You know when you meet a friend-of-a-friend, and you realize you’re about to have a new BFF? It’s such a great feeling, isn’t it? That’s what happened to us here at Batchbook when we got introduced to The Lady Project through a friend at MailChimp. The Lady Project was started in Providence and their mission statement really connected with us – “The Lady Project connects, inspires and showcases awesome women doing amazing things through membership, events and community engagement.” Once we met the co-founder, Sierra Barter, we knew we had to be involved in the organization and their second annual Lady Project Summit here in Providence.
Let’s Get The Party Started
The Summit took place last weekend and we hosted a pre-party at our office where we got to meet some of the attendees before the event. The ladies from Mint set up a pop-up shop filled with vintage treasures which were able to browse while enjoying drinks and appetizers.
At the Summit
The Summit schedule was full of interesting key-note speakers and there were so many workshops to choose from. I thought I’d give you a few highlights from the sessions our team attended.
Keynote – Tammy Tibbetts – She’s the First
She’s the First sponsors girls’ education in the developing world with the goal of creating first-generation graduates and our next generation of global leaders.
- Dream Big – Start Small. Tammy shared how her non-profit started with just one YouTube video.
- Follow your passion and share it with others. Instead of asking people what they do, ask them “What are you passionate about?”
- Remember where you came from, be authentic. All the steps you took to get where you are today are part of your story and the person you’ve become.
The Story Strategy – Margo Rowder – Television Academy
Margo taught a workshop on how to tell the story of your brand.
- A great story starts with a character. Think about the character of your brand based on your mission, history, setting, reputation, partners and employees.
- You have a rich story to tell. Think about the origin of your company, how you fill a need that’s not being met, or how you went outside your comfort zone.
- Point of view is important in storytelling. Will you tell the story from an insider’s perspective, or through a customer’s story?
- What’s the tone of your brand? Lighthearted or serious? Is the voice positive, thoughtful, straightforward, honest, fun or passionate?
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion and to be vulnerable. Is part of your brand’s story about overcoming failure or making mistakes? That’s what helps people connect with you.
Chifferobe: Looking Back, but Dancing Forward – Kristen Minsky – Chifferobe Events
(I didn’t get to attend this workshop, but Keri shared her thoughts from it.)
A quick introduction to the historical significance of the Charleston was made and then we got to dancing, which was such a nice pace change from the more chair-oriented workshops. The Charleston was pretty major back in the day not only due to its popularity, but also because it can be performed alone, so for the first time ever ladies could hit the dance floor solo & not feel weird about it. Our collective minds’ eye knows exactly what the Charleston is, but if you need a reminder, then looky here:
Some highlights include:
- Moving together is powerful! So is learning from someone (I think we all had a crush on Kristen by the class’s end) who’s so passionate about something that all she wants to do is share, share, share it with everyone else.
- Balance takes practice. I’m talking about physical balance, but I think it’s a great metaphor for life as well. It was incredible how some steps were nearly second nature while others had me nearly taking out the unsuspecting dancer in front of me. Knowing what fits you well & what will take some work is valuable, and practice really is the bridge between comfort and anxiety!
- Lose yourself & your self consciousness. Laugh with new people. Encourage new & old friends alike to do new things. Dancing doesn’t come naturally to me, and I definitely didn’t perfect the Charleston that day, but I did come out of the class feeling really good both physically & mentally, because I tried something totally new to me & let myself experience it fully, mistakes, red cheeks & all.
- For the love of all things alive TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY.
Stay (Lessons for Movers and Shakers) – Hannah Brencher – The World Needs More Love Letters
The World Needs More Love Letters is an organization lifting, empowering, and mobilizing individuals through tangible acts of love.
- Don’t give up on your crazy ideas. Follow your passion.
- We often pile so much on our plates that we miss noticing something big.
- Stay hungry! What are you hungry for? What are you willing to give up sleep for?
Watch Hannah’s inspiring TED talk!
Keynote – Michelle Kwan – Sr. Advisor and Envoy at the State Department
Michelle Kwan! Michelle is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history with five world titles, nine national titles and two Olympic medals. Oh, and now she works for the State Department.
- There is so much knowledge in this room – there is so much to gain from learning from one another.
- Sport is a motivating, collaborative international language that helps connect people worldwide.
- Michelle’s deep involvement with and connection to Special Olympics athletes has broadened her understanding of what it means to compete with someone – that it fosters human connection and in that sense it’s less about the competition & more about everyone winning when they’re supported and doing what they love and have worked hard for.
The Art of PR – Debbie Stoller – Bust Magazine
Debbie is also the writer of some some very fun knit & crochet books. Some of her tips for pitching the media:
- What’s special about your project? What’s new, trendy or timely about your story?
- What validates your story? Makes it important?
- Offer something free, it’s hard to resist.
- Research the right contacts, so you find a good fit for your story. Spell their names correctly!
- Follow up, but don’t be a stalker. Keep track of your pitches and follow-ups. (Hey, we’ve got a tool for that!)
- Be friendly and concise, not demanding.
Connecting the Dots – Carole Ann Penney – @CaroleAnnP
Carole Ann is a life purpose coach, blogger, modern quilter, and arts & culture administrator. She helps people answer the question “What do you do?” when they have multiple jobs.
- Avoid limiting language like “at my day job…”
- Own your aspiration. Introduce yourself as the thing you want to become.
- Who is your audience? Tailor your intro for your audience.
- Distinguish yourself.
Making Sales Without Selling Your Soul – Pamela O’Hara – Batchbook
Yes, our own Pamela O’Hara taught a workshop based on our Sales Guide for small businesses. Some highlights:
- Look at your business from another perspective (meet with peers or other business owners – share what you’re doing, and swap ideas).
- Evaluate your sales process on a regular basis.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new.
- New opportunities and outlets pop up all the time.
Keynote – Meredith Walker – Smart Girls
Meredith brought the day to a close by sharing how she co-created “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls” with Amy Poehler.
- Don’t give yourself away for a false sense of belonging.
- You change the world by being yourself and that’s a hard thing to do.
- Get your hair wet! Have some fun. Be present in your experiences.
What’s a Smart Girl?
Thanks so much to the Lady Project Summit team and all the amazing speakers and attendees! We are still sharing thoughts and ideas from the Summit and we will be for a long time to come.
The Providence Ladies are really committed to the community and that was apparent by their choice to host the event at The Southside Cultural Center. It was a beautiful venue in a neighborhood that might normally be overlooked.
If there’s a Lady Project chapter in your city, we encourage you to join. If not, they are looking for interested (and interesting) ladies to start new chapters, so get in touch!