With the start of Flower Crown Society, I loved connecting and collaborating with other creatives and like-minded thinkers. I did so through photo shoots, events, and dinner parties. But I had yet to attend something as large-scale as Plywood Presents. After hearing so many amazing testimonials from previous attendees and especially after hearing that Johnny Earle would be speaking, I knew I needed to attend. But with being a newlywed and pursuing my dream, I didn't have the resources to purchase a ticket. Instead, as a shot in the dark and leap of faith, I asked on Instagram if anyone wanted to sponsor me. The founder himself, Jeff Shinabarger, commented overnight saying that someone wanted to sponsor me. I woke up thinking it was a dream. How could someone, yet alone a stranger, be so generous in providing me such an opportunity? I was humbled and grateful.
So after months of being excited and waiting for Plywood Presents to come, I finally attended for the past two days at The Fox Theatre. Even with all the hype of it being "life-changing," it exceeded my expectations. There were so many amazing speakers who spoke about various topics, from facing your fears to doing more of what makes you happy. I couldn't stop taking notes with all the great content that was coming my way. And to even reflect on the fact that over 600 of Atlanta's best innovators, artists, and activists were under one roof? It was pretty incredible.
There were so many memorable moments and things I learned from the short two days. But in a few bullet points:
- meeting Dale Partridge of Sevenly, and Johnny Earle of Johnny Cupcakes
- attending with my husband, who also got sponsored only 5 days before!
- knowing I wasn't alone in having a fear of rejection
- realizing there is an incredible community in Atlanta that goes above and beyond for supporting one of their own in the face of tragedy
- "anything long lasting and worthwhile takes time and complete surrender"
- hearing 5 innovators pitch their ideas for a chance to win $5000
- hearing one of the most empowering and encouraging speakers address the issue of gender inequality
- learning that "people over profit" is a more sustainable and healthy model than vice versa
- if you change the world, but lose your spouse/family, then you have lost
- learning how to pitch to editors
- learning that I need to differentiate myself in 12 different ways from competitors
- and my absolute favorite moment: when my good friends got engaged! (see? this is a life-changing conference!)
To end, I absolutely loved when Sid Mashburn spoke about our city and said "Atlanta is hopeful and helpful."