“It’s Lighting Someone Else’s Candle While Not Dimming Yours” and Other Inspiring Quotes from C&C’s Trip to Project Women’s

After spending the last two days there, we know first-hand that Las Vegas is home to so much more than slots and cocktails. It’s also the proud destination of our country’s largest fashion trade show. Held twice a year, WWDMagic is filled with rows upon rows of fashionable booths filled with the next season’s must-have clothing and trends before they hit the boutiques. Project Women’s is one of the events held within the show and we were thrilled to partner with them this August to host four eye-opening panels with boundary-pushing founders and leaders in the space. 

Our fearless leader, Jacyln Johnson kicked off the two-day event to discuss our mission at Create & Cultivate along with industry insights and key takeaways she’s learned while building a multi-million dollar company. This was followed by a diverse panel of influencers, content creators, and flat-out badass women to chat about brand partnerships and creative collaboration. To close the event on its second and final day, Jacyln sat down with two major personalities in the biz, Catt Sadler and Marni Senofonte—the audience hung off their every word.

Follow along for some insane mic-drop moments, inspirational mantras, and overall entertaining responses from some of our generation’s best. 

Creative Collaboration—How to Team Up for a Successful Collab That Is a Win Win

Danika Brysha | Self-Care Coach, Founder/CEO at Model Meals, and IMG Curve Model

Katie Austin | Fitness and Sports Personality 

Aysha Harun | Beauty and Lifestyle Content Creator, Ayshaabdul.com

Shalice Noel | Digital Creator, Entrepreneur, and Founder, Shalicenoel.com

Katie Austin

 On authenticity in brand partnerships...

“It’s really important to think about what brand partnerships are authentic to your lifestyle already.”

“Do what's practical to your lifestyle.” 

“Collaborate with other girls in the industry.”

“When you’re transparent, you create that loyalty and that following.”

“Be more of a peer to your followers.”

On collaboration over competition...

“It’s about lighting someone else’s candle while not dimming yours.”

“Remember that there’s space for everyone.”

Danika Brysha

On authenticity in brand partnerships...

“I’m very vulnerable and raw with my community and there’s been a trust built with that—I take that with the highest regard.” 

“Tuning into your body is a big part of what I do for work. If im not doing that and expressing that in my work then I'm not being authentic.” 

On unpaid partnerships...

“Sometimes, if you’re not paying someone, it's hard to have specific guidelines.”

“Look for women out there who are looking to support you.”

Aysha Harun

On seeking out representation online...

“I was really into the beauty community on YouTube. I noticed  there weren't many women of color or Muslim women of color so I took it upon myself to change that.”

“People will relate to your message whether they look like you or not.”

“I didn't think people who looked like me could build a sustainable career online.” 

“Keep posting content and hope someone will believe in that.”

“There is definitely a lot of bandwagon diversity happening.”

“Everyone wants you to fit into a mold no matter what community you belong to.” 

On partnering with the right brands...

“We are our own brands and we want to partner with brands that align with our own values.”

“Ask yourself, ‘Is the brand a perfect fit? Will my audience be receptive to it?’ 

“Research the brands and make sure it’s going to fit in with what you already do.”

On being authentic with your audience...

“There's a lot of time and effort that goes on behind the scenes.”

“Before accepting contracts, I want to test the products for a minimum of two weeks.”

“Trust is a huge thing with our audiences and we don’t want to damage that trust.” 

“I want them to walk away from my channel and still be entertained.” 

On trusted partnerships on either end...

“Choose who you believe in and don’t be afraid to set boundaries.” 

“We’re all creatives and we want to be able to feel creative in what we’re doing.” 

“When the pressure is off and we are trusted by the brand, that leads to long-term partnerships.”

Shalice Noel

On balancing motherhood and content creation...

“I’ll admit, it’s really hard. It’s about being intentional.” 

 “I have to do the hard things on my to-do list that I don’t want to do and I do them in the morning before the kids wake up.”

On how her children have affected her partnership decisions...

“They [my children] have added so much because I can be so real with my audience.” 

“It’s allowed me to do more lifestyle partnerships and tell more stories. It’s not just fashion anymore.” 


On fostering trust with brands…

“I love when brands trust you and what you’re doing. When they give you some leeway and it leads to a successful partnership.” 

“We are creatives and we are brands. Let’s just do what we do well.” 

Keynote: Catt Sadler

Panelists:

Catt Sadler | TV Host, Podcast Host, and Journalist

Moderator: 

Jaclyn Johnson | CEO, Create & Cultivate

On equal pay and quitting after her male counterpart earned double... 

“It was glaringly obvious what I had to do.” 

“I've had zero regrets for standing up for myself and taking that leap.” 

“Since then, I’ve been using my voice and my reach as much as possible.”

On representation and behind-the-scenes of entertainment...

“I think there's an awareness now that wasn't there before.”

