Creative Founders Conference

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It was a week. An awful, long week. And, I cancelled THE (emphasis on this word, babes) phone call.


I did all the formal education classes for what led me to pour my heart into JesSmith Designs. So when it comes to furthering my education, it is hard to find something that is not the “run of the mill” conference, let alone experience. So, in 2013, I launched JesSmith Designs. Shortly after, I found Stationery Academy. Selling my first $200 invitation collection, I couldn’t quite afford it yet (insert gasps here!) but I knew it was the conference of all conferences for me to attend!

Fast forward to 2018, and let me revisit my first statement here. I CANCELLED the phone call.

For five whole years, I watched, read the emails and pretty much stalked The Creative Founders Conference which grew from the former Stationery Academy. I applied for scholarships and got rejected. I chose other, more inexpensive courses and workshops, both online and in person. So when SCF (since there isn’t an autofill…) founder Kristin Wilson reached out to me to schedule a phone call and see what my deal was, I cancelled it. My kids were nuts, I was drowning in work, and I figured that if I couldn’t make the call, she was would then be fortunate to call someone else during that time to someone else who longed to see if that workshop was for them.

Immediately after I removed it from my schedule, my email “dinged”.

It was her, and my face flushed red like a teacher calling out a student for failing a test.

She said: “I am totally fine with chatting now, if you are okay about chatting with my two littles (3 and 6) in the background and potentially being a bit loud at moments!”

I knew then that she got me. I grabbed a cup of cheerios, threw on some bible school songs, and shifted my kiddos for THE (emphasis) call I have been waiting for.

I’m pretty sure I blacked out during this phone call; you know, the kind of black out you get in the dollar section of Target and forget the bread you originally went in for. Kristin was my dollar section: she welcomed me, she understood my needs, and even with her sweet children interrupting with occasional “I love you’s”, we connected as mothers with big dreams. I paid in full within minutes of hanging up.

After being forced to become and adult (Booking a flight? LYFT? What is this world?!) time flew before I arrived in Pensacola. I met a sweet group of ladies in the airport and thanks to LYFT driver Dave, we approached the most gorgeous beach house that became home to 26 Creatives for four days.

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I am not lying nor exaggerating when I say that not. one. detail. was overlooked. The SMALLEST things we worry about, “did I forget toothpaste?”, “where is my room?” and even “who are these people?!” was taken care of instantly.

The weekend brought me much practice on how to handle being starstruck. Hello Emily Ley in a baseball cap drinking a glass of wine on the couch… Hello Val, I cannot wait to see your wedding guest book release! Is that REALLY Sara and Heather, whom I’ve always admired via the world of social media?!

I THINK that I refrained from a full fledged geek out. But then again, I probably blacked out.

Content was priceless. Amy K from Southern Fried Design didn’t leave out one detail on how to connect with wholesalers. We were given the materials - actual spreadsheets - that Kristin and CPA Heather Jordan used to successfully get to the where they are today. We learned about broadening that client experience with workflows from Heather O’Brien and pretty social media images with Ashley Cochran. We talked about WHY we are in the creative field as artists with (eeeek!) Val McKeehan, and to be confident with our passion with Erin. An no matter the topic, it was fully personalized to OUR businesses individually (that was just magic, I don’t know how they did that, but it worked!)

So now I am back at home and about to wake the littles from nap-time. My 13 hour travel day on Monday gave me SO much time to just brain dump, and I’ve got a LOT of ideas and inspiration to share with you all as well as some pretty airplane and airport doodles. I know the direction that I want to go, even if I change that direction later. I will be reviewing my pricing structures soon as well as my experiences with all my clients. I spent the day my husband and family yesterday, so I am ready to get to work.

I am inspired.

I am excited.

I am a Creative Founder.

I am never cancelling phone calls I have waited years for again.

Scroll below to see pictures!