When we originally planned RISE, we had a distinct vision and mission in mind – to create an interactive and inclusive experience for women where successes were shared, failures and flaws were celebrated and connection and community were cultivated, bold conversations were activated and each guest left feeling empowered to RISE.
Come the end of our two-day conference on Saturday at 5 PM, a dance party was fully activated with DJ Joanna Magik spinning incredible beats and a crowd of women powerfully and blissfully shouting out the lyrics of Queen Bey herself. Because really, who run the world?
Describing the atmosphere as LIT is truly an understatement.
This very scene was all the proof we needed that when it came to RISE, the women certainly came, ROSE and conquered.
For those of you who couldn’t attend, no sweat, we’ve compiled a summary of the key highlights. But like anything in this world, it’s always best to experience it IRL, so don’t miss your next chance to experience RISE and pre-order your VIP ticket here.
Here is our breakdown of Day One.
We started off with a bang and a warm ray of light with our first keynote, Sunny Lenarduzzi. Sunny led a vulnerable conversation on the importance of getting out of your own way and going for the things that seem unreachable. You have one shot to live the life you want, what are you waiting for? She intertwined her talk with personal narratives that brought emotion to the room and brought the audience in to decide what their big dreams were. After all, “what you create creates your universe” - manifest your destiny by being proactive in reaching them.
Sarah taught us how to hustle hard for that crowdfunding cash. She completely changed our perception on crowdfunding, highlighting that it’s not just for the up-and-coming entrepreneur, and that as women in business, crowdfunding can indeed be our secret sauce. Sarah’s friendly and powerful takeaway for all the boss babes who may be struggling to lean on those they love for support and dollar bills, “You are NOT a charity – you are a badass.” Now, repeat that over and over until it becomes your reality.
When it came to getting raw and real, Ashley brought her A game. From a childhood marked by racism, abuse, bullying, health issues and family struggles to becoming Miss Universe – the path was indeed rocky and one that she paved for herself. While Ashley’s experiences could have caused her to shrink and silence herself, she instead garnered an unwavering strength. Donning a warrior mindset, Ashley crushed her goals and pushed herself out of her comfort zone. And despite the fame that she garnered from winning the world’s biggest beauty competition, she never forgot to fight for what is important stressing, “If you have a voice, use it, because it’s powerful”. And because of this, Ashley created something bigger than herself and became an influential voice for Indigenous people. Ashley inspired us all to “dream big, and show this world what we’re made of.”
As an established entrepreneur who created an international beauty business, you wouldn’t think Devon would say the most important mindset to cultivate is that of a beginner’s mind, but she’s right, it’s all about going back to the basics. She emphasized how growth is fuelled from a beginner’s mind, but that overtime this can get harder and harder to tap into. Devon added, that true growth is moving from self-awareness to self-regulation. From a woman who has garnered global success, she is quick to note that one’s legacy doesn’t lie in profit, fame or achievement, but rather “the only legacy that matters is how we leave people feeling.”
Nicole Eaton and Jason Wilkins
When it comes to wealth, investing and finances, Nicole and Jason brought a level of honesty we’ve all been looking for. While you don’t need to know every little nitty, gritty bit of financial intricacy, the power duo showed us the importance of developing financial literacy. Destiny’s Child belted about being an independent woman, and whether you want to hear it or not, that should also include a level of financial knowledge, planning and independence. Nicole emphasized, “You need to be thoughtful with your money. You need to know where it belongs to get the best benefit for it.” And that is something we can all invest in.
Alison’s session on girl culture left us shook and opened our eyes to see womanhood differently. Speaking to how our negative self-talk transcends generations, she raised thought-provoking points on how a shift in girl culture depends on us. Emphasizing the importance of “not changing what you have, but changing what you see,” we will start to see a rise in girl power. After all, Alison notes, “Why would guys want to be us, if we haven’t even enjoyed being us?” Alison pushed us to not only demand more for ourselves, but demand more of ourselves, highlighting “female culture will change when female pride changes.” Amen, sister. Amen.
While her expertise lies in finance, Selina served us a healthy dose of the soul. Shifting our perceptions in how we view and value money, Selina taught us the importance of nurturing our relationship with our finances noting, “how we choose to spend our money is how we choose to love ourselves”. Driving home the message of looking beyond the numbers and considering money as an energy instead, we can finally free ourselves of our anxieties and treat our relationship with money will the respect and attention it deserves. After all, “money is not just currency – it’s our relationships, it’s our belief system.”
Babes Supporting Babes Panel
Although this panel was filled with boss babes, Miriam Alden (Brunette the Label), Ashley Freeborn (Smash + Tess) and Donni Rae Edmondson (Privilege Clothing), you didn’t need to be a budding or established entrepreneur to understand the importance of babes supporting babes. While she’s newest panelist to the fashion business, Ashley is quick to acknowledge that your “initial reaction is to get fearful of competition,” but that, “we can accomplish a lot more together, so let’s grow even bigger and better.” Donni spoke to the biggest enemy facing women everywhere – imposter syndrome – admitting that it’s something even she herself deals with despite her growing success. She said, “the bigger the goals, the bigger the imposter syndrome,” but to not let that stand in your way of acknowledging your success. After all, “what are we working for if we can’t celebrate the successes along the way?” Miriam rounded out the session, reminding us that we are all babes and that we can all choose to be a babe that supports other babes. And when it comes to women being unsupportive, “you can still deal with those situations in a babes supporting babes way, but how they choose to react to that is on them.”
Connor was a breath of fresh air who delivered meaningful insights from Mars. While women’s movements are taking shape and rise all over the world, it’s important to learn how to understand our male counterparts so we can work together for lasting change. Connor emphasized how men are raised to be performance-based objects and highlighted how the war taught men they were disposable. Because of this, men tend to believe, “if I’m not needed, it doesn’t matter if I’m here anyway, so fuck it.” So, for men the “energy of purpose is the energy of expansion”. Connor communicated that men are certainly “waking up to the rise of feminine in our culture,” and taught us valuable ways to help drive progress and our relationships with men forward.
If you ever thought you didn’t need a plan for your content, think again. Kat’s session proved the power of posting with purpose, while highlighting the importance of planning your content. Kat got us trained to answer three key questions before hitting post:
· What’s your purpose?
· Why are you doing this?
· What action do you want people to take after the read your content?
Kat showed us that through a meaningful content strategy, you can indeed crush your goals, emphasizing “what you write down, you can achieve and it will come true”. And just like that, women started putting pen to paper.
Danielle LaPorte’s session can be described simply as: truth bombs and mic drops. Danielle got us thinking about our heads and our hearts, about lightness and darkness and about courage, compassion and connection. The session was real, emotional and raw, but left every one of us feeling lifted, lighter and empowered. She taught us that “the more you lean into suffering, the lighter it gets” and how to truly spark meaningful conversations. She stressed the importance of asking people, two valuable questions:
· How are you feeling?
· How’s your heart?
By starting to have honest conversations, we will drive real, honest connections.
Danielle wisely defined what rising truly means – deeper courage and deeper connection. She added that, “you decide to rise. Not because of fear or obligation, but you decide to rise because you want to expand your possibilities. When you do this for yourself, you do it for everybody”.
And on that note, we thank every woman who attended RISE and rose with us – you had a ripple effect on our community and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Stay tuned for our day two recap coming soon!