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April 2016 Archive

Introducing our March 2016 Guest Speakers!

MTH Guest Speakers
In addition to our regular speaker lineup, we’re always honored to invite more women to contribute their stories and experiences to our conference schedule. This year, Carrie McQuaid of The Kindness Box and Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes are teaching us about making things happen through community and little by little steps. Carrie and Maghon are truly two of the most encouraging and thoughtful people we know, and touch on topics that are strike the cords in our heart. We’re thrilled for you to get to know them!

Carrie McQuaid

Carrie McQuaid

Carrie Grace lives in Durham, NC where she runs The Kindness Box, a monthly subscription of joy delivered straight to your doorstep. She also helps women grow their social media accounts to be more profitable. She believes in encouraging others to do the things that they love the most. She loves the color pink, cotton candy, and is a huge Taylor Swift fan.

What MTH class are you? MTH March 2014
What fires you up? My fired up list could go on forever and ever. A few things that fire me: the color pink, tossing confetti, and Taylor Swift dance parties. I love handwritten notes, bright happy pens, and the smell of summer rain. I also love sweet tea, frosting on cupcakes, and high-fiving people!
What was your favorite part of MTH? I love the community and the heartbeat of MTH. You can really tell that everyone wants you to succeed at whatever you are wanting to make happen. You walk away with so many cheerleaders and resources to really tackle your goals.
Was there anything that surprised you about your experience? I was surprised by how much it affected my life. I realized that I had developed a lot of small, bad habits that I was ultimately able to kick after attending MTH. It helped open my eyes to all the little things that I was missing that were making my days more complicated and thus, making me less productive overall.
What encouragement would you give to future attendees? Come with an open heart and open mind. It’s going to change your life in ways you would never imagine possible. But you have to be open to change and be willing to do hard work.
What’s your favorite place in Chapel Hill to go to dinner after MTH? I love Top of the Hill. I went there so many times in college so it holds really sweet memories for me.
What’s your favorite way to unwind from a busy day? I love to sit on the front porch, sip sweet tea, and count five things I’m grateful for.
What’s your love language? I love spending time with people so quality time with others is definitely my love language. I love long coffee dates just chatting about anything and everything with others. It fills me up to no end just to be around others.


All She Wrote Notes

Maghon Taylor

Maghon Taylor is the gal behind All She Wrote Notes, and a Carolina girl on a mission to spread happiness through her handwriting. She believes in celebrating every day, and that beautiful handlettering shouldn’t be saved like china for special occasions. Maghon also loves love teaching calligraphy and sharing her skills and knowledge through her traveling calligraphy workshop program, Calligraphy Y’all.

What MTH class are you? March of 2014
What fires you up? Chris Taylor (my husband), sunshine, laughing, painted nails and brightly colored clothes, people who smile, God, encouraging others, a clean house, and a yummy smelling candle
What was your favorite part of MTH? I loved talking about your five essentials. They are tiny, little things, but they really do bring you more joy!
Was there anything that surprised you about your experience? I came to MTH expecting to learn about my business and how I could make it better, but I honestly dug deep and learned SO much about myself and how much I was in my own way. In turn, that had a tremendous effect on my business and it’s flourished ever since.
What encouragement would you give to future attendees? Show up and do the work. Let your guard down and be vulnerable. Do the writing assignments during MTH and save you notebooks, you will be amazed when you look back at them later.
What’s your favorite place in Chapel Hill to go to dinner after MTH? Crook’s Corner or Top of the Hill
What’s your favorite way to unwind from a busy day? I love swinging on my back porch. That is my favorite place in the whole house and I love getting outside (one of my 5 essentials) and taking a minute to myself.
What’s your love language? Handwritten notes!! Words of affirmation are technically my love language and my heart beats extra fast when someone takes the time to write them for me! I hold onto notes and re-read them over and over again.

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Welcome to The New Making Things Happen Site!