“I think companies are making changes, whether it’s inherently from a good intention or from a PR standpoint.”

“I’ve always been a proponent of moving women forward.” 

“There is this new space in media where anybody and everybody can have a stage to discuss.”

On the purpose behind her podcast titled “Naked”...

“It’s about exploring women's real stories and letting it all hang out. We are all here for fashion… But the flip side to that is, who are we?”

“We record in my bedroom. I think the setting evokes a certain energy.”

“I think I have to be a little open and vulnerable.”

“People need to purge. We all need to feel less alone... ‘maybe I’m not suffering in silence’.”


Starting a new career journey… 

“Things take time. It takes time to plant seeds, you need to be patient.”

“The menusha to getting what you want isn’t sexy.”

On transparency on money and equal pay…

“I think it’s okay to ask in an interview, “Can I be assured you are paying men and women equally?”

“It is well within your rights to ask. If you don’t know, you can’t ask. It starts on you taking ownership.” 

“Not every case is the same. There are a lot of variables. Make sure it’s an apples to apples situation.”

“Record your wins before you can go in and ask for a promotion.” 

“Do that research. See what the market rate is for your job.” 


On describing her personal style 

“I’m a minimalist, I don't over accessorize. A little chic, a little edgy but less is more.” 

“I think my personal style is rather relaxed. Functionality is important.” 

On her digital presence… 

Cattwalk was really about being a live organism. It’s an extension of my brand.”

“I want to share the cornerstone of what the Cattwalk is. For me it’s women empowerment. It’s a space for everyone who comes to feel sexy, to feel vulnerable, and there’s strength in that.”

“Declaring what you want is manifesting your future. Go there [the Cattwalk] and feel inspired.”


Being inspired by other women...

“I learn every day from other women.”

“What a privilege it is to be female. I am so turned on by what everyone is doing right now.”

“Oprah is the reason I got into journalism.”

“There is such a gift in just doing you.” 


Being a working mom and balancing family with business…

“When you’re with them, be with them.”

“Balance is an interesting word. We all have so much on our plate, especially as a parent.” 

“Self-care is paramount. It’s okay to put yourself first in a lot of those situations. Meditating, working out…”

“If I did not take care of myself, I would be no one to anyone.” 

“Check in with yourself. That's okay. Don't make apologies for yourself.”

“Literally step outside, it’s free. Look at a tree. There is peace in that, there is a calm in that.” 

“Be where you are.” 

“Say no. You don't have to do everything. Make sure the things you are doing, you want to do.” 

Rapid-fire questions:

My life motto is...

“Be in the now. Be in the present.” 

Success is…

“Living on my own terms. When you can fully and freely call the shots in your life.”

True equality is...

“A fundamental basic human right. It is what is fair and what is right. We all deserve to be treated exactly the same.”


Keynote: Marni Senofonte

Panelists:

Marni Senofonte | Celebrity Stylist

Moderator: 

Jaclyn Johnson | CEO, Create & Cultivate


On getting started as a stylist...

“I kind of learned it on the road. I didn't even know this was a job. I just knew I wanted to do something in fashion and film.” 

“Lauren Hill saw something that I did with another artist. I never had a book, it was all word-of-mouth.”

“You don’t have to be a global stylist, but there are so many eyes on you and styling is so accessible now. It’s kind of amazing.” 

“I think it's so much easier to create your own job now more than ever before. Even on local levels. It’s not as accessible as people think.”

“Someone who wants to be a stylist is already in it. You have to already have that inside you.” 

On her different clients as a stylist…

“Depends on the project I’m working on. If there's a Beyoncé project, there's no sleep.

“When I work with Kendall [Jenner], we’ll share a Pinterest board.”

“Clients need to be inspired by me just as much as I’m inspired by my clients.”

On not wearing black…

“It forces me to be creative every morning.”

On Instagram portfolios…

“It's a blessing and a curse. Everyone’s a stylist now. Everyone can put looks together. It's amazing.” 

On the storytelling of styling…

“For Beyoncé, she has well thought out ideas and concepts. There is so much story behind her music. So, the wardrobe kind of comes into play with that.” 

“With Kendall, it’s more trend forecasting.”

“With Beyoncé, she’s setting the trend. With her, you have to hear the music.” 

On how much of herself goes into her styling…

“A lot of me goes into it. There's a lot of different parts of me.”

“Everything I put on my clients, I would wear myself.”

“My aesthetic is a little bit tomboy and I try to be sexy here and there. I only have one lane and it’s rockstar.”


On fashion accessibility through social media…

“I think it's really great now that everyone has their own magazine, everyone's Instagram is their own Vogue. I think it's amazing.”

“I don't think fashion should be about elitism.”


On Instagram affecting her styling…

“There are no real rules—the only rule I follow is lighting.”


On where she finds inspiration…

“I find inspiration through other people. At my apartment in New York, I sit on my stoop and watch people go by.”

