Last week, from September 21st - 25th, you might have noticed lots of women going to and from a beautiful townhouse in Fitzrovia, if you happened to be in that part of town. That townhouse was the venue for the many events of this year's Smart Women Week, a series organised, curated and run by the multitalented team at Red.
Early last month an email had popped into my inbox while I was researching, proclaiming that tickets were available for these events, and as soon as I clicked on the schedule, I was hooked. It was a jam-packed timetable, with everything from mentoring to makeup, blogging to booty-shaking, and food to finance. I took a good look at the available sessions and selected five events I thought I'd really enjoy.
On the Monday I attended a talk on twitter called 'How To Build Your Brand on Twitter'. Led by Julia White of Twitter UK this was a really interesting session and a great way to get a handle on the different facets of the site. I was amazed at how small and friendly the session was - there were about a dozen of us so there were lots of opportunities to contribute and ask questions. Julia was a doll and so, so knowledgeable. I loved her insight on Periscope, the new kid of the social media block!
On Tuesday afternoon I attended the session entitled 'How to become a master of Pinterest'. If you've read my blog before or met me, you will know I have some mad Pinterest love going on, so I was intrigued to see what this presentation held. Led by Lizzie Sibley from Pinterest UK and featuring the lovely pinning guru that is Sarah, from Taming Twins, this session was fun and light-hearted, but also had a great deal of good, hard info on upping your Pinterest game. It was thought-provoking and to-do list encouraging.
Wednesday evening rolled around and I went to a supperclub where the multitalented Sasha of Liberty London Girl would cook for us. This was one of the high points of the week for me - fewer than a dozen folk, including Sasha and people from the Red team, sitting around eating delicious seasonal food, sipping beautifully curated Mentzendorff wines chosen to match the menu, and talking about London, life, writing and Lettice the dog (of course!). For full details on the delicousness, do read Sasha's awesome post on the event - she has such an eye for detail and I adored her use of fresh, well-sourced foods.
On Thursday my diary was full of zoo-visiting and baking, so I didn't find myself at the Red house. I made up for it on Friday though, by attending two events! In the morning I went to to social media breakfast, where three awesome women chatted to us about twitter, facebook, and getting it all done.
Sali Hughes was just as lovely as she seems online (and is so, so heartstoppingly pretty in person!) and was refreshingly candid about how she utilises and implements social. Emma Barnett, of the Telegraph, radio, and Wonder Women fame was so clever and interesting to listen to, with a great take on the changing nature of twitter and shaping the conversation. I totally waffled at her afterwards....whoops. Angelica Malin was very inspiring - she's clearly going to go far and her vision and strategic way of implementing her ideas were great to listen to. Even at 7.30am the girl was on! I really like About Time so it was great to hear her speak about the publication and how she uses social and analytics to ensure maximum impact for each piece.
Last but not least, on the Friday my second event was to attend a lunch where we would hear from Candace Bushnell, the author of (amongst many other books) Sex and the City. I read that book in my late teens and the show started as I headed off to university, so I jumped at the chance to hear her speak. She was amazing - warm, confident, intelligent, funny. I could have listened to her stories for hours, she is a magnificent raconteur. I loved having the chance to say hi to her and have a little chat too - she is such an inspiration. I can't wait to read Killing Monica, her latest book! Lunch was provided by Maple & Fitz and was delicious - the kale salad was sweet and crisp, and I even enjoyed the tofu (no mean feat, it's generally not my favourite!).
I enjoyed Smart Women Week so much. As well as the fantastic speakers and staff, the attendees were amazing too: business owners, writers, entrepreneurs. It was amazing to be in the presence of so many talented, inspirational women and I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to get to work!
In honour of the fun and fabulosity of Smart Women Week I've decided to put together a giveaway inspired by my fun times. This is not affiliated to the magazine or the presenters, but I thought it would be a fun way to kick off October!
Included in the prize:
- A hardback copy of Killing Monica, the latest book from Candace Bushnell
- A hardback copy of Pretty Honest, the bestselling beauty book by Sali Hughes
- A hardback copy of Friends, Food, Family, Sasha Wilkins' (Liberty London Girl) wonderful cookbook (this has yet to arrive so is not in the picture, is due tomorrow)
- As this month is all about getting a handle on my writing, I thought some stationery would be fun - there's a pencil case, some highlighters, and a nice big notebook for all your scribblings.
- It's now autumn so it's time to get cosy - I've included some tealights in a favourite fragrance and a couple of sachets of hot chocolate.
- Various other fun items - a red apron (because the magazine in charge of the SWW fun is called Red, ha!), a Pinterest tote bag and travel coffee mug, and some stickers and sweeties too.
If you do leave a comment, I'd love to know - who is the smartest woman you know?
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