Sweet friends, it truly is such a joy for me to go through all of the beautiful Illume Retreat photos thanks to my girl, Shalyn Nelson of Love, the Nelsons Photography, and recap with you the incredible memories we made, breakthroughs we witnessed and the true community we built over the three days here in my home studio in Waco, TX.
After what was a heartfelt and vulnerable time spent together for Day One, we kicked off Day Two of the Illume Retreat on a bright and sunny Tuesday morning. We welcomed each attendee into my living room which was completely transformed into the most beautiful workshop space thanks to Loot Vintage.
Day Two Recap of the Illume Retreat
From start to finish of the Illume Retreat experience, I want the attendees to feel comfortable, welcomed and as if they were sitting in their own home chatting with lifelong friends over coffee or wine. I love to host the retreat right here in my home studio because I want to create a space to unwind, relax and really just settle in for the next few days.
When attendees walked into the living room, they were surprised (which is one of my favorite things to do) by all the thoughtful goodies waiting for them on their chairs thanks to our amazing sponsors. We had gifts ranging from handmade earrings from Mazi to gold foil art prints from Ellie Jean Paperie. Amazing Waco watercolor prints from a dear Illume alum at Signet Sealed, to all kinds of Illume Retreat swag. And thanks to our very own speaker, Katie O. Selvidge, copies of Cottage Hill magazines. As we mixed and mingled over tasty breakfast bites and warm cups of coffee catered by Luna Juice, we started to settle in for a full day of speaker sessions.
Session Breakdown: Intentional Mindset, Branding and Copywriting
We dove into Day Two with one of my all time favorite sessions called Assured + Well led by my dear friend, Katie O. Selvidge. What I love about leading things off with this session, is it really sets our intentions for the rest of the day. It’s an incredibly vulnerable time together that challenged us to dig deep into this idea of creating from a place of truth. And envisioning what we want for our lives, not just for our businesses. It created a space for attendees to shift into a mindset based on truth and to absorb every emotion of the journey we were about to embark on over the coming hours and days together.
I then had the amazing opportunity to take the stage and share my passion for Building An Enduring Brand. My heart goes into every detail and speaker that makes up the curriculum of the Illume Retreat, but my heart truly explodes when I have the chance to stand in front of my sweet attendees and share the passion I have for what I do. I walked through building an elevated brand and how to create a brand that reflects this sense of truth you are creating from.
Wisdom, Vulnerability, and so much gratitude
After diving in right away with two intentional, heart-seeking sessions, we gave ourselves a chance to unwind and headed on out to the sunshine filled patio for a deliciously catered lunch by my friends at Milo.
After belly aching laughter and full stomachs, we headed back into the living room and dove right in with a fantastic session with Ashlyn Carter that was all about how to create copy that converts and tells your story well. Ashlyn walked us through the best ways to utilize copywriting to share who we are, what we do and how that makes an impact with our clients.
The morning and afternoon of Day Two was filled with wisdom, vulnerability, and so much gratitude. We not only peeled back the curtains of what it’s like to create from a sense of truth and build a business of our dreams, but we also started to create actionable steps of what that place of truth could really look like through strong copywriting and branding.
Creative Field Trip
With a full day of all kinds of learning and absorbing all of the notes, it was definitely time for a fun creative field trip to get outside and soak up a new inspiring experience.
So we packed up and headed on over to the Magnolia Market Silos. We did some shopping and a lot of browsing to stir the creative juices and allowed ourselves to be inspired. I love being able to welcome friends to Waco and guide them through the Magnolia experience. What the Gaines have built here in my community is truly something to be celebrated. But what I love most about this experience during the Illume Retreat was seeing this come back full circle to what we had talked about in our sessions earlier in the day. I watched our sweet attendees walk the grounds of The Silos and absorb what it looks like when you keep chasing after a dream and actually take the steps to bring it to life. (Thank you Chip and Joanna!)
We took some time to slow down and soak up the experience even more by sitting out in the yard together. We began to unpack those conversations and moments of truth we had started to encounter during those sessions earlier in the day. And one thing we continued to share was what life could really look like if we all operated from this place of truth and took the action steps to get there.
Gather Around The Table
From our Day Two sessions to our creative Magnolia Market field trip, we headed back home and took a quick little break before regrouping for another al fresco dinner out on the patio to yet another delightful catered meal from Milo and the most beautifully designed dinner table by Veronicka Thompson of Flower and Ink Designs.
We spent the next few hours gathered around the table, drinking wine, enjoying exquisite food and diving into even more heartfelt conversations. I absolutely love the Illume curriculum and all of the sessions, but one of my all time favorite things throughout these few days is the conversations that happen as we gather around the dinner table.
If you have been following the Illume Retreat for any amount of time, you have probably heard me use the phrase, “come join me around the table” or “there is a seat for you around the table.” The reason I do that is because the meals that we spend literally gathered around the table is such an integral part to the retreat experience.
The table is where we laugh with each other, build relationships and further process what we have learned at the sessions from earlier in the day. It’s where together we sit, dream big, and share outloud what is to come for our businesses and our lives. I think there is such a sweet element of community that happens around the table. And that is why the dinners we have together under the twinkle lights and Big Texas stars are some of my all time favorite memories.
Up Next: Day Three Recap
On Day Two we really saw our attendees dive head first into intentional curriculum from Katie, Ashlyn and myself. And in Day Three, we have another full day of sessions to look forward to as well as our incredibly bittersweet farewell dinner. (Also in case you missed our Day One recap click here.)
If you weren’t able to join us this year for this all inclusive, intentional experience be sure to join the waitlist. Our 2019 dates will be announced soon and we would love to have you be one of the few women who joins us around the table next year as we dive into what it means to create from a place of truth and build a business that operates from a clear place of purpose!
Photography: Shalyn Nelson of Love, the Nelsons Photography | Rentals: Loot Vintage | Florals: Veronicka Thompson of Flower and Ink Designs | Lunch and Dinner Catering: Milo Waco | Breakfast Catering: Luna Juice | Gift bag sponsors: Cottage Hill, Mazi, Ellie Jean Paperie, Signet Sealed, and b is for bonnie design.