Happy to report that I'm back from the Alt Summit design conference feeling super re-charged and inspired by all the insanely talented, creative, and motivated people I crossed paths with there.  

Alt is packed with some high caliber women, let me tell you!  It has definitely gotten my creative juices flowing, and I'm very excited to take some of the next big business steps that are coming up for me ... more on that soon!!!

To wrap up what went down at Alt, my favorite takeaway may have been the talk given by Christian Lemieux, founder and creative director of Dwell Studio, and Jamie Meares, who launched Furbish.  

Both women spoke about transitioning their design businesses from small start-ups to the giant successes they've both become.  Christiane began with a laptop in her apartment and just $15K in capitol (they now do $15-20 million in annual sales.)  

While my aspirations may not be that stellar I was completely fascinated to learn all the ins and outs of Christiane's whole process, especially in becoming such a successful online furniture retailer.  Jamie was a total sweetheart all weekend and let me pick her brain a bit about transitioning my furniture design business to the e-commerce realm and avoiding some of the pitfalls of taking that leap. Invaluable advice and mentoring ... thank you so much ladies!

There was obviously a whole LOT of networking going on, and just meeting and taking inspiration from a vast array of people in the arts and their respective creative fields.  Some of the business cards alone achieve the level of high art! 


(photos below via the Alt Summit Flickr page)

Over the course of 2 days we were offered a vast variety of speakers and presenters to glean wisdom from ... I loved the format of various simultaneous sessions going on so that we could pick and choose among the content we were most interested in.

And I thought that the very interactive "round table" sessions were just brilliant.  The entire format of the summit lent itself to really mixing and mingling with other attendees rather than just being an audience member, which led to lots of creative exchange.

(Here I am ... seriously focused on my ipad :)

Another great resource were the "Ask an Expert" tables.  I got some sage advice from the web design expert who was on-hand to answer any questions one-on-one ...

As a designer who is obviously way into aesthetics, I've gotta say that the Alt organizers and sponsors NAILED IT with the visuals and decor!!  It was so impressive the lengths they took to dazzle our senses time and again.  

Let me just say that having attended other design conferences (ahem ... Design Blogger's Conference in LA last year) that did NOT try very hard in this department gives me extra appreciation for this attention to detail.  Alt hit it out of the park with the aesthetics!  As they well should at a conference for design professionals ... just sayin'.

The various intimate dinners thrown all around town on opening night were completely gorgeous ...

(I attended the Furbish Studio dinner at Niche .. a great way to kick things off.)

Each day different sponsoring companies set up elaborately decorated "lounges" to draw us in for mingling and chilling out a bit between events and speakers.

The weekend closed with an evening of party hopping between about a dozen ornately turned out suites ... the paper floral art in this one was stunning.

And because it's kind of a "thing" at Alt, I even took some mirror selfies of what I wore!  So enjoy the first (and maybe the last?) shameless selfies you'll ever see me post :)

So that's the scoop from Alt!  Now I'm happy to be back at work with an outlet for this shot of new creative energy. 

Oh yeah, and extremely happy to leave behind the frigid weather of the Rockies and get back to the land of consistent 70-80 degree sunny weather.  I'm a fair weather girl for sure!


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