So, What’s The Next Big Thing?

You know, sometimes it feels so difficult to keep up with the times. As soon as we hook onto one trend, it’s as if another one pops up just seconds later. Who is setting these trends? Why do some catch on and others don’t? And most importantly, what is the next big thing?

We traveled all the way to the heart of Calgary, Alberta to attend the first ever Next Big Thing conference, hosted by multi-talented bloggers Mike Morrison and Kaity Kait. The day included over 30 accomplished speakers with a background in arts, design, writing, marketing, and the creatives. Regardless of their industry, everyone came with one goal in mind: to inspire each other to go after their own big thing. 

With so many illustrious figures at this event, we had such a hard time narrowing down our favorites, but here are our top nuggets of wisdom:

Lauren Stanley and Shauna Hartsook, Co-founders of Fairgoods

Lauren Stanley and Shauna Hartsook. Image from Next Big Thing Facebook Page

Have a checklist when it comes to working with brands, curating product, and/or winning at life. Fairgoods is a company that designs and sells products with beautiful typeface. When deciding what goods to sell, we make sure that it checks off this list:

a.    Is it unique?
b.    Is it funny?
c.    Does it ship flat and light?
d.    Does it work for wholesale?
e.    Would I buy it?

Having a list like this will help your decision making flow much better.

Chris Dowsett, Director/Photographer based in Calgary

Chris Dowsett. Image from Next Big Thing Facebook Page

Everything is a remix and nothing is new. That’s okay. All ideas begin from seeing something you are inspired by, combining multiple ideas together, and then ultimately transforming it into your own. Regardless of how your ideas come about, own them and be confident about what you’re putting out there.

Danielle Krysa. Image from Next Big Thing Facebook Page

Danielle Krysa, Founder of The Jealous Curator

Your inner critic is a jerk and it’s stopping you from achieving great, big things. Acknowledge your most critical saying and then try saying it to a friend. Doesn’t feel quite right, does it? Rename your inner critic to something comical (it’s hard to get mad at an inner critic named Gary) and do not allow Gary to consume your life. You are capable of so many wonderful things.

 Janine Vangool. Image from Next Big Thing Facebook Page

Janine Vangool, Founder/Editor/Publisher/Designer of Uppercase Magazine

Don’t follow the trends and instead, focus on being yourself. Fads come and go, but you are forever classic. In addition, stay true to your vision and believe it in with your whole heart.

Kendall Barber, Co-Founder of Poppy Barley

Kendall Barber. Image from Next Big Thing Facebook Page

Being there in person matters. It’s easy to do cold calls and write e-mails, but nothing shows future clients and partners that you care more than showing up. Take the flight, make the drive, and do whatever it takes to get yourself in front of those who are important. In addition, embrace the messy middle when there’s half-part chaos and half-part growth. This is exciting because it means that good things are happening. Remember, if it’s a new problem, it’s a good problem. If it’s the same problem, then it’s an issue.

Thank you to Next Big Thing for an incredible conference. We can’t wait to see what next year brings!


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