The first full day of speaker sessions at the Illume Retreat is intentionally designed to be a day filled with introspection, digging deep into the heart of your work, and dreaming big for what lies ahead. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is without a doubt worth every moment of honesty with yourself, every tear shed while vulnerably sharing your heart, and every lightbulb moment of self-discovery that occurs. One of the things that I love most about the Illume Retreat is that we are a family, a little tribe of fiercely dedicated women. Not only as we fiercely dedicated to our work, but more than that, we’re dedicated to supporting, loving and encouraging one another through thick and thin. Yes, we walk through an intentional curriculum designed to inspire vulnerability and out of that, true growth. But we do so in a safe space filled with encouragement, positivity and authenticity. Day two of the retreat kicks off a mix of inspirational and practical content that is truly game changing, friend.
But before we dove into #allthefeels, I wanted our sweet attendees and speakers to feel welcomed to Austin in true style. I loved partnering with Jamie of Marigold & Grey to design the perfect welcome boxes for each person. Tied with blush silk ribbon with a custom rust-colored suede tag laser engraved by Paper Birch Designs with lettering by Paper & Honey, these gifts may have been one of my top favorite details from the retreat. Filled with gorgeous earrings from Plumtique here in Waco, handmade succulent planters from Willful Goods, bath salts from Formulary55, and all sorts of thoughtful goodies Jamie sourced for us, each attendee let out a delighted squeal as she opened her box!
Katie O. Selvidge, founder and editor-in-chief of Cottage Hill Magazine, kicked off the day’s sessions as she lead us through her signature series of clarity exercises, Assured + Well. Together, we dove into the very core of why we do what do as creatives, and how we can honor that calling on our lives in thoughtful ways. With pens scribbling furiously as Katie challenged us to dig deep, I made a mental note to invest in larger notebooks for our next retreat.
Next up, Shanna Skidmore taught us what it means to define “enough” for our pricing, and how to practically pursue freedom in our finances. As we had just explored what our hearts’ deepest desires were in Katie’s session, Shanna taught us how to breathe life into those dreams by backing them financially and sustainably.
Afterwards, we broke for lunch on the patio before we broke into two groups for dedicated small group time with both speakers and attendees. This was an organic time for us to continue to unpack what we’d learned so far, and get feedback from our groups on how we could realistically apply what we’re learning into our lives and businesses.
Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events spoke on how we can conquer overwork and overwhelm through practical boundaries and tailor-made systems that fit into our lives. And to end the day on a truly high note, Laura Joseph of Paper & Honey walked us through a truly vulnerable, heartfelt session on punching fear in the face. We curled up on the floor, surrounded by textiles and pillows from Illume Retreat alum Ara Collective, and were honest with ourselves and each other about the lies that fear tells us, and how we can move past that every day.
With brains buzzing from all we’d just learned, we broke for a few hours of free time before regrouping for dinner on the restaurant patio overlooking the Austin hill country. We shared a family style meal under the live oak trees filled with laughter and continued relationship building.
To top the night off, we gathered for one sweet surprise of s’mores by the fire in a lounge of cozy Birch + Brass rentals. Although the rain drove us indoors, the intimate room we had made for a night of sweet conversations and heart-to-hearts.
Thankfully, there’s one more day of goodness to share with y’all! Join me again tomorrow for our recap of Day Three.
Photography: Shalyn Nelson of Love, the Nelsons | Welcome Gift Boxes: Marigold & Grey | Gift tags: Paper Birch Designs with lettering by Paper & Honey | Earrings: Plumtique | Bath salts: Formulary55 | Succulent planters: Willfull Goods | Notebooks, tumblers and pencils: b is for bonnie design | Macrame Wall Hanging: Steady Hand Creative | Day-of Styling: Dear Sweetheart Events| Lounge textiles for Laura’s session: Ara Collective | Rentals for s’mores: Birch + Brass | Venue: Travaasa Austin