Gather Midwest - An Intentional Gathering of Creative Womxn and Entrepreneurs

Gather Midwest was a dream come true. Quite literally.

Cultivating community has always been a passion of mine. This summer I had the opportunity to curate an event with two adventurous women and business owners that I admire so much, Ingrid Benecke-Chiles and Stevie Rozean. Together we created an event that meets the needs of connection, community, refreshment, and inspiration for all creatives and entrepreneurs.

Enter: Gather Midwest!

On Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Ingrid of Inner Woven opened her family’s space for 39 radiant and passionate women who are actively choosing to believe in themselves and believe in the strong and inspiring womxn around them.

The day began with mingling and headshots from Elise Abigail Photo. It was a no brainer asking Elise to be our brand and event photographer. She consistently speaks up for equity and empowering all womxn and all people. When our beautiful attendees gave us feedback about the event, they all sang Elise’s praises. Several shared that they are not always comfortable in front of a camera, and Elise made them feel 100% comfortable. If that isn’t support and love for another human, what is?!

While ladies received their fresh headshot, the rest of us mingled, nibbled on donuts from St. George’s (a local favorite), and took polaroids in front of the sweet backdrop Stevie of Wildly Collective created.

Attendees of Gather Midwest were greeted by a beautiful, personalized place setting that included a packet of information, intentional prompts, note pages, a print to take home, and gifts from our wonderful sponsors.

Attendees of Gather Midwest were greeted by a beautiful, personalized place setting that included a packet of information, intentional prompts, note pages, a print to take home, and gifts from our wonderful sponsors.

Brunch by The Gracious Plate was enjoyed on the beautiful tables and decor provided by The Vintage Rental Company. At the start of brunch, we welcomed all, recognized to our incredible sponsors (scroll down to see the full list of these amazing humans and companies) including Think Big Workshop! In between bites, the entrepreneurs were guided by prompts to have intentional conversation with their table about who they are, how they infuse themselves in their business, their struggles, and their wins. Our aim with this specific time was to create space for every person to feel seen, connected to herself and the community, and begin to formulate her own solutions to the hurdles she is facing.

The theme of the entire event was “You Belong Here.”

The theme “You Belong Here” showed up on the packets and we repeated it over and over to ourselves and each other. We hope that it was infused in each person’s life and business. We need every single one of you, and you belong.

The women at Gather Midwest reflected on their achievements and challenges in their businesses through the prompts curated by their hosts: Unions With Celia, Wildly Collective, and Inner Woven.

The women at Gather Midwest reflected on their achievements and challenges in their businesses through the prompts curated by their hosts: Unions With Celia, Wildly Collective, and Inner Woven.

Our panel discussion was incredible. I go back and forth between the joy of how in-the-moment it all was and kicking myself for not recording the talks. Our four panelists (see the full list below) have faced specific challenges and used intentional strategies mixed with trust in the flow. Their stories resonated with me and with everyone present. Not to mention the questions all the women asked! Each question was insightful, honest, and really gave us all space to reflect.

We ended our time together with a 30 minute grounding yoga session lead by Jayme Sweere of Stressed Out Humans. As a yoga therapist, Jayme insightfully gave us tools that we can use every day to get back into our bodies, find our breath, and lean into our passions.

We didn’t know what would come of Gather Midwest. Creating an event that infused pampering, inspiration, and business was a risk. While creating the event, we were uncertain how it would be received and if it really met a need. However, receiving such a positive response has left us unwaveringly confident that our community needs THIS. We all need a space to refresh, connect with ourselves, connect with others, be inspired, and learn practical tips and tools. As we wrapped up the first Gather Midwest, nearly all the women asked, “when is the next event?” and “how can we all stay involved?”

All this to say…

Gather Midwest will be a semi annual event!

After all the feed back and requests for another special Gather event, we are thrilled to begin planning for the next Gather Midwest! Details will be released in the coming months, but know that we’re working hard to make this second gathering even better than the first, and the first was pretty stellar, if I do say so myself.

All 39 womxn who attended Gather Midwest! This group included 29 beautiful attendees, 4 amazing panelists, special sponsors and vendors, and the event hosts. Together we all learned, connected, grew, and were inspired to keep working, dreaming, and creating with our amazing businesses! Every single woman here is inspiring, powerful, and radiant! Thank you for showing up to love yourself and this community.

All 39 womxn who attended Gather Midwest! This group included 29 beautiful attendees, 4 amazing panelists, special sponsors and vendors, and the event hosts. Together we all learned, connected, grew, and were inspired to keep working, dreaming, and creating with our amazing businesses! Every single woman here is inspiring, powerful, and radiant! Thank you for showing up to love yourself and this community.