The first full day of the #WeAllGrow Summit started off with Kundalina yoga and meditation with Siempre Mujer Editor-in-Chief and yoga instructor, Cristy Marrero. Sponsored by GAIAM, the session’s intention was designed to center the body and mind on growth and possibilities. This powerful ode to self was followed by a delicious breakfast and tea. Nourishing the mind, body and soul was the perfect way to start a very full day of learning and sharing.
Following the principles of Kundalini Yoga, Cristy Marrero shared the 7 basics steps to achieve happiness in the first keynote panel of the day titled “A Celebration of Growth.” We learned about her inspiring travels, work relationships and her life-changing aha moments. Joining Cristy was mother and a multi million-dollar business entrepreneur Natalie Boden, who shared her journey in parenting, her cultural beliefs and personal growth. It was a powerful, eye-opening hour inspiring attendees to seek happiness, learn the art of acceptance and find the stillness and courage within to realize their dreams.
Immediately following our Keynote speakers, the stage lit up with Emmy Award-winning TODAY Show producer and New York Times best-selling author, Alicia Ybarbo, who moderated the panel titled “Bringing the Social to Media”. The talented panel included Marines Duarte, family & lifestyle expert for Univision; Alexys Gabrielle, broadcast journalist, television host, and social media influencer; Jeannette Kaplun, award-winning journalist and TV personality; Andrea Minski, journalist and TV host; Gaby Natale, media personality and celebrity blogger; Kika Rocha, former fashion and beauty director of People en Español.
These super Latinas shared how they transitioned their careers from traditional media to the digital world, how losing their safety nets opened new opportunities, what it takes to come to this country and succeed without understanding the language and how to achieve your dreams no matter the obstacles.
What does LA bring to the table like no other place can? The Media! What is the #WeAllGrow Summit about? Connections! Attendees were also given the opportunity to show off their elevator pitches to latinamom.me, Baby Center, Siempre Mujer, Ser Padres, MiTú Networks, NGL Media, ChicaFresh.com, TapInfluence, CafeMom and Univision tlnovelas. Set up like a speed dating session, preparation was key, time was limited and there was only one chance to make a lasting impression. No pressure!
In between empowering keynotes and career-changing meetings, Vive Mejor spoiled attendees with massages and manicures in the Expo Hall. While some picked out their nail colors, others created personalized lockets with Origami Owl just a few tables away. The Expo Hall was all about individuality, bonding and heartfelt moments … and of course a giveaway! ScholarShare was there as well and hosted a contest for chance to win $250 towards a college savings plan.
Noon crept up quickly and it was time to eat again. But it wasn’t just any meal. A keynote lunch hosted by Neutrogena at the LINE Hotel ala Roy Choi can only mean one thing - Superb dining! Michelle Freyre, General Manager of Neutrogena, joined us for a very candid presentation about her experience as a Latina in a leadership role in the most leading skincare and beauty companies within the Johnson & Johnson family. She also made a very special exclusive announcement and introduction - Mexican actress and singer Eiza Gonzalez is to become the new Neutrogena ambassador for both general and hispanic markets. Eiza shared her love for Neutrogena products and talked about her life in the spotlight since childhood and her life-long enthusiasm for Neutrogena products. Congrats, Eiza!
The magic continued on the 12th floor with mimosas, cake pops, stylists, facials, music and lovely beauty vlogger and hostess Dulce Candy at the Neutrogena suite and Social Media Sanctuary.
Needless to say, everyone looked and felt like they just stepped out of the salon during the conference. Even with a packed house, the stylists did an amazing job getting everyone dolled up and feeling great. Decorated with white drapery and luxury sofas, the sanctuary was a coveted room for stopping by to relax in between panels. The sessions were rich with information and tools for building businesses and creating brands.
Whether you’re a newbie or veteran, Daily Baez of Daily Curlz, Pattie Cordova of Living Mi Vida Loca, Cindy Limon and Roxy Limon shared their personal journeys, experiences and insights for creating a successful and fulfilling vlogging career. If you’re just starting out, make sure you explore the Creative Studio option on YouTube to get the most of your channel!
With so many a-ma-zing Latina food bloggers, it’s not a conference (or a blogosphere!) without them.The invaluable information that was shared during the food styling workshop led by Clara Gonzalez of Dominican Cooking, Meseidy Rivera of the Noshery and Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles & Feasts had everyone clinging to their every word. From what cameras they preferred to what each thought about a certain styling or photography technique, attendees asked all those questions they’d been itching to get an answer about. No one wanted to leave the room! After all, who doesn’t love a beautifully styled food photo? The foodie love didn’t end there, the session that followed included a panel of food bloggers turned authors: Morena Escardo of The Everything Peruvian Cookbook, Pilar Hernandez of Comer rico: Del blog a la mesa, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack of Muy Bueno Cookbook and Vianney Rodriguez of Latin Twist. This panel of respected recipe developers inspired attendees to get out there and materialize their recipes into a beautiful book
The panels continued throughout the rest of the day with a little something for everyone. Whether you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to blogging or prefer to take your story outside of the blog, you were covered.
Ismerai + Annette of LoveLuxeCo, Maya Murillo of Maya in the Moment, Angie Ramirez of Little Inspiration and Daniela Ramirez of Nany’s Klozet talked about their Vine and Instagram techniques. From perfectly curated images to what appears to look like candid moments and videos, all are carefully executed with consistency in mind. These platforms are given the same attention to detail as their blogs. Guest were encouraged to use their own authentic voice and noted that it’s good to be inspired but in the end people are going to know if it's genuine or not.
Taking things even further from the blog to TV and print was the next topic led by Bren Herrera of Flanboyant Eats, Jeannette Kaplun of Hispana Global and Mercedes Sanchez of Be Chic Mag. This powerhouse panel talked about the highs and lows of getting your voice out there and your talents noticed. A little bit courage and belief in yourself goes a long way. But no matter how good you are at what you do, good writing skills are key in getting the right people to notice you. No one knows that Maura Hernandez, editor of Latinamom.me and Lorraine C. Ladish, author and founder of VivaFifty. Attendees were given tips for improving grammar and what editors are looking at when reviewing their work.
Guests spent the rest of the evening taking it easy, dining at the hotel and exploring Los Angeles. Another full and exciting day was ahead, including breakfast in bed, sponsor suites and the much anticipated Storytellers session!