Mixing Together the Connections you Crave

What are the ingredients that make a friendship or relationship successful?

In her book ‘Daring Greatly’ Brene Brown defined connection as “the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.”

If that’s connection, then what allows for that sort of energy to be created, and maintained? We asked some of the speakers and sponsors from our recent Urban Campfire to share their thoughts.

Here’s what they shared as the connection ‘ingredients’ that were the most important to them:

1. Values that are Aligned

A value is a judgement about what you have deemed as important in life. “When your values are aligned everything else comes easy” said April Wilson.
So which values meant the most to our interviewees?

Susan PhotoFor Susan Gibson: Honesty, Integrity, Humility and Grace.
“Whether self, partner, or friend, these ingredients are the same” she says. Here are her whys:
Honesty: “I’m a truthful person, to myself and to others. Honesty can hurt, but the alternative is far more damaging.”
Integrity: “Being true to myself in all that I say and do. That’s what integrity means to me.”
Humility: “I check in with my ego constantly and evaluate my thoughts and actions against my ego.”
Grace: “Failures happen. Some small, some big. I own my failures and acknowledge the suffering they cause.”

Julia PhotoFor Julie Armitage: Respect, belief, trust, loyalty, commitment, courage and gratitude.
Here are her why:
Respect: “Seek to understand others before I seek to be understood.”
Belief: “If I believe in myself, I can overcome anything.”
Trust: “Trust is the foundation of healthy relationships and it must be earned.”
Loyalty: “Promises must be more than words, even if they require sacrifice.”
Commitment: “Hold nothing back and work like this is my last job.”
Courage: “Never back down from a challenge; discover the strength to soar.”
Gratitude: “Seek opportunities to express kindness in word and deed.”

“People often focus on what you have in common and that certainly can be a motivator for bringing people together: a shared interest, a common experience, liking and doing the same things. Those can bring people together but it doesn’t keep people together.” says Cordila Jochim.

“What binds at a heart level is shared values: an understanding of what you believe about yourself and life and what’s important, alignment around what you believe is right and wrong, a mutual understanding of commitment and covenant, a similar inherent nature of the fabric of your character, and a fundamental way of being that says “yes” or “no” to life and the opportunities it presents.”

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2. The Ability to Be Vulnerable

For Angela Shen “the ability to be vulnerable without fear of judgement” is one of the most important ingredients in a relationship. “I have to believe you are being your true self with me, whether you are my friend or my man” adds our Urban Campfire MC Genise Dawson.

“One of the most valuable ingredients for me in any relationship is the ability to speak your truth and share what is in your heart” says Heather Blankinship

“A successful relationship of any kind requires both parties desiring to stay in the relationship and being willing to open up and get vulnerable with each other, even when it is uncomfortable.

Too often I see people shying away from speaking their truth, or when they get hurt they build a story around what happened to them instead of engaging in a conversation to find out what really happened.

It is super easy to be misunderstood in this world of text messaging and social media, but if you want to have deep, authentic and meaningful connections, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and engage in real time. Relationships are incredible catalysts for personal growth, they are there to show us where we need healing and stretch us to fully embrace and love all parts of ourselves, and in doing so we can show up and fully love another.” 

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“Inspiring and uplifting these kids outside of Angkor Wat Temple, I love seeing the big hearts and smiles of our youth!” – Heather Blankinship

3. The Willingness and Desire to
Grow, Live, and Be Present… Together

We’re always growing and always changing. It never stops. It shouldn’t. How boring would that be!! There is so much that can be learned about the people in your life, so never stop being curious. Never stop nurturing the relationships that mean the most to you. Don’t take those you love for granted. 

Our interviewees agree.