“If I’m at a museum and I see colors, I think ‘oh, i gotta use this’.”

“That’s what styling is. You gotta steal from here, here, here, and here.”

On her Emmy nomination…

“It was a beast. Coachella was a beast. It was eight months of just insane preparation. It was really important. Everything I do with Beyoncé is so well thought-out.”

“The simplest things usually take the most amount of time, the most amount of work, and are the most expensive.”

Rapid-fire questions:

The definition of style is...

“Being honest and true to yourself. If you believe it I'm going to believe it.” 

Success is...

“Being able to smile.” 

My greatest lesson is...

“Anything is possible. I’m from Pennsylvania, I’m not supposed to be here.”


We Take Self-Care Seriously—How the C&C Team Relax and Unwind After a Long Day

Progress over perfection. Ever heard of it? At Create & Cultivate, it’s one of the mottos we live by. In fact, we take it so seriously, that we even have it painted on the office kitchen wall. Whether it’s personal or professional, big or small, we believe the lessons lie in the journey, not the destination. While we love dreaming big and thinking of the full picture, we make sure to celebrate the little milestones along the way too because true success is the sum of all your small efforts, right?

As opportunities, responsibilities, expectations, and commitments stack up, so do our to-do lists. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love the hustle. Of course, we do. Just make the time to pause at each step so you don’t stretch yourself too thin. And there’s a myriad of ways you can do that. Our favorite? Celebrating the wins along the way by taking time for self-care such as applying a clay face mask, taking a bath, reading a book, or our personal favorite, cracking open a Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer.

Because taking time out to relax and unwind—and getting in those eight hours of sleep a night—should be just as important as those to-do’s like creating a P&L or sending that client email. So, to help you get there, we tapped the shoulders of our very own hustlers, the team C&C, to ask how they unwind after a jam-packed day. C&C team pro tip: swap your glass of red for a low-cal alternative like our favorite Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer for a guilt-free nightcap. For more pro tips and tricks, follow along to see how our team does self-care and be sure to scroll down to the end to make our exclusive drink recipes and say cheers to yourself for getting through another day!

Danielle Boyce, Graphic Design Intern

“I work two part-time jobs and have two side hustles so I never feel like I have an ‘end of the day.’  I have made boundaries like I can't work or use my laptop after I shower and do my skincare routine. I try and unplug at least half an hour before I go to sleep. But, I usually listen to a podcast or call my friends living in San Francisco for the summer. I like recapping my day with my favorite people, it always puts me in a good mood for the morning.”

Alyssa Sage, Marketing Manager

“How do I unwind? With a bubble bath and my fave book, wine, and candles.” 

Nicole Povey, Coordinator 

“After a long day, I love to wind down with a glass of Pinot Grigio and some bad reality T.V. If I’m not feeling the electronics, painting is my go-to for winding down and resetting.” 

Dana Saperstein, Senior Event Producer

“I unwind after a long day by cooking. Cooking allows me guidelines that I can follow so I don't have to think too much. Chopping is like my meditation. I can zone out. It also provides a little bit of excitement because you never know how it's going to turn out!”


Dre Reyes , Senior Marketing Associate

"I like to unwind by cleansing my face, putting on a face mask and enjoying a glass of wine while I lounge on the couch in my comfy robe. To me, this is the ultimate form of self-care.”


Sacha Strebe, Editorial Director

“For me, unwinding is all about a long, hot, salt bath. There’s nothing quite like it for soothing aching bones, muscles, and to allow some time for your brain to digest the day, detach from the to-do list, and quietly meditate without screens or distractions. I just read that 1kg of pink Himalayan salt (has to be food grade) in a bath is a powerful detoxifier because it extracts the toxins out of your skin and tissues. It’s akin to soaking in an ocean of energy. The process is called dermal absorption because your skin soaks up the minerals from the water including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc and more. So, I’m hitting up my Amazon Prime account and having a few bags of salt delivered stat.” 


Kylie Tansey, VP Sales

“My fiancé and I are learning to cook together. Cooking always seemed like a chore to us. Now that we have become a little more comfortable in the kitchen, it has become a way that we relax and catch up with each other after a long day. Cheesy as it sounds, I find that having something as simple as time together to look forward to at the end of the day makes even the hardest of days feel more joyful.” 

Spice up  your nightly self-care ritual with one of our favorite Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer recipes below! 

Spiked Piña Colada 

Ingredients:

1 can of  Piña Colada Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer

1 oz. coconut cream

6 oz. fresh pineapple juice

1 cup of crushed ice

Directions:  Combine all ingredients then blend until smooth. Add a fun toothpick umbrella and a slice of pineapple for optimal vacation vibes.

Raspberry Frozé

Ingredients:

1 can of Raspberry Rosé Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer

1 oz. lemon juice

3½ ounces strawberry syrup

1 cup of crushed ice 

Directions:  Combine all ingredients then blend until smooth. Place blender container in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes for the best consistency.