alt summit // oct 2022 // new york city

Last week I went to Alt Summit in New York City with my bff @rachelfromaustin. We ate everything, talked each other's ears off, and absorbed so much wisdom from the inspiring women at the conference, number one inspirer being Gabrielle Blair, the founder of Alt and @designmom herself.

10 takeaways from my Alt Summit

1. "You can't use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have." –Maya Angelou
2. Cultivate relationships – reach out to someone unique every single day, via text or email, just to let them know you're thinking of them. Be curious. 
3. Ask yourself: when you have a problem, what do you do? The answer is important to your progress.
4. Your personal brand is the digitization of your reputation. Yikes. But also, cool!
5. Start where you are, each step on the path is progress. 
6. The power of a thousand true fans...!
7. A lot of people out there still feel lonely post covid. Try to use your talent to connect them.
8. People come to Instagram to be entertained, educated, and/or inspired. Deliver accordingly.
9. What led you to start your "thing"? Figure it out and double, triple down on it.
10. The unfinished business of the feminism of our mothers is women's wealth creation. 

My to-do list, photos of meeting my TWO biggest creative inspirations, and everything we ate, right this way:

My to-do list:

- focus on getting people in touch with each other outside of myself, i.e. share others' work and introduce my readers to other people they might like.
- always. answer. people. back.
- keep a running list of topics I'm willing to discuss openly on my instagram. Whenever I share something meaningful there, blog a summary of how the conversation went + what could be helpful to others.
- ask other great newsletter writers to mention Handpicked in their newsletter.
- cold DM my favorite instagrammers who aren't currently sending out a weekly link list and offer to ghost write for them. 
- create a *simple* instagram just for Handpicked. Make it "plug-and-play"/ easy to replicate each week (ideally 2x/week). Focus on the quotes from each issue. Don't worry about popularity. The aims of the account: to serve Handpicked readers (easy to save/ share their favorite hp quotes); give Handpicked an Instagram "footprint;" make it easier to share Handpicked if readers want to; showcase my dope mug collection

Meeting Design Mom and Cup of Jo IRL

What a treat to meet Gabrielle in person. I wish I could have talked to her for an hour! And/or that we could hang out regularly. We had talked during her Office Hours earlier this year, and she remembered some of our conversation! She was nice enough to sign my copy of her book and write a little note to my girls. She asked me when my baby was due and agreed it's tougher to be pregnant in your thirties. The best part of Alt was her interview with Britney Jones-Cooper. Gabrielle is everything I'd like to be as a woman and mother: confident, creative, curious, calm, thoughtful, and funny. 

When Alt was over, I met up with Lizzy and Nicholas (and the pup!) at their apartment in FiDi and walked through their neighborhood with them for takeout (amazing). On Saturday Liz gave me and Rachel a tour of the Met – delightful – and before I had to leave for the airport, I got a permanent bracelet from Catbird (two actually, one for me and one for baby) and we squeezed in some quick shopping in SoHo wherein we RAN INTO JOANNA GODDARD outside of John Derian. She was so kind and talked with us for nearly ten minutes. We told her about Rachel (horrendous that she wasn't with us), how I was there for Alt Summit and how I do Handpicked, mentioned that her boys might like the John Derian sticker book, and told her about our family. We talked about how much Cup of Jo has meant to us for years. She and Lizzy talked about the LSAT and she and I talked about how we carried our babies during pregnancy (her high, me low). We finally let her go after taking some photos together so she could finish her shopping before the store closed. She was exactly like I expected her to be – warm, friendly, incredibly gracious and polite, smiley, and kind. Such a thrill to meet her. Still can't believe it. 

Everything we ate:
- Vodka pasta from Parm (omg)
- Everything bagel from  Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee (perfect)
- Dal makhani and aloo gobi from Benares (perfect)
- Blackberry buttermilk shake from Mister Dips (yum)
- Green light smoothie from Juice Press (great)
- Banana chocolate chip loaf cake from Levain (delightful)
- Margherita pizza and brussels salad from Emmy Squared (8/10)
- Raspberry and hazelnut mousse gelato from Anita Gelato (divine)
- Cranberry walnut muffin from Butterfield Market (lovely)
- Dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie from Levain (perfect)

No words for how incredibly lucky I feel for my 2.5 perfect days in New York. God bless Nate Steele.