Toni Photo“Connection is incredibly important to me, the most important ingredient regardless of whether it is a friendship or my significant other is being present. What does being present look like to me? Turning off the distractions (TV, computers, and tablets) and putting away the cellphone when spending time with me. Having real deep conversations about life’s triumphs, disappointments, true deep seeded issues that need hashing out, and celebrations – living in the middle mediocre conversation scratches the surface with me and becomes mundane, uninteresting and boring if there is no other substance on a regular basis.” – Toni Burbridge

Diane Najm tells us that she’s drawn towards those involved in “a never ending journey of development and learning.” For her, that includes involvement in charity and giving back, which doesn’t have to be complicated! It could be as easy as opening a door for someone. Or as deliberate as helping someone else to succeed. “I get inspiration by looking at those who’ve maintained strength and displayed unwavering courage – especially in the face of challenges. I expect the same from my friendship and partner (work or family)”friends UC3 (1)


Bringing it All Together

sherrice_picSherrice Kirby wraps this connection reflection up fairly nicely with her personal recipe for connection:
1. Take two whole perfect souls (the more naked and real these souls can be, the more vibrant the creation).
2. Add equal parts compassion – for the flaws that exist in these ingredients.
3. Use communication to blend in understanding, laughter, joy, and tears.
4. Ensure that each of the parts are in equal contribution (you will need to check this consistency frequently).
5. Ensure that their is recognition of the contribution that each soul is offering to the flavor .
6. Allow the energy to mix, tumble, and adapt as needed.

Please note: Love, tenderness, adventure, commonality and sharing deeply seem to enrich the aroma over time.

If things seem to not blend, sometimes separating the two souls and allowing space to relieve the tension, that over blending can cause, will help.

P.S. If you desire to try this recipe again, start back at step one – adding more love and compassion to the mix.

In the end, connection requires bravery. But the pay off? Might be worth it. 


What ingredients are most important to you?#iCRAVEconnection

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At This Year’s Urban Campfire, We Celebrated ‘The Breakthrough.’ This is What Happened…

On Sunday, we held our third annual Seattle Urban Campfire. Our immediate response… WOW! The theme for this year was breakthroughs, and we had a lot of goals for the day. But as is typical with almost all of our events, once things kick-off, they tend to unfold exactly as they are meant to. Synchronicity, right?

At the beginning of the day, we walked around to the different tables and asked you:

What brought you to our Campfire today?

What do you CRAVE?

The answers which came up over and over again, both from our Urban Campfire regulars and first-timers, were these:

  1. Connection – a room full of women who are prepared to be vulnerable, unmasked, and really freaking real was what many of you arrived at the Urban Campfire craving. 
  2. No Expectations – several of you shared that you arrived at the fire with absolutely no expectations. You’d heard about the event, and wanted to experience it for yourself. You shared that you were coming with a blank slate, and that you were ready for anything. 
  3. Inspiration – this word came up a lot at the beginning of the event. We sensed it meant something different to everyone there. Perhaps related to the following two answers:
  4. Clarity – one of you shared that your child was on their way to preschool this year, and that you now have some decisions to make regarding you career and personal growth. This woman came to the fire looking for answers. A story shared in ways by many of you.
  5. Motivation – another one of you was in the process of publishing her first book. She told us that right now she feels as though she’s standing at the edge of a diving board getting ready to jump. She came to our fire looking for a little bit of a push.

“It’s so rare to feel like you have made 100 new friends in one day.”

From the feedback we received after the day was wrapped, we think many of these cravings were satisfied. One of our favorite end of day reflections with this:

“Tell your story. It means something, and there might be somebody who needs to hear it.”

Urban Campfire

And then of course there were our speakers

They all made it look easy, but getting up in front of a large group of people and sharing your failures, insecurities, and most personal reflections on life and success is, as I’m sure you can imagine, pretty unnerving.

We’d like to put out a huge thank you to ALL of our speakers for their incredible bravery and willingness to be a little bit uncomfortable in order to share, inspire, and motivate us towards taking action in our own lives. 

Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the day:

 

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My #100thingiCRAVE list is what finally got me out of bed. My list got me to ask myself: Do you know yourself? And do you live that way daily? Back then my answer was ‘no’. Now it’s ‘yes’.”

