Amy Stamp, craftivate
I spent the past weekend immersed in a pool of magical unicorns and confetti at the Monarch Workshop. Here is a peek into my experience. (Don't miss the video near the end of this post!)
Passing through the yellow door and ascending the stairs, the din of the crowd and a shining bouquet of pink and golden balloons welcomed me. I read the boldly printed sign, “You’ve arrived!” as if each letter held within it the power to take me beyond this stairwell to places I’ve never imagined. The magic of these two simple words and all the meaning they held was invigorating. Trying to calm the few anxious butterflies in my belly, I took a deep breath, fluffed my big hair and entered a room filled with a contagious and resplendent energy.
Checked in by Ashley Keller from Little Black Business Book and concurrently hugged by Jess Huizenga from The Confetti Bar and Madeline Rhodes from Oh My Gemini, my nervous butterflies were officially exiled to a distant morass. I both literally and figuratively transitioned into the nurturing embrace and inspirational sanctuary that is the Monarch Workshop.
Weaving my way through the crowd to my assigned seat, I found I was lucky enough to be placed next to Latanya Barrett (real life unicorn!) of Sprinkles and Booze. My seat was adorned with the swaggiest of swag bags, donning the uplifiting directives “Thrive / Fly / Conquer”. It was stuffed to the gills with business cards, memberships, discounts, notecards, body products, confetti and a number of other items provided by sponsors. Placed at each seat was one of the most valuable items of all, the Monarch Workshop program. But that sounds so boring. Let’s just make something up and call it the Monarch Workshop Flutter Book. Yes, yes… much better! I must admit that reading through the pages of this wildflower networking seed bomb certainly made my heart flutter. In my hands I held a book connecting me to all of the amazing women who dreamt up this workshop, made it happen, and traveled from both near and far to be part of it.
The entire room was saturated with extraordinary opportunities to create, connect, get inspired and have fun. For example:
- eat out-of-this-world, delicious and nutritious food from Betsy Arroyo and Becca Bryan of Wisk + Brush… sooooooo yummy in the tummy!
- photo mini-sessions with Victoria Schaefer from Victoria Gloria Photography
- make your own confetti mix with Jess Huizenga from The Confetti Bar
- create something fabulous at the Merriment Booth with Mary England from Uncustomary Art
- play dress-up and strike a pose in an awesome photo booth from The Merriment Company
- and so much more!!! I can’t list them all or else this would take you an hour to read and I know you are a busy bee!
Introspective moments, invigorating ideas and personal growth were truly triggered by the yoga practice, guest speakers and panels scheduled throughout the two days. Here is a list of just a few of the inspirational women whose messages really resonated with me:
Desha Peacock of Sweet Spot Style
Yasmine Bryant of Yasmine Cheyenne
Erika Hurst of Hurst Strength
Annette Stepanian of Annette Stepanian
Rachel DeCavage of Cinder + Salt
Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom
Katherine Marino of YogaKat Fitness
Honestly, all of the women brave enough to stand in front of everyone and put themselves out there were truly inspirational. If I could have taken the energy and inspiration in the room and bottled it up in vials, I would have packaged them up with some confetti and sent a sample to each and every one of you. I wish every girl boss I know could have experienced the magic essence of the Monarch Workshop. If only you all could have been there! If only I could bottle it. Hmmm… suggestions on how I might accomplish that next time?
In October, the peak of the monarch butterfly migration is reached. Thousands of these delicate creatures gather and embark on an arduous journey south for the winter. In groups they often stop, rest and nourish themselves in order to endure their voyage. Mid-October being the peak of the monarch butterfly migration, and given all that the monarch butterfly migration entails, this workshop could not have been more aptly named or better scheduled.
Like monarch butterflies, we too, as creative entrepreneurial women, must occasionally sojourn for nourishment in order to endure the journey. Building a business from scratch is hard work. Maintaining a sustainable, dream fulfilling, profitable, growing, difference making, inspiring and valuable business encompasses so much more than just hard work and sleepless nights. Believe it or not, just two days of recharging, nourishment, bonding, inspiration, yoga, meditation, and camaraderie has allowed me to totally restore the initial spark of entrepreneurial spirit that began my Craftivate journey. That rekindled spark will burn with the fire it takes to blaze a path where one previously was not. My entrepreneurial spirit and excitement for what the future brings has been restored! Thank heavens, right!
Did you know that a group of butterflies is sometimes called a kaleidoscope? It’s true. Google it. Nothing could be more fitting to describe the group of women who gathered to be part of the Monarch Workshop this past weekend. The variety of passions, the diversity of stories and the many talents that were shared help to expose the most beautiful gifts we hold within, shining bright for all to see and lighting up the hearts of all who were there.
I am so grateful to all of the strong, fascinating, moving, genuine, real-life girl bosses that I had the privilege of meeting and growing with at the Monarch Workshop. A special thanks goes out to the Monarch Workshop Dream Team who put blood, sweat, tears, glitter and confetti into making this weekend an experience that will always remain close to my heart and to my vision for Craftivate as it grows. My cup runneth over and I am ready to spread my kaleidoscope wings and fly.
Here’s to living a sassy, crafty, happy life!