Seriously, what a lucky find!
3.0, the workshop with heart, is one of my best finds in years! I could not be more thankful I was able to attend such professionally run and beautifully designed workshop! I could write a book about this wonderful workshop but instead I'll try to be short and to the point :) Each person and place was so incredibly special!! It's going to be hard not to go into detail on everything and everyone!
Lodging & Workshop Locations
3.0 took place in Chicago, and while I didn't get to see a lot of the city, what I did see I absolutely LOVED! Who wouldn't love a city on a lake where they have neighborhoods that tell you that "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL"? Chicago, or at least the part I got to see, was pretty stinking cool :)
We stayed at the very awesome Guesthouse Hotel. Walking in, I immediately fell in love with the lobby and all that it contained! It was decorated perfectly! Everywhere you turned there was something to see or touch or enjoy! The lobby itself has several sitting areas, but the rooms also have them! Besides the ample areas to work and lounge, the hotel also comes fully equipped with a workout facility and yoga instructor you could have come to your room! You could easily stay at the Guesthouse for more than a short stay! You could be there for a long while! The service was great and the people were so warm and welcoming! They made us feel right at home! I couldn't get enough of it and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago!
Of course I had a ton of work to keep up with in Chicago but upon arrival I had the immense pleasure of seeing one of my business coaches - Kathryn Duckett from Crème Brands. I LOVED getting to sit with her one-on-one in the corner above! She is so sweet and caring!!
I wish I had taken photos of our suite, because it was SWEET! It was decorated perfectly and big enough for us to spread out and not feel like we were on top of each other. Couldn't ask for a better place to stay!
By night we stayed at the luxury hotel, and by day we visited the most charming venue - Firehouse Chicago. It's a charming and perfectly styled vintage venue. So perfectly styled I wanted to take photos of the bathroom, but it might have looked weird to take my camera in the bathroom so you'll just have to take my word for it :)
Workshop with Heart: Speakers that Share
Every day and every setting for this workshop was so well planned! Each speaker sat in front of us, a group of women that wanted to soak up as much as possible, and each speaker gave as much as she could. To help her speakers feel more comfortable, Rhiannon (Rhi) set up the most intimate and pretty space! I loved this setting!
Outside our "classroom" was an intimate courtyard where we shared breakfast, lunch and even dinner sometimes. Every meal came with so many visual treats and savory eats!!!
The setting provided the perfect atmosphere for us to get to know not just each other but the speakers as well. Rhi and herTrouvaille workshop are not just about curating and showcasing beautiful designs, but also about relationships and memories to last a lifetime!
Rhi is one of the most successful wedding planners & designers in the industry. She is creative and business savvy and she is unique. And while others may try to copy, there is only one of her. And that is one of the key messages I truly got from her. She does what she is good at, and that is what I have to do and what you have to do. You cannot copy other people. They are successful because of who they are. You have to be yourself and find your passion and be successful by doing what you do best.
Every Last Detail blog editor & chief, Lauren Grove: "former bride and wedding planner" - her blog is "carefully curated to educate and inspire brides"
RiverOaks Charleston, Marianne
Trouvaille isn't just about the swag or the education. It is called the "workshop with heart" for a reason. Each of the speakers truly shared pieces of their hearts and that is no less true for Marianne. She gave each of us a neatly wrapped present that contained smaller gifts to remind us of the characteristics and how we can better serve our clients & make their wedding day as special & meaningful as can be.
- A small wooden spoon to remind us that we are here to serve others in our profession;
- A fine art photograph representing the beautiful stories and memories we help create on the day of the event;
- A piece of wood to show the strength we must have in setting the pace for the event;
- A tiny packet of salt to represent that something special, a seasoning that helps to set the tone and bring out the flavors of the event;
- A piece of cloth linen that represents a sense of softness and reminds us to perform with the grace;
- A feather to remind us to tread lightly and be flexible when we are working with our clients and allow authentic moments to flow naturally when they are happening;
- Small, smooth rock representing the rock hard foundation a marriage should be built on and should be at the forefront of our planning;
- A ribbon representing the bonds that tie a couple together and that while the ribbon may fray and come untied, it can be strengthened over and over again; and
- A gathering of lavender to represent the sense of calmness and tranquility that should envelope this day so our clients remember what it is all about - their relationship, their marriage.
