A Look Inside: Happy Mom Conference 2019
Happy Mom Conference 2.0 was a truly beautiful day! Whether you weren’t able to attend or just want to hear about it from my perspective, I’m giving you an inside look at what the magical day was like and telling you about all of the amazing brands and partners involved in making this dream a reality.
read all the way to the end for a look at our highlight reel!
Getting Ready for the Big Day
My team and I ended up at the venue the day before for unloading and preparations. The conference tent went up, activations and décor were set up, chairs were put out, we did our soundcheck…and it all of sudden felt so real and exciting!
This year I decided to stay at the Hyatt at the Paseo. It was super convenient because I could literally walk out of my hotel lobby, cut left, and walk straight into the event space. It was hard to be away from my hubby and babies for the night, but it felt good to keep my mind off being a mom and just focus on this passion of mine and this big day that was to come. So much time and resources were invested, I wanted to honor that. Of course, sleep wasn’t so great because I had not only the pregnancy where I get up to pee multiple times a night, but also just the excitement of what was to come the next day! My event producer and fellow UCLA Anderson alum, Belinda Lui of Bookt Events, and I actually roomed together and it felt like being back in b-school - so many memories! I couldn’t have done this event without Belinda! She helped design the whole event from A to Z and captured my vision perfectly!
The day was finally here! Belinda headed down to oversee any last minute details of the event, while I had a makeup artist come over and do my makeup. I meditated while she did her thing. I tried not to go down early as guests were arriving because I wanted to just take some time to myself to soak in that this was actually the day that Happy Mom Conference 2.0 was happening! I went on social media, and I could see some attendees already posting about the event and could feel the excitement and energy all the way from my hotel room!
Arriving at HMC
Our venue this year was the beautiful Paseo Pasadena. It was such a lovely outdoor setting for the conference and we were so excited to host there! The event began in the Paseo’s theatre court with registration, Mitsubishi’s activation, and the first big photo moment.
The check-in registration table was set up beautifully. There was a beautiful sign that had one of our main hashtags: #happymomxuppababy. Kayla Wyllie of Thistle & Oak Floral Designs created such dreamy pieces that perfectly fit our chic and minimalist vibe!
This whole beautiful set-up could not have happened without the hard work of our amazing staff and mom squad volunteers. Thank you so much to all of you who helped make it all come together so seamlessly and beautifully!
Mitsubishi’s 2019 Outlander PHEV
Right at registration was Mitsubishi’s beautiful presentation. Mitsubishi brought their new 2019 Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid crossover with 4x4 off-road ability, perfect for the eco-friendly mama! The large trunk was open and decorated with sweet baby goodies and even had a charging station for attendees to be able to charge their cell phones and tablets, powered completely by the PHEV! There was an UPPAbaby stroller set up next to it along with a carseat in the back of the spacious 5-seater to demonstrate how the car easily fits all the gear that comes with babies and kiddos. Mitsubishi even hosted a little Starbucks coffee station, which of course was a big hit with our mamas! Thanks for the fuel, Mitsubishi!
Step & Repeat "Red Carpet"
Behind the registration was a beautiful speaker lounge with a staff lounge attached to that. Our speakers were invited to go into their hang out and prepare for their big talks. This peaceful zone for our speakers was put together by Momeez, who also provided a cute little display of lollipops for our speakers to grab-n-go. All the speaker lounge materials were provided by MtB Event Rentals, including the beautiful hedge wall. They also provided various other tables and set-up basics that we simply couldn’t have done without!
On the other side of that we had a backdrop with a sign that read “Happy Mom Conference” adorned with white roses, again courtesy of Thistle & Oak, for another photo moment. Instead of a traditional red carpet, we opted for the stylish Ruggish play mats for a beautiful Step & Repeat, which worked perfectly for our look! I actually love these play mats and use them in my home, so it was so special to have the brand sponsor a couple for our event! There was some media interviews happening here, as speakers were sought after as they arrived. This whole Step & Repeat was set up by Jon of Party Layne, who also created our goregeous stage backdrop!
Entering the Garfield Promenade
After the Step & Repeat, you hooked to the right and made your way down to the Garfield Promenade, where the conference and marketplace were happening. As you walked down the path and hooked to the left and followed the sounds of DJ KSLY jamming some tunes, you entered the elegant conference tent set up by Del Rey Party Rentals.
