Hi there. D'ya miss me? I missed writing... and reading what you are doing. I find I'm a bit of an addict. Anywho's and what's... I'm back from Chicago. Spirit totally renewed. I was at the Country Living Women Entrepreneur's Event, and it was Fab-U-Lous!
First, I just have to show you something fabby-tabby from a gal I met during the event. I have to say, I absolutely fell in love with her jewelry. To Die For!
This is from Mary Ellen at Twist Style... not only is she an incredible artist she's really nice too... and let me tell you I was drooling over her awesome brocade outfit. I can't even begin to describe... phooey, I wish I took a picture.
I find myself wanting to tell you every detail, but that would probably bore you to tears and I know that as it is, this is going to be really long. Plus, I really want to tell you about some of the fabby women I met and the event itself. So, suffice to say that before the event I held a trunk show, whirled around the suburbs getting stuff ready, and was lucky enough to spend time with my sister and her family and my best friend and her family.
Of course, the center piece of the weekend, and the reason I was there was the CL event. My sister, Ilisa, and I rolled into the hotel pretty late the evening before not realizing... or forgetting... about the traditional St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago... it was the next morning and traffic getting into the city was an abomination. This is something I forgot about Chicago... the traffic. Oy. Oy. and Oy vey!
Ilisa and I had a pajama party, tea and super-duper carrot cake and then she had me practicing my schpiel until pretty late that night. But girls, I had it down pat. And, I have to admit, I'm the sort that likes job interviews and giving speeches so this was a particularly enjoyable combination of the two. Plus, what's more fun than talking about one's self? LOL. Hmmm... I say LOL, but I'll also admit that it's true... I do enjoy talking all things Bari. And don't tell me that you don't like talking about yourself... that's a crock.
But wait... back up. I didn't tell you before I left that I was lucky enough to be able to do the "Pitch Your Product" portion of the event. That was a total bonus. I wasn't going to say anything before I went (or later really) because I didn't want you to hold me to winning. Or laugh if I didn't win. But now I feel sort of like I already won because I really honestly feel good about it. Sounds trite... but it's really true.
Plus one thing I learned about this weekend was "Putting it out there in the world". In other words, stating your intentions to make them real. And, ooof! Stating what you want is not easy. But there. Now you know. I've got other intentions too that I intend to "put out there" soon.
Anyways, back to the event... The first panelist was the incredible Anna Griffin. Nancy Soriano, CL's Editor in Chief, interviewed her. Anna is an incredibly driven woman who has given her business her absolute all. Part of her business advice and mantra: "Yes, And". Meaning, put the yes out there and you'll figure it out. I was completely and utterly impressed with all of her answers, but even more impressed with how down to earth she seemed... and for that matter how fabulously down to earth Nancy Soriano is.
If I'm remembering in order, the next portion was about internet and technology as part of our businesses. I think maybe I could have been on this panel, if I may be so bold. The moderator was Nancy's sister, Susan Mernit who is an internet guru. You must check out her blog, btw. She's a super-neat lady that I was able to meet for just a minute. But in that minute, I decided that I really like her.
That's one thing you might want to know about me... I have Super Powers of being able to gather character in an instant. I say this not to be bragging or silly, but because almost every single time I have doubted my first impression, I have been burned. So now at almost 39 years old, I trust my instincts as an absolute rule. The point here? I really liked Susan Mernit, her incredible sister, Nancy, and most of the women this weekend. I felt like I was really among kindred spirits at this event.
((Ok, alright, there were a couple that I would make a point to steer clear of... but I shall name no names.))
So, where was I??? Ummm. Next up was Tamara Monosoff, author of Secrets of Millionaire Moms and founder of Mom Inventors. She was a really wonderful speaker. Motivational, inspiring... all that good stuff. Here's the super secret and mantra to add to my list that she gave us... "Leap and The Net Will Appear". Today, I have a bunch of leaps to make... I promise to fill you in later.
The final portion was the group of women featured in the March issue of Country Living. All of these ladies had great advice and their stories were invaluable.
I especially loved Maggie Pace's story...
(picture from Country Living Magazine)
Maggie started Pickup Sticks while on bedrest with her child... I myself was on bedrest during pregnacy and I could just totally relate to the experience... I just wish I'd used my time more wisely, good grief! Why didn't I start sewing then???
Which reminds me... I bought this Pickup Sticks kit years ago intending to teach myself to knit... um... hmmm... didn't do that yet.
In addition to all this wonderfulness, I had the opportunity to have lunch and a shopping date with these fine designers... that's me on the left in the "I'm-not-scared-to-look-like-a-dork-as-long-as-I'm-not-cold-in-Chicago" coat ... then Anita, Paula, Joanna, Heather and Jennifer.
This was a super cool time. Spending moments with other designers is always the bomb. I bet you know some of these ladies ;) ... to know how cool that it was to spend time with them for me you must know that I think fabric designers are like rock stars. I'm a fabric junkie, as you well know, and I'll put it out there again... I intend to design fabric, paper and mucho gusto more (and btw, I'm gonna, you mark my words... or at least hold me to it, ok???).
(Pretty pic from inside the Shabby Chic Store in Lincoln Park on Halstead Street)
I believe that's it... after all this I ran off to the airport thinking I'd hop right on a flight and to home I go ... but this was not the case... I somehow managed to laugh it all off, but eight hours in the airport is seriously NOT my idea of a great capper to the weekend. Oooof. Oh well. As they say... "People plan... God laughs." Apparently she had a good belly laugh over this... So, I decided to laugh along with her. Sometimes she's a real stinker, isn't she?