As many of you know, Team Jilly (including my Agent, Tyler Evans!) and I attended The Atelier Collective on June 18th at the stunning Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto! While it was mine and Tyler’s very first time attending The Atelier, it was Shay and Mindy’s second year in a row and needless to say, we were all buzzing with excitement leading up to the event as we knew just how incredible it was last year! If you missed out on last year’s recap, check it out here!
Taryn and Angela are the Co-founders of The Atelier Collective and I cannot say ENOUGH about these two AMAZING women! Not only are they mamas, but they’re also passionate, driven, entrepreneurs who brought this incredible community of women, business, and networking together. The space itself was insanely beautiful thanks to the talented event designer, Rachel A. Clingen! It was loaded with thousands upon thousands of flowers, gold accents (still can’t get over those gold chairs from Detailz Event Rentals) and beautiful blush tones everywhere! Plus, incredible food was served throughout the conference by Oliver & Bonacini and Lettuce Love Cafe along with custom cocktails that were made and served by Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers. If you haven’t heard of them, go check them out! Not only are the spirits DELISH but their branding is dreamy! We also loved the delicious wine from Ravine Vineyard! LOL!
This year I was lucky enough to be asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers, which I humbly accepted! I shared my journey that led me to where I am today, discussed what it was like to hire (and grow) a team, steps to building your brand, determining our vision, learning to say no and implementing systems and procedures. If I had to highlight 8 key takeaways from my speech … they would be as follows!
My 8 Key Takeaways
- Hire a team: When you’re ready to take this step (it’s a big one!), hire people who match your values and your brand mission and don’t be afraid to hire people who are smarter than you.
- Be passionate and believe in yourself: You do YOU and don’t focus on what the others are doing!
- Build trust in your partners and your following: You can do this by staying true to yourself. Use your values and mission to guide you when it comes to partnerships that align with your brand.
- Imperfectly perfect: Don’t be afraid to make those mistakes so that you can learn from them!
- Determine your vision: What do you want your branding to look like? Brainstorm, strategize, and plan!
- Learn to say NO and set your boundaries: Always be willing to say no if something doesn’t feel aligned with your brand or your personal life. Make sure to take YOU time, time block this out in your calendar if you have to!
- Systems and Procedures: As your brand grows you need to implement systems and procedures so that everything runs smoothly. These range from photoshoot protocols and checklists, travel protocols, employee manuals, etc.
- Be BRAVE and take risks: Step outside of your comfort zone so that you can GROW!
Once I wrapped my keynote speech, I welcomed Team Jilly to the stage where we did a fun Q&A, I asked them all sorts of questions from what it was like working with me, how we deal with negativity online, what it takes to go through a rebrand, how we determine who we partner with, etc. I even tossed in some extra questions at them that they weren’t ready for such as what they DIDN’T like about working with me … LOL! The look on their faces was priceless!
After we turned the Q&A over to the audience, we wrapped up with a toast on stage and made our way backstage to begin the VIP meet and greet! This is where I personally got to meet and snap pics with 100 amazing women who were in attendance! It was such a highlight as some of these women have been following my account for a number of years and we’ve conversed via the ‘gram countless times (ahem, Amanda Panda!) and we FINALLY got to meet in person!!
I believe we wrapped shortly after 8 pm that night and we popped off our heels and made our way back to the hotel where we enjoyed a beautiful dinner with Taryn and Angela at REIGN Restaurant in the Fairmont Royal York. We left dinner stuffed, happy, and ready for a well-deserved rest back in our rooms. We got so lucky to have the opportunity to stay in the new Fairmont Gold rooms and we were floored by their beauty and by the Fairmont Royal York’s hospitality! Such a special treat and one we certainly won’t forget!
The next morning, before heading off to the airport for our flights back home (no rest for the wicked 😉), we attended a STUNNING VIP Meet & Greet lunch with 100 guests at Ricarda’s in Toronto! Again, the details were immaculate, from gorgeous florals from Rachel A. Clingen, pretty flatware, linens, and glassware, from Simply Beautiful Decor and to die for wine from Two Sisters Vineyard. It was the perfect way to wrap up our trip to Toronto!
I want to thank ALL of the incredible women who attended The Atelier Collective this year, the energy you all gave off was so contagious, I wish I got to meet each and every one of you! Also, to Taryn and Angela for your determination and hard work, you ladies are rockstars! Last but not least, I would love to thank Philosophy Studios for snapping all of these incredible photos so that we could share them with everyone!!
Jilly & Team Jilly