Photo by vieraphotographics.com.
Welcome back to Inside the W.E.L.L. Summit where we take you behind the scenes of the best wellness event of the year. Today, we’re giving you a sneak peek into what last year’s gathering was like, from an attendee herself. Read on to see why This Organic Girl is coming back for more in 2016—and bringing her sister along for the ride!
So listen, I’m no health expert by any means. I’m just a mama and a woman trying to live this life in the healthiest way possible. I am passionate about making healthy choices, eating clean and keeping a safe, nontoxic household for me and my boys. I am always learning and I enjoy meeting and making connections with others who share the same passions.
Having two toddlers at home means that often these connections happen online and mostly through social media. This is great and I have made some awesome friends this way but when I saw an ad for the W.E.L.L Summit happening in Boston in October 2015, it caught my eye. I asked around and since it was an inaugural event, no one really knew anything about it. I decided to take a chance on it and I’m so glad I did!
Let me just start by saying I went to this conference not knowing ANYONE. I am equally as introverted as I am extroverted so sometimes I do great in these situations but sometimes it is really easy for me to feel awkward and excluded.
I’ve also been to several professional conferences in the past for my part-time work as an American Sign Language interpreter and right away I noticed there were some major pros about the structure and flow of the W.E.L.L Summit to help alleviate any first-timer’s anxiety. First, the summit speakers were crazy curated. I really had no idea at the time the caliber of speakers I had the privilege of listening to but we are talking revered leaders in a breath of topics from green beauty to fitness to ethical shopping to clean eating and more. They were not only successful professionals in their respective fields but they were able to speak informatively, take questions and also manage an audience, which is not easy to do!
Within an hour all of my nervousness fell to the wayside. Workshops are scheduled back to back and the whole day is structured with talks, coffee and snack breaks, panels, meals and social time built in at the end of the day. What I really loved was the sessions were kept small and capped at 30-35 people. A great size to encourage questions, make connections and watch demos.
Two of my favorite sessions were “Soap Making” with Tara Pelletier, owner of Meow Meow Tweet and “A Three Minute Face” makeup application tips with Kristen Arnett, a green makeup artist with more than 15 years of professional experience and founder of GreenBeautyTeam.com. A year later I am still using a bunch of her tips!
Photo by vieraphotographics.com.
Sessions were loaded with practical tips and applications. Like I left with a bar of soap that I not only watched being made but I got to touch, smell and talk about sourcing for all of its ingredients. And I found out I only need to apply foundation around my nose and not my whole face?! I made a ton of connections and left with an amped up sense motivation for blogging. Plus I came home with Chef Ariane Resnick’s The Bone Broth Miracle cookbook with a ton of inspiration on how to incorporate bone broth on the daily. And not to mention the LARGE goodie bag I took home with samples galore from organic teas and spices to nontoxic fragrances and deodorants.
That weekend stays with me and I know I am not the only one. I’ve attended a book club recently that has W.E.L.L. Summit roots. At the book club, one of the girls there described the W.E.L.L. Summit as a time in her life where she felt most “in flow.” I thought that was a great way to describe what I was feeling too. I was so engaged with participants and speakers about topics that really spoke to my core. I left feeling so refreshed and excited and the first thing I did afterwards was call my sister who lives in Florida and told her she is coming with me to W.E.L.L Summit 2016. So she is and we will both be rollin’ up in true VIP style—I mean when there is a VIP option at checkout that includes an additional gift bag… a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Here are a few thoughts from my sis, Amy Gaul on what she’s excited about:
“My sister’s five star review from last year’s Summit left me intrigued! This year I jumped at the chance to attend and participate in this immersive and inspiring experience.”
Last year I attended one day out of this two-day conference and only got the chance to see a handful of the speakers. This year I am all-in and I’m really looking forward to the lineup. Especially excited to see celebrity chef Amie Valpone of TheHealthyApple.com tell her personal story and talk about how to detox, fight inflammation and get your body working for you in stead of against you. Also looking forward to Melissa Cantor, co-founder of shopethica.com talk about how to make best decisions when purchasing sustainable fashion. I have a specific question about recycled plastics in fabrics that I am dying to ask! Also I won’t be missing Ksenia Avdulova from Breakfast Criminals talk about growing your brand—I missed her talk last year so I am super psyched she is coming back again.
I’m counting down the days—who’s with me?!
Lisa is the blogger behind This Organic Girl, who went all in on green living two years ago with her family in Boston. When her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor for the fourth time and her son was suffering from eczema, Lisa decided to dive into what the label “organic” was all about. She blogs and muses about her newfound lifestyle, from healthy eating and nontoxic beauty to green cleaning, online and on Instagram.