Taryn Herritt and Angela Osborne’s vision for The Atelier, an inaugural conference that celebrates the best women in business, arose from an unofficial and unintentional brainstorming session in early summer 2017. Friends for years, they’d always admired one another’s business successes, in the corporate world and as entrepreneurs. While catching up over lunch that day, they launched into the topic of personal development and realized that as far as business conferences go, there wasn’t anything out there that encompassed all of their main touchpoints – something that was experiential, content heavy and energetic. And something very important was missing: INSPIRATION.That fortuitous first conversation evolved into inspired action: energized coffee dates, exciting working sessions over lunch and strategy sessions in wine country. Their collective background in event planning experience, marketing skills and business operations intersected, and The Atelier was born.



My first job ever was…

Taryn – Technically speaking, my first PAID job was babysitting. But in reality, I was actually an entrepreneur at heart all along — at the young age of 5 I used to set up a ‘store’ with all of my Halloween candy and my cash register and ‘sell’ it to the neighbourhood kids! So I consider that my actual first job ever.

Angela – A junior camp counsellor! I think I was 14, and I remember spending hours “lesson-planning” in order to make sure that the group of children I was in charge of had a really fun and fulfilling day. Even back then, there were signs I’d have an interest in event planning.


I decided to be an entrepreneur because… 

T – I’ve always been a creative person who is self-motivated and takes a lot of pride in building something. Entrepreneurship was a natural evolution for me as it gives me the flexibility to focus on what I’m passionate about and make a difference for our community. In addition, I always felt like I was consistently making a lot of money for someone else. I always wondered if I maintained the same work ethic but worked for myself … what could I accomplish financially? Finally, becoming a mother was a turning point for me. I wanted to be a present, involved mother while still being ambitiously pursuing my dreams. Designing my own schedule helps tremendously!

A – Prior to starting my own business, I always felt like I was waiting for life to happen. I was working for someone else, supporting someone else’s mission, and lacked that feeling of connection to a bigger purpose. When I started working for myself, that internal fire was ignited and I felt inspired by the work I was doing. Celebrating small personal victories lit up my whole day, and I loved being in control of the projects and tasks I took on.


My proudest accomplishment is…

T – It has to be pulling off the inaugural event for The Atelier Collective. To stand in a room of 300+ ambitious, talented, intelligent and driven women … to feel that energy and to know we were starting (and changing) the conversation … that was such a proud moment. And the standing ovation that we received from the attendees at the end of the day was the cherry-on-top. What a moment!   

A – I am lucky to say that I have two:

About 9 years ago now, I embarked on a solo backpacking journey abroad. I was at a critical juncture in my life – basically, a handful of terrible things happened all at once that were beyond my control. So instead of letting that pull me down, I decided to take control of my life. After months of travel, and followed by few years of plugging away at a manuscript, I finally published my first novel. That was most definitely my proudest professional accomplishment until The Atelier came along. It is by far the biggest, most comprehensive event I have ever co-planned, and looking back I still have to pinch myself to make sure that the day happened!


My boldest move to date was…

T – Becoming an entrepreneur. It’s a huge leap from the sensible job, security of a good/predictable salary, growing career, dedicated vacation time and benefits, but so worth it! And I wouldn’t be the business owner I am today without that experience – so I’m very grateful for those opportunities.

A – I think it would have to be travelling by myself to the other side of the world with no expectations or plan in mind. I booked a one-way ticket to Thailand, bought a backpack (and I’m not really a backpacking kind-of-girl) and left all that was familiar to me. I took a leap of faith in that I knew that this geographical change would be a catalyst for an importance internal change.


I surprise people when I tell them…

T – That I lived in Asia! I was so lucky to have the opportunity to live overseas in Singapore for 3 years when I was younger and travelled across Asia with my family. It definitely planted a travel bug at a young age and it’s become a passion of mine.

A – I’m also a yoga teacher and I’ve been teaching a now “infamous” Yoga & Wine class in the vineyard for the past five years.


