As I mentioned last week, I just went to Designer Vaca in Palm Springs (for the record, I still maintain that “vaca” is Spanish for “cow,” but that’s the official spelling, so I’m going with it!). Designer Vaca was created to bring together designers to discuss our ideas and struggles, and just relax and take a break.
I had never been to Southern California before, so that in itself was exciting for me! I flew into San Diego and went on a little road trip to Palm Springs with Morgan, Erin, Erika, Candace, and Heylen, a group lovingly referred to as Team Mom Jeans — we drove in a mini-van. I consider myself shy in most social situations, but something about this experience made me feel comfortable from the start — there was always something to talk about. In fact, if we didn’t need sleep, I’m pretty sure I could have talked through the night with my roommates Kate and Ashley!
Designer Vaca really reminded me just how important it is to connect with people who are experiencing what you are — especially when you work for yourself. Anyone can listen to you share your struggles and ideas, but there is something really energizing about talking to people who get it. That’s what was most important to me about Designer Vaca — the chance to talk to other business owners, and more specifically, designers, who know exactly what I’m going through and get just as excited about sharing ideas as I do. I think you can easily feel isolated working for yourself, without even realizing it. After awhile, it becomes normal to be alone and have to make decisions by yourself that you don’t even think anything of it until you’re actually around other people who feel the same way.
Overall, the most important thing I took away from this experience, and any other conference/retreat I’ve gone to, is that I will never regret putting money into making those connections. It’s easy to connect with other designers through social media these days, but the in-person connections make a world of difference. Plus, going to events such as this forces you to step outside your daily routine, set aside time for you, and get really excited about the work you’re doing again!
You can see more photos from my trip over on Instagram and VSCO Grid (I had a lot of fun with the creative challenge to create words from objects around the hotel! Also, Erika and I were totally (unplanned) twins in our Meg Biram tees.).