– Melody Biringer, CRAVE founder

 

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The opposite of success isn’t failure. We need to stop saying that. The opposite of success is actually personal growth. And success after you’ve experienced this is the most incredible feeling.”

– Sasha Muir, CEO and Founder of Bevee

 

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“Sometimes we forget who we are in the face of needing to be something that is not of our own agenda, but there are messages all around to guide you back. Are you listening?”

– Sherrice Kirby, Greatlife Designs

 

Angela Photo

How bright could your future be if you just committed yourself? Nothing fuels excitement more than working on something you care about.”

– Angela Shen, Founder of Savor Seattle Food Tours

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“It started with letting go of what I had and ended with letting go of who I was, and through that process I discovered the woman I am today.

– Susan Gibson, of Susan Gibson Temenos labs and retreats

*She shared her whole story on her blog. Read it here.

Cole Speaking

“When you’re creative, you’re told to be quiet a lot… but during a time of loss I started creating art that was hard to look at (for me), which then led me to understand what it means to ‘WOOHOO’ through life.”

– Cole Karwhite Adams, artist at woohoocreative.com

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“We all dream. Unfortunately too few of us put into action what we were thinking and put a plan in place, but planning gave me the confidence to jump. It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

– April Wilson, Vice President of Pacific Capital Resource Group

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“You may be blank or you may be in bloom, but you have a responsibility to live a life you crave. This is my moment. What is your moment? What is being asked of you?”

– Cordila Jochim, Brand Advisor at corhouse.com

 

We’d also like to send out a BIG thank you to all of our Urban Campfire Sponsors

We couldn’t have put on this event without your incredible generosity. Thank you!!

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Gourmondo

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Annual Games

Dry Sparkling

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And a BIG thank you to our fabulous Urban Campfire photographer (all photos featured in this post are by her) Amanda Howse of www.amandahowse.com

Keep in touch with us! 

Now that Urban Campfire is over, don’t lose touch. Our Social media platforms are picking up speed, and our community of CRAVERS are growing quickly.

What’s a CRAVER? A craver is someone who has made the commitment to getting obsessively specific about what they want, and are now prepared to live that way every day. Deciding that your happiness is important can feel overwhelming somehow, but that’s why we’re here. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get our free #iCRAVEclarity program to kick you off on the next steps in your journey towards living your life by decision [not default].

 

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Meet this year’s Urban Campfire Speakers

This year’s Seattle Urban Campfire is happening this weekend! Have you gotten your tickets yet? This year we’re offering a Girlfriend discount, so that you can bring a friend and save. Learn more here
 
Who’s going to be speaking?
 
Here’s a sneak peek of the stories and topics you can expect:
*click on their photo to read the CRAVE interview we did with each of our speakers. 
 
“I’ve Got Nothing” Can Be the First Step to Discovering Everything.
– Cordila Jochim, Brand advisor and creator of the app Quollective.
 
Education Empowers you to Take Action Confidently!
– April Wilson, Vice President at Pacific Capital Resource Group, Inc.
 
Strong & Determined
– Susan Gibson – The Susan Gibson Mary Tupper Foundation
 
Defining and Managing Success: a Practice of Self-Discovery
 – Sasha Muir, CEO of Bevee and Founder of butter London
 
  
Blazing a New Fire in Your Professional Life
– Angela Shen, Founder of Seattle Food Tours
 
Mid-Wifing the Souls Message of the Hyper High Achiever
– Sherrice Kirby, Coach, Business & Lifestyle Strategist & Best-Selling Author
 

 
This year’s Urban Campfire will be on August 16th from 12-8:30PM at the artist’s loft in Hotel Max (620 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA.). 
 
We’re also hosting a pre-funk the night before at 7pm (same location). The funk is included with your ticket, so join us for s’mores, karaoke, and synchronicity. 
 
Reserve your seat
and learn more about to expect on the day by clicking here
 
We hope we’ll see you there!

  

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Morning and Night Rituals – Are they really that important?

