Earlier this year I was invited as special guest to a unique dinner created by creatives, celebrating creatives. Whether you are an artistic entrepreneur, in the wedding industry or completely unaffiliated with either world, finding community over competition as women can be a struggle. Being vulnerable and open with others within your own industry can seem counterintuitive. But as Jessica Zimmerman of Zimmerman Events explains below, there's a lot of joy in being able to drop the drama of comparison and gather together.
A couple of years ago I was talking to my business consultant and friend, Shanna Skidmore, about how I would love to invite all the women in my area in the creative industry to my studio for dinner. I remember her asking me, “Why do you want to host this dinner?”
The only time we (local creatives) ever saw one another was during a wedding when we are all busy doing our job - not exactly the ideal time to chat. I also felt like we were all so divided. The industry naturally felt competitive. Also, these women spend their weekends serving their clients so I wanted to invite them over for dinner in my studio to simply take care of them, pamper them, serve them.
In an industry where it is so easy to compare and compete with one another, I wanted to host an event that was completely about encouragement and support. I decided to call this event the Together Dinner; a celebration of community and empowerment. I had the privilege of hosting a gathering of some of Arkansas’s most talented women in the creative business industry. So often we are busy producing beautiful events for others and I really wanted for each of my guests to experience a beautiful setting that was created simply for them to enjoy.
Ivy was my inspiration behind the decor of this event. This dinner feels like ivy to me - you know how you see those walls covered in ivy? They don’t start off that way - several individual plants are planted and over time they grow together to create one beautiful display. To produce a beautiful event - it takes each and every one of us. It takes rental companies, lighting companies, floral design, a planner, yummy food, beautiful paper goods, a killer hair + makeup team and a talented photographer to capture it all. Each of our roles are important and the more we recognize this and the more we work together - the better these events are going to be.
This was our second annual Together Dinner and I’ve seen such a huge difference in just one year in our industry. I love how we meet each other for breakfast, call to see how one another are doing, write one another encouraging notes and I see tons of support and “heart eye” emojis on social media - it’s just all about encouraging one another. I wanted my guests to have a chance to mix and mingle with other women who experience the same joys, struggles, victories, and losses that come with the work we give our lives to everyday.
I was honored to have special guests Katie Selvidge and Shanna Skidmore travel to Arkansas for this dinner and to have Lauren Kinsey photograph the whole thing.
Artistic Credits: Host and Floral Design by Jessica Zimmerman Rentals by Party Time Rental & Events Chairs from Hanks Event Rentals Flatware by Southern Events Rentals Calligraphy by Brown Linen Design Food by PattiCakes Invitation Suite by Bella Figura Hand drawn ivy print by Meredith Mejerle Images scanned by Indie Film Lab Dream Big Darling card from The Social Type Planner and bath bomb by Belle and Blush Ribbon by Silk and Willow Fresh floral donation by Florabundance Photography by Lauren Kinsey Lighting by CWP Productions