Tag Archives: @altsummit

  Cactus Makes Perfect Party with Joann Stores


Hello everybody. I am sorry I’ve been late to post my recap of my recent travels to Salt Lake City and the 2015 Alt Summit but myself and Baby Ninja have been so so sick. I mean this flu has hit our home hard and I didn’t even see it coming. Luckily yesterday I was on the mend and while we are staying low this weekend I am doing met best to get caught up with organizing all the Alt fun to share with you.


While I will share an overall conference recap (next week for sure!) I thought I would start the fun by sharing a fun project I have been working on since last year… the “Cactus Makes Perfect” Alt Summit mini party.

All photos were taken by my talented conference roommate Meg Tsang Photography unless otherwise noted. If you are ever in Alabama and in need or a highly talented wedding and event photographer, give Meg a call. A newlywed herself, she is just such a joy to be around. Funny, silly and welcoming Meg is a teacher to all. Thanks Meg!


Back in October, I was chosen as party designer alongside my co-hostesses Kim of Design Life Kids and Andrea of Legal Miss Sunshine to plan and produce one of the Friday night conference parties. It was Andrea’s winning idea of a quirky, cactus networking party that caught the eye of the judges and provided each of us a free ticket to the conference in exchange for producing the party bash.

Cleveland’s own Joann Stores was sponsoring the event and the crafter in me was giddy with excitement to see how this theme would come to life. While I am not necessarily DIY blogger this Cleveland designer can hold her own especially when it comes to pulling off a good party. Let the crafting party begin!

Being that the three of us party hosts were from all over…west coast, midwest and east coast, we would “meet” on Monday nights via Skype and plan our attack. Who would do what part, how we would go about creating various party elements and various other tangents. Over the course of a few months we managed to get it all done, designed, made and shipped across the country just in the nick of time.

Alt Winter 2015 Brooke Denniswww.justinhackworth.comCactus_3(top two photos taken by Justin Hackworth)

As the conference is about connecting and collaborating; our party focused on “turning cactI into cactUS!”  We hung painted oil drip pans, made little gold magnets and encouraged attendees to put their cards up and take cards of other attendees they wanted to meet or collaborate with. It was a great ice breaker, conversation starter and overall a wonderful area to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs.



Andrea and I designed cactus-centric temporary tattoos for the party goers to put on or take home. If you’d like to know how she has a great tutorial on her blog, check it out!


We offered guests prizes including the adorable cactus neon sign, cactus pillow and wooden cactus children’s balancing toy from Wayfair.com as well a few other Etsy artist finds. To view all the entries visit Instagram hashtag #cactusmakesperfect!

(above photo taken by Justin Hackworth)

I designed and sewed various cactus pillows to use as photo props. They were a bit hit! Cactus looking on one side and funky mod pattern on the flip side – the black and white pattern fabric was from the Nate Berkus collection found at Joann’s.

Alt Winter 2015 Brooke Dennis(above photo taken by Justin Hackworth)


Overall the party was a complete success. Seems like everyone enjoyed themselves, made a few new connections and took home lots of prickly fun from our bash. Thanks to Alt Summit for the great opportunity and to Joann Stores for sponsoring the exciting evening. Wonder what party we will dream up next?

  Headed to Alt Summit!


Good morning my Cleveland friends! Hope your week has been wonderful, exciting and filled with fun. It’s Wednesday and I couldn’t be more thrilled to head off to Hopkins and jump on over to Salt Lake City to attend this years Alt Summit Conference.

This gathering of predominantly women-owned business owners, makers and bloggers makes my heart skip a beat. As a small business owner and designer I often seek out learning opportunities to better myself, to fill my creative energy pot and to be constantly inspired. I can’t think of a better conference to attend that “Alt.” While I will be learning about better photography tricks (god knows I can improve), ways use video in my work, partnering with others and other creative topics, one thing that I love about this event is the fashion. I mean, the attendees go over-the-top with regards to style, for me it’s like visual crack.

As a new Mom I too am looking forward to dressing pretty (sans spit up) and layering the accessories one workshop to the next. I have way overpacked…seven pairs of shoes for just a  few days…but feel pretty good about my picks. I mean, for these types of all day long learning events you want to be stylish AND comfortable am I right?

I am bringing (1) a new Boden dress I got for my birthday. The bright bold bird print is playful and makes me smile, plus I don’t often wear blue but I am pretty confident in the bold hue. My shoes for this dress are super old Payless Christian Siriano purply-blue suede booties…it pays to be a bit of a shoe hoarder. I am bringing my pink Kate Spade clutch as an added pop of bold color for this outfit. For travel and casual creative chat (2) I’m gonna rock at CLE Clothing Company sweatshirt declaring my love for our city…seriously I’m loving this comfy sweatshirt, everything they make is so fun and represents our city so well. As I loose all this baby weight I am rocking some Denizen Jeans from Target, they look so polished and fancy yet they are affordable during this time of transition, I would highly recommend you check them out. I’m going to be toting all my conference materials and my computer around in my new Blair Ritchey tote. Gotta love spreading the word about a lovely Cleveland-based designer who has the talent to produce such luxurious leather goods, I love this bag. Lastly (3) I am packing lots of pink and polka dots including this overcoat by Kate Spade and these pink pixie pants also from Target, a mix of high end and everyday for this traveler makes me happy.