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 3.07.18 PMHow do you start and end your day? Do you do it with intention, or do you just sort of fall (or rush) in and out of waking life?

When looking at the relationship between ritual and success, we started to wonder about what actually comes first. Is it possible that by changing the way you approach and end your day, you could also impact the way your life evolves?

What do you think?

 

 

What are the first and last things you do every day?

“I believe the way you start and finish your day lays a foundation for a happy, healthy life,” said Heather Blankinship. We agree.

We asked our Urban Campfire speakers and sponsors this question, but before we share their answers, we’d like to note a few themes that repeated themselves… over and over again. 

1. Love and gratitude

Those with kids and partners brought up their loved ones as a critical part to their morning and night rituals. Cuddling, bedtime stories, and “I love you’s” were vital for starting and ending their day on a good note. Many of our interviewees also shared their gratitude practice with us. 

Do you keep a gratitude journal?

2. Meditation and movement

As entrepreneurs, there’s no real ‘end’ to the work day… unless you enforce it yourself. Many of our speakers and sponsors shared that their mind can get super active, and they need time in the morning and at night to ‘ground’ (that word showed up a lot) themselves, whether through meditation, journaling, or exercise. 

3. Reality TV, Social media, and romantic comedies

This one was a little funny. Three of our interviewees mentioned that they wind down by indulging in, what one referred to as, a guilty pleasure. Nothing wrong with that!

4. Nutrition – lemon water, smoothies

And then there’s the ‘taking care of your body’ part. Surprisingly, few of our interviewees mentioned coffee as part of their ritual… but that doesn’t mean they don’t drink it.

What did come up though was lemon water. Interesting. So, we did our research, and here are 11 Benefits of lemon water you might not have known about

Now, let’s check out their answers: 

 

Heather Blankinship – founder of MindBodyBeing.com

Heather photoI love to start my day mindfully with meditation and intention setting.
I always say to my clients, “Become the most intentional person you know.”

The first thing I do is drink hot water with lemon or apple cider vinegar to alkalize my body. Then, I sit back down to meditate for 20 minutes. At the end I envision:
1. How I want to feel that day.
2. What I need to do to make that happen.
3. The top three things I want to accomplish.

At the end of the day I close with reflection and gratitude, thinking of what I am most grateful for about that day, how I was able to contribute and be of service in a positive way, and any big take-aways or lessons the day provided.

Diane Najm – CEO of Photopad for Business
Diane Photo

I like to wind down after working long hours (sometimes I don’t finish until 2am). After work, I try to meditate to calm my mind for sleep.

When I wake up, I am in high gear with anxiety. So, I run off to either exercise at the gym, or go for a run (depends on the level).  

I love spending time with friends – walking and talking – especially on Sunday Mornings. As a startup it is hard to keep the balance of work, home life and relationships with family and friends.

 

Sasha Muir- CEO and founder of Bevee
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Often, I am the first awake in my house. My morning ritual is to check on each of my three kids first (I love seeing how they sleep as if they literally fell onto the bed) and to sneak downstairs to make myself a nice cup of tea. I get out the breakfast basics for everyone before getting out of the house to either run a few miles or meditate (either way I take Branston with me!).

I need to find a much better nightly ritual. I’m not a good sleeper because when my body stops my mind does not follow. Sleeping med’s aren’t for me,  so my current ritual is to put on my pajama earphones (sexy – not) and listen to romantic comedies!!! Works like a charm every time.

April Wilson – Vice President, Pacific Capital Resource Group
April Photo

First thing in the morning, I rollover, kiss my husband and tell him I love him.

At night, I read the kids’ books, tuck them in, and tell them I love them. The very last thing I do just before I go to sleep is rollover, kiss my husband and tell him I love him.

 

 

Sherrice Kirby – Best-Selling Author, and Business & Lifestyle Strategist at GreatLifeDesigns
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In my perfect morning, I wake up and go straight into meditation and prayer: one hand on my heart and the other on my belly.  My practice includes deep gratitude, stillness and focus on breath. 

