Create & Cultivate NYC Conference // May 6, 2017
On an early Saturday morning, May 6th, I rang for my Uber Black. It was time. For the Create & Cultivate NYC Conference. I had never been to Queens, other than on my way to New York airports, and this was quite the occasion. Amongst bodegas, auto body shops, and morning walkers is the Kockdown Center, an awe-inspiring former door factory. My driver dropped me and I explored.
I was immediately impressed by the impeccable organization and security. Entering the building was like going through the gates of paradise. The grand hall boasted a pop-up market of reputable and innovative startups, in addition to a tropical coconut water stand, photo booths, a Noosa Yoghurt yurt, and almost anything a strong-minded female could imagine. It did not end there; I ventured outside and into a different part of the venue. Outdoor stages, bars, Laura Mercier makeup stations, give-a-ways, projects, and activities, oh my! It was a fabulous bazaar — the day could have ended here, yet it still had to begin.
Compared to March’s #Girlboss Rally in Los Angeles, the line up of speakers was not as “famous,” but they were certainly as reputable. If you are, let us say, an industry target — a motivated and driven 20-60 year old woman — then you already know, and most likely follow, these inspiring women. The day’s guests exemplify Create & Cultivate’s mantra, “[women who are] creating and cultivating the career of their dreams.”
The panels commenced with conversations between leaders: Michelle Newbery, President of The Mine, and Caryn Johnson, VP of Marketing of Vital Proteins (you may have heard of their viral collagen peptide powder). They discussed the importance of developing a strong company point of view. It is vital to create your brand’s Bible of words, images, and language. This brainstorm helps you streamline your mission and voice. Consider that this also is a great life practice; it is applicable to your continuously evolving life and values.
Yearning for a mental refresh, I wandered outside to the Refinery29 arena. This is a great technique if you feel like you are becoming stale from sitting inside all day. It was time for A Solid Foundation, hosted by Michelle Lee, Allure Editor-in-Chief, where beauty-bosses, like Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder of Birchbox, and influencer Camila Coelho, conversed about their pursuits in the beauty industry. A Solid Foundation, punny right? It was intriguing to hear their perspectives; it is not necessary to be an industry pro. Just dive in and dedicate yourself to realizing your goals. Katia was not a beauty junkie, nor was she even in the industry, but Birchbox hit its five-year revenue target in its first seven months!
I could go on about the fabulous women, such as those of Instagram who shared their tips of the trade. Gloria Steinem concluded the day in her keynote discussion with fellow famous feminist, Amy Richards. Brava, Jaclyn Johnson, Founder of Create & Cultivate; it is evident why you were named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2015; you were made for this!
After trading business cards, getting a makeup touch up, and perusing Saje Natural Wellness’ essential oils, it was time for my favorite part of the event: mentor sessions. I was fortunate enough to speak with Amy Woodside, Founder and CEO of the website OKREAL — go check it out, it is AMAZING. Amy is a pro at mentoring and speaking to passionate women. Not only is her story grounding, but it helps you feel like you are not alone; Amy worked as a Project Manager, then pursued her dreams of becoming an artist, all before founding her current company. Amy is open, real, and altruistic. She aims to guide women to find what they love and pursue it. That sounds a lot like The ALB Standard’s MO of loving the life you live, right?
While these events are great for broadening your perspective and meeting other like-minded and passionate women, they are an admirable way to check in with yourself. The community of people, especially women, who aim to empower themselves by defining a life they truly love is growing profoundly. How cool is it that girlbosses from different niches meet to collaborate, grow, and support one another. This is Create & Cultivate’s goal, “to create inspiring environments that seek to enlighten, entertain, and inspire.”
As Amy Woodside said, “women want to see and hear how other [successful] women do it. They do not want to feel alone.” It is this support and energy that keeps us going. It is what encourages the next woman and the one after her to define what she loves and to go after it.
Header image, the fabulous floral visual by East Olivia Creative.