I spent a chunk of this week holed up at the Ace Palm Springs for a little sun and fun coupled with a whole lot of learning at Designer VACA. An annual retreat founded by Promise Tangeman and Alyssa Yuhas, Designer VACA strives to bring together female graphic designers and web developers, many of which freelance and own small businesses.
When you’re creating day in and day out, mostly on your own, it can feel incredibly isolating. To stay connected and inspired, many of us turn to social media and over the years, we’ve formed tight bonds with other creatives. Though, as most online relationships go, our distance from one another (we’re sprinkled throughout the U.S. and Canada) makes it difficult to connect in real life. So Designer Vaca was created to facilitate a gathering in one place once a year.
Part mini conference and part vacation, the learning and relaxing are split evenly. There’s no pressure to take notes or to throw your business cards at everyone in sight. Designer VACA takes the slimy networking out of the equation and uses themed panels to get the conversations flowing in an honest, open way.
Without a doubt, Designer VACA was one of the main catalysts that put me on track to forming Branch last year. I showed up feeling a little out of sorts with everything I was juggling and felt that I had to make some changes with my career. But, we all know that it’s easier said than done. Hearing other women’s experiences with regards to their design journeys gave me the confidence to carve out my own path and to stand up and ask for help when it came to running my business.
Designer VACA was a game changer for me and if you’re a woman creative looking for a small, inspiring retreat that fosters genuine connections, this will be a great fit. If you’d like to be notified of when tickets go on sale for next year’s retreat, hop on the email list. —Shauna