But most mornings I wake up to ‘Mommy,’ and jump to duty. Occasionally, if I am lucky, my husband and I get a cuddle before the mayhem of responsibility attacks both of us.

Both scenarios are total perfection in my world.

Bed time is sacred space. I always read 15 minutes or more from a book that nurtures my soul. I have been doing this since I was a kid, and I swear by it as a form of heart nourishment. 

Genise Dawson

It’s not very exciting. I take my Thrive pill and watch at least one of my Reality tv shows.

Susan Gibson – Temenos Leader, and Founder of the The Susan Gibson Mary Tupper Foundation

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My day begins and ends with love & gratitude. I am grateful every day for the life I lead, for the friends & family who surround me with love & support, and my soulmate, whose love & devotion keeps me in full alignment with my life purpose. Every day.

 

 

 

Cordila Jochim – Branding advisor at www.corhouse.com, and creator of the Oprah approved app Quollective

Cordila PhotoI keep journals.

They are not journals of what I say to myself, but rather they are books containing wisdom and insight from others. Sometimes I capture something about life that is universally applicable and relevant to pretty much all of us, and sometimes I capture things specific to me and my current situation. Either way, I wake up to those words and fall asleep to those words.

I’ve been going through a season of foundational shifting and they keep me grounded.

Angela Shen – Founder of Savor Seattle Food Tours


Untitled design (2)I always start my day with a fruit and veggie smoothie that I make at home. My favorite combo: frozen mango and pineapple, apple, power greens, greek yogurt, and almond milk. YUM!

At night, I indulge in a guilty pleasure: bad reality TV.

 

 

Toni Burbridge –  Health and Wellness Coach and Artist

Every morning since the beginning of 2015, I have been reading a daily devotional Jesus Calling first thing when I wake up.  On my daily bus ride into Seattle, I am listening to praise and worship music which grounds my soul to begin each and every day.

I end my day writing in my prayer journal when I am inspired, and I focus writing at least 5 things in my gratitude journal.  I read and begin praying from the first prayer in my prayer journal and as people share their lives with me I can either add to the prayers or check them off as answered.

These small things in my world keep be grounded and focused on the what matters to me.

Julie Armitage – Founder/Owner of the Experience Karaoke Project
Julie Photo

I start my day by drinking lemon sparkling water, coffee and then spending time outside on the deck; listening to and watching the birds, squirrels, etc. Then, I might watch stuff on FB and laugh with Alan until he leaves for work. After that I write, draw, craft, sing and… usually clean something.

I end my day with lemon tea, and a “Highs & Lows” reflection with Alan before bed (our daily-debriefing). After that, again, I do something creative. Usually reading. 

Brea Stevens –  Advertising maven, artist, and mom

I wish I could say I meditate or contemplate or something meaningful. But usually I wind down by trolling instagram or pinterest.  I like sneak-peaking into other people’s worlds.


Are You Coming to Urban Campfire in Seattle?

Urban Campfire LogoWe all have a story. We all have a vision for our life. How do the two collide? Well, the truth is they usually collide in breakdown… and then merge during breakthrough.

This year, we’ve asked female thought-leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the country to share a story about a moment in their life when everything changed in a big way.

It’s happening this weekend: August 16th. LEARN MORE!

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“No whale music, no bubbling cherubs, no pretentious attitudes.” – skoah co-founder, Andrea Scott, Shares her CRAVES

Founded in 2001, skoah Co-founders Andrea and Chris Scott wanted to create a gender-neutral, clean and uncluttered space where those who might feel intimidated by more traditional ‘spa visits’ could actually feel relaxed and at home. 

Their original tag line read as follows: “No whale music, no bubbling cherubs, no pretentious attitudes.” Their promo material has evolved from there, but the experience they aim to provide their customers remains the same.

Made in Canada, they refer to their line of take-home products as personal training for your skin. “It’s not a guilty pleasure, sporadic indulgence, or ‘beauty treatment’. Just like your body, your skin needs regular workouts to stay healthy and look its best.” 

