About the Speakers:
Kelly Cummings is a North Carolina native who has called Birmingham, Alabama her home since 2008. Moving to her husband’s hometown meant having a guide to all of the best restaurants (and exactly what to and not to order at each one), and eating really good food is one of her favorite hobbies. Kelly’s main creative pursuit is photographing couples in love as the primary photographer for Spindle Photography. Kelly’s work has been featured online and in print in various publications including Southern Living Weddings, Southern Weddings Magazine, Birmingham Weddings, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Snippet and Ink, Southern Weddings, Ruffled, Grey Likes Weddings, Elizabeth Anne Designs, and The Birmingham Bride. In 2013 Kelly took on a year long hand-lettering project after taking a calligraphy class and falling in love with the art as a creative outlet. A few years ago Kelly was inspired to help create Curtsy, a “secret” group for like-minded creative women, and has had the opportunity to help foster this small but diverse community of women that encourages supporting one another and working together to grow strong creative businesses. Kelly is passionate about seeking a life that brings her joy and loves encouraging others to do the same.
A Kelly Secret- It was my childhood goal to become an archaeologist and I was actually pursuing that dream in college, when I met my husband on a dig in Natchez, Mississippi!
Holly Hollon : A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Holly Cook Hollon happily returned to her hometown after receiving a BFA in Graphic Design at Auburn University. After working in the field of advertising, she began her own business to pursue her creative interests. Holly’s entrepreneurial spirit lead her to work with small businesses, where her expertise is in creating logos, branding systems and wedding stationery suites.The unique design aesthetic of Holly’s work has been influenced by her skills in illustration and calligraphy. Using hand drawn techniques and drawings gives her designs a personal and rare touch.
Holly’s works have been published in Communication Arts, Print Regional, Southern Living, Birmingham Magazine and Southern Weddings, Southern Lady and Town & Country Weddings. Holly has been published online on Design*Sponge, Oh So Beautiful Paper and Snippet & Ink. Also, Holly has been the recipient of numerous Addy awards, including Designer of the Year and Illustrator of the Year in 2008. When not designing, Holly enjoys entertaining and cooking, chick-flicks, playing with her poodles (Daisy and Dottie), going to estate sales, and most of all hanging out with her husband, Charlton.
A Holly Secret- I have played the violin since I was six.
Rylee Hitchner is a destination wedding photographer living in the south and traveling the world with her camera. In the fleeting moments of a wedding day, and in life in general, I make my focus on the gentle and the sincere. Whether in an environment of a thousand people or just your five closest friends, I long to create photographs that tell an intimate, genuine story- the way you feel and see it played out. On a given day you will find me daydreaming about that which is true… noble… right… pure… lovely… and admirable…
A Rylee Secret – I’m not much for breakfast, but cook myself steak or shrimp scampi in the morning without thinking twice! Dinner for breakfast every day.
Stacy Richardson grew up on the coast of the Atlantic in Greenwich, Connecticut, Stacy Richardson began honing her craft under the guidance of her photographer father. She graduated from Roger Williams University with a degree in Psychology, yet it was her free spirit and freelance photography skills that lead her to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she would share a music stage with her soon to be husband, Seth. In 2006, she moved back east to Annapolis, Maryland where her career in the wedding industry grew as well as her family. She has two little girls, Grace and Abigail and a dog named Molly. Her work has been featured on prime time television and she has been fortunate enough to work with numerous celebrities and sports figures. Northerner by birth, Southerner by choice, the Magic City is her home. She enjoys her back porch and coffee and when she’s not taking photos, she is laughing with her kids and spending time with friends.
A Stacy Secret– I like hip hop music.
Carrie Rollwagen is the author of The Localist and co-owner of Church Street Coffee & Books, both of which she built with social media- and blogging-based marketing strategies. Carrie was named one of 50 People Changing the South in 2015 by Southern Living, and she’s been a featured speaker with The Cultural Alliance, REV Birmingham, WordCamp Birmingham, See Jane Write and Y’all Connect; she also served on the Kickstarter School panel for Design Week Birmingham.
A Carrie Secret – I don’t own a car — I ride a navy blue Vespa everywhere (even in the rain!).
