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Spark & Hustle – Day One


Tory Johnson's Spart & Hustle

Last week I attended Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle in Atlanta.  Here were my highlights:

First of all, she looks just like she does on TV.  Flawless skin, perfect hair, the whole nine yards.  I was impressed.  She also made it a point to to talk to everyone at the conference.

My question to her was simple “I’m having trouble getting national media.  What can I do?”  After some discussion she had some wonderful advice.  1.  Focus on my big local market – Atlanta.  (Sorry Charleston, I wish we could be called “big”.) and 2. Concentrate on selling out during the Christmas season.

I also told her how I was uncomfortable doing press because while I wanted reporters to focus on the bags, many of them wanted to focus on me.  She said something that will still with me.  “It doesn’t matter if it makes you uncomfortable, it matters what is best for the business.”

Shameeka Ayers

Shemeeka Ayers
You may remember Shameeka has the founder of the conference I went to last January – Lavish!  She was back in action at Spark & Hustle with her presentation “You Too Can Be a Kardashian: Make Your Brand a Household Name.”

Shameeka is living, breathing example of a great brand herself.  (If you follow her on twitter you know all about side eyes and church waves.)  My favorite point was that you need to “get yourself a junkyard dog” to protect your brand.  For the Kardashians, that person is Kris Jenner.  If you’re in start-up land, YOU have to be the junkyard dog.

Also, I’ll never forget her imitating Kim Kardashian walking into a room to “This is Why I’m Hot”.  Seriously.  I may or may not be listening to that song right now.


Alicia Rittenhouse
Besides that fact that Alicia and I have the same name, I liked her immediately when she sat at my table.  Her magenta (Alesya Bag Pink) highlights seemed to make her look more professional.  No easy feat.

She talked to us about why we needed to be more active on LinkedIn.  I actually believed her.  Also, she made me see how really capable and even amazing virtual assistants can be.  Maybe I need one?

Vanessa Wilson
Even though people love the video of the Alesya Bag, I hate being on video myself.  I can hardly watch it.  The whole thing makes me feel very vulnerable.

But Vanessa – with her energy, passion and funny frankness – made me realize I’ve got to get over my feelings and start doing more videos.  She was hand picked by YouTube as one of their new stars.  Whether you like crafts or not, check out her video channel and I think you’ll see why.


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5 Responses to “Spark & Hustle – Day One”

  1. What a great recap! And I’m so bummed I never made it over to say hi in person!! Next time 🙂

  2. Teresa says:

    I need to stay on top of these conferences, I’ve gotten so lazy and out of touch. Great to hear about this one! Thanks for sharing. And Miss Shameeka looks great.

  3. Ebony says:

    Good review. I wish I could have made the conference. I will take the tip from Shameeka on getting that “junkyard dog”. I love reading her tweets. She is truly an inspiration.

  4. So glad to have met at Spark and Hustle, but so wish we would have had more time. You must come back to Atlanta and spend some more time with MySkinConcierge Ava and The Broke Socialite Shameeka Ayers.

    Don’t forget to see this wonderful post of my travels and a great chance to win a contest from in honor of Spark and Hustle attendees!


  5. hi Aleysa — I am just seeing this now! what a great description of our first day! Your bags are awesome — in fact, the purple one is on my wish list! I cannot wait to see you succeed – Rachel

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