Amber Housley

Engage!12 Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Recap

engage amber housley kathryn arce rebecca griminals

A glimpse at my Engage experience from my instagram feed

Attending Engage! in San Diego last year was a huge, huge dream of mine. I remember pushing the button on the registration form and thinking “what in the world do I have any business attending this conference?”….but I felt the fear, and did it anyway.

Lucky for me, I had one of the best experiences ever! Fast forward to one year later, as I headed on a plane to my semi-hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, and all I could think about was all the excitement, fun and learning that was ahead of me for four days. Of course, Engage!12 Mandarian Oriental did not disappoint. I reconnected with some friends from the year prior, made lots more new ones, and of course gained so much more insight into the luxury wedding market and overal weddings world than I would have sitting home, doing the same old thing.

engage-12-weddings-book-signing-las-vegas-tara-guerard

Tara signing me a copy of Weddings by Tara Guérard featuring the photography of Liz Banfield (adore!)

One of my favorite parts of Engage! is the opportunity to be around some of the best and brightest in the industry in such a comfortable and open environment. Everyone is so willing to share advice and insights. I spent time chatting with some of my favorites – southern wedding planner queen Tara Guerard (and her delightful associate team!), invitation maven Ceci of Ceci NY, and the always fabulous photographer, Jasmine Star.

There are so many fabulous details that goes into the production of Engage! that most of this blog post is going to be dedicated to those extra special details that I LOVE SO MUCH! For a stylist and designer such as myself, just attending Engage! to be the recipient and experience these details is worth it in itself!

Me soaking up some of the welcome on the first day!

My wonderful roommates – Kathy Romero, Courtney Scowby and Cyn Kain. We had SO much fun!

Jasmine Star was the hostess of my lunch round-table. I really enjoyed meeting the other wonderful ladies at this table too. Jasmine challenged us to tell the table what our goals were for the next six months, so we could come back to the next Engage! ready to share our successes in meeting them. Happy to say I’m already on my way! 

A great little quote book that celebrity wedding planner (Kim Kardashian the most recent) Sharon Sacks (below) shared with us.
Loved this quote in particular!

On the second day, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman stopped by to officially welcome us to Las Vegas. He is a mini celebrity in Las Vegas and always makes public appearances holding a martini and a showgirl on each arm. The best part?! The gal in the red on the right is my friend from high school. We were on the cheer team together. :) Super fun reconnecting with her since it has been about 12+ years!

A glimpse from the (very windy!) welcome pool side party.

Can’t get enough of the La Tavola New York linens. I’ve used these for several client’s weddings.
You can’t go wrong with these gorgeous sequined linens!

Leine Stevens sharing her insights on millennials and the luxury wedding market.
I LOVE smart marketing insights!

In the swag, a delicious recipe with mixing cup and shot glass: red bull, gold schlager
and a red hot lollipop stir stick. Delicious!

Some yummy strawberry pink lemonade during a break.

Gorgeous letterpress programs, menus, and other details galore!

Always love hearing Jasmine Star speak, she is a great presenter!

Another cute shot with Courtney & Cyn

I could listen to this woman (Cindy Novotny) speak ALL DAY LONG. She works with major companies and luxury brands helping improve their customer service. For a gal who loves giving companies and people feedback on how they can do things better, Cindy is totally up my alley. 

I enjoyed hearing Tara Guerard speak about diversifying her wedding business to be more than just the event. I’ve followed her work since I first moved to Nashville five years ago, and definitely look up to her as a successful business owner AND mother of three. Her talent is amazing. Not to mention her very sweet Soiree and Lettered Olive team are so nice! It was so fun chatting with some southern gals while we were all far from home. 

Maria of Ritzy Bee sharing insights about blogging and your business.
Smart gal and even lovelier gal to chat with!

And now on…to the GALA!

Just one of the sweet cocktail arrangements at the finale Gala. 

Gorgeous room setup by Revelry Event Designers

Champagne toast at our table – let the fun begin!

Cover band that plays Boy Band songs?! YES, PLEASE!!

This is what happens when you mix a boy band cover band with a large room of
mainly 30 and late 20 year old’s…full dance floor sing-a-long!

 Really enjoyed meeting Kelly + Maria of Ritzy Bee. I spent some time earlier (in the pool!) connecting with them.

With Courtney & Cyn and the delightful new friend Jacin of Lovely Little Details.
We all danced all night long on the dance floor!

Coral pink was a popular color choice that evening!

Wrapping up another wonderful Engage! experience…

See y’all in December at Engage!12 The Breakers!

For a full recap of what the Engage experience feels, sounds and looks like, check out the wonderful video below:

engage!12 Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas | Day 2 & 3 from I Do Films on Vimeo.

Announcing AH Inspired Nashville II & Scholarships!