We’re celebrating Making Things Happen’s eighth anniversary this year, as well as all the amazing people we’ve met along the way. MTH has changed so much since its start — from a one-day workshop on a nation-wide tour, to a two-day intensive hosted in Chapel Hill — but our core has stayed the same.

Year after year, we are honored to walk our attendees through the life-changing exercises that help them uncover their passions and their goals, and give them the tools and encouragement needed to take action on them.

MTH Site

Now, we’re thrilled that we can introduce you to the new MTH site! We’re so proud of all that our alumni have accomplished in life and business, and we love that our new site echoes the excitement, joy, and community that come with each new MTH class and their big ideas.

On this site, you can explore more about MTH’s history and what to expect at the intensive.

About MTH

Read what past MTH alum have to say about their experience.

MTH Testimonials

Take a look at our time together over the years by exploring our photo gallery.

Explore MTH

Connect with the MTH team and our speakers.

Connect with MTH

Shop MTH-inspired items and MTH swag.

Shop MTH

Register for the next intensive (we just released our fall tickets!!)

Register for MTH

And lastly, come right back here to the blog to keep up with the latest news from our team.

MTH Blog

We are so excited that we have a new space to connect with you and to share the MTH experience with others!

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5 Favorite Things About the Making Things Happen Conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

This post originally appeared on Megan Kelsey Photography.

In this creative industry, there are dozens and dozens of workshops and conferences one can choose from to further their business and invest in education. I’ve attended the CLIC Conference, Creative at Heart, and a few online seminars and one-day events and they’ve all been wonderful! Investing in education has been a huge goal of mine these first few years in business and I’m glad I took that approach and made it a priority early on because for me it really has translated directly into business growth. I’ve walked away with some concrete, practical knowledge of how to take my business to the next level, how to gain a larger blog/social media following, how to spoil my clients, how to perfect my craft, and, if it was a GREAT conference, how to increase profits!

The Making Things Happen Conference was none of these things. And I mean that in the BEST way!! MTH was is an experience of a different breed. It’s hard to put into words everything I felt, and I’m sure many attendees would share that opinion. It’s truly indescribable!! I’m so glad I signed up for this mysterious conference that no one could really explain to me… that almost made it even more amazing because I had no idea what to expect. Because I can’t really give an accurate recap of what the MTH was about… I’m just going to share my 5 favorite things about this conference!!

MTH March 2016 Group
Photo by Robyn Van Dyke

1. The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This place couldn’t be any more charming or peaceful for this 3-day conference. I pulled up and thought… “Is that the HOTEL?!” It looked like a mansion from the early 1900s, and felt like one on the inside, too! The ballrooms! The common areas! The teal bathrooms!! I had a little too much fun browsing the historical timelines on the walls and the glass cases with artifacts from the hotel’s early days in the 1930s. Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. was the first African American to be served here as a guest and not a servant or employee? Crazy!!! The Carolina Inn provided a place to feel away from the world but also calm and comforted at the same time. It’s hard to explain but I just loved it and felt right at home and that’s rare for being in a hotel for 3 days!! :)

2. The rainbow-colored goodies. This is going to sound weird but the design of the conference materials just made me happy! I don’t want to give away any surprises for future attendees, but just know that it’s highly likely you’ll be taking home a bag full of fun things to remember your time by and to help you apply everything you learned once you get back to the real world! I’m still trying to organize all the stuff I got and it’s been a week! Haha! Shout out to whoever’s in charge of making conference materials look awesome because it’s working!

3. The PEOPLE behind MTH!! The team of speakers, organizers, and volunteers are just so genuinely warm and genuine. They are always up for a hug and are more than willing to give a listening ear or shoulder to cry on. It’s rare to feel so close to conference speakers but at the end of the 3 days I really felt like I could send any one of them an email and get a heartfelt response… and some I could even pick up the phone and call! These people do a REALLY good job at making you feel like they care about you and your well-being… and I think that’s because they honestly do. I’m really thankful for that.