This will be my second time attending the conference and I am looking forward to grabbing coffee with style maven Hillary, talking retail and kids with Kim, discussing design with Chicago designer MJ, and being inspired by all things DIY with Andrea. It is a time to set goals for the year, to engage with other like-minded attendees and I’d be lying if I wasn’t pretty excited to get a few nights of solid sleep.

Have a great rest of your week. Follow along in my Alt experience on instagram @charity216. Cheerio!

  Holiday Break!

Hello friends! Happy 2015 to everyone. Here we are the beginning of the new year…inhale. I always love this time of newness, of unlimited possibilities, of adventure and excitement as to how the year will pan out. I have a great feeling about this new year, it’s gonna be great.

I feel like I have been enjoying time off for some time now and to be honest I am ready to get back to the daily creative structure in my life. Don’t get me wrong, with all the time off I got to not only enjoy the holidays with family and friends but I also got to catch up on a few things I have been meaning to do…that’s what vacations are for don’t you agree?

photo 4 copy

Over the break we were able to check out the new Forage Public House restaurant in Lakewood, located in the old Pacers space. This new restaurant of Chef Atheneo’s (previous Deagan’s chef) has an incredible menu filled with most items sourced and made locally. I had a great hamburger (medium rare, please) topped with mushrooms and goat cheese and Mr. C had a homemade sausage platter fit for a king…Baby Ninja just had a bottle and I’m not talking about beer. Add Forage Public House to your list of restaurants to explore in 2015, it is for sure a great place to meet up with friends for those “after the holidays” gatherings.

photo 1 copy

We got a few home projects accomplished including installing our new Moen, Nori, high-arc, pull-down faucet. It is pretty sweet how just changing out your faucet can change the entire look of the little sink space. Think about updating your faucet for a new look in the new year, trust me you’ll thank me. MORE! →

  Day 12 : A nightly routine by Swell Skin!

Day_12Good morning everyone and happy chilly Monday! I hope you were one of the lucky ones who got to sleep late and stay bundled up under the comforter today. Myself, I don’t mind the arctic chill all that much, especially knowing I am going to hit the spin bikes tonight at Harness Cycle an instant warm up to the winter cold temps!

How were your weekends? I am in super prep mode for this years Alt Summit conference in a few weeks in Salt Lake City. There I will join a handful of other bloggers, designers, small business entrepreneurs to discuss the new year, aspirational goals, social trends, design love and of course, fashion…lots of fashion! I spent a good chunk of the weekend trying to develop my what-to-wear list. Balancing anything anything sparkly and shiny with the more practical side of winter styles…sweaters, fur and down puffy coats! Of course I managed to pick up a few vintage pieces from some of Cleveland’s best vintage stores (Flower Child & Chelsea’s!) to add excitement and a bit of the unique to conference attire, gotta love a good vintage score!

Besides a lot of home time-playing in my closet, we also saw the Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DieCaprio. While I did see may positive parts of the film, let’s just say the three hour film did not hold my attention. We are really doing our best to see all of the top Golden Globe/Oscar nominated flicks this year. It’s a fun challenge to see all of them, lots of popcorn to go along!

Today is the last of my 12 days of giveaways fun and I couldn’t be more pleased to share. Are you good with your nightly skin care routine? Oh, I wish I was. Most nights I fall asleep and then zombie-walk into bed on a good night peeling out my disposable contacts. While “have a better night routine” has been on my resolutions list for years, I think just sticking with a few key tasks might actually make this year a more attainable goal. Here is where Swell Skin come into play.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine recommended I try this unique nightly 2 step skin soap and oil combinatinon.  No toners, lotions, scrubs and voilla, my skin has never looked better! Developed by a local entrepreneur this simple two step routine, Swell Skin can be found both online and also at our local grocery, Heinens. You’ve got to check it out.

To win a soap and oil combo skin care set by Swell Skin tweet me “@iheartclev I’d love to win some fabulous skincare products from #SwellSkin” The winners we will be drawn by Friday, January 10th. Good luck!

Stay warm Cleveland. Bring your pets indoors. Check on your neighbors. Eat soup! peace.

  My day at ALT NYC

Good morning friends, It’s a hot one out there today so make sure you drink plenty of water, hit up the beach, eat ice cream and possibly slip into AC whenever possible.

Today I wanted to share with you a most recent trip out of the 216 and into the 917…the big apple of Manhattan. I was lucky enough to score one of the coveted ALT NYC tickets for a day at the Martha Stewart Omnimedia Offices in Chelsea, NYC. The entire day I was living on cloud nine, I literally felt as if I had landed on a planet and was surrounded by women (& a few men) that were my people. Bright neon colors, patterns, top knots, everything shimmery and shiny, these design bloggers were out of control fun! MORE! →