“There’s glitter on the floor after the party– Cue Taylor Swift
Girls carrying their shoes down in the lobby
Candle wax and Polaroids on the hardwood floor
You and me from the night before”
Come on… you knew we would work Taylor in SOMEHOW
We didn’t know it then, but these Taylor Swift lyrics from her iconic “New Year’s Day” song really did capture our feelings and raw emotion after we wrapped up UPP 2023 in Nashville, TN. (Minus the whole glitter and candle wax on the hardwood floor because Clementine Hall would have straight up thrown us in jail. JK! Ok… maybe not really.)
Speaking of Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Day… that song is on the Reputation album and if you’re TSwift SUPERFANS like Allison and I are we’re impatiently waiting for the release of Reputation – Taylor’s Version. And I can’t lie, I’ve been spending all weekend going down MANY TikTok rabbit holes of how TODAY might be the day where Reputation TV is ANNOUNCED with a release date of mid February. Today is 12.31.23 – which is 123, 123 and any Swiftie knows Taylor LOVES a good number sequence.
Ok… I’m getting SEVERELY off track here! Back to UPP 2023 Year in Review…
We’re only in our third year of doing this whole Ultimate Product Party thing (aka U-P-P, not “UP” for the love of all things holy & Taylor) and we foolishly ASSUME every year will be not as hard to pull off as it was.
UPP Year 1 – 2022;
Our Thoughts: “There’s a huge need for an event for product based business owners. This is a no brainer for people to buy a ticket and come!”
Our REALITY: Convincing people to come & speak was the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our business life. Not to mention the money we invested into Year 1 and we didn’t get back.
UPP Year 2 – 2023;
Our Thoughts: “This will be a walk in the park compared to last year! We’re going to be so much better about budgeting for the event too. Easy Breezy”
Our REALITY: We still had to really work for it, and sometimes picking the most beautiful venue comes with the most rules and challenges which equal more money.
UPP Year 3 – 2024;
Our Thoughts: “THIS YEAR HAS TO BE a walk in the park compared to the last two years! And if we don’t start becoming a lot more profitable maybe it’s time to rethink this whole UPP shindig.
Our REALITY: Still deciding – we’ll let you know how it pans out!
So why are we sharing these less than desirable details???
Because sometimes in business (or rather ALL the time) things take time, they take money, and they take showing up even on the hard days & pushing throw so you can relish in those really AMAZING days.
Planning UPP is always an emotional rollercoaster. We might not know what an entire year of planning has in store for us, or whatever challenges might be thrown our way but we can always plan for the rollercoaster of emotions we feel in the weeks leading up to the event, during the event, and then right after.
And no, I’m not talking about the Disneyland rollercoasters Allison made us go on when we did our California venue scouting trip in August, but FULL ON extreme highs and lows.
Leading up to the event:
LOW – “WTF, Are we going to pull this off?”
At the event:
HIGH – “OMG, the impact & community we’re making here is insane. All the love – all the feels”
After the event:
LOW – “Please no one talk to me about UPP because I’m going into hibernation.”
August rolls around:
HIGH – “Can’t wait to travel to the new spot to scout venues. Let’s do this all over again!!!”
And we choose to do it all over again because despite the downs, the UPS are truly beyond incredible. The MAGIC that is made in that room and on the UPP stage is something far beyond our WILDEST DREAMS. And it’s YOU, the PEOPLE – THE COMMUNITY – THE SUPPORTERS – that make it all possible.
We had big dreams of creating a super cool event for the product based business, to support them and fill a gap in the market, because there wasn’t an event out there who specifically catered to product based business owners – the OGs of business.
What we didn’t anticipate though was the impact it would make within the entire creative community and the overflowing love and support we have gotten along the journey. And for all that and a hell of a lot more – FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS, WE THANK YOU.
(pictured left to right: Riley, Allison, Toni, & Cat)
And just for funsies – here’s a short list of some of our favorite moments from 2023…
- Anonymous Q&A Panel LIVE at UPP where we shared some pretty intimate details about our relationship & the event. (We aired this on the Podcast so listen in if you missed it!) This was Allison’s idea & despite Cat being totally against it – it ended up being the best part of the entire conference.
- Cat got to live out her DREAM of being a Keynote Speaker on the UPP main stage.
- After too much of a shit show, we decided we’re never doing our own UPP event decor or transporting a truck load of UPP stuff EVER again.
- On our venue scouting trip in California, we almost didn’t go to the last venue (the one we ended up picking!!!) because Allison wanted to go to Disneyland instead. Toni thought we might not like venue cause it was different than what we THOUGHT we wanted. We ended up going to the venue, LOVING IT, and then going to Disney. Win! Win!
- We DID end up being profitable with UPP in 2023 and we used those profits to go see Taylor Swift together at Sofi Stadium – WORTH IT.
- Riley was brought on to help with social media & Pinterest and she’s ahhhhmazing.
- Toni continues to be our incredible right hand woman and puts up with our craziness
- The entire UPP Team (Cat, Allison, Toni, & Riley) were able to get together during our October retreat in Arizona. THE BEST and much needed for all.
- We’re introducing a UPP Scholarship VERY soon. It has so much meaning and heart behind it. We can’t wait to share the details and give one lucky person the experience of lifetime.
- The Speaker Application process was truly intentional with a lot of time taken on picking the right lineup – promise the announcement is coming SOON.