Proud. Sad. Fulfilled. Inspired. Eagerly awaiting the next one. That sort of sums up the mix of emotions I had last Saturday when Mindy and I broke down our last workshop for the year. Our August event was everything I hoped it would be. We had 25 amazing women come listen and share their goals for their businesses (or ideas of a "one day" business) with complete honesty and transparency, which is just so incredible to Mindy and I.
For those that don't know the story, Be Free started (for me) in my head several years ago. I had a desire for-freaking-ever to create a community of such open honesty about what it takes to run a business. A place to celebrate the wins, the success, and to have a tribe to support you. But more importantly a tribe that you could chat with about the "messy hair, haven't eaten a proper meal, haven't moved from chair, my client's are killing me, what the hell am I doing with my life, who do I think I am to do this, go get a real job" days. THOSE are the days when you need people to talk to. In the fall of 2015, I decided enough was enough and I was going to start one hell or high water. And if it flopped, it flopped. But at least I tried right?
So I researched places in Atlanta to go to, and Foster immediately came to my mind. I made an appointment, and there I met Mindy who's responsible for building the incredibly community at Foster. Ironically, Mindy was working on the same exact idea and so...we were basically like this:
People would think Mindy and I knew each other for years to plan something together like this. But not the case. Weirdly, we just clicked and everything just sort of fell into place. So we began plotting and getting to know one another. And we found out we balance each other when it comes to throwing these events. We just split the responsibility (well except Mindy basically sets everything up and won't let me help because I'm pregnant), the cost, and the time down the middle. She's got the eye for creating a cozy space. I do the backend setup. We split securing speakers and sponsors. We take turns at social media. Its honestly never been so easy to do something in my life with a business partner.
We've started having bigger conversations about where we want Be Free to go and like OJ & Mimosa's - of course we're on the same page. We've got big things coming in 2017 and looked at 2016 as one big beta test of how we want these workshops to go. From length of time, ticket price, and content - we've evaluated it all and have announced some of the changes with the ladies at the past 2 workshops. We're so excited and hope you join us next year. The next one will be February 25, 2017 and tickets will go on sale in November.
As for the August event, I just can't thank our speakers enough. Karen and Scarlett from Rhyme and Reason Design and Lindsay Trinkle were just a wealth of knowledge and I think we could have talked all day with them. Thank you ladies so much for being so transparent about your business and sharing your knowledge, your business plans, your goals with the community. Its inspiring to see such hard work pay off, but given how brilliant you all are - not surprising in the least.
To our sponsors - Crossfit Grant St, Hopefully Plated, and Foster Atlanta - thank you for believing in us from the beginning of this. We seriously couldn't have done it without supportive businesses like yours cheering for us.
To the women who have come to this workshop -
You gals thank us all the time for what we're doing for you (and I know I can speak for Mindy as well on this)...you have no idea how much you all have given us in return. Mindy and I in our personal lives had a pretty trying year of our patience, our confidence, and just overall faith. This workshop was something that almost needed to happen for us. We personally needed an outlet to escape. A place to go to share our struggles. And if it weren't for you all, it would basically be Mindy and I sitting in a room together by ourselves lol. So thanks for believing in us, for trusting us with your inner most struggles that people don't like to share, for sharing real life vs the social media highlight reel, for being kind to each other, and for creating one of the best communities I've ever seen. We love you all and can't wait to see what big things you gals do in 2017!