The end of March brought the New England Coastal Creative conference which is held in Newport, Rhode Island. I had the honor of participating in a panel in the fall in Essex, Connecticut for the NECC Conference. This was the first time I attended the larger spring event and it was a pleasure! My Mom attended the conference as well and we enjoyed meeting so many different women, learning about their businesses, hearing great presentations and leaving refreshed and excited.
We flew into Boston, rented a car and drove to Newport. Newport holds a special place in our hearts because my grandparents were married in Newport, Rhode Island and lived there for a little bit as newlyweds. I haven't been there in a few years and thought the summer is the time to go, we still have fun exploring (and with no crowds)!
We stayed at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Newport. It is in a great location and steps away from the conference and Newport spots. After checking in we went to the opening party at Kiel James Patrick, KJP Flagship store at 3 Bowen's Wharf. I have admired KJP for years. I remember being so excited the time I was given a KJP bracelet for a present! KJP's classic style is charming and it was really exciting to be at their store for the opening conference night. I was able to meet and talk to Kiel and his lovely wife Sarah. The entire staff at the store was delightful.
They had a DJ, fun drinks, food and it was the perfect setting to see familiar faces and meet new ones. They were even all prepped and ready for Newport's Daffodil Days. About ten of us had a fun dinner at Pasta Beach in Newport. It was a great opportunity to talk one and one with other conference attendees and learn about their businesses.
The next day was a full conference day held at The Viking Hotel. We listened to great speakers touching on various aspects of owning a business. The highlight of the day was a beautiful luncheon with Gray Malin as the guest speaker. Gray shared his background and the story of the growth of his successful photography career. He was an engaging speaker and graciously stayed for a book signing at the end of the day. We loved meeting him and having him autograph his new Coastal coffee table book for Claire, my aunt and ourselves.
After the conference, a group of us had dinner at Giusto Restaurant on the wharf. It was another evening of great conversations!
We spent the next day doing some sight-seeing, lunch and shopping in Newport. We started the day at a coffee shop called The Nitro Bar. One of my followers suggested visiting Lycette Designs, an adorable needlepoint shop. We were not disappointed! They also have a shop in Palm Beach. My Mom purchased two needlepoint projects.
Next to Lycette Designs is the store Lauren Hope. They were selling items at the conference during a sip and stroll on the first afternoon. They are a Newport based business with beautiful jewelry. I actually wore Lauren Hope earrings to my high school senior prom. Elizabeth and I wore Lauren Hope earrings in Claire's wedding. There is also a cute little coffee shop in the shopping center called Empire Tea and Coffee. The International Tennis Hall of Fame museum is across the street and a fun spot to stop. They have a grass tennis court and it is a fun place to visit if you are in Newport.
Daffodil Days are a big spring event in Newport. They were not all in bloom yet, but as we were driving around looking at Salve Regina University and finding a good spot to walk the Cliff Walk, we stumbled upon the most beautiful field of blooming daffodils!
Newport is known for their spectacular mansions. We have toured many of them in the past, but decided to revisit the Breakers mansion. It is a Gilded Age oceanfront Mansion located at 44 Ochre Point Avenue. The mansion was built over a two year period from 1893-1895 as the summer residence for Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family. My Mom and I walked around reading about the mansion on a self guided tour.
After the beautiful walk through the Breakers, we drove to another Newport spot, Castle Hill, for lunch overlooking the water. The rest of the afternoon, we drove around taking in the sights and admiring all the gorgeous Newport homes. Our day ended with a delightful dinner at our hotel.
I am so happy the conference was located in a such a charming seaside town!