MomCom 2014 wrapped up Saturday, Jan. 25, closing out its 2-day event at the Westin Domain. Over 300 women gathered to celebrate motherhood and learn the stories of successful women in all walks of life.
We met the spiritual truth teller, Glennon Doyle Melton of momastery.com. We hung out with the tough, no bullshit Bridget Dunlap, owner of most of Rainey St. We learned how to trust fear from the unstoppable Melinda Garvey, founder of Austin Woman Magazine. We found hope with Yasmin Diallo Turk, founder of HOPE for Senegal. We learned that abandonment can be the key to fulfillment from Karen Walrond of Chookalooks, and Heather Schuck from Glamajama; two women who walked away from it all to make things right with themselves and their kids. We learned that following your dreams can be tough from Elizabeth Kruetz, but they can still totally happen. We learned how to help our baby girls build confidence from Meredith Walker from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, and we attended workshops on finance, guilt-free mothering, PR and clearing clutter from our lives.
There was a lot of WE and a lot of Learning, lots of laughs, some tears, plenty of wisdom-sharing, wine, food, friendships and fun. Do512 Family managing editor, Jamie Jett, attended the conference for her third time, here are her thoughts…
I had a good feeling about this MomCom. I felt like this would be the one that could put one of my favorite events on the map, so to speak. All of the speakers were amazing, and many of them were not from Austin, which set a different tone for this year’s event. Some were “famous” in certain realms, which feels weird to say, but is completely true. It also felt different because it was at a hotel, it was a 2-day conference instead of just one, and there was the new addition of the Wine Walk, where certain stores at The Domain welcomed MomCom attendees with wine, specials, giveaways and amazing food. It felt different because it was different.
And I was excited! Excited to get out of the house. Excited for food that I didn’t have to cook. Excited to sit, and listen. Excited for booze and hanging out with friends I’ve made at past events, and excited to make some new ones.
The speakers at this year’s MomCom did not disappoint. The thing that I appreciate about MomCom is the fact that while it is a conference where you can learn and get tips on becoming your own boss, the focus is more on the individual story of each woman. It gets straight to the guts. I want to know logistics of how these women accomplished what they did while they had children to take care of, and at MomCom, that’s what I got. I learned what made them decide to go their own way and how they faced the challenges that arose. I heard all about what kept them going, their failures, their inspiration, their motivation, their fears and their successes.
Here is what I learned:
- Fear is okay. In fact, it’s good. Fear means you’re aiming high and that you care. If you aren’t scared, then maybe it’s not a worthy goal.
- Be still. When we’re still and we stop trying to live up to our roles, we learn a lot about ourselves and what we want to do.
- Listen to our friends. Most of these women said that it was their friends who suggested they go after something. A few of them said their current business wasn’t even their idea. Someone close to them realized their talents and told them they can do it.
- Finance is scary, but I totally need to get on top of that.
- A lot of insecurities and silly competitions are just that, silly. Mom-guilt and mompetition are all in your head. It’s not real. No one is out to get you.
- I like rum.
- The Domain has some great stores and restaurants.
- You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You just gotta do it.
- We can do hard things. Duh, we’re moms.
- Meeting Glennon Melton from Momastery. What a delightful human. She hugged everyone she approached. She engaged, completely. She’s as real as they come and I’m glad I got to meet her. She’s one hell of a speaker too! Funny, witty, poignant and legit.
- Hearing Heather Schuck’s story was pretty incredible. She went from selling onesies out of her car at the playground, to making 6 figures, to walking away from it all to regroup, to starting up again and just killing it.
- Bridget Dunlap, aka the Queen of Rainey St., was so awesome. She cussed like a, well, like someone who owned several bars would. She spent several years hitchiking and backpacking. She “had a million boyfriends,” and when she became pregnant she looked at it as a new adventure. I feel like she looks at everything like that. And I dig that.
- Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks went from being the Chief of Staff at Haliburton (making god knows how much), to being an author, photographer and “Light Ninja”. Light Ninja refers to her ability to find and capture things that make us all beautiful. Because we are all beautiful. She was an amazing speaker; confident and interesting. She offered some great techniques on how to find out what your true passion is.
Will I be going to the next MomCom? You bet, and you should too.