Yo. I’m finally getting back on my blog post grind! I realized how much I love the inner workings of entrepreneurs and their behind the scenes that I’ve been inspired to share a bit more of all the shit I do here on my site.
I wanted to start off with a recent retreat I held an hour outside of Philadelphia called The Out Of Office Retreat. I was approached by Jaimie, the lovely Founder & CEO behind Harlow Grey Homes. She and her team have curated stunning vacation homes in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and they are designed to the max. I mean it took me forever to choose which one I wanted to host my retreat in because they are that gorgeous. I ended up picking The Hepburn because the size was perfect, and come on, that huge U-shaped couch surround by fur rugs! I could smell photoshoot in each room and the natural light had the photographer in me giddy like a little schoolgirl.
So what was the plan? I recently opened an old diary of mine and saw a blank page with the title “Women’s Retreat 2016.” It was a sign. I toyed around with how I wanted to approach my first retreat and who I wanted to invite, especially after all of the conferences and retreats I’ve attended these past few years. After a few iterations, I decided to just put it out there into the universe. I created all of the basic info on a page here on my site, included a sample schedule, all of the beautiful photos of the space and put up tickets. From there, I emailed about 50 of the dopest women I knew and said a prayer.
And yay people started buying tickets. They believed in this retreat! They believed in me! Okay, obviously I have some issues with self-doubt, but entrepreneurs aren’t perfect. However, like my pops always says in his beautiful Bengali accent, “Mamoni, if you build it, they will come.”
We ended up having a full house of some amazing women - some who were close friends and some who I’ve never met (thanks internet!). I brought on BumbleBFF as a sponsor (aka the ladies got to leave with some fun swag) and hired my friend Hava to cook for all of the women. Which let me tell you. I’ve honestly realized in the past year how amazing it is to hire people to help you. I’m so used to doing everything by myself and digging myself in my own hole, so to be able to now a) afford to hire help and b) afford to hire your friends to help you is seriously a huge milestone in my random ass career. Hava took the lead and created some delicious and healthy meals for the two days we were there (and mostly while I slept because I was pretty much a sloth the whole retreat). Like seriously - if you are reading this somewhere out there Hava, I. Love.You.Long.Time.
The two days for Out Of Office were spent doing the following: chilling, working a little, more chilling, hanging with the other women, sharing stories, more chilling, journaling our thoughts, playing mafia, snacking, morning yoga and sleeping. When I said that this was going to be a chill retreat with a super flexible and open schedule, I meant it.
Anyway, this post is getting way too long and I need to start doing some actual work hehe. I wanted to thank Harlow Grey Homes for providing me with such an epic space and for giving me the opportunity to flex my retreat and leadership skills. And thanks to all of the women who came out to the middle of nowhere New Jersey and hung with random other women in the middle of the week. Y’all are the real MVP. Check out the rest of the photos from the retreat below!