Between making babies happen, making brands happen, making things happen, making a magazine, a new house, new staff, shoots, consulting, travel and everything in between, there has been a whole lot happening since I last wrote here! Hello, friends. Hello, blog. Nice to see you. Sit a spell with me and I’ll quickly get you updated.
I was so honored (OK, really… I squealed and did some form of a really hilarious happy dance in getting the invite from R+ K!) and grateful to get the opportunity to speak on a branding panel at Engage!11 in San Diego recently. Alongside my incredibly inspiring roomies Harmony Walton and Jasmine Star, I was so fired up to get to speak on a subject that fuels me beyond words… and to a group of professionals who inspires me to no end! Full recap coming soon in my Engage!11 MegaPost, but I just had to say thank you again to the two women (and team) who gave me the remarkable gift to teach and learn and spend a week getting my heart and mind cracked wide open: Rebecca Grinnals and Kathyrn Arce. If you know these two phenomenal women, you know what I mean! There aren’t words large enough to express my gratitude. This was my 6th Engage! and it just keeps getting better. From the moment I got there, my mind started buzzing with new ideas that resulted in powerful changes taking place in our office since I’ve been back. Big changes. Remarkable advances. And it’s just the beginning. Thank you, Rebecca, Kathryn and all of the incredible professionals we shared that magical week with! I wish I was going to be in Cayman for the next Engage!, but I will likely be in labor. Literally, labor is the ONLY reason I would ever miss an Engage! This video from Cloud Nine Creative says it all really…
Making Brands Happen makes my days light up! Emily and I talk about 20 times a day and exchange an average of 80 emails every afternoon, making people’s authentic powerful creative brands come to life. What started as an idea sketched out on a Delta barfbag somewhere over the Pacific on the way to Maui (really) to merge our two loves – design and branding – turned into something we never dreamed possible! We had no idea this would take off like it has with clients we adore more than words, but it just further confirms what I’ve always believed: when you harness your core – your driving passion – nothing is impossible.
The golden question in the SW office: How do we connect great vendors to the right brides to give them the experience of a lifetime on their big day? My gut reaction answer is always: educate brides and build better businesses! Great matchmaking and powerful experiences start at the core. My mission is to change the wedding industry for the better from the inside out. Building authentic, flourishing businesses gets me fired up! When a brand message is crystal clear, you attract the ideal clients who understand your true value. When a company has built a remarkable client experience and brand culture based on that core brand message, fireworks happen! That’s what I want for brides. Fireworks! The kind that are so brilliant and big that your parents didn’t want you to light them on your own when you were a kid. Life-long memories and unforgettable experiences. True authentic love to the power of infinity! Oh, Heavens, don’t get me started! I. love. this. work. We’re now completely sold out for 2011 brand launches and have a waiting list for 2012 when I get back from maternity leave. Get on the 2012 List.
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, V4 aka Volume Four of Southern Weddings Magazine is set to be our biggest and best issue yet! Heavens to Betsy, is it ever! We’re still accepting PRINT SUBMISSIONS for this issue, so jump on it and send us your best! Shoot season is in full swing for us and our office is abuzz with deliveries, prop styling, brainstorming sessions, sketches and swatches. Our Art Director, Emily Ayer, and our divine team are making all sorts of Southern wedding goodness happen. I’m so grateful for the women I work with. Photo below from our Southern Weddings charity yard sale by Nancy Ray.
Y’all need to come visit our office one day to fully understand their awesomeness. Come on over! Seriously. We have a full fridge of sweet tea and Cheerwine ready for you. A little sneak peek at our new team shoot from Millie Holloman below. Love you, ladies!
Travel time! I’ll be back to my hometown to speak at The Stationery Academy in August. Very excited about this… except it’s the last speaking engagement I’m letting myself do for the year before this baby arrives. I love to speak more than anything and have had to – sadly – turn down 14 wonderful opportunities this fall all over the world, including two in Ireland! My dream! I know God has designed this plan for a perfect reason, though. Said reason is currently kicking my bellybutton : )
Aaaaand my favorite news besides baby… Emily, Gina and I are headed out on the road for a very short Making Things Happen tour! All of the past 27 cities have SOLD OUT, so we expect this to as well. We purposely chose places that are easy to travel to so you can make it happen. With le bebe on the way, this is the last tour I’ll be able to do for likely a good year or so. We’re headed to Pensacola, Atlanta and New York in just a few short weeks. We’re also hosting a big alum event in Florida! I couldn’t be more excited. I love this work more than I currently love black cherry popsicles (that’s a lot of love, people!) and can’t wait to see everyone soon to make some big things happen. Seats are already filling fast. Register before July 1 for the early-bird rate while you still can.
A soon-to-be-attendee recently asked me if any of the MTH alum keep in touch. I told her that I had to giggle a little at her question. Why? For a year and a half, we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of 29 private Facebook groups – one for each MTH class, one for a student class from UNC and one big group for all MTH alum that we just launched. Oh my word, these groups buzz with activity – encouragement, collaboration, feedback, motivation, updates, etc., etc. – on a minute to minute basis. I always wish I could give people a peek into these private groups. They motivate me to no end! Accountability and continuing guidance are a cornerstone to lasting success. Many thanks to the powers of Facebook technology and to the 400+ alum who inspire all of us every single day. We love y’all so very much! Be sure to follow MTH2011 on Tumblr and Twitter for daily inspiration and read the post that started it all.
SCHOLARSHIP: So, in the continuing spirit of giving back through Making Things Happen, we are opening one scholarship for this final 2011 tour. Leave a comment here telling us what you want to make happen in 2011 (and which city you would like to attend). Why do you want this? What is your passion? Deadline to comment is JULY 4th at midnight. One scholarship seat will be announced that week! Life is too short to play small. So, spread the word and get on it. We cannot wait to meet you soon!
OK, back to making all of this happen, friends.
P.S. Happy 39th wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you!
P.P.S. Happy Father’s Day weekend, y’all! Join the Father of the Bride gushfest…