I can't believe Creative at Heart Conference Raleigh was just two weeks ago! This was my second C@H conference so I am officially a Creative at Heart alum. I attended C@H Round 4 Annapolis and it rocked my world to say the least. If you have ever spoken with me about C@H, you know that I could go on and on about how amazing of a conference it is. This time it was held at the GORGEOUS Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh, which turned out to be the perfect venue for 130+ creative entrepreneurs to gather for 4 days. Amidst all of the jam-packed valuable content, we were surrounded by so much pretty!
The conference this year was a bit different for me than the last time I attended in March of 2016. This time I went with a new job title – a mom – so my perspective and priorities have shifted quite a bit. When I heard that C@H was coming to Raleigh, I knew that since I live only 20 minutes from the venue, that I MUST go... regardless of the fact that I would have a 2-month old at home. I would be fine... right? In all honesty, for the first couple days, I found myself feeling guilty for being there and away from Wesley during the day. This was my first time away from him for a longer period of time so it was definitely difficult. After the first full day of the conference, I cried big tears when I got home and finally held Wesley. I missed him so much! Along with being a new mom comes new mom things such as taking regular pump breaks during speaking sessions and finding myself becoming emotional during several of the talks thinking about my sweet baby boy and my super supportive husband. Having a baby definitely brings out your tearful side!
Despite feeling so many new mom feelings, this conference was really special to me for several reasons. I had the awesome opportunity to design the name tags and the welcome sign for the event. I created an original illustration of the gorgeous Merrimon-Wynne house (Thank you C@H team for asking me to do this!! <3).
On the final day of the conference during our panel session, I literally had inspiration flowing out of my fingertips from talking with the other women in my group. We talked through our business struggles and pain points, gave each other new ideas and valuable feedback, and we brainstormed about how we can grow and better serve our clients. It was AMAAAZING! I was quickly reminded that THIS is why I attended C@H:
- For these real, authentic in-person connections.
- To be surrounded by women who simply "get it". They understand what it's like to wear all the small business hats of owner, designer, CFO, bookkeeper, marketer, etc. They understand what it's like to have tearful nights where you question everything about your business and want to quit.
- To re-focus on not just my business but myself. And to understand that it's perfectly okay and HEALTHY to do so.
- To get fired up and inspired by the like-minded women who are all creatives at heart
Although I had doubts about being away from Wesley for the days of the conference and taking this time for myself, I think those feelings are normal for any new mom. This conference was much needed, completely worth the investment and I am so grateful for all of the women who I was able to connect and re-connect with and who helped inspire me. I can't wait to watch everyone's businesses grow and see where we all go from here. Here's to the creatives!