Lady Project Summit 2015

The Lady Project is non profit organization that "inspires, connects, and showcases the talent of women" as their website puts it. As a member, I can enthusiastically say that it does just that. Since opening it's first chapter in Providence, it's quickly spreading to many other US cities. Really, I'm just a silly loud fan of this group. The yearly summit is coming up, a day of learning and meeting other cool "ladies". This is my blog entry and illustration that was recently featured on The Lady Project blog about my past summit experience.

Luck + Preparation = Opportunity.

Luck for me in this case happens to be the Lady Project. When I attended the 2014 summit, I had just moved back to Providence and was a fairly recent member. A friend had introduced me to Lady Project and after attending the birthday bash, I was sold.

The summit was a humongous success for me. I met Monica Lee when I may have, kind of, sort of, snuck into her full class. Shhh, don’t tell Sierra. I was, and am still, a huge fan of her Smart Creative Women podcast. Since then, we’ve become friends. I took her great online style course, and have been featured on her blog.

Summit win 1.

I paid off 3 THOUSAND DOLLARS of debt with money I didn’t know that I had until I attended Maureen Kerrigan’s “how to take charge of your financial future” seminar. In case you were in that class with me, I was the one oversharing and generally flipping out over her own financial cluelessness. After class, Maureen gave me her card, told me to email her and we would figure things out together. At our meeting a few weeks later, she showed me that I had money in an IRA from my deceased mother that I could use to help pay off some of my debt.

Summit (HUGE) win 2.

My third summit win is “luck + preparation = opportunity” exemplified. As an illustrator, I am constantly producing new work that I am sending out there into the world. But with most artistic professions, sometimes the most I get is 30 likes from my friends on Facebook, a nice phone call from my grandmother, and that’s that. Then I heard Rebekah Epstein, founder of fifteen media, speak of this amazing thing called the “press release.” I knew what a press release was; it just never occurred to me that it could help my illustration career. And so when one of my custom bridal illustrations part of The Rhode Show’s feature on the Lady Projects summer guide, I sent out a press release to all the RI media outlets in RI and… nothing. But 8 months later, the Providence Journal Bulletin, who was one of the organization who received my press release, contacted me. They wanted to write a feature on my bridal illustrations. I was interviewed, had my photo taken, and was looking forward a few inches devoted to me at the back of the lifestyle section.

When a relative calls you at 7am on sunday morning it’s either a very good thing or a very bad thing. As I mumbled into the phone “Ok, who died?” My aunt screamed back “OH MY GOD! Have you seen the paper?!”. My article was not two inches in the back of the lifestyle section, it was two humongous pages with my face plastered on the cover. That article has resulted in new customers and new work opportunities. Oh, and I got recognized at the gas station.

I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities this year’s summit brings. Because not everyone can get recognized at a Shell station. But being a Lady Project member helps.