Graceline - illustration & calligraphy, Jennie Sanders,calligrapher, designer, illustrator
Reveriemade, Kristin Polhemus
New Jersey wedding planner passionate about love & celebration who believes "hospitality is a the root of every successful soiree"
Crème Brands, Kathryn Duckett
Personal, heat-to-heart Brand coaching Designer with a heart for celebrating love
I first "met" Kathryn through one of my favorite local planners, Valerie with Sapphire Events. I needed someone to help me define my business or my vision more clearly and Kathryn helped me do that. She helped me clearly articulate exactly why I do the things that I do. As a planner, and generally as person, through detailed planning and personal relationships I plan events and work to curate an atmosphere of a seamlessly executed day of event so my clients and those working the event are able to enjoy every minute of the day and leave with memories for a lifetime. I'm at my happiest, when those around me are at their happiest.
As a brand coach, Kathryn reminded us to to hold on tight to who we are at heart, and to create brands that represents each of us in a classic and timeless ways so we can create TRUST. If you need some help figuring out how you want to best present yourself and your brand, Kathryn is definitely my first choice!
Gwyneth Paige Couture Letterpress, Jodi Bos
Momma first, Savvy & Successful Business Woman
Creative at Heart
"Grow slow!" Jodi had a hugely successful business and a beautiful family and was rolling! But along the way she lost sight of things and got off track of what truly mattered. She was so open about the pitfalls of being a business owner and mom and wanting to have it all. Her advice is to take it slow and take care of yourself and remember the important things in life (like your friends outside of your business). Her story is definitely one we can all relate to! Thank you Jodi!! xoxo
Sage Wedding Pros, Michelle Loretta
All about the numbers & helping wedding pros create financially & operationally sustainable businesses
Before Michelle got to talk I was already wanting to talk to her! I know where I want to go and what I want to do, but things somehow got moving along the way and I forgot to look at my map and adjust my directions. Michelle is one of the first people in the wedding industry to talk about the business side of things. And as such she was and is someone who is highly respected. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it! Setting a good foundation is key to your future success!!
Sinclair and Moore, Steve Moore who "focuses on design, florals and every last detail"
Encourages us to "Take a leap of faith" and "be confident" in everything that we do!
Trouvaille was everything and more than I could have hoped for! There were a plethora of creative and educational ideas shared and warm hearts opened! Being around individuals who share the same soul searching goals and dreams to be a part of such a wonderful industry was so inspiring and brought so much clarity!! I walked away with my to-do list and an over flowing heart! So incredibly blessed to be around such inspiring people!!
To find out more about the Trouvaille Workshop, contact Rhi via the Trouvaille page - https://www.facebook.com/trouvailleworkshop
Some of the Trouvaille 3.0 Sponsors:
I honestly cannot believe I did it. I cannot believe I entered for a chance to win $500 toward a seat at the Artist Holiday. I still cannot believe I received an email from Kurt Boomer saying they were offering it to me and I cannot believe I went. Yes, I literally jumped and squealed like a little girl when I received that email. Honestly, who wouldn't? It's an email from Kurt Boomer!
- rekindle a love affair with my cameras;
- get to my lodging on time;
- soak in all that these wonderful industry experts had to offer;
- reset my budget; and
- I don't remember the 5th...clearly I didn't accomplish it.
Several months ago my brother moved home (he's lived in Florida for a LONG time). He went to school out there and worked out there and had a life out there, but I'm guessing he thought it was finally time to come home.
- IT WILL TAKE TIME - This was a big lesson I learned (and am still learning). I remember when I was starting It's Your Time Events, someone said it could take a long time...sometimes it's the 3rd year, and other times it's longer for a business to be successful. That definitely didn't help my fears, but I kept going anyway.
It's been 3 years and there are still many times when I am not sure if I'm spinning my wheels in place or if I'll ever have another client or if I'm doing the right things. We live in a world where we want to achieve everything now…We want 10,000 subscribers now, 100,000 website visitors now, lots of sales now. And so often we get caught up looking at what other people are doing and then think, “why is it taking me sooooo long???????” But as the quote goes, “Rome wasn't built in a day.” It takes time (and LOTS of patience, faith and hope!).
Once I started to be okay with this, it was like a weight had lifted. I stopped beating myself up about how long it was all taking and began to enjoy the journey more, because that’s what it’s all about anyway. So, if you ever think to yourself, “why is it taking me so long?” just remember that it does take time, stick with it and be okay with it, because it’ll help you to enjoy your life right now more.
I started It's Your Time Events because it made me happy. For every wedding and couple I worked with, I saw a future....I saw the hope that it represented. I started my business because I wanted to be a part of that and contribute to someone else's day. I started it because my daytime jobs did not meet my social or creative needs. That’s why I started It's Your Time Events. To be a part of helping others' special moments....to ensure they are able to enjoy those moments.
