This is the Alt NYC thank you post that feels the most daunting. How can I possibly cram in an explanation of all of the incredibleness that was contained in that single day? It would take a novel. The speakers were fantastic – knowledgeable, witty, approachable, and wise. They did equal parts advising and storytelling. It was the perfect balance and I learned SO, SO much. This one will be long, so here goes:
THANK YOU to Martha Stewart. For hosting us at her headquarters, for lending us Pilar Guzman to serve as a skilled and gracious panel moderator, and for electrifying the room with a personal appearance. The collective intake of breath, followed by the “SQUEEEEE!!!” of a roomful of Martha fans, and then the whipping out of 300 cameras and smartphones. Priceless.
THANK YOU to Grace Bonney (yes, THE Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge)for all of her well-curated and practical advice, but most especially for these gold nuggets: Don’t be afraid to consult outside people to improve. Always be learning, always be streamlining and always be teaching. Write a mission statement. Keep asking for things until hearing no isn’t scary.
THANK YOU to Tracey Stewart of Moomah for being so authentic, honest and true while speaking about her experience with social media. Tracey was so fabulously candid about how her journey to social media savvy hasn’t been a particularly welcomed or smooth road, and I adore her for being so forthcoming. I was actually sitting a few seats down from Tracy and her team, and they were all so lovely and sweet.
THANK YOU to Keenan Cummings for reminding us all that sometimes brilliance comes in packages that are less than beautiful and polished, and for being so endearingly charming and just altogether adorable. Fatherhood becomes you, sir.
THANK YOU to Garance Doré (!!!!!) for being so sparklingly lively, warm, and engaging. I was SO EXCITED to see her in person, and you guys? She’s even BETTER in real life. So many of the things she spoke about struck a chord with me, but these points particularly: You are a business, even if you think you’re not. You can’t do it alone. Find people to work with who work the way you do. Haters are gonna hate – do the ostrich. Saying no is not a bad thing. Prove yourself everyday, for the rest of your life. Make real relationships, not networking connections. Embrace your imperfections. I’m not kidding when I say that I found myself nodding like a bobblehead and desperately trying to soak in every syllable she uttered.
THANK YOU to Adam Ashton of Atly for taking a moment to tell me I was the first person he met at Alt. It really does pay to be the girl who cheerfully introduces herself to a stranger in the lobby of the hotel. Dead giveaway that I’m not a native New Yorker, but I’m OK with that.
THANK YOU to Katie of Land of Nod for our rooftop working-mommy pow wow. After a full day of Alt Summit glory, chatting over the nitty gritty of trying to balance our *robust* (read: insane) work life with being a wife and mommy, overcome mommy guilt, and still come out on the other side with as few gray hairs as possible was conversational equivalent of a Red Bull. Just what I needed to refuel my jetpack and power me through dinner that night. Y’all, Katie is off the Richter scale when it comes to grit and gumption. She works HARD, and manages to balance it with being a wife and mommy to a toddler. Go get ‘em, girl. I’ve got your back, any place, any day, any time. I don’t have a picture of Katie, which is sad, because she’s ADORABLE.
THANK YOU to my rooftop girls. The rooftop was exactly where I needed to be after a full day and I couldn’t have asked for better company. After a full day of being super ON, it was either the rooftop or hide in the bathroom. Rooftop was a MUCH more glamorous and relaxed choice. Watching the sun go down up there was dang near the perfect way to wrap up the big day. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. The imaginary narrative: “Right now? Yeah, I’m just sipping lemonade and watching the sunset on Martha Stewart’s roof. No big deal. Oh, you didn’t know I’m fabulous? Well, I am. Obviously. G’bye.”
THANK YOU to Sarah, Emily, Melanie and Nicole for grabbing dinner after departing Martha HQ. That was the BEST PASTA OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. I’d skipped breakfast and lunch in favor of socializing, so food was imperative, and dining with you fabulous ladies was the perfect closer to an all around perfect day. And the fried olives? Yes. YES. Must have more soon.
It was a big day and it was full of important, once in a lifetime conversations and encounters. I don’t even hesitate to say that that one single day will likely be a pin point on my life map where I can go back and say, “That right THERE was where everything started to change.” I’m STILL – one month later – processing everything that happened, everyone I met, and all the ideas that were born in that fantastically beautiful room.
There were so many other speakers who were absolutely amazing and wonderful and deserving of thanks. I had to narrow it down for the sake of brevity (HA!), but honestly – you all knocked my socks off. THANK YOU! And once more, #thanksbing.