4. The focus on you. Most conferences give the majority of meeting time to the speakers… and I get that. People come go to conferences to learn from and connect with these established and successful business owners and they LOVE it! Nothing was more awesome to me at the first conference I ever attended than hearing Katelyn James talk about how she poses!! But the MTH Conference isn’t really about that. It’s about YOU. I don’t want to say much else because that’s truly a part of the experience but I will say that I’ve never felt more confident in who I am and what I want out of life than I did after attending this conference. Gosh it was just so good to be honest with myself and face my fears head on… it was truly life changing and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

5. This last one is kinda silly but… I loved the FOOD!!! If you know anything about me you know how much of a “foodie” I am and how I am generally not the “order a salad” kinda girl… though I have been eating salads more regularly lately thanks to some unfortunate health issues. But I let myself enjoy a Southern meal or two while down in North Carolina including a Creole jambalaya risotto that was delicious!! There were also a few conference surprises food-wise that just MADE MY DAY. I ate pimento cheese and hot pepper jelly on biscuits to my heart’s content and I have no regrets. And I didn’t even get a stomach ache!! I think that means pimento cheese can totally be a part of my regular diet now… right?! 😉 Yay for discovering new favorite Southern foods!!

In conclusion, the MTH Conference was unlike anything I have ever attended before. The best way I can describe it without doing it an injustice (because it’s truly indescribable!) is that it was like an intimate retreat on a larger scale. I’ve never felt so connected to and welcomed by a room full of strangers and that is TRULY rare to experience in this day and age of online interactions and less face-to-face heartfelt conversations. I mean I barely used my iPhone the entire time I was there and I was actually dreading going back to the LCD screen life. I want less of that and more real world experiences and moments!! If there’s one BIG thing I took away from MTH it’s that life’s sweetest joys can be those that aren’t “social-media worthy.” Something as simple as taking 8 seconds to stretch during a busy work day, going for a walk around the block on a sunny afternoon, or planting peonies along the side of your house can light up your life so much more than getting 500 likes on an Instagram post, 2,000 viewers on your blog, or 20 weddings booked in one year.

I want to make other number matters more to me and I can honestly say that as of right now, they do. The 3 hours I spent painting our apartment with Justin on Easter are something I will never forget… and I’m so glad I didn’t spend that time blogging for the week or answering emails! Life is about finding BALANCE between your work and the life you are seeking to build that is able to happen because of that work! That will be my next Mantra Monday post! But for now… just know that when the next MTH Conference opens up for registration, you should REALLY consider signing up :) Thank you Lara, Emily, Gina, Nancy, Amber, Katelyn, Maghon, Carrie, Kristin, Rhiannon, and the Southern Weddings team for making this conference a unique and unforgettable one! I’ll never forget it.

Here are a few photos from my time at The Carolina Inn! I didn’t take any pictures during the actual conference but had fun going on a little iPhone safari around the hotel!! :)


This was the obviously the nicest place I’ve ever stayed… shout out to my roommate Julie for being so wonderful!


Annnd the bathroom was mint!! So pretty!

They told us to wear comfy shoes… I took that advice pretty literally. Love my mocassins!

Making-Things-Happen-Carolina-Inn-Recap-Megan-Kelsey-Photography-11(pp_w1528_h764) Making-Things-Happen-Carolina-Inn-Recap-Megan-Kelsey-Photography-13(pp_w1528_h1018)

So much history!


Probably the dorkiest photo I’ve ever uploaded of myself on the blog… haha oh well!


Photo evidence that the conference DID happen and I didn’t just wander around the hotel taking iPhone pictures! Haha!


The last night I ordered room service for the first time. I think because I was inspired by this room service sign from decades ago!! So awesome! And the sweet potato fries were delicious :) Loved my time at the Carolina Inn!!

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