Creative NYC Details

Anytime I encounter a setting with oversized balloons, tassel garlands, and copious amounts of amazing food, I pretty much assume I’m in the right place. Such was the case last summer when I attended Creative NYC, a meetup/picnic in Riverside Park hosted by none other than Gilit Cooper. You know Gilit, right? Of course you do. She’s the whimsy-loving woman behind The Bannerie and this very blog, Shoes Off Please. And as I’m sure you can imagine, girl can throw a party.

Creative NYC Food

Creative NYC Details

Creative NYC Food

I had met Gilit back at Alt Summit about a month before, and when I heard that she was putting together this event for creatives in New York City, I jumped at the chance. Leapt, actually. After spending a week at Alt, one of the premiere blogging conferences in the country, I was itching for more interaction with some rad entrepreneurial-type women in my city.

Creative NYC Details

And that’s exactly what I got. Looking around there was no mistaking that this was an event for bloggers and creatives. I mean, the signs were everywhere. Phenomenal décor: check. Impossibly good food: check. The goodiest of goody bags: check. A heapin’ helpin’ of inspiring boss ladies: check check check check CHECK.

Creative NYC

Creative NYC Food

Gathering with the women at Creative NYC was like taking a breath of fresh air. As we sampled lime sugar cookies, wore flower crowns, and gushed over our personalized glitter banners, there was just an immediate sense of connection between all of us. And it wasn’t just that we looked amazing in our flower crowns (but by the way, we super did). Instead, we were unified by traits far more profound: our love of creating and our desire for growth.

Creative NYC Guests

Creative NYC Guests

The more I do this whole blogging/writing/pursuing my dreams thing, the more I realize how important gatherings like these are. There’s just something so impactful about meeting with other creatives – in. real. life. Not just in Twitter chats or in comments sections, but face-to-face, eyeballs-to-eyeballs – actual human connection.

Because here’s the thing we so often forget about creative careers: sometimes it can get kind of lonely. I mean, don’t get me wrong: it can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you do it full-time, part-time, or during your lunch break – any level of investment you can make into something you truly care about is totally worth it. But despite its perks, there is often an inherent isolation to the creative process. If you run a business from home, you likely know what it’s like to spend a good portion of your day alone. Or even if you don’t work remotely, perhaps you’ve had those confusing conversations with friends and family members who don’t exactly get what it is that you “do” (You blog? For a living? Whattttttt?)

Creative NYC Denise Photographs

And that’s why it’s pretty thrilling when a bunch of likeminded creative-type folks are able to gather in one place. It’s a reminder that we are not alone in this effort to make beautiful things. We aren’t crazy for doing the things we love. There are others like us who are making their way, building their own businesses, blogging, photographing, writing, designing, etc.IMG_0026

Creative NYC Details

Not only do meetups and creative gatherings provide a sense of community and understanding, but they also are a hotbed for inspiration. After spending time with the legit women at Creative NYC — which included such gems as Cyndie Spiegel from The Collective {Of Us}, Denise Ginley from Little Market Kitchen, Bethany Everett from Twenty Something Plus, and Jessica Bishop from The Budget Savvy Bride, to name a few – I left with roughly a gagillion new ideas for how to grow my blog. That kind of motivation is just inevitable when creative people get in the same place.

Creative NYC

All of that being said, if you’re thinking of organizing a meetup or an event for your local creative community, go ahead and get after it! It’s honestly one of the most worthwhile ways you could spend your time. And while you’re at it, wear flower crowns because, let’s be honest, they are festive and everyone looks amazing in them.

How do you connect with your local creative community? I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Much love,

Christy

Food: Denise Ginley | Photography: Denise Ginley and Gilit Cooper | Styling: Alicia Brandon and Gilit Cooper | Flower crowns: A Golden Garden