1 Guests arrived at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 8, and took their seats for the 2014 American Made Summit after enjoying a delicious breakfast. We had a full day of talks, panels, and conversations planned.
2 And the stage was set.
3 MSLO CEO Dan Dienst began the day with a warm welcome to all of our Summit attendees. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
4 The first panel of the day was “The Building of a Brand” featuring the jewelry company, Alex and Ani. From the left: Beecher Fritzmeier, VP of design; Carolyn Rafaelian, founder, creative director and CEO; and Kate Richard, VP of business development. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
5 I was the moderator for this panel, and we discussed how the company was able to build such a strong connection with its consumers, how they handled their incredible growth spurt over just a few years, and what Carolyn has planned for the future of the brand.
6 For the start of the second panel, moderator Sonja Rasula asked the audience to participate in a picture for Instagram. They jumped at the chance.
7 The “Meet the Makers” panel offered real advice and tips from successful makers who are turning their interests into thriving businesses. The panel was sponsored by Toyota Corolla. From left: moderator Sonja Rasula, Sawyer Smith from Smith & Chang, Caroline Hurley from Caroline Z Hurley, Ellen Bennett from Hedley & Bennett and Hannah Milman, MSLO. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
8 Ellen Bennett modeling one of her own apron designs and explaining how she came to develop each feature.
9 Thank you for the engaging, enlightening panel! (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
10 Breaks throughout the day allowed attendees to interact with and shop from products in our Martha Stewart American Made online store. We offered some of our favorite products--126 in all from 55 sellers. http://www.ebay.com/americanmade (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
11 Our event sponsors had wonderful stations for attendees to enjoy as well. Here I am with Haley Rowe, marketing specialist; Chelsea Lee, director of PR; Cindy Kimball, marketing supervisor; and Tracy Spahr, PR specialist, from The UPS Store at their “Share” video testimonial booth.
12 Makers like, Matt Beaudoin from Mystic Knotwork, could record and share their small business stories and advice.
13 HP was on hand to demonstrate their new Sprout creative workstation, which brings technology and handmade design together AND includes our Martha Stewart CraftStudio card-making app! Gurdave Ahluwalia, HP immersive computing product specialist, demonstrated the computer. (Photo credit: JuanPatinoPhotography)
14 Here we are adjusting an image on the interactive touch mat.
15 The day continued with a wonderful talk by Rachel Shechtman, founder of Story, who explained the special concept behind her retail store. This talk, “Tell Me a Story,” was sponsored by HYATT house.
16 Rachel is a dynamic speaker, and there were a number of good questions from the audience during the Q&A session.
17 I was looking forward to getting back on stage for this next panel, "Words of Wisdom," which included a few of our 2014 American Made Award Winners. From left: Hillary Petrie from Egg Collective, Pashon Murray from Detroit Dirt, and Erin Benzakein from Floret, and I served as the moderator. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
18 We had a very interesting, lively conversation. We discussed how they knew they had a viable business, how they build partnerships now in their communities, and how they stay engaged with their customers and clients.
19 The “Show Me the Money--Financing Your Dream” panel was up next and focused on financing and funding, two very important categories for any small business owner, but especially for creative individuals. This panel was sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
20 From left: It was moderated by Lisa Carnoy, from Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and included Amy Peterson of Rebel Nell, Diana Lovett from Cissé Trading Co., and filmmaker and entrepreneur Jason Pollock.
21 I was very excited to have my friend and neighbor, Blake Lively, join me for a one-on-one conversation about creative entrepreneurship.
24 I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate on a project soon. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
25 During the lunch break, attendees could connect and network at the Intuit QuickBooks business card pinup board. (Photo credit: Juan Patino Photography)
26 Here is Nick Lin, Quickbook’s associate product marketing manager. (Photo credit: Juan Patino Photography)
27 ULIVjava cofounder Mary Tedesco (who is also my own personal fitness trainer) led an energizing afternoon stretch.
28 Everyone got a yoga band to take home and practice the moves taught by Mary.
29 ULIVjava iced coffee was offered during the afternoon break. Cofounder Kathleen Schoen's sister, Nuala, and Mary (right) distributed the drinks to the crowd.
30 Francesca, GK and Sharkey stopped by to greet the attendees and drew quite a crowd.
31 The Toyota Corolla "Craft" station offered customizable 3D-printed luggage tags created by Makerbot. Attendees could personalize the tags and then add their own leather straps using our Martha Stewart Crafts tools. Lalenne Stanbery (center), Saatchi brand integration supervisor, was on-site to help. (Photo credit: Juan Patino Photography)
32 Peter McGuiness, chief brand and marketing officer of Chobani, gave a talk on “Crafting a Brand." (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
33 The next panel, “Social Chatter – Role of Social Media in Building Brands,” was moderated by MSLO's own SVP of digital programming and strategy, Inbar Barak (far right).
34 She was joined by panelists Teddy Goff, from Precision Strategies, and Gina Bianchini from Mightybell. Topics included which social media platforms to focus on, how small businesses can build up a following, and what it really means to go "viral."
35 The final panel of the day, “Ask the Experts,” was moderated by speaker, author, past CEO of Ogilvy, and my good friend, Charlotte Beers. This panel was sponsored by The UPS Store. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
36 The panel included me; David Bobbitt, executive director of the SCORE Foundation; Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store; and Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and Investor Shark on ABC’s Emmy winning reality show, Shark Tank. We all have strong opinions and a wealth of experience, so it was a lively, honest, fun conversation.
37 Barbara was especially outspoken. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)