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The Next Level Retreat: 2018 Recap

Photographer Retreat Workshop | The Next Level Retreat with Laylee Emadi Photography

Creative Retreat : The Next Level Retreat
A Laylee Emadi Workshop Experience

 

My head and heart are still so full from this year’s Next Level Retreat! There is a special place in my heart for education and bringing people together: hosting The Next Level Retreat was an amazing opportunity to do just that. We walked away from the Waco Barndominium with so many big dreams, actionable plans, and heartfelt connections. I couldn’t have asked for better people to come together for this creative retreat!

Our attendees were able to connect with peers in the industry who were ready to take their business to the next level: whether that meant reaching for a new clientele, branching into a new segment of the industry, or pursuing new dreams. We were able to open our hearts and minds to new ideas, encouragement, and support from creative peers—not to mention learn from our talented speakers. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who is SO glad we did all of this in yoga pants. Right?!

Keep on scrollin’ because you wont’ want to miss a single scene from this recap (not to mention the video)… and I have a special offer waiting for you at the end of the post!

I have to give an enormous thank you to Gaby Caskey for taking all of our behind-the-scenes photos. She was there every step of the way to capture the workshops and candids and everything in between. I can’t thank her enough for all the work she put into this retreat alongside me!

2018 will be hard to top, but I have a feeling that 2019’s retreat will be even more incredible. If you’re already asking yourself how to get in on the next one, click right here: https://layleeemadi.com/next-level-retreat. We’re headed to Austin in 2019 and I would love to see you there!

 

Arrivals & Welcome

We kicked off the retreat by welcoming everyone into the Barndominium (ummm, you mean Joanna touched these walls?!). It was the perfect place to gather, relax, and get inspired! Even from the minute they walked in the door, every attendee was so kind and welcoming—ready to open their hearts to each other and to this experience together. Guests opened their swag bags full of fun surprises, and then we settled in with dinner, wine, and great conversation (okay, and maybe a late-night frozen pizza or two).

 

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Day One

In yoga pants and no makeup, we kicked off Day One by diving right into rich content from our keynote speaker, Natalie Franke (can we just talk about how perceptive and wise she is?!)… followed by an inspiring session with SaRatta Murphy. After lunch, Jessica Peddicord led a watercolor workshop session—the perfect way to unwind and find restoration for our busy minds. The afternoon included a mastermind workshop session with me: an opportunity to create weekly schedules tailored to each individual’s workflow strengths and weaknesses. We wrapped up the evening with a relaxing meditative yoga session, a catered dinner, and then a late-night PJ mastermind (everyone’s favorite part!).

 

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Day Two

We started Day Two with breakfast and a video call from Hope Taylor (shout-out to Hope for Skyping in, even though hurricane weather prevented her from attending in person! High fives to technology!). Then we traded our pajamas for outfits worthy of a trip to Magnolia! It was so fun to explore Chip and Joanna’s playground: the shops, food trucks, sweet treats, and photo ops were everything we could have wanted. And if you’re ever in Waco, don’t forget to stop by Linen & Cake! It’s the most adorable shopping experience, thanks to Theresa’s eye for beautiful pieces—I could have bought the entire store and died of happiness.

We followed a fun afternoon with a styled tabletop at Old Bethany Venue, along with a Flatlay Styling Workshop led by Sarah Erickson (and shout-out to my dear friend Bonnie for joining us!). Attendees traded headshots and plenty of good laughs. A delicious dinner was the icing on the cake of a beautiful day together… and another late-night pajama mastermind was equal parts hilarious, motivational, and inspiring.

 

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Wrap Up & Goodbyes

It was SO hard to say goodbye to each of these wonderful humans! We had such a phenomenal group of attendees this year, it’s hard to put it into words. To my attendees: from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I’m already so excited for the next one.I can’t thank each of you enough for joining me in Waco for this experience.

And when their reviews came in… tears upon tears! Thank you all for sharing what this retreat meant to you; it meant so much to me too.

“Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with my trip to Waco, Texas for The Next Level Retreat hosted by Laylee Emadi. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more, and exceeded all of my expectations!!” – Heather

“Reflecting on our time at The Next Level Retreat, we are SOOO thankful for the fellow creatives and business owners that poured into us during our time in Waco, Texas. It was such a one of a kind experience, and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to grow in our goals and learn more about the industry we love!  Maybe this last statement seems a bit dramatic…but, friends, we sincerely mean it when we say this retreat has forever changed our lives.” — Bret & Brandie 

 

Creative Retreat - The Next Level Retreat - A Laylee Emadi Workshop ExperienceCreative Retreat - The Next Level Retreat - A Laylee Emadi Workshop Experience

(and now that the cat’s out of the bag… we were SO happy and thrilled when Natalie told us she was expecting a baby! Congratulations to this sweet friend of mine!)

 

I think Quianna summed the whole experience up perfectly with her video:

 

 

Photographer Retreat Workshop | The Next Level Retreat with Laylee Emadi Photography

 

Okay so… If you are dying to get in on this experience, I have good news for you!!

Registration is now open for The Next Level Retreat 2019. I would love nothing more than for YOU to join us for this September. I extended my early bird rates in the hopes that you can join us!

Click here to learn more and secure your early bird rate before it’s gone!

 

 

Speakers:
Thank you so much to each of the talented creatives who shared their wisdom with us. When you reach a certain point in your business, it becomes so important to find mentors who are ready to dive into a deeper level of education and discussion. Each of these speakers did exactly that! (Not to mention they were sooo much fun to be around!)

Natalie Franke HayesSaRatta MurphyJessica PeddicordHope TaylorSarah Erickson

 

Attendees:
Most of our incredible attendees have posted their own recap of the retreat, so be sure to visit their blogs to get an attendee’s perspective on the experience. And you should definitely check out their work—because each of these humans is so talented!

Brett DenfeldCatie PerezQuianna MarieBret NowakBrandie NowakHeather PendergraftDawn Richardson

 

Sponsors:
And, of course, a HUGE shout-out to our sponsors. They showered us with love, support, and the best swag! Thank you so much to each of these sponsors for contributing to our creative retreat:

Rising Tide SocietyHoneybookSimply Jessica MarieStoryfolkExpressions BraceletsLoved and Found BoxWords for a SeasonKindred Presets  WayfarenMay Designs — Brite Bar BeautyShowItCloudSpotRedTree AlbumsLinen and CakeKate McLeod StudioSarah Ann DesignOld Bethany Venue

 

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