- YOU NEED TO BE MENTALLY TOUGH - This follows on nicely from the first lesson I learned because entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint and in order to keep on going, you have to have mental strength – that’s what will get you to the finishing line (not that there’s really a finishing line in business, the line is always moving!).
This is by far one of the toughest lessons to learn....and toughest hurdles to get over. Success begins with YOU. It’s an inside job and it’s something that you have to do on purpose, day in, day out. Heck yes it's scary! You're trying to achieve something you've never done before and you're doing it primarily on your own. I know all of the excuses because I've said them to myself... “I don’t have the time, the money, the knowledge, I’m not ready yet etc.”
I literally had to tell myself that I can do this. I will make it happen. I am going to start my own business. I had to condition myself, and you will have to do the same, to overcome the fear, to tell the excuses to go away and allow myself to step up and be the person I need to be in order to make it happen.
When the challenges arise, when things go wrong, when everything feels like it’s taking foreverrrr, you have to have the right mindset to be able to deal with it and keep moving FORWARD. This will be your BIGGEST asset in life, because the right attitude will help you to start manifesting a life and business you love.
- IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY - This is a lesson I learned early on - to make money, you've got to spend money. Because of my background in communications and marketing, I knew where I wanted to be to reach my audience. However, I also knew it is best to talk to those already in the industry for suggestions. So I figured it all out and with a credit card and a small spending limit a day, I was able to get my business and my offering in front of my audience from day one.
I think so often we build a website, create a product or service and think that somehow people will discover us, that somehow miraculously we’ll be able to build a big list and make lots of sales. The truth us that if you want to want to grow faster (get more traffic, more subscribers, more sales) you have to pay. And I’m not talking about spending thousands… you can start off with an advertising budget of a couple of dollars a day.
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE - Make friends with like-minded people, who get you and want to help you along your journey. This is one of the most valuable things I've ever done, not just in terms of my business, but in terms of my sanity!
Knowing that I have people I can turn to to talk about my experiences and challenges and get perspective and advice, and people who are there to celebrate with me when I have a win, makes such a huge difference. I would go insane without my business friends, who are actually scattered all over the world.
Being an entrepreneur can be so lonely, if you let it be… so don’t. Start getting better connected by reaching out to people who you resonate with, send an email, join Facebook groups, go to networking events, attend conferences – hang out where other like-minded people hang out and start building friendships.
- BE CONSISTENT & FOCUSED - I actually learned this lesson when I was training for marathons and half marathons and a half ironman in DC. It takes a commitment and it take focus to make it happen.
If you want to be great at something you have to practice being great at it consistently and you have to stay focused on it. I would have never thought I would be able to run a mile let alone do a half ironman! At one time in my life I would have thought that was impossible. But all that training and commitment and focus, showed me that I am capable of doing things I never thought were possible. Those races showed me what it takes to make big things happen.
It’s exactly the same in business, if you want to be great you have to practice being great every day… even when you haven't gotten a client in a month or more, even when you feel like you keep doing things wrong, even when you have hardly any followers/fans/subscribers.
I get it. It's tough and scary and disheartening and so you want to try every different angle to improve, to make it happen. It’s sooo easy to feel the need to hop around from one idea/strategy, to the next, but this often leads to inconsistency. You start doing one thing and before long, you've moved on to something else… never allowing yourself the chance to become really great at it.
So instead of doing a million things, just focus on being consistent at one thing (or a few), and then once you’re great, keep up the practice and, if you want, move on to something else too.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE - You're starting a business. You have family and friends. You probably have a daytime job which pays the bills. There is a LOT going on in your life. Starting and maintaining a business can quickly become overwhelming and chaotic because there are a million and one things we need to be doing. It’s exhausting. It will be okay though. You can do this!!
I've found keeping things simple is best. I literally have to list my priorities and focus on one thing at a time and make life easy by planning out the what and the when. I review my priorities and goals and needs and wants and if something doesn't fit within those goals or needs, then it's not on the list. It'll just have to get addressed later. When you know what you need to do and when you need to do it, it makes life so much easier!
For me, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't carry my Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I literally schedule EVERYTHING: daytime work, It's Your Time Events work, family time, and I try for social and me time, but that doesn't always work out. I know myself. If I don't keep track of my time and my priorities and what I'm doing or not doing, I will feel overwhelmed...I go insane. I get emotional and stressed and frantic and unable to focus on anything. When you are intentional about your day and keep things simple and plan things out, I promise, you’ll feel so much happier and make lots more progress.
- I'm a people person;
- I love helping other people;
- I love making things happen;
- I love happy people and good times;
- I like communications;
- I like being creative;
- I like managing and executing projects;
- I like planning....