Creative Retreat | Society for Creative Founders | Pensacola, Flordia
Attending retreats, specifically creative retreats are instrumental in the success of my business. As a solopreneur I am not only the designer but I’m also the CEO, customer service, accountant, shipping and production departments. I spend a good chunk of time working IN my business but it’s often hard to set aside time (and to actually stick to it!) to work on my business. I have found attending creative retreats allows me the time, space and encouragement to work ON my business. It’s imperative for the health of a business to work on where your business is, where’s it’s going and planning on how to achieve those goals. My other favorite aspect of attending a retreat or conference is the camaraderie and networking with other like-minded business owners. After working from home by myself it’s also so refreshing to meet and connect with other creatives who understand what you are going through and can be a support for you and your business.
This past January I attended a small group Alumni Retreat with the Society for Creative Founders at a beach house in Pensacola, Fl. I was first introduced to SCF in the spring of 2017 when I attended the annual SCF conference (which I highly recommend!) where I absolutely feel in love with the women and community. I knew I had found a place I could learn, grow and connect with other boss ladies. So when Kristin, the owner of SCF and an amazing stationery designer of Grace and Serendipity, sent out details for an Alumni Retreat in January 2018 with 8-10 women I immediately knew this was going to be something I HAD to attend! I’ve attended several conferences over the years but this was my first small group retreat and I have to say I absolutely loved it! The small group setting really allowed us to delve into each other’s businesses and help each other grow, evolve and shift in our businesses. There were 8 of us and what was truly special is that each of our businesses were different which allowed an amazing opportunity to have different perspectives and backgrounds helping each other.
Our retreat started on a Friday where everyone arrived to the beach house, which obviously was gorgeous and only one block from the ocean! We spent some time getting to know each other and our businesses before diving into reflecting on the past year in our business and outlooks for 2018. Saturday was my favorite day where we took time to delve into each of our businesses with hot seats to receive feedback or help in a problem or challenge in our business. I really loved contributing to the others businesses and helping them think about things they hadn’t considered or just needed permission for. On the flip side it was so helpful to tell others about my business, challenges, fears and vulnerabilities and receive feedback from others who aren’t in my business day in and day out. We had individual planning time to work on our plans for 2018 and revising our business from our hot seat before we headed out to dinner. Sunday we took some time to continue refining our 2018 plans and then shared our plans with the group who gave us feedback on our plans. After all that hard work we had a headshot and photoshoot session, including a few pictures at the beach, with Anna of Anna Filly Photography, who is just the sweetest, kindest and most bubbly person you will ever meet! I first met Anna at the SCF conference last year so it was so nice to be able to see and work with her again. I seriously LOVE every single photo Anna took and am so excited to share the images she captured, not only of me in my element but also the little baby bump that started to peek out! Monday morning I decided to end the wonderful retreat weekend by watching the sunrise on the beach. Growing up in Southern California and going to college in San Diego I have always had a connection to the ocean and am always in awe of it beauty and power. I am so glad I woke up early and made the trip to the beach. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to just sit and watch mother nature while reflecting on the weekend and my plans to implement when I got home.
nose crinkle + baby bump
After I attend a creative retreat or conference I always have that fired up and focused mindset that I want to bottle up and keep as long as possible. I’ve found writing when I get home about my feelings, discoveries, ideas and plans from the retreat help me to keep that feeling for as long as possible and when I need a boost I can go back and read it as a reminder. Attending this Alumni Retreat was unlike any creative retreat I’ve attended before and having the dedicated time to focus on working on your business not in your business to plan, grow, pivot, scale or better your business with the collaborative help of a small group of like minded creative women was just perfect! This group of women are absolutely incredible and are doing amazing things! I highly encourage you to check them all out in the links below! If you’re thinking of attending a conference or retreat but you’re on the fence, do it! I’ve never regretted attending and have learned something new everytime, sometimes about my business, sometimes about myself. Is it too early to think about the next creative retreat?!
(can you tell who is pregnant in this picture? the lack of height says it all! haha)
talented women you have to check out who attended this creative retreat
Kristin of Society for Creative Founders and Grace and Serendipity
Erin of Erin is Creative
Kelsey of Paper & Oats
Jenn of Jenn Elwell
Stephanie of Duffy Design Co
Janet of Paper + Spark
Mallory of MalWest Design
photography | Anna Filly Photography