Today’s post has no recipe. It’s more of a personal one that I’ve been dying to share with you. I hope you don’t mind. I just have to tell you about this amazing experience I’ve had the privilege of being a part of for the last three years that has helped me grow and slowly find my path. I’m sharing this experience because I know there are many more women who are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Women who are like me, afraid to take the necessary steps to overcome our fears that delay our successes.
To the girl who hasn’t yet figured out what it takes to step up to the plate and go full speed toward her dreams, I say this: Build your tribe.
For the last three years, I’ve been attending a Latina Bloggers Conference called #WeAllGrow Summit. It was founded by Ana Flores, co-creator of Spanglish Baby, and co-author of Bilingual Is Better. The idea behind the Summit is to bring together like-minded women (and some men) with entrepreneurial spirits and surround them with other influencers and mentors to educate, collaborate, lead, and more importantly, help each other GROW. We All Grow stems from Ana’s belief that, “When one grows, we all grow.” And she is so right!
The summit starts with a field trip hosted by one of the Summit sponsors. Last year I attended a tour of Long Beach which was hosted by the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. This year I was given the opportunity to visit Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure for the day. Thank you Disney Parks!!
These field trips are golden! Not just because they’re fun, but because they break the ice and start the connections immediately so that when it’s time to start day 2, you’re not as nervous and are more ready to start networking.
It’s taken me at least three conferences to finally understand how important it is to network and to know exactly what my tribe looks like. I had no clue what I was getting myself into when I attended my first conference (which wasn’t #WeAllGrow by the way). I felt like a fish out of water the first time.
The #WeAllGrow Summit team goes above and beyond to make sure you have multiple opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and make those connections to start finding and building the people in your tribe.
Once again, it was an amazing weekend and I loved every second of it, even the moments when I was missing my family. But you know what? I’ve met some pretty amazing women!! Women who have their shit together, women who are trying to get their shit together, and some seriously chingona women who are doing AMAZING things with their talents.
Alicia from Alicias Delicias, for example, is the cookie queen! OMG, I can’t even tell you how much I loved meeting Alicia and getting to know her. She won my heart on the first day, and that is no easy feat. If you haven’t seen her work, you are missing out on some serious eye candy.
Lola from Lolas Cocina is another inspiring Mama who I had the honor of spending the day with at Disneyland. We’ve been following each other’s food blogs online for a few years now. This is the second time I see her at #WeAllGrow, but I’ve never been able to spend enough time with her until now. She’s beautiful, kind, funny, smart, and a badass in the kitchen. Tqm, Lola!
A few others who were so kind to bring me into their tribe were Elexia De La Parra from Artelexia, Paulina Lopez from Super Mamas, and Jessica Resendiz of Rageddy Tiff.
Elexia owns a gorgeous Mexican gift shop in San Diego where she sells handmade jewelry, art, and home decor that she picks herself. She also offers weekly craft classes as well as guided tours of Mexico. Both her and Paulina were the first to help me feel less like a fish out of water and more like a friend. I immediately felt at ease around them both. I’m so grateful I got to meet them this year.
Jessica, the youngest of our group in Disneyland, amazed me with her artistic talent and one-of-a-kind pieces. Can you say #GirlBoss?! Dude! She’s only 20 and already building her empire! I just know she’s going to continue to do amazing things. I’m super excited to follow her journey. She’s such an inspiring young woman.
And speaking of inspiring women, the list only gets better with keynote speakers like Marines Duarte from En Tus Zapatos, and Silvia Olivas, Head Writer/Co-Producer of Elena of Avalor.
The breakout sessions in between keynote speakers are taught by experienced and successful bloggers. There are usually so many to choose from that I have a hard time deciding which sessions I will attend. Some of the presenters are kind enough to provide copies of their presentations with their contact information for questions.
I can go on with a list of breakout sessions and names of women I’ve met who I call friends, who have taught me a few things about being brave, but I simply can’t fit it all in this one blog post.
Before I do stop typing, however, I have to introduce you to my #WeAllGrow bestie, Lendy from Two Plus Luna. She is a beautiful person inside and out. We connected through our blogs in 2012 and have stayed in touch since then. This was the first time we have traveled together. I’m so grateful for her willingness to take the road trip with me instead of flying. It was the perfect way to start this empowering weekend.
If you are a blogger or someone looking for a conference that will help you grow professionally, and you’re ready to take that extra leap, I encourage you to take a look at the Information page for enrollment to see if this is something you’d be interested in attending sometime. Maybe I’ll see you there! 😉
Meanwhile, you can catch some more of my pics on Instagram here, here, here, and here! Don’t forget to follow me there too. 😉
Stephanie, I loved this post! Everything you described about initially being a little intimidated is exactly how I felt last year and the year before. This is the first year I was excited because I knew people and couldn’t wait to reconnect with them. So happy we got to spend the weekend together and can’t wait for what the future holds for you!
That’s exactly how I feel now – excited for the next one so that I can see everyone again. Thank you for always being so kind, Lola. I am forever grateful to have crossed paths with you and become your friend.
How fun to actually meet your blogger buddies in the flesh… for a whole weekend. I can totally understand your excitement! What a great experience – and good on you for making the effort to actually go.
There are always many positives that come from attending #WeAllGrow. Personally and professionally. Thank you for your support, Belle. ?