Launch Your Creativity Blog

Guest Speakers

I'm so excited to share with you the wonderful guest speakers for this year's event on April 25-26, 2014!

You simply won't believe what these amazing women have to say! Your heart will be blessed.
Sunday Hendrickson
Sunday Hendrickson is one the most sought out stylists and photographers for home decor magazines and books in the country. Just name a magazine and she's probably produced a gorgeous layout for it. Her career has spanned 29+ years and she has branded herself as an expert on turning the simplest of items into a stunning presentation.  Sunday will share stories from the road less traveled and encourage you in your creative pursuit.

Melissa Bolton
Branding Expert.Wordsmith
My drive and passion for success began at an early age. I could rock a lemonade stand like no one’s business. These entrepreneurial roots undoubtedly assisted in spearheading a student organization on campus as a freshman, to becoming a million dollar producer my first year in sales at age 23, and a vice president at a Top 5 brokerage firm by 27 and be confident enough to turn in my briefcase for a diaper bag and retire from the standard world of work at age 30. I loved being home with my kiddos (still do!), but like many of you, I couldn’t silence the call for a creative outlet. I needed something to call my own.
Following a life long love of antiques and a knack for finding treasures in the most unlikely of places, I began a small boutique called Adored Before. I learned to appreciate the value creating beautiful art from yesteryear’s castoffs, turning trash into treasure (and cash!) with my own two hands. My business was profitable from the very first year, in part due to my (low-cost and no-cost) marketing efforts and having unwittingly created something that resonated with my audience.
Businesses don’t succeed by luck alone. Always inquisitive, I dug deep to see what I was doing that seemed to be working and where I was stuck. It all came back to branding. I shared my story authentically, developed a unique selling proposition, positioned my brand and the niche came to me.
In the past couple of years I began to venture outside the artisan world into creativity of another sort. I have always reveled at the power of words. I was the weird kid who had a dictionary under my bed and learned as many new words as I could before I drifted off to sleep. And I’ve loved to read from as far back as I can remember, and not just dictionaries. Even today, I read between one and five books a week. I can’t help myself. There’s so much to devour in literature. So when all of the words, thoughts and ideas I’d been collecting needed to be shared. Writing was a natural progression.  I flexed my creative mind and ventured down a new and uncertain path. I began Designher Brands in April 2010, offering copywriting, consulting, encouragement and resources for women in small business. A perfect combination of left brain structure and drive and right brain spontaneity and creativity. The following year I converted Designher Brands into my eponymous brand, Melissa Bolton, Ink.
Having branded and helped launch dozens of new businesses, I began to see the need for a service of another sort. When I finished with a client and sent them off on their merry way to build their business, I began to notice a trend. They were spending money on advertising but not on branding. And they struggled. A lot. They didn’t realize that they had it backwards. I related to these women and felt the need to share some of the things I learned along the way about successful small business ownership. Everything I preached all came back to one thing. Successful branding. I still run a successful business at Melissa Bolton Ink, and that won’t change. Revolutionary Branding serves a different clientele. The client who needs the whole shabang. The one who is dead-serious about getting down to the heart of business planning through branding.
Branding is about more than words, though. It’s pictures, imagery they’ll remember. I don’t claim to be a jack of all trades and while I greatly appreciate beautiful graphics and the art and talent involved in creating that, I leave that part to the visual branding expert. Someone who has been in business beautifying the web for over a decade perfecting the art of coding. 
Cynthia Thompson Shaffer
Cynthia has authored, Stash Happy Patchwork  and Stash Happy Applique, (Lark Crafts) that are being sold everywhere books are sold and on Amazon. I have 1 book that I co-authored with Jenny Doh, Serge It, (also Lark Crafts), due out April 1, 2014 but available for pre-order on Amazon. I am currently designing and making projects for my 4th book! I have photographed 25+ books in the past 4 years and am currently photographing 3 more books. I have contributed art to 30+ books and magazines, including cover art for 9. 

I started sewing as a kid, like 6 years old. Santa brought me a little tiny sewing machine for Christmas one year and that pretty much shaped the rest of my life. Soon after, I was knitting, crocheting, oil painting and well, you name it, I've tried it!

Way back when ... before I was married, I owned and manufactured a multi-million dollar line of sportswear that was sold world wide ... including Nordstrom! A few years after I was married, the kids came along and soon I realized that I could not do it all and be good at it all. I like to be good at what I do. So, we, my business partner and I closed our doors. Life changed at that point, but I do not regret for a single day being home with my kids while they were young! 

Upon meeting Cynthia you will feel like you've known her forever. Her warm outlook and can do attitude will give you the courage to tackle your dreams. Visit her here for Inspiration.

Lidy Baars
Antique Dealer.Stylist
As a little girl growing up in Europe, Lidy Baars developed a love for antiques with patina and charm at the home of her grandparents. Her passion for discovering the beauty of forgotten treasures led to a a career as an antique dealer, her fabulous "eye" for quality and her ability to uncover antique and vintage gems has earned Lidy a loyal following of clients who rely on her for their vintage decor and 
style. After years in the trade, in 2007 she opened FrenchGardenHouse, online, to showcase her expansive collection of elegant, one-of-a-kind items from the late 1800's through the early 20th century. Sprinkled in with all the antiques are a few French themed new lines, as well as artist designed jewelry and gifts.

A romantic at heart, Lidy seeks out special, quality "finds" to delight and entice her customers, as well as many one-of-a-kind or limited quantity art or decorative "fun" pieces she designs herself. She has an art degree, and has worn many different hats in her professional career, managing retail stores at the young age of 19, then going on to designing and creating luxury decor accessories, designing custom florals, and working as an interior designer.

