A Recap: Plywood Presents


plywood{Plywood Presents 2014 took place at the Historic Fox Theatre in Downtown Atlanta}

Sometimes when we ask God for a way out, with ultimatums and disillusionment ruling our hearts and minds, He instead provides a way in.

That’s what happened when I learned I was able to attend Plywood Presents {for a fraction of the regular ticket cost, thanks to my good friends}. It’s a two-day conference in Atlanta that works to connect and instruct creative entrepreneurs under the idea that “we will be known by the problems we solve” as we open our eyes to see the unseen {Jeff Shinabarger}, and moreover, Atlanta’s entrepreneurs are “hopeful and helpful” {Sid Mashburn}, which gives many a reason to come and to stay.

On the breaks between sessions, I had the opportunity to help work my friend’s Purchase Effect booth, telling people about how our purchases have the ability to have purpose, if we’ll let them, by meeting and pouring into the people involved in the process, and going back to reinvest in their lives, their economies, and their eternities.


Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.00.12 PM{photo via Plywood Presents}

Here are some of my favorite take-aways:
+ If we change the world and lose our family, we lose.
+ See a better future. Proceed to create it.
+ Where do you find your worth? If it’s in your enterprise, you’re already in the red.
+ Live well; it’s the best revenge.
+ What will we be known for as the Western World? Mindless consumers, or significant changers?
+ Apathy is our biggest challenge; bring intentionality to life.
+ But what if we succeed?
+ What if we loved first and asked questions later, letting God sort them out?
+ Take the fears, grip them, and reframe them.
+ What do I mean when I say “boys will be boys”, and what do I want it to mean for my future sons?

Meeting Johnny Early of Johnny Cupcakes, and experiencing the Atlanta skyline from our hotel rooftop were some definite highlights!

photo-9{Design by @wildstandard, Photo by @FosterATL via Instagram}

And then there’s more! I can’t neglect to share these tid-bits with you either:

+ Ask hard questions. Be willing to give hard answers.
+ Pattern removes uncertainty and creates trust, and we’re homesick for an era of capitalism we trust.
+ Only when the clamor of the outside world is vanished, will you be able to hear the opportunity.
+ The same is not working.
+ Be open to serve in your pain.
+ Live your relationships in the light.
+ Create space to create.
+ Spend more time in cemeteries. If you only had 6 months left to live, what would you do?
+ Think like an editor: they don’t want the whole story-only the part that matters to their pages
+ Let defeat light a fire with a different spin on it.

Dale Partridge of Sevenly gave an extremely noteworthy talk on prioritizing people over profit, and all he has accomplished in his 29 short years made me realize I’ve been wasting time. Bonus: the swag bags we each received were filled to the brim with goodies, including some of my favorite things, pictured above.

And, fine. Because I #CantStopWontStop, here are just a few more things I took away: 
+The currency of encouragement spends longer than cash. & time is more valuable than money: you will get back more than your investment.
+ Don’t dictate. Shape.
+ Write a manifesto of core values that invite people into your “home”.
+ Sometimes we have to go back in order to go forward; but stay the course of your dream.
+ Make people {your customers} feel like it’s their birthday!
+ Collaboration = cross pollination.
+ Keep reinventing yourself.
+ Real success is being happy doing what you love.
+ Find something that is a part of your personality, and do that thing.
+ Leaving our immediate social circle creates magic.

photo-8{Atlanta skyline via our hotel rooftop, The Georgian Terrace}

Considering my ultimatum with God was “connect me to people who enrich and re-activate my passion, or else I will leave.” my getting to attend this event was a REALLY big deal to me, and to say I’m grateful is an understatement.

So I will leave you with this: 
“I’m not willing to accept the things I cannot change. I change the things I cannot accept.” 

P.S.- Won’t you come with me to next year’s Plywood Presents? I sure hope so, and will let you know when tickets go on sale.

