I had a blast at Young Women in Digital's "What's Your Side Hustle?" event. Things got off to a creative start at Communispace's gorgeous Congress Street location while we heard from contestants vying for YWD's Side Hustle Scholarship.
Keynote Speaker: Siobhan Dullea, Chief Client Strategist at Communispace
Becky Brackett of Pop & Circumstance (@popcircumstance)
Ty Flores of Style Your Curves (@styleurcurves)
Elizabeth Dobskra of StoryNest (@StoryNest)
Laur Fisher of The Civic Series (@CivicSeries)
Becky's Pop & Circumstance focuses on vintage home decor and the glory that I lovingly refer to as Pinterest Perfect.
Style Your Curves is the brainchild of Ty, a gorgeous powerhouse with a passion for plus size apparel and a background in fashion.
Elizabeth from StoryNest bowled me over with her audio component for family historians - and she included endearing tidbits about her family's immigration story.
Laur Fisher's presentation about The Civic Series' sessions on current events and world issues was so engaging that I scribbled something to the effect of "YOU HAVE TO LET ME VOLUNTEER WITH YOU" on the back of my card before nearly pulling a muscle to slip it to her during the presentations.
While Becky went away with the win, the other hustles were no slouches. I definitely had a favorite...but I'll let you in on that secret at the end. ;)
After the presentations wrapped, we took some photos, grabbed more snacks and drinks, and settled back in for a sure-to-be-amazing panel.
Windsor Hanger, Co-Founder / Publisher / President at HerCampus (@HerCampus)
Jackie Schon, Creative Director and Co-Founder at The Paint Bar (@ThePaintBar)
Elyssa Albert, UX/UI Designer at WeSpire (@goWeSpire)
Lauren Joseph, Director of Business Development at The Grommet (@TheGrommet)
I thought about how often we equate being timid with humility and consideration. I reminisce about conditions that have brought out the best in me - usually having been a result of too little time and too few resources. Most importantly, it became glaringly clear how trepidation and self-doubt bare their teeth and devour our projects before we even get them started.
It's a freeing feeling, to go boldly where you've never gone, against advice from your inner circle and in direct defiance of the alarms going off in your own mind. If I took anything away from that night (besides many a business card, of course), it's that your dream will almost always get you into trying situations (because they are, in fact, trying situations). Whether or not the phrase attributed to him were ever truly uttered by Henry Ford*, they remain fitting: if you ask most people what they want, they'll ask for more of the familiar.
I sat in that audience and scanned the room, impressed by the panel, swooning from the Malbec and elevator pitches, with a renewed resolve and belief in what I bring to the table. This is what happens when people gather - iron sharpens iron and we go away with new language and capacity for vision, passion and resolve.
Organizations like Young Women in Digital get it right: they know that the best communities draw on the greatest gifts individuals have to offer and create space for exchange and growth. Who are we when we decide that standing still is not an option? What do we become when we realize that we'll only have what we engineer?
Builders, Creators, Hustlers - that's what.
And which presentation knocked me over? StoryNest, of course. I am, if anything, a lover of narrative. Here's StoryNest founder Elizabeth Dobskra sharing about what sets her hustle apart.
* Henry Ford was attributed with the quote: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would've said faster horses." A 2011 article in the Harvard Business Review teased out the debate.
Goodie Bag Sponsors:
BeStyled provided each attendee with a Complementary Blowdry card and General Assembly offered a free one-month trial of GA Front Row