Featured Speakers 2019
Joy Cho is a graphic designer, blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder and Creative Director of the lifestyle brand, Oh Joy!, known for the whimsy, color, and unexpected twists on the everyday. She has authored three books and consulted for hundreds of businesses around the world. Oh Joy creates a wide range of licensed products including home décor, baby & nursery, pet, travel, and furniture collections all of which are housed in the OhJoy.com shop. Looking to support self-starters like herself, the Oh Joy! e-commerce platform also features a curated collection of happy and unique accessories, art, and home décor products. For two years in a row, Joy was named one of Time’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet and has the most followed account on Pinterest with almost 13 million followers.
Author, illustrator, professional memory-keeper and self-professed confetti addict, when it comes to parties, there isn’t much that Darcy Miller won’t celebrate. Over the course of more than twenty years as the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, and now as editor-at-large, Darcy has become a leading celebrations expert. She is the author and illustrator of CELEBRATE EVERYTHING! (William Morrow, 2016), her second book, in which she shares her tips, inspirations and favorite parties. She is also the author of OUR WEDDING SCRAPBOOK (William Morrow, 2004). Known for her ingenuity, creativity, and distinctive drawings, Darcy is committed to making life a celebration and is known for throwing a party you’ll never forget—and creative ways to document it so that you’ll remember it forever. Darcy believes in finding a reason to celebrate all of life’s moments, from the everyday to your biggest day. Though she’s worked on parties in every size, style and budget, her favorite fêtes are the ones she’s hosted for her husband and three daughters at home in New York City.
Mandi Gubler is the DIY genius behind Vintage Revivals. Vintage Revivals has been named best DIY blog by Apartment Therapy, BHG, and domino and regularly works with brands like Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams. She lives in Southern Utah with her husband Court and 3 kids in a partially renovated mercantile store.
Emily McDowell is a writer, illustrator, and entrepreneur who specializes in chronicling the human condition. In 2012, she launched Emily McDowell Studio, making “greeting cards for the relationships we really have.” The brand’s cards and gifts are sold online at emilymcdowell.com and in nearly 2,000 stores worldwide. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, BBC News, and NPR's All Things Considered, among many others, and in 2015, she was named one of Slate's 10 Designers Who Are Changing the World. Emily’s first book, There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love, co-authored with Dr. Kelsey Crowe, was released in January 2017. In 2018, Emily McDowell Studio merged with Knock Knock and People, Places and Things (formerly Sisters of Los Angeles) to create The Who’s There Group: one company housing three distinct brands. Emily now serves as equity partner and SVP of strategy at The Who’s There Group, while remaining creative director/founder of Emily McDowell Studio.
Amber Kemp-Gerstel is the creative and crafty girl behind Damask Love - a top DIY blog. She is also a television personality, on air craft expert and most recently a finalist on Season One of NBC's Making It - a crafting competition show hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. Amber left her career as a child psychologist to pursue her passion for crafting and inspiring the maker in each of us. Since leaving, she's found success in building her own brand as a recognized resource for creative inspiration. She's also partnered with brands like JOANN, Canon, Martha Stewart and Toyota, all in her mission to make DIY feel more doable!
Ellen Bennett is the Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, the LA-based apron and culinary lifestyle brand she started in 2012 at age 24 that can now be seen in 6,000+ restaurants/cafes/coffee shops around the world; in national retailers including Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Nordstrom; and worn by celebrity chefs + tastemakers such as Dave Chang, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Kristen Kish, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Martha Stewart. Bennett was working as a line cook at two Los Angeles restaurants when she noticed the stale look and poor quality of the aprons everyone in the kitchen wore daily. Despite having no formal design or business experience, she was inspired to reimagine the ubiquitous apron, and create a better-looking, chef-approved product that would impart pride and dignity on all who wore them. Bennett grew her #ApronSquad one member at a time by using her larger than life personality to meet and convert the most established restaurants and best chefs in the country. As this community of chefs began to grow, so did Bennett’s desire to outfit not just the professional chef, but the home cook as well, with all the gear needed to look and feel amazing in the kitchen. Eventually quitting her jobs at the both restaurants, Bennett grew the Hedley & Bennett operation from a 2,000 square foot office space in downtown LA to a 16,000 sq. ft, vertically-integrated production facility, showroom and event space - affectionately known as “Apron HQ.” A creative at heart, Bennett has always been eager to lock arms with fellow creators, and to collaborate in out-of-the box ways - her intuition and approach has led to collaborations with Rifle Paper Co., Vans, (RED) and more. In 2018, in collaboration with Samsung, Bennett built a state-of-the-art Test Kitchen Studio within the apron factory for hosting cookbook parties, chef demos or dinners, cooking classes, cocktail classes, conferences, corporate parties and retreats, brand activations, and video + photo content.
