After a long night Saturday, waking up and getting down to the final session was tough. Still somehow I managed to be the first one down and snagged a front row seat again. LOL Another trip to Starbucks followed before the morning session started.
Once again Mimi opened by giving us a little back story on how she started mimigstyle.com sort of by accident. She also broke down the different types of sewing businesses: sewing for hire vs producing fabric collections. Next up was Tieko who talked about branding. Branding yourself and your business. She also talked about a having side hustle vs creating a business. She made us laugh and gave us some real and sound advice that applicable to both your business and personal life.
Tiffany, the Budgetnista, followed with sound and practical financial advice. My main take away was to always be mindful of your money and where is being spent. I feel that I track my money pretty carefully, but it never hurts to be reminded to be money conscious. Tiffany offers a free 22 Day Live Richer Challenge targeted towards women to help them to reach their savings goals. I plan on starting it next month, maybe you should too.
Allysia and Jill of Dahlia Law Group were a surprise as they weren’t on the schedule. These two fun and feisty ladies are not your stereotypical lawyers, both ladies are sewers themselves and attended the conference as participants. Allysia broke down the basics of what and who should be included in a contract and why. Jill schooled us on the importance of insurance and how to protect ourselves from potential loss.
Each year there is a conference photo. This tradition started at the first meetup. As the attendance keeps growing I assume it’s harder to get everyone in but Curtis did it.
Michael Levine here we come! Buses shuttled us over to the nearby fashion district and dropped us off at Michael Levine. Paul, a very nice guy, gave us the 411. All three stores were open (the apparel store, the home decor store and the loft) and all purchases of $75 or more to receive FREE shipping. He also informed us that Michael Levine had provided us a light lunch. “What is The Loft you ask ?”. It is basically Michael Levine’s overstock discount store. There are bins and bins of fabric to grab and it’s all just $3 a pound!
I’m confident that I can speak for all attendees when I say we enjoyed the shopping trip. Some bought a lot, some bought a little. I myself tried to stick to window shopping, but once again I’m going to blame Yomi for my singular purchase. LOL She didn’t quite hit her $75 mark to get free shipping, so I grabbed enough to push her over $75.
Yomi and I jumped back on one of the last buses back to the conference hotel. Good thing we did because we arrived just in time to grab a raffle ticket. To be raffled was a jar of buttons, an iron, a Joann gift card and a Babylock sewing machine. After the raffle Mimi closed the conference by thanking her team Tieko, Kelly, Candice, April and Norris. She also thanked the guest presenters Joy, Tiffany, Allysia and Jill. Lastly, she gave a special shout out to the the sponsors Babylock, Simplicity, Oliso and Sulky.
Even though the conference had ended there was still a little more to the weekend for me. I learned from last year to book my return flight for Monday so that I could truly enjoy my last night in LA. Yomi, Soraya, Merty and I immediately changed and headed to the pool for some downtime. We met up with a fellow sewsista, Constance, and soaked in the sun until we couldn’t anymore. Then we moved to the jacuzzi until hunger took over and we had to get something to eat (all that fabric shopping worked up an appetite). We walked over to nearby Smashburger and everyone was pleased (except Yomi).
After dinner we saw Merty and Soraya off, then Yomi and I headed up to Universal CityWalk to meet up with Sharon and Aiysha. Sharon is a great guide since she is a Cali native. This is the second year she’s shown me and Aiysha around and this just speaks to how awesome she is. While at CityWalk I did some last minute souvenir shopping for the kids. It was getting late but we wanted to squeeze everything in on our last day so we drove to Hollywood Blvd to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We saw some stars and walked through a shopping center. By then it was very late so we all just called it a night.
I had an amazing weekend, I learned more about sewing and how to run a business, strutted my stuff in a fashion show, did a little fabric shopping and ate well. However, the most important part of this weekend is the ‘darlings’ (that’s what Mimi calls us). It is always great to be with a group of people who have the same interest/passion but something is truly special about this group of women. I would truly make this trip just to hang out with these ladies sans the workshops.
There is nothing but love in this group. I witnessed so many acts of kindness, both large and small between strangers. I don’t know about anyone else but this is exactly what I needed to see at a time when it seemed like there was an abundance of evil in the world. I flew out on Thursday, July 7th, the week of/after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by police. I was in the air on my way to LA while five police officers were killed in Dallas. Though we need to deal with these injustices, it was welcomed for a weekend to just have a good time with a beautiful group of women who love to sew. Yomi and I didn’t turn on the TV once in our four days in LA and I barely logged onto social media. I learned the importance of disconnecting and I resolved that I need to do it more often.
If you are a sewist, I recommend you consider about attending this conference. If you are not, think about advancing yourself in the area that interests you. If you haven’t found your passion or interest, I encourage try new things until you find the thing that excites you. If it’s cost prohibited for you to get away from your everyday life at least take the time once a quarter or so to take sometime for yourself, disconnect from the news, from facebook, from twitter. Even if you just send your kids to your parents, take a 3 day weekend, order in, start a journal or binge watch a new show… just do something that helps you to relax.
I hope you enjoyed my reviews. Sorry it was lengthy, but this blog is also a public sewing diary for me so I had to get it all out.