Designer Vaca

October 1, 2013

DesignerVacaKathleenMegan

DesignerVacaB

I had the best time kicking it with 50 other designers this weekend in Palm Springs for Designer Vaca. It’s a powerful thing when you can get so many like-minded badass lady designers together for a weekend of honest transparent sharing paired with inappropriate discussions over breakfast ending in belly laughs. Megan and I recreated our poolside bikini shot from last year and Star insisted on capturing a genius belly shot against the Kathleen-shaped wall mural at the ACE. I had so much fun talking to the other mommas-to-be about their career plans and whether or not they were going to eat their placenta. And I really enjoyed getting to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Over dinner one evening a small group of us were discussing the big risk we need to take over the next year and one big accompanying fear. I couldn’t seem to come up with a risk/fear. I really don’t think of myself as some sort of brave badass but while big dreaming, launching, and publishing can sometimes feel overwhelming it is what drives me. The risk-taking that comes with growth is exciting – and honestly, somewhat addicting. That’s when someone at my table asked if maybe the risk is in slowing down. Sure enough, taking time to have a baby and grow a family could be the biggest risk yet. Of course, on the flight home I outlined a new project that will hopefully pay for my maternity leave at the beginning of the new year. The best ideas always seem to happen at 30,000 feet.

So what did I learn at Designer Vaca? I learned that at the heart of what we do is an attitude and desire to create. Which is an attitude of wholeheartedness, resilience, and vulnerability. I also learned that we all go about creating in very different ways. None are right or wrong – and oftentimes we all feel like we’re totally faking it. I learned that the act of creating conquers fear – the anxiety creeps in when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be. I learned that design isn’t just about the stuff we make but about the way we live our lives. Finally, I learned that lounging by the pool with a bunch of brilliant and talented ladies does wonders for the soul. I can’t wait to go back next year.

Here are more recaps and posts from the other designers here – this list will grow as more posts go up:
• Designer Vaca Resources by Becky Murphy at Chipper Things
• “What’s the worst that could happen?” A recap by Vanessa Gonzales at Noirve
• “I came home feeling overwhelmed – in a good way.” A recap by SRSLY Liz
• A Personal Journey in Careers and Confidence by Shauna Haider aka Nubby Twiglet
• Fake it by Alicia Carvalho
• Designer Vaca – The Best Kind of Vaca by Megan Gilger on The Fresh Exchange
• When to Slow Down – by Erin Jane (Jane is my creative momma role model)
• A recap by Jenna Day
• A recap by Jen Serafini

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