I recently spent a most enjoyable weekend at a Makelight Retreat. I've added some photos from the retreat here, but wanted to share a little with you about why I decided to book myself a place on the retreat, what the weekend involved and what I took away from it.
Why I wanted to go
When I first started blogging I loved the social element of it, the making real friends from the online relationships and actually meeting people aspect. I attended numerous blogging conferences, but after a couple of years I found that the content that these conferences offered were becoming more and more samey and the attendance numbers getting higher and higher. They were no longer for me.
Retreats feel more suited to me, less blogging themed and more creative lead, meeting people outside of my usual circle of online friends; creatives setting up their own businesses and those genuinely interested in exploring their own creativity as opposed to all-things-blogging.
What the weekend involved
The Makelight Retreat was a beautifully organised and very well thought out weekend of workshops, discussions, photography and creativity.
- Mindfulness & meditation with Gabrielle Treanor
- Story telling with Kate from A Playful Day
- Floral Crown making with Jody from Country Pages
- Paper Flower making with Kate form Posy + Petal
- Pinterest advice from Pinterest Ambassador Sarah from Taming Twins
- Food styling with Catherine from Borrowed Light
- Tech & business advice from Stef
- Photography advice and portrait sessions from Emily
The women attending were from all different backgrounds, each seeking something different from the Retreat. It was lovely to get to them over the course of the weekend and I found their stories inspiring. The Makelight team were all lovely and it was really nice to get a feel for the people behind the business.
The weekend was structured, but not rigidly so. The balance perfect in my opinion. The accommodation and setting, beautiful.
What I took away from it
For me personally, this retreat came at just the right time. I wouldn't say that I'd lost my blogging mojo but I would say that I have felt increasingly like I don't belong in the mainstream commercial blogging circles. The Makelight Retreat was a timely reminder that there is such a diverse creative community out there to discover and be part of.
Paper flower making with Kate left me with a mini-epiphany moment - stopping everything and focusing solely on creating something for the pure love of it was refreshing. I kept thinking to myself 'I could take an hour out of life each week to just stop and make a flower and simply enjoy the process'. And it's so true - even more so when there's no Instagram or blog element to it, creating not to share, not to self promote but just to enjoy creating, to take some time just for oneself.
I came away feeling energised and excited. The people I had met inspired me, I felt like I knew a lot more about the Makelight team and awash with positivity - it is possible to work less and create more.
The Retreat offered many different things to different people. The invaluable business and tech advice from Stef, one on one tips from Emily and individual portrait sessions, new creative experiences, food styling know-how from Catherine Frawley and Pinterest advice from Sarah.
I found learning why others had chosen to come on the retreat fascinating, no two stories were the same. The size of the group, 18, was just right. Small enough to be intimate but large enough so that there was always someone different to enjoy talking to. For me it was the perfect size for a Retreat, it felt friendly, inclusive & supportive.
The price paid for the Retreat was £695 ,which I chose to pay in monthly instalments. It ran from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. The price paid included accommodation and food (+ wine) along with all the sessions and workshops. This offered, I felt, excellent value for money, the portrait session and advice given alone was worth the price, let alone all the lovely workshops.
A wonderful weekend that I can't recommend enough to others.
Tickets are now available for the Makelight Retreat June 2017, for more information, dates and prices please click here.
With thanks to:
Emily, Stef & the Makelight Team · Catherine Frawley (food styling) · Kate from A Playful Day (storytelling) · Sarah from Taming Twins (Pinterest advice) · Gabrielle Treanor (mindfullness)· Jody from Country Pages (flower crown workshop) · Kate from Posy + Petal (paper flower-making workshop).