carissa stephens

Events: #CCStyleSummit + My Top 5 Takeaways

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Create and Cultivate‘s Style Summit in partnership with Simon Malls at the Houston Galleria.

As a new mama, being able to attend industry events that are tailor made for entrepreneurial women feels like a super productive mini getaway and I always feel so empowered having connected with other like-minded women. At the event, I saw some familiar faces and made acquaintances with a ton of new ones! I also invited my sister to come with!

I engaged with several beautiful brand activations, (Origins and Rolex were my favorite) and even began the process of securing future collaborations with a major brand that I’m so excited about!

They rolled out all the stops for this one with a fabulous open bar and a panel of influencers that had a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and REALNESS to share! Here are my 5 biggest takeaways from the awesome panel discussion (in which I’m paraphrasing):

  1. Know your worth as a creative. Send your rates sheet, sis. Too often creatives only get paid marginally for their work or in exchange for gifts. It’s time we raise the bar as a collective. Of course there are many factors that go into compensation and everything is negotiable but closed mouths don’t get fed. Believe in the value of your work.
  2. Be smart about what brands you align YOUR brand with. Many of us are our own personal brand. We must be protective to a certain extent of the brands that we are building/ growing. Everything isn’t for everybody. Be sure your partnerships make sense for your brand.
  3. Quality over quantity! Having true influence or impact is not about your number of followers or post likes. What is that engagement looking like? Are your followers genuinely following you because they like your content? If you called them to action, would they move? Companies are wising up to these inflated numbers that are really just colored bubbles for many. Building a real community for your brand with consistency and quality content is the key to long term success.
  4. Remember why you started. Entrepreneurship looks cute on social media which is why many jump in without careful consideration. The truth is, the days can be very long as the grind is continuous. People tend to underestimate the level of commitment and consistency being successful in this business requires. You can look all cute on the gram but at home you’re looking crazy… plugging away like a mad woman. lol! This will also help you maintain brand integrity. At the end of the day, you have to remember why you chose this! You have to remind yourself of that feeling you got when you knew you had to take that leap of faith and pursue your dream!
  5. Relationships are key. Like REAL face to face interaction with humans. lol I’ve always been a very social person but since becoming a mom, my schedule is so busy. It does take an extra effort and planning to come out to industry events. Connecting on the gram is fine in the interim but there is nothing like that face-to-face energy when connecting with someone. The connection is a lot more real and the impression is longer lasting.

I feel tremendously blessed to be able to design the life I love and I hope to continue to make an impact by inspiring women of all ages to live their best life, unapologetically. I thank God for the vision, the freedom, the grind… the journey.

I had so much fun attending this event and definitely plan on attending more Create and Cultivate events in the future! Did you attend? Do you plan on attended a Create & Cultivate event in the future? Leave me a comment below!

xo -Riss


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