Target Sunrise Retreat

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A couple weekends ago I consulted with a few Made to Matter for Target brands, Soma, Suja and Olly, to put together a Target wellness online influencer event here in San Francisco. I shared a few snippets on instagram, but wanted to share a bit more about the event, my role in consulting for it, and some photos here as well if you’d like to see…

I’ve been interested in consulting lately with brands wanting to work with bloggers and online influencers for campaigns and events. It’s a fun way to use my skills and connections acquired from 8 years of blogging in a different way. My job was easy here for this Target retreat. All three brands had an incredible vision for the event and understanding of online influencer relationships. They also hired a super talented event planner who is behind Outstanding in the Field, Katie Oursler, who knocked it out of the park. My role was giving feedback on the flow of the event and brand integration, but mostly advisement on the attendee side and organizing/instructing in the photo styling sessions.

I loved the group we pulled together for the event, it was such magic to see it all come to fruition! Here was the general flow:

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We stayed at beautiful Cavallo Point which is right under the Golden Gate Bridge on the Sausalito side. It was peaceful and magical staying in these renovated military homes. The accommodations were just stunning, and the huge front porches were a dream! Before the event officially started I had the best spa experience there. I’m bookmarking Cavallo Point mentally for another getaway soon.

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We started the event with a cocktail hour with the other influencers and introductions to the brands. After which, we headed to a secret location for a pop up dinner which ended up being right under Golden Gate Bridge. We enjoyed delicious Vietnamese food from Rice Paper Scissors, a local eatery here in San Francisco. It was windy and chilly so afterwards we headed back for s’mores and late night chats by the fire pit.

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Saturday morning we started with an awesome yoga session and I had my first try of the Suja juices, they were all delicious! We then headed over to the Ferry Building where we split into groups, toured around a bit and then sat out on the pier for a casual lunch. In the afternoon we had a series of brand sessions in this amazing warehouse space called Blue Sky Studios. I was having series studio envy in this place!

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First, we had nutrition consulting with the nutritionist behind Olly. I’m doing some more work with Olly coming but they are a new company that makes a variety of chewable vitamins. They are all super tasty and lovely packaging (win win!). The labels all are easy to understand too.

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Next we had some mini consulting sessions with Soma (I did an intro on this company a couple weeks ago). They make water filters that are really beautifully designed.  It was really inspiring to hear the founder, Mike, talk about his experience starting and growing the company and to hear fellow influencer’s questions about their own product development and growth issues as well.

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(a fellow influencer took this one above)

Lastly, we had a cooking class with Annie of Suja. We learned more about the delicious juices and learned three great recipes from her new cookbook. My favorite was this crunchy watermelon, avocado salad. I need to recreate it again soon!

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We then headed to Stable Cafe where we had an incredible dinner and then a meetup with some other local San Francisco bloggers. Once again, amazing company and food!

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Sunday morning we had a meditation session in a little chapel on the Cavallo Point property led by Mike of Soma. It was beautiful and relaxing. Afterwards, I helped set up for the styling sessions. I had brought a lot of my styling props over from my studio and helped assist with any influencers who wanted a little styling advice, or just needed someone to hold up a white board. It was really fun to watch everyone’s process and super inspiring!

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We finished things off with a rented trolley car ride over Golden Gate Bridge to a Target Made to Matter event at Chrissy Field! I’d never done that before, it was pretty special.

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Trolleys do amazing things for your hair, FYI

(photo above by Nicole of Small Fry)

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Such a wonderful event with inspiring people and incredible brands I love. This is a lonely industry but I always feel so refreshed after connecting and pow-wowing with fellow bloggers that I’ve grown close to over the years as we’ve struggled to find our paths. I left feeling invigorated and excited about the future of this industry. Big thanks to TargetOllySoma, and Suja for putting it on and bringing me on to help out!

All photograph by Thayer Gowdy for the event except those noted otherwise

Comments

What am amazing weekend with three great brands. I’ve been drinking Suja juice daily and LOVE IT

Love seeing what the rest of the event looked like. I can imagine how much fun it is to help plan things like this as well. I had a fun time at the Stable Cafe event, what a wonderful space!

Looks like an amazing weekend! I saw a display for Olly products in my local Target and loved the packaging so much I bought the “Undeniable Beauty.” I broke out in a rash on my face and neck from it! I am totally not allergic to many things, but immediately threw it out when I realized that’s what it was. Bummer.

My guess is that it’s the “gummy” part of it. It doesn’t make sense to be allergic to vitamins! Their stuff is so cute so it’s really a bummer.

Maybe you just ate too much? HA! Those Olly vitamins are so addicting, it’s hard for me to just take the recommended dosage!

I stayed at Cavallo Point before and I agree it’s a great spot. I loved the huge porch at the restaurant where we sat and relaxed with a glass of wine. I didn’t go to the spa though, i’ll have to try that next time

Yes, that porch is amazing. All the seats overlook the huge lawn and golden gate bridge. I didn’t get a chance to sit and spend the afternoon there but it’s on my list. The spa you do need to check out. It’s got a jacuzzi and steam room and pool. And the massage was one of the best i’ve ever had! Thanks, Leanne!

This sounds like an amazing event, Liz with a great group of some of my favorite bloggers. What a cool opportunity to work on it!

I know you likely didn’t choose the participants at all, but man…this is a REALLY white group. I guess lifestyle blogs are mostly run by white, middleclass, 30-something ladies, and so it sort of makes sense. But it’s sort of a bummer to see that “influencers” are nearly all white, pretty, thin ladies. More a reflection of our culture and blogs than of this event, I guess…but still depressing.

Hi Liz,

I enjoy reading your site every day, but the word “influencer” really rubs me the wrong way. Lots of people are “influencers” – teachers influence their students, doctors influence their patients, clergy influence their congregations, etc. What you mean is people that influence others to buy things, which is a specific kind of influence, but the way you are using it makes the word sound exclusive, like only people with a wide social media presence are able to influence others. I think another word would be a much better choice.

Janette

Hey! You’re right, influencer is a super weird term. I didn’t come up with it- It’s just what the media industry calls bloggers and others with a large social media presence. I would normally use the term blogger in this situation but not all of us were bloggers, it was a wide net to cast!

Thanks for your reply, Liz – I appreciate that you took the time to respond. I I know it is hard to label such a diverse group. Like I said in my earlier comment, I visit your site every day and really enjoy it – you do great work.

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