Every time I look back on that one wonderful Saturday in LA, I cannot help but feel a little fire starting to burn inside of me. You know, the kind that makes you get up early in the morning to start your daily routine right, the kind that mimics a post-cup-of-coffee high and gets you all psyched about working on a project (that sometimes gets little light bulbs popping up everywhere!) , the kind that keeps you…wait, there’s one perfect word that sums up all that: inspired. I look back on that fateful weekend and cannot help but be inspired. I got to join the Darling Magazine Create and Cultivate conference earlier this year in July. But even before that, I’d been following the magazine for quite a while already. I really admire how well-curated everything in Darling is. I believe in the kind of values and the lifestyle they promote (being comfortable in your own skin, loving others, positivity, courage and kindness) and I love how the magazine understands the complexity of a woman and speaks to the different sides there are to us. (they have articles for the Hostess, the Explorer , the Confidante, the Dreamer) I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out that I was going to be in LA for the Darling magazine Create and Cultivate conference. I knew it was fate, so I just had to go!
After Ate Daphne and I took a short leisurely drive around the city, she dropped me off at the beautiful Ace Hotel in Downtown LA ( I love that hotel’s design and aesthetic!) I was a bit nervous joining the whole thing all by myself, but as soon as I made my way up the steps to the room where we were to gather for the day, I was greeted by a lot of smiling faces and friendly morning chatter that made me feel right at home. Some girls came with a friend, while some girls like me, came alone. I found a seat near Sofia from Italy, who like me was a lone wolf. Ahh..my first friend! I enjoyed looking at the silver streaks in her hair as I listened to her talk about her music. We were soon joined by a bunch of other effervescent women who we were blessed to have shared a table with for the day.
They were all just lovely, beautiful souls! I got to chat with even more girls as the day progressed and I enjoyed listening to their stories and hearing about their passions (most of the girls were in the creative field- I talked to girls who were into furniture making, creating music, writing, starting magazines, designing, photography, film, retailing, crafts, curating) It was inspiring to see all of these women acting on their passions! The room was filled with ladies who were actually trying to pursue their dreams! They were doing something about the things they love. Ah, I could live off that energy forever!
Aside from the wonderful girls that I got to meet, we also got a big dose of motivation and inspiration from our speakers. My personal favourites were Alexis Jones of I am That girl ( She encouraged us women to Collaborate instead of Compete with each other. I loved that I got to do some creating and cultivating with Puno, who I met at the event. The Daykeeper got to collaborate with her baby and brainchild Made with Map at my “ A year on the Road” exhibit at Heima last month. Check it out HERE.) Caitlyn Crosby of the giving keys and Jana Williams, an awesome destination wedding photographer. I loved how most of them, started their talks by sharing their own personal testimonies and stories. I loved how despite their success, they were very honest and real with us. They shared their vulnerabilities, their insecurities, their pasts and how they learned to get through those limiting factors and do great work that impacted other women and less fortunate communities. Their vulnerability and honesty also made us feel like we were in a safe environment where we could be our true selves.
I got to have lunch with Darling’s editor in Chief Sarah Dubbledam, and I was really inspired by her honesty, her realness and her heart. Because of that, it was easy for me to talk about my own insecurities, my past mistakes – I really couldn’t believe I was sitting there and talking to Sarah about all of that. Her sincerity and genuine interest made it very easy for me to open up. I mean, she was after all editor in chief of a magazine I loved and she was actually listening to my story and my plans! Crazy. It was just really sweet of her to encourage me with kind words and some motivation. I also got to talk to her and Mercedes about the Darling Manifesto that I love and believe in with all my heart! I listened to their story behind it, their inspiration. After hearing more about Darling’s core values are and their mission, I must say that I love the magazine and its cause a whole lot more. We are women who are not just here, but here for a purpose.
We ended our day with a beautifully set candlelight dinner and some wine. I enjoyed hanging out and bonding with the other women who were now my new found friends. I went home happy and mega inspired. My hands ( we were gifted with an insane goody bag with a lot of beauty stuff from Naked, pretty notebooks, gift cards and random crazy items- a choice between Channing Tatum leggings and a James Franco body suit. ) and my heart were full.