Create & Cultivate DTLA

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!

create cultivate dtla

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!

create cultivate dtla

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!).

create cultivate dtla

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…

create cultivate dtla

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!

create cultivate dtla

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.

create cultivate dtla

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!

  • When looking to start a business, think of what you need or a problem you have and how to solve it. Is there a hole somewhere in the market?
  • Not everyone goes “viral,” gradual growth happens and can be a beautiful thing
  • A lot of markets are saturated – but there’s only one you
  • Consistency is key
  • “Oprah was not built in a day”
  • Go from A to B and B to C – don’t worry about Z until you get there
  • Don’t just “network,” create real relationships
  • Give yourself a break from your phone – we all need time and space to be creative!
  • Be authentic, be you – because there’s only one of you and you’re awesome.

create cultivate dtla

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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12 responses to “Create & Cultivate DTLA”

  1. Late January says:

    Thanks for the honesty. I’m always so curious about things like this, and wonder how much someone really enjoys it. Sounds like workshops or break out sessions would be something to look out for in the next venture.

    • Blondes & Bagels says:

      totally agree! We did have some “mentor breakout sessions” but it’s still you, a big blogger, and 10+ other girls – so not a ton of one on one time.
      xoxo Kelsey

  2. Kayla Kleinman says:

    Thanks for recap, I’ve been thinking about attending C+C and deeply considered heading out to LA (I’m in NYC) for this year’s conference but obviously that’s a lot of moolah to spend. Fingers crossed the next location is driving distance

    • Blondes & Bagels says:

      There were TONS of people from the east coast in LA for the conference! It was kind of surprising because to your point that can get expensive and is a big trip to make! The next city is announced on May 16th – hopefully it’s close to you!
      xoxo Kelsey

  3. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the insight! They were here during SXSW in Austin, but I didn’t have a chance to attend. Maybe next time! I really resonate with stepping away from the phone. I need to do that! Have a great weekend!

    XO, Sarah | http://www.thebellainsider.com/ | http://www.instagram.com/sarah_thebella

  4. Molly O'Connor says:

    I went to Create & Cultivate in Dallas and adored it, mainly for all the connections I made and how inspired I felt afterwards!! Loved reading your recap! 😀

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

  5. Kristen says:

    Love love love that you did this honest recap! I just heard about the new city and am really thinking about finally going since this one is a lot closer to me. I was so set on needing to get the VIP but after this I think the general admission will be just as good. & btw thanks for the heads up about the food! I love to eat so I know I’ll be bringing lots of snacks lol

    -Kristen
    http://knicolestyle.com

  6. […] mom and I had already settled on spending a very entrepreneurial Mother’s Day weekend at Create & Cultivate in LA, but we decided to raise the stakes and also hit up Disneyland while we were down South. […]

  7. […] blog! And all the crazy opportunities I’ve had this year because of it. I went to LA for a conference and met tons of other bloggers. I’ve worked with awesome brands like Goody and Bioré. […]

  8. […] eyebrow pencil – In the middle of Jessica Alba’s Q&A at Create + Cultivate someone shouted out “YOUR EYEBROW PENCIL IS THE BEST!” And I immediately went online […]

  9. […] into the events, but I convinced my mom to take the trip with me! We went to LA together last year (here and here) and it was way too much fun. She’s ridiculous but […]

  10. Akansha says:

    This is great! I’m thinking of possibly taking my mom to Create & Cultivate in Seattle this year. Do you think VIP was worth it?