I am a visionary, and I have big ideas for my events. I'm not satisfied with average, and I want my events to convey the intention of the gathering, from the decor to the speakers to the content. I chose to attend the School of Styling to explore how we could become more thoughtful and creative in planning our own events.
I had fun tapping into my creative side with Kaitlin and the team, but the big takeaway was beyond making flower arrangements and my first flat lay. Experiencing a full creative workshop helped me realize how tapping into that creativity opened up more possibility for my own events to be equally as beautiful, both in design and content.
At a recent live event, I incorporated a flower crown workshop in the middle of a very intense, business focused mastermind, and the results spoke for themselves. As women planned out their next quarter of projects and revenue scaling activities, they wore the flower crowns they'd just put together. I didn't even prompt them to keep their crowns on, but, by taking a break from the standard business and revenue generating content, they did something they were uncomfortable with, took a small risk, and had an immediate (gorgeous) result they were proud of.
We've since leveled up the design aspect of our business retreats, and that's largely due to my experience with School of Styling.
Before attending TSOS, I was suffering from burn out. I love design, but was beginning to see my clients in a way that wasn't appreciative and productive. I was confused on how to communicate my services to clients and how to make my processes smoother.
Everything has changed since TSOS! I came home so excited about my job and LOVING my clients! I'm excited to implement changes in my workflow, to overhaul my website, to be more active on social media and to appreciate my tribe. I'm thankful for the connections I've made with other attendees and am so grateful to have my JOY back!!
I was worried that maybe it wouldn't be a good match for me as a designer. Would it be valuable and worth taking time away from my family and business? It gave me back my business!!!! I returned with so much hope, joy and excitement for things to come. I loved the creative aspects and the hands on projects but the TSOS gave me more business insight than any other instruction I've had. I also think it was incredibly helpful to have a wide range of creatives there. There wasn't the competition that can happen when its all designers or photographers, etc. And yet, we all could help each other and encourage each other and could relate!
I learned WAY more than I was anticipating, in areas that I never even realized were missing in my business. It was wonderful to meet new people, from all different industries. The insight/advice from other women was one of the best things all week. It gave me the push I knew I needed plus an extra one that I needed even more to better myself and my business!
I was a successful & established photographer before I attended TSOS - but I never felt comfortable calling myself an artist- my college degrees are in English, Criminal Justice & Fire Science- NOT ART- and this has always been a subconscious hang up for me. Attending TSOS allowed me to experiment in other creative outlets and gave me the freedom to play and explore and trust my inner artist. Being able to create a beautiful floral arrangement AND designing an entire tablescape gave me the confidence to trust my own vision and style.
TSOS has given me a lot more confidence to trust my own instincts and on weddings that I don't have the luxury of working with a a stylist or planner, I can quickly style on my own without that nagging self doubt.
The connections that I made at TSOS have formed lifelong friendships. I'm so grateful that I took the time to focus on myself as a creative and artist - even though it meant traveling far from my little ones and husband- and while it may have felt a little selfish - it was one of the best decisions I have made for myself as a mama & as a creative.
I found such JOY in planning—and, let me tell you— this is coming from a girl who is NOT a planner by nature. The sessions gave me the scaffolding to better look to the future for opportunity, and I walked away with a clear set of business goals and action steps to reach them.
The environment at TSOS is unique. It’s one of building one another up and giving needed critiques, all the while learning creative skills. But, y’all, the thing I keep coming back to is the FREEDOM I felt. The classrooms were full of fellow creatives hungry to learn. In a world of facades the speakers opened up about the nitty gritty of how they run their creative businesses and let us press in with our own questions.
I walked away from my first TSOS not only inspired and with rejuvenated creative perspective from fellow creatives and speakers but with a concise set of goals and action steps to set everything in motion! TSOS is a beautifully uplifting, freeing and educational experience amongst the most welcoming and inspiring crew.
When I attended TSOS in Jan 2019, I honestly felt so lost. A year prior, I went through some of the darkest times of my life both personally and professionally. As a result, I went through a lot of changes I didn't expect, which left me feeling like I lacked direction, focus and purpose. Attending TSOS at the start of a new year was not only a breath of fresh air, it was a lifeboat for me.
TSOS was a huge turning point for me as it equipped me with actual tools to help me move forward in growing Hafsa and Co. and foster relationships that continue to nurture and support this business. Most of them, are not florists which I think is important to point out.
The Hafsa and Co. tagline, “We use flowers to help businesses stand out” was actually born at TSOS as a result of talking to three different, equally incredible women, who were also attending. Before these conversations, I was just calling myself a “traveling florist”.
Armed with my new tagline, a website audit and so much support / encouragement I received over the duration of the TSOS workshop - my business has grown in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined in six months. An example of something that came directly from attending TSOS, I’m traveling to Hong Kong this October to work with another TSOS attendee who lives there and owns her own business, on multiple floral experiential events #dreamsreallydocometrue.
The group of women I met at TSOS, including Kaitlin, helped me see (and feel) that my struggles are like so many of those other female entrepreneurs face and to think I’m alone in that is foolish. That is the biggest thing that changed for me, and changed in me.
I remember on the last day of TSOS, we wrote down our business goals. One for me was to teach a modern calligraphy workshop so that I could have a way to share my passion and knowledge to other aspiring calligraphers. A few months after writing down that goal, I taught my first calligraphy workshop!
Since then, I've taught hundreds of students through my in-person classes and workshops. It was incredibly special when I was invited back to TSOS the following year to teach the calligraphy portion to the new attendees. Talk about a full-circle moment!
Attending TSOS gave me the accountability and the courage to chase my goals. I made amazing vendor connections, received client referrals, and created lasting friendships. What Kaitlin & her team have built is something incredibly special and I'm lucky to be part of this creative community!
Coming back this year has been more than I could have hoped for. I walked into the classroom with so much more clarity on my business path this year and in turn the education and networking affected me on an even deeper level than I thought possible.
To be able to take this time for myself to focus on my business, myself and get to dream bigger and bolder, hone in on my styling + business skills, and meet a truly inspiring group of ladies is worth every penny.