Sharing Stories - Bringing Together The Women of Phoenix
Here are a few things I like:
- Traveling (well not the actual getting on the plane portion)
- Bringing people together
- Meeting creative women
- Creating community
- Eating tacos
Lucky for me, I went to Arizona and did all of those things.
Over the past couple of years, a few of my family members have moved out to the Phoenix area from Chicago. Which means that I've been able to visit Phoenix a few times, each time growing more and more in love with it. Whenever I visit a new city, I make sure to make a list (and a map) of all of the local shops, restaurants, and places I would like to see on my trip. During my first visit, I made sure I stopped at Local Nomad, because hello, it's beautiful. Again, on my second visit, I knew this would be my regular stop. This time, I was able to chat with the owner Lauren for a good hour about the small world of Instagram and where I could find good pizza.
My appreciation for Lauren and her shop grew and I knew I wanted to collaborate with her some way. Good thing she's the kindest human being in the world, because we started talking about planning an event together. Since I did not know many of the women in Phoenix, I thought it would be a great idea to structure a panel around the creative women doing great things in the city. Very quickly blogger Megan Gilroy, Kelsey Strothers of Worth Takeaway, Christina Martinez of New Darlings, Teresa Wilson of Camelback Flowershop, and Michele Nunes of Noons all said yes to taking time out of their mornings to speak on our panel. I was pretty over the moon because I had been admiring them all for so long.
Once the day came, Lauren transformed her space to fit 50 attendees and our 5 panelists for a cozy morning of conversation. Truth be told, I'm always pretty nervous before an event. I want to please and make sure I talk to everyone, but I also want to hide a little bit and breathe into a bag before I speak to a group (damn that whole social anxiety thing that I've dealt with for years). However, once everything gets started, I calm down and appreciate what is happening before me.
Lauren and I were prepared with a handful of questions for our panelists, but once the conversation got flowing, we only ended up asking two. These women know their stuff! It was an exciting and interesting group since everyone was at a different stage of their business and creative journey. Michelle only being open for a few months to Teresa being open for 17 years - each woman was able to touch on something different pertaining to their business. I loved hearing from both Christina and Megan on their different blogger paths and how it takes time to transition. Kelsey was an incredible wealth of information on the food industry and knowing one's limits. Teresa shared with us her strict boundaries around social media, her phone, and her family, making sure that she is balanced and fully present with the people in her life. I could really go on and on.
I left feeling invigorated and refreshed (and like I made a whole room of new friends). It was really something special to see a community coming together to support one another. I am so thankful and glad that I was able to create the space to make that happen.