Lidy's attention to detail, and her vision of how antiques mixed with contemporary pieces can transform a home into a cozy haven is what sets FrenchGardenHouse apart., as well as Lidy's own home, has been featured in many national magazines. Lidy has written and photographed several published articles relating to antiques, as well as decorating, and hospitality.

Lidy lives near the ocean in California with her husband, John, and their labrador puppy Bentley. The mother of two daughters, now a grandmother of three most adorable grandchildren, she loves nothing more than when her home is filled to the brim with her family. When not working in her office, or traveling far and near to fleamarkets and antique fairs to gather new heartwarming finds, you can find her creating something with glitter and glue, out with her friends enjoying life, or curled up in a cozy chair near the fire reading a good mystery.


Lidy Baars

Un Objet de Beaute est une joie pour toujours.

*Lidy will be sharing from her heart about the ins and outs of running a business, finding inspiration and her personal success story. You will be blessed by her tremendous insight.

Christine Rose Elle
Stylist.Author.Wellbeing Expert

Christine Rose Elle is a writer, stylist and well-being expert. After twenty years of enduring an ongoing stress related illness, she walked away from a successful career as a designer and wardrobe stylist to pursue a dream. She sold her three bedroom home and five closets of Betsey Johnson clothing to live la dolce vita in Rome, Italy. Her quest for radiant well-being and personal growth has continued ever since she downsized to two suitcases.

She now lives in Los Angeles with her beloved husband and two dogs where is writes daily from her clutter-free pink office, and is happy to say her illness has been dormant since she made the pursuit of serenity her number one priority.

She is a self-proclaimed glamour girl, but her idea of glamour is not what you wear on the outside, but how sparkly you feel on the inside. She is currently working on her first book The Sparkling Self: A Glamour Girls’ Guide to Well-being. She shows a step-by-step process for her readers to recognize their true talents and share them with others in a way that is meaningful.

She writes about well-being and how to live a radiant lifestyle for her website and is a featured blogger on In addition, her how-to articles have been published in several magazines.

It is her life’s purpose to listen deeply to the world, continue to grow, and to be inspired by others.

Her motto: “Everything you need for inner sparkle is already within.”

She loves polka dots and peep toed shoes, and has been known to sigh wistfully when in the presence of anything by Kate Spade or Valentino.

Career Highlights
-School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Fashion design, art history.
-Accademia Italiana
Costume design, Italian language.
·      Designed a line of clothing for several small Chicago boutiques, and participated in runaway fashion shows.
·      Worked for designer Betsey Johnson
·      Windows and mannequin styling for Nordstrom.
·      Wardrobe styling for commercials, print, film.
·      Photo stylist.
·      Wardrobe consultant for individual clientele.
·      Instructor of different themed workshops.
·      Fashion designer.
·      Jewelry designer.
·      Window designer.
·      Artist.
·      Illustrator.
·      Writer.
·      Wellbeing expert.
Don't miss the opportunity to unleash your inner glamour girl and define your own personal style with Christine's contagious bubbly outlook on life!

Jenny Doh

Jenny Doh is Founder of — like a magazine but daily like a newspaper, featuring fresh and creative content from artists within all genres, coupled with their stories that highlight the power of art in our lives. Jenny serves regularly as keynote speaker across the nation to deliver messages related to creative passion, leadership, communication, and compassion. Prior to CRESCENDOh, Jenny worked for six years as Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for Somerset StudioBelle Armoire, and its many sister publications.

Jenny is an author and packager of books. To date, she has created the following books:
·       Creative Lettering (2013)
·       Journal It! (2012)
·       We Make Dolls (2012)
·       Hand in Hand (2012)
·       Creative Pilgrimage
·       Signature Styles
·       Art Saves
·       Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration (co-author)

Discover all of her current and future books here on Amazon

For her leadership in publishing, Jenny was recognized by Folio magazine as one of the top 40 leaders within the publishing industry.

In 1995, Jenny received her Masters in Social Welfare from UCLA and then worked for seven years as a social worker in child protective services in Orange County, California. Jenny received her undergraduate degree in political science from UC Irvine and has served as President of UC Irvine’s Alumni Association.

Jenny and her husband raise their two children, Monica and Andrew, in Santa Ana, California. She loves to knit and crochet, stay fit, practice archery, and play the cello.
To learn more, visit

Debi Ward Kennedy
Writer . Stylist . Designer

Debi Ward Kennedy, is a writer, stylist, and designer whose work has appeared in FOLK Magazine, Somerset Life, Vintage Indie, design*sponge, Country Business, and many other retail and lifestyle publications. Deb contributed a regular decorating column to FOLK Magazine for every issue of its inaugural year.
While she has been a writer since early in her life, Deb began her design career in Anaheim, California when she discovered retail visual merchandising at the age of 13 on Main Street USA in Disneyland. Over 35+ years in the retail industry, she has worked as a retail stylist and store designer for many corporate and independent merchant clients, including Washington state wine industry luminaries Chateau Ste. Michelle, Hogue, and Columbia Wineries. Her design talents have also been utilized by major gift shows where Deb has presented seminars and created exhibitor displays, and the Gift and Home Channel, for whom she produced an educational video series.

Having earned a solid reputation for creating high-impact theatrical displays in the vintage industry, Deb has participated as a vendor in the Farm Chicks, Remnants of the Past, and BarnHouse shows. Her former business, Retreat, and the Retreat Vintage Market shows she hosted in Washington State, have been featured in lifestyle magazines.

Now located in Southern California, Deb has redefined her professional and personal focus in 2012. She is sharing her experience in creating affordable seasonal decorative effects on her new blog, HOMEWARDfound, as well as through freelance contributions to Creating Vintage Charm Magazine, FOLK Magazine, and other publications.

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