 

If you happened to be one of the 140+ who watched the AMBER HOUSLEY Inspired Tampa video recap on Wednesday, then you already caught wind of my next big announcement…

 

Amber Housley Inspired Nashville Tennessee Creative Business Workshop

I’m really, really excited to welcome another 20 wonderful creative women to my now adopted “hometown” of Nashville, Tennessee! My first workshop held here in March and even brought gals as far away as New York and Arizona. They all really loved our little big city with it’s warm and friendly demeanor. I hope you will join us as we come back full circle this year on what has been an exciting journey for me. I have really loved my last two workshops and all the friendships that have been made. I love giving everything I know to other women who are ready and willing to take the information and run with it for their business!

I had such an amazing response to my next city “where do you want to see AH Inspired” survey, that it was a hard decision to really narrow down where we went next. While AH Inspired is a huge love of mine, I have many other things in my business to make happen in the next 6 months – including dozens of amazing wedding and design clients, some upcoming travel – including speaking at Stationery Academy (so excited!), and not to mention, some well overdue fun family vacations coming up! August was just about the last free month for the rest of the year.

I certainly hope you will consider joining us in August in Nashville so you can act now on making some great changes for your business. Register now to reserve your seat!

Amber Housley Inspired Nashville Creative Business Workshop Scholarship Entry

I’d also like to announce an extra special scholarship announcement for our “second” Nashville workshop. In honor of that, I’m giving away TWO scholarships this round. Here are the full details:

 

1. Scholarship Video Entry – One winner will be chosen from video entries to receive a full complimentary registration to AH Inspired Nashville

- Create a 2-3 minute video explaining why you want and need to be at AH Inspired Nashville as well as answer the following questions: What is your business today or what business do you dream of? What areas are you looking for improvement on? What are your big dreams for your creative business?
- Upload and post to YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing site and include “Amber Housley Inspired Nashville” somewhere in the title
- Copy & Paste URL to your video in the comments area below
- This doesn’t have to be any sort of fancy video production, you can use your camera phone! Entries will be judged on content, not on video production quality. :)

2. Written Entry – One winner will be chose from entries to receive $200 off registration to AH Inspired Nashville

-  In the comments area below, explain why you want and need to be at AH Inspired Nashville as well as answer the following questions: What is your business today or what business do you want to start? What areas of your business are you looking for improvement on? What are your big dreams for your creative business?


BONUS POINTS FOR YOUR VIDEO OR WRITTEN ENTRY
– share the news about Amber Housley Inspired! Tweet, Facebook or Pin on Pinterest (the main image in this blog post) a message about AH Inspired no more than three times per day during the contest.

Maybe something like…

I’m ready to inspire myself and my business at #AHInspired http://bit.ly/AHNashville
OR
I’m ready to win a scholarship seat to #AHInspired http://bit.ly/AHNashville

…or come up with something entirely more creative for your news spreading message! The rule is it needs to have the #AHInspired hashtag and a link back to this post using this link: http://bit.ly/AHNashville


DETAILS & WINNERS:

Entries are due 5pm CST on July 8, 2012 with the winner announced via the Amber Housley blog on or before July 10, 2012. You may register before the scholarship winner announcement to ensure you have a reserved seat since we do expect to sell out! If the scholarship winners are already registered, full or partial registration fees will be refunded. No purchase is necessary to win. Scholarships are non-transferable. Winners are responsible for any travel or other fees outside of workshop registration. Entries are judged by myself, Amber Housley.

 

WHY VIDEO ENTRY THIS TIME AROUND?

Video has proved to be a very powerful vehicle since I launched Amber Housley Inspired. I believe it is because video offers the opportunity to truly connect with your audience in a more dynamic way than just written word. If you’ve watched any of my AH Inspired videos, as 900+ have (!!!), you’ll find that I really do care about helping other women and their creative business than I could have just sitting here writing you and telling you that I do. Looking for others to tell you how inspired they were? Check out just a sampling of the feedback received to date here. 

 

So….are you ready to be inspired?! READY, SET, GO!!

AH Inspired Tampa/St. Pete Recap

 

Reliving the AH Inspired workshop from just a few weeks back via this video, just makes me SO HAPPY!

The women we met over two days in Tampa/St. Pete came so ready to learn and befriend each other. Maybe it was part sunshine / part beach / part time-out from our everyday lives…whatever it was, these gals (like our gals in Nashville) stole my heart with their happiness and enthusiasm to run with every possible piece of information we could share. I’m so excited to see what all of them have in store for themselves and their business!

Interested in hearing personal and honest feedback of their experience? You can visit the Inspired feedback page here.

This video is unique in that I used real images shared by both speakers and attendees captured via the Instagram hashtag #ahinspired to tell our story. Instagram is one of the coolest new social media app for your mobile phone that tells status updates through simple but stylized pictures. It has a “polaroid” effect and you can follow people similar to Twitter (including me! my handle is “@amberhousley“) and use hastags to search on topics (such as “#ahinspired” the official hashtag of my workshop) to collectively see images shared among various users.

