Five Takeaways from BrisStyle’s Create and Connect Conference

It feels like connection has never been more important than it is right now. Whether it’s actual in-person face time or virtual catch ups, we’re all seeking out the creative corners of the world to keep ourselves sane and inspired at the same time. 

The folks over at BrisStyle know a thing or two about creativity and connection, and when we attended their annual Create and Connect Conference last month, there was no doubt about the boundless possibilities and uplifting goodness left in this world. 

Because we could all take a moment to stop and appreciate the pure, wholesome goodness of the creative world, here are five insights too good to forget from the event.


Sewing stitches us together

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that more and more of us are picking up needle and thread, dusting off sewing machines and getting down to the very satisfying business of sewing. It’s a reflection of how, in tough times like the COVID pandemic, we’re seeking out things that actually serve our values: activities that add to feelings of self-sufficiency and resilience and let us take back the feeling of control. The growth seems endless and, in fact, the Peppermint sewing audience is one of our largest (big ups, good people) – thousands of lovely humans download Peppermint’s free patterns every week. The beautiful messages and generous donations (thank you!) we receive are proof of what an amazing community is stitched together – IRL and online!

We stand on the shoulders of supportive, creative giants… 

Aside from sharing some of their most personal moments and insightful advice from a life in creative business, every single person that spoke at BrisStyle’s Create and Connect conference said they wouldn’t be there without those that showered them with support, love and life advice. Irrepressible creative, artist and ceramicist Bonnie Hislop, who recently created a space dedicated to handmade ceramics and mindful making (Dabbler Studio), recounted how much it meant to her to have so many amazing creatives to lean on in the early days, saying how much she wanted to honour that by paying it forward. It’s an “abundance mentality, in which we give advice and knowledge, putting it out and getting it back to build a community,” she said.

Copycats aren’t all bad

When you’re a genuine creator with a unique product, it can be so easy to give into the fear of not sharing your work online for fear of copycats. But Kirsten Devitt from Each to Own, said that creativity is a force to be reckoned with – and true creatives are relentless. Just don’t stop making, doing and creating, and you’ll always stay one step ahead. And, although it can sting at first, perhaps what looks like a copycat is really just someone at the start of their creative journey, on their way to finding their own voice.

Sewing teaches us more than how to make clothes

The alchemy and empowerment of sewing is undeniable – creating something from nothing (or transforming fabric into a dress) with our own two hands makes us positively giddy with excitement. It’s a slow, mindful practice that creates a sense of value and a story for the clothing you wear. How to deal with disappointment is another, according to Kylie Brûlé of Kylie and the Machine. Picking yourself up dropped stitch after dropped stitch, and then sewing on despite disappointing results, is all part and parcel of a sewist’s lot – and a good way to approach life. Oh and also… being OK with swearing. For Naomi Huntsman, the clever and crafty made-to-order creator behind The Sewloist, the biggest lesson is how powerful sewing can be as a form of activism – and that living your values can extend to all parts of life, including what you do for a job.

Necessity is the mother of innovation

When Kylie created Kylie and The Machine and the labels for which the business is now known – sold through more than 300 retailers around the world – it was out of her own need to have cute, fun labels to put on the pieces she made. And Kylie’s own necessity struck a chord with others in the same boat. So why not turn the innovator’s eye on your own life? Is there something you could create that could make your life easier, happier or more creative? Chances are you’re not the only one!