2017 Blueprint Summit Recap | written by attendee Sarah Culclasure

Blueprint Retreat Recap with Sarah Culclasure—How to set realistic big goals and break them into small achievable steps. 2017 Creative Team: Photography—Rachel May Photography, Floral—Kaitlin Zermeno of Petaline Floral, Set Design & Rentals—Krista Janos of Blue Eyed Yonder | Shanna Skidmore #theblueprintmodel

Event Recap Series : 2017 Blueprint Summit
Shanna Skidmore | Recap by Sarah Culclasure

You know those moments when you see your big dreams come to life? Well, this was the year I definitely started to see mine.

Back in 2013, when I first launched Blueprint Retreat I had a vision of a conference for women in business to come together and take time out of their businesses to work ON their businesses.

This fifth event definitely saw that vision realized. With over fifty attendees, the small retreat it once was grew to welcome more women pursuing their big dreams.

Blueprint Summit is exclusive to my online students and past Blueprint Retreat attendees. Closing the event to students only allows the curriculum to be higher level since all attendees are coming in with a baseline of business knowledge found in my online course, The Blueprint Model.

While the conference may look different than the original small intimate retreats, attendees still walk away with a plan in place for the next year. We dig deep and look at their numbers while also hitting higher level topics like social media marketing, SEO and product diversification. It’s like our family reunion and is one of my favorite things to look forward to each year!


Blueprint Retreat Recap with Sarah Culclasure—How to set realistic big goals and break them into small achievable steps. 2017 Creative Team: Photography—Rachel May Photography, Floral—Kaitlin Zermeno of Petaline Floral, Set Design & Rentals—Krista Janos of Blue Eyed Yonder | Shanna Skidmore #theblueprintmodel

2017 Blueprint Summit Recap | written by attendee Sarah Culclasure

Name : Sarah Culclasure
Business Name : Riddle Design Co.
Industry : Branding

I own a design studio, Riddle Design Co., developing strategic branding, packaging, and illustration for entrepreneurs that take their craft as seriously as I do.

Prior to opening the studio, I worked in advertising as an art director for clients such as Microsoft, Old Navy, and Burger King. I lend my artful and strategic eye to help build brands from the ground up with beautiful logos, eye-stopping packaging, an engaging online presence, and all the materials needed to connect with their audience.

I live in Richmond, Virginia with my husband and two bird dogs.

What brought you to this career?

As a kid, I collected magazine ads and plastered a huge chest with candy wrappers. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in art and design, so I attended Savannah College of Art and Design where I had planned to be an animator. I quickly changed to advertising design, and the ad-collecting-weirdo in me found my place.

What did attending Blueprint Summit mean for you? Your life? And your business?

Running a business as a solopreneur can be very isolating and lonely. I had been missing connection with like-minded people.

At Summit, I realized how much I had been craving community and the ability to talk with other women who understood the challenges and rewards of running a business.

After Summit, I worked hard to find that community in my city, which I was new to, by joining a coworking space and co-creating a monthly meet up for female designers. I now have a network of people I can count on to send referrals to, ask for advice, and just spend time with.

Shanna has a way of attracting some of the most genuine women you’ll ever meet.

At the initial welcome dinner, everyone was so friendly and excited to meet one another. Actually, the very first night of Summit, I met two ladies who became my accountability partners.

Post Summit, we’d have monthly video meetings where we’d discuss our goals for the upcoming month and review our previous month. We called them our Champagne Moments.

I felt truly inspired by everyone who attended Blueprint Summit as I learned more about them and their businesses. Everyone I talked to had made incredible changes in their businesses and lives due to what they had learned from the Blueprint Model so we were all enthusiastic to be attending Summit.

One of my highlights—and something I’d recommend any first time Summit attendee to do—was get dinner with fellow Summit attendees each night to talk about what we had learned during the day and bounce around ideas about our businesses.

It was definitely bittersweet to leave this community after Summit, but I’m thankful to keep up with people on social media, the Blueprint Facebook Group, and through email/texts.

What is one word to express how you felt after leaving the retreat?


The topics discussed at Summit have a way of opening you up to have deeper conversations with fellow attendees. It allows you to discuss the realness of running a business which is not always popping bubbly as we often see on social media. I felt like I had met women who thought like me and faced similar challenges.

The year I attended Blueprint Summit, the focus was around annual planning, which I had never really done, so I was pumped to attend. I was more nervous about not knowing anyone, but as soon as you walk through Blueprint doors, it feels like you’ve known these women forever.

What did you hope to get out of attending Blueprint Summit?

Every year prior to the Blueprint Model and Summit, I didn’t really plan. I didn’t tell my money where to go. I didn’t know what I needed to make each month or how many projects I should say yes to.

I lived in organized chaos and quite often found myself working into the wee hours of the night due to saying yes to everything. I was hoping to leave Summit with a clear plan of how I would spend the year, how to set attainable goals, and how to actually accomplish them.

How did this Blueprint Summit move you forward in your business and in your life?

I learned how to set realistic yet big goals, and how to break those down into smaller achievable goals.

It reinforced the importance of knowing my numbers and what I need to do each month to make those numbers work. More than anything, it gave me the confidence to plan my workload and say no to things that weren’t a good fit.

What was the most important thing you walked away with?

The feeling of freedom that if I worked within my numbers, my business would continue to grow and I’d reach my goals.

What would you tell your best friend, biz bestie or someone walking through similar struggles in their life and business about attending a Blueprint Retreat/Summit?

I tell all of my business friends to check out Blueprint programs.  It’s given me clarity and freedom to not stress about cash or the ebbs and flows of business and  it’s helped me to be confident in the value my service brings to businesses and to price accordingly. I also tell them how I feel secure in my business because I know exactly what I need to make each month and how many projects I need to take on to make that.

DO IT. Attend. Make some business friends!

And lastly : what is the best thing you’ve learned about money?

The best thing I’ve learned about money is that a budget isn’t some strict, terrible thing to be scared about creating. It’s actually freeing when you tell your money where to go and when you keep track of how you’re spending it. I used to hate looking at my Profit & Loss Statement. Now, it actually makes me less stressed to keep an eye on my cash flow so I know I’m following my plan. It’s oddly fun.

2017 Blueprint Summit Vendors :
Photography : Rachel May Photography
Floral : Kaitlin Zermeno of Petaline Floral
Set Design & Rentals : Krista Janos of Blue Eyed Yonder

Interested in joining the Blueprint Family and attending one of our live events?!

*All Blueprint live events are exclusive for students of The Blueprint Model.



How to set realistic big goals and break them into small achievable steps. A Blueprint Retreat Recap with Sarah Culclasure. | Shanna Skidmore #theblueprintmodel



April 23, 2019




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