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It’s true, my newest ‘baby’ is a creative conference called CAMP, set to take place June 6-9 in Big Bear, California! After witnessing the amazing sense of community at the UNIQUE shopping events, I was inspired to create another event… One that I’d dreamed-up even before starting UNIQUE LA because of nostalgia for my years spent as a camp counselor at Camp Chingachgook, in New York’s Adirondack mountains. For the past two years I’ve enthusiastically shared my secret with friends and family, “I think I want to start a summer camp, except that it wouldn’t actually be in the summer and it would be for adults, not kids.” :) The idea was always received with high-fives and excitement. However, as UNIQUE started to really grow and expand to new cities, my inbox started to fill with requests for help, business consulting, creative feedback, branding advice and more — not just from sellers and makers but also from established brands, bloggers and even employees at big ad agencies. That’s when I had my “a-ha” moment!

My summer camp idea needed to be re-worked so that aside from being an awesome retreat, it would give the campers valuable skills, offer amazing networking opportunities and provide much-needed continuing education classes for all us creative-types who forget to invest in ourselves! CAMP will include all the nostalgic things about summer camp I cherish like listening to stories around a bonfire, testing my skill at archery and frisbee golf, forming life-long friendships, screaming silly chants during lunch, dressing up for the Big Dance.CAMP will then combine hands-on workshops and speakers created to empower campers and give them the skills to be successful whether they own their own company, are an employee at a large corporation or work freelance. CAMP will pair camp-like activities meant to challenge, loosen-up and expand, with expert-led business workshops meant to educate, invigorate and inspire. Finally, MY kind of conference! No suits, no hotel ballrooms, no name tags.

Are people really going to want to learn things such as how to license their artwork or accounting 101, then an hour later climb 30 feet up a tree and jump off a platform?! We think so. We think CAMP is the perfect curation of activities for the mind, body and soul. The experience will activate us all, it will make us present and invigorated.

I want people to go back to a place when email didn’t exist, when everything was possible, when wonder and exploration ruled the day… Because in fact, everything IS possible and wonder and exploration should still rule the day! We just need to get outside of our boxes every now and again to remember it because we are indeed no longer 13-years-old, email is not going away, and as adults we have responsibilities now. But for a few days I want to transport people to a new environment – a place where they can let go. Instead of singing alone in your car you’ll actually sing, you know out loud, around other people. People who sit at a desk all day will suddenly focus on climbing over giant walls and capturing a flag.

Anyways, this is my big new thing. I love it. I hope you’ll love it! And I cannot wait for June 6-9. Details will be on the website (www.uniquecamp.com) in a few weeks but for now please visit it to join our mailing list. We’ll send you CAMP details before anyone else, give you a special offer and even send you snail mail. Really! :) CAMP is also on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Thanks everyone, I cannot wait to have an adventure in the woods with you…

- Sonja

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