If there is one thing I learned last week, it is that collaborating, with the right people and on the right projects, is totally beautiful and does wonderful things for your creativity.
I just returned from the Alt Summit, in Salt Lake City, UT, and feel as though my mind and heart are full of inspiration and strength.
This 3-day conference attracts some of the most dedicated and creative people and brands I have ever met. Conversations roll into collaborations, ideas, friendships, inspiration, and meaningful encouragement. Alt introduced me to “my tribe” – ladies that are in vastly different creative fields and yet champion and support each other boldly and loudly.
I had the honor of working along side three other creative women as Alt Representatives (MJ, Ellen, and Paige – check out these amazing ladies pronto.) We helped in a variety of rolls including assisting the speakers (who, by the way, are total stars!) making attendees feel comfortable and informed, and facilitating a smooth and seamless conference. It was a huge honor and the takeaways from this experience reach further than I can imagine.
Top takeaways that were beautifully woven throughout the presentations, talks, and conversations:
1: The mass doesn’t always have the best taste. Don’t follow them.
2: Keep perspective. Haters don’t deserve time. Deal graciously and move right along.
3: Everything that is hard will make you stronger. Thick skin is not inherited.
4: Saying “yes” to everything will not get you further.
5: The key aspects to memorable branding and content/product development are: color, composition, typography, recognition, and nostalgia.
6: Your story & your personal brand go hand in hand. As an artist I need to remember that collectors chose the artists, not just the art. My biggest defining factor is myself.
7: Reveal who you are. Look at yourself from the inside and from the outside. What do you want people to see? How can you help them quickly understand who you are and what you create?
8: Everyone has a story. Everyone has creativity. One of our biggest goals should be to draw it out of people & inspire them to live creatively.
9: Prioritize your time & efforts in advance. Wasted moments are highly valuable and completely irreplaceable.
10: Don’t be afraid of saying you’re not good at something. You’re not going to grow your business by applying yourself partially in everything.
11: Grow gradually and very naturally. When you think you really need someone to handle something find the best person you can afford.
12: The future if business is e-commerce. Storefronts will never go away but eyes will ever increasingly be online.
13: Become an expert, even if it’s in just one small part of your field. Know it, own it, and share your insight liberally.
14: Generosity is never dumb. Don’t worry about copy cats. They can never be YOU and can never possess your unique skills & determination.
15: Know your value & charge what you are worth. Asking for too much or for too little will stunt the growth of your business.
16: Live just outside of your comfort zone. Take risks, ask for wonderful things: excited yourself.
Speakers that profoundly inspired me (and who you totally need to check out): Garance Doré, Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio, Jasmine Star, Erica Domesek, P.S.-I made this, Susan Petersen, Freshly-Picked, & Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts
…But most of all, learn to open yourself up, to find people you can champion, and who champion you; don’t put a cap on your collective strengths, and be ready to make amazing things happen together!
The business cards of Alt Summit are kind of legendary. Check out the collections I posted on my Instagram account to see what I mean. @Emily_Jeffords