Setting the Stage with Heartbeat
Heartbeat was our amazing stage sponsor for the conference, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner! Heartbeat believes that brands and consumers should be a team, which they strive to make a reality through influencer-like ambassadors and consumer-focused brand platforms. Their vision for authentic business focused on meeting people where they are meshed perfectly with our vision as a networking conference for moms and expecting moms!
Breakfast with Model Meals
All the moms got to enjoy the Model Meals experience, whose mission it is to create happier, healthier people, which starts with what we feed ourselves! We really believe in their mission and how they offer such a healthy, energizing, and delicious meal delivery service—perfect for the busy mama! For breakfast, they served yummy Tex-Mex Frittatas with sugar-free chorizo, plus a totally veggie option, or “Veg-Mex” Frittata.
Accompanying this delicious breakfast was refreshing juices and teas, served by Pasadena local vendor Lavender & Honey to help everyone cool down and hydrate as we started the day.
A Welcome Gift from UPPAbaby
After breakfast, everyone found their seats along with a special surprise! Each mama received a beautiful premium, leather notebook from UPPAbaby. This was the perfect gift for mamas to write notes in throughout the conference. Mamas were even able to get their notebooks personalized later at UPPAbaby’s lounge by professional calligrapher, Katrina (check her out on Instagram!). Such a sweet touch from our title sponsor!
Introductions with Our Host
Carissa Culiner of E! News and E! Daily Pop got up there and killed it as the conference host from the start! Even in her first few moments, she was relatable right away, smiled so big, and she just shined so bright. We were so excited to have her be a part of the big day.
Carissa introduced myself and Sarah Hines, communications director at UPPAbaby. It was in that moment that I felt like, “Oh my gosh, this is happening!” I was just so happy to be there with all of the mamas of the Happy Mom Tribe, and excited for all of them to experience all of the fun festivities we had planned for them on the day. Sarah closed with a sweet message from UPPAbaby and everyone was ready to for a day of inspiration and learning!
Why I Started Happy Mom Conference
What I didn’t get to do on stage—because I wanted to keep it short and sweet—is give a little bit of background into why I started Happy Mom Conference. This whole event and this whole movement and cause started because I was in a space of new motherhood where I felt like I didn’t want to give up a piece of who I was just because I became a mom. I didn’t want to give up the passions and the things that I loved to do in my life before becoming a mom.
I didn’t want to give up my passion for the entertainment industry, but it was an industry where I just did not feel supported after becoming a mom. So as an extension of sharing my journey on my blog, I created Happy Mom Conference, a forum and a place where moms can feel okay working on their true passions and happiness. A place where moms can hear from other moms who have devoted time to themselves and turned passings into successful businesses by implementing rituals and everyday practices in their lives to ultimately help them get on a path where they are pursuing the things that light their souls on fire and help them to be happy moms.
Panel 1: Self Care Rituals
I really, really loved this panel. It featured Candice Valdez of Radio Disney as our moderator and some amazing mamas in different self-care-related fields. Owner of Restorative Pelvic Physical Therapy, Inc., Marcy Crouch talked about the importance of postpartum physical therapy for pelvic restoration and health. Optimism Doctor™ Deepika Chopra shared her deeply personal pregnancy struggles and how she stayed positive through all the hard times. Health coach Kelly LeVeque shared tips and tricks for eating healthy when you’re too busy for homecooked meals every day. Then we closed out with yoga instructor Liz Arch, who shared her own personal journey to physical and mental wellbeing through a very difficult season in life, as well as the immeasurable value of deep breathing!
After this panel, we had a short break where mamas got to go and enjoy some foods and beverages provided by our amazing partners. Our water sponsor for a second year in a row, Penta, was there making sure everyone stayed hydrated with the purest throughout the day. We also had delicious churros by the Churro Service along with Bare Snacks Fruit Chips out for all the moms to enjoy.
As moms snacked on all of these yummy refreshments, they were able to make some first connections and network with fellow mamas. And after the break, we went straight into our next panel!
Panel 2: Mamas Making Change
Robyn Young of Robyn Young Co. moderated this panel of mamas who represented companies and nonprofits making positive changes in their communities. Founder of Curious Jane Camp Samantha Razook talked about the family struggles that led her to start the amazing summer camp for young girls. Monica Brown talked about how using meditation to cope with deeply personal loss led her to create Lit Soul Candles. Fashion model Mara Martin shared the story of her overnight fame after breastfeeding her baby on the Sports Illustrated runway. Then Sarah Hines of UPPAbaby wrapped it up by sharing the story of UPPAbaby’s founding and why the company values giving back so much.
