Art of the Journey Summer Soiree - The Recap!

I can’t believe the second annual Art of the Journey Summer Soiree is over! I can’t believe there was second one period, to be honest. I’m writing a quick Soiree recap for two reasons. First, I’d love to share with you my thinking process that contributed to this year’s event - especially in relation to the “why.” (I can tackle the “how” in another post if you’re interested) Second, I wanted to jot down these memories for myself while they’re still fresh!

When I had the first Art of the Journey Summer Soiree in 2017, my only intention was to host a fun party for the AOTJ ladies and maybe attract some new faces to the meetup group. Because I capped most AOTJ meetups at 10-12 attendees, I simply thought it would be exciting to host something larger and open to the public. Nothing more, nothing less. The first Soiree was a lovely time and I considered hosting another one at some point. Again, that was in 2017 when Art of the Journey was a growing hobby for me. I had no idea that the same time next year I’d have left my job to pursue event consulting full-time, nor what that would mean for the future Soiree.

Cue 2018, suddenly I’m a business-owner, and I knew I would have different intentions going into this year’s Soiree. First, I wanted to elevate it! I took it from a warehouse to a nice Breather space, from doing the food myself to getting it catered by DC Eatings, from minor decor to a tablescape and setting that would wow (check Pinterest or my Instagram for more photos!), and from average gift bags to exclusive opportunities for the attendees courtesy of Swizzler and Métier.

I also wanted the Soiree to make sense business-wise. Creating events is now my bread and butter, so it was only natural that I took this Soiree more seriously. It’s rare nowadays for me to create an event that’s 100% in my vision because I’m usually helping a client bring their vision to life, with my guidance and/or support. Having a project of my own was refreshing and fun. In a lot of ways, it was a portfolio builder to see what works, what doesn’t, and try new things that will help my clients in the future.

I wanted to make sure there was something for everyone at this year’s Soiree. Now, I realize I have a diverse audience ranging from AOTJ women enjoying life, supportive clients, potential future clients, to women looking to network. I wanted everyone to benefit from the Soiree - hence the upgrade to an event with more substance. Securing impressive (and oh so kind) special guests who were willing to say a few words and mingle with the guests was my favorite aspect of the event! I see myself as a resource to the great women of this city, so I was grateful to be able to connect them with other kickass women who are following their passions. A huge thank you to Nicole Ellis of The Washington Post, Rachel Mulcahy of Ivy Wild Beauty, LaShawn Kenley of Sun Gods, Vina Sananikone of Foreign National, and Liz Calka of National Geographic and Apartment Therapy for gracing us with your wisdom.

Finally, adding a philanthropic angle to the year’s Soiree just felt right. When a group of women get together we definitely know how to support! Thank you We Are Family for graciously being a beneficiary of the event. Their incredible work in aiding senior citizens throughout Washington, DC is changing lives and I’m honored we could help out.

Though I’m my own biggest critic and there are certainly things I could have improved, I’m still incredibly proud and grateful for how this year’s Soiree went. I already miss it and cannot WAIT until next year. If you attended, thank you so much and let me know what your favorite part of the Soiree was down below or what you hope to see happen next year. As always, I’m all ears! See you soon.