Our first Poppy & Quill retreat was a surreal mash up of ideas, mad love for one another and our earth, and epic creativity. I can't believe it actually happened. I suppose it did because there's a ton of photographic evidence, but months later, I'm still pinching myself. The souls who gathered together in this sacred space did not arrive to be with us by accident and the relationships that were formed here will last a lifetime. We were so in love with being in the moment that our photo-taking duties were slightly off track as we didn't even get a photo of Kelley and I together, along with missing a bunch of other things. That's what happens when you passionately throw an event together in a month and a half.
Backtrack a bit...Kelley and I weren't even sure we were going to host this retreat because we weren't sure if we had enough time to plan everything we envisioned. But then a little message came in from a friend saying "I hear you're planning a retreat. I'm sending you a dollar via Venmo right now. That's my deposit. I want in." Soooooo, there was our first attendee - we HAD to do it...and it was truly everything our hearts dreamed up and more.
Blackberry Ranch provided a serene and beautiful space to share, dive deep, and create together. Attendees climbed into cozy beds in one of the rooms in the main Victorian house or in individual cabins nestled throughout the property. Our beautiful and magical shamanic healer Jen Chen led us in a workshop on co-creation honoring our relationship with Mother Nature, with ourselves, and with each other - along with individual energy and card work, which magnified all of our experiences in the most beautiful of ways. After our morning cups of coffee from Plank, Casey of Mini Mint Yoga led us in gentle and intentional movements in the morning sunlight while Danville Cheese Company and Heidi West Catering nourished our bodies so we could be at our best. Attendees had individual portrait sessions with Kelley and I - these sessions can be so powerful and transformative, often ending in deep emotional release (not just for the person being photographed, but for us as well). Our floral designer Kathy, The Flower Theory, had left magic all over the property that we incorporated into these sessions, all looking very different based on what each individual was feeling at the time. Honoring YOUR experience and finding a beautiful way to tell your story is of the utmost importance to both Kelley and I and sharing this intimate time of creation is so humbling.
We had several other photographers attend this first retreat, so we did offer a styled shoot for this one. In the future, our soul retreats will not be geared towards photographers or artists, but open to all women as we want every woman in the universe to feel the way we have felt after attending retreats like this ourselves. Life altering doesn't begin to cover it.
Kathy created the most incredible backdrop for our mother-daughter sunset shoot. It was truly incredible and we went back the next day to simply sit in the space and breathe in the beauty again. Our mother daughter model team were perfect for this vision and what an evening it was; a beautiful gift for the mother's 60th birthday, which fell on the day before.
On our final morning together, Dr. Trace James led us in a yoga nidra exercise, connecting our mind to our bodies. Saying goodbye was hard and tearful but we know the bonds created are strong. Thank you so much to the beautiful creatures that made this time so beautiful and meaningful. We cannot wait to do it again in 2022.
So. Much. Love.
event | Poppy & Quill
venue | Blackberry Ranch
shamanic healing | Jen Chen
floral designer | The Flower Theory
charcuterie | Danville Cheese Co.
catering | Heidi West Catering
wine | Clos du Val
yoga | Mini Mint Yoga
yoga nidra | Dr. Trace James
coffee | Plank Coffee
crystal offerings | Green Goddess Essentials
personal branding offerings | Ms. Heather Piazza
candles | F and R Candles
beauty counter offerings | Joanna Whitely