Black BeauTEA Talk // Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Where Brittney Goes from Here

Black BeauTEA Talk // Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Where Brittney Goes from Here

Behind the scenes, this column has been a part of a crazy journey for me this year. I began this year wanting to start my website and get serious about my makeup artistry business. “Getting serious” about my business meant going into bridal work. I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist and I wanted more than anything to make some real money, ahhkay?! Well, the year is coming to an end and guess how many real weddings I've booked?!! Zero, none, not a single real-life wedding have I booked, and I'm more than okay with that. The truth is that this year took me on such a wild ride that promoting myself as a bridal makeup artist took a back seat...I mean way back. Aside from Liz asking me to write for Catalyst, the staff at Catalyst also accepted my application to be a speaker at their conference! Yeah I know, they’re clearly as out there as I am, but it really happened (laughs). They booked me to come to Richmond, Virginia, to speak at {un}convention—they gave me a mic and everything. Brave people, I tell ya, but it was such an amazing experience, and information should be out soon about where you all can order the footage and watch from home! I’m still reeling from that conference and looking for the next opportunity that I can grab a mic and speak my speech. Until then though I have decided to follow my heart and do what I need to do for me.

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Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Lucy Baber

Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Lucy Baber

I started considering how I could give back to the community with my art. During the summer of 2016, I had this idea to take candid family photos of black fathers with their children, in an effort to change the negative media narrative that black fathers are all "deadbeat dads" and "criminals." I am proud to live in a very racially integrated area, and I realized that the amazing black fathers that I know just don't fit that narrative. I wanted to give them a voice—to offer a platform for them to tell their stories. And then of course, after the presidential election last year I felt an even stronger sense of urgency to get this message out. That's when my project "100 Black Dads" was officially launched.

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Meet Our {un}convention Intersectionality Panelists: Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography

 Meet Our {un}convention Intersectionality Panelists: Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography

If you're a fan of Catalyst, then it's likely you're no stranger to Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography. She is a member of our Advisory Board, as well as a contributor both of her photography and her writing. She recently wrote an article discussing the word "fat" and self-worth, and the role the wedding industry has played in perpetuating the ideal that body size and self-worth are somehow intertwined. 

Jaime will be joining us at {un}convention on Sunday, November 5, at Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia for our panel about the importance of intersectionality in the wedding industry. She will be joined by Tim Riddick and our editor, Liz Susong, as they explore how everyone's identity means that we all are affected by oppression in different ways at the points where the many facets of our identity intersect. 

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{un}convention profile // Claire McGowran of Bridal Musings

{un}convention profile // Claire McGowran of Bridal Musings

think the biggest change I’ve seen is in couples being more selective in the details they choose to focus on. When I started, it was the height of the Pinterest-worthy wedding. It felt like everyone needed to have a amazing ceremony backdrop and a unique table plan and cool centrepieces and a wow factor wedding cake—I think weddings have become a bit more simplified and focused.

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{un}convention profile // Meet Laura Babb of SNAP Photography Festival

{un}convention profile // Meet Laura Babb of SNAP Photography Festival

The lack of diversity, the lack of inclusivity and the bullshit (am I allowed to say that?!) propensity to revere some vendors as rock stars, while wholly ignoring the fact that we are all service providers with (what should be) the same aim of doing a brilliant job for our couples, is something that needs to change, and I feel that {un}convention, along with events like SNAP, which also aim to educate and support people in these areas, are a really brilliant first step towards change.  

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Flashback to the First {un}convention

Flashback to the First {un}convention

Before liz and carly were liz+carly, they were just two lone islands in a sea of chevron paper goods. Both otherwise practical people, their soft spot for photographing (carly) and coordinating (liz) lovely events brought them somewhat reluctantly into the dreaded Wedding Industrial Complex. They were surrounded by couples chasing the dragon of The Perfect Wedding (TM) and a vendor culture invested in keeping that carrot dangling. When they found each other, it was love at first sight. Together, they vowed to build a community for like-minded professionals straddling the line between participating in and critiquing weddings: {un}convention was born.

