On Monday, We Are Branch launched. It had been a longtime dream of mine to run a boutique design studio and I was done waiting — the time finally felt right. Thanks to all of you who have added us on Twitter, Instagram, sent us sweet emails and cheered us on. It’s always scary launching a new project, not knowing what the response will be so your support has been hugely appreciated.
Two hours after we pushed the Branch site live, I boarded a flight with Joey and Rocky bound for LA to meet with clients. On Wednesday, we headed for Malibu — I’d never been before and it was even more beautiful than I’d imagined.
Thursday morning, we hit the road, Palm Springs-bound for the annual Designer VACA retreat, which is held at the Ace. I attended last year as well and it was the catalyst I needed at the time — it sparked a lot of the big shifts in my businesses that have happened since. Spending a few days at the Ace has been a welcome chance to recharge, connect with friends I only see once a year and to also catch up with fellow branchee, Star, who’s my roomie here.
The lobby of the Ace is purposely very much stuck in the 70s but I love it. Getting away from everyday life and switching up the scenery and routines you’re used to is hugely inspiring.
Today, I spoke on a panel about personal branding, which was perfect since I’ve just transitioned my design business, including a fresh brand, site and process. My panel mates included a trio of designers I adore and have immense respect for: Eva Black, Emma Robertson and Megan Gilger. Hearing other creatives’ personal journeys and the hows and whys behind their current business ventures is so inspiring.
This retreat is such a breath of fresh air and no topics are off-limits. It’s a welcoming atmosphere that allows for learning and collaborations with no judgement. We have one more packed day of talks tomorrow and I’m looking forward to digging in and soaking it all up.
Of course, hiding out in Palm Springs isn’t all work and no play — we spent our afternoon break by the pool soaking up the rays and talking shop. I’ll have more photos and insights on the retreat next week. Thanks for following along on this week’s adventures and I hope you have an awesome weekend!