On February 1, Beyond Boss came to life in Pittsburgh and I was HERE FOR IT. This event included networking, mini personal branding shoots, content creation tips, Instagram best practices, a kickass panel of women, food, drink, fun and so much more.
Seven+ years ago I reached out to Caitlin Thomas to be my wedding photographer, but she was sadly booked. (Luckily I was able to snag Hot Metal Studio.) But in the meantime, we kept in touch over the years and this was her brainchild (and the first time we met in real life). Caitlin says after she had two kids, she wanted to find her “thing” and this was it.
If you’re familiar with Create & Cultivate, Beyond Boss is a similar type of deal, but very much its own thing. And it’s much more than a one-day event. Beyond Boss is an online community of women, and a podcast, to keep the networking and inspiration up. I found out about the event from Instagram and instantly snagged a ticket. What’s cool is Caitlin started a private Facebook group so attendees could mingle and get to know one another here. She even posted that if you were coming alone, to meet people here so you could connect before the event. So important, since sometimes coming to these types of things can be super intimidating. Their goal was to be as positive and inclusive as possible.
The Day Of
The day began in the morning with getting glammed from Glam to Go, then it was time for branding headshots. Caitlin not only planned this entire event but took all the shots that morning. Impressive. She was quick and efficient and made me feel like a queen. I mean how cute is this?
She is planning on doing more mini sessions, and I can’t encourage women enough to get in on these. We all need a few glamour shots even if we’re not running a business. We ARE all running a personal brand though, so make your social channels pop with fun, polished, high-res images. We’ve come a long way since our Facebook profile pics were us in college holding a drink.
Women started to trickle in and began mingling and sipping custom coffees from The Loveliest. There were also custom illustrations by Oh Joyful Day, handmade luggage tags from Krisna Poznike, mini manis from Beauty Bungalow, and of course some Beyond Boss merch.
Then we were broken into three groups to attend the workshops:
- Gaining Traction and Clarity in Your Career, Danielle Slagel
- Instagram Basics, Rachel Rowland
- Tips for Shooting Content and Flat Lays, Emily Cowey
While I loved all the workshops, I truly loved what Rachel had to say about Instagram and her mentality of quality over quantity. Something that is definitely a trend in social in 2020 with likes being less prominent.
After the workshops, we all did a brief meditation and the powerhouse panel of women spoke about business, social media, motherhood and more. Then there were cocktails, food, music and dancing to round out the evening.
Even more special was that 20% of all proceeds went to The Alexis Joy Foundation, which helps women and their families who are affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Beyond the Day: Community and Connecting
After Instagram-storying like crazy that day, I had many new followers that I was able to connect with after the fact. (One of my favorite new accounts is Alisha Cohen from Lish Creative – how fun is her Instagram?!)
Since then, the conversation has kept going either on Instagram, texts, the Beyond Boss Facebook group and just talking with other women in general. It was truly a fun experience that really just made me feel inspired and empowered. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Sometimes I feel bad when I have to say no (or charge for my time) but the panel especially reinforced the fact that we all have talents and little time, and your time is precious. So don’t feel bad or apologize for this.
The future holds so much for Beyond Boss, so if you’re a woman in Pittsburgh (whether you own your own business, work for an agency, corporation, or non-profit, are a stay at home mom, are in college, and everywhere in between), this is a community of women worth connecting with.