5 things I learned at Creatival
Hello you beauties!
Thank you for your EPIC support for the toolkits last week - I am so touched that so many of you have downloaded them and 100% delighted with the feedback so far! So happy that they’ve been useful - I know it’s one of those jobs that seems super boring and a bit unimportant but it’s vital to nail the foundations you’re building a business on and I’m absolutely thrilled that the first toolkit has helped so many of you do that - THANK YOU!
The toolkit is still available at the introductory price of £3.85 until October 1st when it’ll go up to £5.
The most asked question about them is if ‘Janet’ has downloaded one haha - not that I’m aware of but ‘Janet’, if you email me I’ll send you a free copy if you promise to build your own brand and not just copy mine? in all seriousness - It could really help you define your own identity rather than trying to take mine?
Back to this week!
So Creatival, organised by the brilliant Creative Business Network was on Thursday and WOW what a day. So much fun! It’s always amazing to get that many people with similar interests in one room and the talks and workshops and venue and food and…everything was just fantastic - well done to Helen, what a marvellous job! It was just a feast of information and inspiration and don’t get me started on Lucy & Chris from Lucy&Yak (I’ll start on that later… and won’t stop.) It was such a brilliant day, lush to meet everyone who came and OMG the pictures are hilarious…
PHOTOBOOTH of dreams
I understand it’s an odd topic but bear with me because it’s a love story - Amongst all the brilliant talks, workshops and chats I totally fell in love with the ladies from The Beautiful South Photobooth Company (all the images in this post are from their MEGA Photo Booth.) It was such a laugh, there’s a chance I got carried away but they did put me in charge of ‘making sure people used the Photobooth’ ….due to my attachment it was less ‘other people’ and more ‘Lauren in different wigs’ (like anyone else had chance with me around….I wasn’t wearing that giant panda head for my health.) Amy and Olivia run the Photo Booth alongside their full time jobs (I don’t know how they do it) they are a total dream team, dedicated, hilarious, gorgeous, creative and professional I want them in my life for always….If you ever need a Photobooth for any occasion these are the ladies to call I promise. I’m wondering if I can come up with any excuse to use them - does launching my christmas range next month count? or how about ‘I published a blog tonight!’
All those things I learnt
So onto the point of the blog, I learnt so much last week and I also think that there’s real value in being reminded about things you already know. When you go to an event like this, there’s so much information to take in, but it’s also great to hear a few things we already know for a reminder of it’s importance. I’ve narrowed it down to 5, for your sakes, here we go….
It’s hard filling up goodies bags with only 1 good arm (arm update next week - I know, I know, hold on to your hats!) but as ever persistence pays off... and you can’t tell me that isn’t a valuable lesson. On a personal note it was a big day for me Arm-Wise as the first time in months without my sling or splint and it was just what I needed. I’ve been a bit frustrated lately feeling like I can’t do anything or fearful of what might happen if I do, so it was WONDERFUL to forget about it for a while and just enjoy myself, yes it’s annoying when you struggle with something but it does teach you (/remind you of) the importance of persistence and how rewarding it is when you get there.
It’s ok to be inconsistent. Leona from The Lucky Dip Club/Indie Roller gave a brilliant talk to start the day and the main takeaway was that we are all human, we all make mistakes and that That. Is. OK! We don’t need to be perfect, we don’t need to have all the answers and if we don’t post a blog every Wednesday at 6.30pm precisely then it turns out the internet won’t implode.
(Which is great to know as I’m about to drop down to blogging every other week, it’s a bit too much for me to handle at Christmas, it’s already ramping up (THANK YOU!!) and I’m devastatingly behind due to the whole arm saga so I figured I’d take the pressure off myself. I’ll still be here every other week waffling on but I won’t interrupt you every Wednesday. Hope you don’t mind (Doubtful))
Lucy and Yak is one amazing brand. Lucy and Chris’s talk was just totally inspiring I can’t even tell you (although I’ll try!) The success of their business, the ethical decisions they’ve made and the down to earth attitude they take… the whole thing is just incredible. They inspire me to be a more considered shopper, to question who’s making my clothes and in what conditions. I feel like I learnt so much from them in terms of ethics - it sounds awful to say but I’ve never really considered it much before - I’ve researched a lot about my wool to make sure that the sheep are kept and treated well as that’s really important to me and I try to buy from UK suppliers as much as possible however I’ve never particularly thought about where I get my thread, cushion pads, twine from. And it’s 100% something I’m going to research. This point was really emphasised when I was lucky enough to be invited to the Slow Fashion Show in Exeter on Saturday as well. It was a wonderful event organised by Kalkidan from Sanchos that really focused on sustainable, eco friendly (and still gorgeous!) clothing. The show was a fantastic celebration of the community and a brilliant and eyeopening showcase. If you get chance to have a read about it on Sanchos website it’s well worth it.
After hearing Lucy and Chris speak, I went straight home and read everything on their blog and I SO ENCOURAGE you to do the same. I loved them before and now I feel like it shouldn’t possible to adore a brand this much haha #creepy. Please do have a read of their blog and get inspired by their attitude and practices (I particularly liked Lucy’s recent post about ‘Fair Pay’). Read their story and feel free to message me so we can talk about our mutual love for them :D
One of the best parts of the day was that the message across the board was so consistent. Everyone was saying the same and it really hit home that we’re all in the same boat. We are all a little bit clueless and a little (read: a lot) scared and when you realise that everyone feels the same it seems to make everything a bit easier. Well done to the brave people who came alone even though they were really nervous, I know that would seem like nothing to some people but it’s really huge to someone who’s a bit anxious and deserves a pat on the back (I don’t know I could have done it)
And finally, what’s really great about events like Creatival is that you meet people who might not have otherwise met. When you start to talk to strangers, you learn how many exceptional people there are on the planet. Everyone has something they can teach you. Whether it’s gorgeous Georgia who ran the brilliant photography workshop (she taught me more about shutter speed, aperture and how a piece of cheapo foam board can transform a shot) or someone you meet at lunch getting sandwiches who makes the most phenomenal jewellery…there are so many wonderful people out there who have so much to give and it’s easy to forget that when you’re sitting at your desk at home, feeling lonely and a bit chilly. The good news is that we have access to fantastic events like this and if you can’t make those then fear not, there’s WONDERFUL communities online like The Creative Business Network Community and Indie Roller. Join a group and pitch in, you might learn something wonderful …and like Leona said on Thursday - You’re not committed, if you don’t like it, you can leave!
Until next week,
OK that’s enough reminiscing for one day! Thanks for your support you guys, I’ll check back in soon - I’ll post next week and then start my fortnightly schedule until we get through Christmas.
I’ll leave you with this treasure….