Kalee Baker was born and raised in Delany Park, Florida and attended the University of Florida where she fell in love with the event industry. She received her degree in Hospitality and Tourism while specializing in Event Management. While in Florida, she had the opportunity to work for a wedding planner before taking a position at Capitol Services Incorporated in Washington, District of Columbia. Kalee worked at venues such as the Mellon Auditorium, U.S. Library of Congress, Natural History Museum, National Air and Space Museum and several of the Embassies. Her time at Capitol Services Inc. was invaluable to her growth and development as an event planner and business woman. Kalee Baker Events was established in 2013 with the dream to assist organizations, companies and families as they celebrate life through events.
Apart from KBE, Kalee enjoys supporting her husband as he serves as the Junior High Director at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. She has a knack for details, thrives off all things creative and has a passion for people that is obviously from the Lord. She currently offers planning packages for corporate, social and wedding events.
A Kalee Secret – I have lived and worked in both Australia and New Zealand.
Molly and Joanna are based out of Birmingham, Alabama. They are the duo behind the lifestyle blog, Irrelephant. They are both licensed cosmetologists that specialize in wedding, editorial and everyday beautiful hair.
An Irrelephant Secret – We worked for Taylor Swift once. Was she there… that is relative. Met her dad though.
Ginny Au is a destination wedding designer, stylist and planner. Her objective is to approach the role of coordinator with an artistic aesthetic, providing her clients with dedicated, personal service. Originally from the United Kingdom, Ginny is drawn to a simplistic European style; using the beauty of her surroundings to inspire a creative process that compliments both the environment and the vision of her clients.
“I believe every design should be a refection of the client, allowing the vision of the couple to dictate the mood, atmosphere and details.I am inspired by the story of my clients, often drawing inspiration from the chosen environment, season, texture and pigments. I hand-make details and custom dye ribbons for my clients. These personal touched are then beautifully preserved with detail styling with the photographer.”
A Ginny Secret – David and I have two children, a Beagle and a Great Dane. Saturday nights we have a family movie night and the kids sleep in our huge bed with our dogs. We don’t get much sleep but I love waking up with my family all together!
Elle Danielle is an attorney-turned-wedding photographer who combines her visual artistry and legal expertise to help creative industry professionals grow their businesses. Equipped with her camera, Elle has taken her Southern charm across the country and internationally to capture epic love stories. She’s inspired by natural light, beautiful details, and life’s candid moments. Elle is an example to entrepreneurs that when you love your work and approach it strategically, your business can thrive.
An Elle Secret – I think every food tastes better when it comes from a food truck!
Laura McCarty is a born and raised Georgia girl now happily residing in Birmingham, with her husband, Mark and white lab Lilly. Upon receiving her degree in Graphic Design from Auburn University, she worked for several magazine publications in marketing and design. A few years later, she began her own business to pursue several of her creative interests. Marked specializes in paper, florals and design with a love of everything in between. Consider it your one-stop shop for all things beautiful. Marked was created for the purpose of adorning your home and hearts with hand-mades, paper goods and florals while spreading the hope-filled news of the gospel. Laura’s work has been published in Weddings Unveiled Magazine, Magnolia Rouge Magazine, Birmingham Weddings & Celebrations, Alabama Bridal, Celebrate Magazine and Alabama Weddings Magazine. Laura’s work has been featured online on The Huffington Post, Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, Belle Lumiere, Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Sparrow and many more.
A Laura Secret – I used to design t-shirts for a living. I’ve got 4,433 designs under my belt.
From Meghan: There’s somethings that cannot be described in words. The Secret’s Out Conference is one of those. So many thank yous, and heartfelt hugs for all of the people who made this day possible. Birmingham you out did yourself. I hope you enjoy all of the lovely photos captured by the ever fabulous Mandy Busby. It all still feels like a dream to us.
A special thank you to all the Sponsers: Bushel and Peck Florals, Baking Bandits, Lara Casey Shop, Magic City Macaron, Trendy Bride Handley Breaux Designs, Royal Cup Coffee, Ivory and White Bridal Boutique, Recipes for Press, The Big Fake Wedding, Susan Dennis Gordon Pottery, Morgan Ashley Salon, Piper and Leaf Tea, Great Bear Wax Co, Augusta Cole Stylist, Big Spoon Creamery, Frou Frou Chic, Silk and Willow Ribbon, Reflect Visual Arts, Stately Made Stationery, AK Jewelry August Cole