The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan and Host Your Own Local Event Series

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Ever wish you could get together with inspiring, like-minded people right in your city? Maybe you’re looking to network, collaborate, or simply make some new friends. If that perfect local event doesn’t already exist, how about starting your own?

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, there’s no need to start from scratch.

I’m sure y’all have heard me talk about The Made In Mind Social here on the blog before. If not, it’s a local event series that my sister and I created last year. Every other month, we gather creatives from around the area to meet and mingle, celebrate and connect.

Prior to founding Made In Mind, I didn’t have any experience with event planning. I had to ask a lot of questions, do tons of research, and learn through my own experiences. I really wished I had some kind of how-to guide to lead me through each step of the planning process.

So after a year of hosting events, I created an e-book to do just that! The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan, and Host Your Own Local Event Series, walks you through the who, what, when, where, why, and how of starting your own local meetup.

The-Meetup-Guide-Overview

The book launches in July but pre-sales are open now at a super discounted price! It’s over 50 pages packed with actionable information, valuable insights, tried-and-true tips and worksheets to help you get organized and make things happen! It even includes tips and interviews with other creatives who have started events like Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed and Shauna Haider of The Blogcademy!

Simply put, if you’re looking for a resource to guide you through the process, this is it! Ready to plan your own local event?

Purchase The Meetup Guide

Don’t want to deal with naming and branding your event? Starting a Made In Mind chapter in your city may be a great option for you!

The Made In Mind Social Chapters

 

Darby Smart Studded Baggu Tote DIY Kit

Ciera Design for Darby Smart Studded ToteI’ve got some fun news today! Have y’all heard of Darby Smart? They work with a fabulous community of designers to launch simple DIY projects based on the latest fashion and home trends. They turn these projects into kits that include chic materials and simple instructions, and send them right to your door! Such a great concept, right?! Well I have partnered with Darby Smart and designed their latest DIY kit, the studded Baggu tote!

Ciera Design for Darby Smart Studded Tote Styled

What better way to amp up your everyday tote than with a rockin’ new look? Choose from 5 colors and with some studs and trusty E6000 glue, you’ll be looking extra stylish in no time! The kit is on sale now for $31, which includes shipping (such a good deal)! Yep, no shopping around for the perfect materials. Click, buy and a box of all the supplies arrives at your door. So head over to Darby Smart to order your kit!

Ciera Design for Darby Smart Studded Tote Outfit

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE STUDDED TOTE KIT

Ciera Design for Darby Smart Studded Tote Box

 

Minted Eye of the Beholder Art Challenge

I recently joined the Minted design community and submitted a few designs to their Eye of the Beholder Art Challenge! For those of you who are not familiar, Minted crowd-sources design and art from a global community of independent designers, then sells their best designs as products such as stationery, wall art, and décor for the home and holidays. If you’d like to see Minted sell my designs as art prints, just head over to vote and give them a 5 for me! If they get enough votes, Minted will add them to their shop, and with multiple color variations as well! Just click on the photos below to bring you right to the listing on Minted. You’ll have to quickly sign up for a Minted.com account before you can vote but it’s super easy. Please pass this along and share away on social media if you’d like to support my designs! Thank you so much – as always, I appreciate your support!

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Minted-Eye-Of-The-Beholder-2-Do-More

Minted-Eye-Of-The-Beholder-3-Summer-Days

What I Wore // Working At The Coffee Shop

I thought it’d be fun to tell y’all my history with PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, my favorite coffee of all time! It was founded with a single shop in 1978 and has spread throughout the Greater New Orleans area, then the Southeast and has even made it to other parts of the United States including California.

My grade school was only a few blocks away from the original location on Maple Street, so in 7th and 8th grade we used to walk there after school and hang out in their courtyard. Then in high school my best friend lived next door to a PJ’s which we frequented at least once, sometimes twice a day. I don’t even want to know how much money I spent there during those four years! Now I’m back in the Maple Street area and their iced coffees are still my absolute favorite coffee, ever, anywhere! Not to mention their amazing spinach and feta croissants and a granita when I really want to treat myself!

Most days I make coffee at home to save money but I get cravings for their yummy coffee all the time and I usually give in… hey, I deserve it! I also love to go and work from their courtyard every once in a while when the weather is nice. Crazy how constant some things in life can be! And just excuse my bitchy resting face in the third photo.

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro at Coffee Shop

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro at Coffee Shop Courtyard

Graphic Designer with MacBook Pro and Coffee In Courtyard

Striped Dress, Brown Leather Purse and Coffee

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro and Coffee

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Photos by Hannah Colclazier

Creative Events I’d Like To Attend

Creative Events I'd Like To Attend

There are so many awesome creative events across the country it’s unbelievable! I see people recapping them on their blogs and I hear about them on Twitter but I always seem to be late to the game on the ones I want to attend. So in an attempt to organize the ones I want to attend, I decided to start a list (surprise, surprise) organized by month. There is no way I’ll be able to attend them all this year, probably only one or two, but here is my wish list:

Alt SLC Summer

Alt Summit just announced a second flagship conference and I want to be there! I attended Alt SLC in January 2013 and it was such an amazing time that I’d love to experience again. I’m thinking about applying to be a speaker, but so nervous!

Creative South

Creative South exposes creative and marketing professionals, business people, and students to key speakers on the subject of branding and design in the digital era. I’ve been trying to find more events in the South since it cuts down on travel cost for me and this one seems awesome!

Design Ranch

Design Ranch isn’t one of those slide-and-lecture “big conferences,” it’s about putting down your mouse, getting your hands dirty and reviving your creative spirit. They want attendees to head home with a fire in their belly and a fresh take on design that can only be achieved by unplugging and gettin’ a little dirty. I don’t know too much about this one but it seems really cool and it’s in the South, so that’s a plus! 

How Design Live

HOW Design Live is the biggest annual gathering of creative professionals, anywhere. I have been wanting to attend HOW for years now, it’ll happen one day!

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest

Weapons of Mass Creation is a young grassroots movement to inspire and enable the creative mind. They believe that good things happen when ideas and talents are shared within the community. This mentality manifests itself in the lifestyle of a Weapon of Mass Creation. A person who defies the hand they’re dealt and makes stuff happen. 

Designer Vaca

Designer Vaca is a gathering of female graphic and web designers from all over the country to dream, relax, collaborate, share experiences, and learn from each other. This intimate environment has a relaxed anti-conference feel creating space for amazing connections and beautiful relationships to take place. So bummed I didn’t go to this last year, but I had just returned home from Palm Springs and couldn’t justify the travel costs at the time.

The Yellow Conference

The Yellow Conference is a brand new event created by Joanna Waterfall. It’s a gathering for creative women who desire to ignite passion and bring goodness to the world through everyday living.

Circles

Circles is a creative conference where designers can learn from world-changing thinkers and innovators for the creative community. I attended Circles 2013 and this is another one I’d love to attend again. 

Maiedae Mixer

Maiedae Mixer is another Southern event that looks like SO much fun! This is a “Get Fancy, Get Connected” (as they like to call it) networking event for bloggers.

Do you have any events on your wish list? Do you have an event you’ve attended that you recommend?

If you can’t make it to any of these big events, you can always find smaller meet-ups in your area… and if you don’t have any around, start your own

Photo by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

Snapshots of my Desk

I took these photos a while back but realized I never posted them here on the blog. So here you go, a little peek at my workspace on a clean day! A few things you can find on my desk on an average day are my glasses, a planner, notebooks and a Pantone mug filled with coffee. So now you know what I look like while blogging or working on a design project (except for the days when I work in my pajamas).

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Jasmine snapped the photos of me.