I liken Soho Farmhouse to Narnia. An exclusive place of mystery and intrigue behind those big farmhouse gates of reclaimed timber and quintessential décor. Lets make no bones about it girls, This has been on many of our 'Places To Visit' Lists. So, When Hayley posted that she was on the case and making a Mega Maven Meet Up happen in those highly instagrammable barn walls the hub group page was buzzing with titters of excitement.
And rightly so.
Hayley was on a mission to create an event for mavens to connect, relax. To have the time to talk with one another, over a drink, food, through the numerous workshops that were organised. The considered detail of the organising and styling of the venue all brought together using mavens expertise and skills which is impressive!
Allow me to share some thoughts on their experiences on the day from various mavens that were there …
''The thing that I took away from the day apart from the joy of being in such a wonderful setting, don't you just love that you could justify trip to Soho Farmhouse for work? For me the day was about connecting with fellow women in business who understand and share all your ups and downs and can offer practical help and support to you and your business.'' - Antonia @tinkertailoronline
''It was a fabulous day in beautiful surroundings, the atmosphere was electric! A group of amazing, supporting women connecting and learning together. I really enjoyed delivering the Create Your Vision workshop, the warmth from the ladies that took part was palpable and it was fantastic to see them making space to get creative and define what they truly want to achieve. A wonderful experience, can’t wait for next year!'' - Jessica @jessrogerscoach
''I thought that the day was wonderfully uplifting. I go to lots of conferences and networking events in my corporate life but this was different. There was a huge amount of warmth and empathy in the room, everyone (Mavens!) want everyone else to win and will go out of their way to help and support. It was also really professional, the venue was outstanding (and worth paying a premium for) the food was memorable and the goody bags were a wonderful surprise that showcased the hub in such a generous way. It was also a really valuable day, meeting and making contacts is useful but on top of that it was a day of discovery with lots of tips shared and take outs to digest and use back in 'real life' .
I took lots of learnings away but here's some that stand out, from other mavens, Katy and Nadine. Believe in and value yourself - you have years of experience behind you that people must pay for. Buy time to negotiate and name your price on email, Focus on the outcome you want, don't get distracted or try and do everything all at once, prioritise on what will make a difference.
You get back what you put out - support others and they will support you - lots of collaborations have happened through the hub and the mega meet up is designed to make that easier.
Work out what your values are and use them to filter your decision making - if you know what's right for you will make the right decisions.
The other thing that I found incredibly moving was Caroline Widdows sharing her story, how meeting Hayley for a one to one then how joining the hub and performing on the day had helped her get her mojo and belief back and on track. This meant a lot to so many people in the room and showcased the power of the hub outside of all of the practical reasons it exists, our interactions literally change peoples mindsets. That's really powerful.
Great events have an 'afterglow' - people feel good after them, turn learnings into action and make connections that are meaningful. Amber from Neon Marl shared some action videos a few days post the Mega Meet Up which I am certain she picked up from the retail workshop - how brilliant is that?! There will be loads more stories like this - things that started or germinated at Soho Farmhouse in Oct - quite apt given it's a time to plant seeds.
Hayley and Paula did the hub proud & I can't wait for the next one, a week on and I am still coming down.'' - Nicky @cupoffroth
Images Credit : @jocaptivephoto
''The big meet up superseded my expectations . It was a gorgeous way to spend the day and more than made up for the military style babysitting arrangements I had to pull off to be able to come. I wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop and had moments of intimidation leading up to the event as the SSH are such a stylish bunch of women. What could I offer that was really going to help? However I did not leave feeling I had wasted their time. Confidence in the way we look is important and can positively affect our productivity and success in business. I felt honoured to have been able to give a little of who I am and what I'm passionate about, on such an empowering day as a whole.''
- Alex @alex_stylecoach
''It was so lovely to run a workshop alongside Alex. We had a great time chatting with our fellow mavens and delving deep into why their own style can be so important to their brand. It was a brilliant day full of excitement, energy and support. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.'' - Anna @annacascarina
''It was a very positive atmosphere and I really enjoyed doing the workshops. I would've have happily stayed there all evening talking through iPhone photography and editing techniques. I love the drive Southwood Social Hub members have. You can't help but leave an event like that buzzing. '' - Shaneen @shaneen_rosewarnecox
And, lastly, a few words from Hayley herself.
´´ We are predominately an online community and try really hard to meet up physically once every other month. These pop up meet up´s are held at Maven´s studios/shops/cafes etc all across the UK whenever we have a cluster of members.
But I decided to hold our VERY first MEGA MEET UP this year. I wanted to get as many mavens in one room as possible. A day where we could meet each other in person, share a beautiful lunch and come away feeling inspired.
We are so lucky to have so many incredible mavens who are willing to share. We had the wonderful panel chat with Nadine, Jo, Jo and Katy and Hollie all about ´How to survive and thrive in business´. We had several workshops in the afternoon hosted by mavens. I really wanted people to leave feeling like they had the opportunity to meet their online mavens, some for the first time.
The whole day was about feeling good...and our goody bags had that theme too. I wanted them to have a true purpose.
The day was such a huge success I will definitely be making it an annual event.´´
If, like me, you watched Instagram stories avidly with fomo. Panic not. Hayley plans to make this an annual event so keep your eyes peeled for when you need to get your calendar ready to go.