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MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA Fashion influencers and enthusiasts gathered for Create & Cultivate’s first style summit at the Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills near Fort Lauderdale on January 28. The daylong event was the latest offering from the online platform and conference series, which aims to bring together female creatives, entrepreneurs, and bosses to network, inspire, and build their businesses.
In 2012, founder Jaclyn Johnson launched Create & Cultivate’s popular “girl boss” conference, which has since taken place in Portland, Oregon; Montauk, New York; Brooklyn, New York; Palm Springs, California; and Los Angeles. Attendees participate in workshops, mentor and break-out sessions, and panels covering topics varying from influencer marketing to brand building and featuring celebs such as Chelsea Handler, Jessica Alba, and Rachel Zoe.
Johnson, who has a background in marketing, explained that this new summit was geared more toward those just starting out in the style industry. “We know there is a hunger for information about breaking into the blogging and fashion world, and while our normal conferences definitely touch on this, we wanted to really deep-dive into the subject matter.”
Held in conjunction with the inaugural Underground Fashion Lauderdale Weekend, which featured runway shows and marketplaces, the style summit included discussion panels, educational forums, and meet-and-greet opportunities for attendees to mingle with fashion influencers.
The lineup included keynote speaker, model, and social media star Rocky Barnes, and several established bloggers such as Natalie Suarez of Natalie Off Duty, Kristin Leahy of Fancy Things Blogs, Nicole Powers of In High Demand, and on-air style expert, stylist, and blogger Amanda Perna. Topics included using Instagram as a business medium, creating a brand and business as an influencer, and diving into fashion full time.
Johnson, who hopes to turn the style summit into a traveling annual or semiannual event, said that the female-focused conference and platform is important in the current political climate. “I think women are in a whole new mindset where we truly are supporting each other, not just a pat on the back but true action. It’s amazing.”
On March 12, Create & Cultivate will be in Austin for the South by Southwest festival with a pop-up space that will include programming such as NPR Generation Listen sessions and fireside chats. The event is open to the public. Following that, the next Create & Cultivate conference will be held on May 6 at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, New York; general admission tickets cost $350 and V.I.P. $550.