Enjoy the video below and the special announcement at the very end! Stay tuned for more details this Friday here on the blog…(exciting!!)

AMBER HOUSLEY Inspired: Tampa Recap from Amber Housley on Vimeo.

You have a choice each and every single day.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my mornings lately have been rough.

My normal routine of early morning rising, followed by getting ready routine and daycare drop off, followed by gym power hour sessions that I know now really start my day off right and set me up for success….have all gone by the wayside. Waking up when my son wakes up is not a good plan. Feeling foggy and thinking coffee will cure it is not working. Dealing with 3 year old getting dressed, brushing teeth/potty training/brushing hair battles/breakfast choices, combined with my limited patience in this half-asleep/half-rushed state, doesn’t work well.

My workload is especially heavy this time of year. A lot of traveling and events all seemed to combine in to one big blur. I have a half dozen blog posts half-finished and I’m filled with guilt each time I don’t finish them. My mind is churning with so many ideas and dreams that need to get out, just as soon as one list gets done…or another to-do is marked off.

But PLEASE don’t think I’m unhappy with all of this.

You have a choice each and every single day

I choose to feel blessed because my client roster is full. Full with clients I love and love my work back.

I choose to feel grateful that so many women traveled to Tampa and believed in hearing what I had to say.

I choose to be excited about all those ideas and dreams I have because I know whole-heartedly I have the potential to make them happen…in their own time.

I choose to be thankful to be able to travel to Engage to meet new friends, reconnect with some former, and spend time working on my business instead of in it.

I choose to be happy in knowing that I am NOT superwoman. And would love to shout from the roof-tops to all those who sometimes think I am:

No, really! Please don’t sit back and wonder how I do it all! Because frankly I don’t do it all. There’s even a few things I don’t do well. But every now and then I do something that is good. Maybe even great. Actually, even awesome. Something that matters. Something that makes a difference. Something that makes people smile. And I choose to appreciate those gifts and the talents that I’m able to share with you and others. This is an acknowledgement of “choice.” Of feeling blessed, grateful, thankful, excited and most of all, happy, then allows me to get back to living a life I really love with full intention. My head is then back in the game of choosing to make things happen.

Maybe you can relate to my morning experience, or can identify with the mile-long to-do list…but really, how do you choose to be today?

From Nashville to Engage!12 Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

 

I’m writing this post from 30,000 feet as I head toward “home.” Home to viva Las Vegas to attend Engage!12 Luxury Wedding Conference at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas!

(For those of you unfamiliar with Engage… It is THE BEST wedding industry event and is a must do if you’re a serious wedding professional. It’s amazing, intimate experience to meet and learn from some of the best in the industry. A ton of design, inspiration, networking, industry insights and is held twice a year in fabulous locations. I attended for the first time in San Diego last year and when they announced this year’s Las Vegas destination, I jumped on it in a heartbeat.) 

First, I get to spend a couple days with family just being a regular gal (daughter, sister, auntie) before I head over to the conference and meet up with my wonderful roommates/friends. So today, I’m  reflecting how long it’s been since I’ve been back to this place.

When we first moved to Nashville, I was lucky (surprising) to continue my gaming (that’s gambling friends, not video games) industry background with my main client, a major Las Vegas casino-hotel resort operator. I was lucky to go back and forth to “home” those first two years after leaving. (not to mention my own super-fun bachelorette party weekend). Then the recession happened and the ‘good ole days’ came to an end, leaving me planted firmly in Nashville.

When I have gone back the last three or so times, I’m amazed at how much the city has changed. My family moved from Southern California to Las Vegas as I was entering high school. This was the big boom of the 90′s and I watched first hand the city change identities a half dozen times – I recall when MGM Grand first opened with its theme park and Emerald City/Wizard of Oz theme. I witnessed the implosion of a half dozen hotels of my parents generation. I later missed the Wet n’ Wild water park where I longed to be a lifeguard at in high school (that’s where all the cute boys worked!). I rang in 1999 with other New Year’s revelers at the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Rd. with my girlfriends decked out in sparkly black pants (and fake ID’s in the back pockets -ha).

…And I never quite noticed/cared about the permanent Crazy Girls strip club billboard off the interstate until I returned as a Mom.

Even though this city has a new facade at each visit, a few things hold true that I can count on and love so very much:

- The dry heat makes for the most wonderful evenings

- People really get moving here and know how to drive (and merge onto a freeway)

- Complimentary valet (why southerners will drive around forever instead of forking over a $3 tip is beyond me)

- That glittering cityscape of the Strip…it never ceases to amaze me

- 24hour everything

- Oh and….Fashion Show Mall (my most favorite mall ever)

I know by the end of this week I’ll be longing for the friendly smiles, polite silent acknowledgements, and the slower paced sweet life that is in my home in Nashville. But for now, I’m off to soak up the sun and the city!