If any of you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (blondebagel) you know that I spent last week prancing around Los Angeles with my amazing mother for a long Mother’s Day weekend! We hit up Disneyland, the new Harry Potter section of Universal Studios, and so much more – but the real reason we travelled south was to attend Create & Cultivate in downtown LA.
Create & Cultivate is a conference for female entrepreneurs and influencers. When I saw all over Instagram and social media the fun some of my favorite bloggers had at the last conference in Dallas I was dead set on attending in LA. All you beautiful #BagelBabes know that this blog is my passion project and I’ve been working my butt off to create beautiful and inspirational content for both me and you – so I was juiced to think there would be a conference filled with other women just like me brainstorming new ideas, solving problems, and gaining skills. My mama is also a bit of an entrepreneur herself so she was happy to be my buddy!
You guys know that I keep it real here, so I’m going to give you an honest look into Create & Cultivate – both the good and the bad.
Create & Cultivate nailed the aesthetics. Every inch of space in the downtown LA loft was well thought out (seriously everything was Instagram worthy). I was obsessing over the western prints, cacti everywhere (“cacti” is a real word, right?), and there was a beautiful rooftop with plenty of space for lounging around and snapping some photos!
There were also tons of booths where you could mix, mingle, and shop. Between amazing napkins to succulents to handbags to jewelry – it was like an Anthropologie gone wild in all the right ways. Rachel Zoe and Jessica Alba were two of the keynote speakers so there were also booths for Rachel Zoe’s clothing line and Honest Beauty (I got a mid day touch up and think I may be addicted!).
And while we’re on the topic, I really did love the keynote speakers. I’m a huge fan of Rachel Zoe (I may have read her books once or five times..) and Jessica Alba. Both of them were really positive, inspiring, and seemed genuine.
The main keynote speaker of the evening was actually none other than Chelsea Handler, but Mom and I didn’t make it that far and we’ll get to why in just a bit…
Okay so Instagram worthy everything? Check. Perfectly curated shops? Check. Stations for mini makeovers and manicures? Check. Actual skills and tools? Mmm debatable.
Let me set the record straight – all the panelists I listened to throughout the day were awesome. They were basically badass blogging babes. I can’t deny that. But there wasn’t actually a whole lot of learning happening. I felt motivated, inspired, and really enjoyed hearing the stories of bloggers and influencers before me, but what I really needed were tools and examples of how they got to where they are – and that definitely didn’t happen. Moderators of each session asked general questions or about the panelists’ backgrounds, but didn’t dig much deeper into the building blocks of how they grew their engagement, created content, and built their brand. And let me tell you #BagelBabes that’s what I really wanted: to learn how to do what I love with this blog and also get you guys continually involved!
As for why Mom and I didn’t survive until it was time for Chelsea Handler to take the stage – I was a hangry troll. Create & Cultivate tickets are not cheap (Mom and I even went VIP!) and I was really surprised by the lack of food. You guys know I’m definitely a girl who loves to eat (bagels HELLO) but I don’t think it’s unreasonable for anyone to think you’d be provided a solid breakfast, solid lunch, and dinner for an over eight hour day. Breakfast was beautiful but more art than food (little egg cups are cute and all but seriously where are the carbs). Lunch was a salad bowl which was definitely tasty, but small and lacking any protein (lightweight essential to keep you nourished and feeling full). Dinner? There was no dinner. So after having lunch at noon I was ready to eat someone’s top knot by 7 pm. Seriously next time I’m going to keep a roll of onion bagels in my Longchamp.
Whether you’re a blogger, an entrepreneur, or just a reader stopping by, I pulled some of my favorite notes from the weekend for you all to soak in!
Create & Cultivate is a great opportunity to network and soak in some inspiration. I would totally do it again (next time I’ll do general admission rather than VIP) and am so glad I got to share the experience with my biggest inspiration: my mom.
Have you ever been to a conference? Would you ever take your mom to a conference? Tell me about all that and more in the comments below!
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