Monarch Workshop - Bridgeport, Connecticut

I must admit I've been experiencing a little small-business-owner burnout lately.  Working 2 full time jobs - my day job/career as a high school art teacher - and jill of all trades here at Vintanthromodern- has started to take its toll on me.  I signed up for Monarch Workshop a while back and even though I double booked myself this past weekend with a vintage show in Hartford, I knew I had to be in both places.  From the moment I walked through the doors of B:Hive in Bridgeport I knew I had made the right decision!  The positive energy was palpable - I could sense the excitement being around so many women who all came with the same goal in mind: networking, rejuventating themselves and finding inspiration and comradery in other creative women.  

A meet and mingle session commenced with  The Source Coffeehouse and Whisk and Brush  providing the perfect breakfast.  I had a chance to browse B:hive's Swarm Shop too.  It's hard not to admire what the ladies (and gentleman) that own and operate B:hive have created here.  It's a beautifully curated, decorated and light filled space that's so welcoming it makes me wish Bridgeport and New Haven were closer together.

After the meet and greet, Monarch's founders - Madeline of Oh My Gemini and Jessica of The Confetti Bar welcomed us and let us know that we were in for a little surprise!  The workshop would actually be taking place at Bananaland's new headquarters a few streets over.  With 75 women in tow, they led a lady parade over to the new location.  It's hard to believe that on the second day of Spring it was still snowing, but the flurries created a magical backdrop.

Once we arrived at Bananaland and climbed two flights of steps (oh, my glutes!) we were greeted by the rest of the "Dream Team" to the tune of "Four Five Seconds," clapping and cheering.  I'll forever associate that song with this weekend.  Entering the Bananaland for the first time was like stepping into another dimension.  What an incredible space.  Jawdroppingly  amazing is the only way to describe the space (is that even a word?). An industrial space with soaring wood beam ceilings - full of natural light and eager and excited women ready to embark on two days of discovery and inspiration. Amazing.  And then there was the decor.  I can't even. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but let's just say I was OBSESSED with the floral arrangements by Oh My Gemini.  The table scapes were on point.  

 

And the on-pointness didn't stop there: we had champagne, we created vision boards, we listened to women talk about nutrition, branding, creativity, and balancing work and life.  We did yoga and danced. We took amazing and silly photos in the Nicky Digital Photo Booth.  We had our portraits taken by Victoria Gloria Photography. We ate more delicious food from Whisk & Brush.  We exchanged business cards.  We took pictures of our dolls posed in photogenic spots (ok, well maybe I was the only one who did that, but still). We drooled over kick-ass raffle prizes;  I was obsessed with winning an air plant as a raffle prize and even though I didn't win it (despite putting all 14 of my raffle tickets into the jar)  I was happy for the person who did!

Unfortunately I missed the banner making with Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom because I had to scoot out and drive to Hartford for the tail end of the vintage show I had signed up for.  Major sad face.  

 

I really needed this weekend and it was just the antidote to what I've been feeling lately.  Hearing other women talk honestly about self-doubt and getting discouraged, about struggling to make it all work -- made me feel less alone.  Sharing ideas and inspiration, stories of successes and failures and encouraging one another - all while surrounded by beauty and inspiration in so many forms - was just what I needed. Thanks Monarch.  "Take Flight and Conquer " is my new motto.