Lola Retreat: Putting Ideas to Action - Kathleen Celmins

Lola Retreat: Putting Ideas to Action

In August, my friends Melanie Lockert and Emma Pattee put on a personal finance conference for women.


Because they saw a need, then they worked their tails off filling that need.

The result: Lola Retreat, a one-day conference filled with women talking about money and mindset, getting out of debt, budgeting, investing, real estate, and financial independence.

I took pictures.

I’m inspired by my friends. Neither of these women were thinking, “Gosh, whatever am I going to do with all this time on my hands? I’ve already knitted the cat his winter sweater! Oh I know! I’ll put on an event!”


Instead, they’re two writers who saw that most people writing about personal finance were … men. And they both know that money is a tough subject to be open about, especially for women.

So, they put up a website, designed a logo, and put out a call for speakers.

They’re well connected in the personal finance world, so they had a lot of interest from excellent speakers.

Here’s how it went down:

Friday: Happy Hour

They offered swanky appetizers and drinks at a hip Portland hotel. Everyone mingled and got to know each other, then went out to dinner in small groups. I stole my friends away for burgers down the street.

Saturday: Full Day of Inspiration

We hit the ground running on Saturday, and the agenda looked like this:

  • Amanda Clayman talked about money mindset. Do you remember your earliest money memory?
  • Sarah Pattee talked about money and relationships. We’re more comfortable talking about sex than money. This is a problem.
  • Tonya Rapley talked about how to get your financial life together. She shared her story, and specific tips on whipping your money into shape.
  • Kara Perez talked about getting out of debt. She put it in these terms: “If I can do it, so can you.”
  • Lydia Frank talked about negotiating a higher salary. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for every women who has to negotiate after you.
  • Shannon McLay talked about how to invest, and why you should. Don’t be afraid of investing. Be afraid of falling behind.
  • Andi Blackwell talked about how to buy real estate if you’re self employed, and how to invest in real estate in an expensive market. Real estate helps you gain wealth if it’s done right.

At the end of the day, there was a panel about financial independence, which, for many, was the highlight of the event. Three financially independent women (Ms. Our Next Life, Liz from Frugalwoods, and Sylvia Hall, who is still quite anonymous) talked about living a life few of us imagine: financial independence and retirement at an early age.

The day ended with more snacks, and more free time for me to grab friends for a quiet meal.

Question for you: is there something you want to do, but aren’t? What’s holding you back? Or, more likely, if you’re reading this, the better question for you is: what inspiring thing have you done that I need to know about?

Case study:

How we earned $100,000 in a year on a digital product

Get the three things that made the most difference when we marketed a digital course and it earned $100,000 in just 12 months.

Scroll to Top