Meet Joanna Waterfall, founder of The Yellow Conference

Meet Joanna Waterfall, founder of The Yellow Conferencefeatured

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of stumbling upon The Yellow Conference, a conference for women taking place later this year in LA. And the best part is I will actually be attending! So, inspired and excited about this event, I decided to have a little chat with the very talented and lovely event founder, Joanna Waterfall to find out how the conference came to be and what it takes to organise a beast such as this!

For those who don’t know or haven’t yet checked out the site, what exactly is The Yellow Conference, when is it and who is it for?

The Yellow Conference is a gathering for creative women who desire to ignite passion and spread good throughout the world. It’s for women who desire more than just a paycheck. They want to change the world, they want to change history, they want to use their gifts and talents to make the world a better place. They have ideas that may or may not be in motion yet. Maybe they’re super successful, maybe they are in a state where they lack motivation and need that push to become inspired again. Wherever these ladies are at- we come together under the desire to spread good throughout the world, in whatever large or small ways we can.

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We love hearing the backstories of ideas and how they grow, so how and when did this idea come about? In the shower while you were singing the hits of Cher (thats when we get our best ideas)?

So funny you mention the shower because that’s EXACTLY where this idea was born! haha- I heard someone once say we get our best ideas while doing the dishes and in the shower. Because that’s where we finally stop and slow down, and have nothing to do but reflect and think! When our minds are still is when the best ideas come!! Anyways, back to your question :) I had the opportunity to meet a few very talented women who were confidently using the gifts they had been given to lead and create businesses that were making this world a better place. I felt so inspired by these particular women and thought how cool it was to see examples women I wanted to be like. I thought how cool it would be to bring more women together, so we can all hear and be inspired and motivated by women like this? I got super excited about it and emailed my friend Ishmel, who created the Circles Conference I went to last summer. He fully supported me in my endeavours and offered to help me with the logistical conference things I knew nothing about! It was his confidence in me as well as the support of my awesome husband where I gathered the confidence to turn this idea into a reality.

We’re sure there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Would you care to share a little about what it has taken to get The Yellow Conference out in the big bad world?

The first step was finding speakers. Without speakers, you don’t have a conference! So I emailed some people I knew, and some I didn’t, asking them to be apart of this special event. I was floored by the response of these well known people, and how they were willing to come and speak at Yellow. I honestly had no idea what to expect. Once I had confirmed speakers I knew this could be something big. I created a website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram page and started talking about it! Once word started to spread on the interwebs, I started getting a flood of emails from women who were interested in the conference and wanted to know more. I was a bit overwhelmed as this is my first time doing anything like this! Right now we are busy planning away more logistical things, marketing plans, emailing potential sponsors, gathering items for swag bags, planning out the decor, the list goes on. There are a million things to do but I am loving working on something that I believe in so strongly and am excited about.

How did you select/find who would be speaking? Did people just offer organically or did you seek out certain creatives you thought people would gain inspiration from?

I emailed speakers who I have been inspired by in one way or another. Some of them I did know from being involved in the world of graphic design and social media for a few years, but others I knew would never know who I am. My goal was to find people who were genuine. I have been to women’s events before and I think one thing that I have noticed is how fake people can be in an environment like that. Women can get so insecure, and we think we need to be something we are not. I wanted to reach out to speakers who embraced who they were, had nothing to prove, and were simply living out their desires in a way that makes the world a better place.

What makes this conference different and stand out to you?

I want this conference to be different from most women’s events in the fact that we are coming together not only to empower women and inspire, but to also give practical advice on how to make your dreams a reality, how to practically spread good throughout living out your everyday lives. I think a lot of conferences talk about creativity and inspiration, but the fact that we are coming together under the umbrella of using those things to make the world a better place is very unique. We can’t begin to make changes until we are honest with ourselves and the world around us. I hope this conference can stand out as one where women feel as if they can honestly be themselves. Where we don’t feel like we need to come in with our defenses up, ready to prove how awesome and cool we are, rather we come into this with our guards down, ready to be real and genuine with each other with no judgement. It is then that we can actually encourage each other to get out there and use what you got to change the world.

Who has been your own personal inspiration/s and what is it about them that has got you all hot under the collar?

Gosh, throughout the years I’ve looked up to so many different men and women. I’m currently in the middle of the book “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist. She is the only author I can say that I’ve read all of her books cover to cover and left feeling so inspired by them. I’m not a huge reader, I get bored really fast, but Shauna keeps me interested. She embraces the everyday moments that we normally breeze by, and turns them into something magical. Whether they are sad or happy moments, Shauna knows how to embrace them and see the good in them. My goal is to have her come speak at Yellow someday!! Carlos Whittaker (who I am beyond excited to say is a speaker this year!!!) totally blew my mind last year when he spoke at Circles. He calls himself a “moment maker” and is another person who is able to take the everyday moments life is made of and turn them into something magical. I love that idea, because our lives are not defined by the huge events that happen to us, they are defined by the tiny moments which make up our days. Learning to embrace the tiny moments is learning to embrace life, and I feel like both of these people have really shown me that through their blogs, talks and books. There are about 1,293 more people who have inspired me throughout my life, but Shauna and Carlos are the two that come to mind in my more recent years!!

Do you have any long term plans for The Yellow Conference, nefarious or otherwise? World domination perhaps?

YES!!! I want The Yellow Conference to become so much more than just a conference. I would love for it to become a community of like minded, genuine women who can encourage, inspire and help each other fulfil their dreams. What that means in a practical sense, I’m still brainstorming. Taking it one step at a time. I’m going to see how this years conference does, and if I feel like it can be expanded and ran with, I’m going for it :)

If people want to get involved or attend, what should they do?

First, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can even like us on Facebook if you’re feeling super crazy. Next, check out our website and the amazing line up of speakers we have, and sign up!! We do have a limited amount of tickets, and the cost will go up mid-May, so be sure to sign up early. We’d also love for you to enter your email onto our email list so you can stay updated on what we’re up to! We would love to have you be apart of our network of like-minded women who are set out to change the world!! Thanks for having me!!

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The event is taking place at the Smoky Hollow Studios, 567 E. El Segundo Blvd, El Segundo, CA 90245 on the 28th & 29th of August. Book tickets here!

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