Relationships and Big Dreams | My time at Creative at Heart

My goal for 2016: invest in myself and go to a conference that will help me grow.  How I stumbled upon Creative at Heart, I don’t recall.  Probably an Instagram post that lead me to another post that lead me to another post and boom: I found the conference I needed to go to.  I was a bit bummed when their conference in Denver was only a few months after my son was born, but I wasn’t going to miss their last one of the year, so I signed up for the Memphis conference in November.  I mean, Memphis. Why not?

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My expectations: I didn’t have any.  I just wanted to soak everything in.  And as I sit here and reflect, one month later, I still get goosebumps.  Never have I met so many like-minded women in the same room as myself.

I’ve always had a hard time explaining what I do:

Oh, you design invitations?  Like for a baby shower?  (Yes, but it’s more than that.)

I bet it’s nice to work at home and spend time with your kids.  (Well, my three kids go to school & daycare so I can work.  Have you ever tried to work with kids around?  I have.)

I bet it’s nice to work for yourself. (Yes, it is.  Except when I didn’t get a maternity leave.  And when I’m the only one who works on every aspect of a project.  And that business development/accounting/HR/marketing/social media….that’s all me too.)

But these ladies got it.  They got it so much when I would talk about my goals, my dreams, my frustrations…heads nodded.  Words of encouragement and relation came from their mouths.  I wasn’t quite expecting such a connection.

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The Peabody Hotel was a great backdrop to this amazing gathering of people.  (Yes, I saw the ducks. They were fantastic.) The speakers, top notch.  A few I have to point out:

Jen Olmstead with Tonic Site Shop – I loved listening to Jen speak and she was one of my panel leaders and I felt we coulda chatted about marketing, branding, etc all day.  She was the second speaker and after her, I knew I was at the right place to get my business to the next level. My takeaway from Jen: Build your brand and your ideal client will come.  Connect through content.

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Krista & Davey Jones – Loved these two.  And they really help me put SEO perspectives into place.  I kinda knew what I was doing, but now I know more of the why behind it.  Plus more.   My takeaway: doing the little things on my website and blog that can make a big difference on the web.

Mary & Justin – My roommate in Memphis said she saw Mary Marantz in the lobby.  She was awestruck.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t know who she was talking about.  But I get it now.  Mary is now someone I follow and want to learn more from.  Her talk was on pricing.  I have no idea the details of pricing she shared.  But I gained a lot from her talk.  I loved how she showed examples of where they started to where they are now.  I could relate and it gave me confidence to be okay with changes I’ve been considering.   My takeaway from Mary: acting like a CEO and be willing to do the work (it’s suppose to be hard….love the photo below).

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Katelyn James – Her and Mary are hand-in-hand in my book as amazing business women who have set the bar high.  I coulda listened to Katelyn talk all day.  She has a great story.  So much I took away from her talk.  Highlights include: sharing more about myself; live in freedom, not fear; make small changes first.

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And I gotta give big props to Kat Schmoyer on her vision of this conference and bringing so many people who can benefit from each other together.  I understand the work it takes to put something like this together.  And three of them in a year….for real.  You deserve a vacation.

I got an email from two of my friend after my conference.  They asked how it was.  My answer: Life changing.  They thought I was joking. I wasn’t.  It was. Yes, a conference.  And I can’t wait to make some big strides in myself and my business because of it.

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Julie + Matt | Wahoo, Nebraska | dSy invitations wedding

There is a wedding like this that rolls around once a year for me.  I just didn’t see it coming when I met the GROOM at a bridal show.  Yes, the groom.  Solo.  His bride couldn’t make it but he wanted to come and get information for her.  (can we say keeper?)  I got their information and followed up with a consultation with both the bride and groom and fell in love with this down-to-earth couple who wanted something fun for their wedding day.  And since their reception was at the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland, an airplane theme seemed to work well for them.

And me.  It’s not often you can create a wedding invitation that looks like an airline ticket.  And for the RSVP, just rip that off the side of the ticket, much like a real airline ticket when you board the plane (or used to before online tickets, right?)  I love the navy metallic open-ended envelope we paired with this too.

But what I couldn’t wait for was an idea we discussed at their consultation.  What about a paper airplane ceremony program?  One that you could actually fold up and fly at the couple when they leave the church?  Seriously?  Can we do this?  And really that was my question…check with the church to make sure we can do this.  Because in my head, the design was already started.

Enter in airplane ceremony program.  Complete with folding instructions on the back.  This was maybe my favorite piece of the year.  Maybe even since designing for couples in the past five years.  Unique.  Personalized.  Made exactly for this couple and their wedding day.  I love it.  Check out my separate blog about that project.

Thanks to this wonderful couple for making me part of their big day.  I hope every time you see a paper airplane, it reminds you of your wedding day.

Julie + Matt
May 29, 2016

Ceremony: St. Wenceslaus, Wahoo, Nebraska
Reception:  SAC Museum
Wedding Planner: Cherry on Top Events by Jen
Catering: All Inclusive Catering
Photographer: Amanda Leise Photography
Dress: Nebraska Bridal
Florist: Found & Flora
Cake: The Omaha Bakery
Videographer: Taylored Media Productions
DJ: Phil with PM Entertainment
Rentals: United Rent-All
Transportation: JH Transportation
Invitations & Stationary: dSy invitations

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