Do you ever go somewhere, or try something, or meet someone that fundamentally changes who you are as a person?
My experience at Sisterhood Camp can best be summed up as 'life-changing'. I feel like a new person - a refreshed, inspired, more together person - following the four day retreat. I feel more confident in myself, with my work, and with meeting fellow creatives. I feel full of ideas and energy and an urge to create.
Sisterhood is a series of retreats, workshops and suppers organised by the wonderful Lou of one of my favourite blogs, Little Green Shed. Lou started Sisterhood in 2015, as a retreat for a select few creative women to come together and inspire each other. Since that first retreat in the summer of 2015, Lou has organised seasonal suppers in Bristol and both winter & summer glamping retreats at the beautiful Fforest camps in Wales. I've followed from the very start, enviously pouring over blog posts and Instagram feeds wishing that I could be there. With crossed fingers, I gingerly entered an Instagram competition several months ago, and was over the moon when I was announced the winner of a ticket to the Summer 2017 retreat!
It can be incredibly nerve-racking meeting over 50 women for the first time, especially when many are people that you look up to and take daily inspiration from. The butterflies in my stomach were needless, however, as the Sisters truly are the most welcoming group I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Women of all ages, from all walks of life, with varied careers, all came together to relax, disconnect from their work, connect with each other and feel inspired. I made real friends that I feel incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with.
During the course of the four days that we were at Fforest, I tried my hand at many new skills, refined existing ones and created many memories that I'll hold dear for years to come. I made jam, crafted a loom, designed my own mug, swam in an icy cold river, styled & photographed with Abi from These Four Walls, spent evenings sat around the fire pit, and listened to inspiring talks about everything from styling flat-lays to brunch recipes.
Some of the best parts of the weekend revolved around food. The team at Fforest fed us well, catering to all dietary requirements and putting their heart and soul into the meals that we enjoyed. The first night we enjoyed a laid-back vegetarian supper, the second a beautifully presented meal of BBQ chicken, potatoes and salad, and the final night we were all awed by a spectacular vegan Indian feast. Hannah and Lucy's styling was out of this world, creating a supper out of my wildest dreams. I felt like I was on the pages of Kinfolk magazine as we all sat along two long tables wearing our floral crowns.
Other highlight's were Sara and Emma's workshops oriented around Instagram and styling. Instagram Queen Sara shared a few tricks of her trade along with inspiration to get us to leave our comfort zones and create awesome photos that captivated attention. After an hour or so of styling and shooting, I felt like I'd left my Instagram rut well and truly behind and left feeling inspired to create more original images. I just need a willing model based in the North West - such a shame all my styling partners live so far away! Emma's workshop was based around the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi and styling flat-lays. I found it incredibly interesting and useful to learn the basic 'rules' of what makes a flat-lay work and will definitely be trying more of them out in the future.
It's difficult to sum up such an inspiring experience, and I can only suggest that you attend future Sisterhood events yourself to truly appreciate the magic of what Lou has created. Don't be put off by thinking its only for Instagrammers, that it will feel cliquey or that the mindfulness part of the weekend will be forced upon you (all qualms that I had). Everyone is incredibly welcoming, even the Insta-elite, and the entire program of workshops and talks is optional. You could choose to forfeit all of the timetabled events and simply go for a walk in the forest or take photographs on your own. I opted in for almost everything (I missed just one workshop the whole weekend), even waking at 7am for yoga classes with Melanie but breakfast was served until 10am, allowing everyone to take the mornings slowly. Likewise, evenings were a laid-back affair following the suppers, with many Sisters taking to bed early and the stragglers sitting around the fire pit sharing wine or sipping gin.
I'll definitely be keeping my eye on the calendar for future events, and hopefully catching up with my Sisters soon. Scroll down for more photos from the weekend - I tried my best to keep them to a minimum but there were so many that I wanted to share!
All photos my own, unless otherwise stated