We have curated a group of creative industry leaders who are also successful, busy mothers to lead creative sessions and mentor our attendees throughout the retreat.
Click a photo to find out more info about each mentor.
Jessica Zimmerman is the founder of ZIMMERMAN, and is the name and face of the company. Jessica is driven by the creative process, and is continually pushing boundaries by exploring new techniques and experiencing all that the floral world has to offer. She is passionate about creating events that reflect a unique connection between the beauty within natural elements and the intimate personal ingredients each client brings to the mix. Jessica is known for her organic and unrestrained style, capturing raw elegance in all of her designs. She loves to look at each of her events through the lens of a camera, because that is what allows her clients to chronicle these short-lived moments forever.
Jessica loves what she does in her studio, because it gives her the opportunity to invest in what she loves outside of her studio. Her husband, Brian, is her partner in all things life. Together they have a daughter, Stella, and twin boys, Perry and Zeke – a full home and even fuller hearts! Jessica is also a passionate traveler, a lover of the adventure it brings along with the chance to be exposed to all this beautiful world has to offer.
Taylor Sterling, founder and creative director of the lifestyle brand, Glitter Guide, has always had a penchant for all things fashion, beauty, and art. A Bay Area California native and mama of two, Taylor graduated with a degree in Communications from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2005. While working a day job as financial advisor recruiter, Taylor launched her blog, Sterling Style and carved a niche for herself in the blossoming blog world as a prominent voice on fashion, lifestyle and all things beautiful.
When real life came knocking and Taylor was laid off from her job as a recruiter, she decided to take a leap and launch Glitter Guide. Armed with a dream to inspire women daily and help them shine from the inside out, Glitter Guide was formed in 2011. Over the past 6 years Glitter Guide has become a go-to resource for women all over the world for its original content, home tours, product reviews, and inspiring interviews. With Taylor at the helm, Glitter Guide has worked with dozens of brands including Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Target, CoffeeMate and more. Throughout Glitter Guide’s growth, Taylor has also become a sought after partner for product development, including home decor with Lulu & Georgia, and a custom photo filter pack with A Color Story/A Beautiful Mess.
When she’s not overseeing Glitter Guide or working with brands to develop new products, Taylor can be found listening to classic records, thrifting for the perfect pair of jeans or taste testing all the fries in town.
Melody Brandon, Co- Owner and head Pastry Chef, realized her passion for desserts and stopped her pursuit of a career as a teacher and jumped head first into the world of butter, sugar, and flour! She headed to pastry school and graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts as a Pastry Chef. She started Sweet & Saucy Shop with the desire to create gorgeous, delicious, modern looking desserts. Almost 7 years, two locations, and two kiddos later and Sweet & Saucy Shop is one of the top custom bakeries in Southern California. Melody loves being able to work with her mother and co-owner Eileen and continues to create yummy desserts as well as raise her two adorable children with her husband in Costa Mesa, CA.
Dr. Cassidy Freitas is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who runs a private practice and mother's support group in San Diego. Her specialities include: postpartum and maternal mental health, relationship conflicts, parenting and creative consultation. As a consultant she works directly with creatives to overcome fear and perfectionism and reclaim their creative flow. In addition to her private practice Dr. Freitas is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. She is a wife and mother of two. When she's not working or spending time with her family she enjoys writing, videography, and going out dancing!
Erica Beukelman, owner and founder of 1011 Makeup, has had a love for hair and makeup that started as a young child. Wanting to go to cosmetology school right out of high school, she first received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, as well as a Master's degree in Marketing. Knowing she still dreamed of having a career in hair and makeup, she enrolled herself in the RCC cosmetology program. While working on her license she also launched her company, and now has a studio based in Costa Mesa California. She feels grateful to be a part of such an incredible industry, to have the team of artists that she does, and is privileged to be regarded as one of the top professional companies in California for hairstyling and makeup artistry for weddings. More than anything, she loves raising her three beautiful boys with her husband, and is the proud owner of an adorable dog that believes he is a human.
Involved with weddings and special events since 2000, Carissa Jones started in the industry by working with one of LA's top wedding and party coordinators. She played an active role at events and also worked part time in the office during the week, which helped her gain crucial experience in the pre-planning aspects of weddings and parties. When she wasn't assisting at weddings, she split her time working for numerous catering companies, including Urban Palate in downtown Los Angeles and New York Food Company in the South Bay. In 2002, Carissa was introduced to the in-house floral designer at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, and soon she became an important part of their wedding and event design team.
It was at Fred Segal where Carissa gained a love and appreciation for not only flowers, but for fabrics, candles, props, lighting - all things fabulous that make an event truly memorable. As she started to take on her own weddings, parties and corporate clientele, Carissa realized this was her niche. One year later, she founded JL DESIGNS, a full-service floral and event design firm specializing in high-end, one of a kind florals for weddings, private social functions, photo shoots and corporate accounts.
Although Carissa recently relocated her studio to Orange County, Callifornia, JL DESIGNS services the entire Southland area - Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs and San Diego.
Ashley Sawtelle is a film photographer known for creating nostalgic imagery with her beloved, medium format camera. When it comes to creative inspiration, Ashley draws from a deep appreciation for the human experience within nature, design and travel. Ashley is based in Denver, but work takes her to many stunning landscapes—from the mountaintops of Aspen to the California coastlines.
Ashley’s work has been featured in wedding and lifestyle publications including Town & Country, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Once Wed and InStyle.
In May 2017 Ashley and her husband, Joey, welcomed daughter Lucinda Louise.
Jesi Haack is Owner and Creative Director of Jesi Haack Design, a dynamic design firm that creates, sews, saws, drills, glues, strings, cuts, dyes, shreds, fringes, nails, paints and tapes it all to create the perfect illustration to any story!
Known for their cutting edge, out of the box ideas, JHD has been noticed by Martha Stewart, Brides Magazine, The Knot, WE TV, Glamour, Rue Magazine, Design Sponge and more.
Jesi is the wife of Ryan Haack, the mother of Jonah, Maverick and River and lives in Costa Mesa, California.