When founder and CEO of Millie Inc., Chelsea Brown, contacted me to be part of Millie Speaks first-ever event in Toronto, Canada, I was excited to be part of an enriching event that would bring forth incredible women all under one beautiful space. Little did I expect it to turn out the way it did.
“Your Authentic Life”, a symposium which was held at the Arta Gallery in Toronto on Saturday, September 29th, 2018 brought together women to share their experiences, believing in the power of personal stories to foster connection and transform lives. The speaker list was dynamic, diverse and each and every single one truly moved the audience.
We were proud to be included in the conference gift bag, which was handed out to all attendees and speakers. The connection between Sitti Soap and Millie is unique. The very first Millie Travels destination will be in Jordan (being held in January 2019) and with the products being handmade by refugee women in Jordan, it was that special touch of high-quality all-natural products that fit the bill. All items in the gift bag are hand-picked by Millie based on exceptional quality, relevance, and alignment with the attendee demographic – women between the ages of 25-45. Amongst some of the exciting brands that were included alongside Sitti Soap were, Tease Tea, Victoria Radford, Fashion Canada Magazine, Caudalie, the Pin Project, Inamullumani Jewelry, Studio889, Greenhouse and more!
So what is “Your Authentic Life?” And what does it really mean? When we look at the definition of ‘Authentic’ we see its:
au·then·tic | \ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\
Definition of authentic
1 a: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on
b: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features
c: made or done the same way as an original
2: not false or imitation : REAL, ACTUAL
3: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character - is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
This was a space where ‘masks’ were removed, pretensions were lifted and panelists and speakers were going to be sharing their raw experiences on their absolute lows and highs, showing us their journey in the path to success. As Millie puts it:
“This [was] a day of self-discovery and making connections in a space where women can be 100% themselves.
‘Your Authentic Life’ spark[ed] a conversation about what it actually means to live authentically – and the associated risks and rewards. Success is re-defined: not about faking it ‘till you make it or pushing through at all costs. It’s about moving forward at your own pace and courageously living your adventure on your own terms.”
The all-day event started with the incredibly charismatic MC Jenni Burke, who was so incredible and making everyone feel that this space was 100% safe and that all women could speak up without any judgment or fear. She opened everyone up and had our attention from the get-go. In order to prepare us for the long day ahead, an organized ‘Morning Glory’ meditation was offered by Lululemon Ambassador Tara Good, that took us through a guided meditation to connect us to our ‘authentic’ selves.
In the first Panel discussion, “Let’s talk about what’s authentic” – We heard from Christel Kennedy who spoke openly: “In times of adversity, is really when you find who you are. You get to your core and you realize what’s important in life and what your message is.” Alongside, blogger and influencer Sasha Exeter (@SoSasha), where she shared her struggle with chronic illness and she defied all odds to come back stronger than ever.
One after another women were brought together to talk about being their true selves and how they got to their journey – and what was fascinating was how unique and individually captivating each and every single woman was in her story and her delivery. One of the sponsor speakers, from Tease Tea, Christine (the dot connector), said it, “This is a safe space, if there’s any place where I’m going to give a speech and be vulnerable, it’s in this room.”
By the end of the day, I felt that each speaker, moderator, panelist, and event attendees showed absolute authenticity, realness and vulnerability and acceptance. I left feeling inspired and overwhelmed by the sheer capacity and magnitude of what we were left with leaving the event.
I personally can’t wait for next year’s Millie Speaks and are confident it’ll blow us away just like this one did. Thank you to everyone behind Millie Speaks.