Bennett's story has been featured in Fast Company, Inc., Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, the Today Show and more. She lives in Echo Park with her fiancé and pet pig Oliver.
CYNDIE SPIEGEL is an outspoken Brooklyn-based speaker [who sometimes drops the F-bomb casually and also uses words like “manifesting” and “belonging”], community builder [she builds the diverse communities that she couldn’t find out in the wild] and all-around executive truth teller on a mission to empower women to live more boldly, refine their mind-sets for good, and help them realize their most ridiculously inspired dreams. Her unique blend of straight talk, relatability, sass, and powerful inspiration has made her a sought after facilitator and keynote speaker. She has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Glamour Magazine, Teen Vogue, and The Huffington Post. Cyndie is a yogi, thought-provoking supporter of women, former fashion industry veteran and adjunct professor. Her first book, A Year of Positive Thinking, debuts in December 2018. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her photographer husband and two overly particular cats.
Jordan Ferney is the founder and Chief Happy Officer at Oh Happy Day, a design and party website known for its original and fun DIY projects and party ideas. Jordan has been featured in Time Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset Magazine, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, Budget Living, and Anthology Magazine. In 2017, Jordan created a large scale experiential art project with friends called Color Factory.
Brittany Watson Jepsen is the founder and creative director of the award-winning, The House That Lars Built, a craft and design website focused on artful living. With its whimsical DIY tutorials and colorful design, her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Today Show, Vogue, CNN, Country Living, Martha Stewart and many more. She is the author of Craft the Rainbow: 40 Colorful Paper Projects and just released a new shop featuring souvenirs of the royal wedding. She is the new mother of a baby boy and lives in Provo, Utah with her Danish husband.
Karen Walrond is an attorney, author, leadership coach, and a sought-after keynote speaker. She has spoken extensively on leadership, ethics, diversity and inclusion at multinational corporations, universities, legal organizations and many other diverse audiences around the country. She's a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, trained in Brené Brown's work on vulnerability, courage, empathy and worthiness, and has trained in positive psychology coaching with Wholebeing Institute. Her keynotes and workshops often illustrate how vulnerability -- the ability to show up in the midst of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure -- is the strongest measure of courage that we have, and helps foster innovation and creativity. She is the creative mind behind the award-winning website Chookooloonks.com, an inspirational source for living with intention, creativity, and adventure. Her work has been featured on CNN.com, USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Wondertime magazines, among others. Her bestselling book, The Beauty of Different, is a chronicle of imagery and portraiture, combined with written essays and observations on the concept that what makes us different makes us beautiful -- and may even be the source of our superpowers. She has appeared on both local & national television and other news media, including PBS, Huffington Post, CNN.com and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Rachel Faucett is the founder of Handmade Charlotte, mom to five awesome children, and Alt Summit lover. The family focused site has been featured in hundreds of publications worldwide. Her collections for Anthropologie + Pottery Barn earned rave reviews and she was recently named in the Top 100 Most Creative People In The Country 2018. She can’t wait to meet you and Love you!
A nine-time Emmy®-nominated children’s television producer, Halle leads the Company’s development and production of all television, home entertainment and digital media in animated and live-action formats. She is currently in production on the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and the second season of Doozers, a CG-animated preschool series inspired by the wildly popular characters from the classic Henson series Fraggle Rock. Additionally, she is also developing a new animated children’s television series based on the popular female action figures by IAmElemental and an untitled children’s series based on children’s books from Al Yankovic. Stanford co-authored a book series, Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters, a collection of fantastical comedy-adventure stories for girls published by Bloomsbury and currently in series development with Cyber Group Studios. Stanford lives in Los Angeles with her sons Max and Theo.
Elle Rowley is the founder + CEO of baby carrier company Solly Baby and co-founder of children's clothing line ARQ. Elle made the first Solly Baby wrap in 2011 in the sewing nook of a little house in Salt Lake City after the birth of her second child and has grown it to where it is today, a multi-million dollar globally recognized and award-winning brand, featured in Vogue, Parents Magazine, and Martha Stewart Baby. Solly Baby is a favorite of celebrity moms from Anne Hathaway to Ayesha Curry. Elle and her husband and business partner, Jared, live in San Diego with their four children.