozies, and art prints.

We also had some hands-on activities like flower crown making (!!) and a late-night planner session with the incredible Christy Tomlinson.

Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

I spoke about a topic close to my heart: hiring. One of my closest held beliefs about running a business is that people make all the difference. At 1canoe2, we have an absolutely incredible team of people who make the business GO. It’s truly my proudest accomplishment to have selected and developed a team of people who require very little micro-management, and who continue to achieve great things everyday in the name of 1canoe2. It’s also a huge responsibility to manage them in a helpful, not authoritarian way, and to make sure when adding other team members that I don’t introduce someone to the mix that will make trouble. So I talked about that and had great conversation with some of the folks in that session.

Photo credit:
Sarah Frenzel

Aside from the immense about of positive energy going around amongst these amazing ladies, the retreat was chock full of content, from encouragement sessions with Heather Crabtree and Leah Remillet to technical info like photo styling with the amazing Kim Stoegbauer (also my roomie!) and Periscope lessons with Cathy Olson.

Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

I think the most meaningful thing I left with is this: no matter if you are an enterprise of one, sewing tote bags in your dining room, or you have 70 employees, we all have something to share with one another, and we’re all in the struggle together. What an amazing feeling!

On the last full day of the retreat, Amber handed us posterboard and big markers, and asked us to write a love note of sorts to our younger selves. What would you like to tell yourself 5 years ago to help smooth out the journey from starting out to success?  Here’s a video with some words of advice for all you out there trying to get your creative self to shine. Take a look at this quick clip:

Video Credit: Nicole V. Cole

:: Beth ::

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