A Recap: Bing’s #Awesome Event


© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

{Some of the event attendees, including Rapha, rockin’ his amazing floral pants! Alison must’ve said something to make Blue Eyed Yonder and myself crack up.}

First thing’s first: confession time.

If you were to ask me my humble and honest opinion about whether or not I love Atlanta, my answer would be a resounding “NO.” I’ve told God over and over again that I don’t think this city is the one for me {namely the traffic and humidity}, and if He could kindly remove me and implant mountains back in my life, that’d be swell.

But iiiiffff I were to stay for a bit longer, I’d like to be connected with some great people, creatives who support one another in their trades, ones who inspire and encourage me, the type who help others network by initiating, inviting, and introducing.

I’m blessed to say so far, I’ve received the latter part of my prayer, and I’ll take it with gratitude, because things are unfolding slowly and steadily, and the people I’ve had a chance to meet have been utterly lovely.

Like those I met at Bing‘s Search For Your Awesome event near, you guessed it, downtown Atlanta! 

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Cue sweet Anna, a bright and energetic wife and mama of three who I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working for these past few months. She’s all about creativity, and she’s given me a lot of freedom to help out in her new business, The Brand Market, where I coordinate many details for her one day workshops all over the country. She has a lot of influence in the blogging world, and moreover, a heart of gold, so when she invited me to be a part of Bing’s event, co-hosted by the warm and hilarious Alison Faulkner of The Alison Show, I immediately cancelled other {unimportant} plans to make sure I didn’t miss it. {And just to be real about Alison for a sec: she practically bulldozed tables and chairs and flung her whole self across the room to be the first to welcome me to the party, and she exuded so much joy and love and positivity the entire night, even after traveling to + hosting these events for weeks on end; she’s definitely the kind of person you’d want in your circle on any day, good or bad.}

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

And you know how sometimes, all of your worlds seem to collide, and you feel like you’re only separated by a few degrees from almost everyone? Well, enter the sweet and talented Jamie Jimenez, who I’ve also had the pleasure of working with on social media + blogging for her line of hand-lettered + illustrated goods at Yours is the Earth. She and her husband, an incredible chef, also run Homespun Atlanta, and they catered the entire event with a tropical island-themed menu. Everything was delicious, so I obviously went back for seconds and thirds, and loved watching Jamie co-host to teach about food pairings, herbs, and even edible flowers. Yum!

Bottled drinks were provided by Onli Beverages, and that’s me up there, working on my own table-scape with new acquaintances!


© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

I had the chance to meet handfuls of other talented folk, too, like the sweet and southern Blue Eyed Yonder, who provided most of the amazing furniture to stage the space for guests to sit at and utilize. I absolutely love what she and her husband create!

Speaking of space, the whole studio and all florals were provided by Amy Osaba Events; to say I was swooning over both the whole night would be an understatement.

King of Pops provided some cold, sweet popsicle treats!

All in all, the night was nothing short of magical, and I’m honored to have been a part of it.  I even chose my seat wisely and sat next to sweet Megan, who has worked for Alton Brown of The Food Network for the past 6 years. {Now, I just need my own cooking-show, and life will be in full-swing!}

Some of my biggest take-aways were these words of solid advice:
+ Use what you have
+ If you want different results, do things differently
+ Invest in people who invest in you
+ Give thanks, give love, give your gift
+ Not to mention, Bing generously gave us all $50 worth of advertising + 1,000 Bing Points to take home and use. Did you know you can get paid in FREE gift cards to use their search engine, as well as pin photos straight to your Pinterest board?! Google needs to step-it-up! 😉 

To all involved, and to Anna for kindly extending the invite, I’m grateful. #ThanksBing! And if you want to really feel the vibe of the night, check out the video below. Cheers to being awesome! 

*All photos by the talented Haley Sheffield, unless otherwise stated. Stay tuned for another recap of my time at Plywood Presents in Atlanta last week, coming Monday!