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

One of our favorite parts of (un)convention BROOKLYN was the three interactive stations! Our friend (and sponsor) Kristen Poissant was the leader of the Instagram Challenge Station, where she shared tips about styling for instagram and encouraged attendees to design and share images that captured the spirit of the evening. Scroll down to learn more about Kristen and see a bit of our challenge submissions!

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One week later: {un}convention BROOKLYN in photos

One week later: {un}convention BROOKLYN in photos

Woah, it's been a whole week already since #unconventionbk? YIKES! It seems like just yesterday we were wrapped in the beautiful, candle-lit cocoon of Atelier Roquette discussing representation, wedding space disruption, and how fucking delicious the food was. Want to get a sense for what the evening was like? Here are some shots by Betty Clicker Photography to help explain. Plus the group photo at the bottom by Justin McCallumWant to get involved with Catalyst but can't make it to (un)convention? Check out our brand-new Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Styled Shoot competition, Out of the Box

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

Brooklyn Dogwood and Catalyst go WAY back. In fact, Catalyst co-founder Carly and Brooklyn Dogwood owners Corinne and Margot went to the same ELEMENTARY school! And isn't it so delightful when people from your childhood turn out to be the most awesome, savvy, creative business owners? We can't wait to see their creations decorate the space at Atelier Roquette at (un)convention BROOKLYN tomorrow!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

Everyone in weddingland has heard of LOVERLY, the company that shook things up back in 2012 with their gorgeous and data-driven approach to connecting couples with wedding professionals. We're so excited that the CEO and Founder of Loverly, Kellee Khalil, will be one of our panelists at (un)convention BROOKLYN!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

We get inspired by something that's different. We were sick of seeing our instagram feed chock full of only white brides in floral crowns. We decided to start trends. What is the next floral crown? What can wedding style and beauty look like if it isn't featured with white heterosexual woman? How can we influence this?

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

Get your new logo, sweet website, or social media brand strategy ready, (un)convention attendees! At (un)convention you'll get a quick-and-dirty brand consult with some of the brightest branding experts in the industry. Meet one of them, Julia Lovallo

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

As event planners who specifically invite clients who might otherwise worry about discrimination, we're expanding the industry to meet with the 21st century.  There are so many couples now able to celebrate their unions equally, and we are ready to celebrate with them!  

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Katie Wannen

{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Katie Wannen

We have three more speakers for (un)convention BROOKLYN to brag about, and we're mega thankful to get to share space with and learn from these powerhouses. First, we'd like to introduce you to Katie of The Plannery, a DC-based wedding planner and coordinator who is firmly on Team Wedding Pants for Women. We couldn't agree more. 

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Menagerie!

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Menagerie!

Wedding professionals: have you been waiting for a platform that will help you showcase your work without dumb fees? Join Menagerie today (it's FREE) to connect with clients, gain access to free business tools and resources, and show off your skills! Not sure yet? You'll be able to meet Tiffany, the founder and CEO of Menagerie, at (un)convention BROOKLYN!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Hoopla! Events

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Hoopla! Events

In addition to our panelists at (un)convention BROOKLYN, we had several incredible sponsors that are doing some amazing f*cking work. In the weeks leading up to the event, you'll be able to learn more about them! Tickets are going fast, so get on it! 

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(un)convention BROOKLYN Panelist: H&H Weddings

(un)convention BROOKLYN Panelist: H&H Weddings

When we started planning (un)convention Brooklyn, we reached out to all our industry heroes to see if any of them would be willing to join us at our weird hybrid workshop + networking + cocktail party + brainstorming session. This week, we're excited to announce that some of them said yes! We are going to pack a ridiculous amount of learning, laughing, and sass into our 5-hour event December 2. Here's more info about one of our favorites, Kate Schaefer of H&H Weddings

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{un}convention is heading west!

{un}convention is heading west!

When Liz and I created {un}convention, we knew there would be other places in the US (and around the world) where the typical wedding industry crap wasn't gonna fly -- and where {un}convention could flourish! The November event in Richmond, VA was a hit in so many ways, it seemed greedy to keep it all to ourselves on the east coast!

So we're thrilled to announce that {un}convention Spring 2015 will take place in Fort Collins, Colorado on April 18! 

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