Who Inspires You? We Asked Four C&C Insiders Who They Admire and How They Keep It Real

When you think about the attributes you’d most like to be known for, what ranks higher on the scale? Being admired for your accomplishments, or being known as someone who is true to yourself? Perhaps it’s both. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from all of the C&C conversations we’ve had, it’s that true authenticity is always at the heart of every successful business—money will always follow but it should never be the key motivator.

We’re all about keeping it real at Create & Cultivate, and we admire brands that do the same. Take Aerie and Ketel One Botanical, for example. They embrace the ideology of what it means to be “real.” At our collaborative event with Aerie, AerieREALTREAT, we partnered with Ketel One Botanical to celebrate those who  are spearheading the “keep it real” mission, with killer cocktails that use real ingredients. In the spirit of this event, we tapped C&C insiders who their role model is and how they keep it real. Their answers will inspire you.

Jen Bonynge:

“The girls that I met at C&C Chicago last summer—Jane Scudder, Yasmeed Mahoud, Kristin Andrews, and Sharris Wilson to name a few. We "met" for the first time via the Create & Cultivate Facebook group, and IRL at the conference but I still interact with those ladies almost daily. They inspire me to keep going when I'm tired and to ask for what I want and what I deserve. Also, Amy Nelson from the Riveter. Her instagram stories highlighting being pregnant and now after having her fourth as a founder of a company is inspiring. She does not hold back in her stories—from feeling like a failure or having to ask for help. I feel like if she can do it, so can I.”

Mariah Maldonado:

“My role model is Sofia Quintero. She is an author, activist, showrunner, and much more. She keeps it real by being transparent yet compassionate. She uses humor and her bright energy and that is why people feel comfortable opening up to her. She keeps it real by being honest without shaming. She's dope.”

Erika Del Pozo Frasso:

Dr. Nicole LePera from the Holistic Psychologist on Instagram. She’s been on my podcast twice. She is the realest and most badass, knowledgeable, and creative person. She is on a mission to help us truly be self healers.”

Juliet Orszulak:

Ashley Longshore. She is an explosively talented artist out of Louisiana communicating brief cultural commentary and original portraits. I admire her positive attack on the everyday which she shares on her Instagram page. She keeps it real—it might not feel great getting up early or drinking a healthy smoothie but she shares her process, prioritizing the positive and celebrating the opportunity to just love life.”