Earlier this month we had our Sonoma Huddle retreat! It was incredible once again to see the power of wisdom, connection and growth in female entrepreneurs. Our next was just announced for January in Southern California! Here’s what the Sonoma retreat was like….
The Huddle is a series of intimate retreats for female business owners centered around mentorship, skill sharing, business strategy, leadership coaching, and the holistic needs of a female entrepreneur. You can find more about the vision behind The Huddle in this post, and info on the website here. The retreat are purposefully very small and by application only.
For the Sonoma Huddle, the location was up in the gorgeous wine country of Sonoma. We picked a private home because of the intimacy and the opportunity to connect beyond just a session or workshop. Dia here of Women Commune helps in the logistics and operations of the retreats. She’s fantastic! It was so great to have someone working beside me and talk through issues together.
Grapevines, apples, and tomatoes were growing around the entire property. Grazing on fresh grapes the whole weekend was such an unexpected surprise!
The Huddle tribe! Our group included Meg of A Practical Wedding, Rachel of Bone and Gold, Colleen of Savory Kitchen, Sabia of The Black Doula, Jen of The Effortless Chic, Ashley and Elyse of Bravery Magazine, Haley of Clementine Kids, Erin of Erin Schultz Design, Jorja of Share Town and Jenny of Juniper Studio + Print Shop. We also had the leadership and mentor support of Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked, venture capitalist Jill Dempsey, and leadership coach Monique Shields. Dia of Women Commune worked alongside myself helping with operations and logistics. We had a lot of fun together!
Hot Seats. These were the favorite part of the experience for most of the women. Each had their own dedicated session to bring to the group their specific business challenges and sticking points. Some people needed help with their spreadsheets, branding, marketing, brainstorming ideas, or feedback for a specific direction. Each woman in the group brought such value to these discussions. Susan and Jill were there to offer high level advice and guidance as well. Jill is queen of the spreadsheets!
Skill Shares. Each woman led a group skill share discussion/demonstration around a specific topic. We talked about things like Instagram strategy, working with investors, managing employees, marketing strategies, product development, making money in an honorable way, managing clients, and even a cooking demo. We might change this up and only focus on 2-3 topics next time or simply assign discussion to meals. Still ironing out some kinks in this area.
Leadership Coaching. Monique hosted a group counseling session where we did some visualization and art therapy exercises to help understand our own limiting beliefs and vision for our inner leader. It was really powerful and helped shape the rest of the weekend.
After the group session, each woman had a chance to meet with Monique privately for a session. I had a session with her last week when we came home, and it was really transformative for me personally. Sticking points in our business are often the same sticking points we have personally and it’s incredibly powerful to work through them with a coach.
Everyday we had scheduled 3-4 hours of downtime. Each woman had a massage, a private session with our leadership coach, and time to relax and connect with others as well. The pool and hot tub were a hot spot during our downtime. In the morning we had yoga and meditation.
We designed some Huddle hats for each attendee! They were such a hit and I wear mine constantly. The back says ‘out of office’.
Dia and I organized and prepared the food which was a lot of work, but fun to plan. We did a lot of prep work beforehand, and focused on simple assembly type meals. Cheese fondue, big pastas, mediterranean plates, and salads. Next time we might bring in a catering company to help with dinners, and for sure a dishwasher. Still thinking through this one as well!
Once again, I was so happy to hear how beneficial this was for women in their business. The generosity, support, and wisdom was overwhelmingly felt! Here’s what some attendees had to say about it…
“The huddle was the single best thing I’ve done for my business (and myself) in forever- I came back gunning for more and more centered than ever. Do it. You won’t regret it. “
-Colleen Janke of Savory Kitchen
“Entrepreneurship is often a lonely road and I’m learning it’s so important to seek out opportunities to connect with other women who are also walking their own roads. We can learn so much from each other and find comfort in knowing we are not as alone as we maybe think! I am walking away from this amazing retreat feeling inspired and excited to implement new tactics and ideas in my business. Beyond the incredible take aways, I am most of all full of gratitude for the new friendships and network I found this weekend at The Huddle.” -Jenny Komenda of Juniper Studio
“The Huddle was truly the most impactful business retreat / conference / seminar I have ever been a part of. It’s actually strange to put it into a category with anything else because there’s nothing else like it. I left the weekend with a clear vision for my business and feeling empowered like never before to grow it to achieve my goals. Perhaps what was most unexpected was how much I was able to grow personally, identifying limiting beliefs through the help of others and knowing how to grow beyond them. “– Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chic
We’re currently accepting applications for our January Huddle in Southern California. I feel so lucky to be working on such an impactful experience. Would love to see some of you wonderful women there.