UPPAbaby Gives Back
I want to take a minute here to share with you some of the amazing ways our title sponsor, UPPAbaby, is making positive changes in our communities. UPPAbaby has donated over $5 million worth of gear to families in need through their UPPAbaby Gives Back program. This initiative was created to support non-profit organizations that share the same mission of providing funds, services and essential item to families in need. Most recently, UPPAbaby has supported the GOOD+ Foundation, Room to Grow and Alliance of Moms with in-kind product donations. They are such an amazing company with such a big heart for charity and outreach, and I’m so honored that they partnered with us to make this day happen!
Exploring the Mother’s Marketplace
During this next break, we encouraged mamas to grab some more snacks and check out the beautiful Mother’s Marketplace. Here we had some amazing vendors selling everything from clothes to jewelry to skincare products!
Photo Credit: Elaine Lee Photography
Via Saviene also brought their gorgeous, “everyday staples” jewelry, which is stunningly high quality and designed to last!
Robert Nettles, M.D. educated our attendees on hormonal changes and wellness, and offered future consultations at a discounted rate.
Sugar and Spice Spa LA offered a little pampering with quick little facials, makeovers, and more with their professional makeup artist team.
Life and Health by Tina was there as well to provide life, health, and college plan information to our mamas.
Keynote: Ali Landry
Everyone was super excited and waiting for Ali Landry’s keynote, and it was riveting! There were so many attendees I overheard or who came to me personally afterwards and said they were so moved by her talk and that she was so genuine and truly inspiring! She had moms crying, she had moms laughing, she had people yelling things like, “I love you, Ali!” She definitely brought the talk and was an amazing, amazing speaker. Her focus in the talk was how to live happily and be your best self, which are things she really focuses on through her business, Re/Shape.
Lunch Hour & UPPAbaby Activation
After Ali’s talk, it was time to go to lunch, after which we went straight over to the UPPAbaby activation!
VIPs also got to do a meet and greet and take photos with Ali before everyone went their separate ways to eat. During this lunch hour, Beaming served a yummy and healthy lunch for our speakers and staff.
Panel 3: Brand Founders
After everyone got back from lunch, we went straight into the Brand Founders panel, which everyone was super excited about, because this is when they got to hear from all our mama moguls who own their own successful businesses. They shared about how they started, what they did, tips and tricks for our attendees, and more!
This panel was moderated by the hilarious dynamic duo of Don’t Call Me Mommy. Intimates brand founder Tylynn Nguyen talked about how much she valued peer advice when first starting out. Katie Richardson of Puj Baby shared about the financial struggles her family faced for two years while working toward eventual business success. Agatha Achindu of Yummy Spoonfuls opened up about the harsh realities she had to face as a woman of color running a business. Then we wrapped things up with Susan Yara of Mixed Makeup, who shared how she went from using her skills to launch other media companies to running her own media empire.
During this break, mamas enjoyed the sweetest and yummiest HMC branded cookies from Cookies by Heather, gourmet cotton candy from Twisted, and salty snacks and pretzels courtesy of From the Ground Up Snacks. I cannot praise our snack partners enough! Their goodies were so yummy and enjoyed thoroughly by all.
Keynote: Katrina Scott
Katrina Scott gave the most uplifting closing keynote. She had everyone cracking up when she talked about the struggle of wearing jeans postpartum, which is so freaking relatable! She pulled out a list of all the changes women go through in pregnancy and postpartum, it went all the way to the floor, which was hilarious and also very important for all of us mamas to recognize all the crazy changes our bodies go through. She encouraged us to talk to and about our bodies with the same unconditional love we show the babies our bodies created.
Because one of the main goals of this conference was connection, we wrapped up the event with VIPs getting a meet n’ greet with Katrina and then all of our mamas had about an hour of networking time. Mamas were encouraged to spend this time interacting with one another for support and potential business collaborations. It was a beautiful time of watching new relationships form!
Press play to enjoy the highlights!
Video Credit: JuiceBox Media
Mamas, what was your favorite part of the conference? What would you hope to see next year? Any speakers you’d like to see hit that stage in 2020?! Let me know in comments!