Treat Everyone Like a VIP and More Lessons from Rebelle Con

barb and steph rebelle.jpg

Over the past few months, we’ve been helping our friends at Rebelle Con coordinate their kick-off cocktail party, snacks and lunch for their sold out conference, and breakfast for a Saturday workshop. The event took place from Thursday to Saturday of last week, and when it was all said and done, we came out of the weekend feeling super motivated and charged up!

Here are our top 5 lessons from Rebelle Con:

Hire a DJ. Nothing turns a party into a rager like a real-deal DJ, and DJ Jenn Thomasson dropped the beats for our cocktail party, hosted by Casa del Barco. The food was incredible (hello, nacho bar); the cocktails, sponsored by Belle Isle Moonshine and Tequila Avion were so good; and the vibe was electric. BONUS LESSON: Also hire a professional photobooth! Richmond Photobooth came prepared with the cutest props and made everyone look like a million bucks.

Treat everyone like a VIP. Yes, there was a gorgeous VIP room decked out by West Elm, complete with hair and make-up artists for touch-ups, but really, everyone at Rebelle got treated like a total VIP with swag-filled goodie bags, yummy snacks and dietarily-friendly lunch options care of Island Shrimp Co, and programming that was thoughtfully created with ambitious female entrepreneurs in mind. This was the kind of conference where every attendee felt SEEN.

Listen to the bowls. We started the day on Friday with Natasha Foreman of Lucid Living guiding the room through a grounding meditation featuring Himalayan singing bowls. It was a brilliant way to tune into the room and leave the clutter of the outside world at the door. The perfect centering exercise before a conference, speaker Bethany Meyers of The Become Project remarked that she wanted to start every interview that way, and she’s not wrong.

barb rebelle interview.jpg

Walk away from the deal if the deal isn’t right. We had an absolute blast getting to know Keisha Smith-Jeremie, founder of sanaia applesauce. Barb picked up Keisha from the airport, and the two were an instant match, sharing a love of fashion, scaling up food brands, and world domination. Barb interviewed Keisha for Rebelle, and Keisha shared what she learned from her experience pitching her brand on Shark Tank—namely that sometimes investors aren’t right for your brand and that knowing that can be more valuable than all the capital in the world (ok, maybe not ALL the capital, but still).

And finally: Work with your tribe. The term ‘tribe’ gets thrown around a lot at these kinds of entrepreneurship/empowerment events, and I have to admit, I’ve always been a little skeptical, but the concept came together to beautiful effect at Rebelle, where we worked with our clients and friends to make the food piece of this event thoughtful, exciting, and most importantly, satisfying. If you left hungry, sorry girl, you did it wrong.

Thank you to our food and beverage vendors. You were all professional and polished and gave new meaning to the idea of working with one’s tribe! Thank you for donating your food and time to this awesome event!

  • Birdie’s Pimento Cheese

  • Mother Shrub

  • Pastry Base

  • Ginger Juice

  • Soul ‘n’ Vinegar

  • Sugar & Twine

  • Miss Priss Tea Co.

  • Gratisfied

  • Salsa Don Sebastian

  • Blanchard’s Coffee

  • Pro-Chi (Kim Baker Foods)

  • Gnarly Girls Baking Co

  • Crunch Dynasty

  • Firehook

  • Chairlift

  • And a huge thanks to our cocktail party and lunch host and sponsors, Casa del Barco and Island Shrimp Co!

We’re facilitating a Women in Food panel discussion for Rebelle in June at ZZQ featuring Carena Ives of Jamaica House, Brittanny Anderson of Brenner Pass/Chairlift/Metzger Bar & Butchery, Paige Healy of The Housepitality Family, Alex Graf of ZZQ, and Kelli Lemon of Urban Hang Suite; and we all know those tickets are going to sell out with a bullet, so get on it!