My best advice to people starting a business is…

T – Two things: (1) just start and (2) if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.

People tend to overthink and find reasons why something won’t work. While it’s good to be able to see the big picture, I’m convinced that the biggest component of success is just starting. Executing. Failing. Adjusting. And then executing some more.

A – Never stop building meaningful relationships in your industry and network. Try to leave a positive imprint wherever you are, because people will want to refer you, work with you and even work for you if you have a good reputation. Women supporting women is SO incredibly important for me, and choosing to view competitors as potential partners or collaborators only elevates you and positively impacts your business.  


My best advice from a mentor was…

T – At the end of it all, don’t leave this world wondering “what if?”

A – Fight for your worth and don’t settle. My first management role out of university was working under this dynamic woman who challenged me in such encouraging ways, but also provided such incredible reinforcement and guidance. It was time for my yearly review, and she not only urged but primed me to negotiate for a better salary. I gained new confidence in this scenario that was WAY out of my comfort zone. I had never done anything like this before, and was scared I would offend someone by asking for more. Isn’t that silly? Don’t ask, don’t get – but in this instance I mustered up the courage to ask for what I was worth, and I got it!


I would tell my 20-year old self…

T – Failure is part of the journey and setbacks are part of the game. Learn from them but don’t dwell on them.

A – To stay focused and practice discipline! Back then I was definitely more concerned with what my friends were doing and being social, and I wish I would’ve put in more time working towards bigger goals then.


Work/life balance is…

T – Different for each person and requires constant evaluation. Once you set the priorities for your life – just keep coming back to that and make sure that what you spend your day, weeks and months doing is aligned with the overall vision for your life.

A – I think that it’s finding an ideal state that is right at that particular time. There are ebbs and flows when it comes to entrepreneurship, and so recognizing those changes and adjusting your schedule accordingly is how you find balance. And no matter what, I make sure that I have quiet time with my son every single day. He is my WHY in everything I do now.


If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know…

T – That I’m a passionate advocate of bucket lists! My bucket list is massive and I absolutely love chasing down those experiences and checking them off. It’s like a ‘wish list’ for life.

A – I am a 90’s pop culture junkie. Music trivia, movies, TV shows – you name it!


I stay inspired by…

T – On a professional level, listening to podcasts, reading books and magazines, attending events and meeting entrepreneurs. Overall, my family and friends are a huge source of inspiration for me, especially my daughter and husband!

A – Hearing success stories of people who followed their dreams – it absolutely motivates me! I also like to take time to practice yoga and quiet my mind to evoke inspiration. There is something I like to call, “yoga magic,” which is this feeling of not only happiness but boundlessness – the ability to accomplish anything I set my mind to. Yoga serves as a ripple effect for inspiration and positivity in my life.


The future excites me because…

T – Women really can have it all. It’s so crazy to think that not that long ago, we had to make a choice: stay home and raise a family or have a career. Technology and women in the workplace have evolved to a point where it’s all possible … you can be ambitious, driven, intelligent AND you can pick your kids up from school and make it to soccer practice. And I love to see how many women are stepping into the role of business owner / CEO / President. The world will be so different for my daughter’s generation, and that truly excites me.

A – I feel like I am in a place now where all the efforts, the ups, the many downs all make sense as it led me to working on The Atelier. It’s a culmination of my event planning, my passions and creativity, travel, relationship building and business all in one beautiful package. I love the quote from Steve Jobs, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” This all makes sense to me now. I know that hosting The Atelier is a privilege, and I want to make sure that I do myself and the women attending the conference justice by giving it my all. The possibilities are endless because we are open to it, and that’s a really great feeling.


My next step is…

T – Continuing to support women in business, both entrepreneurs and those growing their careers, through The Atelier. We truly believe this is a movement and such an important community, and we can’t wait to see what this incredible group of women can achieve together!

A – Keep going. Keep planning. Keep putting positivity out into the universe and hopefully we can reach and impact more people.


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