Sustainable Soirees 2016 Kick-Off Event

1 years ago

Sustainable Startups' Program Manager, Katia Racine, welcomes everyone to the event. 

Thank you so much to all the amazing people who attended our first Sustainable Soiree of the year! We are humbled by the community support for this program and excited to compile everyone's feedback in order to start planning the rest of the year. 


Cat Palmer discusses social media marketing strategies. 

If you missed it, we welcomed Cat Palmer as our first featured speaker of the year. Cat is an award winning photographer who started out 21 years ago photographing homeless people in Los Angeles. She moved from Orange County to Utah 15 years ago and fell in love with Salt Lake City. 12 years ago she transitioned from being a hobby photographer to being professional and 7 years ago she went full time. Every news station and local publication has covered or featured her photography and art exhibits. She is known for the social and political movements she does, specifically empowering women. She spoke to the group and answered questions about the challenges of starting a business and how to market your business through social media, including tips on engaging your audience, the content of your posts, and how in certain circumstances it isn't important to try and make everyone like you - as long as they're talking about you. 


After Cat facilitated the discussion, we opened up the night for more food and drink, networking and feedback from the community. We've compiled the answers that attendees posted up around the room here below. 

What does it mean to be a woman in Utah? The world?

  • “It means you can have a feminine side and still know how to use powertools. It means being real and raw and unafraid of BULLSHIT. It means working 10x as hard and 10x as long and doing it ALL and doing it well. BE A BADASS.
  • Utah - Opportunity to be unique; Independence; Pressure to succeed in career and family. World – Disadvantaged; Pressure to be a good caretaker
  • It means the same thing worldwide – we’re emerging, embracing the divine feminine and taking back out power
  • When I was growing up a wife and mother. Now: whatever I want.
  • Inspiring through embodiment and emotion.
  • Men (especially legislators) seem to think being a woman involves pies & baby-making
  • I feel a huge shift of empowerment happening, especially with feminine energy. It’s time we put out passions into action and create ABUNDANCE!

What is the biggest struggle you face in achieving your dreams?

  • Staying focused.
  • Not moving the goal posts. Staying on the same dream.
  • Confidence and support network.
  • The call of everyday … chores, etc. TIME.
  • Money. Confidence.
  • $
  • Finance. Learning curve. Future family. Discrimination. Lack of mentors. Being a little introvert. Organization.
  • Myself. Really nothing. I can and will.
  • Time, money, believing that I can be successful doing what I love.
  • My own doubts and financial backing.
  • Self-doubt. Lack of discipline. Ineffective time management.
  • Realizing that you CAN do it. It’s scary and a lot of work. But possible.
  • My biggest struggle is finally realizing that my dreams are NOT BIG ENOUGH. I will “womanifest” my success and I WILL be a trendsetter and leader in my industry!!
  • Fear and Money. Being indecisive.

What topics and themes would you like to see at Soirees? Who would you want to speak or facilitate discussions?

  • More on effective social engagement and social change
  • Marketing and promotions in 2016 via social media and other “new” platforms. Not old school advertising; How to start a successful non-profit that piggy backs on our other business.
  • Environmental issues would be great to discuss.
  • Empowerment; Entrepreneur tips; Women leaders
  • Group work sessions where people are available to “help” one another on projects.
  • Web marketing; referred networking.
  • Like tonight, motivational; sustainability; supportive ways to achieve goals.
  • How to determine what your work is worth in $$ terms.
  • How about “what is sustainability”? Sustainable personally? Environmentally? It’s a buzzword that attracts attention, but is it just marketing or is it really a different thing that will make a difference?
  • Yoga, finding balance in life, empowerment, marketing, support in the community
  • Story; speak about one’s work
  • Ways to connect; workshops; life balance; STORY TELLING!; how to recruit a team
  • I would love to learn about how to business plan. Also useful programs(?) for project management. And presenting business ideas to potential investors. Great event! Thanks!
  • Community give back. Ex: Hana Janatova (Mundi)
  • Those who have failed; those who have succeeded; no gender specific speakers
  • Story telling/experience; mentorship; time management; inspiration; finances

What brought you here? What do you hope to get from this community?

  •  A friend invited me, I invited others
  • Have lots of ideas/talents, need focus
  • What I hope to get – inspiration, support, food, fun, teamwork, collaboration, feedback. Why I’m here – to connect with like-minded people
  • Networking and learn something new, get inspired
  • Inspiration, meeting women who have idea and help support others
  • Community! Love/support/inspiration
  • Meet like-minded and other-minded women. Learn and have fun.
  • Facebook page. I’m not sure … I’m a scientist and natural resource manager, not an “entrepreneur.” I guess I’m hoping to share what I know about the environment and ecology – to promote true “sustainability.”
  • A friend (who didn’t come!) invited me. She knows about my dreams and wants to have a “fan club” and support for me.
  • My friend Laura, and I’d like to network.
  • This is only a block from my office. I am interested in greater localization so I wanted to meet some neighbors.

Which of these words most describes you: entrepreneur/future entrepreneur; 9-5 professional; artist/artisan; student; mother; other?

  • 9 to 5 professional; full time volunteer/activist
  • Artisan (woodworking, gardening, landscape design); Scientist, government (“gummint”) employee; Passionate outdoorswoman; Future retiree, free to pursue other interests.
  • Entrepreneur; mom; artist; student of life; BADASS
  • Mother with big dreams
  • I am an extraordinary creative progressive woman of many talents
  • Entrepreneur; mother; student; artisan; gardener
  • Future entrepreneur, mother, student, teacher, artist, goddess, healer, friend
  • Entrepreneur, writer, guide
  • Entrepreneur, performer
  • 9-5 professional AND entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneur, artist
  • 9-5 professional, aspiring entrepreneur
  • Future entrepreneur, teacher, violin teacher

What sort of food and drinks would you like to have at Soirees? Do you prefer family friendly, 18+, 21+, or a variety? 

  • BOOZE! :)
  • Adult enviro. 21+
  • Drinks: 21+ beer. Food: food truck food.
  • Also booze!
  • Wine
  • Beer, fruit, and veg
  • Wine & beer (So 21+?)
  • Wine helps lubricate!
  • Family is fine/open for any
  • Snacks, food truck, alcohol. Any age.
  • Local brews or homebrew, water, ice tea :)
  • 21+ adults only
  • 21+
  • Definitely appreciate wine or cocktails. Type of food tonight was great! Adults only.
  • All ages. Snacks. Wine
  • I like varying. I like having time away from kids, but don’t mind if they’re here. But I love booze.

Any known organizational conflicts? Schedule preferences?

  • Thursdays are great! Set day each month.
  • As a full time entrepreneur, I have much more flexibility weekday day time then weekends and evenings.
  • Set day of the month.
  • This is a great time and day … or any weekday.
  • Set day.
  • Set a day of the week.
  • Switch it up! (but always a week day). Mon – Thurs or Sun.
  • Set day.
  • Changing the day each month gives more people with schedule conflicts a chance to attend, just schedule it a month in advance so we can plan best?
  • Set day/month
  • Set day, Weds or Fridays (& since we’re right downtown we can go clubbing after!)
  • The Bee


If you weren't able to attend last night, or if you just forgot to put up your post-it notes, leave us a comment below with your answers to the questions above, or with comments/suggestions for the year. 


Attendees mingle after the group discussion. 

Once again, thank you to Cat Palmer for speaking and for everyone who attended. If you missed this month's meeting, be sure to follow our facebook page for updates on future events and information about joining the email list.