Skoah is one of our Urban Campfire sponsors!
Visit their blog to find out how you can win a pair of tickets to the fire (learn more here).

We asked skoah co-founder, Andrea Scott, to share her top CRAVES with us.

“Writing these down has really focused my decisions, and opened my eyes to what’s abundant and what’s also missing from my life today,” Andrea tells us. They are “a great catalyst for change and reflection.” 

“We have a pretty busy family with 4 kids under the age of 8. I spend my time at skoah as the Chief Kreative and Kulture Officer and am lucky enough to have created the opportunity to lead our product development, our krew and guest experience and help grow and develop skoah and the people who are a part of the magic here.”

Here are her CRAVES: 

*Are there any you can relate to?

20150809_1027001.Time spent with each of my kids individually.
2. Coffee-strong and black
3. Running in the trails with my dog Lola
4. Eagles-they are messages from my Dad whom I lost 2 years ago…my best bud
5. Time to talk with my husband and remember who he is
6. Tapping into my intuition (I’ve been told by multiple psychics that I have the powers!)
7. Positivity and Optimism- I can’t stay angry or sad for long
8. Calm
9. Time alone to think and talk to my Dad and nephew
10. My late nephew Grady-I crave giving him foot rubs. We lost him to leukaemia about a year ago. He was a gift to us and to this world. He is an Angel.

11. Writing-poems, stories, letters and thoughts
12. Horseback riding at Watch Lake Lodge near 70 mile house
13. Swimming across lakes
14. Jumping into the ocean
15. Traveling for inspiration and cultural understanding-to India, China, Nepal, New Zealand, Indonesia, South America, the Maritimes
16. Standing in a field and feeling warm wind and sunlight surrounded by color
17. Smelling my baby – he’s just 2 and still smells ‘new’
18. Time with my self to think – my best and worst decisions have been made impulsively
19. Solutions-solving the impossible
20. Being heard
21. Creativity and exploring new ideas, digging into business ideas and helping do this with other people’s businesses
22. Signs-seeing and feeling them
23. Wine
24. Owning a winery and hotel-a ‘Skotel’ (skoah, vineyard and unique hotel experience)
25. Road trips
26. Taking my kids to the zoo in Seattle.
27. Seeing the world through my kids eyes- traveling with them

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28. Hawaii
29. Endless appies and wine with my girlfriends
30. Christmas
31. Snow Days
32. Skiing
33. Mountain biking
34. Huge family BBQ’s and Parties
35. Partying with my kids
36. Family-near and far

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37. Getting to know people I feel I already know even better, and making and feeling powerful connections

38. Secrets
39. Dancing
40. Singing in my car
41. My beetle convertible (might have to be careful about the singing part-nah!)
42. Manicures
43. hiking and exploring the world on foot
44. Walking endlessly in a new city
45. Early mornings
46. A full night of sleep (I’m a terrible sleeper but don’t need much sleep)
47. Cross Country skinning at the Flying U Ranch with my Dad.
48. Back to School Shopping with my Mom (I looked so forward to it)
49. Mountain Biking-deep in the woods and across fields and long winding roads

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50. Seeing my kids accomplish goals
51. Doing skoah’s Foundation Training
52. Facials-I still LOVE them!
52. Learning and Growing
53. Reading
54. Music-I have a ridiculously eclectic mix
55. The Hopeful Hand -skoah’s charity to support families-growing and developing this

Andrea is working to reach 100 on her list. She’s almost there!!


Learn more about skoah

SkoahLearn more about skoah’s story by clicking here

You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

 


Are You Coming to Urban Campfire in Seattle?

Urban Campfire LogoWe all have a story. We all have a vision for our life. How do the two collide? Well, the truth is they usually collide in breakdown… and then merge during breakthrough.

This year, we’ve asked female thought-leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the country to share a story about a moment in their life when everything changed in a big way.

Learn more about what we have planned this year.

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