Last week I had the lucky chance to go to the Smart Girls Group Conference, the first annual one in fact. It was a two day conference but I only went to the first day. It was really something special to be able to go to the first conference of it's kind and see all these ambitious, intelligent, determined young women. 

I was definitely one of the oldest there, a lot of girls were in high school and in their mid years of college but it was still a rewarding experience.

If you don't know what Smart Girls Group is, it's an online community and magazine that helps young women reach their fullest potential. It gives us articles on real world news, career advice, college help, and all in between.

It was all started by Emily Raleigh but more on her later; she's a warrior, an incredible young women who made that conference happen, who made Smart Girls Group happen.

The conference started at 8 with registration, breakfast and a Smart Girl Expo with tables set up from the SGG Conference sponsors like Chole + Isabel, Onli Beverages, and others! It was really cool and great to see.

At 9:30am, we were welcomed by Emily and she is the most adorable, kindest and sweetest girl around. She was so inspiring and it was truly something special to watch her welcome us all to this conference that she put her heart and soul into.

Emily welcoming all of us smart girls!
From then on, we listened and were inspired by some great, successful women. There were speakers from Marie Claire, Forbes, KMPJ, Comcast, and many other corporations.

How to Achieve Your Dreams by 30 panel
Two of my favorite speakers had to be Shiza Shahid who is the CEO of the Malala Fund and Stephanie Ruhle who is the Editor at Large and Anchor of Bloomberg News. 

Shiza spoke about why she wanted to get involved with the Malala Fund and all the hardships girls in the Middle East and other 3rd World countries go through just to go to school. She spoke of Malala and her story as well. It was so inspiring, I had chills as Shiza spoke; I kind of wanted to cry but it sparked a real passion and fire in me. It was incredible.

Stephanie Ruhle was a real talker. She gave it to the audience straight, didn't skimp on the gory details and just told us what it was really like to be a woman in the financial media industry. She even got a little choked up on telling us about the sacrifices she's made for her family and friends in order to be successful.

The one thing that all the speakers had in common is that they were there to empower women and they did that well. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the speakers that just resonated with me in a powerful way.

We have to help one another do something that no one has ever done before- Stephanie Ruhle on women in the financial industry

Feminists sometimes have a very anti feminine brand-Stephanie Ruhle on feminism 

If Malala can survive, the world can be a better place-Shiza Shadid

Life takes you where it wants to take you and you have to keep your eyes open and be ready for the ride-Shiza Shadid

Don't let your to dos get in the way of your what ifs- Ashley from The Daily Candy

You have to take control of your own life and change your situation because no one can do that but you- D'Arcy Rudnay

See? How inspiring! When I left the conference all I felt like doing was going to save the world or something crazy like that.

Onli provided delicious, bubbly drinks for the whole conference
Along with the great speakers, we got an awesome goodie bag as well! What is a wonderful conference without some great, free swag?
Swag Bag :)
By far my favorite part of the gift bag was a Whitney English Day Designer. This is the ultimate planner for the inner entrepreneur in you and I've seen so many reviews on it, but $50 is a lot for a planner. That's why when I saw this, I legitimately freaked out. I'll do a separate post on the planner in coming days.

Also, I got an awesome Stella and Dot laptop case and wallet-so chic and cute!

Altogether, the SGG conference was a great experience. I was so happy to go, learn more about SGG and be inspired by the lovely women who were there.  

If you went to the conference, what was your favorite part? Are you involved in SGG in any way? I really want to get involved and I'm going to look into it because SGG is truly something special!

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